Document Type

Gardening - Fruit: Selecting & Planting

Publication Date



Edible nuts produced commercially in the United States include pecan, English walnut, filbert, pistachio, almond and macadamia. Those for which no sizable commercial industry exists include black walnut, hickory, butternut and chestnut. Of those listed, pistachio, almond and macadamia are not adapted to Tennessee growing conditions. Several of the others have certain characteristics which limit areas of the state in which they may be grown and fruited consistently.

This factsheet may aid in selection of nut trees for planting in Tennessee. Figures given in the table are approximate values. They will vary depending on site, cultural practices and weather conditions.

Grafted trees are suggested when planting for nut production. When compared to trees grown from seed (seedlings), grafted trees generally bear crops at a much younger age. Also, grafted trees and the nuts they produce will be like the parent trees, while those grown from seed may vary considerably.

If trees are to be grown from seed, realize that the nuts need to be stratified before they will germinate and grow. Stratification involves exposing nuts to a cold, moist environment for a given period of time, usually about 90 days, before the nuts will germinate and grow normally. Stratification may be achieved by planting nuts in the fall and letting Mother Nature provide the cold, moist conditions or by placing the nuts in a moist medium such as peat moss, sand or paper towels. The medium is then put in a plastic bag, sealed and refrigerated for the necessary period of time. Once the stratification period has been satisfied, the nuts should be planted. Be careful to avoid letting the nuts dry out during the interval between stratification and planting. Plant the nuts about 2 to 3 inches deep.

Most nut crops perform best on a deep, welldrained, loamy soil having a pH of about 6 to 7.

Publication Number

SP307P-3M-2/96 E12-2015-00-045-96

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