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  • standing walnut trees

    How can i tell if the very old, very large walnut trees on our farm are "black walnut" or "american walnut" trees, and are they worth anything comercially or do i need to cut one down and dry it myself? And, is there a huge difference between the two in quality and appearance? I know they all produce the what my grandmother always called black walnuts. They're actuall green until they dry and they're almost the size of a tennis ball when they fall off the trees. Are they worth processing is what i really would like to know, it would be almost limitless walnut, they're huge.

  • #2
    Re: standing walnut trees

    There are a number of species of Walnut around the world. Here in North America
    we have the following common names for American Black Walnut;

    AMERICAN BLACK WALNUT (Juglans Nigra):
    Other Common Names: American Walnut, American Black Walnut, Black Walnut,
    Burbank Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Eastern Walnut, Gunwood, Virginia Walnut


    More about Walnut:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walnut


    http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-.../black-walnut/

    Do they have to go, or are you just looking to cash in on their value?
    It would be a shame to take one or more down just to profit from the lumber.
    And if you did it yourself and do not process correctly you might end up
    with a stack of wavy, twisted, firewood grade boards.

    Standing (as in living) trees are best left standing if possible. That's my opinion but
    it is of course your decision. Some species are endangered (its surprising how many
    actually) and can not be harvested by law.
    Last edited by Bob D.; 01-29-2011, 06:58 AM.
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    • #3
      Re: standing walnut trees

      I miss all the walnut trees that used to be so common in my region. They have an ominous smell to them, and the tree grows very well, matures to a considerable height.
      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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      • #4
        Re: standing walnut trees

        oh no no no, not looking to get any cash from them at all, and no, they don't have to go, but i was thinking it would be really nice to actually make some really nice walnut furniture for the family since it was the g-parents farm until they passed on, they gave it to the family.. And there's more to it than that, I wouldn't even consider it until my experience level is that of fine furniture quality level, so believe me, there's years!!! Absolutely no profit motive, the farm will be in the family indefininitely, sometimes they drop limbs that are pretty big though.

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        • #5
          Re: standing walnut trees

          After they leaf out, look at the leaves. English Walnut have less leaflets than does the Black Walnut. The english walnut shells are thinner than the black walnut, which is why the english is considered a nut tree, and the black more of a lumber tree. The black walnut has a richer hue to the wood. The limbs aren't much use for a furniture project, as the stress can make them really warp. However, the heart wood is really pretty if shaved into walking sticks, etc, and if you are planning to get into wood working, save some for wood for chisel, plane handles, etc. as well as end grain cutting board blocks.

          If/when you do decide to drop them, do not take them to a mill that will steam kiln the wood. Steaming lets them dry and cure faster, but really degrades the rich color, decreasing the value. Immediately after dropping and cut to lengths, all logs need to be end sealed to prevent splitting (anchorseal is a good product). The logs then need to be off the ground and shaded until milling into boards. In hot dry climates, sometimes occasional spraying with water is necessary. After milling into boards, they need to air dry (under shelter from rain and sun with spacers called "stickers" between boards), until the moisture content drops to about 20% before kiln drying. After that, steaming is unnecessary and the wood will be much richer in color. Most damage to the wood is caused by drying too quickly from the original or just milled moisture content that is usually 50% or more, down to below 25%. Too fast causes a lot of stress to build up in the wood which ultimately results in it cracking or "checking". It may not show up, though, until much later in the drying process, so go slow at first.

          Thick wide planks are the most valuable, and large crotch sections will be next in value. Depending on your climate, air drying the milled boards will take from 6 months to a year per inch of thickness before kiln drying.

          Go
          Last edited by Gofor; 01-30-2011, 12:00 AM.
          Practicing at practical wood working

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          • #6
            Re: standing walnut trees

            Thanks Go, if i cut one, it would probably just be one, these trees are really big mature trees, I looked at the links that Bob D. sent, these are definitely Black Walnut trees, it would tickle the old lady to death for me to make furniture from trees on her farm, but she would haunt me if I just wanted to cut them down to sell.

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