English Walnut - Edmonds seedling
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Green English Walnut after opening by a squirrel.
Juglans regia
English Walnut - Edmonds seedling

Uses: Nuts
Acquired: 1979
How started: Seed
Source: Wild seedling, from birds or other critters

Started by squirrels in 1979. The seedling was transplanted to its current location about 5 years later. The plant went through a juvenile period where the male and female blossoms were out of sync. After about 20 years, the blossoms occured at the same time and nuts were produced. The tree and nuts are small. Squirrels get the whole nut production each year. I guess it is only fair since the tree was started by them. The mother tree is a huge ancient specimen in the neighbor's yard. Nobody knows for sure, but we estimate the mother tree was started at least in the 1940's. It could be left over from the plant nursery that pre-dates my house on the property.

Dave Battey from Snoqualmie is a Western Cascade Fruit Society member. He shared this tip for removing the green husks from fresh walnuts:
"My uncle taught me as he had a summer place on Lake Chelan with dozens of huge black walnut trees. The key is a small portable concrete mixer. Seriously. You should be able to rent a unit. Using gloves, of course, throw the green husked black walnuts in to the mixer, add a LITTLE water and a shovel or two of sharp gravel. So - instead of a rock tumbler you have a walnut tumbler. Very soon you will have black icky water and gravel - and beautiful clean walnuts. The challenge, of course, in Wallingford (where I grew up) is to find a reasonable place to dump the dirty water and gravel! Grandpa had made up screens to dry his English walnuts and we used them for the black walnuts."

Another suggestion for processing walnuts. This is from Al Watts: "I cut down my last black walnut tree on Vashon and now have switched to English Walnuts which are easier to process! The crop is always good but you need to harvest them just as the crows find they are ready or you get none. Place them on the ground and cover them with metal netting to keep the crows, rats, etc., from eating them. Most of the husks fall off or are easy to remove after a month or so. I put them in an electric dryer I made using a couple of light bulbs that does a good job drying. We crack them and eat them until the next crop! If you are concerned about the dark shell you can bleach them with a little clorox in water. What a treat they are!"

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