Walnut bears fruit only a few years after planting, since this plant is a long-liver, unlike many fruit trees for a garden plot. The life span of a walnut is estimated at hundreds of years - the age of the oldest trees reaches 400-500 years. The growth of the plant is practically unlimited, and the yield depends on the variety and growing conditions, although in general it is an unpretentious crop that even a beginner in gardening can handle.
How many years does a walnut begin to bear fruit?
The exact timing of fruiting is determined by the group to which this or that variety of walnut belongs. On average, the beginning of fruiting of a walnut falls on the 5-8th year of life, however, there are early varieties that bear fruit already in the 4th year after planting in a permanent place. Late-fruiting crops begin to bear crops only in the 10-15th year of life.
Advice! You can make late-ripening walnut varieties bear fruit with the help of frequent transplants - up to 3 times, before flowering. Ringing also gives good results - making small cuts on the bark of a tree and then lubricating them with garden pitch.
How many walnut fruits give
Average yield varieties bring about 8-10 kg of nuts per year. As they grow older, this figure increases to 20-30 kg of fruits per tree annually. Trees aged 50 and over are capable of producing over 1 ton of nuts per year.
The most productive varieties include:
- Bukovinsky-2 - about 50 kg are harvested from one adult tree (about 20-25 years old);
- Chernovetskiy - from 40 to 45 kg of fruits;
- The ideal is 120 kg of fruit from a tree about 20 years old.
The timing of harvesting more accurately helps to determine the pericarp. As soon as large cracks appear on them, the ripening of the walnut fruit has come to an end.
Walnut yield can be increased in several ways:
- In regions with a dry warm climate, it is recommended to treat the soil in the garden with steam and green manure.
- In dry times, it is necessary to organize regular irrigation of plantings. This is especially true of moisture-loving varieties that are vulnerable to a lack of water in the soil.
- You can also fertilize old plantations with mixtures high in potassium and phosphorus.
- Finally, crop performance is highly dependent on how regularly pruning is done. Timely removal of old and damaged shoots has a positive effect on the development of the tree.
Important! The density of the fruits of unpeeled walnuts is reduced due to the consumption of dry substances for respiration and evaporation of water.
How much does a walnut bear fruit?
The exact timing depends on the variety of the walnut. On average, fruiting lasts from late August to late October.
Why walnuts don't bear fruit
Walnuts may not bear fruit for many reasons. It often happens that the plant is simply too young and the fruiting period has not yet approached, and the owners of the site are sounding the alarm ahead of time. Lack of yield can also be caused by mistakes in cultivation techniques and pest infestations.
One of the most common mistakes is planting thickening, in which walnut trees are too close to each other. With this arrangement, the plants quickly deplete the soil and begin to starve, which affects fruiting. Reinforced watering will no longer help here, as well as additional feeding. With a strong thickening, the walnut not only ceases to bear fruit, but is also easily affected by infectious diseases and soon dies.
The recommended distance between two adjacent trees is at least 5 m, preferably more - from 7 to 8 m, since as the walnut crown grows, it grows strongly to the sides.
Important! Planting walnuts closer is allowed only on slopes. With this arrangement, the minimum distance between trees is 3.5-4 m.
The tree is "fat"
Fruiting of a walnut also stops due to the fact that the tree begins to "fatten" - to actively grow, without forming an ovary. In other words, there is an intensive set of green mass and shoots to the detriment of fruiting.
At the first sign of fattening it is necessary to stop feeding the trees.
The walnut will not be able to form ovaries, even with flowers, if there is no cross-pollination. The tree does not belong to self-pollinated horticultural crops, so it must be artificially pollinated. Pollination problems can be avoided by planting another variety of walnuts near the plantings. In addition, you can plant 1-2 trees or make budding with a peephole of another variety that blooms at the same time.
If the walnut has too abundant shoots and an impressive green mass, the wind in the dense crown will not be able to contribute to the pollination of the plantings. In order for the walnut to continue to bear fruit, it is necessary to thin out its crown. Remove dry and damaged shoots, as well as branches that touch each other.
Important! Walnut pruning is recommended in early summer, and not in spring, when sap flows. A peculiarity of pruning is that large branches are not completely cut off, but small knots are left for the next year.
Wrong mode of watering and feeding
Walnut does not tolerate prolonged drought extremely badly, therefore, in regions with a hot climate, it sometimes ceases to bear fruit due to improper irrigation.
Young trees and adult walnuts at the stage of flowering and fruit formation are especially acutely in need of regular soil moisture. About 30 liters of water are consumed per tree in hot summer, 3 times a month. In conditions of prolonged rains, watering is reduced to 1-2 times a month. Adult trees from 4 m in height are watered with the same frequency.
Walnuts are fertilized in moderation - no more than 2 times a year. In the spring months, plantings are fed with nitrogen, in the fall - with potassium and phosphorus. Trees over 20 years old are fertilized with potassium salt, superphosphate and ammonium nitrate.
Advice! In no case should fertilizer be applied directly under the root. This can cause burns to the roots of the tree.
Nitrogen-containing fertilizers are applied very carefully, since an excess of nitrogen in the soil can provoke "fattening" of the walnut. That is why young seedlings are not fed with nitrogen at all. Moreover, the high concentration of this trace element in the soil increases the risk of bacteriosis infection.
As organic fertilizers, green manures are often used, which are planted between trees. Suitable green manure:
These plants will naturally fertilize the land and help you get a bountiful harvest.
Diseases and pests
Insects infest walnuts infrequently, but they can still harm plantings in order. The main threats include the following pests:
- White American butterfly. You can get rid of it with any commercial insecticide.
- Fruit moth. With this pest, pheromone traps will help, which destroy the males of these pests. Also, as a preventive measure, it is recommended to remove fallen leaves on time.
- Sapwood. This insect, like the American butterfly, is vulnerable to chemicals. Any commercially available insecticide will work to combat it.
The main diseases of the walnut include marsonia (also brown spot) and bacteriosis. The most common cause of planting disease is excess moisture in the soil or, conversely, drying out.
Marsonia infects walnuts in hot, rainy summers, when the air humidity increases significantly. To protect the garden area from this disease, varieties should be planted that are adapted to cultivation in such climatic conditions. Young trees are sprayed with Bordeaux liquid, preferably before the buds bloom.
Damp warm weather is also an ideal environment for bacteriosis. Treatment measures for the disease include treatment with Bordeaux liquid and a weak urea solution. The frequency of treatments is once every 2 weeks.
Walnuts can also stop bearing fruit if the plant infects root cancer - a real disaster for all fruit trees and shrubs. This disease can lead to the death of the plant in the shortest possible time. The disease manifests itself in the form of lumpy growths.
At the first signs of cancer, the damaged areas are sprayed with a weak solution of caustic soda, after which the roots are washed with clean water.
What to do if a walnut does not bear fruit
If a walnut stops bearing fruit, first you need to find out the cause of this phenomenon. In accordance with the identified problem, a further action plan is selected:
- When planting thickens, trees must be thinned out. To do this, cut off old and weak shoots, as well as branches that interfere with the growth of neighboring ones.
- The lack of nutrients in the area of the trunk circle is corrected by applying organic fertilizers under the tree. For this, the soil under the walnut is dug with a pitchfork and the plant is fed with humus. Recommended rate: 3-4 buckets per 1 m2... The procedure is completed with mulching.
- When the topsoil dries up, the planting is watered abundantly. Enough 10 buckets for each tree.
- If the walnut has ceased to bear fruit due to "fattening", then it is necessary to suspend all fertilizing and watering. If even this does not help, then you will have to cut off the ends of the roots. For this, the plant is carefully dug in a circle. The distance from the resulting groove to the trunk should be about 50 cm. The roots of the tree along this line are chopped off (only the largest, it is better not to touch the small ones) and sprinkled with earth again.
- If problems with fruiting are caused by the lack of a pollinator, then another variety is planted next to the plantings or trees are pollinated artificially - for this you need to shake the pollen from another variety over the trees that have ceased to bear fruit. You will need a branch cut from another variety, which is prepared 20-30 days before the pollination procedure.
You can reduce the risk of tree disease if you periodically spray them with chemicals:
- Against marsonia, planting is treated 3 times with a solution of copper sulfate and quicklime, taken in a ratio of 1: 1 and diluted with a small amount of water. In addition, walnut buds can be sprayed with Vectra in spring.
- Trees will also be protected from bacteriosis by sprinkling the tree with a mixture of quicklime and copper sulfate three times.
- In addition, it is recommended to periodically clean up fallen leaves for better protection.
Walnut does not bear fruit immediately, which is the norm for long-lived plants, and is not at all a sign of any disease. Depending on the variety, fruiting occurs on average in the 5-8th year of the tree's life. Caring for the plant is very simple, and with regular preventive treatments against pests, walnuts give a bountiful harvest in the fall.
For more information on how walnuts ripen, see the video below: