The 30 year old seedling trees that kick started the walnut business were planted because the were seedling in my mother’s garden and she wanted them out of the way so she dug them up and dad planted them in two lines, most survived and are now pretty large
They all show traits of a very old seedling in a field a few 100 metres away which is the last of a small group. The most important characteristic is very late bud break, generally the first week of May and at the same time as Fernor probably the latest leaving cultivar. We have late spring frosts, often to mid April but laterly to mid May.
Most of our older seedlings also have nuts it groups of 2/3/4’s with at least one in clusters of up to 10. They are all mostly self-fertile to a large extent with some being Lateral bearers as well increasing the crop and show signs of decent apomixis.
Old seedling tree, around 300m from the walnut orchard, you can see the cone of flowers which is very unusual and the resulting nut cluster, only a % of the flowers are like this but it does explain the characteristics of some of our seedling trees.
|This is a cluster of 10 nuts on one of our younger seedlings, this is only about 15 years old and it’s the first year it’s had a decent crop because of the hard spring frosts in recent years. It’s likely that this isn’t commercially viable as it takes too long to come into fruit, it’s a mid/late bud break and shows no sign of walnut diseases.|
We intend to document the individual trees including nut taste and yield with a view to grafting the best and making them available to customers, they will be very useful in areas that consistently have late spring frosts.