152b Hybridwalnut Belgium
1585 Briertown Road, East Earl PA

Walnut trees (Juglans) readily crossbreed with one another.  Reginigra Walnut is a hybrid of garden origin, between Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) and English Walnut (J. regia). The hybrid tends to be superior to either parent species by being more tolerant of drought, less sensitive to spring frosts, less susceptible to anthracnose, and more vigorous in growth.

When this now-departed specimen in East Earl was measured in 1991 (trunk circumference of 187 in., height of 98 ft., spread of 97 ft.), it was the largest Intermediate Walnut, and the fourth largest walnut of any species, in the state of Pennsylvania.  Even today, almost 30 years later, it would still be the state champion Reginigra (pabigtrees. com).

In an error of judgement, the tree was taken down in 2000-2001 after being struck by lightning; once felled, it was seen to be still healthy and strong.  Then, not realizing the value of the wood, property owner Harvey Souder gave away the fallen tree in exchange only for enough wood to make grandfather clocks for each of his three children. The recipient of the timber then sold the remaining wood to a third party for $10,000. This last person then fashioned furniture and craft items from the rare wood that eventually sold for a cumulative total approaching $100,000.

No photo of the tree exists today but it was located to the right of, and stood higher than, the pictured silo.  

[The photo below shows a Reginigra Walnut in Belgium that is probably similar to what our tree looked like.  The third, slightly fuzzy photo shows the leaves of J. nigraJ. intermedia, and J. regia, from left to right.  The photo is from “Juglans intermedia:  An Interesting Finding,” by M. Hrib, Jaroslav Koblizek, & Petr Madera (2019).]


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