Juglans hindsii| Tonewood Profile | ”Claro Walnut”
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- Juglans regia— common walnut, Persian, English, Carpathian walnut
- J. californica S.Wats. — California Black Walnut
- J. hindsii — Hinds’ Black Walnut- most commonly called Claro walnut
- J. nigra L. — Eastern Black Walnut
Claro walnut is the trade name for Juglans hindsii. The species was first discovered by the English Botanist Richard B. Hinds growing in California in the Sacramento Valley. In fact, the first large stands of Claro Walnut were found in the following 3 locations:
The valley of Walnut Creek in Contra Costa County,
The banks of the Sacramento River,
The Wooden Valley east of Napa.
This tree attains heights of 30 to 60 feet and is commonly found in northern and central California where it is often found with a single erect trunk. Although commonly branchless for 10-40 feet, it has an impressive crown which can be wider than the tree is tall. Equally impressive is the diameter, with lengths of 5-6 feet regularly attained.
There is confusion about Claro walnut due to the widespread use of Juglans hindsii as the rootstock of orchard trees. With Claro walnut wood below the original graft and lighter-colored English walnut above, some woodworkers have featured this dramatic change in color of their work.
Although commercially important as a rootstock for English walnut orchards throughout the world, several sources claim that Juglans hindsii is endangered, with few native stands remaining. Outside of horticulture, it is used mainly for high-quality furniture, gunstocks and guitars!
It has a Janka rating of approximately 1,000 lbs force and a specific gravity of 0.56.
As a tonewood…
I would classify this wood as warm and earthy with the overtone depth of rosewood and clarity comparable to mahogany guitars. It also tends to impart less colour to the bass and treble.
Similar woods/ Alternatives
Bastogne walnut and Eastern Black Walnut are good alternatives.
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