Above Left: When
a ripe Black Walnut or Butternut Hull(or Husk) begins to deteriorate,
it has dyes that
stain your fingers an indelible brown.
Cooked Hulls make a very
effective Easter Egg and Hair Dye, Woodworking Stain, and Fox Trap scent remover. It is also used in Natural Remedies.
Use a cooking tongs to put them in a Bucket. Then
place a two-foot square piece of 1" mesh Hardware Cloth
on the ground under the Walnut Tree to aid in hulling.
boot forcefully over the Hull to roll it on the mesh,
the Walnut from its Hull.
The Hull should be at its spongy stage to do this.
which have dropped naturally are ready for hulling. They are not picked
like apples or Oranges. If you pick them
from the tree, they may be too green and refuse to release the Walnut.
Most bearing trees have their limbs too high to allow picking.
Lower limbs often drop off as a tree matures.
Above Right: This small
hand-cranked Antique is a great Walnut Huller.
Bolted to a plank, and anchored
this makes a worthy Walnut Hull Removal Tool. A 5-gallon bucket placed
beneath it will catch most of the hulled Walnuts. Note the
on the wheel, and the spring-loaded adjustment (Red arrow) which applies
to the toothed wheel.
insert shows four green Walnut Hulls which are not ready to be removed.
The three above them are just right for hulling.
The top two may no longer be useful.
Larvae of the
Husk Fly eat the Hull of the Black Walnut,
but do not damage the nut inside.
If you have a really lot of Black
Walnuts to hull,
we have Plans
to convert a Cement Mixer to a Walnut Huller.
Father noticed that Walnuts which fell in his
driveway were separated from the Hull by his car tires, and
so he would
move the others into his driveway to eliminate the Hull removal chore.
The tires seldom damaged the very hard shells.
wire Potato Basket makes a good tool to remove the Hull residue when
it's agitated vigorously in a bucket of water. Then
allow them to dry in the
sun at a location which
accessible to Squirrels or Neighbors.
a Black Walnut requires a bit of effort.
An English Walnut Cracker will not come close. A hammer
Brick will work; so will a strong Vise, which you can close on each
Walnut. This is slower, but has the benefit of very few damaged Nut
Meats. A Cracker made especially for Black Walnuts makes the job easier.
The trick is to stand the walnut on its pointed end. When hit on the top point,
it will fracture on its midline, resulting in larger Nut pieces,
which are easier to remove from the Shell.
shown Above Lower Left is a
When the Handle is lifted, the
Ram opens to allow insertion of a Nut.
Then when the Handle is lowered,
the tapered Wedge slides
to automatically adjust to the size Nut you
It goes from Black Walnuts to much smaller Filberts
without missing a
lowering of the Handle rotates a Cam which exerts
great force on the Ram and
the Nut Shell. Many Nuts have
been cracked with a Hammer by standing them on their point to cause
them to fracture around the center. But this procedure may be
determined by the shape of the particular Nut. Some are "tall" and some
are "fat" which may cause them to fracture differently.
contain a Toxin called Juglone.
It is also contained in
the roots, bark, and
leaves of the Black Walnut tree. It is thought to be harmful to
is KNOWN to be harmful to garden plants, especially Tomatoes
wilted as though blighted.
It is prudent
to distance other plants from
Black Walnut trees. Some
think the Toxin will dissipate during composting. But it may be wise to
limit the amount of Black Walnut sawdust, leaves, chips,
and Hulls in your Compost.
||A strange plus for
Fishermen: when you empty Walnut wash into mowed
Fishworms race for the surface!
They may be sensitive to the toxin Juglone, in the Hulls.
Some Fishermen say that a burlap bag of mashed Walnut Hulls swished in
a stream will cause the Fish to float to the surface.
of Trees should
be done when they are less than two feet tall to minimize root damage.
If you plan to harvest the Nuts, plant them in your youth; they grow
slow and big (Which makes them a great inheritance for your children).
There are very few investments that guarantee the return of a Black
Walnut Tree, when you consider the very minimal investment. Call your
local Building Center and ask the price of a Black Walnut board 8 inches wide by 8
Black Walnut Trees have very few enemies and require minimal
maintenance. A yearly Spring pruning of 1" lower limbs is
it! If you plant them twelve feet apart in rows that are twelve feet
apart, they will grow straight and tall and yield very expensive lumber
in years to come. A 70' tree is not unusual.
They don't make the best lawn trees. They invite Squirrels to dig up
the area to plant the Nuts. And they are about the last tree to leaf
out and the first to drop their leaves with their associated twigs,
which along with the nuts, constitute a considerable clean-up job every
Thomas is a
cultivated variety which is said to produce larger Nuts with thinner
shells . . . What will they think of next ?