English Walnut (Juglans regia)

English Walnut (Juglans regia)

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Common Name(s): English Walnut, Circassian Walnut,
European Walnut, French Walnut, Common Walnut

Scientific Name: Juglans regia

Distribution: Eastern Europe and western Asia

Tree Size: 80-115 ft (24-35 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. European Walnut can occasionally also be found with figured grain patterns such as: curly, crotch, and burl.

Grain/Texture: Grain is usually straight, but can be irregular. Has a medium texture and moderate natural luster. 

Endgrain: Semi-ring-porous to diffuse porous; large earlywood pores grading to medium latewood pores, few; solitary and radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses occasionally to abundantly present; growth rings distinct; medium rays barely visible without lens, normal spacing; parenchyma  diffuse-in-aggregates (sometimes very faint and barely visible even with lens) and banded (marginal).

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: English Walnut has a faint, mild odor when being worked.

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.

Related Species:

Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the turned photo of this wood species.

English Walnut (sanded)

English Walnut (sanded)

English Walnut (sealed)

English Walnut (sealed)

English Walnut (foliage)

English Walnut (foliage)

English Walnut (turned)

English Walnut (turned)

  • chris

    what is the best way to finish American Wallnut furniture where it will have wet glasses put on it

  • ?????? ??????????

    This doesn’t look like European walnut to me. European walnut is lighter in colour and the colour is not so uniform.

    • Steve Earis

      believe me mate, it’s english walnut alright. english walnut can be really nice stuff when you get a good old tree 3′ wide usually with the characteristic streakiness in the grain such as you see on the sample.

      • ?????? ??????????

        I’ve seen it this colour, but only if it had been steamed for a consistent colouration. Usually it’s this colour is anywhere from cream to red, brown. chocolade brown (in the same board). At least here in Serbia. Maybe it’s its local feature or something. It’s native to the Balkans and eastwards to India, Turkmenistan. The name “English walnut” is misleading, since the tree isn’t even native to England, and it’s planted all over Europe and Asia as an orchard tree. Here in the Balkans it grows in forests too as a wild tree. Check this gallery out:

        http://www.stolarija-blagoje.com/index.php?option=com_phocagallery&view=category&id=8:plakari&Itemid=54

        Not all of it is walnut. I can send you some photos of my drawers which are partly made of the local English walnut, if you like.

        • Steve Earis

          i called it english walnut because it was grown in england but i think you are right it should be known as european.

          the colour varies quite alot from the trees that i have seen and this could be considered fairly plain as there is not too much variation on the sample, as you say there are often reds and orangey hues in there too.

          if i find a more representative sample i will send it to eric in the next batch of samples i hope to send to him this year.