Uses for a Black Walnut Tree

Uses for a Black Walnut Tree image by Picture by em connell mccarty

Overview

Whether you are looking for an addition to your yard or are interested in starting a plantation, the black walnut tree is a diverse and valuable tree to consider. Throughout history and into today this tree has been sought after, enjoyed and valued for its offerings. The lovely black walnut tree has many uses, both common and uncommon.

Significance

The black walnut tree has deeply furrowed, black bark and grows up to 150 feet tall. The black walnut tree can live as long as 200 years, and its 15 species can be found worldwide. The eastern and midwestern United States are common places to find the black walnut tree growing in abundance. They are usually 10 years old before they produce nuts and 30 years old before their nut production becomes abundant.

Lumber

Black walnut is a hardwood that has been popular for centuries. The wood of the black walnut has strength, durability and a rich, beautiful color. The wood is used for furniture, doors, cabinets, gun stocks and paneling. Based on the price per board foot, black walnut is one of the most lucrative trees you can grow for lumber.

Fruit

In addition to its beautiful lumber, the black walnut tree produces a delicious nut. Every year, walnut sales surpass a million dollars as they are used in baking, ice cream, candies and cereals. Walnuts are naturally high in omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fatty acid that helps prevent a number of ailments as it is a natural anti-inflammatory. The oil from black walnuts can also be used in cooking, salad dressings and sauces.

Alternative Medicine

Many parts of the black walnut tree have been used in alternative medicine. American Indians used a tea made from the inner bark as a laxative. They also chewed the bark for toothache relief. The hull of the nut has been used for colic and inflammation relief. The hull--while still green--is a cure for several different parasites. You can use the leaves of the black walnut tree to make skin washes and body creams to soothe and smooth your skin.

Miscellaneous Uses

If you do not mind picking up the walnuts it drops, the black walnut tree is a beautiful tree for your landscaping. If you love wildlife, you can grow your black walnut tree for the squirrels and other critters who go crazy for black walnuts. The shells can have many ornamental uses. Less known uses for the shell of the black walnut include in oil well drilling, for cleaning jet engines, as filler in dynamite and as an ingredient of plaster-effect paint.

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About this Author

Em Connell McCarty has been writing for more than 27 years. She studied writing at the University of Iowa and at Hollins University in Virginia. She is continuing her study of English and writing at the University of Wisconsin. She writes fiction, creative nonfiction and essays. McCarty's fiction has been published in "Hip Mama" magazine and "Danse Macabre."

Photo by: Picture by em connell mccarty