Walnut Varieties for Home Production
'Deep link' direct to this page URL http://www.naturalhub.com/grow_nut_cultivars_walnut.htm


Seedling walnuts are variable - some produce very good nuts, some produce rather poor nuts. Their productivity varies as well, with some producing well every year, and others being good some years and having little or nothing other years. Walnut seedlings commence flowering fairly quickly, by and large, but usually produce female flowers first, and may not set if a pollen shedding tree is not in the vicinity. Paradoxically, some seedlings produce a huge abundance of male flowers which apparently can cause 'overpollination' of the female flower, which is said to cause a release of ethylene gas, triggering the drop of the female flower, and thus few or no nuts. 
Trees that are (relatively) small and have many female flowers on lateral (side) buds of the current seasons growth ('lateral bearers') better fit a small space than vigorous trees that only have female flowers on the very tips of one year old shoots ('terminal bearers'). All in all, for the smaller property, it is best to select from those grafted trees of known varieties that are adapted to your climatic conditions, giving strong preference to smaller and lateral bearing varieties.
ASHLEY - from the breeding programme of the Pomology Department University of California at Davis, 90% of lateral buds produce female ('pistillate') flowers, and therefore, potentially, nuts. Ashley matures it's nuts relatively early because it comes into leaf early. For this reason, it is not suitable for areas with heavy spring frosts. Like many early leafing Californian selections, it is extremely sensitive to being infected with walnut blight (Xanthomonas juglandii) if it is rainy in spring and therefore not so suitable for humid areas. The kernel weight averages 5.3 grams, and the crackout averages 50%.
CHANDLER - also from the University of California at Davis, this is one of the most important commercial nuts. Chandler crops heavily, as it bears on laterals (80% of lateral buds are female) as well as terminals. Chandler is self fertile. The harvest is in the middle of the walnut season. The tree is a standard large walnut tree, growing to around 12 metres/40 feet, moderate vigor, and somewhat upright growing (rather than spreading). 700 hours winter chilling needed, and Chandler is late leafing, leafing out about 3 weeks after the early leafing varieties such as Payne, Serr, Ashley, Sunland, Chico and Vina  It is not as susceptible to walnut blight as most other Californian varieties. The nuts are large (kernel weight 6.3 grams, crackout 49%), smooth, well sealed, and almost all kernels have a light colored skin. Pollenized by Cisco and Franquette. US, NZ.
CHICO - many desirable features for the home gardener- upright, small, 90% lateral bud potentially nut bearing (makes it possible to prune without losing the crop), and it is one of the heaviest bearing varieties available. The nuts mature early in the season. Like many early leafing Californian selections, it is extremely sensitive to being infected with walnut blight if it is rainy in spring, and therefore not so suitable for humid areas. Chico comes into leaf early, so is also not suitable for areas with heavy spring frosts. The nuts are small (kernels average 5 grams, and the crackout is 47%), but the quality of the kernels is good. Pollenized by Payne, Serr, Vina and Sunland.
CISCO -  highly desirable from the point of view it is both a small tree and upright, not spreading. The nuts are large, but, at least from the commercial standpoint, kernel quality is not optimal.  Of the californian walnut blight suceptible group, Chico is affected, but less badly affected. Cisco also pollenizes another relatively small cultivar, 'Howard' as well as 'Chandler'. USA.
DANIELS - The tree bears heavily, the nut is thin shelled,  medium sized, and cracks out at about 40% kernel. USA
EUREKA - a very large and spreading tree, and a 100% terminal bearer, so not really suited to the home garden situation. US, NZ
FRANQUETTE - a late leafing old French variety, so it is good for areas with late spring frosts. Unfortunately, it is also late flowering which means it misses the pollen shed by other varieties, so nut set and yeilds are often poor. It may be worth trying 'Meyrick', also late flowering, as a pollenizer, or 'Rex'. Most Californian varieties are suceptible to walnut blight, and are therefore poorly suited to wet and humid areas, but Franquette seems to have some degree of blight resistance. On the downside, from the home garden viewpoint, the tree is vigorous and spreading, slow to come into bearing, and Franquette is also a 100% terminal bearer. The nuts are large, and attractive. Kernel weight averages 5.2 grams, and crackout is about 46%, altho' it may be lower in some conditions. Franquette reputedly also has very high quality timber. US, NZ.
HARTLEY - a medium to large tree, It leafs out mid to late season and requires a fertile soil for optimal growth. Requires a late blooming pollenizer, such as 'Amigo' or 'Franquette'. Almost all nuts are from terminal buds. In cooler and shorter growing season areas it may not have a long enough growing season for good production. Production is overall usually fairly good. Of the Californian walnut blight suceptible group, Hartley is affected, but less badly affected than the others. Hartley has a well sealed, large nut with a light colored kernel. Kernel weight is 5.9 grams, and crackout 45%. US, NZ.
HOWARD - a relatively new Californian cultivar, this tree is upright and small to medium sized, only moderately vigorous, which makes it particularly well suited to home gardens. In addition, it bears on laterals (approximately 80% of lateral buds are female). Howard leafs out midseason, and is not as susceptible to walnut blight as most other Californian varieties. Howards yeild is regarded as very good. The large smooth nuts have a 50% crackout, are well sealed, and the kernel (weight  6.0 grams) is light colored. Pollenized by Franquette, Cisco, and possibly Tehama.
DUBLIN'S GLORY- released in 1997. Selected from Carpathanian stock for its winter cold tolerance, but flowers early in spring, so it is not suitable for areas subject to late frosts. About 42% crackout. Nuts mature early, drop clean of the husk, and pretty much all drop about the same time. NZ
Dublins Glory history - http://www.treecrops.org.nz/knowl/archives/tcropper/walname.html#Dublin
MEYRICK (W/H/1199-4) - released in 1997. Selected for areas subject to late frosts. Late leafing and late flowering, early to go dormant. The tree is not as vigorous as Californian cultivars. A large (29 x 40mm), elongated rather than round, thin shelled nut, with very good kernel quality (plump, pale, even halves that are easy to extract, mild taste). It also has the virtual of being blight resistant. Crackout is around 47-53%,  and the kernel weight is about 6 grams. NZ
Meyric history - http://www.treecrops.org.nz/knowl/archives/tcropper/walname.html#Meyric
PAYNE - a medium sized tree that can be pruned, as it is a lateral bearer (about 80% of flowers are from lateral buds). It is quite an old variety, and noted for it's good productivity, although the nuts are only medium to small. Payne is relatively early to mature it's nuts because it is an early leafer. Payne is not suitable for areas with heavy spring frosts for this reason. It is also unsuited to humid areas because it is very suceptible to walnut blight (Xanthomonas juglandii) The seal between the two halves of the nut is good. Kernel weight averages 5.2 grams, and crackout is 48%. USA. NZ.
PEDRO - a particularly desirable walnut for the home gardener because it is a relatively 'small' tree at about 9 metres/30 feet, it is self fertile, it only needs 400 hours of winter chill (not suited to areas with late frost), and the nut is both well sealed and particulary liked when tested in consumer taste panels. On the 'down' side, its productivity is regarded as only 'fair'. Kernel weight is 6.5 grams, and crackout is 48%.US
REX - (C 152) released in 1997. Selected for areas subject to late frosts. Late leafing and late flowering. Vigorous and very productive, the nuts are small, round and light colored. The kernel is pale, smooth, sweet, mild, and pleasant. Crackout is about 45%. It is high in 18:3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, but low in vitamin E relative to other cultivars. NZ
Rex history - http://www.treecrops.org.nz/knowl/archives/tcropper/walname.html#Rex
SAUBER 1 -  Anthracnose resistant, heavy and reliable producer, large nut, 35% crackout. USA

SERR - A Californian cultivar released in the late 60's, Serr is very vigorous and large, and needs to be lightly pruned every year. Serr bears large, well filled, thin but strong shelled nuts on laterals as well as tips (nut bearing is evenly distributed between terminal and lateral buds). Its usual crop load is rated as 'fair'. It is an early leafing variety, so it is unsuitable for areas with late spring frosts. Unlike most early leafing Californian cultivars it has some resistance to bacterial blight infection.  On very fertile, well drained soils it tends to be an excessively strong grower and difficult to control. Serr comes into bearing quickly once planted out. Variable 50- 58% crackout, average kernel weight 6 gms, larger nuts the kernel weighs 7.6 grams. Pollenized by Chico, and Tehama. US, NZ.
SPARROW A partially self fertile tree producing heavy crops of medium sized, nice flavoured, well filled nuts. USA
STAN - (BLE 300) released in 1997. Selected for areas subject to late frosts. Late leafing and late flowering. Not as vigorous as the Californian varieties, altho' ultimately a large tree, slower to start producing, and a variable cropper - at least under Canterbury (NZ) conditions . The elongated nuts are small to medium sized, with a smooth nice colored darkish shell, and the kernel quality is particularly good, being light colored and mild tasting - altho' it can't be described as plump. Crackout is about 46%. NZ
Stan history - http://www.treecrops.org.nz/knowl/archives/tcropper/walname.html#Stan
SUNLAND - An early leafing Californian cultivar carrying good crops of large nuts. Like many early leafing Californian selections, it is extremely sensitive to being infected with walnut blight if it is rainy in spring, and therefore not so suitable for humid areas. A good lateral bearer, 80% of lateral buds bear female flowers. Sunland has particularly big nuts, with kernels weighing 9.9 grams. Crackout is very good, at 58%. The nuts mature late. USA.
TEHAMA - A late leafing Californian cultivar that, altho' a lateral bearer (80% of lateral buds are female), and particularly easy to crack, has the disadvantage that the tree grows very big and its productivity is rather poor. It is perhaps best suited to 'country living' situations, rather than suburbia. Even although it is late season leafing Tehama is extremely sensitive to being infected with walnut blight if it is rainy in spring. It is therefore not so suitable for humid areas. Kernel weight is 6.7 grams, and crackout is 50%. USA, NZ.
THOMAS MYERS (Hayes) -  large thin shelled nuts, late leafing out, anthracnose resistant, , 38% crack out.USA
TULARE - (Serr x Tehama) a newly developed Californian walnut, upright and moderately vigorous, Tulare has the advantage of being self fertile. It blooms late, an advantage in frosty areas, but is still matures its nuts mid season. It has around 70% lateral buds. First indications suggest it may come into bearing early and bear relatively heavily when young. The nuts are large, rather round, and well sealed. The crack-out is around 53%. USA (patented, limited distribution)
VINA - A Californian cultivar, slow to establish, Vina bears high quality, medium sized, well sealed nuts on laterals as well as tips, and is therefore a heavy cropper, as well as being a regular cropper. The tree itself is small to medium sized, and pruneable. It and is well adapted to areas with high summer temperatures. Like many early leafing Californian selections, it is extremely sensitive to being infected with walnut blight if it is rainy in spring. Best pollenizer is Chico, or Chandler, Howard, or Tehama. In Canterbury (NZ) conditions the nut has been pointed and thin. Consequently the sometimes rather dark kernel is long and flat. Kernel weight averages 5.6 grams, and crackout is about 48%. US, NZ.
W/AH/1335 - A New Zealand cultivar selected for blight resistance and good crackout (50%). NZ.
WIGG - A large nut, somewhat similar to Wilson's Wonder. The crackout is %37, and the kernels are large, at about 8 grams. AU, NZ.
WILSONS WONDER - the nuts are very large, but the percentage crackout is not high (30-40%). Nevertheless, altho the large nuts are not exceptionally well filled, the kernels are still large - around 6-8 grams. The nuts don't always seal well, and the kernels can be affected by blight in wet and humid areas. AU, NZ

There have been many seedlings of Wilson's Wonder planted, and some of these have been selected for particular attributes, such as blight resistance, or good crackout. Selections from one specialist nursery include-
Wigg - 37% crackout, large kernels at 8 grams. NZ
Frahm - 34% crackout, medium kernels at 5 grams NZ
Roadside 12 - 40% crackout, large kernels at 8 grams NZ
Roadside 6 - Large blocky nut and about 54mm long x 40 mm wide; 36% crackout, medium large kernels at 7 grams. Late ripening, nuts tend to be retained in the husk.. Late set nuts tend to be much smaller. NZ
More information
Walnut Cultivars in USAJJJJ Brief notes on the nut and tree characteristics of 11 cultivars of walnuts for USA, from Sierra Gold Nurseries, California, website, including a photo of the 'Chandler' variety in the husk..

© Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 UHIS
Visit our website at www.naturalhub.com

L2 Lucida Sans

You can help our home food growing community of interest. E-mail me if you can add to this information. Or to give me details on cultivars, or corrections. Lots of information is lost in a mobile and changing society - help make this our permanent record!