Walnut tree

Walnut tree, general information

The walnut tree is a plant belonging to the family of broad-leaved trees and is native to the slopes of the Himalayas. It was introduced in Europe in ancient times even if, to date, in Italy, the cultivation of walnuts is quite mixed. In fact, it enjoys a certain importance only in Campania. Its appearance is characterized by a crown composed of deciduous leaves made up of a number of smaller leaflets whose number varies from a minimum of nine to a maximum of eleven. Its fundamental characteristic is represented by the production of walnuts. These fruits consist of a fibrous and fleshy exocarp that darkens when it reaches maturity, releasing a woody endocarp. This would be the real nut composed of two valves that enclose a kernel having a high lipid content.

The walnut tree and cultivation techniques

The walnut tree is a plant that will be able to adapt to different environments even if it prefers hilly areas that are exposed to the south or west and are protected from the winds. To plant a walnut specimen, you can choose between two options: planting a whole walnut, which includes the shell, or buying a plant with an already developed graft from a nurseryman. This operation speeds up the operations necessary to have a tree in the garden. If you start from the seed, you will have to collect a certain number at the beginning of autumn and then wait until spring for them to be planted, after they have been stored in a cool and dry place. The tip of the seed must be facing up. It should be watered frequently and abundantly, especially in summer.

Hazel tree, general information

Similar to the walnut is the hazel tree. This is a vigorous, stocky shrub that typically reaches five meters in height. Its stem is covered with a bark whose color is a shade between brown and gray that has longitudinal furrows.It has superficial roots and a crown composed of oval leaves on a long petiole. The upper page of these leaves is a little lighter than the lower one. Its fruit is a diclesium composed of a woody pericarp that contains a particularly sweet and oily seed. The flowers of the hazel are gathered in inflorescences that mature much earlier than the leaves. The male flowers are gathered in groups of two or four flowers that appear either in the axil of the leaves or on the ends of the branches, the female ones are hidden

Walnut tree: The hazel tree, cultivation

The hazel tree can be grown well on any type of soil even if it prefers calcareous areas that are well drained, particularly rich in organic substances. It is one of the broad-leaved trees, most suitable for being cultivated in hilly areas and, thanks to its rusticity, it resists well even in particularly harsh winters. It prefers to be exposed to partial shade but, in our woods, it is not uncommon to meet specimens that have grown well despite being positioned in particularly shady areas. In the event that we had to graft it in very compact soils, it would be good to lighten them using sand or plant materials. A good habit is to mulch the foot of the plant several times a year using vegetable compost.

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