the walnut and the desert

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Forum topic by BigLou posted 01-21-2011 12:01 AM 1711 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 2819 days

01-21-2011 12:01 AM

I have a 23” dia. walnut tree that i plan on cutting down in St. Louis , slabbing and taking back to Phoenix with me. I will coat the ends with anchor seal and let it air dry in the basement and till the trip. Because of the stark differences in humidity how should I prepare it and what can I expect?

6 replies so far

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3867 days

#1 posted 01-21-2011 12:26 AM

If it’s dry before you take it with you there is nothing much to expect/much to do to prepare it. When are you going ? Lets say July, EMC (equilibrium moisture content) in Phoenix is 6.2%, St. Louis in July EMC is 12.9% so yes it will dry more after the move, if it is only air dry to St. Louis climate. But basically under 15% wood doesn’t do much exciting (in raw form). You just have to let it acclimate to the final home before you build with it. EMC worldwide so you can check the EMC for whatever time of year you are really going. And just for good measure EMC calculator using temp and RH (relative humidity) I don’t know how dry your basement is, so the wood may already be “Arizona dry” by the time you go. I have shipped kiln dried wood all over the country with no problems, given the end user lets the wood settle in at the new location for awhile before use like I said.

View BigLou's profile


16 posts in 2819 days

#2 posted 01-21-2011 12:34 AM

Thanks Mr. Nelson, haven’t even cut it down yet, making the plan. Appreciate the advice.

View matt5's profile


82 posts in 2653 days

#3 posted 01-21-2011 12:43 AM

I have a question related to this one, I hope its ok to ask it here.
I too, am about to cut down 2 very large black walnut trees. How long should I let it dry after cutting before I send it to the kiln? I’m in the humidity capitol of the world, here in East tennessee.

-- I've cut it twice, but its still to short....

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10341 posts in 3390 days

#4 posted 01-21-2011 12:44 AM

I brought a bunch from Central IL (100 mi. straight east of St. Louis) to my home here in Snowflake, AZ.
I let it set stickered, about a year in my wood shed before I used it. No problems at all.

Now, if you’d just give me explicit directions to where it will be stored in PHX…....:-)

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Daren Nelson's profile

Daren Nelson

767 posts in 3867 days

#5 posted 01-21-2011 12:58 AM

Matt5, there is no need to let it dry before going to the kiln. It can be, stacked/stickered in the right place won’t hurt it, but it’s not necessary.

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2920 days

#6 posted 01-24-2011 08:19 PM

Walnut is, fortunately, a forgiving wood. I cut up a 36 incher into mostly 2” slabs but some 4”ers after I had let the log lay for about 6 months here in NW Oregon, then sent the whole thing down to my Brothers place in Las Vegas… in May. It was already over 90 degrees and about 6% humidity during the days, and he let it sit for a couple months before tricking out the interior of his home with it. Absolutely beautiful! Just be patient, you will be okay.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

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