Is Walnut Good for Firewood? Here’s the Answer

Walnut Tree

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When most people think of walnut trees, they think of nuts, but don’t forget that they may also be an excellent source of firewood.

Walnut is suitable for use as firewood since it is a clean-burning hardwood that produces sufficient heat. It has a nice scent and is easy to split. I would take advantage of the opportunity if you are fortunate enough to have Walnut growing nearby.

Continue reading to learn more about Walnut and why it’s such an excellent firewood option.

Identifying Walnut Trees 

Walnut is a deciduous tree in the Juglans genus with a huge green canopy. It is prized for its valuable timber and nutrient-dense nuts. From the group of 21 walnut species, black walnut is the most common. Walnuts are native to North America, Europe, China, and Asia in several variations.

A drupe is the walnut tree’s fruit, which is encased in a green husk. The edible element of that drupe is the seed, which we call a nut. The nut has a design that resembles that of a brain.

Walnut tree wood is used to make furniture and carvings, and it has a chocolate or dark brown tint.

It grows well on well-drained, fertile loam and silt loam soils with plenty of sunlight. Because it releases toxins into the ground that cause the death of other plants growing nearby, black walnut is also known as an allelopathic tree.

Common Characteristics of Walnut Trees

Walnut trees are a type of hardwood known for its delicious nuts. Walnut trees come in a variety of species, but they all share a few qualities that distinguish them from other types of trees.

Leaves: Walnut leaves have a feathery appearance and are mirrored on opposite sides of the leaf axis.

Size: Walnut trees can grow to be 33 to 131 feet tall, depending on the species.

Bark: The bark of different species may differ. The bark of the Black Walnut is dark brown to grayish black, heavily furrowed, and fashioned like a diamond. The bark of the English Walnut is silvery-grey, especially when the tree is young.

Fruit: Walnut trees produce a single-seeded, spherical fruit known as a ‘walnut.’ The husk is removed when the walnut is fully ripe, displaying the wrinkly walnut shell. The nut meat is found inside the shell and can be eaten raw, candied, roasted, pickled, or used in a dish.

Common varieties of Walnut trees used for firewood

Walnut trees come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but only three are widely planted and harvested in the United States.

Black walnut

The black walnut is noted for its high-quality wood and delicious nuts. Black walnut leaflets are oval in shape, and compound leaves are pinnate with 15 to 23 leaflets. It has a diamond-shaped dark gray to brown bark with deep ridges. Black walnut trees can be identified using this unique pattern.

White walnut

Butternut wood is another name for it. It has a softer texture than black walnut. It grows to a height of 66 feet and has a grey bark with a smooth texture. Leaflets range in size from 11 to 23 and are oblong in shape. A single big terminal leaflet is typical of white walnuts.

Butternut features oval-shaped fruit as opposed to spherical fruit from other types, which makes it easy to discern.

It produces toxins in the ground as well, but not as potent as black walnuts.

English Walnut

The English walnut, often known as the Persian walnut, reaches a height of 65 feet and yields walnuts that are commonly available in supermarkets. Its bark is dark gray or brown in color and features deep furrows.

It has a reduced number of leaflets than other common kinds, with 5 to 9 leaflets per leaf. It has a light and pleasant flavor in its nuts. It has round tennis-like fruit that ripens from green to dark brown as it falls off the tree.

Working with Walnut Firewood

What does Walnut smell like?

The aroma of firewood is one of the finest things about heating your home with it. The scent of walnut firewood is really pleasant to most people.

Many people like the scent of Black Birch, which is also recognized for having a lovely wintergreen scent, as opposed to Cottonwood, which when burned smells like cat pee. Yuck!

Is Walnut sap messy?

When compared to Pine trees, Walnut trees are rather clean. When cutting Pine, get ready ahead of time! Your gloves, work clothing, shoes, and chainsaw will all be stained with the sap. When compared with Pine, Maple is fresh.

Walnuts landing on cars cause a nuisance and annoyance for residents. Parking under a Walnut tree is a bad idea, in my opinion.

How hard is Walnut to split?

Unless the tree is forked and gnarly, walnut trees split easily. Walnut trees that have been grown for landscaping purposes may not always have straight grains.

If you have the option, choose Walnut trees that come from a grove of trees, as they will grow straight and taller and produce superior wood than those that are grown in the open, such as a yard tree, where they will grow a huge canopy.

How long does Walnut take to season?

Hardwoods, such as Walnut, are denser and burn hotter and longer than softwoods, but after splitting, you’ll need to let them season for about a year to allow the moisture content to decrease.

Firewood should be dried to a moisture content of less than 20% for optimal burning. Firewood with a higher moisture level will eventually burn, but it will be difficult to start and keep burning.

To make sure your split wood is suitable for the fire, invest in a low-cost, easy-to-use moisture meter like this one.

Does Walnut burn clean?

When walnut is properly seasoned, it burns quite cleanly. Some people grumble about how much ash Walnut firewood produces. Walnut is a hardwood, however unlike Oak or Pine, it doesn’t burn for very long. You’ll have a fantastic fire if you combine your Walnut firewood with one of those two!

Heat Output and Efficiency of Walnut

Walnut yields anywhere from 20.0 to 22.2 million BTUs per cord, depending on the species.

A chord of Walnut is about equivalent to the following common heat sources:

  • 20,347 cubic feet of natural gas.
  • 231 gallons of propane.
  • 152 gallons of heating oil.
  • 6,184 kilowatt hours of electricity.

The British Thermal Unit is abbreviated as BTU. The amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of liquid water by one degree Fahrenheit is one BTU.

128 cubic feet of wood equals a cord of firewood. Firewood is usually split into 16-inch pieces and stacked in three rows, each 4 feet high and 8 feet long, for a total of 128 cubic feet.

How does Walnut compare to other types of firewood?

Walnut is a good fuel because of its medium density and easy to burn when compared to other firewood. It has a lovely aroma, burns cleanly, and is easy to light. Although Walnut does not produce as much heat as other hardwoods such as Oak, it is far superior to burning softwoods such as Cedar.

In terms of BTUs per cord, walnut sits halfway in the middle. Eucalyptus, with 34.5 million BTUs per cord, and Osage-Orange, with 32.9 million, are at the top of the list. On the low end, Ohio Buckeye burns at 12.1 million BTUs per cord, whereas Linden Basswood burns at 13.8 million BTUs per cord.

Fire quality, amount of smoke and creosote.

Walnut firewood burns cleanly, producing little smoke or sparks.

Green wood tends to smoke and smolder, which can lead to creosote formation in the chimney. Creosote is just a condensation of small, unburned particles in the smoke that coats the surface of the chimney as it exits. The creosote will adhere to the chimney’s sides and may ignite, resulting in a chimney fire.

Creosote is produced by all types of wood. Hardwoods, such as Walnut, burn more slowly and at a lower temperature, thus the smoke hangs longer inside the chimney, allowing creosote to form. By properly seasoning your Walnut before burning, you may limit the quantity of creosote produced.

The Pros and Cons of Burning Walnut as Firewood


  • It has a good smell.
  • Creates strong heat with few to no gases
  • Burns Clean


  • Walnut trees contain a poison, which influences the ecosystem of many plants.
  • Not widely accessible in the U.S.

Other Common Uses

Walnut is popular in furniture because of its appealing wood, which is robust, solid, tightly grained, and polishes to a smooth sheen. Walnut wood is generally the most expensive domestic hardwood due to its superb quality. Furniture made of walnut can easily endure a lifetime.

Walnuts are popular because they are high in healthy fats, iron, and have a delicious flavor.

There are numerous types of firewood to pick from. However, because some trees are only found in certain sections of the country, not all of the possibilities will be available to you. Walnut is an excellent firewood choice in my opinion because it creates a lot of heat and burns cleanly.

In Conclusion

Finally, we hope that this little tutorial has answered some of your questions regarding utilizing Walnut as firewood.

In a nutshell, walnut makes good firewood. It burns quickly and produces a pleasant perfume that will not overpower your home. It may not be the ideal source of firewood, but if you have a good supply, it will suffice.


Shanna is the 2nd half of Top Outdoor Survival. Like Forest, she has a passion for guns and knives. They love to go on a survival trip at least once a year. They love to go camping, hiking, and traveling.

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