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Any hope for my walnut tree?

I bought this tree 2 years ago and planted it in the autumn. I didn’t make a massive hole around it but I did make sure I didn’t plant it to deep. The first year, it looked half dead. I removed all of the dead branches. The second year (this year) it started off looking quite good in spring and I had some hope but this is it now. I have watered it plenty and fed it. I have mulched and kept weeds away. Should I just give it up as a lost cause as it looks very sad now. More branches are dying off and there is a crack in the bark that doesn’t look great. I’d love to leave it and be patient but I don’t want to waste my time.

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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,163
    I have seen happier looking walnut trees in my time. 😕
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,630
    Even grass will compete for nutrients with young trees.  If you could create a wider gap around the tree that might help.  Make sure any mulch is kept well away from the trunk of the tree, otherwise it can cause rot.  

    Don’t give up on it yet.  We have a Sorbus that we planted two years ago.  I was ready to give up on it last year but it is finally looking happy and healthy, even though it has not grown much.  

    Once established Walnuts grow quickly.  
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,623
    I agree.   Clear away more grass and give it generous bucketfuls of water in dry periods and a good feed next spring.   Once it gets its roots down it will start to show more life up top so I would give it another year before giving up on it.


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 3,715
    edited August 2020
    I am worried about that large crack at the base.
    Not sure if tree is healthy or not.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,623
    Yes, but worth giving it one more year with a bit of help from better management.   It may heal itself or it may worsen.  Time will tell.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks for your help, I’ll be patient and clear some more grass away, move any mulch away from the trunk etc. Fingers crossed!

  • Not sure why these are on their side!
    here’s an update on the walnut. I gave it water when it was dry and cleared away competition around it. I also fed it a few times in the summer. However, the crack in the bark at the base of the tree has got longer and the bark is coming away from the wood to the right of the crack, right up to the edge of what you see in the picture. Is it time to give up on it and plant something new in its place?
  • Yes...remove asap. Cut your losses.
    If it is that bad now as a young tree it may linger a couple more years,  but will never be healthy/strong.
    If not already inside yet then bacteria, fungus, insects will get in and kill your walnut in due course.
    Shame.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • Thanks Silver Surfer. I’ll start with a younger plant next time as this was close to the size it is now when I bought it and had never looked good. 
    Joe
  • Incase there is disease in the roots I suggest you plant baby Walnut well away from rotten one.
    Good luck.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
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