Black walnut tree

Asked October 4, 2017, 11:15 AM EDT

We have two black walnut trees one has lots of nuts the other doesn't have any ? What could be wrong?

Montgomery County New York black walnut tree

1 Response

There are many reasons that you may be seeing walnuts on one tree an not on the other.

  • They may receive different amounts of sunlight. Trees with less light or that are more crowded by other trees produce fewer nuts.
  • They may be growing in different soil despite being on the same property. If one tree has more compaction or more clay in its soil, it may be less able to take up the nutrients it needs to bear fruit.
  • Walnut production is a two year process relying on both generous flower production one year and successful pollination the following one. It requires a great deal of energy for the tree to complete the process. Trees may conserve energy by working on a single, two year cycle rather than producing both flower and fruit every year. So your trees may be on alternating cycles. Or one tree is alternating and one is not. (Production can vary a great deal from year to year depending upon the resources available to the tree in the previous two seasons.)
  • It will take a number of years before a black walnut tree is mature enough to fruit. You may have one tree that is still immature or relatively immature.
There are, of course, other more problematic issues that may be affecting your fruitless tree, but without any evidence that one of your trees is unwell the above explanations are most likely.