Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Juglans nigra


SPECIES: Juglans nigra
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Coladonato, Milo. 1991. Juglans nigra. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : JUGNIG SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : JUNI COMMON NAMES : black walnut walnut eastern black walnut American walnut TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for black walnut is Juglans nigra L. [21]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms. Black walnut and butternut (J. cinerea) often grow together but apparently never cross naturally [43]. LIFE FORM : Tree FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Juglans nigra
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Black walnut is found throughout the eastern United States. It grows as far north as southern Minnesota, southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan, and southern Ontario. Isolated populations occur in the southern half of New York, Vermont, western Massachusetts, and northwestern Connecticut. Its range extends south to northwestern Florida, and to Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana except for the Mississippi Valley and Delta regions. In the Midwest, isolated populations occur in eastern Texas, western Oklahoma, central Kansas, and southeastern South Dakota [8,29,30]. Black walnut is cultivated in Hawaii [45]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES10 White - red - jack pine FRES11 Spruce - fir FRES12 Longleaf - slash pine FRES13 Loblolly - shortleaf pine FRES14 Oak - pine FRES15 Oak - hickory FRES16 Oak - gum - cypress FRES17 Elm - ash - cottonwood FRES18 Maple - beech - birch STATES : AL AR CT DE FL GA HI IA IL IN KS KY LA MA MD MI MN MO MS NC NE NJ NY OH OK PA SC SD TN TX VA VT WI WV ON BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K089 Black Belt K095 Great Lakes pine forest K096 Northeastern spruce - fir forest K097 Southeastern spruce - fir forest K099 Maple - basswood K100 Oak - hickory forest K101 Elm - ash forest K102 Beech - maple forest K103 Mixed mesophytic forest K104 Appalachian oak forest K106 Northern hardwoods K107 Northern hardwoods - fir forest K108 Northern hardwoods - spruce forest K110 Northeastern oak - pine forest K111 Oak - hickory - pine forest K112 Southern mixed forest K113 Southern floodplain forest K114 Pocosin SAF COVER TYPES : 14 Northern pin oak 18 Paper birch 19 Gray birch - red maple 21 Eastern white pine 22 White pine - hemlock 23 Eastern hemlock 26 Sugar maple - basswood 27 Sugar maple 28 Black cherry - maple 40 Post oak - blackjack oak 42 Bur oak 43 Bear oak 44 Chestnut oak 45 Pitch pine 46 Eastern redcedar 52 White oak - black oak - northern red oak 53 White oak 55 Northern red oak 57 Yellow-poplar 58 Yellow-poplar - eastern hemlock 59 Yellow-poplar - white oak - northern red oak 60 Beech sugar maple 61 River birch - sycamore 62 Silver maple - American elm 64 Sassafras - persimmon 65 Pin oak - sweet gum 75 Shortleaf pine 76 Shortleaf pine - oak 78 Virginia pine - oak 79 Virginia pine 80 Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine 81 Loblolly pine 82 Loblolly pine - hardwood 91 Swamp chestnut oak - cherrybark oak 93 Sugarberry - American elm - green ash SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Juglans nigra
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Characteristics and properties: Black walnut wood is heavy, strong, and highly resistant to shock. It ranks with the most durable U.S. hardwoods, including cedars (Thuja spp.), chestnuts (Castanea spp.), and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). It can be satisfactorily kiln dried and holds it shape well after seasoning. Black walnut is normally straight grained, is worked easily with hand tools, and has excellent machining properties. When finished, the wood takes on a smooth velvety surface and a handsome grain pattern [25,29]. Principal uses: Black walnut is used principally for dining room and bedroom furniture; bookcases; desks; tables; radio, television, phonograph, and piano cabinets; and as an interior finish in cafes and public buildings [24]. The veneer is used for the highest grade cabinets and plywood panels. Figured black walnut stocks are prized for expensive shotguns and sporting rifles [8,29]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : The nuts of black walnut furnish food for many rodents and make up about 10 percent of the diet of eastern fox squirrels [19,33]. The nuts are also eaten by a variety of birds [2]. PALATABILITY : Although not considered a choice browse, black walnut leaves are palatable to white-tailed deer [16]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Nutrient percentages (dry basis) for the nuts of black walnut are as follows [41]: crude protein 29.25 ether 60.25 crude fiber 1.03 ash 2.76 n-free extract 6.73 available protein 27.06 lignin 0.87 cellulose 2.01 tannin 0.25 calcium 0.01 magnesium 0.27 phosphorus 0.59 COVER VALUE : The eastern screech-owl roosts on the limbs of black walnut [6]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Black walnut has been successfully planted on surface mined areas in the eastern United States [4,7]. In southwestern Indiana, black walnut had a 30 to 50 percent increase in survival rate on old mine field sites where weed competition had been chemically controlled or removed [4]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : The nuts of black walnut are used as food by humans and are harvested commercially [26]. The nuts are eaten plain or with honey and used to flavor cakes, candy, and ice cream [14]. Native Americans used the nuts for food and extracted black dye from the roots. The black walnut is mentioned in Native American creation myths [14]. Black walnut is cultivated as an ornamental [40]. The ground shells of black walnut are used as a nonslip agent in automobile tires, as an air pressure propellant in strip paints, and as a filtering agent for scrubbers in smoke stacks. The automobile industry uses the ground shell products to deburr precision gears, and the airline industry uses the ground shells to clean jet engines [43]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Weed control is essential for the establishment of black walnut on sites suitable for intensive culture [31]. An antagonism between black walnut and many other plants growing within its root zone has been recognized and attributed to juglone, a toxic substance found in the leaves, bark, nut husks, and roots of black walnut trees. Many garden vegetables and several conifers are susceptible to juglone [12,17,28]. Black walnut is particularly susceptible to European canker (Nectria galligena). The infection spreads quite slowly, but infected trees eventually die [29,43]. Black alder (Alnus glutinosa) and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) interplanted with black walnut increases black walnut's yield because of their ability to increase available nitrogen in the soil [37,44].


SPECIES: Juglans nigra
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Black walnut is a native, deciduous tree that can grow to a height of 125 feet (38 m) but ordinarily grows to around 80 feet (25 m) [10,43]. Black walnut develops a long, smooth trunk and a small rounded crown when growing in the forest. In the open, the trunk forks low with a few ascending and spreading coarse branches. The root system usually consists of a deep taproot and several wide-spreading lateral roots. The bark on young trees is dark and scaly but becomes darker with rounded intersecting ridges on mature trees [17,39]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Seed production: Black walnut produces abundant seed crops irregularly, perhaps twice in 5 years. Although open-grown trees produce seed as early as 8 years after planting, the minimum seed-bearing age for commercial quantities of seed is about 12 years. Best seed production begins when the tree is about 30 years old and continues for another 100 years [31,43]. Dispersal: Black walnut seed is heavy. The seeds are dispersed by squirrels carrying seed from beneath the tree and burying them at a distance [29,36]. Seedling development: Many black walnut seedlings germinate from the nuts cached by squirrels in the fall. Normal freezing and thawing usually causes the seeds to break dormancy the following spring, but germination is often delayed, sometimes until the second year [3,35]. Vegetative reproduction: Small black walnut trees usually sprout from the stump when they are cut or killed back by fire. Shoots originating high on the older stumps often decay, but shoots from the root crown generally are free from defect [22,43]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Black walnut is found on a variety of sites but grows best on deep, well-drained neutral soils that are moist and fertile [43]. It grows slowly on wet bottomlands, dry ridges, and slopes. Black walnut is common on limestone soils [9,10] and grows extremely well on deep loams and fertile alluvial deposits. Good agricultural soils are generally favorable sites for black walnut. In the Appalachians, the best walnut trees are found on bottomlands and coves below 4,000 feet (1,200 m) [5]. Principal associates are identified in the Distribution and Occurrence frame. Other common tree associates include American elm (Ulmus americana), hackberry (Celtis laevigata), green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), box elder (Acer negundo), and butternut (Juglans cinerea) [29]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Black walnut is classified as shade intolerant. In mixed forest stands, it must be dominant to survive, although it can survive in the relatively light shade of black locust [43]. Black walnut is found in many of the climax associations but because of its intolerance is not classified as a climax tree in the strict sense. In general, black walnut maintains itself in most stands as scattered single trees occupying openings in the canopy [15]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Black walnut normally begins flowering about mid-April in the southern part of its geographic range and mid-June in the northern part of its range. The fruit ripens in September or October of the same year, dropping shortly after the leaves fall [10,29].


SPECIES: Juglans nigra
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Black walnut is well adapted to fire. Mature trees have thick bark and naturally durable heartwood which make them relatively resistant to damage and decay following fire [32,34,43]. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2


SPECIES: Juglans nigra
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Young black walnut trees are typically top-killed by most fires [18,31]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Small 20- to 30-year-old black walnut trees will usually sprout from the root collar or stump when top-killed by fire. Sprouting is more erratic from trees 30 years and older [31,43]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Where the danger of fire exists, fuel buildup in young black walnut plantations should be reduced by removing grasses and weeds [1,31,42].


SPECIES: Juglans nigra
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