Things to do with a dying walnut

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Forum topic by apcmwh posted 02-02-2013 09:22 AM 976 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1904 days

02-02-2013 09:22 AM

Topic tags/keywords: toronto tree wood


First time at this forum so apologies in advance if this is posted in the wrong forum. I’m based in Toronto, Canada and have a very big, dying black walnut tree in my back garden. An arborist has been around and has indicated that it has to be taken down, so we’re starting on a process to get a permit to do so. So here’s the question—I’d rather not just waste the wood. It’d be great if it could be used to make something for the house or, failing that, used by someone with an interest in woodworking.

What’s the process I’d need to go through to do one or the other? Not being a woodworker myself, I have no idea how to even get started. Does the wood need to be milled? How would I find a mill? Does it need to be dried? Again, how?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.


7 replies so far

View Dj1225's profile


62 posts in 2183 days

#1 posted 02-02-2013 02:08 PM

Hi There,
Most likley there is someone near you that would love to have this wood. I suggest you contact your local woodworking store and advise them of your situation, you may also look on craigslist for someone with a portable saw mill and have the lumber sawed. List on craigslist or here on lumberjocks and i feel confident someone will purchase. Walnut is a beautiful wood, I use a lot in furniture and really makes beautiful projects. I applaud you for not just having a service come in and chop it into pieces, takes a long time to make a tree like that.


-- Dave

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2249 days

#2 posted 02-02-2013 02:54 PM

Walnut rarely goes to waste, the people who cut the tree will likely take it to a local sawyer anyway. In this case I would make sure to understand that this is how they make some of their money, by hauling off trees and selling them to people who process them. I think you’ll find that the expense of doing this yourself is prohibitive unless you use a lot of wood. That tree will be a massive stack of wood and it will take months to be of any use to you.
See if you can find a guy that can cut it down and haul it cheap and make sure it goes to a sawyer.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Manitario's profile


2629 posts in 2845 days

#3 posted 02-02-2013 04:20 PM

I agree with what the others have said; walnut is a beautiful wood and would be a shame to waste! I’d suggest that you look for a sawyer in Toronto (Yellowpages/Google etc) and get their opinion. Some arbourists will cut a tree into small chunks as they take it down, this would ruin some of the usefulness of the wood. The best way would be to take the trunk down in one large section. A sawyer may be able to suggest someone who could do this in a useful manner for you.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View jte9999's profile


25 posts in 2064 days

#4 posted 02-02-2013 09:33 PM

I just recently read an article in The Missouri Dept of Conservation monthly magazine on selling walnut timber. Although it refers to Missouri and you are in Canada you may still find some information useful.
Hope this helps a little.

-- --half full, half empty? How about twice as big as it needs to be?

View apcmwh's profile


2 posts in 1904 days

#5 posted 02-03-2013 02:35 AM

Thanks very much for all the information so far. A couple of follow-up questions: 1) Is there another term for “sawyer” that is commonly used? There doesn’t seem to be a category in Yell for this trade; and 2) I don’t suppose anyone would have a good contact in Toronto who would do this type of work or would want the wood? I’ll also be contacting some woodworking stores but it would be helpful if someone did have a contact who would be interested… I’m never sure how trustworthy craigslist is.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2638 days

#6 posted 02-03-2013 02:43 AM

I am told that limbs or branches that grow horizontally from the tree trunk will twist when milled into lumber. The gravity it fights all its life is removed and the tree still tries to lift upward. Maybe some bowl blanks….?? The vertical part of the trunk should be made into some beautiful boards. Check this out.

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2493 days

#7 posted 02-03-2013 06:42 AM


There is a Canadian forum – – that seems to be frequented by many woodworkers in the GTA (& southern Ontario in general). I’m sure that if you asked this question there, you’d get pointed to a few sawyers in your area.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

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