Tree Tuesday: Black Walnut

The American Black Walnut is one of the most valuable commercial hardwood species in NYS. The easily worked, close-grained wood of the black walnut has long been prized by furniture and cabinetmakers for its attractive color and exceptional durability.

The Black Walnut can be fussy about where they grow, often in rich loamy bottom land. Its bark has a herringbone or interlaced diamond pattern like an ash or poplar. When cut, the bark is chocolate in color underneath. It has large compound leaves, in pairs of leaves that are lance shaped. It has more leaf pairs than any other species.

The telltale sign of a black walnut is if you break a twig and it has a chambered pith. Black walnuts often grow far apart from each other and are allelopathic (meaning it releases a chemical to inhibit growth of other plants). Its nut pods are round green: these turn to blackish-brown after falling to the ground.

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