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Thread: A little wood trivia...something Larry taught me this summer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    A little wood trivia...something Larry taught me this summer

    So, many of you will know Larrys favorite wood is walnut, you have seen the slabs he is selling, but what do you know of the walnut tree???

    Well in my foreign ignorance i only know of walnuts from Xmas time and Lindas cooking. I always figured those were the only walnuts, now i know known as English walnuts, yeah trust the English to name something again.😉

    So this past summer Larry stopped by with Randi for a really nice enjoyable few day visit. Well while he was here i said we have strange squirrels they eating neighbors green tomatoes, to which i went and hauled out my revolver pelet gun intent on pot shotting the thieves, lol.

    Dont worry the critters are safe, i doubt that thing could reach them never mind aim it right. Lol

    Well something some might not know is Larry is also a seasoned woodsman, was going to call him Bushman, but thats a group of people that wear one heck of a lot less clothes and live in Khalahari Desert and they half his height but maybe even more knowledgeable about the "bush" that him.

    So Larry says squirrels dont eat green tomatoes show me what you talking about and he takes one look at this squirrel and laughs.
    Then we walk down to bottom of yard and in the corner he points out the Walnut tree.

    And we pick up one of these

    This is a local walnut tree Nut in the fruit form.

    Larry tells me and shows me how the outside friut will stain your hands and knife black and how back in the day they would gather these up in a sack and hang them outside in weather to dry up then crack and dig out the nut.

    Well squirrels have been going crazy over these "green tomatoes" lol and they sit on branches very quickly chew the green fruit off and spit it out (this turns to a pile of droppings that looks rather odd if you come across it on the ground) then you will hear this crunch crunch knawing sound as they go about chewing through the green nut part.

    So this is what the green nut looks like after a couple of months

    Note have not seen one of these spare on the ground, for obvious reasons, so i had kept this one indoors,

    This is what you will see on your grass after the critters have eaten the nut

    They make a nice racket when the mower blades pick them up and whirl them around.

    So if you see these around know that somewhere in your vicinity you must have walnut trees.

    Jonathan must be overrun by squirrels given all the walnut trees that border his property. They must be pretty high in nutrition for the effort and way the critters fight over them and then tuck into them.

    Just thought for those that dont live where walnut trees grow this is an interesting but of trivia.

    By the way i ask Mr Woodsman what type of tree one of our trees was and sure enough he knew, its a mountain ash tree. Here even with the help of google images and books i thought it was something else but no mistaking real knowledge.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    The husks make a pretty good dye as well. Below is some cotton (the lighter/grey looking stuff) and wool (the darker/chocolate looking one) we dyed last year with some walnut husk. I'd found a mess of wild walnut trees and picked a couple of 5 gallon buckets worth. After getting most of the husk off I stuck them in a 5g bucket of water and have them a good whorl with a paint mixer to get the rest off. Added a bit of vinegar to the "dirty" water, heated it up to 1780-180f and steeped the yarn in it for 30-45m. Cotton (cellulose) doesn't take up most natural colors as well as wool (protein) as you can see. This has obvious implications for wood dying as well

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Love thy neighbor, yet pull down not thy hedge.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    As a kid, we had several walnuts around the farm. Dad would have us pick them up and he'd dump them out on the driveway, then drive over them with the truck to crack all the outer husks. A few weeks later we'd go through the decomposed husks and pick out all the nuts. We didn't have any trees around the house, so never had to worry about squirrels or anything eating many of the nuts.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Central valley, calif.
    There used to be lots of English walnuts grown in the area I live. The subdivision where we live was once a walnut orchard. Some trees are still here in the form of yard trees. English walnuts have thin shell your pictures look like black walnuts and have a much thicker, stronger shell. Canadian squirrels must be real beasts, black walnuts are super tough.

    I read that walnut stain can be made by soaking the husk in mineral spirits or alcohol for several days. Never tried it but I can walk around the neighborhood and pick up a bucket full of nuts, lots of nuts around here.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Outside the beltway
    Another things many don't know Rob. Put a walnut ( fruit ) green in kitchen cabinets, it will keep spiders and other bugs away. Osage orange fruit will do the same I usethem in the garage.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::

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