My walnut tree has lost more limbs this summer than I can ever remember in a single season. I see other limbs down around town and not just after a major storm. Is there something about our hot summer that is contributing?
Here’s what Jennifer Smith, Douglas County Extension agent, says:
Many walnut trees in this area have lost limbs because of the weight of their fruit in combination with drought stress. When we experience long periods of dry weather, wood becomes more brittle than normal. As the walnut fruits grow, they add weight and pressure at the point where the branch attaches to the trunk of the tree. Branch attachment failure occurs when the weight is more than the wood can bear. Watering your trees deeply and infrequently over extended dry periods will help to reduce this type of damage. Watering for an hour once a week is better than watering for 15 minutes every day.