Black walnut (Juglans nigra)

black walnut leaves

Click on the images to help you identify a Black walnut.



Height 50' to 60' but often reaching 100' with a diameter up to 36"; straight and clear of branches for half its heights; when grown in the open, stem short, crown broad and spreading.


Thick and very dark brown, divided by rather deep fissures into round ridges.


Alternate on a stem, length 12" to 24", pinnately compound with 14 to 22 yellow-green, sharply pointed leaflets, tapered at the ends and toothed along the margins; smooth above, pale and hairy underneath; yellowish-green turning yellow in autumn.

Fruit (seed)

A large, round nut borne single or in pairs and enclosed in a solid green husk that is not sticky and down not spread open even after the nut is ripe. The nut is black with a tough, thick, finely ridged shell enclosing a rich, oily kernel that is edible and highly nutritious; it matures in the fall.


Grows on rich bottomlands and moist, fertile hillsides in the southern part of the state; is easily propagated from nuts and grows rapidly in good soil; shade-intolerant.

Wood uses

Rich chocolate-brown heartwood is of superior quality and value; heavy, hard, strong, and comparatively free from warping and checking; takes a high polish and is very durable; highly prized for a great variety of uses such as furniture, gun stocks, and airplane propellers; finest veneers are made from burls and roots; small trees consist mainly of sapwood that is light-colored and not durable. Roots produce a natural herbicide that is toxic to many plants.

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