When Keats said, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever," he must have been looking at an object made of wood from the black walnut tree. The sense of magic in the color variations and the light reflections from a figured piece of walnut and the awesome beauty and warmth of the straight-grained wood speak eloquently of the properties of this amazing tree. More simply stated, the beauty of the wood perpetuates demand. This is what walnut wood is all about.
The fruit of the walnut tree is all about flavor, a unique flavor that lends mouth-watering goodness to bakery goods, candy, ice cream, and countless other foods. And it's fun to collect the nuts, whether for eating or for selling.
A large walnut tree as a forest patriarch is eye-stopping. As you drive along the byways in the summer, the young plantations, too, with their rich green leaves hanging pendiculously like delicate ferns, will catch your eye before any other stand. And the tree is equally arresting as a provider of shade in your yard.
Black walnut is one of America's most highly prized tree species. Its natural range extends throughout tthe central and eastern parts of the United States and into southern Ontario. However, it is commercially significant primarily in the central part of its range. It typically grows as scattered individuals or in small groups mixed with a wide variety of other hardwoods. Pure stands of black walnut are rare, but can occur as small groves at the edge of a forest. Young black walnut trees are intolerant of shade and are seldom found under dense canopies of trees.
Because of heavy use and wasteful cutting over many years, choice black walnut trees are scarce. Demand remains high however, with expanding world markets that drive up prices for the best logs. The promise of high prices has stimulated planting, culture, and management of walnut. this, in turn, has created a demand by walnut growers and land managers for information to conduct these activities.
Supplementing existing reference materials, the Walnut Notes provide information about many topics-information derived from previous publications and research. They contain management advice in an easily applied form, written exclusively for walnut growers. When using the Notes, keep in mind that they contain general guidelines; you may need to adapt them at times to your local conditions.
The loose-leaf format will allow us to make revisions and to add more information for you as the technology of black walnut management continues to develop and to add more information for you as the technology of black walnut management continues to develop. If you would like to receive these additions and revisions in the future, simply complete and send in the postcards on the last page. We welcome your comments about these Walnut Notes and you suggestions for new Notes.
Robert A. Cecich