Walnut wood is a decorative popular wood engraving from Juglans genus trees.  It’s the finest wood whether you need an exquisite coffee table, cabinets, flooring, or you need to revamp your kitchen’s aesthetic nature.

Many people love Walnut since it’s durable and trouble-free to maintain. Unfortunately, Walnut trees costs a fortune. Of course, It’s not the most exorbitant wood on the planet, but since it takes quite some time to grow, it’s treasured.

In this article, I’ll take you through the types of walnut wood but before that, let’s address where Walnut wood comes from. So without further ado, let’s jump into it.

Types Of Walnut Wood

  • English Walnut Wood
  • Black Walnut Wood
  • Claro Walnut Wood
  • White Walnut Wood
  • Bastogne Walnut Wood
  • Peruvian Walnut Wood

Where Does Walnut Wood Come from

Walnut wood originates from Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States. But, if you’re looking for the healthiest Walnut trees, you’ll have to check the American Midwest; Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Lowa, and Ohio.

Also, Walnut trees have spread worldwide to places such as Iran, Mexico, Turkey, China, etc. Even so, it remains one of the rarest trees across the globe, and that’s why it costs a fortune.

What is Walnut Wood Used For?

Walnut has several uses, both in the interior and the exterior. It is wood for building cabinets, carvings, trims, flooring, walnut veneers, and interior decorations, mostly by furniture makers.

It’s a solid and dense wood that’s most preferred in expensive carpentry and fine furniture artistry. But, walnut is expensive than regular wood since it’s rare.

And since it’s durable and robust, you’ll need to sculpt it carefully to create a piece of art. Walnut wood doesn’t get bent and twisted and soaks up shock, an added advantage for longevity.

But you’ll have to go through all the real walnut wood types to make the best decision.

Walnut Grain Pattern

In wood grain identification, walnut wood typically exhibits a straight, fine, and bristly texture. Occasionally, you may observe knot-like patterns, and in rare instances, the wood may display a curly and wavy grain pattern.

But, theres a possibility of a crotch grain appearance when the tree forks split into duo branches leading to wrinkled wood fibers.

Different Types Of Walnut Wood

1. English Walnut Wood

English walnut wood has been extracted from where edible walnuts originate. Since its popularity, it has been branded names such as Circassian walnut, common walnut, French walnut, and European walnut.

It originates from the UK and later spreads to the United States east coast, Eastern Europe, and Western Asia.The European Walnut, in its mature stage, stands 120 feet tall, whereas its trunk diameter reads approximately 2 feet.

Forest walnuts are often taller than cultivated ones. Even so, cultivated walnuts are more preferred as a reliable source of timber since they have a broad crown and short base.

It mainly comes in two colors, brown and pale brown, whereas its sapwood is white and sometimes yellowish. That said, it has light colors compared to another European tress.

However, sometimes you can come across English walnut wood with grey and purple color blocks. The English walnut wood isn’t durable as it’s vulnerable to insect attacks.

It’s used for carvings, making fine furniture, wood veneers, and decorative objects. A massive chunk of wood is typically used on tabletops, kitchen counters, and shelves, whereas veneer makes architectural designs and panels.

2. Black Walnut Wood

The Black walnut trees is a native North American wood appreciated by woodworkers worldwide.

It’s a deciduous tree that grows in areas such as west and southeast of Dakota, Southern Ontario, Southwest Texas, Northern Florida, and South Georgia. Its maximum length is 37 m, whereas its diameter sits 0.6 to 1m thick.

Its heartwood color ranges between dark chocolate brown and pale yellow.  Even so, it has a white to pale grey yellow sapwood.

If you need rot-resistant, durable, and beautiful wood, you should go for California Black walnut tree—however, it’s highly prone to insect attacks.

Even though it was in high demand a couple of years ago, its popularity has dramatically fluctuated; it’s almost impossible to be confident in its market consumption and appetite in years to come.

Of late, it’s slowly growing in prominence, and I’m sure the rising demand will hit its ceiling. The Black walnut tree is relatively affordable and broadly available worldwide.

Those who have noticed its fair prices use it for making interior panels, cabinets, novelty items, and high end furniture.  It’s a flexible wood that can be turned and curved to suit your purpose.

3. Claro Walnut Wood

Claro walnut trees is a native Nothern California wood derived from the scientific intelligence name Juglans hindsii.  Although it’s dominantly grown in Northern California, there are bits of it in Oregon.

Claro walnut wood stands 18m tall, whereas the diameter is 1.5m wide. It comes in standard wood colors such as dark brown chocolate, brown streaks, and light pale brown.

Sometimes there can be a switch in colors to reddish cast, gray, or purple. However, its sapwood is sometimes white or clear and has curly, burl, and crotch grain patterns.

However, you need to be cautious with marble claro wood as it’s prone to insect attacks. That said, it still ranks highly in terms of durability as it doesn’t decay quickly.

But you must be willing to use some extra dollars to secure this wood as it’s not cheap. Marble claro wood makes gun stocks, cabinetry, furniture, veneer, turned items, novelties, musical instruments, and tiny wooden objects.

You can use it quickly on a good day when its grains are regular, but it can be a nightmare when the straight grains tweak a bit.

4. White Walnut Wood

White Walnut wood, better known as the butternut or the Spanish walnut, comes from the Juglans cinereal.  It first emerged in Southeast Canada and the Eastern United States.

Specifically Alabama, Nothern Arkansas, Minnesota, Southern Quebec, and New Brunswick. This wood comes with an oval fruit primarily appreciated by the United States eastern coact folks.

Even though it’s closely related to Black walnut, it comes in a lighter weight and color.  That said, it’s not dense enough and also as durable as people would expect.

It’s prone to rot and insect attacks, so you must be cautious before selecting the White walnut wood.  It’s still popular among woodworkers as it’s straightforward to work with.

Similarly, it comes with shock resistance and has an impressive dimensional ability. It’s a cheap wood, making it a great fit if you want to cut costs. However, you’ll get a great deal for what you pay.

White walnut wood is mainly used in interior paneling, outdoor furniture making, cabinets, turned items, wood door types, and other decorative purposes.

Its heartwood and sapwood come in gold and pale-like tone. Note that sometimes the white walnut colors change from grey, reddish cast or purple.

5. Bastogne Walnut Wood

Bastogne walnut, or the Paradox walnut, is a relatively new tree breed that, despite its limited history, has overtaken its predecessors in terms of quality and quantity.

It’s a hybrid mix between the English walnut and the Claro walnut wood.  It was first made in Santa Rosa, California, then spread worldwide.

The breeder, Burbank Luther, named it Bastogne walnut, a name that has stuck with the wood ever since. It’s around 50-100 feet tall, whereas its diameter sits at 3-5 feet tall.

It comes with heartwood colors ranging from reddish brown to gold.  Sometimes, the color changes from black to dark brown color and vice versa. However, its heartwood is less pale than the sapwood, and its Rippled grain is visible.

The Bastogne walnut tree is straightforward in making knife handles, turned objects, and sometimes musical instruments. It’s priced according to its figure and color quality.

For many, the pricing isn’t an issue as it’s top quality. It’s a great wood as it’s easy to work when its grains are strained and regular.

And if you want to glue, stain and have a perfect finish on a walnut wood plank, then Bastogne walnut is the best choice for you. Note that it sometimes displays a light color when being acted upon.

6. Peruvian Walnut Wood

Peruvian walnut, popularly known as the tropical walnut, is a lovely wood that draws roots in South and North America (Southern Mexico).

Ideally, the wood came from Peru, which later spread to numerous parts of the world. The tree stands 60 feet tall, while its diameter is 3 feet wide.

It’s a hardwood that woodworkers across the globe universally like. The wood has a coarser grain and darker color than other walnut woods, bringing out the wood’s aesthetic nature.

Woodworkers appreciate its rich dark chocolate color as it’s easy to work with. It’s a durable hardwood that has served users for decades.

The wood is a great shock resister, perfect for making gunstocks, millwork, furniture, interior carpentry, and musical instrument.

Peruvian walnut is used to create some of the finest furniture in South America. It’s not popular in the United States as users prefer other types of walnut woods.

But, securing the Peruvian walnut wood will cost you a fortune as it’s rare. Besides, you can still get a great deal if you’re going for imported lumber. It’s a great hardwood flooring piece you can use to your advantage.

Characteristics of Walnut Wood

Here are walnut wood characteristics:

  • Grain: Walnut wood’s straight grain patterns include wavy, narrow, and straight. These patterns help woodworkers create unique furniture and carpentry.
  • Color: Walnut wood has striking colors such as tans, white, warm reds, dark chocolate brown, whites, etc.
  • Durability: Almost all walnut woods are durable and robust for making furniture that serves you for eternity.
  • Texture: Walnut wood texture ranges from fine to medium to coarse.  You’ll have to rub your hands on the wood to notice the difference.
  • Shock Resistance: Walnut woods are shock absorbers, so they aren’t prone to damage. Hence they are used in musical instruments such as guitars.

Read also: What is the difference between walnut and acacia?


What color is walnut wood?

Walnut wood mainly comes in rich brown colors, from dark to light brown color. However, its sapwood is generally white and pale yellow, whereas the heartwood comes in brown shades ranging from dark chocolate brown to light brown color with a portion of dark brown streaks.

Is walnut a hardwood?

Yes, Walnut is a unique hardwood derived from deciduous trees that commonly shed leaves during Autumn. This hardwood typically comes in dark brown colors.  It’s a resilient, dense hardwood that’s easy to use and stays longer. They include black walnut wood, white walnut wood, Peruvian walnut wood, etc.

How hard is walnut wood

Based on the Janka scale, the walnut wood rating currently stands at 1010, which shows its durability. It’s a fantastic wood with proper dimensional stability, which most woodworkers appreciate. It can be used for several purposes, including making musical instruments, carpentry, and furniture.

Why does walnut wood change colors over time?

The walnut wood changes color since the element often lightens dark wood and darkens light wood. Sun exposure will make walnut furniture lighten. At the same time, you can use stain to maintain walnut colors, those who use transparent colors never succeed.

What is the difference between walnut and black walnut wood?

The difference between walnut and black walnut wood is that the English one provides fine wood, while black walnut is generally used in creating durable wood. Similarly, black wood is used to make products used in numerous applications like furniture and cabinetry.

What does black walnut wood look like?

The black walnut wood comes in dark chocolate brown and light pale brown. However, the color can sometimes change to reddish, grey, or purple, depending on the conditions.  Moreover, it comes with a straight, heavy, dark, fine grain heartwood for making carpentry and furniture.

Is black walnut a hardwood?

According to the Janka scale, black wood is a hardwood, which states that it rates 1010. However, it’s not extremely hard by other woods standards. It’s a relative hardwood used to make cabinets, flooring, millwork, and gunstocks.

Read also: Teak wood vs walnut

Wrap Up

As you’ve seen above, there are different types of walnut woods that you can use.  Even so, there are hidden aspects that are now clear such as the durability and shock resistance, that you need to consider to be sure you’re making the right decision.

The list above will guide you towards making the proper walnut wood selection to ensure that you shop effectively.  Good luck!

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