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Walnut, a symbol of strength and longevity

walnut wood texture

The walnut is a majestic tree that can reach heights of over 30 meters, producing hard-shelled, green fruit containing one or more nuts.

Walnut fruit is widely consumed by humans and animals worldwide! Walnut wood is also highly prized for the creation of furniture and handicrafts, as it has a beautiful color and magnificent reflections.

Walnut wood data sheet

Here you'll find all the information you need to understand walnut. We've compiled the characteristics, specifications and information on this exceptional wood.


Common name


Scientific name



Fruit tree belonging to the Juglandaceae family.

Leaf color

Green leaves that turn yellow in autumn before falling off.

Fruit color

The fruit of the walnut tree is the walnut. It develops within a very thick shell called the husk. In autumn, the husk falls off and the nut is harvested.

Wood color

Walnut wood is well known for its beauty and strength. It is brown in color, with variations from light to dark brown.


Up to 25 meters.

Trunk diameter

Depending on the age of the tree, the trunk size will vary. On average, a mature walnut tree has a trunk of one meter. But some trees can have a trunk over 2 meters in diameter.


Very fast-growing. Walnut can grow up to a metre every year.

Service life

Up to 300 years.


Hardwood, resistant to scratches and cracks.


Female flowers look like small green blossoms, while male flowers are a cluster of small drooping flowers.


Walnuts: a high-energy nut with a high fatty acid, protein and antioxidant content.


Leaves are elongated and slightly specific at the tip, with a smooth surface. Leaf size depends on the walnut species.

Flowering period

During the summer

Walnut wood availability


Walnut wood prices


Disease and pests

Bacteriosis is the most common disease of walnut trees.

Description of walnut wood

Take a closer look at the characteristics and uses of walnut, as well as its history and advantages as a craft and decorative material.

Where to find walnut trees

world map of walnut wood provenance

Walnut is a shade- and moisture-averse tree, so it doesn't grow in valleys or forests.

Around the world, walnut is grown on a large scale in North America and Asia, as well as in the south of France.

California is home to the world's largest walnut grove.

The fascinating history of walnut, from antiquity to the present day

old walnut tree in a field

Thanks to flower and pollen fossils, we know that the walnut tree has been around since the Tertiary era.

Thanks to the many conquests of territories and clashes between the Persians and the Greeks, the walnut tree travelled from the Himalayan mountains to Europe, then to South America in the 16th century, and finally to North America in the 17th century.

Traces of walnut in France date back to the 1880s.

Example of walnut tree species, a diversity to discover

Black walnut - juglans nigra

Juglans nigra
Common name

American walnut or black walnut

Juglans nigra

Noyer américain ou noir

A tree that grows from Texas to Canada


Height of 30 metres with dark bark

Leaves and fruit

Large leaves and rough-shelled nuts

Leaves about 60 centimetres long

Butternut - juglans cinerea

juglans cinerea
Common name

Butternut or white walnut

Juglans cinerea


Tree growing in the eastern United States


Height 20 metres with light grey bark

Leaves and fruit

downy leaves and nuts that grow in clusters of 6 fruits

Leaves about 60 centimetres long

The characteristics of walnut wood, from beauty to disappearance

A highly prized wood

All over the world, walnut is a highly prized wood. In Europe, walnut has remained the most valuable wood for many years.

A unique look

Walnut is a glossy wood with a fine, tight grain. It has few veins but many shades, as the sapwood (the outermost wood of the trunk) is light brown, while the heartwood is dark brown with black veins. It is a hard, scratch-resistant wood.

Wood in short supply

Walnut is an expensive wood because it is becoming increasingly rare. In fact, this tree, which has inhabited our land for centuries, has lived through many wars and has been very rarely reproduced and replanted. During the First World War, for example, rifle butts were made from walnut because of its robustness.

Wood for cabinetmaking

Because it's easy to work with and aesthetically pleasing, it's popular with woodworkers. It's a wood that moves very little and won't shrink or warp. Many things can be made from walnut, including furniture, tables, chairs, crockery, bowls, cutting boards, jewelry and even bow ties!

walnut wood salad bowls
walnut wood spoon and bowls
walnut wood salad bowl

Harvesting and drying nuts for optimum preservation

cluster of nuts

The walnut does not flower or bear fruit at the same time as other fruit trees. Buds appear at the end of April, then blossom at the end of May. The fruit then ripens in October, and the leaves fall at the end of October.

To get the first walnuts, you need to be very patient. Walnut trees can take up to 25 years to produce their first nuts. But, as a tree that can live up to 300 years, if you plant a walnut tree in your garden, you'll have nuts for the rest of your life.

Walnuts are picked in early autumn, either manually by tapping the tree with a stick, or mechanically using machines that vibrate the trees and cause the fruit to fall. Today, for reasons of profitability, mechanical picking is increasingly used.

Once the nuts have been picked with their shells (called brou), they need to be dried to prevent mold. This process is also mechanical: the nuts are rotated in a machine and washed with plenty of water to remove branches, leaves and stones. They are then sorted by hand and dried.

The final stage involves weighing, grading and packing the nuts for distribution.

The benefits of walnut fruit

Walnuts are high-energy nuts with numerous benefits.

For your health

Walnuts have anti-oxidant properties, and are rich in omega 3 and 6 as well as vitamins B and E. They are recommended for reducing cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and certain types of diabetes.

For the kitchen

Walnuts are widely used in pastry-making, as they add great flavor to desserts. They are also a perfect accompaniment to salads and cheeses. Walnuts can also be used in breads.

For its oil

Walnut oil has once again become a first-choice cooking oil. It is obtained from very dry, aged walnuts, which are crushed and then pressed to extract all the oil.

For drinks

Vin de la Saint-Jean can also be made from young walnuts still in their husks, macerated in brandy. Wine and sugar are then added to make a wine much appreciated in France.

walnut fruit: walnut in its green shellshell around the nut crackingthe fruit is ripe: the shell around the nut falls offmanual nut picking

The role of male and female walnut flowers

male flower on a walnut branch

Walnut flowers are unisexual, i.e. there is one male and one female flower. They're not just decorative flowers, they're reproductive.

  • The male flower forms a catkin, a grouping of several flowers forming a drooping flower of 5 to 10 centimetres (see photo).
  • The female flower is a small green flower grouped into spikes of 2 or 3 flowers.

Pollination is not by insects, but by the wind! You should also know that when the walnut tree is young, it produces only female flowers.

The walnut tree and biodiversity, a living ecosystem

The walnut is a large tree that provides habitat and food for many species. Birds, squirrels and bats all find refuge in this tree. They either make their nests on the branches or nest in the natural cavities of old walnut trees.

Walnut nuts are an important source of food for squirrels, birds and small mammals. Also, as they eat, they displace seeds and contribute to the development of walnut trees.

Is walnut toxic?

walnut tree in the middle of a meadow

The shell surrounding the fruit and the leaves of the walnut tree contain juglone, which acts as a natural weedkiller all around the perimeter of the tree. When the leaves fall, the toxin present in them is released into the soil, preventing all plants from growing.

There's a saying that goes: "Never nap under a walnut tree or you'll get a headache".

For garden maintenance, we recommend making walnut leaf purin and spraying it on the garden as an insecticide and herbicide.

In medicine, this toxin is used to treat skin inflammations such as eczema.

Diseases and pests affecting the walnut tree

walnut disease

  • Anthracnose: a disease that arrives at flowering time and during heavy rainfall. This small fungus causes leaves to dry out and fall. It weakens the tree, but rarely leads to dieback.
  • Walnut bacterial blight: a disease that attacks the fruit, causing small spots on the shell. The disease then infects the fruit, which turns black and falls off.
  • The oak processionary caterpillar mainly attacks oak trees, but also likes walnut trees. This caterpillar feeds on leaves and can cause major leaf loss.

The natural beauty of walnut in pictures

A collection of carefully selected images to inspire you and awaken your curiosity.

walnut fruit in its shell
squirrel eating a nut on a walnut branch
drown in a meadow
heaps of walnuts after picking
female flower that becomes the fruit of the walnut tree
ripe walnut fruit, the shell comes off
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