The opportunity to provide diverse, and high-value, products from this single tree species is at the heart of the eastern black walnut (Juglans nigra) research program at The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry (UMCA). In general, agroforestry practices place a strong emphasis on creating farming practices that integrate long-term perennial tree crops. This should create a more sound stewardship of natural resources. Black walnut is an ideal tree to meld with existing farming practices because:
- It is deep rooted so as not to be overly competitive for water and nutrients in use by adjacent crops;
- It leafs-out later than most trees and drops its leaves sooner;
- It has a fine leaf that produces a light shade and on the soil breaks down relatively quickly;
- And finally, it offers the potential for high economic returns.