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.
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.
You need a Roller Nut Harvester!
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.
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.
My neighbor has an English walnut tree planted near the fence. So when it's windy, the nuts fall into my backyard. One year I gathered them all up and removed the hull. I dried them out in the sun, froze them and had walnuts for the next holiday season. It was very messy and black tannin stain were all over my gloves. They are hard to crack open so I used a hammer. It's a long process for the 3-4 dozen you've harvested. Don't do this without gloves! I used a good strong blower to get them into a corner (or garbage can), scoop them up with a shovel. Don't let the squirrels have any or you'll have more trees
I use a landscapers rake, like they use to rake off top soil. Rake them into workable piles and use a coal shovel to load them into a trailer. I take the trailer waaay out into the woods and dump them. So far this seems to work the best. I have cut down several of the trees, but still have several huge ones left. Definitely wear a hard hat while doing this. It's like having a baseball dropped on your head from 30' up.
I use a dog poop scooper to pick up the walnuts in my yard. The kind of scoop that as you pull the handle the bottom opens up and when released closes shut. Best to use one with a long handle and larger scoop which allows you to pick up more than one at a time and you do not have to bend over that much. I use a small kitchen garbage can lined with a plastic bag and therefore I do not have to even touch them. The bags get pretty heavy so I fill only as much as I can carry. Good luck! Hope this helps someone make an unpleasant job a little better.