how do you tell if it is english walnut or black walnut? Or is there a difference?

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Forum topic by 1goldsniper posted 01-04-2013 02:32 AM 15352 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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01-04-2013 02:32 AM

What do you look for?

5 replies so far

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Clint Searl

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#1 posted 01-04-2013 02:40 AM

Why does it matter?

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

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#2 posted 01-04-2013 03:11 AM

I understand that English walnut lumber (Juglans regia) tends to be lighter in color than Eastern black walnut (Juglans nigri), but tends to have more figured grain. And Claro walnut (Juglans hindsii) is often confused with English walnut because English walnut often is planted on Claro walnut rootstock. But they’re different species. Claro walnut is often highly figured, like English walnut, but tends to be darker (but not as dark as black walnut).

As usual, Hobbit House is a good resource here. Pictures of English walnut, black walnut, claro walnut.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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#3 posted 01-04-2013 04:48 AM

Actually, the claro I have is quite a bit darker than the black want I have, both being darker than the English walnut I have seen.

Some say that English walnut is the best of the three but, in real terms, I think there isn’t a lot of difference in the sense that it is more important how good a sample you have of whatever type you’ve got a hold of.

I’d base my decision more on price, availability and quality of the sample.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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#4 posted 01-04-2013 04:57 AM

Black walnut leaves are much longer with 12 or more leaflets. Also, the terminal leaflet in black walnut tends to be aborted. English walnut has a leaf half the size of black walnut with half the leaflets. The terminal leaflet is prominent. The walnuts are vastly different with the english walnut having a thinner shell, easier to crack, while black walnut has a thick very-hard-to-crack shell. That is why orchards use english walnut instead of black walnut for nut production.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

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1775 posts in 2210 days

#5 posted 01-04-2013 06:46 AM

MonteCristo: Interesting. The claro walnut I have is dark, but more red-brown than the purplish brown of black walnut. I don’t see as much English walnut here on the west coast.

I definitely agree that the actual piece matters more than the species. Walnut is my favorite wood by far.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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