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Carpathian English Walnut (Juglans regia var. carpathian) is the king of walnut trees. In fact, its species name '– regia '– means kingly! Carpathian is a variety of English walnut, renowned for its buttery flavor and thin shells. And if you've ever tried to remove the outer husks of other walnuts and then attempted to crack their inner shells, you'll know the hard work that's required just to get to the delicious nuts inside! Carpathian Walnut is a different kind of walnut '– the kind you'd rather grow for a better-tasting alternative to the hard-shelled varieties! One Buttery Bite and You'll Wish You Planted More Trees. After only one taste of a Carpathian Walnut, you'll have discovered your new favorite treat! The rich taste of these walnuts is unlike any other type of nut you've tried.. Best of all, this highly prized delicacy can be yours for the harvesting '– right outside your back door '– when they fall from trees in autumn. Their distinct flavor adds to their versatility. They're equally tasty when eaten fresh, enjoyed in your favorite baked recipe, or folded into homemade ice cream! Increased Cold Hardiness. Compared to its English walnut relatives, Carpathian Walnut is more cold-hardy. It's a perennial in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 through 9., where it can handle temperatures as cold as minus 20 degrees F and still produce a bumper crop of walnuts! This is good news if you're a gardener in a cold northern climate where you've been unable to grow walnuts. Rest assured that the colder temperatures will not affect the quality of the walnuts that you harvest '– Carpathian Walnut is an outstanding performer year after year! Also Valued as a Shade Tree. You'll no doubt grow Carpathian for its fall harvest of walnuts, but you'll also enjoy a second benefit throughout the growing season leading up to harvest time '– it's an outstanding shade tree.! The natural growth of Carpathian Walnut forms a wide, spreading canopy that casts shade over a large area. underneath the tree. Although it's very slow to leaf out in spring, the leaves will be fully formed in plenty of time before hot summer weather urges you to pull up a chair and enjoy sitting in the shade of this tree. How to Increase Your Harvest. Each Carpathian Walnut tree has separate male and female flowers on the same tree, which makes it partially self-fertile. This means that the male flowers on each tree are able to pollinate some of the female flowers. But a single tree cannot produce a bumper crop of walnuts, because self-pollination is sporadic. The simple answer is to plant a different type of English walnut tree in addition to your Carpathian Walnut. The University of California-Davis recommends that you plant another type of English walnut with the same (or overlapping) bloom time as your Carpathian tree to maximize the harvest potential.. Because Carpathian and other English walnut trees rely on the wind to move pollen from male to female flowers, space your trees 30 feet apart so they are close enough to facilitate this cross-pollination process. Two Types of Flowers. When you notice long, pendulous structures hanging from your Carpathian Walnut tree in late spring to early summer (typically May through June), that's a sign that your tree is flowering! Although these structures, called catkins, may not look like flowers, they are indeed the male flowers. You may not even see the female flowers, which are smaller and yellowish-green. Sometimes, the flowers form around the same time that the leaves begin to emerge. If your climate has a late-spring frost, the flowers and tender new foliage could be damaged. So while your tree is still small, you may want to cover it with landscape fabric or a light sheet to protect it from a late spring cold snap that brings frost. Spring Flowers Yield a Fall Harvest. You will look forward all summer to harvesting your Carpathian Walnuts! But be patient, because the trees may not begin bearing nuts until they're at least 4 years old. Once Carpathian trees begin to bear, however, they typically continue to produce walnuts until they're 80 to 100 years old.! Depending on your growing region, September and October are the harvest months. And often, the leaves have already fallen from trees in autumn before the walnuts begin to drop. The husk-covered walnuts are substantial in size '– up to 2 inches long.. When ripe, the outer husk will easily fall away from the inner shell. Inside the shell, you'll find another surprise '– Carpathian Walnut kernels completely fill the shell., unlike other types of walnuts that have disappointing fills. Storage tip: Shelled Carpathian Walnuts hold their quality for at least a year in your freezer; unshelled, they'll last for several years in the freezer. Loaded with Health Benefits. Numerous medical university research studies support the many health benefits of walnuts. These heart-strengthening and brain-healthy nuts are packed with nutrients., but they're also high in calories. A recent study by Yale University Prevention Research Center finally put to rest the concern about adding lots of walnuts to your diet because of their high caloric content. Yale's researchers found that not only did the study's participants show a significant drop in their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels when they ate walnuts every day, but their weight did not increase with the additional calories from the walnuts. So, you can enjoy eating Carpathian Walnuts for the nutrients they provide ?… without worrying about weight gain! Walnut Trees and Their Effect on Surrounding Plants. You may have heard about the chemical that walnut trees produce, which can be toxic to certain plants. Although black walnut trees produce the highest concentrations of this chemical '– called juglone '– English walnuts, including the Carpathian variety, can also produce juglone in lesser amounts. The roots of walnut trees release juglone into the surrounding soil, and susceptible plants can die if the chemical comes into contact with them. Plants that are extremely susceptible to juglone include tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, blueberries, azaleas, rhododendrons, petunias, and peonies. Typically, the affected soil area is within the confines of the outer canopy of each tree; however, as the tree matures, this toxic area increases. As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to locate any juglone-sensitive plants at least 50 feet from the dripline of your mature tree. Many ornamental and edible plants are unaffected by juglone, so if you're in doubt about planting a certain specimen close to your Carpathian Walnut tree, you can call your local Cooperative Extension Office for advice. Container Plants underneath Carpathian Trees. The easiest way to enjoy plants underneath your Carpathian Walnut is to grow them in containers! These container plants will need to be shade-tolerant because of Carpathian's effectiveness as a shade tree, but you can brighten the entire area underneath your tree with shade-loving flowers, such as impatiens, or foliage plants, such as hostas. The leaves of Carpathian Walnut trees also contain small amounts of juglone, and some of this chemical will wash from the foliage after it rains. But this amount is typically insignificant and will not cause damage to your container plants. It's best to clear any fallen leaves or walnuts from pots so the juglone cannot accumulate. So Easy to Grow. You don't have to be a plant expert to grow Carpathian Walnut trees! They require so little maintenance to produce abundant harvests that they're a good choice even for beginning gardeners. Here are our horticulturist's best growing tips: • Sun and lots of it. . For your tree's healthiest growth and biggest harvest of walnuts, plant it where it receives full sun. • Deep, loose soil. . Because the Carpathian Walnut tree has a long taproot, it grows best in soil that is not compacted. • Transplanting. . Select a suitable site for planting your new tree; once its taproot begins to grow, it's not easily transplanted to another location. • Water. . Pay particular attention to your young tree during its first two years, watering it deeply at least every 7 to 10 days if there's not enough rainfall to supply 1 inch of water during that time. • Fertilizer. Your local Cooperative Extension Service can advise you on the specific fertility needs of your tree, based on a soil test they'll perform. If the test indicates a need for fertilizer, the best time to apply it is in early springtime.