Know Your Trees: Black Walnut

It’s been a while, but GM is back with Know Your Trees. This week he’s talking about a tree you don’t see on the street much, but you see in parks: the black walnut.

The lack walnut is a tree native to the eastern United States, including around Washington, DC. It is a giant tree, growing as tall as 130 feet and a crown just as wide. The tree is most easily identifiable by its leaves and fruit:

Courtesy of the Missouri Dept. of Conv.

The leaves are about 1-2 feet long and have 10-20 small leaflets growing off the stem. And in the fall, the ground around the tree is typically covered with green husky fruit about 1 1/2 inches across.

And yes, the fruit has a walnut in it, but it’s a real pain to get at, as this video demonstrates:

The nuts are edible, but there are not grown commercially. When you got to the store and buy a bag of walnuts, they are most likely from a variety of English or Persian walnuts.

If you want to see a huge black walnut tree, head up to Montrose Park back just to the west of the playground. Has anyone ever tried to eat its nuts?


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