Walnut, American Figured
Also known as: (1) Black Walnut, (2) Californian Walnut (burr)
Botanical Name: Juglans nigra
Origin: (1) Eastern USA, (2) Western USA
Description: This readily available and attractive veneer is generally a warm looking light to fairly dark yellowy brown to purplish brown colour. The logs are mostly straight-grained, sometimes wavy and are usually flat cut. This produces a good proportion of crown material which is popular for furniture and good quality interior joinery. In recent years there has been an increase in demand for straight grain veneer and good “halves” from these crown logs are now sought after to produce a more linear look. Logs may occasionally be mottled or even display stronger types of figure. The decorative burr veneer is mostly produced from trees grown in California and Oregon where they are orchard cultivated for their nut crops. These trees are usually grafted onto the rootstock of a different Walnut variety and the burr growth develops as a direct result of this graft. The veneer quality varies greatly from log to log and may be close or sparsely burred or even simply wild grained and butty. All types, however, have their uses for furniture and high quality interior decoration and a considerable quantity is consumed by the motor car and yacht building markets for dashboards and trims. Less common but occasionally produced, curl or crotch veneer can be very pretty and is useful for special cabinet work.