Wormy Chestnut

Wormy Chestnut
Wormy Chestnut (sanded)

Wormy Chestnut (sealed)
Wormy Chestnut (sealed)

Wormy Chestnut is not a distinct species of Chestnut, but rather refers to American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) trees that were killed by the chestnut blight of the early 1900s, which were subsequently damaged by insects, leaving holes and discoloration in the standing trees. The trees were then subsequently harvested and converted into lumber.

Because of the blight wiping out nearly all mature American Chestnut trees, its lumber is both rare and (relatively) valuable. Wormy Chestnut in particular is usually salvaged from old barns and other structures, and reprocessed and sold as reclaimed lumber. Between the nail holes, discoloration, worm and insect damage, Wormy Chestnut is preferred in applications where a rustic or unpolished appearance is desired.

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Lynne Holton

I have a den and entry hall paneled in wormy chestnut- Crown molding and doors included.
Any idea what I should use to clean it? I really don’t think it is finished with anything except maybe a clear coat of something years ago but there is a large fireplace in the room so I would like to clean it


Denatured alcohol

Lisa Kincaid Mcdaniel

I have a wormy chestnut game table. My husband took the mahogany veneer off about 60 years ago and it was wormy chestnut underneath so he just finished it. Any idea what it’s worth. It is in excellent condition.


I have some wormy chestnut salvaged from a 100 year old barn that I wish to use in some projects. Is there any chance of infestation from such old wood and if so how would it be treated?

David M

I’ve been told that you should bake reclaimed chestnut in a kiln to kill off any pests.


Hydrogen peroxide and/or denatured alcohol


Wormy Chestnut

joel c keeton

Wormy maple will probably be the closest.


Red oak or sassafras


I have wormy chestnut boards for the top of a farm table but need to find a wood that is similar in color to turn the legs. Do you have a recommendation on what wood might work well? I am not planning on staining but just sealing.