Walnut tree

History and provenance of the walnut tree

The walnut tree, scientifically called ‘juglans regia’, is the most representative species of the ‘juglans’ genus and belongs to the ‘juglandaceae’ family. Thanks to some archaeological excavations today we know that walnuts were a fruit already known 10,000 years ago. The historian Pliny the Elder gives written testimony of this by telling of the importation of walnuts from Asia Minor by the Greeks from the 7th century BC In America, however, the walnut tree only arrived in the 17th century thanks to the English. Today it is a widespread plant especially in temperate regions and in Europe it can be found in countries such as France, Romania, Greece, Spain and Italy. This tree is also grown in China, California and South America.

Walnut tree texture

The walnut tree is a solid plant with a majestic bearing that can reach a maximum height of 30 meters. It has a compact trunk with a thick dark brown bark that can reach a meter in diameter. The roots, on the other hand, are deep and very robust while the branches branch off from the trunk to form a round-shaped crown that tends upwards. The leaves of the tree are mostly alternate, deciduous and are composed of a few smaller leaflets. The male flowers are about 10 cm in size and open before the leaves while the female flowers appear later. The fruit of the plant will be the so-called drupe, composed of the external husk that once ripe opens and releases the woody fruit, the walnut. Inside the walnut then we find the kernel that we usually eat.

How to grow the walnut tree

To grow the walnut tree it is good to pay close attention to the space we have in the garden. Being a large plant it is necessary to evaluate the exact point in which to place it considering its ‘bulky’ size. It will therefore need to be planted in a sunny location away from buildings or other trees. It generally prefers mild and not excessively humid climates and can be grown both in the hills and in the plains. The walnut tree does not require a specific soil but just choose a fresh, rich and well-drained one. As for the watering, it will be irrigated more frequently, especially in summer. Finally, the tree must be pruned carefully as the branches heal badly and it is better to eliminate only the driest and most damaged twigs.

Walnut tree: Curiosities about the walnut tree

The walnut tree today is mainly used for the production of its fruits. The walnuts are harvested in the months of October and November when the husk begins to detach and must then be laid out in the sun for about two weeks. Today they are mostly used as dried fruit to eat or to prepare many delicious dishes. Often they are also chopped to produce an excellent edible oil such as walnut oil while with the unripe husk you get a digestive liqueur, the ‘nocino’. Instead, by soaking the flowers and buds in alcohol, a particular product such as walnut wine is prepared. In the past, the leaves of the plant were used as a natural remedy as they favored diuresis, liver function and relieved rheumatism. Today the

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