In 1979 The University of California developed a new variety of walnut which was aptly named after Professor W.H. Chandler of U.C Davis. In California today, it is the most widely grown variety. The Chandler walnut is large, smooth, and oval shaped with a good shell seal. This variety of walnut is famous world over and is refuted for its high quality kernels which are quite light as well. In the following brief article we will look at some aspects of the Chandler walnut in a bit more detail.
Planting and growth habits.
It is grown in nurseries in grafted form which is the most popular method of propagation. The seedlings are transplanted to farmland after which the taproot takes hold in the ground after which growth to mature trees continues. Appropriate spacing is about 8 meters between rows and 3-4 meters between each tree. This is to create space for each tree to have enough sunlight at the same time ensures the maximum possible number per hectare. Nuts begin to show as early as year three or four of the grafted trees growth which is significantly earlier than other walnut varieties which start at about 6 years of growth. The tree is medium and semi-upright and bears fruit laterally. This means that a high tree density in a farm is possible.
The UC Davis fruit & nut research website describes the growth habit as vigorous. Chandler is late to leaf and bloom which reduces susceptibility to frost, walnut blight and codling moth compared to other varieties. The trees remain compact meaning it can be applicable in home garden situations.
Fruiting and Kernel/ Shell Qualities.
The shell is oval, smooth, light color, thin shell, becomes stronger in older trees. The Kernel is extra light color, easy removal in halves, not well filled and weighs about 6.5 grams.
The nut is large and very high quality. The fruit has good taste. Nut size is quite high, often between 32-36mm
This variety of walnut is harvested in the month of September or early October. The yield is strong as the Chandler walnut is heavy bearing. Yield on average 4.5 tons per hectare and irrigation easy reach and 6 tons per hectare of dry walnuts. Nuts for mass market for dried nuts and cells must be harvested quickly and not have to stand their ground for more than 3 days. This should be dried as soon after harvest, drying with hot air in order to allow nuts to preserve quality by maintaining humidity and improving its strength.
In summary the Chandler walnut is an overall excellent product for potential farmers and consumers. Its excellent color and halves coupled with few pest problems make it have an edge over most of the other competing varieties. It is no wonder it has a solid reputation and is the go-to variety for most farmers.