Black walnuts are tasty when you roast them or use them in your holiday baking. However, black walnut trees will not adequately produce nuts each year if they aren't properly cared for and correctly pruned.
If you inherited a mature black walnut tree when you moved into your current home and you don't know how to prune or care for it, then these tips will assist you while performing this fall's landscaping maintenance.
Tip: Only Prune a Black Walnut Tree During Its Dormant Season
Once black walnut trees drop their nuts and leaves in the fall, they enter what is known as their dormant state. Your tree can safely be pruned anytime from the time it goes dormant in the fall until just before it sends out new growth in the spring.
Tip: Remove All Dead Branches and Those Pointing Outward or Downward
To start the pruning process, the first thing you should do is to remove all of the tree's dead branches. Dead branches are dangerous for people and pets because they can be blown down in a storm.
Once all of the dead branches have been removed, then remove any branches that are growing in an outward or downward direction. These branches will eventually die and become problems, so they should be pruned off before they grow too large. The branches you should leave in place are those growing in an upward direction. These branches will be stable and productive as the tree ages.
Tip: Never Prune Off More than One-Quarter of the Tree in a Single Year
While a black walnut tree can easily tolerate being pruned in its dormant state, you must be careful you never prune off more than one-quarter of the tree in a single year. Each time you prune, the tree has to use some of its stored energy to heal its wounds. If you take off more than one-quarter of the tree, then it may not be able to successfully heal and could die from a disease.
Tip: Have the Black Walnut Tree Professionally Pruned
Since black walnut trees quickly grow very large, you should think about having the tree professionally pruned the first time you attempt the project. Professionals who care for trees are called arborists, and they work for tree service companies or large landscaping companies. When the arborist is at your house pruning the tree, spend some time asking questions and learn how you can care for it yourself in years to come.
For more information, contact a company like Lopez Tree Service.