Cut back walnut trees after planting to promote vigorous
shoot growth. Newly planted trees should be headed back
to 4 or 5 buds above the bud union, about 15 to 24 inches
from the ground. Remove obvious crossing limbs and suckers.
As the trees begin to grow in spring, the uppermost shoot
should be trained up a stake until it reaches 4 to 5
feet. At that point, the leader should be headed back
to encourage side branching. The side branches that develop
from the headed leader will become the primary scaffold
limbs. These should be developed during the first summer
growing season. Use care when staking the tree. Tie firmly
but recheck occasionally to see that the ties are not
too tight, girdling the tree.