Genetically Superior Timber

Frequently Asked Questions
One of our research plots with over 2,000 new trees being tested.
One of our research plots with over 2,000 new trees being tested.

1. What are genetically superior trees?
Years of research have proven that trees of the same species will have diverse genetics that affect form (i.e. straightness), speed of growth, seed production and other traits. Using a scientific testing and selection process, we can offer superior trees that carry the best of genetic traits.

2. Are they as hardy as other walnut and black cherry trees?
In our experience, they are extremely hardy. Their resistance to disease is high and, with proper care, should experience no major disease problem.

3. Are there special requirements to grow these trees?
Proper care, use of tree shelters and site/soil selection – see page 6 for more details. A care and pruning guide is given with each order.

4. At what age will the trees reach maturity?
Under ideal conditions, genetically superior black walnut and black cherry trees can be harvested as early as 25 to 30 years, depending on the soil, weed and pest control, weather and other variables. Seedlings take about five to ten years longer. The age of the tree at harvest is actually determined by the size of the log you wish to sell.

5. When is the best time to plant?
In southern zones 7 and 8 you may plant dormant trees fall, winter or early spring (November thru April). In northern zones 4, 5 and 6, early spring (March, April and May) is the best time to plant. These dates apply to our White Oak and Curly Poplar trees as well. We have successfully planted 1 to 2 months later than these dates in the spring, but close attention to soil moisture is required on late season plantings. See our zone map or call us for more details.

6. How long can I hold the trees upon receipt?
Trees should be planted immediately upon receipt. If need be, trees can be held up to 3 days in a cool (not freezing) location out of direct sunlight. If trees need to be held longer than 3 days contact us for detailed storage instructions.

7. How far apart should they be planted?.
Walnut Grafts: plant at 15 ft. x 20 ft. spacing with no thinning in later years.
Walnut Seedlings: plant at 15 ft. x 20 ft. spacing with no thinning OR plant 12 ft. x 20 ft. spacing and thin after 10 years to 140 trees per acre.
Cherry Grafts: plant at 15 ft. x 15 ft. spacing and thin after 10 years to 140 trees per acre.
Cherry Seedlings: plant at 10 ft. x 15 ft. spacing and thin after 10 years to 140 trees per acre

8. Is there any guarantee? What if the trees die?
We guarantee the plants supplied are in live, healthy condition. Once plants have left our control it is up to you, the grower, to look after them properly and follow provided instructions. In the unlikely event any trees die within the first year, they will be replaced at a reduced price. Guarantee is located on our order form.

9. How are the trees shipped?
Superior seedlings and grafted trees are shipped dormant bareroot. This means the trees are dug from the field or removed from the containers when dormant and the soil is removed from the roots. Trees are packed with moist peat moss to ensure live, healthy roots and are shipped UPS/FedEx or may be picked up at the nursery.

10. How can I prevent deer from feeding on the trees?
The best way to prevent damage from deer and rabbits is to use tree shelters. Additional methods are included in the instruction manual. A mixture of two dozen eggs and a gallon of milk sprayed on the foliage has worked well to prevent deer browse.

11. If the trees grow too fast, will the quality of veneer suffer?
This is a common misconception. According to a study by the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory, they found increased lignin, higher specific gravity, darker color and better tooling characteristics in faster growing black walnut. Besides, it’s not the closeness of the grain but the variation that makes a beautiful veneer. Therefore, speed of growth has little to do with how attractive it is. Moreover, many veneer and furniture companies prefer the more uniform quality of plantation-grown hardwoods to provide consistency throughout their product lines.

Advanced Tree Technology has vast experience in the production and maintenance of black walnut and black cherry trees. 12. What is the expected average height and diameter of the genetically superior black walnut and black cherry trees?
At the present rate of growth, according to periodic measurements, we estimate that in 30 years the grafted trees will reach 50 to 90 ft. in height and about 18 to 25 inches in diameter. Genetically superior black walnut and black cherry seedlings should attain that size five to ten years later.

13. Why do the genetically superior trees cost more than common seedlings?
The genetically superior black walnut and black cherry trees are the culmination of almost three decades of research and development. Thousands of trees had to be planted and genetically selected before the product could be produced for retail purposes. Collecting scion wood, grafting, and operating greenhouses is very costly. The cost however, is negligible compared to the likely payback. Advanced Tree Technology has ongoing research and progeny testing, and are also planning more research and development projects in the future. We are constantly upgrading to the best reproduction methods available. We also consult with the U.S. Forest Service and various universities on tree improvement programs.

14. What kind of return can I expect when the trees are harvested?
According to a major midwestern university, black walnut prices have increased over 1,000 percent in the past 35 years. A prime veneer log could be well worth $2,000 to $5,000 or more in 30 to 35 years, if past trends continue.

15. What are tree shelters?
Tree shelters are the ideal way to protect your trees and speed growth at the same time. Statistics reported in the August 1988 issue of the Journal of Forestry show that tree shelters can boost tree height more than six times above normal in the first two years alone. They protect young trees from wind, hail and even drought, as well as from deer, rabbits and other animals. Also, when contact herbicides are sprayed around young trees, the shelters protect the lower leaves from any contact with the herbicide.

Under ideal conditions, genetically superior black walnut and black cherry tree grafts can be harvested in just 25 to 30 years. 16. What are the best soil types for the genetically superior black walnut and black cherry trees?
There are hundreds of soil types in which these trees grow well. Generally, any well-drained rich soil will suffice. Check the soil survey map for your area. If you send us the soil survey book for your county and the soil map of your site, we will give you recommendations based on our experience. There is no charge for this service. A soil survey of your county is available from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) which is a department of the federal government. This is a valuable tool when analyzing your site. Have your soil survey sent to us and we will help you determine suitability of your site, prior to planting.

17. “Proper care” has been mentioned several times. What is proper care?
Detailed instructions on proper care and maintenance will be provided when you purchase trees. In general, proper care involves use of mulch on newly planted trees, use of tree shelters, providing nutrients and water, proper and timely pruning, weed and pest control.

18. What government programs are available to help me?
Numerous programs on both the local and national level are available. Check with your district forester, your county extension agent and your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office for more information. Your initial plantation costs up to $10,000 may be tax deductible on your current year income. Any costs over $10,000 may be amortized over 8 years and deducted as well. Check out the following websites for detailed information: or

19. Where can I get technical help?
Advanced Tree Technology is experienced in all facets of production and maintenance of black walnut and black cherry trees. We plant, prune, fertilize and perform weed control on thousands of trees annually. If you need help, give one of our experts a call. K Ag Labs is a soil and plant test lab with many years of experience in genetically superior trees. We recommend you send them a soil sample to determine if you need additional fertilizer for your soil. Contact them at 920-426-2222.