The category of ‘Edible Nuts’ touts’ trees that grow hearty, healthy nuts and are very handsome and useful as shade trees. The black walnut produces nuts that are relished by cooks, it is also a large and stately shade tree, and the wood is used extensively in the lumber industry. But of all the attributes of nuts, health may be the star attraction. Researchers have found that people who eat nuts regularly have lower risks of heart disease. Nuts are one of the best sources of protein. They contain large amounts of fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Nuts are also high in plant sterols and the ‘good’ monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Almonds, pecans, walnut, and hazelnuts are all included in the index of heart healthy foods by the FDA.
As a general rule edible nut trees should be planted in well drained soils with good sun exposure. Nut trees generally prefer a neutral to slightly acidic soil pH. Nut tree pollen is not carried by insects like bees, but rather by the wind. Several varieties of edible nuts are self pollinating but most will produce more nuts with other nut trees of the same species are nearby for wind driven cross pollination. Heavy pruning is usually not needed. When the trees are very young remove branches that are very close together. Remove any dead or damaged branches as the tree matures. Nature Hills offers several varieties of edible nut trees and they are listed below.