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Author Topic: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?  (Read 849 times)

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Offline reelman65

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Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« on: September 21, 2017, 10:20:14 am »
I have a part of my property that has a pretty old Walnut tree on it. We call her mama walnut. for several acres around her there are saplings of all sizes, from 1 year old up to 6-8" dbh. I would like to move some of them to more desirable location and cull whatever others need it, and leave the healthy ones. What is the biggest I should try to move? I would rent an excavator if that would allow me to move a bigger tree. I have heard the formula of 9 inch radius root ball for every inch of stem diameter. Thanks!!
75 Acres of hardwoods that i want to try to optimize for HW growth, health and habitat. Also interested in creating a few small stands of fruit/nut trees and sample of different native species

Online TKehl

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2017, 11:08:15 am »
Walnut has a pretty strong taproot.  Have you thought about just planting the nuts where you want them?
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline reelman65

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2017, 12:51:59 pm »
Well i guess that would be a last resort, but if i can move a 5 yr old, then i'm 5 years ahead. I will need to cut hundreds of saplings anyway, just trying to do the optimal thing.

I will try to add a photo
75 Acres of hardwoods that i want to try to optimize for HW growth, health and habitat. Also interested in creating a few small stands of fruit/nut trees and sample of different native species

Offline reelman65

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 01:01:42 pm »
75 Acres of hardwoods that i want to try to optimize for HW growth, health and habitat. Also interested in creating a few small stands of fruit/nut trees and sample of different native species

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 08:54:22 am »
A 4 post tree spade on a tracked skid steer is the better tool, see if you can rent one of those.  They dig up all of those no problem.  The more you do, the more will survive.

Offline reelman65

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2017, 08:18:46 pm »
Good idea, thanks.

I suppose early spring or late winter is best time?
75 Acres of hardwoods that i want to try to optimize for HW growth, health and habitat. Also interested in creating a few small stands of fruit/nut trees and sample of different native species

Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2017, 08:53:20 pm »
I'm very interested in this thread. I need to do the same...I have had to take some huge walnuts on my land, and would like to replant for the next generation.

I own my own small piece of the world on an 8 acre plot on the side of a mountain with walnut, hickory, ash and spruce.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2017, 09:25:12 pm »
If you dig with a tree spade you have to fill the hole back in with quite a bit of soil, fyi.  Otherwise you're destroying your site. 

Walnut seedlings are cheap, 1000 are only few hundred dollars, survival will be better and they are easier to move.  For a few bucks you can plant 3-4 acres.  Just an idea. 

We like to replant at a 10:1 ratio with Walnut.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2017, 09:27:00 pm »
We also like to mix walnut and WO and Sycamore so that there is some diversity, the sycamore push the WO and Walnut to close canopy and grow taller faster.

In hardwoods, well they like fertilizer so if you have horses it is a great place for stable cleanings.  Especially horses getting wormed that you dont' want in the compost pile.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2017, 09:41:09 pm »
Does walnut coppice very well?  I wonder how successful an operation youd have of getting coppice sprouts to root if taken from coppiced stump cuttings.. Does rooting hormone work on tree seedlings like it does on plant cuttings.

If it coppiced, just cutting some of those would produce a multitude more sprouts the next season for free. 


It is a good point on soil disturbance.  Once you get past the topsoil and all the way down into the clay, nothing really grows but a few grasses out here.  Takes a long time to grass in an ugly log landing if too much top soil washes out.

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2017, 08:38:28 am »
The few young ones I've cut have coppiced somewhat.  Not vigorous like a locust or elm, but there are stump spouts.  Have not seen root/water sprouts.

I think this will boil down to economics.  Will the rental of the spade and labor cost less than the value of 5 years of walnut growth? 

In my mind, I think I'd take a shovel to move the very small sprouts, then thin the rest as little as possible keeping the ones with the best form. 

I'll be planting some walnuts (seeds) this fall on a piece of bottom ground too rocky and flood prone to crop.  Dad and I have meant to do it for years.  Went back to check it out and there is some natural regen walnut there that has come up since we brush hogged last.  Guess the site is good.   ;D
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2017, 08:58:51 am »
I think that's about the right idea.  Besides, you don't save 5 years when you move large saplings.  They typically pull back a year, buy 1 year seedlings and you're only 3 years off on a 50 year rotation.   Walnut in dense groves needs thinning.  Might be painful but they need it, a good scientific hardwood forestry practices analogy is the teak thinning thread.  He's constantly cutting out the less desirable trees.  He's just doing it on a timeframe that  is a bit accelerated but I think it is a good example though.  You want crowns to barely be touching, form to be good, etc.  Just keep taking the bad ones out.  You can peel the bark and use in furniture, fence posts, firewood, etc.  Your goal should be a stand which much lower density than the average pine stand. 

So in that picture, you really only need a few walnuts in 30 years.  How you get from that dense stand of young walnut to 30 years from now is going to tell you how valuable they are.  You'll be cutting the heck out of it over the next 10 years if you want to develop good boles.

Offline VirginiaFarm

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2017, 10:35:18 am »
I agree with nativewolf. What is your objective in moving them to a more desirable location? It would be interesting to work with what you have, thinning out the crooked ones and promoting growth in that stand of walnuts. Since you are located in Tennessee, you could also pick up income from selling the nuts.

Offline reelman65

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2017, 09:20:27 pm »
I agree with nativewolf. What is your objective in moving them to a more desirable location? It would be interesting to work with what you have, thinning out the crooked ones and promoting growth in that stand of walnuts. Since you are located in Tennessee, you could also pick up income from selling the nuts.

I am definitely working with what i have there. but i have some other places on the property that i would like to have walnut trees. seems like a no brainer to move the trees that i would cull anyway to the new location, but it sounds like that may not be the case.
75 Acres of hardwoods that i want to try to optimize for HW growth, health and habitat. Also interested in creating a few small stands of fruit/nut trees and sample of different native species

Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2017, 09:33:40 pm »
I think I'll just purchase some seedlings as suggested. Is this the right time to plant?
How far apart should they be?
I own my own small piece of the world on an 8 acre plot on the side of a mountain with walnut, hickory, ash and spruce.
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Offline Hobnob2

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2017, 04:45:35 pm »
Good advice on the thinning options so far. Keep in mind, though, that Walnut will tend to develop epicormic branches if opened up to too much light all at once. Dormant buds under the bark will respond to the new light and heat, pushing out new branches which can ruin your log grade.
This response is somewhat controlled by genetics but you can't tell ahead of time how your trees will respond so light thinning conducted often is the best way to keep some shade on those boles during the growing season and hopefully avoid the new branching in your beautiful lumber. In mixed stands I've even left non-walnut "shade trees" to the southeast, south, and/or southwest of each walnut tree I wanted to grow long-term, if the opportunity presented itself. Good luck!
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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2017, 10:54:56 pm »
Where's a good place to get seedlings.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2017, 11:25:35 pm »
Transplanting is a huge stressor on a tree. The bigger the tree, the more it is stressed by being relocated. You are better off moving a younger smaller tree. Given a few years, a half inch diameter sapling will often overtake a tree several years older if both were transplanted at the same time.

The good news with Walnut: On a good site, they can grow incredibly fast. I cut down a walnut for my in-laws. It was almost 18" DBH, and only 17 or 18 years old.
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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2017, 07:44:16 am »
Where's a good place to get seedlings.

Planting the walnut nuts works real well.  They usually only cost the time to pick them up.  I'll be doing a few acres this way from trees selected for good form, growth, and small nut harvest.

If you want seedlings, check to see if you have a state tree nursery.  Missouri does and it ends up being about $30/hundred.
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Re: Wild Walnut Saplings - What is biggest i should try to move?
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2017, 04:12:22 pm »
I got some in my front yard here in Ohio. The more I look into it, I don't think the soil is that good for them where I'm at.
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