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Help ID this Walnut look alike

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Rockey, Sep 15, 2008.

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  1. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

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    I couldn't believe how similar this was to walnut when split open. The big difference is the smell. It is nothing like walnut, it actually has a spicy smell a bit reminiscent of cinnamon. The leaves were simialr to an ash, sorry there were none left for a picture. The only other significant feature is the carmel streaks running through the grain, maybe this be the key factor to IDing it. Oh, one more thing, the dark brown color of grain lightens up quite a bit as it dries.

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  2. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Sassafras . After enlarging pic the bark looks more like Black Birch which does have a sweet smell to it. I'm not 100% sure now.
  3. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    I had some with exactly the smell you describe a few years ago. Have no idea what it was. But sassafras leaves are funny lobed mitten-looking things, nothing like ash. Birch looks somewhat more like ash.
  4. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    Where is Down east and wally? they can tell any Genus and species just from the bark and smell........... :roll:
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sassafras seems like a good call to me, aka cinnamon wood. I've read that a fungus can cause the dark streaking through the wood. If you can find some leaves, and they were 3 fingered and mitten shaped, they would be a positive ID.
  6. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

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    I would have guessed sassafrass as well, but I know it isn't. I have some sassafrass in my stack and it is definitely a different scent. It also has much different leaves as was already mentioned. Anyone have any guesses, this one has me stumped.
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    my guess is walnut of some type.
  8. wally

    wally New Member

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    ah. i see. you're a troll.

    an intellectual giant such as yourself could clearly differentiate the meaning of my statement in the "other thread" vs. the intended misdirection of the meaning you've attributed in the above statement. the only purpose of doing so is to bait - or troll - in order to have an "internet fight".

    sorry that some "foresters" have so grievously taken advantage of you in your past.

    your concern for the [sic] stuartship of small woodlots is commendable, and is a sentiment i share with you.


    as to the wood in the photo, notwithstanding the "ash-like" leaves, the bark and wood appear similar to black cherry. perhaps an escaped ornamental, such as amur corktree, which has ash-like leaves.
  9. glacialhills

    glacialhills Member

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    I am just trying to pin you down cause I got flamed for the statements I made in the thread http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/22712/ that anyone will have a hard time telling a particular species just from bark and wood. And in this case, like some cases I stated in that thread, even genus can be hard especially when in a grapple load or this case a split. I am not trying to cause a fight, just dont like being called names and such for giving facts and told I am an intellectual giant or trying to show people up or whatever.

    Really good Id on the above wood it does not seem to be a native to ohio does it? has oak like bark color furrows but totally different wood color/grain.Cherry like wood and grain but different than black,pin,sour cherry bark. I would conclude a non native species too but have no idea what one.And really, you can not tell us with 100% certainty what the genus and species this is either, even when told the shape of leaves without seeing all the indicators and ruling out dozens of other closely related genus-es and species.Wally, you being a forester I am sure you are much better at tree id than I am. But even you are just taking a guess at this id. This is why I have said what I have said. I mean no disrespect to you.
  10. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

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    I searched almost every tree native to ohio and couldn't match it up with anything. Maybe it is an "ornamental gone wild" Hey that would make a cool video. Lose the leaves and bare your fruit!
  11. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'm going with black birch, based on your location, the bark and color of the heartwood. Just like people, different individuals within a species can have very different characteristics. Black birch bark should smell kind of like peppermint because it contains wintergreen oil. If you try to burn a small piece of the bark and it takes off like it's been soaked in gasoline, then that's an even stronger indication. However, I've never seen sassafras.
  12. HittinSteel

    HittinSteel Minister of Fire

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    Rockey you have me wondering now. I split up a downed tree earlier in the year that looks identical. I decided it was black walnut, but I guess not.
  13. the_dude

    the_dude Feeling the Heat

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    The heartwood looks similar to some black ash I have seen, but the bark doesn't. But then you say the leaves look like ash. Black ash is my best guess.
  14. fugazi42

    fugazi42 New Member

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    I have almost no doubt that it's black walnut. The bark looks like it, the heartwood/sapwood looks like it, and you said the leaves look like it. I've split a lot of walnut for firewood and it does have a cinnamon-like smell to me- the smell reminds me of some of the tropical hardwoods in the rosewood family.

    Josh
  15. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

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    I split a lot of black walnut and that's what it looks like to me also.
  16. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

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    Trust me guys, I have split over 6 cords of black walnut in the past 3 years and I have lots of black walnut growing on our property. Hell, our street name is Walnut Grove. This is definitley not Black Walnut. The smell is 100% different and there were no walnuts off this tree ever. It was on my Father in laws property. Walnut leaves are longer and thinner similar to locust. the leaves off this tree were shorter and more stout. I am really curious as to what it is now.
  17. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I'm sayin' what ya got there is English Walnut.
  18. InTheRockies

    InTheRockies New Member

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  19. RI Jim

    RI Jim New Member

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    I have some friends in Ct that have a tree thay call butternut which is referred to as poor mans walnut. I wonder if that's what it is?
  20. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Butternut gives "butternuts"- more oblong than a walnut, a hairy and less fleshy covering and it's sticky. They are having big disease issues. They have compound leaves.

    If it's compound leaves- then it's not a black birch.

    Sasafrass has distinctive leaves- not compound leaves like walnut or butternut. Some are mitten shaped, some egg shaped on the same tree.
  21. treeman45246

    treeman45246 New Member

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    And I agree. Not common in our neck of the woods, but it is around.
  22. deadon

    deadon New Member

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    I would guess this is a Butternut similar to walnut but with leaves identical to ash.
  23. jrousell

    jrousell New Member

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    butternut is also much softer wood-- easy to tell apart
  24. Rockey

    Rockey Minister of Fire

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    Don't all walnuts produce "nuts". If so, count English Walnut out. This tree had moe in common with my father in law than just growing on his property. It also had - no nuts.
  25. treeman45246

    treeman45246 New Member

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    It should produce nuts, but they'd lose their fleshy coating before they'd drop. It's possible that squirrels might get them before they'd come down and be noticed, too. I see in your picture a small twig remains on that piece of wood - make a diagonal cut and see if there are little chambers in the pith (the inner twig). If you have chambers, you have a Walnut, be it English or Black.
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