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March 05, 2021 3 min read

 Folks have used wild black walnuts to make medicine for centuries. They have a bold flavor and have the highest protein content than any other nut tree. Black nut trees are also incredibly versatile and find their way into sweet and savory recipes. They also have incredible health benefits and can be used as hair dye or to treat wounds. Beyond that, their nuts, shells, and wood are used in crafting furniture, gun stocks, and many other industrial applications.

If you want to cultivate this all-natural and sustainable nut, that is an excellent choice. However, if you live in an area with a high deer population, you might ask – do deer eat black walnuts?

Deer-resistant black walnuts

Deer do not usually eat black walnuts because their nuts are too hard to crack. Black walnuts also make a great cover scent against deer and other mammals. Deer do not like that pungent smell that their shells give off.

Deer will also eat tiny small walnut seedlings and sprouts from stumps. In most cases, deer may leave your black walnut trees alone once the plants before woody. In that case, you may consider tree guards, shelters, bud caps, wire cylinders, and netting to protect your young walnuts. Once your trees are mature, you can get the covers out.

However, there is another way; deer can destroy your black walnut trees. Deer usually rub their bucks and antlers against the bark of trees. If this behavior is unchecked, it can cause injury to the tree, which eventually kills it.

Deer can also eat from your black walnut trees during the winter months. At such time, the deer diet is made of woody parts, including twigs, bark, and leaves. Therefore, you should protect your black walnut trees from deer.

Adding a repellent to your young walnut trees are also excellent to keep deer away. However, you need to rotate your repellents to keep deer from becoming familiar with them. Besides repellents, you can also consider fencing your property to keep deer out completely. Make sure you choose a fence of over 8 feet. If you decide to use a shorter wall, ensure you are using a double or slanted fence.


There is one reason you may not consider cultivating black walnut trees. Walnuts secrete juglone, which is a chemical that kills too many plants. If you are considering planting them, then you should consider plants that can grow well under them. Fescue and raspberries are great examples.

However, do not that black walnut as shade around your home might be a good idea, but also note that some people and horses are sensitive to the walnut pollens.

Concluding thoughts and more reading…

Do deer eat black walnuts? Deer do not eat black walnuts, except as a last resort. Deer may also eat black walnuts, if young enough. Nevertheless, deer can kill a black walnut tree like other trees if it rubs its buck against it. Therefore, you may want to protect your black walnut trees at any age to protect your harvest.

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