Black walnut (Juglans nigra)

Black walnut photograph; © MN DNR


A handsome tree when growing singly in the forest; large, height commonly 50' to 60' but often reaching 100' with a diameter of up to 36"; straight and clear of branches for half its height; when grown in the open, stem short, crown broad and spreading.


Thick and very dark brown; divided by rather deep fissures into round ridges.


Alternate on stem, length 12" to 24", pinnately compound with 14 to 22 yellow green, sharply pointed leaflets, tapered at the ends and toothed along the margins; smooth above, pale and hairy underneath; yellowish-green turning yellow in autumn.

Fruit (seed)

A large, round nut borne singly or in pairs and enclosed in a solid green husk that is not sticky and does not spread open even after the nut is ripe. The nut is black with a very hard, thick, finely ridged shell enclosing a rich, oily kernel that is edible and highly nutritious; matures in the fall.


Grows on rich bottom lands and moist, fertile hillsides in the southern part of the state; is easily propagated from nuts and grows rapidly in good soil; shade intolerant.