English walnuts, Juglans regia, are tall trees that can reach a maximum height of 60 feet. They have large, round canopies that can extend to 60 feet in width. They grow naturally in the wild and are also grown commercially to be harvested for nuts and timber. English walnut is also prized for various medical benefits across the globe.
English walnut trees grow best when grown in a balanced loam soil, which has an equal mixture of clay, sand and silt. Loam soil provides aeration and a good storage of water for the roots. Purdue University recommends keeping the soil pH slightly alkaline or neutral.
The pH of soil is important because soil solution carries in the nutrients that plants need to grow and thrive. Different plants need different pH levels to provide the plant with such nutrients. Also, various chemicals applied to fight off fungi and pests will not be held in the soil when the soil is too acidic or basic. Instead, both nutrients and chemicals will run off and eventually reach rivers and streams, becoming pollution.
Prized by master furniture makers for its smooth finish and toughness, walnut wood has been used to build many different products. Colors can vary from cream to a dark purple-brown. The timber is also used in luxury sports cars, gunstocks and even wooden stringed instruments.
Nuts and Foliage
English walnut trees produce light green leaves and tough nut kernels. The leaves are smooth edged and about 3 inches long, and tiny flowers bloom at the bottom of the stalks. Walnuts are prized for lowering cholesterol. They contain high levels of omega-3 acids.
Juglone is a toxic compound that is released when English walnuts fall to the ground. Juglone is poisonous to plants such as apple trees and tomatoes and to horses, so growing walnut trees in private gardens or on horse farms is not recommended.