Return to the Meadows & Prairies Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Posted by
Blake
(blakebj@earthlink.net) on
Mon, Nov 2, 98 at 12:14

I am considering purchasing a 5-acre property with 30+-year-old growth Walnut and Black Walnut Trees.

Is there a way to use these beautiful trees to produce income? How many nuts do average trees produce? How would I find information regarding the harvesting and preparation of the nuts? Am I just nuts ;-)?

Thanks for any input you can provide

Blake
blakebj@earthlink.net


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

  • Posted by
    Barb Mich z5
    (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 4, 98 at 23:44

Blake, see if you can find "Seeds of Woody Plants of U.S.", Ag handbook 450, USDA Forest Service. While this was written to help propagate trees, it has a lot of other information in it, such as age of bearing, how often the trees have heavy crops, how many seeds to the pound, etc.

If the income from nuts doesn't seem to be an answer, the sawlogs of walnut, esp black walnut, is in high demand for veneer, gun stocks, etc. Thirty years is barely mature, but mature sawlogs may sell for $5000 or more each. Few people plant them as they know their children and grandchildren will be the ones to harvest nuts or timber from them. Every year on the stump adds to their value for another half century. Have them evaluated by a forester other than the timber cutters before selling them; you need a disinterested party involved.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

My husband and I just purchased property that has two 100 plus year old black walnut trees that need to be removed. Where can I get the going rate for saw logs? We live in South East Virginia.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Blake,
We have some HUGE old walnut trees and I can't give the darn walnuts away. We even put them in barrels and baskets and advertised them free. Nothing! Commercial growers use a tree with thinner husks, more meat, etc. and if you've ever dried, cracked, picked, etc. a "real" walnut, it's fun but you'll end up buying them in the store if your time is worth a nickel an hour! Sorry, I don't have any good news.

And Erin,
Please try to save your old Black Walnut trees! But if you can't call hardwood lumber companies, sawmills, etc. and let them start a bidding war! Good old walnut trees are very valuable as you already read. I've even had people stop by unsolicited to see if we'd sell ours! One guy even offered to bring in 20 ft. oak trees as replacements.
Good luck,
Randy


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Black Walnut lumber is in such demand, there are 'lumber pirates' down where I come from, they sneak onto your property, cut your valuable trees and haul 'em away. "Oh, that fenceline...shucks, I guess I didn't see it". It's a pretty dangerous habit, people who hear a chainsaw where it doesn't belong reach for their deer rifles nowdays. Mature Eastern Red Cedar and White Oak is another target they'll go for, both bring a decent lumber price now.
It may be because the local economy doesn't offer many alternatives. The market for homemade moonshine, stolen car stereos and rustled cattle must be all gone. A hillbilly has to do what a hillbilly has to do, I suppose.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

The big money comes from veneer grade walnut trees. They will be in the saw log class at 14 inches in diameter. Veneer grade trees will be 21 inches in diameter. The price per log triples from saw log to veneer. Get in touch with your service forester or private forestry consultant. You have a gold mine that is worth investing the time with.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Blake!
I ran into some www info(don't remember where) from someone
who had recommendations on preparing the nuts from Black
Walnut. Wearing rubber/latex gloves take off the husk, if
you don't wear gloves the yellow iodine smelling dye will
turn your hands a dark brown/black...and you can't wash it
off. Next roast nuts in shell in a hot(I'm guessing 400
degree oven for 10-15min), this makes the shells easier to
crack. I prefer the taste of Black Walnuts to the
'California' walnuts. I will keep checking on my source and
post it here, once I figure out where-in-the-heck I saw the
info and anymore details.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

A friend approached me with some tree seedlings and asked me to identify one that appears to be a black walnut, according to the forrester that provided them. The roots are black and the bark is very dark, more so than the oak and chestnut trees purchased. The buds are green and appear to be alive. This couple is wanting to plants these trees but want to know what they are planing and where they need planted.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I have started many young walnut trees and someone just told me to strip off the lower limbs to help them grow tall. I started to do this and discovered that some have a double stock. Should I remove this or let the two continue to grow. Won't this damage it for wood. Also saw some with injury in the bark. Should they be replaced.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I have 3 Black Walnut nuts with the husk still on. How do I plant these?


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I have some young seedlings about 3 feet high and the leaves turned brown and fell off. Later in the summer the plant leafed out again. Anyone have any idea as to a cause and how to fix it???


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

A year and a half ago we bought property with a huge gnarled old black walnut tree on it. This is a beautiful tree and the primary source of shade in our back yard. However, I plan to bring two young puppies home in a few weeks and have just learned how toxic the green nut husks can be to dogs. This tree drops hundreds of nuts in the fall and I have already learned that it is close to impossible to find them all on the ground (but sure as anything the puppies will find any I miss). Is there a way (this year) to coax a mass drop of the nuts so that we can clean them all up in one fell swoop? Also is there a way to inhibit the tree from going to seed. I really don't want to cut this beautiful old tree down but have to think of my pets health.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I have several trees in the front yard. I can answer several of the questions from the research I have conducted.

To Oldlove, I really doubt the dogs will eat these nuts. They really have a foul taste! You will find that the only hope of anything eating them is the squirrels. Talk to your vet.

Cheri - It seems Walnut trees can be suseptable to mildews. It is common for trees to have the leaves discolor and drop throughout the Summer. To minimize this, keep watering consistant, don't over water. Trim the tree to allow good air flow through its branches. Yours sounds like it may have been shocked by lack of water or something similar. If it has leaves now, it sounds like it recovered.

Joe - just stick those nuts in the ground and pray the squirrels don't get them. I would guess by the dozens of sprouts around my yard that germination rates are around 50%. They very likely need to winter over (stratification) to sprout. Need anymore seeds, give me a holler.

Jo- Trimming extra branches and training your walnut trees to have one central trunk is vital to a good healthy tree. The younger you begin, the less it will effect the quality of the bark and wood in the future.

Hope this helps. Good luck!


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Its not hard at all to grow black walnuts i pull alot out of flower beds every year. I hate mine Id like to inject them with something so they stop bearing nuts. I spent hours one nite picking meat and the things were moldy in the morning never again. The clean up the mess every year I hate them.i have 5 right here in yard spaced out here and there and then quite a few else where on property, They were here when we bought the farm.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

There are so many questions asked in this post, some answered. About the pounds of nuts produced per tree call you county agent he would have the numbers.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

How can a person start a black walnut tree growing busisness? I have 40 acres and would like to start a wood busines ,so how could I get started ,and how long would it take for trees to mature and ready to be cut for vineer?


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Start it now and your grandchildren will be able to sell the logs.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I have a number of black walnut trees and am looking for a market to sell them, anyone know of any? I'm located in Central Ohio, but I imagine shipping is a possibility. Thanks.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Blake, My grandkids help me gather the ripe walnuts in a wheelbarrow. We have a buyer who comes to the local co-op each fall-- you might ask locally. What you don't sell, you can pile up under the tree for a whopping pile of baby trees the next summer. I givem away in milk cartons. You might inquire at USDA APHIS online about conditions of commercial sale of trees. They make gorgeous huge shade trees. But don't try planting an herb garden under them, even if they do leaf out late! Poppies, iris, vinca and garlic grow well under them. You can make wonderful silver-to-chocloate natural fiber dye for quilting and basketry. Email me for Mrs. Greve's Walnut Syrup recipe made in July from green hulls. Your grandkids can practice baseball on the walnuts with an old mop handle.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Hi Blake,
I lived on a 28 acre property in SW WI covered with black walnut. Moved away a year ago. I'd say if you are considering getting the property for other reasons go for it, but if you are getting it for the possible investment on the trees you have a lot to consider. You really should have an impartial forester look at the land before you buy. I'm sure they have some value, but they won't be veneer grade unless the have been managed over the last 30 years, meaning pruneing while they were young and managing the rest of the forest so there are not compeating trees or plants near them and thinning them as they grow selling off the ifrerior ones young and selecting the best ones to stay. If it hasn't been managed you may have a few good trees, but mostly not. Also if you are thinking of living there and just want a beautyful woods, having it logged really tears it up. Lumber values vary greatly in different areas. Up here durring the time that we had considered logging walnut value was in a real slump, then just before we moved they were picking up and we had called the forester in, but then never went through with it as we ended up leaving.
As far as the nuts go, it may be different somewhere else, but where we lived they had no value. The only one that would buy them was the forest service and they used them for planting large plots. I think you could get like 75 cents a busshel. They do make a tasty pie, but it will take you 2 days work. By the time you are done your hands will ache and will be discolored even if you wear gloves. I have tried comercial crackers as well as every tool in the tool box, a large rock and running them over with the truck. It's a lot of work no matter how you do it. Also some of them have worms inside and are gross.
One other problem with them has only been slightly alluded to here. The juglone that they produce prevents you from growing many, many plants. There are plants that are not bothered by the juglone. I have a list of them that is compiled from quite a few sources combined as well as personal experience, if you want it. The juglone is mainly in the root zone of any tree, but the leaves have it to some extent. Also the sqirels love to burry the nuts in the freshly dug gardens and if a seedling grows it will spoil that area for quite awhile. It takes many years for the juglone to leave the soil even if you cut the trees down.
Hope this helps,
Catrina


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees,English? etc.?

How do I identify what type of walnut tree I have in my yard? Also when can I harvest the nuts? Thanks


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I have noticed many people seem to think they have no choice but to tackle the black walnuts with a hammer. That method is just not worth the work! I have found it to be much easier, and very effective, to use a heavy duty nutcracker made for black walnuts. There are several out there.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Sandy's right. A good black walnut cracker, or even something as simple as a bench-mounted vise, does a good, speedy job on cracking out walnuts. Additionally, if you'll soak those cleaned nuts(you really need to clean the husk material off soon after they drop from the tree, or else the nutmeats will become discolored) in a pan/bucket of warm water for an hour or so prior to a session of cracking, you'll find that the shells will buckle and split, releasing intact quarters, rather than 'exploding' when you reach 'critical pressure'.
There are a number of improved BW varieties that have been selected for thinner shells, easier cracking, and higher kernel/shell ratios - some may have 3X more kernel than the run-of-the-mill wild-type BW.

Here is a link that might be useful: Northern Nut Growers Association


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I LIVE IN A SUBURB OF CHICAGO AND WOULD LIKE TO SELL MY 3 BLACK WALNUT TREES. CAN ANYONE HELP ME TO GET INFORMATION ON WHO BUYS AND REMOVES THE TREES? THANK YOU


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Black walnuts sure generate a lot of discussion. I have three large trees about 20 feet from the south side of the house. We removed a fourth about 20 years ago and couldn't get anyone to pay us for the wood. We also have a few young trees growing up on the fence line, compliments of the squirrels.

I know what you mean about the work involved in processing the nuts. I gave up after several attempts. I have a friend who used to come and gather some - her husband liked to crack them and she would give me a loaf of walnut bread. But her husband has Alzheimer's now, so that resource is no longer available to me. My sister has a second home in Missouri, and she says the caretaker gathers nuts for someone who processes them and gives her back some of the processed nuts in return. I wish I could find someone to do that again. It just takes too much time.

This year we had a bumper crop and we spent three or four afternoons raking them up. We dumped them in piles over on the undeveloped lot next door. I'd rather have BWs over there than buckthorn!

Native wildflowers grow under the BWs. Ferns, wild ginger, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Jacob's ladder, bloodroot and more. I know they're supposed to be bad for the vegetable garden, but I've not had any problems. My vegetable beds are another 50 ft. or so south of these trees, and I'm sure some of the roots must reach that far. I have very healthy asparagus plants. The only problem I noticed was that after several years of good growing, my rhubarb plants started declining, just in the center of the row. I wondered whether there was a BW root tunneling under them, but I never uncovered one. I just moved the rhubarb. I never noticed any effect on the veggies from buried nuts, either.

The redeeming quality of these trees is the wonderful shade they give. They are really beautiful, and I would not cut them down even though they cause me a lot of grief being so close to the house. It would take way too long for any new trees to take their place. And I like the smell of the husks. Oh, and I've had many dogs over the years, and only one of them ever picked up a nut. He was a golden retriever who thought my green tomatoes were tennis balls!


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

A few things I forgot to mention on the last post. I really don't think a dog will have anything to do with the nuts. The kids would throw them and even though she loves fetching balls and sticks she would not touch the nuts.
One more word of advice about planting these trees. Don't put them near your driveway, garage or anywhere else that you plan to park your car. Probably not a good idea to have one near a patio or somewhere that humans hang out or near a building with a metal roof. These nuts make large dents in viecles and can knock you out if they hit you in the head.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Lets take some of these questions and try to address them.

1. The Eastern Black Walnut (Juglans Nigra) is native to areas from Nebraska to southern Canada to New York to Florida to Texas. It has a huge range with lots of genetic diversity. There are several other species of walnut native to the United States including Juglans Major (Arizona walnut), Juglans Cinerea (Butternut), Juglans Californica (southern California walnut), Juglans Hindsii (Hinds walnut native to Northern California). All can be differentiated from other tree species by the chambered pith in young limbs and by the leaf structure and by the characteristic odor. One non-native tree (juglans Regia aka Persian or English walnut) is prominent in certain areas because it is cultivated extensively for nut production.

2. If you have one or two or even a dozen trees in your yard and think you are sitting on a fortune in valuable wood, think again. The most valuable walnut trees are straight and tall with even grain and diameter over 16 inches at breast height. Yard trees rarely have these characteristics. In addition, many yard trees have had nails, fence wire, horseshoes, and other metal objects attached that then grow into the wood. This ruins the most valuable part of the tree from a veneer perspective and drastically reduces its value for sawlogs. Very rarely will a timber buyer mess around with yard trees. You might however be able to sell them to a local cabinet maker or small sawmill operation because they have a market for the logs harvested. Regardless, most of the time you will have to PAY to have the tree(s) removed!

3. Walnuts can be harvested and generate some income if there is a market for the nuts. (Hammons walnut products in Stockton Missouri is the only large buyer of black walnuts in the U.S.) The typical prices paid are about a dime a pound for clean nuts. An acre of managed trees can produce from 1000 to 3000 pounds of nuts per year in good years but may produce zilch most years. Most native trees are not adequate nut producers to make nut production commercially viable. I have personally looked at over 10,000 walnut trees throughout the Southeast and have found only 2 trees that are consistently productive of high quality nuts.

3. Planting nuts and growing timber is a highly viable possibility if you can wait 40 or more years for harvest. Better yet, if you buy land that already has young standing timber, careful stand improvement might be able to dramatically improve the quality and value of the trees. I would suggest some serious investigation before doing anything large scale.

4. You can plant or graft black walnut to better quality named cultivars. There are timber producing and nut producing selections. If you want to do this on a serious basis, I suggest investigating www.nolinnursery.com. No matter what you do, handling the nuts is a dirty and difficult chore. If anyone wants detailed information about nut producing cultivars, please send me an email. I may not have the correct information for your area but I do have enough contacts to connect you with someone who does.

5. To grow a new tree, collect the mature nuts as they drop in the fall and immediately plant them in the ground about 3 to 6 inches deep (plant the entire nut, husk and all). Be aware that squirrels are very adept at finding buried nuts. If you have squirrels, use a piece of mesh wire (or a tin can with both bottom and top cut out) to cover the nut.

There is a ton more I could add to this but have to get some rest for now. Look up the Walnut Council if you want more information re producing timber. Northern Nut Growers (linked several posts above this one) is a good place to start with nut production questions. Hammons walnut products can be found at: http://www.walnutcouncil.org/

Fusion


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Here's an interesting site for plantation growers

Here is a link that might be useful: grow your own?


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Dear Sirs,

I'm looking for unriped green and soft European or Black Walnuts in wax ripeness, collected in beginning- middle of June. I need few pounds of them for health purpose and it's very important for me. I will pay for the nuts as well as for shipment.
Waiting for your prompt response,

Sincerely,

Anatoly Osatinski, Brooklyn, NY


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Some of these posts are really old, so they probably have already figured out that most urban walnut trees are best used for shade or fire wood.

I found this interesting article: http://ohioline.osu.edu/for-fact/0044.html
It gives a good description of what to look for in the value of a tree.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Does anyone have any suggestions for plants to use around a black walnut...particularly groundcovers and shrubs? I just bought my family homeplace in central NC and there is a 150 year old black walnut in the front yard. The only things I remember doing well near it are nandina, a cherry tree and a catawba tree.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Here is an interesting tool to pick nuts or windfalls off the ground. Site includes videos. Looks interesting

Here is a link that might be useful: Tool to Pick Up Nuts or Windfalls


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

i have on my property, 4 black walnut trees that i want to sell. they are located in northern illinois. i would like to khow if anyone has any information on how i can proceed with this? thanks. the trees are at least fifty years old.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Check the tree forum


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

anyone still talking about blackwalnut trees?


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

How far should I plant a walnut from my vegetable garden? I would love to have some walnuts as shade trees around the house, but I have a garden about 150' away. Is there room enough to do this?


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I think the allelopathic effects of black walnuts are pretty much limited to the area under the canopy, perhaps wider if the roots are involved. And any black walnut tree you plant now will have a pretty small 'footprint' for, oh, about 50 years!


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Why is this thread in the Meadows and Prairies Forum???


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I gathered some from several trees in my neighborhood in the fall a couple years ago, and the nutmeats didn't taste good at all. I only tested the ones where the hulls had shrivelled or come off naturally. My sister picked some up at the farm 50 miles away and same thing. Even the squirrels wouldn't eat most of mine.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

If your walnut tree has a damaged or crooked trunk and you want to get a nice straight tree that is is much more vauable later on, you can cut down smaller walnut trees with an established root system to the ground and they will send up a shoot that grows straighter and faster than the original.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Hi, I live in East Tn. I have 3 or 4 walnut trees. One is obout 60 ft tall, 26-30 inches in diameter. Straight all the way up. Any idea at all if they are worth much. The biggest had an electric fences nailed to it about 4 foot high.


 o
Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

hi does anyone know how much you get by the pound at the hulling stations thanks


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

The nail marks devalue the lumber. My parents recently sold a black walnut tree - I think they got around $1,200 for it. They could have gotten quite a bit more but the woodpeckers had done quite a bit of damage.

My parents removed the tree because they wanted to expand their garden in that direction towards the trees.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

We have several black walnut trees in our yard. I'm a fanatical nature lover and would never consider cutting down a viable tree, but have discovered that most other plants, flowers, shrubs, bushes, etc. do not grow within 50+ ft. of a black walnut tree. Apparently, this is due to the toxicity in the tree's roots. Unless something can be done, these trees are coming down. Does anyone have any information or suggestions? Thanks


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

All kinds of native plants will grow under a Black Walnut.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Dose anyone know the current price for a 25 year old black walnut tree. I am just looking for a "in the ball park value."


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I have a 25-30 foot tall Black Walnut and I want to get an estimate on how much it could be worth. It's a good looking tree and branches are about 7 1/2 feet up.
Thanks and I look forward recieving a response.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I have just had my black walnut tree taken down. I live in NW Ohio. The trunk is 100inches diameter in the skinniest spot and 10'6" length- before it Y's. Any idea of how much it is worth and who would I contact to get a list of people who buy it? thank you for any information I can get- I would like it removed as soon as possible.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

holy carp rvtohio that is one monster tree! I don't know how much that is worth but I would guess a lot, probably 5 or 10 thousand dollars, assuming that is that the trunk is straight. I've got a whole bunch along our treeline of our property I live out in the sticks so to me it looks like pretty good trees easily 30 or 40 ft of striaght veneer growth. I found this little guide thought it would be useful to people who are contimplating this, it puts an end to harvesting urban walnut trees for cash.

Urban Walnut Trees
Their Value as Timber or Veneer

http://ohioline.osu.edu/for-fact/0044.html

Ohio State University Fact Sheet
School of Natural Resources
2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Urban Walnut Trees
Their Value as Timber or Veneer
F-44-02

William G. Owen
Extension Agent Emeritus, Environmental Education
and Community Development

Randall B. Heiligmann
Extension Specialist, Forestry

Reports of black walnut trees being sold for hundreds or even thousands of dollars often cause homeowners to dream of huge profits from selling their backyard walnut trees. Unfortunately, while good quality walnut trees are often quite valuable, walnut trees grown in an urban setting usually are not. Only an exceptionally large, high-quality, urban-grown walnut or group of walnut trees would interest a timber or veneer buyer.

Black walnut (Juglans nigra) has long been used for fine furniture, gun stocks, bowls, and novelties because of its beautiful grain, color, and the ease with which it can be worked. Good quality walnut logs are cut into lumber; the best are sliced into veneer. Walnut veneer is a very thin sheet of wood (as thin as

1/50 inch) that can be glued to the surface of another species of wood or plywood to give the appearance of walnut. Walnut veneer may be sliced by repeatedly passing the log against a sharp blade, or peeled into larger sheets by slowly spinning the log against a sharp blade. The use of veneer allows walnut products to be produced at a fraction of the cost of producing them from solid wood. While walnut lumber trees must be of good quality, veneer trees are of higher quality and command the highest prices.

Several key characteristics determine the value of a black walnut tree for timber or veneer, including trunk diameter, merchantable height, and how free the trunk is from defects. (More information is available in Fact Sheet F-35, Measuring Standing Trees Determining Diameter, Merchantable Height, and Volume, available from county offices of Ohio State University Extension.)

While walnut buyers will occasionally purchase small trees, particularly if they are part of a group of trees being sold, trees less than 15 inches in diameter are of comparatively little value. Quality lumber and veneer trees generally have diameters of 18 inches or greater. A tree's diameter is measured 4-1/2 feet above the ground. It can be determined by measuring the circumference with a cloth tape or string and dividing the circumference by 3.14.
Figure 1
Figure 1. This black walnut tree will produce high-quality lumber or veneer.

The length of tree trunk that can be used for lumber or veneer is called its merchantable height. In black walnut and other hardwoods, merchantable height is usually the trunk height to major branches or forking. Minimum merchantable height for lumber and veneer black walnut trees is eight to 10 feet. Quality lumber and veneer trees will have merchantable heights that are several times this height (see Figure 1).

The quality of a hardwood tree is measured by how free its trunk is from defects such as crookedness, limbs, scars, swellings, bumps, cracks, holes, insect or disease damage, and wounds. Other factors being equal, the fewer the defects, the more valuable the tree. High-value walnut lumber and veneer trees have few visible defects. On the other hand, walnut trees with numerous defects are of little economic value. In general, the larger the walnut's diameter and merchantable height and the more free the trunk is from defects, the greater its economic value for lumber or veneer.
Figure 2
Figure 2. This black walnut tree will not produce high-quality lumber or veneer.

Unfortunately, most urban walnut trees (Figure 2) do not display the characteristics of high-quality marketable trees. Urban walnuts often grow in open areas without surrounding trees. This results in trees with short trunks and numerous branches little or no merchantable height. They are also more likely to have been struck by lightning or injured by human activities than trees grown in the woods.

Even urban walnut trees that appear suitable as lumber or veneer trees usually are avoided by buyers because of the risk that they may contain objects, such as nails, wire, insulators, clothes hooks, and more, that would damage saw blades or veneer knives. This is perhaps the most important reason timber buyers do not commonly purchase urban trees. A substantial percentage of all urban trees have grown over such foreign objects and contain them embedded in their wood.

While most mills have electronic equipment or other procedures to avoid striking embedded objects, there is usually no way a buyer can determine the presence of such objects when examining the standing tree. Unless the tree is of exceptional value, most buyers do not want to assume the risk that all or part of the value of the tree will be lost because it contains foreign objects.

The cost and difficulty of harvesting urban trees also discourages the purchase of urban walnuts. Unless the trees are of truly exceptional value, it is rarely economical for a buyer to invest crew and equipment time in traveling to harvest one or two trees. In addition, many urban trees are close to houses, power lines, or other facilities, making them more difficult, time consuming, and expensive to harvest.

The combination of poor quality, high risk of embedded objects, and potentially difficult logging results in most urban walnut trees being of little interest to timber or veneer buyers. This does not mean that buyers would not be interested in an urban walnut that had a 30-inch diameter trunk, 32 feet of merchantable height in a straight trunk that was virtually free from visible defects, located in the middle of a large back yard away from any utilities or buildings. Unfortunately, there are very few such trees.

Although walnuts are not considered the ideal shade or ornamental tree, this is the highest value for most large urban walnut trees. If, for whatever reason, a large urban walnut must be cut, the highest value of the wood is most commonly firewood. Large, open-grown black walnuts often contain one or more cords of firewood, and walnut is an excellent firewood of medium density and is relatively easy to burn. The value of the firewood may partially offset the cost of having the tree professionally cut. Cutting a tree in the city can cost from several hundred to more than a thousand dollars, depending on the size of the tree and its location. If you have a tree cut in the city and you wish to retain the wood, be sure the contractor knows this. Many contractors remove the wood and market it as firewood.

If you believe you have economically valuable black walnut trees and wish to market them for timber and veneer, the first step is to verify their potential value through discussions with your local Ohio Department of Natural Resources Service or Urban Forester or a consulting forester. (The names of these individuals can be obtained from your county office of Ohio State University Extension.)

At the same time, you should explore the most effective way to market the trees. Options for selling timber are discussed in Fact Sheet F-37, Getting the Most Return From Your Timber Sale, available from county offices of OSU Extension. In most instances, if you have several high-quality trees, following the bid sale process described in this publication will produce the most satisfactory results. Occasionally, direct contact with a single buyer will produce satisfactory results. This is particularly true when the sale is small or the local market is limited, and a potential buyer has already made contact. These procedures are both discussed in the fact sheet.

If you do sell your urban black walnut trees, be sure you have a written contract with the buyer. Fact Sheet F-38, Timber-Sale Contracts, details traditional timber-sale contract concerns. Many of the provisions discussed will be the same for an urban timber sale; others will need to be modified to address the urban environment.

Finally, before you sell, seriously consider the value of your urban black walnuts as living trees, including shade, beauty, wildlife, and increased real-estate value. Be sure the income you will receive from selling the trees exceeds their value to you as shade and ornamental trees. The removal of large urban trees often has dramatic unanticipated visual impacts, and such trees cannot be replaced in your lifetime.

Here is a link that might be useful: urban walnut harvesting


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Thanks for the information Daniel. Currently my brother has the trunk, because it was on my and a neighbor's property. He has a workshop/garage big enough to stor it. I will pass on all this info to him. Sorry I did not respond sooner, was checking in on a regular basis and then when the trunk got removed, you know out of sight out of mind. But once again, thank you!
RVT Ohio


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

hi, I have a huge black walnut tree. i would say 25 feet of straight trunk before it's Y. The diameter of the trunk is about 12 feet round. it is so large I can't even clime to it's first branch with a 24 foot ladder. I am interested in selling it. Does anyone know if someone could come out and cut it down and pay me for the wood??? Or how do i go about selling the wood. I live in south east michigan.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

dkurth, I would be intrested in helping you remove the tree and buying the wood to make furnature out of it. I have a portable sawmill that I use to cut the logs into lumber. My email address is novawalnut@gmail.com


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I have 2 very large black walnut trees on my property that need to be removed and I'm exploring to sell the wood. The trunk of the first tree is 14 ft before it branches and its diameter 45+ inches. The trunk of the second tree is 15 ft before it branches and the diameter is 30+ inches. I will have the trees professionally removed by a tree removal company, but I am looking for a buyer for the trunks. I am located in a suburb of NYC. Any interest/suggestions/leads?


 o
Harvesting Black Walnuts

http://www.extension.umn.edu/projects/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/h404blkwal.html


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I have 8 VERY large walnut trees on my property that I would like to sell and remove. They are very tall and straight. I was wondering what they are worth and how to go about selling and removing them. I live on long island, ny. The trees are set back over 100 ft from the house. Any help would really be appreciated.


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

Maureen, I would recommend contacting your extension agent or local forester for more information on who you might contact for potential removal/purchasing. Trees grown in yard or farmstead settings - unless carefully managed - will likely not attract a great deal of attention from timber buyers due to potential for old nails, wire, etc that may exist under in the tree.

I'm in west central WI and had 4 20"+ Black Walnuts we needed to remove last year and we couldn't give away the trees (the trees were farmstead trees/woodland bordering trees). A local timber buyer had zero interest - even in just giving them away - nor did anyone want them for wood burning. We did end up giving some chunks of the logs away to friends though who wanted some for woodworking. While I like Black Walnuts in general, I do not like them in a yard setting as a selection of other plants are not tolerant of the junglone (basically a natural herbicide of the BW) produced from the seeds, roots, and leaves. Good luck!


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

We live in LaPorte, Indiana. We have several black walnut trees that we're curious about having cut down & selling the timber. Who can we contact within our vicinity to get someone to come over & quote us some prices?


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I live 50 miles north of NY on Westchester/Putnam Valley line. Have almost 100 year or so Black Walnut Tree which I have to sell. Tried gun manufacturers but they don't do that anymore. Any suggestions. Help!


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

To harvest Black Walnuts I would recommend looking at Bag-A-Nut's website. They have specific products for harvesting Black Walnuts - and keeping your hands from getting stained :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Bag-A-Nut's Family of Black Walnut Harvesters


 o
RE: Walnut / Black Walnut Trees

I purchased a house three years ago withwhatI thought was a wonderful back yard and patio with the central focus of a walnut tree. This tree had proved to be the something that is actually beyond me in terms that I cannot sit outside or have my grandchildren over because they could could be killed by the bombs that fall. The squirrel population has increased which I enjoy at time but I cannot feed the birds and them. I cannot enjoy this backyard and want to move. I am actually going to call a tree man I know to ask him if hexan come in the spring and cut off the walnut buds. Has anyone out there ever had this problem? And what has been your solution? I am desperate. And I thank you.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Meadows & Prairies Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here