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Black Walnut Sapwood

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From: Michael Maule
Emmaus, PA
I've heard that if cut trees are allowed to sit for a year or so some of the sapwood will darken/turn to heartwood. Is there any truth to this? If so is it worth waiting or is it more detrimental to allow logs to sit?

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Hi Michael:

The sapwood will "oxidize" ever so slightly when exposed to air, but it WILL NOT darken or turn to the color of the dark chocolate heartwood. Therefore, it is not worth waiting in my honest opinion.

Veneer mills often soak veneer walnut logs in hot water tanks for 24 hours to darken the sapwood.

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