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Questions like "I want to cut my walnut tree completely. Is that possible?" can often be read in tree forums. The basic tenor of the respondents is basically always the same: it is generally not recommended to radically cut a walnut. We, too, are of the opinion that you should refrain from extreme pruning measures for a walnut tree. Find out why in this guide!

A walnut tree should only be pruned radically in an emergency

The walnut tree - a cut sensitive little one

Walnut trees are always sensitive to pruning. It's in their nature. They tend to bleed profusely - that is, a lot of tree sap leaks from wounds. This can become a problem, especially if the hobby gardener cuts too much and at the wrong time.

Just before winter or during potentially frosty months you should never cut your walnut, this could cause serious damage. It is ideal to prune walnut trees in late summer, between late August and early September. During this time, comparatively little sap circulates in the tree fibers.

But: Before an intervention, always ask yourself whether it is necessary to cut the walnut tree at all. In itself, this tree species requires no pruning at all.


  • The tree grows unfavorably.
  • It is damaged by natural influences (e.g. a storm).

Only in such cases do you have to use pruning shears or a saw to cut your walnut tree.

What a radical cut can do to the walnut

The fact is - experts agree on the basis of their experience: A radical cut shortens the life of the walnut tree considerably.

For this reason, we recommend that you refrain from taking such extreme measures if they are not absolutely necessary.

Unfavorable growth forces radical pruning

If the walnut tree threatens to become dangerous due to its growth (and possibly an incorrectly chosen location when planting), you are obliged to act.

Note: Possible dangers are, for example, that the branches of the tree reach houses - or that the tree obstructs road traffic.

How to proceed correctly when cutting the walnut

We recommend that you react early if there is an imminent danger from the walnut - in order to be able to make smaller cuts regularly and to be able to do without a radical cut.

  1. Carry out a test cut (tree sap check).
  2. Cut professionally.
  3. Divert cut branches to smaller shoots.
  4. Wounds may be a maximum of ten centimeters in size.
  5. Leave tree to heal on its own (no wax!).

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