If you are establishing a garden for the long term, and perhaps even thinking of handing it down to generations to come, planting a walnut tree makes a wonderfully sentimental statement.
Juglans Regia is a slow growing tree that will eventually reach heights of 8m and a spread of 7m in a 20 year period. Delicious edible walnuts will start appearing after a 4 to 5 year period. Well worth the wait!
Rita Walnut trees have large, pinnate leaves which are a lovely bright-green when young. They also have a faint scent which attracts bees, birds and butterflies, bringing sound and movement into your outdoor living space. As autumn approaches, the foliage turns to warm shades of bronze and yellow. This looks especially eye-catching against the grey-silver bark.
As your tree gets older, delicious walnuts are formed in the autumn. They have a green casing which opens to display a golden brown shell that is deeply fissured. The nuts have a sweet rich flavour and make a glorious family-bonding winter treat when roasted over a hot fire. They can also be eaten straight off the tree or used in baking and for desserts.
Juglans Regia will grow in any well-drained soil and enjoys sun or partial shade. It can tolerate some exposure. It is partial self-fertility and will produce nuts even when planted as a stand-alone tree. If you want a heavier yield, plant it alongside another walnut tree of a different species.
This stately tree has an attractive spreading shape and will become a focal point in a more mature garden. It was naturalised in the UK and holds an RHS Award of Garden Merit.
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