The Franquette walnut tree is one of the oldest and most well-known European walnut varieties. This walnut variety was selected in 1786 in the historic province of Dauphiné and is particularly popular in France. Franquette is still one of the most widespread walnut varieties in Europe.
The Franquette Walnut buds late and blooms late, growing vigorously with an ascending crown. The tree gives beautiful nuts with an excellent taste. With its budding, this high-yielding strain combines good health and resistance to bacterial and fungal diseases. Franquette is therefore suitable for locations susceptible by late frost and in climatically rather unfavourable regions. In walnut orchards, Franquette is particularly used as a pollinator variety for Chandler.
The Franquette walnut is a strong-growing, broad-crowned walnut tree. Depending on the location, it usually reaches a height of 10-20 m in old age with approximately the same width.
Franquette has 5 or 9 elliptical to oblong green leaves on each petiole that are nice and fragrant when crushed.
The Franquette walnut tree has a pyramidal crown structure when young and develops a translucent, spreading, spherical crown with age. Its dark green, pinnate leaves are lightly scented. You can support the crown build-up in the first few years.
Franquette is a late and robust variety. It sprouts late and blooms late. After the leaves sprout, the male and female flowers appear. The male flowers are held in an inflorescence that has the shape of a pendulous catkin. The female flowers sit in few-flowered inflorescences.
The flowering period usually coincides with the beginning of the tree's vegetation, usually male flowering time around May 1st and female flowering time around May 13th (depending on geographic region and varying from year to year).
Due to the late sprouting, Franquette is tolerant to late frost and is particularly suitable for areas with low winter temperatures, late spring frosts or generally climatically unfavourable locations.
Pollination is mainly by the wind. For effective pollination, it is recommended to plant another species nearby. A good pollinator variety for Franquette is Chandler, for example.
In walnut orchards Franquette is particularly used as a pollinator variety for Chandler. Depending on the planting scheme 1 to 3 Franquette should be planted for each 30 Chandler walnut trees.
The Franquette walnut produces regular and high yields. The first yield can be expected as early as the 3rd year, but a substantial yield is only achieved from around the 7th or 8th year.
Harvesting of the nuts can begin when the green shell bursts open and the nut falls out. A middle-aged Franquette walnut tree in good locations usually yields a harvest of 30 to 50 kg. A 25-year-old Franquette tree carries about 50-75 kg of nuts. Walnuts usually bear fruit annually (no tendency to alternation). Franquette is one of the terminally bearing varieties.
Franquette forms medium-sized oval-shaped walnuts with a weight of 9-12 g and dimensions of approx. 4.5 cm in height and approx. 3.8 cm in width.
The kernel is light brown in colour, medium-sized and full-seeded. The kernel weight is 5.5 g on average, the kernel percentage is 45%. Nut quality is excellent. With its high-quality oil with lots of unsaturated fatty acids, it is extremely tasty, nutritious and healthy. The fruits of the Franquette walnut exude a sweet, tart, aromatic taste without a bitter aftertaste and are suitable for consumption. It is one of the most popular table nuts.
The nuts have a thin and tightly closed shell. The skin of the fruit is somewhat knobby, heavily grooved with a classic appearance, easy to crack and core.
The best time to harvest Franquette walnuts is when the outer green fleshy covering opens, revealing the woody fruit and the nuts falling to the ground. The ripening period is usually between the end of September and the beginning of October.
Franquette is very frost-resistant and can also be planted in very wind-exposed locations without any problems. The walnut tree has good resistance to anthracnose and bacterial blight (more susceptible on acidic soils). The walnut tree is largely resistant to late frost.
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