Walnut tree

The walnut tree: description

The walnut tree is native to areas of Asia, especially the Himalayas. It is currently widespread all over the world and seems to have been imported into Europe directly by the Greeks around the VII-V century.In Italy the main walnut crops are present in Campania.The characteristic fruit is obtained from the walnut tree, a drupe from oval shape. It also produces excellent wood. The plant is majestic, capable of reaching 30 meters in height, with a solid and massive trunk; the roots are also robust and taproots. Its leaves are deciduous, compound and alternate. It is a very sensitive tree to water stagnation that cannot bear heavy soils and suffers from thermal excesses.

The varieties of walnut

There are several varieties of the walnut. The most widespread in Italy is the Sorrento which presents itself with a regal and elevated bearing and has a dual purpose, fruit and wood. Its nuts are oval in shape and of excellent quality. The ripening of the fruits takes place in the months of September-October. The Franquette variety also has a dual purpose; its fruits are particularly large and oval. Their quality is excellent. They are mostly cultivated in northern Italy as they need a particularly cold climate.The Hartley type has a medium vigor and are exclusively fruit trees. The latter are large and sub-oval in shape, followed by the following varieties: Malizia, Feltrina, Bleggiana, Cerreto and Midland.

Walnut tree cultivation

The walnut is easy to cultivate; prefers hilly heights and exposure to the south or west, sheltered from the winds.The plants already from the first year of life must have two pruning operations: one as soon as the shoots have reached 25 cm and the second in July , to favor the second vegetative restart. In the second year the two interventions will have to be repeated. Subsequently these interventions may be more sporadic; it will be enough to eliminate the dead branches.A tree can produce up to 70 kg of fruit. The harvest will take place in the months of September and October through shakers or harvesters. After harvesting, the fruit must undergo the following interventions: hulling, washing, whitening, drying, selection and packaging.

Walnut tree: Uses of walnut

Nuts are a food rich in mineral salts and are ideal for those who practice sports as they are able to supply zinc, calcium, potassium and magnesium. They are in fact very energetic, they bring about 600 calories per 100 grams. Vitamin E is also present. They are used as a valuable ally in the treatment of diseases such as arteriosclerosis and stress. Their use as well as medical is of course in the kitchen. Desserts and sauces made with walnuts are excellent and one of the most suitable combinations is certainly the one with gorgonzola cheese.An excellent walnut-based liqueur is also produced: nocino, particularly appreciated in the southern regions. According to an ancient custom, this liqueur must be prepared with walnuts harvested on June 24, St. John’s day.

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