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Northern Nut Growers Assn.
Nut Growing
Nut Grower
Types of
Nut Trees


Basic Nut Growing

Select Your Nut Trees


Maintain Your Nut Trees

Nut Growing Glossary

Planting Nut Trees

Note: Underlined words appear in the glossary. Click any underlined word you don't understand to see a definition. You may toggle between this page and the glossary once you click on an underlined word.

Choosing a Site

All nut trees love sun. Make sure your location has exposure to sunlight the majority of the day. Although the tree may grow in a shady location, it is not as likely to thrive, and will not produce as many nuts. If you have a shadier location you'd like to plant, consider hazelnuts. All nut trees also like to have well-drained soil. Even pecans, which are known to grow in river bottomlands, need to have their roots not be saturated in the growing season. Avoid locations you can picture holding water long after a rainstorm. Especially if you're planting a nut tree as a yard tree, consider how close it is to structures. Most nut trees have the potential to get big if left unpruned.


If you are planting a bareroot tree, dig the hole large enough so the roots to the tree can be spread out without reaching the sides of the hole. If your soil is high in clay or sand, consider amending it with organic material such as compost or peat moss. No not add fertilizer to the planting hold of a bareroot tree as you may burn the roots. Backfill the hole with dirt or the dirt/compost/peat moss mixture, being careful to keep the root collar level with the surface, or barely below. Gently tamp down the soil to remove air pockets. Water to futher settle the soil.

If you are planting a tree with an intact root ball and soil, the hole doesn't have to be as big, and fertilizer (ideally a slow-release variety) can be mixed with the surrounding soil.


Spacing trees properly is important so that they have enough room to grow and produce nuts.

Nut trees planted too close

The trees on the left are too close.

When trees are planted too close together, depending on the species, they may shade each other and reduce nut production as with these chestnut trees.

The grower was probably planning to remove some trees, but never got around to do so and now the trees are growing upward and losing yield.

(Click picture to enlarge.)

well spaced nut trees

The trees above are properly spaced.

Trees were placed in the field and allowed to fill in their spaces without hindering the growth of other trees. Perhaps some trees were already moved or removed to allow the trees to grow larger. Flowering on these chestnut trees will take place across the entire surface area of the tree and yields should be high.

(Click picture to enlarge.)

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Updated: July 5, 2012