Black Walnut Root Balls

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Forum topic by JackoTradesnstuff posted 03-26-2013 08:08 AM 6841 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1910 days

03-26-2013 08:08 AM

Hello ya’ll,
I’m trying to find people that want the black walnut root ball. I’m sure they have value, just need to know if the 80+ acres of old walnut grove that I have a line on, is worth the effort to extract. I want to know what a buyer would expect to buy, whether it is by the size, pound, quantity…. I have no experience in this respect so I am relying on good ol’ fashioned courtesy. Any input will be greatly appreciated.

7 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29379 posts in 2360 days

#1 posted 03-26-2013 10:46 AM

Part would be what part of the country you’re in. There are buyers. Root burls can be pretty wild.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View sprucegum's profile


324 posts in 2019 days

#2 posted 03-26-2013 11:28 AM

Primo gun stock material. Contact people who are in that business.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2980 days

#3 posted 03-26-2013 03:44 PM

Black walnut rarely has a root system that reaches down, they tend to spread horizontally making removing them a reasonable task with a decent sized excavator. Root balls have the wildest figure alright, but they hold the greatest liability for the sawyer. If the land they are in has little to no rock content, I’d say you should have a decent shot at selling them; if it is rocky ground, I’d definitely find a buyer first if I were you. Buyers will be looking for size, a tree that is 30” diameter would be a good starting point if you are trying to make any money. You can figure on anyone taking smaller ones cheap or free.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View sprucegum's profile


324 posts in 2019 days

#4 posted 03-27-2013 10:15 AM

If as Nomad said they are over “30 inches” and they were on my land I would pressure wash them, trim them up with my chainsaw, and saw them on my band mill. Chainsaw chains $12.95, band mill blades $25.00, highly figured rifle stock blanks $100——-$1000 easy math for me.Plus all of the turning blanks you would get by default.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View JackoTradesnstuff's profile


2 posts in 1910 days

#5 posted 04-10-2013 01:41 AM

Thanks to you guys for the input. The source of the root balls is Central California, Fresno area. There isn’t a lot of rock, but the ground can get VERY hard. Your input will certainly give me something to chew on with my buddy. Thanks again and keep the wheels turning.

View JollyGreen67's profile


1676 posts in 2785 days

#6 posted 04-10-2013 02:31 AM

You could also cut some into turning blocks, for us round wood nuts.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View Post_Oakie's profile


84 posts in 2175 days

#7 posted 04-11-2013 04:20 PM

Here’s a link to a thread I posted on the subject a while ago. Nice wood can come out of the root balls, but they are a pain to work with. If you have a band sawmill slice them up, be prepared to pay for several blades (about $25- $30 each). It will be worth it. Here’s a link to the post.

-- Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

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