The subtleties of growing Manchurian walnut
The north the region is located, the more often today trees of Manchurian walnut are planted in orchards and kitchen gardens, the appearance of which is very similar to heat-loving walnuts and differs only in very elongated leaves and the shape of nuts. The beneficial properties of the fruit remain unchanged. In order to grow and get a good crop, you need to know the rules of planting and care, as well as strictly follow agricultural recommendations.
Growing from seeds at home
Manchurian walnut refers to plants that can reproduce both by seed and vegetatively. The gardener can independently choose the best option for himself - purchase a ready-made young plant and plant it on the site, or grow a seedling yourself at home from a nut.
The latter option is more complex, but guarantees a healthy tree with all varietal traits preserved.
Subtleties and rules of care
The key to plant health and the high quality of the future crop is primarily the right seed. The best option for growing seedlings is two-year-old nuts - they give the most seedlings.
Did you know? Manchurian shell is often used in pharmacology in the manufacture of anti-inflammatory drugs.
However, before being on the school bed (a mini-bed on which the seedling of the nut will be grown before transplanting it to a permanent place), seeds must be trained:
- Stratification - A procedure that allows you to speed up the process of germination and increase the number of shoots. For this, nuts, a few months before planting (no more than three) are placed in a container lined with a damp natural cloth, and on top they are covered with a layer of the same material. Replace the fabric with wet sand or moss. It is important to ensure that for the entire period the nuts do not dry out. The container with the seed is exposed in a cool place with a temperature regime of 0 to + 7 ° C (you can use the basement or the container for vegetables in the refrigerator).
- Soak - a few days before the intended planting, the nuts are soaked in water, which should be changed daily. In order to protect planting material from the invasion of rodents, the seeds are additionally treated with kerosene.
- Germination - before planting, the nuts are placed in a container with wet sand and kept at a temperature of about + 18 ° C until the first shoots appear.
In the northern regions, sowing of seeds is carried out at the end of spring, and for example, in the suburbs, this period is shifted to April.
To do this, follow some rules:
- the soil is previously dug up to a depth of about 10 cm;
- the depth of the landing pit should be no more than 10-12 cm, the distance between the holes - 20 cm;
- spread the nuts on the rib (sideways);
- a layer of nutrient soil is poured on top and mulched with a thin layer.
Important! It is recommended to sow several nuts in one place at once, and after germination, select and leave one of the strongest seedling.
Further care is not very difficult. The main thing to pay attention to is regular maintenance of soil moisture. In conditions of stable heat, it is recommended to cover the beds with a thin layer of agrofiber, which will reduce the evaporation of moisture.
When is it better to transplant?
The transfer of seedlings to a permanent place is carried out one year after sowing nuts - At this age, the root system of the tree is the least sensitive to injuries and damage. The optimal period for the procedure is autumn.Depending on climatic and weather conditions, the period of transplantation can vary from late September to mid-October.
The procedure for planting a seedling in a permanent place is an important step in the further formation of the plant. The amount of future harvest will depend on where and in what soil the tree grows. Therefore, it is important to strictly adhere to all recommendations. Also you should carefully consider the choice of the seedling itself in case of purchase - it should be a one-year-old plant, direct, about 1 m high, without visible damage. The root system is necessarily packed in a lump of earth.
When choosing the best place for a nut, you need to know some of its features:
- An adult Manchurian tree is characterized by a dense spreading crown, and its height can reach 30 m. Therefore, this plant can not be planted next to photophilous plants, which simply disappear in its shade. In addition, it is not recommended to plant next to the irga or lawn grass. This is explained by the content in the leaves of a nut of a natural herbicide - during rain this substance falls on the soil and negatively affects the condition of nearby plants.
- A young tree should grow in some shade, in order to avoid burns of leaves.
- When choosing a place, acidic soils should be avoided; neutral or slightly alkaline soils are preferred.
- Avoid lowlands, wetlands, and the north side of the peaks.
The area on which the tree will grow must have moist and fertile soil. In the case of acidic soils (indicators exceed the value of 7.5 pH), liming is required - ash (200–300 g per 1 m², to a depth of 15–20 cm) or humus, turf soil and sand mixed in equal proportions are added to the soil. Shortly before planting, the earth should be dug to a depth of 50-60 cm, uprooting stumps and weeds.
The preparation of the landing pit is carried out in advance (for 1-2 months) in order to give the soil the opportunity to sag and evenly moisten. The depth of the hole should be at least 50 cm (and up to 80 cm, depending on the size of the rhizome), width - up to 60 cm. Moreover, if several seedlings are planted, the distance between the pits should not be less than 5 m.
The first layer of the hole is drainage (you can use crushed stone or broken brick). Next, pour 2 buckets of humus and a handful of mineral fertilizers that form a hill. A cent is driven into the cent, which will become a support for the seedling, and 3 buckets of water are poured.
After the landing pit is ready, the damaged parts of the rhizome are removed from the seedling, the root itself is well shaken, after which the plant is exposed on the hill. If required, you can top up the soil. The earth around is carefully tamped with a foot, the seedling is tied to a support peg. Next, a near-stem circle is formed and watering is carried out. As the last stage, mulching of the soil with the help of peat or humus appears.
When transferring a seedling grown from seeds to a permanent place, planting is carried out to the same depth at which they grew before. Deepening the growth point is highly undesirable and sometimes fatal for a young plant.
How fast does Manchu nut grow?
Manchurian trees grow and develop quite quickly. The first few years, these plants are doubled in height and by the age of five can reach 2 m. Up to the age of 20, a nut can add up to 1 m in height annually. Thus, 10-year-old trees are about 5 m in height, while the trunk diameter does not exceed 8–10 cm.
Intensive growth lasts up to 75–95 years, after which it stops. In centennial trees, new shoots appear only if replacement with damaged ones is required.Depending on the method of propagation, the ripening of the first crop occurs at 4–5 year of growth (when planting seedlings), or at 7–8 year (when sowing seeds).
Care and maturity
Manchurian nut belongs to unpretentious crops, and therefore care for it is not particularly difficult. To obtain a rich and high-quality crop, a minimum of effort and time is required. Observing the basic rules of agricultural activities, such a tree can successfully bear fruit for several centuries.
Video: Features of growing Manchurian walnut
The moisture level in the soil is an important indicator that affects the general condition of the whole plant. Walnut seedlings are especially prone to this - the undeveloped root system is extremely sensitive to lack of moisture. However, stagnation of water, especially lasting 5-7 days, will be detrimental to the tree, so watering should be frequent, but moderate:
- one-, two-year-old plants require watering at least once every 1-2 weeks with one bucket of water (during a period of drought and steady heat, the amount can be increased as much as the soil requires);
- for the third year, watering can be reduced to 1 time in 1-2 months;
- starting from the fourth year, watering is carried out only 1 time in the period of steady summer heat.
Important! An important procedure that preserves moisture in the root zone is mulching using fallen leaves, peat or straw.
In summer, irrigation of young trees is also permissible. - This preserves the freshness and elasticity of foliage, as well as shoots. After each watering it is recommended to carry out cultivation, which increases the penetration of oxygen to the root system and prevents the growth of weed grass.
Fertilizer selection and top dressing
The first feeding is carried out starting from the second year of the plant's life. The optimal period is the end of spring or, depending on the region, the beginning of summer - before the formation of the fruits. If necessary, fertilizer application in the soil is repeated in late July - early August (later top dressing can provoke excessive growth processes).
Feeding is carried out by adding potassium and phosphorus (you can use wood ash and superphosphate)
The mulching procedure is carried out to support the qualitative composition of the soil, its protection from exposure to sunlight, warming the root system, protection against weed grass and moisture retention from evaporation. Two categories of materials can be used for this: inorganic (paper or film) and organic (moss, sawdust, foliage, hay, freshly cut grass). To improve the effect of mulching, it is recommended to carry it out immediately after applying fertilizer.
When using organics, the thickness of the mulch depends on the material selected:
- moss - up to 10 cm;
- sawdust - not more than 7 cm;
- foliage or straw (hay) - from 10 to 15 cm.
The process of preparing a nut for wintering begins in the third decade of autumn. Harvesting and burning of fallen leaves, on which pests can take refuge, are carried out. The whole tree is also inspected - the presence of swellings or seals indicates the possibility of nests of insects under the bark (they should be cut with a knife, and the cut points should be covered with garden varieties).
An adult Manchurian tree does not need additional shelter from frost. However, do not forget about the possible invasion of rodents, as well as its instability to sunburn upon the arrival of spring. Therefore, plant stems of all ages (especially young seedlings) are wrapped in burlap in late autumn with burlap or any non-woven material. From above, the insulation is covered with a net, which is dug around the trunk into the soil, or covered with a spruce paws. Throughout the winter, the snow around the tree is trampled well - this will prevent rodents from breaking through the paths to the roots.
Also in the autumn and spring periods, it is recommended to coat the boles and skeletal branches with lime or clay mortar (to protect from the sun)
High-quality fruiting requires uniform and plentiful lighting. Moreover, the formation of fruit buds occurs at the ends of branches, which contributes to thickening of the crown, thinning of shoots and their exposure. To prevent such processes regular spring pruning is carried out, starting from the moment when the tree reaches a height of about 1.5–2 m.
Also, for old trees, it is recommended to conduct anti-aging pruning - cut one or more branches that bring the smallest amount of yield. But it is worth taking into account that the loss of a skeletal branch has a negative effect on the condition of an adult tree.
How to shape Manchurian walnut in landscape design?
Depending on the location of the nut and the desired appearance, the tree can be given the desired shape. There are several basic methods of formation, which are indicated in the photo below. These include:
- short-stemmed tree with a spreading crown;
- single tree, with a crown in the form of a ball;
- as a bush with several conductors.
According to the description, the procedure of giving the nut the shape of a short-stemmed plant consists of several stages:
- the young tree is shortened to a height of 1.4 m, and new shoots that will grow in the area of the stem are broken out;
- one conductor is isolated, as well as several branches that grow in different directions (the distance between them should not be less than 25 cm);
- next year they form the second row - the conductor is shortened by 80 cm, and the side branches are left;
- starting next spring, only thinning of the crown and removal of dry branches damaged by frost and growing inward are carried out.
To form a round crown:
- the central conductor is selected near the nut, the height of which is shortened to 1.5–2 m, and all lateral buds are removed (all skeletal branches are left to grow above);
- the lower branches are shortened by 2/3 of their length and further, towards the center of the ball, the pruning is reduced to 1/3 of the length;
- starting from the center, cropping continues in the same way, but in descending order.
Walnut in the form of a bush can be formed as follows:
- several main conductors are left on the plant at once, on which there are skeletal branches located at a height of 50 cm from the ground;
- the top of the tree is constantly pinched, which stimulates the growth of basal germination.
Did you know? In addition to appearance, Manchurian walnut differs from walnuts in the strength of the shell — to get it, you need a certain skill: usually the fruits are well dried, and then put on «nose» and tap with a hammer. If you apply great effort, the shell together with the core will fly apart into small pieces.
Pests and diseases
Manchurian walnut is quite resistant to many diseases and pests. To protect the crop from spoilage, every gardener is required to know the first signs of disease, as well as be able to conduct the correct diagnosis and decide on further actions:
- Black spotting - fungal disease caused by high humidity. It leads to drying and blackening of the deciduous cover of the plant. In the fight against the disease, they reduce the amount of watering and loosen the soil for speedy drying. Antifungal drugs that contain copper are also used. The procedure is carried out twice, with an interval of two weeks.
- Gall tick - insects laying eggs on the deciduous part of the tree. Larvae of pests, eating, destroy foliage and young shoots. As a fight, damaged plant fragments are removed and burned. A colloidal sulfur solution is also used (processing is carried out at the stage of bud opening) and insecto-acaricides (the tree is processed several times, with an interval of 10-14 days).
- Nutcracker - pests that affect all parts of the plant (bark, foliage, young shoots and inflorescences). To treat the plant, all nut fragments damaged by insects are removed and necessarily burned, and the tree itself is treated with 0.2% chlorophos or karbofos solution (90 g of the drug is dissolved in a bucket of water).
- Moth - insect larvae feed on walnut kernels, which can cause significant damage to the crop. Insecticide treatment is used in pest control.
Collection and storage of fruits
Harvesting is carried out at the end of the first decade of autumn (during the period of yellowing of the leaves) and can last until the end of October. You can start collecting the first fruits already from mid-August. The collected nuts are pre-dried, after which they can be placed in bags. The optimum temperature regime for storage is from + 18 ° С to + 22 ° С. The shelf life of nuts is long - subject to all the rules, the fruits do not deteriorate for several years. However, starting from the third year of storage, their beneficial properties are significantly reduced.
Due to the fact that Manchurian nut is not only tasty, but also healthy food, its distribution in household plots is gaining more and more popularity. This is especially true of the northern regions, where the cultivation of the more familiar walnut is not available due to climatic conditions. An additional advantage of the plant is its unpretentiousness in care, which provides a high-quality and rich harvest. Moreover, this culture is also used to improve the garden, because the possibility of giving the crown a different shape can make the tree a highlight of any landscape.