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Nut trees are a type of fruit tree that produces edible seeds. The seeds are enclosed in a hard shell, which must be cracked open to eat the nut. Nut trees are a popular choice for home gardens because they provide a source of healthy, nutritious nuts.
There are many different types of nut trees, each with its own unique flavor and texture. Some of the most popular nut trees include - Walnuts, Butternuts, Heartnuts, Sweet Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, Pecans and Almonds.
Nut trees can be grown in a variety of climates, but they do best in areas with warm summers and cool winters. Nut trees are planted in the ground where they require regular watering, fertilizing, and pruning.
They are a good source of protein, fibre, and healthy fats. Can also help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. They are a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals.
Butternut or White Walnut (Juglans cinerea)
Is a species of walnut native to the eastern United States and southeast Canada.They are very much frost hardy down to zone 3 .
It is a deciduous tree growing to 20 m tall, and 40–80 cm trunk diameter, with light grey bark.
Butternut flowers from April to June, depending upon location. The species is monoecious. Male flowers are slender catkins that develop from auxiliary buds and female flowers are short terminal spikes home on current year's shoots. Flowers of both sexes do not usually mature simultaneously on any individual tree, so 2 or more are required for good pollination.
Heartnut (Juglans ailanthifolia cordiformis)
A deciduous tree of vigorous growth, growing 50 to 100 cm or more in a year reaching a height of 15 m and a spread of 20 to 30 m. It is hardy to zone 4 it is in flower in June. The flowers are pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
The kernels are eaten raw or cooked. They are also used in sweets, pies etc and have a mild and pleasant flavour, they can be eaten in quantity for dessert. The shell is easily cracked, and it is considered to be superior in taste.
Requires a deep well-drained loam and a sunny position sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil. This is the hardiest member of the genus, it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. It is also resistant to most insects. The young growth in spring, however, can be damaged by late frosts.
Many heartnut seedlings revert back to Juglans ailantifolia and not Juglans ailantifolia var. cordiformis. That is, their nuts will resemble the thick-shelled Japanese walnuts. Some heartnut seedlings have a 70% chance of being just Juglans ailantifolia trees. Also those seedlings produced from the best heartnut parents will produce up to 90% heartnut offspring. Therefore we cannot 100% guarantee a true heartnut is produced.
Hickory (Carya ovata)
The main two species are Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) and Shellbark Hickory (Carya laciniosa).
A deciduous Tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone 4. It is in leaf 10-Jun It is in flower in June, and the nuts ripen from Oct to November. The flowers are pollinated by Wind.The plant is self-fertile.
The nuts can be eaten raw or cooked and used in pies, cakes, bread etc. Sweet and delicious. The shell is normally thick and hard but in selected cultivars it can be thin. The sap is sweet and it is tapped in spring and can be made into a syrup.
Prefers a deep moisture-retentive loam in a sunny sheltered position, requiring a good summer for best development.
There are 30+ varieties in the Quercus group, all producing acorns of differing sizes. Some stay on the tree for 2 years before dropping. Some are edible, with low levels of Tannin.
It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are pollinated by Wind. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Succeeds in heavy clay soils and in wet soils so long as the ground is not water-logged for long periods. Dislikes dry or shallow soils but is otherwise drought tolerant once it is established. Tolerant of exposed sites though it dislikes salt-laden winds. The oak is a very important timber tree in Britain, it is also a very important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterfly, there are 284 insect species associated with this tree.
Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)
A deciduous Tree growing to 50 m (160ft) at a medium rate. It is hardy to zone 5. The nuts ripen in October. The flowers are pollinated by wind. The plant is self-fertile.
The kernels are sweet and delicious, they make an excellent dessert and are also often added to ice cream, used in cakes, bread etc. The nut can be up to 4cm long and is produced in clusters of 3 to 11.
Prefers a deep moisture-retentive loam in a sunny sheltered position, requiring a good summer for best development. There are cultivars known as Northern Pecans, which can produce. A tree at Cambridge botanical gardens was 20 metres tall in 1985.
Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa)
It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are pollinated by Bees. It is noted for attracting wildlife. Plants are fairly self-sterile.
The seed is best eaten roasted, as the sweetness comes out in the flavour.
Prefers a good well-drained slightly acid loam in a sunny position but it also succeeds in dry soils. Once established, it is very drought tolerant.
Sweet chestnuts require a warm dry summer in order to ripen their fruit properly. Flowers are produced on wood of the current year's growth and they are very attractive to bees.
Black Walnut (Juglans Nigra)
It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from May to June, and the nuts ripen in October. The flowers are pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
The kernels have a sweet, rich distinctive delicious flavour it makes an excellent dessert nut and is also widely used in confections, cakes etc. Shelling is a problem as they have very hard shells.
The Black walnut is one of most valuable natural forest trees in the United States. A very ornamental and fast growing plant, it is sometimes cultivated in N. America for its edible nuts.
Common Walnut (Juglans regia)
It is hardy to zone 5. It flowers in June, and the nuts ripen in October. The flowers are pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
The kernels are eaten raw or used in confections, cakes, ice cream etc, a delicious flavour.
The dormant plant is very cold tolerant, tolerating temperatures down to about -27°C without serious damage, but the young spring growth is rather tender and can be damaged by late frosts.
Some late-leafing cultivars have been developed, these often avoid damage from spring frosts and can produce a better quality timber tree.
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