This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In January number, page 20, I noticed an article on black walnut. On its scarcity, value and its quick growth I just wished to speak, and of one in our neighborhood, this county. Two miles distant lives an old widow lady, eighty-seven years of age; there is a black walnut tree growing in her yard. She told me two months ago that she planted it in 1814, sixty-seven years ago. It measured around the trunk one foot from the ground, fifteen feet in circumference. At four feet from ground it was ten feet in circumference. The tree forks about ten feet from the ground, the body being nearly evenly divided. Each of these limbs separate again about nine feet higher. The tree has many large branches further up. It is about sixty feet in height. Of late years a good many limbs have been broken off by storms, ice and fruit. The old lady says that it was about two feet high when planted and had been bearing fruit about fifty-six or fifty-seven years, and she thinks the tree has made over five hundred bushels of walnuts. She told me that it frequently made ten to fifteen bushels in a year, and that she sold eight bushels of last year's crop, getting one dollar per bushel; some years more and some less.
No other trees near this one in the yard; soil, red sand clay; subsoil, rather poor; the ground always clean under the tree. Do not know anything about the sugar-making qualities of the walnut, but would say I did not think there was any sweetness about its bark. I remember digging the roots of black walnut for my mother to dye wool for making winter clothing; it was very customary when I was a boy. The bark of the roots dyes a very nice brown. Walnut is getting scarce in this neighborhood; such as is fit for furniture.