Juglans spp.
Family: Juglandaceae
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Tropical Walnut

Other Common Names: Nogal silvestre, Nuez meca (Mexico), Nogal blanco, Tocte (Peru) Nogal criollo (Argentina).


Distribution: Varying with species, these walnuts range from southern Mexico, through Central America, and the Cordilleras of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.  Also found in mountain regions of Argentina.


The Tree: Mostly up to 60 ft in height with diameters up to 36 in.; sometimes free from branches for 30 ft but more frequently clear to 10 or 15 ft.


The Wood:

General Characteristics: Heartwood chocolate brown and generally darker than the North American black walnut, sometimes with a purplish cast; sharply demarcated from the whitish sapwood.  Texture rather coarse; luster high; grain straight to irregular; odor and taste mild but distinctive.


Weight: Basic specific gravity (ovendry weight/green volume) 0.50; air-dry density 38 pcf.


Mechanical Properties: (2-in.  standard)


Moisture content   Bending strength   Modulus of elasticity   Maximum crushing strength

            (%)                  (Psi)              (1,000 psi)                     (Psi)

15% (69)                     9,100              1,020                           5,180


Drying and Shrinkage: The wood dries very slowly, wet zones persist, and severe honeycombing and collapse may occur in stock thicker than 4/4. Air-drying as thoroughly as possible before kiln drying is suggested. Kiln schedule T6-D4 is proposed for 4/4 stock and T3-D3 for 8/4. Shrinkage green to ovendry: radial 2.8%; tangential 5.5%.


Working Properties: The wood works well, cutting cleanly with hand and machine tools and taking an excellent finish; also peels and slices readily but the veneers are also reported to dry slowly.


Durability: No data available.


Preservation: Very low permeability is reported.


Uses: Decorative veneers, furniture, cabinet work, interior finish, and other applications similar to North American black walnut.


Additional Reading:   (8), (38), (56), (69)


8. Bois, P. J. 1973.  Tropical walnut-good news and bad news.  Wood and Wood Products 78(10):27.

38.  Kukachka, B. F. 1970.  Properties of imported tropical woods.  USDA For.  Serv. Res.  Pap.  FPL-1     25.  For.  Prod.  Lab., Madison, Wis.

56.  Record, S. J., and R. W. Hess.  1949.  Timbers of the new world.  Yale University Press, New Haven,       Conn.

69.  Tortorelli, L. A. 1956.  Maderas y bosques argentinos.  Editorial Acme S.A.C.I. Maipu 92, Buenos      Aires.


From: Chudnoff, Martin. 1984. Tropical Timbers of the World. USDA Forest Service. Ag. Handbook No. 607.