Black Walnut

Arbor walk #61

This is a large deciduous tree common to woodlands in the eastern United States from Massachusetts to Texas. It is natively found in rich woods and fertile river valleys across the state of Missouri. 

Name Black Walnut
Latin Name Juglanus nigra
Type Native
Diameter 41″ dbh
Color of Leaf Strongly aromatic when crushed fall color undistinguished yellow
Shape of Leaf Odd-pinnate compund leaes with 13-23 oblong to lanceolate leaflets
Color of Flower Yellow green
Shape of Flower Male drooping hairy catkins / female short terminal spikes
Fruit Characteristics Edible nuts incased in yellow-green husk maturing in the fall and falling to the ground
Bark Characteristics Fissured, sharply ridged, dark gray-black, forms diamond patterns
Foliage Type Deciduous

Mature trees produce edible walnuts in the fall, which are sold commercially in Missouri and used to make a variety of other food products. Native Americans ate the nuts from these trees and made syrup from their sap, and reportedly even threw the poisonous husks of the nuts into ponds to make the fish within easier to catch. The trees are also prized for their wood, which is considered to be the best for furniture making of any native American tree species. This has led to overharvesting and a sharp decline in wild populations across the country.

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