The noble nut wood has been known in Asia for many centuries. In Europe, the walnut tree in particular was used as a precious wood and has been highly valued since Roman antiquity.
Since the walnut is not grown for forestry purposes, the wood traded comes from nut plantations. The largest wild occurrences of the walnut are found in Kyrgyzstan today. There are whole walnut forests here.
If the conditions are favorable, a walnut tree can grow up to 30 meters high with a trunk diameter of 0.6 – 1.5 meters. The actual, gnarled trunk is then about 6 – 8 meters high. Compared to beeches and oaks, nut trees have a relatively short lifespan – these trees are around 120 to 150 years old.
Properties of walnut
The walnut is a medium-density wood with a dry weight of about 640 kg / sqm. It can be dried easily, does not warp too much, but does tend to tear.
Walnut has a light sapwood and a gray-brown core, often with very decorative dark streaks.
The appearance of the wood is very different depending on the region from which it comes. The most expressive grain can be found in the Italian walnut, followed by the German.
French walnut is more gray-brown, as is American walnut. To make it clear what you can expect when buying, walnut is then also sold as a French walnut or German walnut, for example.
Nut is an evenly dense wood, which is why it is easy to carve and makes very decorative turning work.
Depending on which part of the trunk the wood comes from, it is livelier or more evenly colored. The further towards the ground the plank is, the more colorful it is usually.
The root area of the walnut is also often used, which is usually even more intense in color than the trunk wood. the tree also forms burl bulbs, which make a beautiful wood.
- Whether by hand or machine, nuts are easy to grind and polish well.
- Gluing is stable.
- Walnut is easy to drill, screw and nail.
- Tears can occur when planing, as the grain does not always follow the trunk.
- Walnut is well suited for turning and carving.
You can buy walnut in the usual plank thicknesses from well-stocked wood dealers or often as a veneer.
As mentioned above, walnuts look very different depending on their origin. That is why you should definitely pay attention to the origin when buying walnut.
Walnut wood is expensive. It costs around € 3000 (1/2014) per square meter. You should therefore really carefully choose the planks that you want to buy.