benali
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What tree are these nuts from?

Does anyone happen to know what tree these nuts are from? They measure about one inch across.

I'm in the great lakes region/midwest. These are fairly common. I'll try seeing what tree they fall from if I can (always useful to identification).

Meanwhile, if anyone here knows... thanks!
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MarcP2
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Re: What tree are these nuts from?

Purely a guess but it kind of looks like a black walnut.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: What tree are these nuts from?

Agree! They are covered in a greenish/ yellowish pithy coating when they fall from the tree. They stain your fingers black if you touch them... For daaaaaaaaaaays. They are very tasty though! I have 2 cake recipes that use black walnut, and that particular flavor cannot be reproduced.

The pith rots off and the outside she'll looks like that.

I just love their flavor, but they are a real pain in the hinny to work with.

Also, other plants don't like them. She's a real snob of a tree.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

benali
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Location: Zone 5b

Re: What tree are these nuts from?

Thanks for the replies. It might be a black walnut. I'll look at the trees where I found these nuts and try to figure it out.

One thing I did notice -- the area where the nutmeg would reside inside the nutshell is smaller than the shelled nutmegs you buy at the store. In googling, I found that most walnuts you buy at the store are "English walnuts" not "black walnuts." So, maybe black walnuts have smaller nutmegs?

Thanks again for your help.

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!potatoes!
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Re: What tree are these nuts from?

yup. black walnuts. i don't believe i've ever heard nutmeats referred to as nutmegs before. interesting.

the thing about english/persian walnuts is that the nuts you buy are mostly from specific cultivars, which are bred for, among other things, more meat and being able to crack out larger pieces (halves and quarters). there have been black walnut cultivars developed that do that better, but breeders haven't been working on black walnuts for anywhere near as long, so most varieties have thicker shells and meats that come out in smaller pieces. of course the neighborhood trees those nutshells probably came from are unselected wild trees, with no intentional breeding in their background (so even thicker shells/smaller nutmeats).

for eating, you would want to remove the green hull as soon as possible after the nut falls, as it can leach a bitterness into the nutmeats. then dry and crack. a good black walnut has a kind of black cherry taste going on.

benali
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Location: Zone 5b

Re: What tree are these nuts from?

Yes, you all are right. It's black walnuts, I can tell for certain by the trees they're falling from.

Nutmegs .... yes, that's what everyone called them where I grew up. Of course, we all also pronounced the R in WASH, so it could well be we're wrong about this too! :wink:

Thanks for all the interesting background information. Though I realize it'd be lots of activity for little result, it would be fun to try to process a few of these wild black walnuts sometime and taste that black cherry flavor. Cheers.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: What tree are these nuts from?

Wear gloves. The kind that don't bleed through. Latex or nitrile or plastic. They stain VERY BADLY. And it persists.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What tree are these nuts from?

By the same token, if you are in to home dyeing fabrics, yarn etc, the black walnut makes a nice brown dye.
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