How to Plant Black Walnut Seeds


Black walnut is known for its beautiful wood, fetching a pretty price when grown to maturity according to the University of Minnesota Extension. The wood of the black walnut tree is used for wall panels, doors and furniture, and the nuts are edible. Walnut trees live for a long time, some in excess of 200 years. Collect black walnut seeds, or nuts, during the fall season for planting in the spring.

Step 1

Wash the hulls of the nuts as soon as you collect them, says the University of Missouri Extension. Soak the nuts in a bucket full of water for 24 hours, removing any nuts that rise to the top, as they will not germinate properly. Wear gloves while removing husks to prevent staining of your skin and clothes, says the University of Minnesota.

Step 2

Place the nuts into 3 inches of wet sand in a plastic bag, and place the walnut into a refrigerator with a temperature of between 33 and 40 degrees F. Leave the nuts in the refrigerator for 120 days, says the University of Missouri. This simulates the environment of the winter season.

Step 3

Select a planting site that drains well and does not flood for more than three to four consecutive days, says the Kansas State University Extension. Standing water will kill the newly germinating nuts after only two days.

Step 4

Plant three to five nuts in a hole that is 2 inches deep in each of the planting locations, says the University of Missouri. Mark the area and keep the area free of weeds.

Step 5

Select the strongest tree that grows during the first year and remove the other plants at the root collar. Fertilize the new seedlings in mid-July with 1/4 cup of slow-release fertilizer at each tree, says the University of Minnesota Extension. Use a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 6-24-24, and apply the fertilizer according the manufacturer's directions.

Things You'll Need

  • Walnut
  • Refrigerator
  • Bucket
  • Sand
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Plastic bag


  • University of Minnesota: Growing Black Walnut
  • University of Missouri Extension: Propagating Pecan and Black Walnut in Missouri
  • Kansas Forest Service Kansas State University: Planting Black Walnut
  • K Laboratories, Inc.: Black Walnut Tree
Keywords: black walnut seed, black walnut propagation, walnut tree growing

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.