After releasing my video last week on turing wood from locally felled trees, I got a call from an old friend (actually my former boss), after he saw the video. He asked: “Hey Brian, I got this Walnut tree I cut down some time ago. Can you use it?” Now when one says Walnut tree in Northern California, this most likely means a “Hind’s Walnut”, better known to woodworkers as Claro Walnut.
Everything about this wood says Claro. It is from an area that was a Walnut orchard years ago, and, according to neighbor testimony, grew back from root stock after the orchard was cleared. The bark has the deep ferrules typical of the other Claro/Hind’s Walnuts I see here everywhere in the Bay Area. It smells like walnut. The only other Walnuts found in my area are English Walnuts that have been grafted to Claro/Hind’s Walnuts. I showed my friend pictures from my tree id book, and he pointed to Claro/Hind’s Walnut.
There is just one problem: The wood does not look like Claro Walnut, at least not like the Claro Walnut I have seen at wood suppliers and in photos on the web. The sapwood is very dark, and the heartwood is quite light and has a greenish hue.
It has me wondering….. Is this just what it looks like when it is green?
A couple of other facts: The tree was cut down over two years ago, but is still green. Some of the logs that were stored cut-face down, and sandwiched between another log, are quite green.
-- Brian Havens, Woodworker http://brianhavens.com