| HARDWOOD THAT IS MUCH MIMICKED BUT NEVER MATCHED
English walnut has an extraordinary color range and the most subtle and intriguing grain patterning, characterized by gentle undulating curves. The species is easy to use, but the lumber is very expensive, the sapwood is wide and wastage is high. Furniture
makers are known to buy fallen trees on the spot, for either veneer or solid lumber, in the hope that there is something they can use.
Type Temperate hardwood
Other names European walnut, Persian walnut
Related species Japanese walnut (J. ailantifolia)
Alternatives Black walnut (J. nigra), Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra)
Sources Europe and parts of Asia
Color From gray and beige through pink to brown
Texture Fine and even
Grain Curving or straight, but not interlocking
Weight Medium to heavy (40 Ib./cu. ft.) (640 kg/cu. m)
Strength Moderate, but bends well
Seasoning and stability Easy to season, though it must be done slowly. Will move moderately once dry.
Range of board widths Can be wide, but often limited because logs are not always very wide and there can be a high proportion of sapwood.
Range of board thicknesses Reasonable, though walnut is sometimes cut thick when it is not sliced for veneer for later flexibility.
Durability Moderate, but some risk of insect attack
Crotch and burl walnut are the most common special veneers, but a pale version can also be found. Ancona walnut, from Italy, is highly figured.
There are plenty of walnut trees growing, but most are not old enough to harvest and many die before they grow to a valuable size. As a result you will not find certified English walnut, but there is no risk of extinction.
AVAILABILITY AND COST
English walnut is difficult to find and usually expensive.