American Black Walnut
Black Walnut, also known as American Walnut and Eastern Black Walnut, typically grows as
scattered individual trees or in small groups throughout the central and eastern parts of the United States.
A large deciduous tree, they were once abundant in old growth forests reaching 150 feet tall with six-foot
diameter trunks. Today's trees are generally 80-100 feet tall with trunks of less than three feet. The fruit
of the tree, harvested in October, provides a robust, distinctive flavor and crunch that is high in unsaturated
fat and protein. Tapped in spring, the tree yields a sweet sap that can be drunk or concentrated into syrup or sugar.
Black Walnut wood is open, normally straight grained and is noted for its beautiful character and figure variation. The sapwood is creamy white and may be three inches wide. The heartwood is a rich chocolate or purplish brown in color, with a dull sheen. Over the years the wood develops a lustrous patina. It is the only native dark brown North American wood. Compared to other wood types walnut does not shrink or swell easily. It is a tough hardwood of medium density, durable but easy to work with which makes Walnut a favorite among woodworkers – this one included.