Why English Walnut Didn’t Set Fruit
15 year old tree-great producer. This year, not a single nut. Any ideas? Thanks
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This could have happened for a few reasons.
First, this tree has both male and female flowers. If the male flowers did not bloom well at the same time as the female flowers, then you would have reduced or even no fruiting.
A late spring cold snap may also be to blame. The flowers are far more tender than the leaves and branches, so while the tree itself would ahve looked fine, if you got frost after the flowers opened, that would ahve killed them and then you would have no fruit.
Another possibility is that the tree has passed its fruiting maturity. Trees, like animals, have a life span and a set amount of time it can produce. It is possible that your tree has just gotten too old to produce. But, normally, if this is the case, you would have seen a gradual decline in production over the past few years.
Poor conditions may also have been to blame. High heat and humidity during pollination can make the pollen sticky and clump up, which makes it difficult for the pollen to get from the male flowers to the female flowers.