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Mike's Blog - Day 147

The old walnut tree for you today Juglans regia.

Here is the distinctive bark.

Like the monkey puzzle, this tree was planted along time before the Botanic Garden was created, probably over 150 years ago.

It gets quite a few walnuts on it, but our summers and early autumns are often too cold and wet for them to do well.  The walnuts are inside the hard woody shell, which is in turn inside a tough fleshy green shell, as you can see.

The green shell is difficult to remove and sometimes we give them to unsuspecting apprentices to try and open. There is a yellow die in the shell which stains your hands yellow.

Another problem is grey squirrels. They seem to try a walnut before it is ripe, then try another and so on. The ground is already covered in what must be half of the crop.

The squirrels do the same with the hazel nuts too.