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Harvesting Tree Nuts

A Guide to Identifying and Harvesting Tree Nuts

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Tree nuts are tasty, healthy and – if you're willing to forage – can be obtained for free. Here's what you need to know to identify and harvest a variety of nuts:

1. Black Walnuts

blackwalnuts.jpg
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Nut Description: Black walnuts are housed inside yellowish-green and brown husks (similar in color to pears) that are about two-inches in diameter. They are further housed inside a tough shell that is dark black in color.

Harvest Time: September and October

Harvest Information: How to Collect and Process Black Walnuts

2. Chestnuts

Nut Description: Chestnuts are dark brown in color, smooth in texture, are pointed at one end, and have an oblong spot on the opposite end that is light brown in color. They are housed inside a spiny burr, which turns yellowish-brown and opens when the chestnuts are ready for harvest.

Harvest Time: September through December

Harvest Information: How to Harvest and Store Chestnuts
More About Storing Chestnuts

3. English Walnuts

englishwalnuts.jpg
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Nut Description: English walnuts are housed inside a greenish-black hull. They are further housed inside a tan shell. The nut itself is light brown to golden-brown in color.

Harvest Time: Late August through October

Harvest Information: How to Harvest English Walnuts

4. Pecans

pecans.jpg
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Nut Description: Pecans are housed in a brown oval to oblong shaped shell. The meat itself is brown in color and possess two-lobes.

Harvest Time: November

Harvest Information: How to Harvest Pecans

5. Pine Nuts

pinenuts.jpg
Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Nut Description: Pine nuts are tan in color, and are tear drop in shape. They are housed in a brown to reddish-brown colored shell.

Harvest Time: August and September

Harvest Information: Pine Nut Harvest

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