How to Harvest Black Walnuts

If you have a black walnut tree in your garden or know someone who does and allows you to pick the walnuts, this post will be ideal. Learn how to harvest black walnuts, we will also explain how to store black walnuts and much more.

The Black walnut tree (Juglans nigra) is the only tree that produces native walnuts in North America. Black walnuts have a stronger flavor than other nuts and are a little more difficult to crack.

Millions of pounds of nuts are purchased annually at about 215 different locations across the United States.

How To Harvest Black Walnuts from Tree

How To Harvest Black Walnuts from Tree? You could use a stick or a long object to harvest the black walnuts from a tree. You should also wait for them to ripen, and the black walnuts will fall off the tree on their own. The hulls of black walnuts are greenish-yellow in color, and the shells darken as they ripen (see picture below).

Black walnuts are approximately 2″ (5 cm) in size and when ripe they fall to the ground on their own to be harvested, although they can be harvested a little earlier. In the United States, black walnuts are harvested from September to October.

Depending on the area you live in, the harvest of black walnuts may be extended or advanced, but not much more than the months indicated. In the following paragraph, we will also explain how to clean black walnuts and how to store them correctly.

how to harvest black walnuts from tree
How To Harvest Black Walnuts from Tree? To pick the black walnuts from a tree, you should use a stick or some long object to make them fall from the tree.

How To Harvest and Clean Black Walnuts

How To Harvest and Clean Black Walnuts? Locate a tree or trees that have black walnuts. If you want to harvest nuts that aren’t from your yard, make sure to seek permission. You will probably receive gratitude from the homeowner for clearing the mower’s path of the nuts.

Black walnuts start with a greenish-yellow shell that matures to a dark brown color. When ripe, the black walnuts will fall to the ground on their own and are ready to harvest, but you should be able to pick them before they come off the tree. Black walnuts are about 2″ (5 cm) in diameter.

As mentioned above, we recommend wearing gloves when harvesting black walnuts because they have tannins that stain. Now you must remove the hull from the black walnuts, if they are too hard, wait a few days to remove the hull more easily.

Do not worry if you see worms in the black walnuts, these are hull worms. The nuts will be protected by their shells.

Throw all the husks in the garbage, they cannot be used for composting because they have a chemical substance called Juglone. Juglone is a natural chemical in black walnut trees that do not allow other plants to grow around them.

To clean black walnuts, you will now need to rinse the remaining shells. Rinse the black walnut shells with a hose with good water flow, or use a pressure washer. Place the black walnuts in a place where they can dry. Make sure they do not get wet in the rain or receive direct sunlight while drying.

After two to three weeks, you should be able to store the black walnuts or crack them for consumption. You should be able to store shelled black walnuts for two years in the refrigerator or make a canned nut preserve.

how to harvest and clean black walnuts
How To Harvest and Clean Black Walnuts? You should use a Nut Wizard to collect the black walnuts. Use pressurized water to clean them.

Best Way to Harvest Black Walnuts

Best Way to Harvest Black Walnuts. You should harvest black walnuts by hand, but the best way to harvest black walnuts is with a nut wizard. A Nut Wizard is a very useful tool for harvesting nuts, this tool has a very long handle and at one end a barrel-shaped device that facilitates the harvesting of nuts. It is not necessary to remove the walnut hull to use this tool.

It is of course possible to harvest black walnuts by hand, but it is a slower process, and we recommend that you wear gloves to avoid staining. Black walnuts have tannins, a substance that will stain your hands and clothes if you are not careful. It is also advisable to wear clothes that you don’t mind if they get stained for harvesting.

In summary, for us, the best and easiest way to harvest black walnuts is to use the Nut Wizard and a large bucket to store all the walnuts.

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Difference Between a Walnut and a Black Walnut

English nuts are the type of nut that most people are familiar with. The cultivar was originally known as the Persian nut and is said to have flourished in Babylon’s Hanging Gardens. They went from being called Persian nuts to English nuts because they were taken around the world by English traders, today they are simply known as walnut.

The black walnut (Juglans nigra) is native to North America, and its flavor is a little stronger than the traditional walnut. Native Americans consumed black walnuts, but later the English walnut became more famous for its thinner shell and flavor.

In terms of protein, fiber, and calories, both walnuts are practically the same. The main difference is that black walnuts have less omega-3 than English walnuts. If you like nuts, we recommend our article about How to Grow Pistachios Indoors.

difference between a walnut and a black walnut
Difference Between a Walnut and a Black Walnut. Black walnuts are a little stronger in flavor than English walnuts.
About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.