Latin Name: Juglans Hindsii.
Common Names: Flamed Walnut, Figured Walnut, Northern California Black Walnut, West Coast Walnut.
Origin: Native to the Sacramento River Basin. Also grows from California to Washington.
The Tree (characteristics): The Claro Walnut tree has a single trunk and can grow to be 60 feet tall with a trunk that is 3 to 5 feet in diameter. The bark is dark gray in color with moderate fissuring at the trunk. The leaves are about 12 inches long with blades made up of about 20 leaflets up to 5 inches long. Some of the leaves have small tufts of hair. The Claro Walnut tree is particularly fast-growing, and it is not uncommon to find a tree that is 4 feet in diameter that is under 100 years old.
Appearance of Wood: Claro Walnut has a spectacular figure and is occasionally found with figured grain patterns such as curly, crotch, and burl. Heartwood ranges in color from a light pale brown to a dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. At times, the wood can appear to have a gray, purple, or reddish cast. Sapwood is almost entirely white.
Density: Claro Walnut is rated as hard, stiff, good shock resistance, and suitable for steam bending. Average reported specific gravity ranges from .51 to .64 with an average dried weight of 40 pounds per cubic foot. Janka Hardness is 1,130 pounds of force.
Drying and Shrinkage: Claro Walnut loses moisture at a very slow rate during the air-drying and kiln-drying processes. Average reported shrinkage values are 4.3% radial, 6.4% tangential, 10.7% volumetric.
Working Properties: Claro Walnut works well with both machine and hand tools. The wood is known to have an inherent oily nature and will cut cleanly and finish beautifully. The wood will glue, hold nails and screws very well and can be polished to a high sheen.
Durability: Claro Walnut is rated as being very durable even when conditions are favorable for decay. It is considered one of the most durable woods out there.
Uses: Claro Walnut can be used to create beautiful cabinetry. It is an excellent choice for carving or lathe work as well as a common choice for gunstocks. The wood has also been used to make musical instruments and veneers.
Availability: Claro Walnut is hard to obtain but it is highly sought after for gunstocks and turning blanks. The natural range of Claro Walnut has been diminished and fragmented and is now only grown in orchards. Claro Walnut is not listed in the CITES Appendices however it is listed on the IUCN Red List.