Breathing burning walnut

Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:53 am

A friend had a walnut tree blow down and is about to cut it up to burn. He was told by someone that you have to be careful when burning walnut and not to inhale any of the smoke. Suppose to cause breathing problems or something. Any of the guys here ever hear anything about this. Thanks

Dan Stuckey
Altoona, PA

Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:04 am

Don't know aobut any hazards breathing the smoke, but due to the small closed cells in Walnut it takes about 3 years or so before it will dry enough to burn well.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:13 am

I find btu ratings for walnut listed under firewood tables so I would assume that it must be safe to burn.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:18 am

I would try and find a use for the wood rather than burn it. Some one might pay good $$$ for the wood. :roll:

Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:25 am

I've always heard that walnut trees contain a certain chemical that discourages other plants from growing close to it. It does make an excellent firewood. I have a couple of walnut trees that I cut down and had rough sawn slabs made of them at a sawmill. They have been in the barn for over 10 years so I guess they're dry now. I love the smell of fresh cut walnut.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:01 am

Smell too much of any smoke and you are in trouble. Iron wood and Hop hormbeam I have been told also have something in their roots to discourage competion. I don't remember why but I think Locust does too.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:47 am

If walnut smoke was especially toxic, there would be warning signs affixed to walnut trees and public service announcements exclaiming the danger. The EPA would have issued decrees to render walnut fireproof. Tort lawyers would sue Mother Nature for creating and propogating a dangerous product without informing the public.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:11 am

I have been told not to let the horses eat the black walnut leaves as it can kill them. Also cherry tree leaves have somthing called percynide an if it frosts bad in the spring it can change to cynide (I know I did not spell that right) and that is what they think killed all those race horses in Kantucky and Tennisee oh about five rears ago. Although my crazy horse likes to eat poisen ivy and it does not bother him.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:26 am

Heard that about the pits of Cherry too. Don't know why any one would try though.


Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:28 pm

Never had any problems with Wild Cherry after a frost, but if the limbs break off while it is leafed out it will kill cattle. Any time we had a severe wind storm in the summer we had to patorl the woods where our cattle ran for broken cherry limbs and trees.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:57 pm

Wild cherry pits/seeds are one of the favorite food sources for coons & mice. I find the seeds everywhere from mouse winter storage.

Around these parts, black walnut is the most expensive timber by far. They are very messy trees. I harvest the nuts every year. Run over the husks with the pick-up to remove. Let dry and open with a hammer to get the edible portion out. They are really a tough nut to crack...... :lol: The first year I removed the husks, my hands were black for a month .... :oops:

Fri Apr 08, 2005 7:39 pm

Around here there are companies that buy walnuts and bring hulling machines to different areas. They will also hull yours for you. When I was very young we made our own hulling machine. Dad jacked up one rear wheel of our old 51 Chevy PU, and made a wooden trough just wide enough for the wheel to fit in. Put a snow tire on it and let it down just enough that it was a little lower than the average diameter of a walnut Stretched a canvass on some poles about 20 yards behind it. Blocked the other wheels, and let the truck run at a fast idle. One person would throw the walnuts under the wheel and another would stand behind to tarp to pick them up, The hulls would stop in just a few feet, but the nut would roll for quite a ways were it not for the tarp. Not exactly something OSHA would approve of. LOL.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:33 pm

John: I grew up in south-central Missouri. A lot of families sold black walnuts in the fall. The back wheel of an auto, used as you described, was the most efficient method of removing hulls. Concerning toxicity, I believe that I remember people crushing a sack of walnut hulls (worked best if hulls were green)and dropping them into a pool of water. Fish would begin to turn belly up within a few minutes. Game and Fish personnel frowned on this method of collecting a mess of fish for supper. Dan

Burning Walnut

Sat Apr 09, 2005 6:39 am

I've never heard of problems burning Walnut but have heard of several instances of people dying from the burning...and inhalation of poison ivy. I assume from allergic reaction. Have others heard of the same?

Hulling walnuts

Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:36 am

As a kid we used two methods of hulling walnuts.
1) Scatter them on the driveway and drive over them with a car.
2) Run them through the hand corn sheller.

There is a walnut buying station in Linn, Missouri. Last falls price was $11.00 per hundred pounds, hulled (I thinks that's right). The hulling station uses a small Minneapolis Moline corn sheller to remove hulls.