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.

  • 3
    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, 2013 at 12:31
  • 2
    Hire chipmunks.
    – DMoore
    Nov 9, 2015 at 19:35

11 Answers 11


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.

  • 2
    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, 2010 at 16:35
  • 1
    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, 2010 at 10:03

You need a Roller Nut Harvester!

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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.

  • 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)." Jan 23, 2015 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, 2015 at 21:07

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


Or hire a squirrel.

  • 1
    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, 2010 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. Oct 21, 2010 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, 2010 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.

  • I really like the money making idea! Great lateral thinking!!!
    – FreeMan
    Oct 4, 2021 at 13:12

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


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.


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.


I use a reacher/grabber. It can be time consuming but effective. The walnuts can be pitched into a bucket, a waste can, etc. There is a valley where I live and the walnuts can be pitched there. The squirrels will find them.


I rake them up in large piles and scoop them up with a snow shovel and put them into the front end loader on our tractor or a lawn cart and dump them in the woods. I bought a Nut Wizard, but I am not sure that I don't prefer the other method.

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