Pence Select Walnut Trees

It all started in 1987 on a sprawling farm on the Wildcat Creek near Lafayette, Indiana containing river bottom, terrace and upland soils all ideal for growing high-quality walnuts. After substantial planning and research, 44,000 Indiana State Nursery Seedlings were planted on 120 acres in the Spring of 1989.

This large scale planting has been closely managed at every step – correctly trimmed and properly thinned. Inferior, cull, poorly formed, and slow growing trees have been removed. About 11,000 trees remain. We call the very best 200 trees life in our plantation Pence Select trees from which we are now offering Pence Select seedlings.

What makes Pence Select unique is that they’re from a plantation where every square foot has been managed identically. The only variation in tree performance is tree genetics and soils.

It’s been a lot of work, but fun too – to take my life-long interest in walnuts – and turn it into an opportunity for others to enjoy. There’s just something special about a gorgeous Walnut tree!

Updated: March 25, 2024



Cost of each tree in quantities of:
Species Age* (years) Height (inches) 5 – 29 30 – 99 100 – 399 400 & up
SALE Pence “Select” Walnut 1-0 12/22 $5.50 $3.00 $1.50 xxxx

Questions for Hensler Nursery?



Business Hours

Monday — Friday
7AM – 3:30PM CST

Send Us Your Order

P.O. Box 58, 5715N 750E, Hamlet, IN 46532


Questions for Hugh Pence?



Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Pence Select so special?

Pence Select seedlings are the “best of the best” of a large genetic pool source. The original stock is from the Indiana State Nursery at Vallonia (Southern Indiana) whose seed source comes from nuts gathered over a wide area. The result? Seedlings from our Pence Select trees, unlike those from a narrow genetic pool, offer the greatest opportunity for good performance on a wide range of sites – plus the expectation for well above average growth and form.

Out of the 44,000 trees originally planted and the 11,000 remaining after 25 years of thinning, Pence Selects are chosen from the very best 200 trees! The trees are selected on overall balanced form, straightness, clear trunks, full tops, and, of course, rapid growth rate. All Select trees have the potential to make a veneer quality log. Almost all of the top 200 trees are growing .50 inches per year or more. You would have to see the plantation to fully realize the truly unique situation of selecting beautiful trees from this environment!

What is an ideal Walnut site?

Walnuts prefer well-drained, nearly neutral sandy loam to silt loam soil types, with mellow subsoils that allow for deep root developtment. Soil types with hard pans or extremely dry or extremely wet soils are not good choices for planting Walnut trees.

Where should I plant Pence Selects?

These trees should perform well throughout the heart of the corn belt. It’s usually recommended not to plant trees more than 150 to 200 miles north or south of their seed source; therefore, planting our trees on the very northern or southern part of the Walnut range is at your discretion and judgement.

Should I plant other hardwoods with Walnuts?

A mixed stand of hardwoods, including Walnut, most likely fits many tree planting sites, and allows each species to develop as the soils on that site dictate. If your planning site is particularly suited for Walnut, a high percentage or even 100% of the property could be planted in Pence Selects.

What else is important besides genetics and soils?

For a successful planting, excellent weed control is an absolute must! Design your planting by spacing your trees so weed control and other needed cultural practices can be easily accomplished.

Why pay a premium for Pence Selects?

You are only going to plant a given site once! So give yourself the best chance of success by planting fast growing, high quality Pence Select seedlings grown by one of he best nurseries in the Midwest.

Where should I go for advice?

Professional private consulting Foresters can give you excellent advice, and in many cases they are also highly qualified tree planters. Your District Forester can also be helpful.

Joining the Walnut Council (a national organization dedicated to growth and promotion of Black Walnut, ph. 765-583-3501) or your State Forestry and Woodland Owner’s Association, will provide you with a chance to receive and develop the management skills you will need to properly manage your planting.

Feel free to call Hensler Nursery or Hugh Pence if you have questions.


5715 North 750 East
Hamlet, Indiana 46532

Find us a few miles from Plymouth, Valparaiso, LaPorte, South Bend & Bremen.



5715 North 750 East
Hamlet, Indiana 46532

Find us a few miles from Plymouth, Valparaiso, LaPorte, South Bend & Bremen.


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