Walnut Lumber: Advantages and Uses - Advanced Tree Recycling (2023)

I. Introduction

The American Black Walnut tree, known scientifically as Juglans nigra, is a native species treasured for its beauty, ecological benefits, and especially for its rich, dark, and highly valued wood. This tree has served both ecological and economic roles in the United States, playing a vital part in the country’s history and growth. It is admired for its towering height, its lush canopy that provides a habitat for various wildlife, and its fruit that supplies nourishment for both humans and animals alike.

However, beyond its ecological contributions, the true value of the American Black Walnut lies in its lumber. The lumber derived from this tree has been a cornerstone of the woodworking industry due to its strength, durability, and the rich color that adds a luxurious touch to any piece crafted from it. Its application ranges from crafting high-quality furniture and intricate wood carvings to being used in musical instruments and specialty items.

This document will delve into the various aspects of the American Black Walnut tree, from its biological characteristics and cultivation to the production and advantages of its lumber. It will also explore its economic impact, compare it with other lumber types, and outline both traditional and innovative uses for its wood. Furthermore, it will discuss the challenges and conservation efforts associated with this species and the potential future developments in its usage. By the end of this document, a comprehensive understanding of the American Black Walnut tree and its significance will be achieved.

II. The American Black Walnut Tree

A. Description

  1. Appearance: The American Black Walnut tree, also known as Eastern Black Walnut, is a large, deciduous tree known for its majestic beauty. Its height typically ranges from 70 to 100 feet but can reach up to 150 feet under ideal conditions. The tree is characterized by its straight trunk, which often spans up to 6 feet in diameter, and a broad, rounded crown filled with pinnately compound leaves that turn a bright yellow in the fall.
  2. Growth characteristics: The growth rate of the American Black Walnut tree is moderate to fast, with an average of 13 to 24 inches of growth per year. It typically begins to produce nuts at around 15 years of age and reaches its peak production between 30 and 60 years. The tree’s life span can extend over 200 years.
  3. Geographic distribution: The American Black Walnut tree is native to eastern North America, stretching from southern Ontario, Canada, down to Georgia and Texas in the United States. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9.

B. Ecology

  1. Soil and climate requirements: The American Black Walnut prefers deep, well-drained, fertile soils with a near-neutral pH. It grows best in areas with full sun exposure. Although it tolerates a wide range of climates, it prefers moderately humid conditions.
  2. Wildlife benefits: The tree provides food and habitat for various wildlife. Its nuts are a favorite of squirrels, deer, and various birds. The tree also supports a variety of insect life, which in turn attracts insectivorous birds.

C. Cultivation and Management

Cultivating the American Black Walnut tree involves careful site selection, proper planting, and consistent care in its early years. It’s essential to provide ample space, considering its size at maturity, and maintain optimal soil conditions. Management involves regular pruning to maintain tree health, prevent disease, and encourage a desirable form. It’s also important to monitor for pests and diseases, such as the walnut twig beetle and thousand cankers disease, which can significantly impact the health and growth of the tree.

III. Historical Usage of American Black Walnut Tree

A. Early Uses

Long before the establishment of modern America, indigenous peoples recognized the value of the American Black Walnut tree. They used its wood for making a variety of tools and utensils due to its strength and durability. The tree’s nuts were a valuable food source, eaten both raw and cooked, while the husks were used to produce a rich, brown dye.

B. Evolution of Use Over Time

As European settlers arrived in North America, the worth of the Black Walnut did not go unnoticed. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the wood was primarily used for creating fine furniture, gunstocks, and other high-quality items, owing to its robustness and the beautiful, dark finish it provided.

During the 19th century, as the industrial revolution took hold, Black Walnut wood was utilized in the manufacturing of various products, from wagons and wheels to cabinets, flooring, and veneer. Its use in constructing durable railroad ties further highlighted its value during this era of rapid expansion.

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In the 20th century, with the advent of modern forestry practices, the cultivation of Black Walnut trees became more systematic, leading to a more sustainable supply of this valuable resource. The tree’s nuts also gained recognition for their nutritional value and found use in various food products.

Today, the American Black Walnut tree continues to be treasured for its wood, which is sought after in fine woodworking, veneer production, and the manufacture of high-quality furniture and musical instruments. Meanwhile, its nuts are prized in culinary applications and for their potential health benefits. This historical journey underscores the enduring importance of the American Black Walnut tree in American culture and industry.

IV. American Black Walnut Lumber

A. Description

  1. Appearance: American Black Walnut lumber is distinguished by its rich, dark heartwood which ranges from a deep, chocolate brown to a purplish-black. The sapwood, in contrast, is pale yellow to white. The wood often features a straight grain, though it can also display a variety of figures, including curls and burls, adding to its aesthetic appeal.
  2. Characteristics and qualities: The lumber is medium to hard, strong, and stiff, with good dimensional stability. It has moderate natural resistance to decay and pests, making it a durable choice for many applications. Despite its hardness, it possesses excellent workability; it machines well, sands smoothly, and takes stains and finishes exceptionally well, often without the need for a pre-stain conditioner.

B. Process of Lumber Production

  1. Harvesting: American Black Walnut trees are typically harvested in the late fall or winter when the sap is down, reducing staining and discoloration of the wood. Harvesting involves felling the tree, removing the branches, and cutting the trunk into appropriate lengths.
  2. Sawing and Drying: The logs are then sawn into boards using various methods, including plain, quarter, or rift sawing, depending on the desired grain appearance. The freshly sawn lumber is dried, either air-dried or kiln-dried, to reduce the moisture content and improve its workability and stability.
  3. Grading and Selection: After drying, the lumber is graded based on the quality and appearance of the wood. Factors such as the size of the board, the amount of clear, defect-free wood it contains, and the uniformity of its color and grain all contribute to its grade. High-quality, well-graded Black Walnut lumber is prized for its beautiful appearance and durability, making it a preferred choice for a wide range of woodworking projects.

V. Economic Impact of American Black Walnut Lumber

A. Current Market Value

American Black Walnut lumber holds a significant position in the hardwood market due to its high demand in fine woodworking and furniture production. The price of the lumber is typically higher compared to other domestic hardwoods, owing to its exceptional qualities and the slower growth rate of the trees.

B. Employment Generation

The American Black Walnut industry supports a multitude of jobs, both directly and indirectly. These range from those involved in the cultivation and management of Black Walnut plantations to those in the lumber production process, which includes logging, sawmilling, drying, and grading. Additionally, the woodworking and furniture industries, heavily reliant on this lumber, employ a vast number of artisans, craftsmen, and factory workers.

C. Contribution to Local and National Economies

At the local level, the Black Walnut industry can be a crucial contributor to rural economies, providing income to farmers who cultivate these trees and to local sawmills and woodworking shops. At the national level, the export of Black Walnut lumber and finished products contributes significantly to the country’s economy.

D. Export Value

American Black Walnut is not just popular domestically; it has a robust global market. Its unique color and grain pattern, along with its workability and durability, make it desirable worldwide. High-quality Black Walnut veneer is especially prized and often exported to European and Asian markets, where it is used in luxury furniture and interior design. The export of Black Walnut lumber and products adds to the United States’ trade revenues and underscores the tree’s global economic significance.

VI. Comparison with Other Lumber Types

A. Cost Comparison

American Black Walnut lumber is generally more expensive than other common domestic hardwoods such as Oak, Maple, and Cherry due to its slower growth rate, high demand, and the exceptional qualities it offers. However, despite the higher price, its rich color, workability, and durability often make it a preferred choice for high-quality furniture, cabinetry, and other fine woodworking projects.

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B. Comparison of Durability and Other Characteristics

  1. Strength: Black Walnut’s strength and hardness are comparable to other popular hardwoods, such as Oak and Maple. It is slightly softer than White Oak but harder than Cherry.
  2. Workability: Black Walnut is known for its excellent workability. Despite its hardness, it machines well, turns smoothly on a lathe, and carves well, making it a favorite among woodworkers.
  3. Color and Aesthetics: One of the distinctive features of Black Walnut is its rich, dark color, which sets it apart from other domestic hardwoods. This makes it a popular choice for projects where a dark finish is desired without the use of stains.
  4. Decay and Pest Resistance: Black Walnut offers moderate natural resistance to decay and pests, comparable to Cedar and significantly better than many other domestic hardwoods.
  5. Sustainability: As a native species that can be sustainably grown and harvested, Black Walnut is an environmentally friendly choice. Its long lifespan and the potential for the wood to be reclaimed or repurposed also add to its sustainability credentials.

In summary, while American Black Walnut may come at a higher cost compared to other types of lumber, its unique characteristics and exceptional qualities often make it a preferred choice for a variety of applications.

VII. Advantages of American Black Walnut Lumber

A. Strength and Durability

American Black Walnut lumber is recognized for its strength and durability. It withstands wear and tear well, making it an ideal choice for furniture, flooring, and other applications that require a robust material. Its moderate resistance to decay and pests enhances its longevity, even in adverse conditions.

B. Workability

Despite its hardness, Black Walnut wood is surprisingly easy to work with. It machines well, sands smoothly, and responds well to both hand and power tools. This combination of strength and workability is a rare quality that makes it a favorite among woodworkers.

C. Aesthetic Appeal

The rich, dark color of Black Walnut is one of its most desirable attributes. It lends an air of luxury and warmth to any piece crafted from it. The wood often features attractive grain patterns, which can be highlighted through finishing to create stunning effects. Its ability to take a high polish contributes to its aesthetic appeal.

D. Resistance to Decay and Pests

Black Walnut has a natural resistance to decay and many common wood pests, reducing the need for chemical treatments and making it a healthier choice for indoor applications. This resistance also contributes to the wood’s longevity.

E. Sustainability and Environmental Impact

As a native species, Black Walnut can be grown sustainably in many parts of the United States. Its long lifespan means that a single tree can provide a substantial amount of lumber. Additionally, the tree’s benefits to wildlife and its role in carbon sequestration contribute to its environmental value.

In conclusion, the many advantages of American Black Walnut lumber, from its strength and workability to its aesthetic appeal and sustainability, make it a highly valued material in a variety of applications.

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VIII. Conservation Efforts for American Black Walnut

A. Current Threats to American Black Walnut

Despite the robustness of the American Black Walnut tree, it faces several threats that can affect its population. These include pests such as the walnut twig beetle, which spreads the deadly thousand cankers disease, and various forms of root rot. Habitat loss and overharvesting can also pose threats to the tree’s population.

B. Conservation Measures in Place

Several measures are in place to conserve and protect the American Black Walnut tree. These include research into disease-resistant strains and improved cultivation techniques, regulations to prevent overharvesting, and programs to promote sustainable forestry practices.

  1. Disease research: Organizations like the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and various universities are conducting research to better understand the diseases that affect Black Walnut and to develop resistant strains.
  2. Sustainable forestry: The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and other organizations promote sustainable forestry practices, including the responsible harvesting and replanting of Black Walnut trees.
  3. Regulatory measures: Regulations help control the harvesting of Black Walnut to prevent overexploitation. These laws vary by state but often include permitting requirements and restrictions on the size and number of trees that can be cut.

C. Impact of Conservation Efforts

These conservation efforts have a significant impact on maintaining the American Black Walnut population. Research into disease resistance is helping to protect the trees from significant threats, while sustainable forestry practices ensure that the trees are harvested and replanted responsibly, preserving the species for future generations. Regulatory measures help control overharvesting and promote the sustainable use of this valuable resource.

The continued conservation of the American Black Walnut tree is essential not only to preserve its economic value but also to maintain its ecological role in the habitats where it grows.

IX. Uses for American Black Walnut Lumber

A. Furniture and Cabinetry

Perhaps the most common use for Black Walnut lumber is in furniture and cabinetry. Its strength, workability, and aesthetic appeal make it a preferred choice for crafting high-quality tables, chairs, chests, cabinets, and other furniture. It’s also used extensively in the production of kitchen cabinets due to its durability and beautiful, dark finish.

B. Flooring

The durability of Black Walnut, coupled with its rich color and grain, makes it an attractive choice for flooring. It’s used in both residential and commercial settings, lending an air of elegance and warmth to any space.

C. Woodworking and Craftsmanship

The workability and beauty of Black Walnut make it a favorite among woodworkers and craftsmen. It’s used in a wide range of projects, from intricate carvings and turnings to musical instruments like guitars and violins. It’s also a popular choice for creating decorative items, sculptures, and specialty products like bowls, cutting boards, and picture frames.

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D. Construction and Architectural Use

In construction, Black Walnut is often used for interior features like paneling, molding, doors, and window frames. It’s also used in architectural millwork, where its rich color and grain add a touch of luxury to interiors.

E. Veneer Production

High-quality Black Walnut logs are often sliced or peeled to produce veneer, a thin layer of wood used to cover less attractive or inferior materials. Walnut veneer is used in high-end furniture, cabinetry, and interior decoration, where the look of solid walnut is desired without the expense.

F. Gunstocks

Historically, and even in present times, Black Walnut has been a preferred choice for making gunstocks due to its strength, workability, and ability to absorb recoil. Its attractive grain and color also contribute to the aesthetics of the finished product.

In conclusion, the uses for American Black Walnut lumber are wide-ranging, reflecting its versatility, beauty, and durability. Whether used in furniture, flooring, woodworking projects, construction, or veneer production, its unique characteristics make it a highly valued material.

X. Conclusion

The American Black Walnut tree holds a distinctive position in American history, culture, and industry. Its worth extends far beyond its striking appearance and ecological contributions, reaching deep into the realm of practical and economic significance. The tree’s lumber, characterized by its rich, dark color, durability, and workability, is a staple in woodworking, furniture manufacturing, construction, and a host of other applications.

Despite its higher cost relative to other types of lumber, American Black Walnut continues to be in high demand, both domestically and internationally. This demand reflects the lumber’s unique qualities that make it a preferred choice for numerous projects. As such, it significantly contributes to the economy, generating employment, and adding to trade revenues.

However, the American Black Walnut tree faces challenges, including pests, diseases, and potential overharvesting. Addressing these challenges requires ongoing research and effective conservation strategies to ensure the sustainable management of this valuable resource.

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In sum, the American Black Walnut tree, and the lumber it provides, is a remarkable natural asset. Its historical and ongoing significance underlines the importance of continued cultivation, responsible utilization, and diligent conservation efforts, ensuring that this resource can be appreciated and used by generations to come.

XI. References

  1. “Black Walnut.” The Wood Database. Available at: https://www.wood-database.com/black-walnut/
  2. “Black Walnut.” Missouri Department of Conservation. Available at: https://mdc.mo.gov/trees-plants/tree-seedlings/trees/black-walnut
  3. “Black Walnut.” Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. Available at: https://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=6
  4. “Black Walnut Tree Planting Guide.” Arbor Day Foundation. Available at: https://www.arborday.org/trees/treeguide/TreeDetail.cfm?ItemID=932
  5. “Thousand Cankers Disease.” USDA Forest Service. Available at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5307218.pdf
  6. “Sustainable Forestry Initiative.” Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Available at: https://www.sfiprogram.org/
  7. “Walnut.” Wood Magazine. Available at: https://www.woodmagazine.com/materials-guide/lumber/wood-species-3/walnut


What are the advantages of walnut wood? ›

Advantages: durable, long lasting wood. attractive wood grain. highly resistant to wear and tear.

How much is a walnut tree worth in lumber? ›

The Black Walnut is one of the most expensive and lucrative trees to sell, thanks to its high-quality dark wood. The tree ranges from $5- $10 per board foot, although it can cost more depending on other factors. In most cases, your 20-inch tree can fetch you $700- $800.

Why are walnut trees worth money? ›

The veneer quality

Walnut trees are prized for the rich flavor of their nuts and the distinctive, dark color of their wood. But the value of walnut trees depends on the quality of their veneer.

What are 2 uses for walnut wood? ›

For its stability and ease of workability, Walnut is highly prized and valued among joinery, cabinet and furniture makers. It is also used in the manufacture of veneer for musical instruments, interior decoration and hardwood flooring.

What is walnut wood advantages and disadvantages? ›

Pros: Walnut is a very strong and stable wood that can take intricate carving. The color can be beautiful. Cons: Some may not like the variation from dark to light that's sometimes found on a single wide board. Walnut is also one of the more costly woods.

What are the most common uses of walnut trees? ›

Both trees are cultivated worldwide for their nuts and their high quality timber, which is widely used in furniture, car interiors, doors and gun industry. However, we can say that English walnut is cultivated more for nuts and less for timber.

What is the most valuable tree for lumber? ›

Sequoia has attained the status of the most expensive wood in the world, costing up to €1500 per cubic metre. The tree, named in honour of the Cherokee chief Sequoyah, is an emblem of the United States. Its habitat is found almost exclusively in North America, more specifically on the coasts of California and Oregon.

How long does it take a walnut tree to mature for lumber? ›

However, it may take up to 25 years for a black walnut tree to mature for wood harvesting.

Does walnut cost more than oak? ›

Walnut and oak, while both premier cabinet wood species, can come at significantly different price points. Walnut will almost always be more expensive than oak. That's because walnut is not as populous, which results in it being harder to source and more expensive.

Can you make money from walnut trees? ›

As the trees become larger, they are thinned to about 30 trees per acre, with wood from the thinning being sold. After a few years, the walnut trees begin to produce nuts for harvesting. When the remaining thinned trees are mature, they are harvested for veneer logs, which bring thousands of dollars per log.

Can you make money off black walnut trees? ›

The black walnut is a highly marketable species of tree. If you have black walnut trees on your land, you could make good money selling them to interested timber buyers.

What is the most profitable walnut tree? ›

Black walnut logs bring premium prices, with single trees bringing thousands of dollars. Bruce Thompson, author of “Black Walnut for Profit” estimates a mature stand of black walnut trees can bring about $100,000 per acre in timber value alone.

What is the difference between walnut and black walnut wood? ›

What is the difference between Walnut wood and Black Walnut wood? There is no difference between Walnut wood and Black Walnut wood.

What's the difference between black walnut and English walnut lumber? ›

The short answer is the English walnut is mostly grown for food while the black walnut is grown for wood. However, there are many more differences between the two. It is important to understand that English walnuts come from the juglans regia tree while the black walnut is from the juglans nigra tree.

How long does walnut wood last? ›

A black walnut piece of furniture will last for decades to come (if taken care of). ​But black walnuts aren't just pretty as furnishings. The trees themselves are beautiful and larger than life. Young trees can grow up to 2 feet per year until they reach maturity after 12 to 15 years.

What are the cons of a walnut tree? ›

Black walnut's primary downside is its allelopathy since it is among the Juglandaceae species. It suppresses the growth of other plants around it by releasing juglone, a toxic chemical present in its leaves, twigs, roots, and bark.

Is walnut a sustainable wood? ›

Is Walnut Wood Sustainable? Wood from walnut trees, particularly black walnut trees, are among the most sustainable wood products available. As they grow, they store carbon from the environment, and absorb carbon throughout their life as furniture.

What are 3 facts about walnut trees? ›

99% of walnuts in the US are grown in California's Central Valley – and 100% of Diamond of California® Walnuts are sourced from California growers! 2. Dating back to 7000 B.C., walnuts are the oldest food tree known to man. 3. California is home to nearly 325,000 acres of walnut orchards.

What state has the most walnut trees? ›

Domestically, California is the nation's number one walnut producer, accounting for nearly all walnuts produced in the U.S. (Fig 1).

What can I do with a walnut tree? ›

The black walnut contains the highest concentration of juglone in the nut hulls, roots, and leaves and is commonly used as an herbicide. This tree has numerous uses, such as: nutritional, medicinal, dye, structural/decorative, antibacterial, and herbicidal.

What state grows the most walnut trees? ›

More than 99% of the walnuts grown in the United States come from California's Central Valley. More than 99% of the walnuts grown in the United States come from California's Central Valley.

What is the most profitable tree to grow for lumber? ›

Some of the Most Profitable Hardwood Trees for Timber
  • Red Oak Trees & Other Oaks.
  • Black Cherry.
  • Hickory.
  • Maple.
  • Red Alder.
  • Sycamore.
  • Willow.
  • Birch.
Mar 5, 2020

What tree is worth a million dollars? ›

A Single Black Ebony Tree Could Be Worth A Million Dollars. The black ebony tree, also known as Diospyros ebenum, is a species of tree that is native to Southeast Asia and parts of Africa. It is typically found in tropical and subtropical forests, growing in areas with a high level of humidity and rainfall.

What is the fastest growing tree for lumber? ›

Record-breaking growth

The Empress Splendor (botanical name Paulownia fortunei and P. elongata) is the one of the fastest-growing trees in the world. A hardwood, it can grow 10-20 feet in its first year and reaches maturity within 10 years.

How long does walnut lumber need to dry? ›

Species such as maple and walnut dry at an intermediate rate, ie a 1” walnut board air dried in the south in the summer time will dry in about 120 days, and species such as oak, mesquite, and hickory dry very slowly (ie 1” per year). It is best to store lumber “in the tree” until you are ready to mill it.

How much do walnut trees make per acre? ›

At full production on good sites, 1,500 to 2,000 pounds are possible per acre each year. Selling cleaned dried nuts at $0.50 per pound yields a gross of $750 - $1,000 per acre. Direct marketing black walnuts are also a possibility, with retail prices per pound consistently exceeding $12.

What is the best length to cut walnut logs? ›

Many hardwood sawlogs are cut to 9' to allow for trim allowance; at minimum, cut your logs to at least 8'6" (eight feet, six inches).

How much is a board foot of walnuts worth? ›

Shipping Additional
< 1010 - 99
5/4 Walnut (Sel & Btr, 90/50+ Brown, Steamed, S2S to 1-3/16)$12.25$11.00
8/4 Walnut (Sel & Btr, 90/50+ Brown, Steamed, Rough or S2S to 1-15/16)$12.75$11.50
12/4 Walnut (Sel & Btr, 90/50+ Brown, Steamed, Rough)$14.60$13.15
152 more rows

Where does the best walnut wood come from? ›

They grow throughout the eastern United States and eastern Canada, but the healthiest and most renowned walnut trees are found in the American Midwest especially Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana.

Which is the hardest wood in the world? ›

1. Australian Buloke – 5,060 IBF. An ironwood tree that is native to Australia, this wood comes from a species of tree occurring across most of Eastern and Southern Australia. Known as the hardest wood in the world, this particular type has a Janka hardness of 5,060 lbf.

How much is an acre of walnuts worth? ›

A limited number of walnut orchard transactions took place in 2020, with several high-quality orchards selling between $30,000 and $35,000 per acre. Older or lower-quality orchards are generally valued at $20,000 to $27,000 an acre.

How much sap can you get from one walnut tree? ›

Per Tree Production: Varies widely. Overall production across the board to be about a gallon per tap per two day warm/freeze cycle. Some trees may produce a very small amount during that period of time while others produce three and even four gallons.

How much does a 5 gallon bucket of walnuts weigh? ›

A 5 gallon bucket of black walnuts can weigh anywhere between 90 and 100 pounds, depending on the age, size, and quality of the walnuts, and the amount of moisture in the air.

Should I cut down my walnut tree? ›

The best time to prune walnut trees is the later end of the dormant season when the trees are still out of leaves. This way you can easily see the form of the tree and you are not cutting away any new growth that appears in spring.

Are walnut farms profitable? ›

Commercial walnut farming can also be very profitable in California, and the environment is ideal for walnut cultivation. Walnut farmers have used various methods to increase their revenue as their orchards matured.

Is it worth harvesting black walnuts? ›

Harvesting black walnuts is enjoyable and well worth the effort. Black walnuts are very nutritious and delicious! This is a messy activity, so be sure to wear old clothes, old sneakers and cover your hands with gloves, unless you want to be dye-stained for several weeks. The black walnut tree is pictured above.

How much is a mature walnut tree worth? ›

In some situations, landowners are fetching even a little more than that. If you want to know the price of black walnut per tree, current averages range anywhere from $300 to $1,000. Outliers that are of exceptional size and quality can be worth even more.

What are the best states for walnut trees? ›

Black and English walnuts can grow throughout the United States and Southern Canada. However, major walnut commercial orchards are found mainly in California, but also in Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri and Iowa.

How many unshelled walnuts in a pound? ›

Approximately 35 pieces per pound.

Why is walnut wood so expensive? ›

Walnut is more expensive as it is a bit rarer due to natural limitations such as size. Ash, Maple, and Cherry are more abundant as they grow larger but have highly sought after aesthetics in the grain which make them less expensive than Walnut but more expensive than some hardwoods.

Which is harder oak or black walnut? ›

Durability. Walnut is rated at a 1010 on the Janka Hardness Scale. European Oak is a 1360 on the same scale. This means that Oak is more durable than Walnut and will stand up better against constant use and daily wear and tear.

Why are black walnut trees so expensive? ›

Following are the reasons why Walnut wood is expensive.

The tree takes around 50 years to mature, it is longer than most other trees. It is in high demand due to its desired characteristics such as durability, strength or aesthetic making it one of the best wood species around.

What is the highest grade walnut? ›

Grade: First and Seconds (FAS)

Above grade Walnut can be found in wide and long boards, but you will pay a premium for it. This is the highest grade, and NHLA states for all lumber the following: 83.3% clear of defect on both faces.

What is the most expensive walnut wood? ›

The Black Walnut is one of the most expensive and lucrative trees to sell, thanks to its high-quality dark wood. The tree ranges from $5- $10 per board foot, although it can cost more depending on other factors. In most cases, your 20-inch tree can fetch you $700- $800.

What is black walnut lumber called? ›


Black Walnut, also known as Walnut or American Walnut, is one of the finest North American lumber species. Along with Mahogany and Cherry, Walnut set the standard for early American furniture.

What are the pros cons of walnut wood? ›

Pros: Walnut is a very strong and stable wood that can take intricate carving. The color can be beautiful. Cons: Some may not like the variation from dark to light that's sometimes found on a single wide board. Walnut is also one of the more costly woods.

How long can walnut logs sit before milling? ›

As a rule of thumb, there will be a measurable loss in four to six weeks of warm (over 50 F) weather. It is just a rule of thumb. From the original questioner: What would say is a measurable amount?

Does walnut warp over time? ›

Characteristics of Walnut Wood

It won't warp and absorbs shock well. Walnut's color lightens over time (not as intense a change as the darkening of cherry).

Is walnut wood better than oak? ›

After all, they're both materials that are popularly used for hardwood flooring. That being said, oak is a slightly stronger hardwood product than walnut. Oak is one of the stronger and more durable natural wood options available for kitchen cabinets.

Which is better oak or walnut? ›

Walnut is rated at a 1010 on the Janka Hardness Scale. European Oak is a 1360 on the same scale. This means that Oak is more durable than Walnut and will stand up better against constant use and daily wear and tear.

Is walnut a high end wood? ›

Walnut is one of the most popular domestic woods for woodworkers of all skill levels. Widely available in the U.S. and considered a premium domestic hardwood, its very presence seems to elevate the perceived value of your woodworking projects.

Which wood is better maple or walnut? ›

When it comes to overall strength and durability, maple triumphs. Maple is a significantly stronger hardwood product than walnut. In fact, maple is one of the strongest and most durable natural wood options available. It holds up well resisting significant dents or dings.

What is the best quality walnut in the world? ›

Chilean walnut is the best quality walnut in the world. Chilean walnuts are bright in color and almost free of bitter taste It is a fact that walnuts are very beneficial to heart health and metabolism and are very rich in nutritional value. Structure of the walnut resembles brain.

Why is walnut more expensive than oak? ›

Oak is one of the most affordable hardwoods and is readily available, making it generally less expensive than Walnut. Because Walnut is rare and more difficult to source, the cost of a Walnut floor will tend to be higher.

Why is black walnut so valuable? ›

The tree takes around 50 years to mature, it is longer than most other trees. It is in high demand due to its desired characteristics such as durability, strength or aesthetic making it one of the best wood species around.

Does walnut fade over time? ›

Walnut. New walnut has a consistent dark brown color but as it gets older it does two things: 1: Unlike maple and cherry, it gets lighter, and 2: a rich honey color starts to come through the grain. You can see the difference between a new table (left) and a four-year-old table (right).

Is walnut a rot resistant wood? ›

Rot Resistance: Black Walnut is rated as very durable in terms of decay resistance, though it is susceptible to insect attack. Workability: Typically easy to work provided the grain is straight and regular. Planer tearout can sometimes be a problem when surfacing pieces with irregular or figured grain.

What is the most expensive wood in North America? ›

Its habitat is found almost exclusively in North America, more specifically on the coasts of California and Oregon.... Sequoia has attained the status of the most expensive wood in the world, costing up to €1500 per cubic metre.

What is the most expensive wood in the world? ›

Ebony is incredibly dense, even sinking in water where most woods would float, and has a janka hardness of 3,080 ibf (13,7000 N). It has a fine texture and smooth, dark finish that make it a valuable ornamental wood for use in things like musical instruments and crucifixes.


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