Monday, November 25, 2013

Black Walnut

Last week, Erika and I found these Black Walnut fruits on a tree in the Carleton College Arboretum. Black Walnuts are found across eastern North America. Black Walnuts have been widely introduced elsewhere in North America and Europe. The nuts are often expensive, but offer "a gourmet touch to cookies, breads, and cakes” (UMN Extension). This source gives instructions for the harvest, curing, and storage of Black Walnuts. Nuts are harvested by hand from wild trees, mostly from Missouri. The fruits in this photo are past their optimal harvesting stage.

Black Walnuts are large, long-lived deciduous trees. Fruiting begins when the tree is about five years old—the tree may live about 130 years.  The tree produces high-quality wood. The shells are used as an ingredient in abrasive cleaners, cosmetics, oil well drilling, and water filtration (Wikipedia).

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