A deciduous tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 15 m (49ft) at a medium rate. It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind. The plant is self-fertile.
The kernels are eaten raw or cooked. They are also used in sweets, pies etc and have a mild and pleasant flavour, they can be eaten in quantity for dessert. The shell is thin and easily cracked, and it is considered to be superior in taste.
Requires a deep well-drained loam and a sunny position sheltered from strong winds. Prefers a slightly alkaline soil. This is the hardiest member of the genus, it should succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. It is also resistant to most insects. The young growth in spring, however, can be damaged by late frosts. This is a form of C. ailanthifolia with a thinner shell and a better tasting nut. It is cultivated for its edible seed in Japan and has the potential for producing very superior nuts, especially if hybridized with J. cinerea. There are some named varieties. Plants can come into bearing in 3 - 4 years from seed. Even when grown on a very windy site in Cornwall, the plants flowered in their eighth year from seed (by which time they were more sheltered from the wind) Plants produce a deep taproot and they are intolerant of root disturbance. Seedlings should be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and then given some protection since they are somewhat tender when young. Flower initiation depends upon suitable conditions in the previous summer. The flowers and young growths can be destroyed by even short periods down to -2°c, but fortunately plants are usually late coming into leaf.