Walnut Acreage Grows At Double-Digit Pace

Walnut Acreage Grows At Double-Digit Pace

Walnut acreage in California is continuing its rapid growth with 2015 estimates at 365,000 acres, according to the USDA. It continues a trend of steady growth, in which bearing acres have increased by 25 percent since 2009.


The state’s 300,000 bearing walnut acres and 65,000 non-bearing acres represent an increase of about 12 percent over 2013, according to the 2015 California Walnut Acreage Report. ‘Chandler’ leads with 104,450 bearing acres, representing more than half of the total. There were 33,002 acres of ‘Hartley’ (11%), 24,797 acres of ‘Howard’ (8.3%) and 23,293 acres of ‘Tulare’ (7.8%).

San Joaquin County had 33,950 bearing acres or about 14% of the total statewide. Butte County (29,279, 12%) and Tulare County (25,249, 10%) followed.

The numbers come from surveys of walnut growers compiled by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture also reported increased sales of trees to walnut growers last year in its 2015 California Walnut Nursery Sales Report.

The report uses surveys of nurseries to estimate the number of planted commercial acres by variety throughout the state. In 2015, nurseries reported selling 18,021 acres of walnut trees, an increase of about 5.5% over 2014.

In 2014, more than 17,000 acres of trees were sold, boosting sales over the previous year by 8.6%. The year before, sales had risen nearly 40%.

‘Chandler’ led the way in 2015, with 13,652 acres representing about three-fourths of all walnut tree acreage sales. ‘Tulare’ came in second with more than 2,500 acres and about 14% of sales. ‘Howard’ accounted for nearly 1,110 acres and about 6%.

Other varieties listed included ‘Franquette,’ ‘Hartley,’ ‘Ivanhoe,’ ‘Payne,’ ‘Serr,’ and ‘Vina.’