Minimum Useful Size for Walnut Logs

      Heartwood is the valuable part of a Walnut log for most buyers, so you need a decent-sized sawlog. January 2, 2012

Question
What is the smallest diameter of walnut that is acceptable to cut? I have access to some nice logs and some smaller ones.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor D:
It really depends on the growing conditions. If conditions are good, you might get nice straight logs, but they will probably have a lot of sapwood and wide growth rings.



From contributor B:
Generally speaking, walnut is only desirable as heartwood; most walnut trees that are growing will have 3-4" of sapwood, making a useable tree at least a foot across, but even at that it is a lot of work for such a small board. Of course it is up to you, but I wouldn't monkey with a tree that isn't at least 18" across.


From contributor T:
It does vary. If the tree will produce fairly straight logs, I'll take them starting at about 16". Most of the walnut on my timber land is high quality in that regard. It's true that most furniture and cabinet shops want heart only, but myself and a surprising number of other woodworkers prefer to have some sap. I love the contrast of sap and heart in walnut.

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