Combined sales of walnut trees to California growers were 6,444 acres for the 2021 crop year and 10,650 acres for the 2020 crop year. The majority of tree sales in 2021 were Seedlings, at 62% of new plantings. The Chandler variety came in second at 30%. For 2020, Seedlings were the largest percentage of new plantings at 58%, with the Chandler variety coming in second at 35%. The remaining percentages by variety can be seen in the pie charts. Based on reported nursery sales data, planted walnut acreage for year 2021 was down by 12,471 acres from just five years prior. The table below reveals a steady downward trend in walnut nursery sales in the last several years, likely correlated with increased global competition, softening prices and drought conditions in the state.
The primary objective of the California Walnut Nursery Sales Report survey is to estimate planted acres by variety for the 2020 and 2021 crop years based on the number of walnut trees sold for new plantings. This report summarizes data supplied by California nurseries throughout the State who sold to walnut growers for commercial plantings. Results from this survey will be used in conjunction with the Walnut Acreage Survey to estimate the walnut acres in California.
Questionnaires were mailed to all known walnut nurseries in California, and responses were received from most operations. Nurseries that did not report data were estimated. The nurseries were asked to report the number of trees sold by variety for commercial plantings, and to estimate the percentage of trees sold for new plantings. Acres planted by variety were then estimated based on the data reported. Acre estimates were calculated using the reported number of trees sold, along with the trees per acre by variety from the Walnut Acreage Survey.
The USDA, NASS Pacific Regional Office sincerely appreciates the nurseries for providing the information. A special thanks goes to the California Walnut Board for providing funding and support for this special Walnut Nursery Sales Report survey.