English Walnut (Juglans rigea)

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Plant Details

Category: Nursery
Light: Full Sun
Bloom Season: Spring
Height: 60-100’ / 
Space: 30-50' / 
Zones: 5, 6, 7
Lowest Temp: -20° to -10°F / 
-29° to -23°C
Colors: Grown for Fruit

Basic Care

Plant in a reliably sunny spot. When planting, keep the base of the trunk exposed. Best in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Water regularly until established.


Water regularly until established.


Fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil.


Slow release feed in spring.

attracts pollinators

Attracts Pollinators

attracts birds

Attracts Birds

attracts butterflies

Attracts Butterflies

plants that grow upright

Grows Upright

Ornamental Foliage



English walnut trees produce the walnuts most often sold at stores and used in baked goods. Despite its common name, the English walnut tree is native to regions from southern Europe to the Himalayas, China, and Russia. English walnut is a deciduous tree that produces a beautiful, loose canopy of aromatic, compound foliage. Flowering begins in late spring when both, male and female flowers appear. These are followed by large nuts that mature from September into November.

You can expect to harvest English walnuts about 4 to 7 years after planting. The nuts fall to the ground when ripe. The hull usually splits when English walnuts are ripe making it relatively easy to remove the inner nut. In addition to the hull splitting, the tissue between the nutshell and the husk will be brown in a ripe nut.

You’ll want to remove the hulls of the English walnuts as soon as possible, clean the nuts thoroughly to remove any residue, and cure the nuts for two weeks by laying them in a single layer in an area that is warm, dry, and well-ventilated. After that they will be ready for cracking and removing the nut meats.


Mature trees provide shade. An excellent tree for providing food, shelter, and nesting areas for wildlife. A source of nutritious edible nuts that are popular for snacking or using in a wide range of recipes such as salads, cakes, cookies, bread, cereal, rice, and soups. A classic favorite for a landscape focal point.

English Walnut (Juglans rigea) Care Guide

Plant in spring or early fall to give plants the best start.

Choose a location that will allow roots to spread and branches to grow freely. Space plants far enough from building foundations, walls, and decks so that the growing foliage won’t crowd the structure. Consider whether tall trees or shrubs will block windows or interfere with the roof or power lines.

To prepare the planting area dig a hole as deep as the root ball and three times as wide. After removing the soil, mix it with some compost or peat moss. This enriches the soil and loosens the existing dirt so that new roots can spread easily.

To remove the plant from the container, gently brace the base of the plant, tip it sideways and tap the outside of the pot to loosen. Rotate the container and continue to tap, loosening the soil until the plant pulls smoothly from the pot. The container can also be removed by carefully cutting it down the side.

Set the plant in the hole. If the root ball is wrapped in burlap fabric this must now be removed along with any string or wire securing the burlap. If roots are tightly packed gently rake them apart with your fingers.

Return the soil to the planting area packing it firmly around the root ball. Fill the hole until the soil line is just at the base of the plant, where the roots begin to flare out from the main stem.

Water the plant well then add a 2” (5cm) layer of mulch, such as shredded bark, around the planting area. Keep the mulch at least 4” (10cm) away from the trunk of the plant as this can keep the bark too moist and cause it to decay.

Depending on rainfall, new plants need to be watered weekly through the first growing season. A slow, one-hour trickle of water should do the job. During hot spells thoroughly soaking the ground up to 8” (20 cm) every few days is better than watering a little bit daily. Deep watering encourages roots to grow further into the ground resulting in a sturdier plant with more drought tolerance.

To check for soil moisture use your finger or a hand trowel to dig a small hole and examine the soil. If the first 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, it is time to water.

Monitor new plants through the first two years to make sure they are getting the moisture they need. After that they should be sturdy enough to survive on their own.

Pruning may be needed to remove dead branches, encourage bushier growth, promote more flowers, or maintain a specific size or shape.

Dead branches should be removed close to the trunk, flush with the bark. When pruning to control a plant’s size or shape, cuts should be made just above a leaf bud and at a slight angle. This bud will be where the new growth sprouts.

Many shrubs can be regularly sheared to keep them shaped as a hedge, edging or formal foundation planting.

Always use sharp, clean tools when pruning. There are many tools available depending on the job. Hand shears, pruners, and loppers are ideal for most shrubs. Pole pruners and tree saws are better for large, mature shrubs or trees. If a tree is so large that it can’t be safely pruned with a pole pruner, it is best to call in a professional tree service.

Established trees should be fertilized every 2-3 years. Feed in early spring when plants start growing.

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product designed for trees and shrubs, or go with a nutritionally balanced, general-purpose formula such as 10-10-10.

Always follow the fertilizer package directions for application rates and scheduling. Over-fertilizing plants or applying at the wrong time during the growing season can result in plant injury.

English Walnut Companion/Combination Plants


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