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Again and again, inexperienced hobby gardeners are unsure whether a walnut should, may or must be cut - or whether this measure is counterproductive. Our guide explains.

A walnut tree should be pruned with care

Walnut tree as a pruning-sensitive plant

The fact is that the walnut is sensitive to cutting measures. It is a plant prone to profuse bleeding. That's why you have to wait for the right time - if you want to cut.

Note: The right time for pruning is late summer, between late August and mid-September.

If you start cutting the precious nut too early or too late, you risk serious damage. In the worst case, a walnut tree can die if done incorrectly. Of course, the wrong approach not only refers to the point in time, but also to the activity itself. Professional cutting is elementary!

But: Do you have to cut the walnut at all?

In and of itself, a walnut tree does not require regular pruning, at least not for the reasons that other plants are pruned, i.e. to increase yield and/or stimulate growth. In fact, the walnut thrives best when allowed to grow undisturbed.

But what can sometimes be necessary is a topiary - for example, if the walnut tree is sprouting unsightly branches or growing in an unfavorable direction. In such cases, you should already carry out a training or correction cut.

In short, pruning the walnut tree is not prohibited per se. However, due to the sensitivity of the plant, you should carefully consider whether a cut is necessary or whether you can do without it.

Practical tips for cutting a walnut

Here are some tips on how to proceed when cutting a walnut:

  • Don't cut too far away from the shoot or too close to the bud
  • always cut at an angle
  • Eliminate steeply growing shoots
  • remove shoots competing with the framework (lead shoots).
  • Align scaffolding drives of different lengths

Important: What you should generally avoid with a walnut tree is a radical cut.

In addition, it does not make sense to treat the wounds of the tree with tree wax (12.96€) and similar products after cutting (this is dangerous!). The walnut has extremely good self-healing powers that you should trust.

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