November — The Black Walnut Trees

We have quite a few Black Walnut trees on our property and they create several problems.  First of all, there are a lot of things you can’t plant near them because they have toxins in their root system and bark that things like apples and pears don’t like – so we have to keep them apart.  Then, the bark or chipped wood is also toxic to horses – so we have to keep them apart.  And then, they provide food for the squirrels who are multiplying like rabbits on our property – so we need to keep them apart!  I’m not sure how.

In addition to those problems, they drop these green-husked balls the size of hand grenades all over the yard.  They are like ball bearings.  If you step on one, it’s likely to take you for a ride.  And trying to cut the grass with all these hand grenades all over the place sends them shooting in different directions and/or dinging up the lawn mower blades.

I spent the better part of a day raking them up, filling a 5 gallon bucket and moving them into some of the underbrush where we don’t cut the grass.  But it wasn’t “a” 5-gallon bucket, it was 20 trips with the 5-gallon bucket, and that’s only from two trees, and more are continuing to fall as we speak.

Putting them in a pile is like creating a squirrel grocery store.  That isn’t going to help solve the squirrel problem, and over time – we’ll have thousands of new black walnut trees sprouting from the black walnut patch.

I contemplated husking them, shelling them and picking out the nut meats – for about two seconds until I remembered that:

  1. I’d need a corn sheller to run the husks through to peel off the tough green outer layer
  2. I’d need rubber gloves because otherwise my hands would be permanently stained black (well, almost permanently – it takes a long time to get those nails clean again), and
  3. I’d probably only get a pound or two of nut meat for all my hard work.

So, I called the cooperative extension service and left a voice mail to find out if anyone has a commercial black walnut shelling operation around here.  Since they still haven’t called me back, I guess the squirrel grocery store is open for business.

It’s a beautiful tree, until it starts dropping green tennis balls all over the yard.
They’re everywhere.
Bucket by bucket, I moved them…
…into a pile of black walnuts where the squirrels can find them.

3 thoughts on “November — The Black Walnut Trees

  1. I am extremely impressed you guys know about this stuff.I do have a formula to solve you problem.
    Chainsaw + trees = firewood. problem solved


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