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University of Minnesota Extension

Managing black walnut forests

Quick facts

  • Pure stands of black walnut trees are uncommon.
  • Black walnut grows best on lower north- and east-facing slopes with well-drained and fertile soils.
  • Plant seedlings to supplement natural regeneration.
  • Control weeds for at least three years in new black walnut plantations. 
  • The main pests of black walnut are walnut caterpillars, bud borers, anthracnose and fusarium canker.
Stand of leafless black walnut trees in straight rows

Wood products from black walnut include sawlogs, veneer logs, gun stocks and smaller novelty pieces. Frequent nut crops make it an excellent tree to plant for wildlife, especially squirrels. In some areas, nuts are collected and sold for human consumption.

Growing conditions


Regenerating black walnut


Intermediate treatments


Mel Baughman, emeritus Extension forester

Reviewed in 2019

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