Growing a walnut tree can be one of the easiest trees to grow. They do not require a lot of maintenance and will grow in a wide variety of soils. Many people will try to grow some walnut trees through the walnuts that they buy from their local produce store. Very few of these seeds will actually germinate, and if they do grow, will fail to produce any kind of fruit.
Growing walnut trees that will produce a great abundance of fruit, and will grow healthy, can be done through very specific methods. They are not hard to do, but do require some patience and paying close attention to the details of what you are doing. Here are a few of the methods used to propagate walnut trees.
Growing From Seed
When you grow a walnut tree from a seed you are not just going to the store and buying a walnut. You will need to use seeds from a nursery that are specific to growing walnut trees. Growing from seeds is not just a means of burying the seed in the soil and watering it. Propagating a walnut seed means that is needs to go through a process of stratification.
Walnut tree seeds are considered to exhibit what is called embryo dormancy. Embryo dormancy means that the seed will not begin to germinate unless it can get the water to it. Because the shell of the walnut seed is very hard, it needs to go through a process of stratification.
Stratification is the process of helping the seed germinate after they go through a process of "after-ripening". Dormant seeds must be stored at the proper temperature and in the presence of a modest supply of moisture and air. To start the seed growing for a walnut tree you should crack the outer shell and place it in a plastic container with peat moss or moist sawdust. The temperature should be around 40 to 55 degrees.
Graft Onto Rootstock
Another way to successfully propagate walnut trees is to graft a small cutting onto a rootstock. This is a much better way of getting fruitful trees, but needs to be done carefully. To make this type of propagation work you must start with a rootstock that has already been grown from seed.
This is simply a limb that is grown for the reason of setting a cutting into. At the beginning of the growing season, cut off a small cutting that has not budded yet. Cut the section at a 45 degree angle and keep moist.
Stick the graft is some rooting hormone to prepare for grafting into the rootstock. Cut a small section into the rootstock in order to slide the grafting into it.
The cut should be big enough to just slide the cutting into. Tie with some soft cloth and keep it moist.
Watch the grafting for a few weeks to check for disease and insects. After a few weeks it will start to grow on its own.
Propagating your walnut tree seeds can be a lengthy process and is something that must be done right in order for the seeds to germinate.