Evaluation and management of black walnut for nut production.
The potential of Juglans nigra as a nut producing tree crop in the USA has been recognized for over a century. Over 700 cultivars have been named for their nut producing ability, but large scale production data for any clone are nonexistent. Important cultivar characteristics needed for commercialization of J. nigra are known and are present in many of the best cultivars available today. The advancement of J. nigra as an orchard crop will require the induction of annual nut production. Alternate bearing has been minimized in other nut tree crops with the application of standard horticultural practices. The response of J. nigra to intensive management should be evaluated. Once annual nut production is induced, producers must learn techniques for managing insect pests and/or crop load (reducing over-production). A protocol for evaluating J. nigra cultivars under a high level of management is proposed.