Common Name(s): English Walnut, Circassian Walnut,
Scientific Name: Juglans regia
Distribution: Eastern Europe and western Asia
Tree Size: 80-115 ft (25-35 m) tall, 5-6 ft (1.5-2.0 m) trunk diameter
Average Dried Weight: 40 lbs/ft3 (640 kg/m3)
Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .52, .64
Janka Hardness: 1,220 lbf (5,410 N)
Modulus of Rupture: 16,160 lbf/in2 (111.5 MPa)
Elastic Modulus: 1,568,000 lbf/in2 (10.81 GPa)
Crushing Strength: 7,280 lbf/in2 (50.2 MPa)
Shrinkage: Radial: 5.5%, Tangential: 7.5%, Volumetric: 13.0%, T/R Ratio: 1.4
Color/Appearance: Heartwood can range from a lighter pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Color can sometimes have a gray, purple, or reddish cast. Sapwood is nearly white.
Grain/Texture: Has a medium texture and mid-sized pores which may require filling for a smooth finish. The grain is usually straight, but can be irregular. European Walnut can occasionally also be found with figured grain patterns such as: curly, crotch, and burl.
Rot Resistance: English Walnut is rated as moderately durable in terms of decay resistance, though it is susceptible to insect attack.
Workability: Typically easy to work provided the grain is straight and regular. Planer tearout can sometimes be a problem when surfacing pieces with irregular or figured grain. Glues, stains, and finishes well, (though walnut is rarely stained).
Odor: No characteristic odor.
Allergies/Toxicity: Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, European Walnut has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.
Pricing/Availability: English Walnut is likely to be rather expensive, and is sometimes only seen in veneer form.
Sustainability: This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but is reported by the IUCN as being near threatened. Technically it doesn’t meet the Red List criteria of a vulnerable or endangered species, but is close to qualifying and/or may qualify in the near future. This listing is for the wild populations of the tree: it should be noted that nearly all of the available lumber comes from cultivated trees.
Common Uses: Furniture, cabinetry, gunstocks, interior paneling, veneer, turned items, and other small wooden objects and novelties.
Comments: Known in Europe simply as “Walnut,” or “Common Walnut,” English Walnut (Juglans regia) is the source of what are the most common form of edible walnuts for human consumption. Branches of English Walnut are sometimes grafted onto the trunk of Claro Walnut trees in Californian walnut orchards to take advantage of the latter tree’s roots, which are better suited to the locale and produce more fruit.
Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the turned photo of this wood species.