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All you need to know about commercial walnut growing in New Zealand.

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About The New Zealand Walnut Industry Group Inc.

The New Zealand Walnut Industry Group is an incorporated society with membership available to anyone who is interested in walnuts in New Zealand. Our focus is on supporting commercial walnut growing. NZWIG’s aims include encouraging discussion and learning with publications (including your manual) and field days. We also initiate research projects and work with the research team as they search for answers to key questions for growers. NZWIG is not just for growers. We welcome all stakeholders in the walnut industry and draw on their interest and expertise.

Walnut People

Members call our group WIG, NZWIG and sometimes BIG WIG (The Committee). As well as processors and nurseries there are 70 active walnut growers in the group and their orchards range in size from about 50 to 4000 trees. The largest grower produced 40 tonnes in a year and the smallest 100 kilograms. We all love trees and have spent countless hours planting, pruning, mowing planning and caring for the orchards.  We love being involved in a natural environmentally sustainable industry. Except sometimes in the middle of busy harvesting activities. You can find out about membership here.

Best Conditions For Growing Walnuts In New Zealand

If you would like to grow walnuts commercially in New Zealand you need to have a site that meets these conditions;

  • Dry climate
  • Free draining soil to avoid root disease
  • Summer heat with low humidity
  • Cold winter chilling, walnuts originate from a continental climate
  • Shelter from wind, they produce much better in a sheltered environment. Also branches break easily in wind
  • Irrigation for the hot summer days

There is much more information about growing walnuts commercially, including a 60 page growers manual, in the members only section of this web site. 

Growers Manual

We have an extensive growers manual that runs to over 60 pages. The manual has the following sections;

  • Getting Started
  • Designing, Preparing and Planting
  • Planting Your Orchard
  • Managing Your Orchard
  • Ongoing Management
  • 2005 Guide To Research Projects

At present all printed copies of the manual have been sold but the digital version is available on this website to registered subscribers. (You can join.) The delivered cost of the most recent printed manual was $74 and we would print more if there is sufficient demand. 

Newsletters

From time to time our group produces informative newsletters that cover a wide range of topics.

Back issues are archived in the Members’ Library and the latest edition is publicly available here. Click below.

Recipes, Orchard Stories, About Us, Walnut Health Food

Interested in fresh New Zealand walnuts? We have another great site for you, called Walnuts Please.

Here are links to topics that you can find there;

Walnut Equipment For Sale

Click below for a list of new equipment providers. More detailed information, including videos, is available in the members area of this web site.

Research

Scientific research and field trials are an important function of our group.

  • A substantial research project into walnut blight was one of the first projects undertaken by NZWIG.
  • There are two ongoing field trials into walnut varieties including locally selected and three imported cultivars.
  • A more recent project is research into post harvest mould and fungi.
  • Support of members and subscriptions are important factors in enabling this work to continue. 

Sourcing Grafted Walnut Trees

River Terrace Nurseries of Brightwater near Nelson supply grafted walnut trees but only in commercial quantities.

Walnut Varieties Found In New Zealand

These images show the main varieties of walnuts found on commercial orchards, Rex and Meyric are the most common. 

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New Zealand Walnut Industry Group