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


Basic Nut Growing

Select Your Nut Trees

Plant Your Trees


Nut Growing Glossary

Maintaining 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.

Maintain a weed-free zone

Especially in young trees, keep an area at least a few feet diameter around the tree trunk free of weeds and grass. Their roots are significant competition for young nut trees. This can be done with herbicides or various types of mulch (such as wood chips.) If you mulch, be sure to keep the few inches immediately around the tree free of mulch so as to not provide a haven for mice. Weed mats are also available which are materials, polymer or organic, that are placed around the tree to inhibit weed growth.

Consider irrigation and fertilization

Depending on your locale, irrigation can be a growth augmenter or a lifeline. Most trees will benefit from a fertilization regimen. Even if a tree grows without fertilization and/or irrigation, it may have more consistent yields if receiving supplemental water and fertilization. Growth will also be quicker with both. An irrigation system may also be a conduit for fertilizing, a process called fertigation.

Consider pruning

There are several goals of pruning. Branches with narrow crotch angles or otherwise growing in a not desired direction can be removed. More sunlight can be allowed into the middle of the tree, promoting nut growth. A basic scaffold structure of the tree can be produced. A more extreme version of pruning and training trees is the practice of espalier.

Consider sunscald protection

As this most commonly occurs on the southwest aspect of trees, at least this area should be protected. Interior white latex paint, or various wraps, can protect the trunk.

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Updated: July 5, 2012