Nurturing Our Native Nuts

Travel through the timber almost anywhere in the country and you’ll find a good number of native nut trees. The abundance of nut-bearing trees and shrubs benefit wildlife as well as humans.

Nut-bearing varieties:

  • oaks
  • beeches
  • hickories
  • butternuts
  • chinquapins
  • black walnuts
  • wild pecans
  • pinyon pines
  • American chestnuts

USES: Mast-producing trees are important in wildlife diets. These trees and shrubs also provide wood used for flooring, paneling, furniture, and other items. Not to mention the culinary appeal of certain nuts used in ice cream, cookies, nut bars, soups, breads and dressings. The human uses and economic potential of nut bearers are only parts of the whole picture.

Landowners, club members or sportsmen with regular access to a given piece of land can do critters and themselves a huge favor through simple, commonsense steps to nurture nuts.

Nurture your land

1. Survey the acreage and identify nut trees by walking it and marking trees to familiarize yourself with the land
2. Analyze your results and consider the following questions:

-Is each tree worthy of support?

-What sort of spacing is needed in situations where there are several small trees?

-How does a given tree fit into your overall plan for the land?

3. Create elbowroom for existing preferred nut trees by removing competing vegetation
4. Add fertilizer to support the growth of young trees and to boost mast on mature trees

Any time you take steps to improve the land, with nurturing nuts being one with immense potential over time, you are involved in meaningful, rewarding management.

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