Walnuts require very little pruning. However, to do well they must have
plenty of light and air, and there must be room under the trees to
cultivate. To this end, keep all lateral growths removed the first two
years, pushing the strong terminal
growth. Young trees so treated often
make five or six feet in that time. They must be staked and tied with a
broad strip of cloth. Cross the cloth between the stake and the twig so
as not to bruise the tender wood. As the limbs begin to grow take out an
occasional one to prevent the tree becoming too thick. When large limbs
are removed, cut on the slant, carefully waxing to prevent decay.
Heading-in is often beneficial when the tree does not seem to be
fruitful. Train the trees upward as much as possible.
In Roumania and some of the eastern countries of Europe, some of the
walnut trees have such an enormous spread that a flock of five hundred
sheep can lie in comfort beneath the shade of one tree and have ample
room. If this vine-like tendency to spread can be obviated by
intelligently training the trees upward, and its productiveness
maintained or increased, the walnut grower of Oregon will have
accomplished much in the conservation of our resources.
At present we can make a tree that will produce 500 pounds of walnuts in
25 to 30 years. With 12 trees to the acre, will give 6000 pounds of
nuts; two and one-half times that of wheat at 40 bushels per acre, and
they will not require the expensive refrigerator cars and rapid transit
of perishable fruits.
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Next: Training The Trees
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