Fernette is a walnut variety selected in France in 1993 as a cross between the Franquette and Lara varieties. Fernette is a late maturing, excellent aromatic walnut variety with very high, regular yields and good pollinating properties. This walnut variety needs low temperatures in winter for optimal yields. It is important to note the high frost resistance of this walnut tree, not only against deep winter frosts but also against late frosts in spring.
The Fernette walnut tree is a medium-sized and upright growing tree. The Fernette walnut cultivar requires less space for growth than, for example, the parent Franquette. The grafted walnut tree usually reaches a height of 6 to 8 m.
The yield of this variety is high because the branching occurs mainly in the vertical direction, which allows light into the crown and therefore promotes the flowers which is crucial for high yields.
The leaves grow alternately. When they sprout shortly after flowering, the foliage is brown-reddish in color. However, it turns dark green as the year progresses. The surface of the leaf feels leathery and somewhat oily-sticky and they smell aromatic. They are imparipinnate, i.e. 5-6 pinnate leaves up to 11-14 cm long sit on a leaf spindle, the extended petiole. The foliage of the Fernette walnut tree does not have any special autumn colors but turns pale green in autumn.
The Fernette walnut develops a pyramidal crown structure when young and has a more spreading, spherical crown in old age. Sufficient light enjoyment in the treetops promotes the formation of flowers and fruit. On closer inspection (preferably without leaves) it is noticeable that there is no dominant top shoot to be found. Fernette often forms 20 or more top shoots.
The Fernette walnut lends itself to high density planting, especially when cultivating Fernette for nut production. Fernette can be planted in a tree spacing of 4x8 meters to 9x9 meters, whereby it should be noted that the narrow spacing is more suitable for hedge cultivation forms, the slightly wider one for traditional cultivation and spacing forms.
The optimal tree spacing therefore produces a required number of trees per hectare of 123-313 walnut trees.
Fernette sprouts late and flowers late. The flowering of the walnut tree occurs between April 25th - May 5th (depending on the geographic region).
Fernette is a protandrous variety, meaning male flowers bloom slightly earlier than female flowers. The male flowers open in cylindrical dust catkins up to 15 cm long, which previously hibernated naked and are therefore more and more visible from late summer until they sprout. On the other hand, the inconspicuous female flowers only appear when the leaves emerge on this year's shoots, namely at the end of the sprout in groups of 1-5 (single or in clusters).
Late budding usually protects against damage in late frosts. Fernette is therefore particularly suitable for areas with low winter temperatures, late spring frosts or generally climatically unfavorable locations on the plains and in the low mountain ranges. In addition, the walnut tree has good frost resistance.
Fernette is dichogamous, i.e. male and female flowers of the same tree do not coincide in time for fertilization. A good pollinator for Fernette is Fernor. About 10% Fernor pollinator trees are recommended.
The Fernette cultivar has early rich yields (significantly higher than Franquette). The type of fruiting is lateral (infructescence on side shoots). This leads to a regular and very high yield and allows the tree to bear significant fruit from an age of around 4-5 years.
The yield per tree in an age of 5-7 years is on average about 16-20 kg per tree and 2-6 tons of dried nuts per hectare depending on the planting distance, intensity of care and quality of the location.
The fruits of the Fernette walnut tree are some of the most beautiful and best among all walnut varieties.
They are large, spherical and beautifully shaped. Under optimal conditions, the nuts can become as large as 36 mm in diameter. The core-filling nuts have an average weight of 11-12 g. They are easy to crack and can be removed cleanly from the shell. They are easy to dry and store.
The nut kernel is remarkably light in color with a degree of kernel whiteness of 80 - 85%. The tasty core fills the skin well with a core content of up to 47%. The shell of the nut is thin-walled and easy to open.
The Fernette walnut has a nut kernel with high nutritional value and significant health properties. The nut kernel contains of 64% fat, 20% protein, lots of vitamins and plenty of minerals (including potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus).
In Australia, where Fernette is a widely grown walnut variety, this walnut received the highest overall flavor scores.
The fruits of the high-bearing walnut variety ripen from end of September to mid-October. Shortly before the fruit ripens, there is still a thick, green pericarp. The fruit is ripe only when the husk bursts and the nut falls out. The kernel tastes mild and sweet.
Fernette is a particularly frost-hardy walnut variety. It has no special demands on the local climate or the soil. The walnut tree has good resistance to anthracnose and to bacterial blight. In good locations with good conditions Fernette is a healthy walnut variety.
Walnuts Bulgaria has many years of experience in planting and growing walnut saplings. To help with your plans and goals, we provide you with this online calculator. Please note that it is recommended to use 3 - 10% (of the total amount of trees) of the pollinator variety Fernor.
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