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I'm renting a house and it has a walnut tree in the yard which has started dropping hundreds of walnuts all over the place. Picking them up by hand seems like it'd be messy and very slow. Is there a quick way to clean these things up? A scoop shovel doesn't seem to work too well with the grass.

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Buy a couple of these: google.com/products/… ...and relocate some "helpers" to your yard! :) – Doresoom Oct 21 '10 at 18:57
@Doresoom: I was going to suggest squirrels too. – Tester101 Oct 22 '10 at 16:25
When disposing of them don't put too many in one garbage bag, the garbage men won't appreciate your heavy nut sack. – Tester101 Oct 22 '10 at 16:44
We do have squirrels, they're just not getting the job done. and well played @Tester101 – Neth Oct 22 '10 at 17:05
I use a 9 iron and hit them into the field. Kids love to do it and it really improves your swing. – user15651 Oct 17 '13 at 12:31
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I have walnut trees. I think it was a butternut tree that fell down last year that was worse. Every year it left behind similarly sized nuts on the ground that oozed a sticky sap. I don't miss that tree at all.

A large plastic leaf rake works fine. Get them BEFORE the husks start to fall apart though, otherwise you have a black mess. Rake them into piles. Then I flip the rake upside down, and roll the pile of nuts onto the rake, while wearing gloves. Use it as a shovel, throwing them into a wheelbarrow. I hauled away a couple of loads last week, and I've got that many waiting there for me now.

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If you shake the nuts out of the tree, you will have to do this less often. This might be more difficult if it is a large tree. Also... Don't look up when you do it, and wear a helmet. And watch out for angry squirrels, you might shake them out too. – Tester101 Oct 22 '10 at 16:35
By the way, I would not add walnuts to your favorite compost pile. I dump mine into a wooded area on the side. – user558 Oct 23 '10 at 10:03

You need a Roller Nut Harvester!

alt text

Amazon also has the Nut Wizard, which has an infinitely better name, but it's $50 vs. $18.01 for the Roller Nut Harvester. Plus you can still tell your friends it's called the Nut Wizard and they'll never know.

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Whatever marketing genius that came up with that name needs a promotion! – Doresoom Oct 21 '10 at 19:40
I would have called this thing a nut roller. – Tester101 Oct 22 '10 at 16:27
Review from the link: "This thing works okay if you don't have as many acorns as we do to pick up. You have to go back and forth over the same area over and over in order to pick up a few nuts, empty them, then go again. We found a rake and shovel work a lot better for the many trees we have and trying to get them up fast so our horses wouldn't eat them. Also, I found the same item at half the price after I ordered and used them so I couldn't send them back (we ordered 2)." – David Mulder Jan 23 '15 at 22:38
If I had real chestnuts rather than horse chestnuts I'd try that widget. But realisticall, by the rime it's safe to harvest without a helment you may need to sift through grass and leaves to find the nuts... – keshlam Nov 9 '15 at 21:07

Can't you just rake them into piles, then scoop them up with your hands?


Or hire a squirrel.

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Don't hire any squirrels; all they'll do is bury the nuts & next thing you know you have hundreds of walnut trees. – Niall C. Oct 21 '10 at 19:01
+1 - Don't have walnuts, but I do this with acorns and it seems to work perfectly fine. Can't imagine it wouldn't work for walnuts as well. – Eric Petroelje Oct 21 '10 at 20:08
Well the walnuts are still in the husk, so they are nearly the size of a tennis ball and weigh probably as much as a baseball. It's a good bit for a rake to move around. – Neth Oct 21 '10 at 20:16

One great solution is to have someone else do it for you. You may be able to find someone who will actually pay you to come collect them. If you have no businesses near you that will buy them, you could just place an add on Craigslist for free (or cheap) you-pick walnuts.

Just make sure your homeowner's insurance is up to date if you're allowing people on your property.

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Use a garden rake turned upside down. The walnuts will go through the "hoop" and then be carried by the tines of the rake.

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Squirrels are like nut vultures. If you hang a feeder with peanuts and corn and set a salt lick up on a post, you will have a good supply of squirrels to combat the walnut problem for you.

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