Walnut wood is considered one of the best woods, mainly in Europe. They have some very characteristic and appreciated tones and grains. In addition, it is very easy to work with and supports any type of finish very well.

It is a very heterogeneous species, with at least 30 types of walnut, all with their particularities. Perhaps the most popular is European walnut, although there are also several types of American walnut with a special presence in the United States, and the tropical walnut typical of Central America and northern South America also stands out. The latter are slightly lighter than European nuts. The color of the wood is very similar, the tropical a little darker.

In Spain it was quite abundant, it was even an exporting country, although the exploitation of the last century has reversed this situation.

The nut can reach up to 30 meters in height and 4 meters in diameter. Its fruit is walnut, so it is also well known.

This article describes the characteristics of the European nut, also called the common nut, whose scientific name is Real Junglans.

Characteristics of walnut

Color: From light brown to dark chocolate, the sapwood may present grayish and even yellow tones. It is one of the dark woods preferred by many professionals. Sometimes you can buy steamed walnut to darken the sapwood a little and unify the color even more.

Fiber: Straight, sometimes wavy.

Grain: Medium.

Density: Semi-heavy wood, about 650 kg / m3. American walnut drops to 610 kg / m3.

Toughness: It is a semi-hardwood with 3.8 in the Monnin test

Durability: Moderately resistant to rot. Susceptible to attack by some insects, among which the moth stands out.

Dimensional stability: It is very dimensionally stable. That is, changes in temperature and humidity affect less than other woods.

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient: 0.34% slightly edgy wood.

Mechanical properties:

  • Compressive strength: 590 kg / cmtwo
  • Static flexural strength: 970 kg / cmtwo
  • Modulus of elasticity: 113,000 kg / cmtwo


Workability: It is very much appreciated in many ways, also for being very easy to work with.

  • Sawn. Smoothly.
  • Drying. Fast and with some small collapse problem (capillary tension produced in the first drying stage, manifested by undulations and other deformations on the wood surface).
  • Brushed. Smoothly.
  • Glued. No problems, with the exception of alkaline adhesives.
  • Nailed and screwed. Smoothly.
  • Finish. Smoothly.

Good behavior against steam folds.

Price: The price of walnut is high, there is no doubt about that. The European can cost around € 2,500 / m3 and the American about half. This high price is mainly due to two reasons:

  • It is a slow growing tree.
  • For years, there was uncontrolled logging. Although they did not lead to cataloging it as a species at risk, they produced a shortage.

Walnut wood uses

  • Decorative wooden sheet. It is one of the main current uses. Due to the high price of walnut, it is used to coat less noble wood or planks to obtain furniture with the desired appearance at a significantly lower price.
  • Manufacture of quality furniture and / or joinery.
  • Floors
  • Interior carpentry: doors, windows, moldings, frames …
  • Handles and small objects, such as shotguns or pens.
  • Spinning.