Green Black Walnuts

By | October 5, 2022

When I was a kid growing up in the mountains of Virginia, there was a large black walnut tree directly behind our house, close enough that on windy days you would hear thump! thump! thump! as green walnuts dropped from the tree and onto the flat roof of our house, especially over the room I slept in. Dozens more walnuts could be found on the grass around the tree.

Well, a decade ago I decided that I missed that experience, so I planted some black walnut trees along the edge of our back yard, close enough to the house that in theory they could land on our sloping metal roof or the steps outside the living room and give me that “thunk!” I was longing for.

I’ve never seen any green black walnuts lying around back there, though, and the trees are so tall that it’s not really easy to see if there are lots up there in the branches. I wondered if for some pollination-related reason we just weren’t getting any.

Well, just now I heard that “thunk!” I knew so well. Right on the wooden steps outside the living room, where I happened to be sitting. I looked out the door and sure enough! A green black walnut, right there at the top of the steps. I ran to get my cell phone to snap a photo to commemorate the happy moment and … when I got back that walnut was GONE.

I think I know why we’re not seeing green black walnuts all over our back yard. Our local squirrels don’t get caught napping.

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