A chicken wire cage will protect the black walnut seedling from deer and rabbits.
Look what happens when you're not paying attention.
The background: We sowed 14 black walnuts in fall 2009. Three germinated. They were planted out back on the "nature trail" last fall. This spring, they looked good. We were hopeful. But then, nothing. Did a cold snap kill the buds? Who knows. There were too many other things to think about and we left the sad-looking stems alone.
A couple of weeks ago we made the discovery. One of the seedling trees has put out a robust show of leaves. It lives!