black walnut
Juglans nigra

Black walnut is one of the most prized and valuable of North American hardwoods. The wood is famous for its rich, dark beauty and is coveted by wood dealers and woodworkers internationally. The nuts are enjoyed by squirrels, as well as people.

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Light Fall Color Water
Growth   Size

Timber Value

      Black walnut is used for veneer, fine furniture, gunstocks, interior paneling, and specialty products.


Wildlife Value
      Squirrels eat walnuts when they are green or bury them for future consumption. Deer browse the buds; mice and rabbits nibble young tree stems. Squirrels and birds eat black walnuts. Eastern screech owl often roosts in black walnut.
          Attracts: squirrels, deer, mice, rabbits, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, eastern screech owls

Regeneration methods
      Black walnut is intolerant of shade at all stages of maturity and must be dominant or codominant to thrive. Regeneration systems offering abundant light, such as clearcuts, patch clearcuts, and group selections are acceptable. Black walnut responds quickly to release from competition for light, water, and nutrients.

Important Problems Early Detection tips
target (Nectria) cankers distorted, sunken areas of bark

Fun facts
The wood of black walnut is dark brown in color and is easily worked. The nuts are said to be superior in flavor to other walnuts and are used primarily for baked goods and ice cream. The shells of black walnut have many uses including an abrasive cleaning agent for jet engines, filler for dynamite, a filter agent in smokestacks, and a flour-like carrying agent for insecticides. Black walnut is known to exude from its roots an allelopathic chemical called Juglane which is highly toxic to other plants. Black walnut is currently being threatened by a newly recognized fungal disease known as “thousand cankers black walnut disease".
Juglans: Latin name for Juglans regia Latin "jovis" (Jupiter) and "glans" (nut) / nigra: black (bark)
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2004 Virginia Tech Forestry Department, all rights reserved. Text, images, and programming by: Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Dr. John R. Seiler, John A. Peterson, Edward C. Jensen, Guy Phillips, or Andrew S. Meeks.

questions, comments, and criticisms: email John.Peterson@vt.edu