I bought a house recently (Southern Indiana) and only just realized that there may be some walnut trees on the property. At least, something likes to drop these large seeds on my shed and make a very loud noise. They are triple layered, and the inside definitely looks like walnuts, but they are quite small

I'm not an expert so I'd like to understand if these are walnuts and, if so, if they are healthy. I'm pretty sure they have a small "crop" this year (it has been fairly dry) but the speckling on the leaves makes me worry that they are diseased.

If I can do anything to help them for next year I would definitely do so.

Leaves (sorry I forgot to add something for scale, but these are large leaves)

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Trunk: the area is a bit overgrown, so it has plenty of vines

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Outer and inner "shell"

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Finally the nut. This one didn't split in a helpful direction, but it definitely looks like a small walnut

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Here's a better view of the trunk, which (based on some additional reading) seems like it conclusively identifies it as a shagbark hickory. Assuming that is correct, is there something wrong with my tree given the spots on the leaves and fruit?

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1 Answer 1


As you've noted, you have a shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) tree, not a walnut. The nuts are difficult to crack but delicious. This is good news because the tree is not allelopathic, which means that it won't kill nearby plants like a black walnut will. It's also a stronger tree and less likely to drop a branch (or three) for no reason at all. What you've pictured of the tree looks fine, so I wouldn't worry about the speckled leaves.

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