How do you know when a English Walnut is ripe?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Karalyn, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    I have an English Walnut tree in my backyard, it was here when we bought the house 17 years ago. It was a good size then and we believe the house was built in the 70's.
    I use to never get a walnut because the squirrels would take them. Remembering from y childhood in San Jose, CA the walnuts just fell on the ground with the outer skin peeling off. I really never see the walnut without its skin unless it is growing from where a squirrel planted it.

    And if I'm lucky to find a walnut that seems to be ripe, it is smaller than what I'm use to. So I can only surmise that the tree needs some attention, such as; pruning and fertilizing. Anyone have any advice on this as I would love to enjoy my walnut tree's fruit, but don't know if it is just because it is growing in Boise, ID.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    When the nut falls to the ground and the green outer coat splits.
     
  3. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    That is what I thought from experience in California. Is there enough time for them to get ripe in Boise-Zone 6?
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    Should be, the summers are plenty hot enough for them there. Persian Walnut likes continental climate conditions with hot summers and cold winters.

    Where I am (oceanic climate northern England) it needs an unusually hot summer to ripen well, but the summer average here is just 17°.
     
  5. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Well, we definitely have hot summers and cold winters! Okay, when the walnut falls, and the skin is cracked open, am I suppose to gather them up and let them finish dropping their skins? Are they dropping their skins by drying out and not getting anymore nutrition from the tree?
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    Yep. Get the husks off as soon as possible after they fall, as otherwise the nuts may get stained. They should come off easily, unless they are infested with walnut husk fly larvae.

    You'll also have to watch out for squirrels, of course.
     
  7. Applenut

    Applenut Active Member

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    You know they're ripe when the #@$%&@! crows take them and drop them on the RV roof to try and crack them while you're trying to sleep in while on vacation.
     
  8. radwulf

    radwulf Member

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    From my experience, it's not necessary to wait for the green hulk to fall off. You can start testing (cracking) a few nuts with the hulk on late in summer, or early fall (depending on where you live). As long as the core (edible part) is a solid white, you can eat them. In fact, as I recall the least ripe they are, the better they taste (as long as the core is solidified). When they get older/more ripe, they aquire a more bitter taste.
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    Ah, but that hint of bitterness is what makes their flavour so good!
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    >You can start testing (cracking) a few nuts with the hulk<

    Seems like The Hulk would have trouble picking them up with his huge hands.
     
  11. togata57

    togata57 Rising Contributor

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    Perhaps She-Hulk could gather his nuts for him.
     
  12. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    I will just send the Cockatoo gang over. they are running out of everything here to attack. Have been watching them spit and chew Radiata cones all over the road. It is done with no effort at all.

    Happy New Year to all

    Liz
     
  13. togata57

    togata57 Rising Contributor

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    My sympathy to you! Seeing how my daughter's 3 parakeets can STUFF their feathery little faces, I have an inkling of what their kin could do in your neighborhood. A single cockatoo as a pet is one thing...but observing a gang of 'em at work in their native habitat is a whole different story. Cute? When they are scarfing down everything in sight, not so much!

    Happy New Year to you, Liz!
     
  14. radwulf

    radwulf Member

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    Guess I'm wired differently--I don't like coffee either. :)
     
  15. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Well, this last fall I met up with a neighbor lady of mine who has a huge walnut tree and she told me basically the same thing, except to wear dishwashing gloves when taking off the hulk as it stains and the regular vinyl gloves or exam gloves don't keep the stain off of your hands. I had to gather some walnuts from the ground before the squirrels got them and then I would look for cracking of the hulk's skin. I can't believe how long I've gone without taking advantage of these yummy walnuts!
    And advantage of my 4 sons as tree climbers.
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    >then I would look for cracking of the hulk's skin<

    You'd think the Hulk's skin would crack the way he balloons up from a normally sized human into a giant.

    Walnuts, of course, have hulls.
     
  17. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Karalyn - try industrial rubber gloves. I have been black to the elbows before from walnut dye, and it doesn't come out, period the end. The natural alkaline compounds also present in the husks serve to mordant it. Andean walnuts, at least, will make quick work of regular dishwashing gloves, and the dye seems to penetrate Nitril and Poly gloves.

    On the other hand, walnut juice is the ideal dye for stubborn alpaca wool and other protein fibres.
     
  18. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Thanks Lorax, I guess I've been using hulks for husks. LOL And I'm guessing hulls are the shells the walnut meat is grown in?
     
  19. togata57

    togata57 Rising Contributor

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    Aw, Ron! Why intrude facts upon this entertaining interchange?
    Should I introduce the word HUSK at this juncture...? ---Yeah, corn stalks and all that, but I think that it could be applied here too. Just for fun.
     
  20. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    Okay, do you guys like the hulk movie or the original Hulk with Lou F? getting green? As for me I loved the original tv series, and haven't really seen the cartoon movie or computer generated HULK. I guess I should, I can't garden outside right now.
     
  21. togata57

    togata57 Rising Contributor

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    Yeah, Karalyn---I like the TV show version too. I go for the classics!
     
  22. Karalyn

    Karalyn Active Member

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    I don't drink coffee either, but I like the flavor if it is put together with cream and sugar! It is the caffeine I stay away from.
     

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