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Structural Pruning on a Walnut

By Xander Rose

I worked on an aesthetic and structural improvement to a nice, healthy, and attractive English walnut in the orchard at Raintree Nursery. The tree is quite productive of nuts as well. So, anyway, I thought I should do something easy and straightforward to improve this great tree! I took out one branch and it made all the difference!

Structural Pruning on Walnut

Fig 1. Walnut tree before pruning.


Structural Pruning on Walnuts

Fig 2. Walnut tree after pruning.


Here is what I did:

First, I made a wedge cut so that the branch wouldn't tear off the trunk, causing damage that couldn't heal (Fig 3.).  Then a good cut, that can heal, is made at the branch collar (Fig 2.)

Finally, having judged the branch too hefty, I cut it back about halfway from the outside before finally cutting from above (Fig 5.). It would have been safer to have cut the branch back even farther with a jump cut, but fortunately the cut was a clean success.

Structural Pruning on the Walnut

Fig 3. A wedge cut.


Structural Pruning on the Walnuts
Pruning on a Walnut

Fig 4. A cut at the branch collar.


Pruning on Walnuts

Fig 5. Successful final cut.


Ha! Now the tree has a more appealing form. More practically, the damp trunk will dry out and grass control under the tree's limbs will be easier.

I find it's a grand walnut. I hope this cut was not too radical for the tree. Pardon me, tree, my learning! Hot dry weather allowed it in my mind. Trees can heal when the cut is clean and conditions are dry.

Live long lordly walnut! I wanted only to inflict that calculated blow.

Thank you for reading! There will be many more pruning blogs to come!


Happy growing! Because, after all, change is the only constant. -Xander Rose