If you are living in the Northeast United States you will begin finding this is the first weekend where fall colors appear in some areas. The vibrancy of red maples, yellow oaks and brown beech trees fill the fields of fall.
If you are looking for a good reason to enjoy the last weeks of tolerable weather, consider walking through the forests collecting fallen nuts for growing trees. You have to be ready to wait a long time to see results. Between September and November it is possible to walk beneath a walnut tree to find the fruits to grow a new walnut tree.
Black walnut is one of the most valuable tree species based on price per board foot. It has long been in high demand throughout the world for wood products because of its beautiful color, strength, durability, dimensional stability after drying, and excellent machining qualities. Besides wood products, walnut trees produce edible nuts, wildlife food, and beauty, while protecting soil and water resources. When you plant and care for black walnut trees, you are making an investment that may pay off handsomely in future years. (University of Minnesota – Extension)
So get out early one morning this weekend. If you live in Virginia this week’s heavy storms have surely caused a number of walnuts to fall. When you come home put the husk covered walnuts in a bucket of water. After 24 hours dispose of the walnuts that float. Dry them off and put the remainder in a plastic bag in the freezer for two months. When the ground thaws in early spring prepare the ground and protect the emerging seedlings from damage by animals.
In 10 years you’ll begin enjoying walnuts and the shade offered by these beautiful trees.