American Walnut

Possibly the most beautiful wood in North America, American Walnut is highly prized by furniture designers and architects.  

American Walnut

Also known as: Black Walnut, Black Hickory

Scientific: juglans nigra

Janka Hardness: 1,010

Elastic Modulus: 11.59 GPa

One of the most highly sought out species in North America, it would be hard to overstate Black Walnut’s popularity among woodworkers in the United States. Its cooperative working characteristics, coupled with its rich brown coloration puts the wood in a class by itself among temperate-zone hardwoods. To cap it off, the wood also has good dimensional stability, shock resistance, and strength properties. 


Grain is usually straight, but can be irregular. Has a medium texture and moderate natural luster. 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. Glues, stains, and finishes well, (though walnut is rarely stained). Responds well to steam bending.

Color of American Walnut:

Heartwood can range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Color can sometimes have a grey, purple, or reddish cast. Sapwood is pale yellow-gray to nearly white. Figured grain patterns such as curl, crotch, and burl are also seen.

Common uses for American Black Walnut:

  • Wood Flooring
  • Wood Molding
  • Wood Cladding
  • Live Edge Wood Slabs
  • Cabinetry
  • Gun Stocks, Knife Handles
  • Wood T/g Siding 
  • Furniture

Fun facts about American Walnut:

  • Walnuts have a formidable shell that resembles a human head, so ancient Greeks referred to them as karyon (meaning head). Crack open that tough exterior and you’ll find a bumpy textured meat that bears a marked resemblance to the brain.
  • Walnuts are among the oldest tree food known to man, being traced back to 7,000 B.C.
  • Ancient civilizations made walnut milk for a sweet refreshment, and many people still enjoy walnut milk today. 
  • Walnuts and yogurt go together like honey and peanut butter. 
  • Allen Phillips once installed an 18' tall Walnut accent wall while wearing a leg brace after nearly cutting his leg off with a chainsaw. 

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We typically offer American Walnut in the following sizes and grades:

Scientific Sub-species Grade Features 4/4 5/4 6/4 8/4 12/4 Plywood Circle Sawn Live Edge Beam
Juglans nigra Walnut Clear No knots, clear grain with even color
Juglans nigra Walnut Knotty Some pin sized knots
Juglans nigra Walnut Sappy Heart and sap wood with wide ranging light and dark tones.

Scientific information about American Walnut:

Common Name(s) Black Walnut; American Walnut; Black Hickory
Scientific Name juglans nigra
Distribution Eastern United States
Tree Size 100'-120' tall, 2'-3' in diameter
Average Dry Weight 3.16 lbs per bdft
Janka Hardness 1,010 LBF

Check out some species other than American Walnut

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