Planting Black Walnut Trees

Black walnut trees-to-be. Photo/Nicole Caldwell
A mature, leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year, and acts as a huge filter for the air around it. So when our friend Fred dropped off a huge bag of highly desirable black walnut tree seeds for us, it wasn't just the beauty of a tree-lined Cottage Hill Road that we had in mind (although let's not kid ourselves, who doesn't want a beautiful, tree-lined street to look at every day?).
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May, Erin, and I planted a bunch of seeds yesterday afternoon in the unbelievably balmy, 70-degree weather. We stood about six feet off the road so the eventually enormous trees wouldn't interfere with the roadway, and planted each tree about 10 big paces apart from the next. We did both sides of the road between the main house and the sawmill down the road. Here are Kaiser and Han Solo seeing what all the fuss was about:
... and inside the bag:
Here's the size of an individual seed, surrounded by the meaty fruit of the plant (the actual seed is deep inside that pulpy exterior, and will sprout in the spring):
We dug down three or four inches in the dirt, dropped the seed in, and covered it back up with dirt and a little hay:

We're going to plant the rest throughout the property (about 200 trees in all), wait 30 or 40 years, and invite about 2,000 of you over to breathe in our new, black walnut-lined promenade leading to Better Farm.

Any local residents who would like free black walnut seeds can e-mail to arrange a pick-up.
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Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.