Engaging in chainsaw wood carving, carvers learn a lot about the different types of wood they reshape. Often clients will have a number of requests such as customs signs, figures and even wood species they would like. It is often a concern when a client asks for a walnut wood art piece. Walnut trees grow large and look simply beautiful. However, they are not the best wood species that you’d want in your home. Walnut trees have a hidden chemical meant to ward off potential invaders, this chemical is juglone. Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings would like to share why you should avoid walnut wooden products in your home or business.
Natural Defense of a Walnut Tree
Walnut trees are cherished for their aesthetic appeal and their timber. Not to mention, they produce tasty nuts we use in cookies, bread and many other dishes. But if you are an avid gardener or care for walnut trees, you might have experienced firsthand the tricky side of these trees. The fruit, leaves, and roots of walnut trees secrete a chemical known as juglone. This compound can be detrimental to many other plants, essentially acting as a natural pesticide and herbicide to protect the walnut tree.
What Part of Black Walnut Contains Juglone?
Juglone exists within the tree as a non-toxic substance called prejuglone. When tree cells containing this chemical get damaged or cut, it swiftly transforms into the toxic form, juglone. A simple experiment can demonstrate this transformation: slicing into a young walnut husk. Upon exposure to air, the cut turns from green to a dark, reddish-brown due to the oxidation of prejuglone into juglone. In nature, various elements can induce this change. Whether it is diseases, pests, or mechanical injuries, they all can cause the oxidation of prejuglone into its toxic form. Over time, this toxin gradually seeps into the soil from the tree’s roots, leaves, and buds, creating a protective barrier around the walnut tree.
Is Walnut Timber Toxic?
While the black walnut has the most amount of juglone concentration, other members of the walnut family have trace amounts. The fruit husks supplies this chemical, which protects the seeds from pests. However, juglone’s effects aren’t limited to other plants. Some animals, upon ingesting too many walnut leaves or using walnut sawdust as bedding, can experience health issues. Certain individuals are especially sensitive to juglone. Even a brief contact with walnut sawdust can result in skin irritation. This potent respiratory toxin can harm other living creatures in even minuscule quantities. In the soil, juglone wreaks havoc. Its presence can damage or kill the roots of surrounding plants. But interestingly, if this chemical comes into contact with a walnut root, the tree quickly neutralizes it.
Custom Chainsaw Carvings Picked Up from Lincoln, Montana & Nampa, Idaho
Nature has a fascinating way of ensuring survival, and the walnut trees are no exception. Its chemical defenses, primarily juglone, give it a competitive edge in the environment. Understanding this dynamic ensures we can coexistence by harnessing the beauty and benefits of the walnut tree while keeping our gardens thriving. When it comes to wood craving it is often recommended to avoid walnut wood as it can affect the carver and the new owner. For one of a kind chainsaw wood carvings, contact Carve Me A Bear! Chainsaw Carvings today.