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Walnut planting

Discussion in 'Nursery' started by thewalnutguy, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. thewalnutguy

    thewalnutguy ArboristSite Lurker

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    This field was planted to black walnuts in '87, a total of 3,500 seedlings planted. The next year was a drought year, and I ended up hauling lots of water to keep them alive. As I didn't have the ability to apply sufficient amounts of water to the entire 10 acres, I concentrated on a six acre portion, the remaining seedlings having to be satisfied with what little rain did occur. I had a 300 gallon tank on the back of my truck, was able to fill and apply three tanks per evening after work, enough for one of the thirteen rows, and on the weekend get the remaining eight rows watered, then the next week start all over again. The area that was watered had about 75% survival for the season, the area that was not watered less than 20% survival. Thirty years later, this is what the field looks like.
    I've been using a kick-wheel rotary mower in addition to my flail mower to cut the grass/weeds in the rows between the trees. Originally this was mounted on the front three-point hitch with the flail mower on the rear. Last year I moved the kick-wheel mower to a mounting on the flail mower which gave better results, but required lots of looking backwards while mowing, rather tiring after a while (I'm in my late 70s), and I tried adding an "aiming rod" to the mower, as shown below, which makes mowing much easier and results in considerably improved results. I can now view the precise positioning of the mower relative to the row looking out the side window of the tractor cab rather than back over my shoulder. I mow with the "aiming rod" about an inch away from the tree trunks. Simple little attachment, made from materials already on hand. 101_6816.JPG 101_6798.JPG 101_6796.JPG
     
  2. Marine5068

    Marine5068 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I met a guy once that was on the board of a Black Walnut tree society for southern Ontario, Canada.
    He grew beautiful trees from nuts and was always talking about his war on squirrels that would dig them up and eat the seedlings and nuts.
     
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  3. farmer steve

    farmer steve outstanding in my field, 5150

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    very nice guy. never saw a kick wheel mower. how does it work/purpose?
     
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  4. chipper1

    chipper1 Tree Freak

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    I'd like to know as well.

    OP, we have a very similar looking stand of walnuts here in my area, they look good, just as yours do :).
     
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  5. oaktreeguy

    oaktreeguy ArboristSite Lurker

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    Very cool! How large are the trunks now at 30 years old? Have they started producing nuts?
     
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  6. thewalnutguy

    thewalnutguy ArboristSite Lurker

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    The kick wheel mower is an 18 inch diameter rotary mower driven by the tractor's hydraulic system. It runs in the row of trees, when it encounters a trunk it rolls around the trunk and then returns to in-the-row position. It's got a padded wheel above the rotary blade. The purpose of the mower is to mow the grass/weeds between the trees in the row. One of the problems I'd had prior to adding the kick-wheel mower was wild grapes, the mower eliminates most of the volunteer grapes, although those rooted within a couple of inches of the trunk have to be eliminated manually.
     
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  7. thewalnutguy

    thewalnutguy ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks. Some of the trunks are about eight to ten inch diameter, some about two inches. I've been thinning out some of the trees that are not growing well, Many of the trees have been producing nuts for years, others have not yet produced any. This field was planted in 1986. I'd planted 100 walnuts elsewhere in 1972, some of the volunteers from that planted are now 15 inches or more in diameter. The trees will never be harvested for lumber in my lifetime, but it makes me feel good to watch them grow.
     
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  8. Sawyer Rob

    Sawyer Rob Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I've planted quite a few walnut tree's here on my place too...

    They start producing nuts after about seven years...

    SR
     

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