Tree Dictionary: U-Z

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WALNUT, BLACK (Juglans nigra)

Other Names: Walnut, American black walnut, American walnut, Canadian walnut, black hickory nut, gun wood, canaletto, nogal, and tocte.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows in United States and Canada.
Appearance: Generally straight grained with a moderately coarse, uniform texture. Rich dark brown heartwood and nearly white sapwood.
Physical Properties: Moderately heavy, hard, strong, and stiff, with good decay resistance and dimensional stability.
Working Properties: Works very well with machine or hand tools. Excels at turning, molding, routing, shaping, carving, and drilling. Sands easily and finishes to a velvety, natural-colored sheen.
Uses: Prized in North America for high-end cabinetry and furniture. Ideal for gun stocks due to dimensional stability and ability to absorb recoil. Also used for decorative panels and veneer, interior joinery, novelties, carving, turnery, boat building, clockcases, and musical instruments.

WHITE-CEDAR, NORTHERN (Thuja occidentalis)

Other Names: Eastern white-cedar, northern cedar, arborvitae, and white cedar.
Type: Softwood
Range: Grows in eastern Canada and United States.
Appearance: Generally straight and even grained with a fine, even texture. Uniformly straw-brown heartwood and nearly white sapwood.
Physical Properties: Light, soft, low stiffness, low strength, low shock resistance, good stability in service and good decay resistance.
Working Properties: Works well with hand or machine tools. Screws and nails easily but has poor holding properties. Glues, stains, paints, and otherwise finishes satisfactorily.
Uses: Used for poles, posts, fencing, shingles, millwork, boxes, crates, water tanks, boat building, and other exterior applications. Valued for fish net floats and imitation minnows due to extreme lightness.
Note: Similar properties and uses as Atlantic white-cedar but slightly lighter, less oily and more brittle.


WILLOW (Salix spp.)

Other Names: Includes black willow, white willow, crack willow, cricket-bat willow, and close-bark willow.
Type: Hardwood
Range: Grows mainly in Asia, Europe, northern Africa, and United States.
Appearance: Typically straight grained, sometimes interlocked with a fine, uniform texture. Pale reddish brown to grayish brown heartwood and whitish sapwood.
Physical Properties: Light, soft, and weak, with low shock resistance and decay resistance.
Working Properties: Works easily enough with hand and machine tools but sharp edges required to avoid woolliness. Carves well due to softness and limited checking during drying. Glues, screw, nails, and finishes satisfactorily.
Uses: Used for millwork, packing cases and boxes, artificial limbs, caskets, polo balls, cricket bats, Venetian blinds, slack cooperage, veneer, and inexpensive furniture.