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Is black walnut safe?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by RedLab, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. RedLab

    RedLab Member

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    One of the farms I hunt in was planted with black walnut by the Ministry of Natural Resources, I guess walnut was almost extinct at one point. They planted the whole farm in black walnut and pine. The land owner wants to remove all the walnut that is not straight. He said I can take as much as I want. My question is is it safe to burn. I have heard it can be toxic. What's the scoop on this? Thanks Rich.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I sure have never heard of any safety concerns about black walnut. Well, except don't be under it when it drops.
    Woody Stover likes this.
  3. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Smells great when working with and burning. Makes a boat load of ash. Medium quality heat.
    fireview2788 likes this.
  4. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Maybe he was talking that it is toxic or at least hard to grow some plants near black walnuts?
  5. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I've heard the root system can be toxic to other plants but never an issue with burning the wood. I did a quick search and something called "juglone"? causes the issue.
    Foragefarmer and Paulywalnut like this.
  6. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Exactly. I have 25-30 black walnut on my property. Not much grows under them. Well grass does. Burns great when seasoned 2 years. Get as much as you can, great aroma burning it.
    Thistle and Backwoods Savage like this.
  7. Butcher

    Butcher Minister of Fire

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    No problem burning it as far as being toxic. Other plants dont like growing under walnut trees. The ones that grow in my neck of the woods will keep you much warmer splitting and stacking them than burning them in a stove tho.
  8. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Splits super easy, burns fine.
    Joful likes this.
  9. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Walnut should be no problem to burn. It is allelopathic, which means that it is toxic to other plants grown under or near it.

    I remember years ago burning some left over furniture grade Black Walnut. Had great hot and long lasting coals.
  10. RedLab

    RedLab Member

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  11. Applesister

    Applesister Minister of Fire

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    Some exotic hardwoods are toxic in the manner of inhaling sawdust fibers and splinters can cause festering of the skin. I have experienced this with Lacewood and I do seem to remember something about Black Walnut. But nothing to do with burning.
    Poison Ivy is the only wood/plant I know of that you cannot inhale the smoke while its burning.
    There have been lots of threads on here and other tree forums about burning walnut.
    Thistle and Joful like this.
  12. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    Sawdust of nut bearing trees is toxic. Some say Oak is as well.
  13. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I have, cut, split, stack, and burn lots of black walnut without any problem whatsoever....
    ScotO likes this.
  14. nrford

    nrford Minister of Fire

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    Walnut dust can be toxic to horses. If nut bearing tree dust toxic I should be dead! I've been around walnut, hickory, and tons and tons of oak dust for years .
  15. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Yes, juglone will kill some plants, tomatoes and rhubarb among them, and I've consistently heard that walnut sawdust can't be used around horses because it irritates their hooves and can lame them. Those are the only issues I've ever heard of.
    Thistle likes this.
  16. Mitch Newton

    Mitch Newton Member

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    I hope it's ok, I've got two cords of it ready to go for this year.
  17. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    If there's some good stems and sizable limbs, save them for furniture, or turning wood and split the rest. Worth a lot to the right person.
    Thistle likes this.
  18. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    Um...I take that back, it is toxic and you should give it away. In fact I..er the authorities will be over soon in a blue F150 with Iowa license plates to haul it away for you.
  19. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Don't eat the wood!
    ScotO, NortheastAl and schlot like this.
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    That is why we force ourselves to not eat the sawdust.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Forgot. Welcome to the forum RedLab.
    ScotO likes this.
  22. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I'm confused. Black walnut doesn't grow that straight. In any case, from a guy with more than his fair share of walnut, it Creates wood gas faster than other woods. It's fine to burn, but a full load of walnut is a sure recipe for back puffing, when going for a long slow burn in my stove. I mix it with other woods, and its fine.
  23. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Rotenone is the chemical in the nut husk that is very effective at culling old farm ponds of undesirable fish species.
    As for the wood I believe the dust concern is the higher levels of silica in hickory&walnut that would raise respiratory concern
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The walnut is dangerous and should not be burned. It should be shipped freight pre-paid to the Manassas, VA Fed-Ex Freight terminal c/o Brotherbart for appropriate safe disposal.
    ScotO, basod and Joful like this.
  25. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Its not safe around my Granberg mill,table/band saws,massive Coronet wood lathe,or planes,gouges & chisels either.

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