Honeylocust and Black Walnut Tree Products within a Temperate Appalachian Silvopasture
Johnson, Jacob William
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Incorporating high-sugar varieties of honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos L.) or black walnut trees (Jugulans nigra L.) into pasture systems may improve soil and water quality, increase biodiversity, and diversify farm incomes. Studies of productivity and management are needed to understand the trees' potential. Research was conducted in the agroforestry demonstration plots at Virginia Tech's Kentland Farms to 1) estimate both the variability of seedpod yield and nutritive value from juvenile Millwood honeylocust trees, 2) measure changes in nutritive value and digestibility over-winter in Millwood and wild-type honeylocust seedpods, and 3) estimate black walnut biomass productivity, timber quality, nut production, and kernel quality in response to tree density and topography within an emulated silvopasture. Ground Millwood seedpods were comparable to whole-ear dent corn in terms of nutritive value. Both ground pods and seeds were highly digestible (78.7 and 96.3%, respectively) and low in fiber and lignin. Seeds, with over 20% crude protein (CP), have potential as a CP supplement. Millwood trees displayed alternate bearing patterns with 3-yr average yields of approximately 12 kg tree-1. Total aboveground biomass for black walnut trees planted on toe-slopes (109.0 kg) was 72% greater than at back slopes (63.2 kg) and nearly 3-fold more than at shoulder-slopes (37.6 kg). Nut yields ranged from 0 to 7.9 kg of dried, hulled nuts tree-1 year-1. All walnut trees displayed alternate nut bearing patterns and nut production was marked by high variability.
- Masters Theses