When we moved into our home back in 2001 we loved the large shade tree in our backyard. It provided amazing shade to most of our house and yard. I'm sure at some point our realtor told us it was a Walnut tree, but I surely don't remember it. I should have listened more carefully.

Walnut trees are messy, dirty, trees. There is no getting around it. One of the first home improvements we did on our house is installing gutter guards after suffering through the first fall of leaves and branches from our tree, littering our gutters and eaves. They were everywhere! And when they got wet it was even worse. But what is far worse than that is being bombarded by walnuts.

Walnut trees vary by year in the number of walnuts they produce. In our experience, it has been one year on, one year off cycle. One year you won't have to pick up hardly any from your yard. But the next year, get ready! You'll be scooping them up with a shovel. I'm not kidding. I'm done that in my backyard before. I knew that this year was going to be an 'on' year for our tree. I got confirmation yesterday when I mowed the lawn and had to begin picking them up so I didn't mow over them. They have already begun falling. The recent heavy rains and winds have pushed the first group to the ground. The picking up won't end until late fall.

I've had several estimates on taking our big Walnut tree down. Usually after a year like we're about to have. A long, dirty, walnut filled year.