Recently I returned to a stand of walnut hybrid trees I planted some years ago. I was impressed with the quality of the trees. This tree in particular exhibits all the features you want if you’re interested in growing walnut trees for their timber.
This hybrid walnut is a variety made by crossing a black walnut Juglans nigra with common walnut Juglans regia. This particular commercial variety has the enticing name ‘NG23’.
- late to leaf – this means it’s less likely to be damaged by late-spring forests
- light and horizontal branching – making it easy to prune leaving small knots
- straight stem – free of defects and tension
- strong apical dominance – no forking requiring heavy pruning
Notice how this tree’s been given plenty of space and light. Alternatively, you could encourage a shrub layer to grow underneath, particularly if it’s nitrogen-fixing so it will feed the walnuts.