Nuts about Walnut
It's all about the figure
Black walnut trees commonly reach heights of 100' or more with 3'-diameter trunks, yielding copious amounts of consistent, straight grain -- a lumberman's dream. Woodworkers also seek out walnut because its crotch wood produces spectacular flame-like grain. Another source of highly figured wood -- burls -- are common in walnut. Even lowly stumpwood often produces compressed and wavy grain, making the walnut tree one of the most all-around coveted lumber trees.
With heartwood ranging from deep purple-brown to reddish-tan, walnut's cream-colored sapwood offers a sharp contrast that most woodworkers avoid in visible areas of projects. With early and latewood consisting of a similar color and pore-size, the growth rings show, but not with the distinct contrast of oak or ash.