walnut meats

Asked January 16, 2021, 6:18 PM EST

I'm helping a friend crack her walnuts and while the nuts crack fairly easily, the majority of the nut meats crumble into tiny pieces instead of coming out in large pieces. They also seem to be stuck to the shell and don't freely separate from the shell. I have not had this problem in the past with nuts from my personal trees. I can't give you many details about the site location except to tell you that she is up the hill on Old Wilson School Road, west of Banks. Oddly, I didn't have any walnuts from my own trees. I'm sure the squirrels got some, but there's usually enough for all of us. Was it something to do with the past growing season's weather? Thanks for your help. lynne

Washington County Oregon

4 Responses

Thank you for your question, Lynne. It is difficult to identify a plant problem without either photos or having the nuts available to examine. The damage you are describing may be the walnut husk fly, the major walnut pest in the Pacific Northwest, described here: Walnut-Walnut husk fly | Pacific Northwest Pest Management Handbooks (pnwhandbooks.org)

I suggest that your friend hang the traps referenced in the article high up in the tree in late May or early June to see if any of these flies land there. If insects are detected, a clear photo of them emailed as an attachment to a subsequent question of us would help. If indicated, there are listed some sprays available to homeowners, but your friend may elect to have a certified pesticide applicator apply them as directed when helpful, rather than trying it herself. This is the best I can do with the information provided. Hope it is helpful.

Thanks Kristena.

I've been away from my walnuts for a few days, but here are a couple of pictures from my last cracking session.

Thanks again.
lynne


Thank you, Lynne. I suggest you contact the OSU Plant Clinic to see if submitting a sample may resolve the mystery: https://bpp.oregonstate.edu/plant-clinic The pathologists there may have a solution. Good luck!

Thank you, Lynne. I suggest you contact the OSU Plant Clinic to see if submitting a sample may resolve the mystery: https://bpp.oregonstate.edu/plant-clinic The pathologists there may have a solution. Good luck!