COLOR / GRAIN VARIATION

Medium

HARDNESS

chestnut hardness

COLOR

Typical : Brown
New Color : No Significant Change
Aged Color : Golden honey brown to slightly dark brown.

SPECIES BACKGROUND

The American chestnut tree (Castanea dentata) was widespread in the eastern United States before being wiped out by a blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) in the early 20th century. Chestnut wood was widely used because it was abundant, has good wood-working properties and is naturally resistant to insects and fungi. Chestnut bark was also used as a source of tannin and the nuts were collected for food.

WHERE IT GROWS

Mature trees often grew straight and branch-free for 50 feet (15 m), up to 100 feet, averaging up to 5 feet in diameter.

RELATIVE ABUNDANCE

Oak and chestnut samples are sometimes confused because both woods are “ring porous” Ring porous woods have bands of large cells parallel to the bark. If you examine a clean cut on the cross-section (end-grain) of a wood sample, you should be able to easily see the bands of earlywood pores that are characteristic of a ring porous wood. However, the wood of chestnut can be easily distinguished from that of the oaks by looking for the rays. Rays are groups of cells that extend from the pith to the bark. All species of trees have rays but they vary in size. In chestnut, the rays are small and cannot be seen with the naked eye. In the oaks, the rays are very wide and thus are readily visible to the naked eye.

AVAILABILITY

Fair

ORIGIN

North America

DESCRIPTION

Chestnut is a light brown wood containing many tanning. It has very few lighter streaks of sapwood.

DID YOU KNOW ?

The discovery of the blight fungus on some Asian chestnut trees planted on Long Island, New York was made public in 1904. Within 40 years, the near-four billion-strong American chestnut population in North America was devastated, only a few clumps of trees remained in California and the Pacific Northwest. Due to disease, American chestnut wood almost disappeared from the market for decades, although quantities can still be obtained as reclaimed lumber. Today, they only survive as single trees separated from any others (very rare), and as living stumps, or “stools”, with only a few growing enough shoots to produce seeds shortly before dying. This is just enough to preserve the genetic material used to engineer an American chestnut tree with the minimal necessary genetic input from any of the disease-immune Asiatic species.

Reclaimed Option Available