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Kentucky Color: Black Walnut Grove

Jimmy Reliford has created a real, live, Walnut Grove between Mayne Layne and Stults Street, inside the City Limits of Columbia, KY
Next earlier Kentucky Color: Hills are alivewith Red-Spotted Purple Butterflies.

By Billy Joe Fudge
Retired Kentucky State District Forester

This is real, live, manmade, Walnut Grove inside the city limits of Columbia. It is between Stults Street and Mayne Lane behind Colonial Apartments. This grove is about 3 acres of an over 40 acre plantation owned by Jimmy Reliford. The other two plantation areas are located on Harvey's Ridge on the North side of Hwy 768 about two and a half miles East of Hwy 61 and on the East side of South 61 behind Jimmy's, Reliford Drilling offices at Sparksville.



These trees were planted as one year old seedling in the 80's by Jimmy as an investment that he hopes will have a big payoff at sometime in the future for his children and grandchildren.

Black Walnut is traditionally and during most times the most valuable tree in the Eastern United States. It is not unusual to find that Black Walnut will bring 4 to 8 dollars per board foot. A board foot is an area of wood measuring 1 foot wide by 1 foot long and 1 inch in thickness. I have seen single trees sell for over 2,000 dollars before they were even harvested.

Black Walnut wood is used for furniture, flooring, gunstocks and more. The heart wood is naturally very dark and very desirable.

Black Walnut kernels have a very strong taste and are the best in candies, cakes, cookies, and ice cream. However they are very difficult to extract for the shell is very hard and the stain from the shell and hull that ends up on your skin will not clean off. It will only grow off as your skin replaces itself over time.

The shell is very valuable and makes many specialty products and services possible. It is used as a sandblasting agent to remove paint from metal, clean the hulls of ships for refitting and painting, remove burrs from metal left over in the manufacturing process and is even used to clean jet engines.

By the way Black Walnut puts a substance into the soil that inhibits the growth of some tree species such as White Pine and apple. It also inhibits the growth of fescue and tomatoes. So if you've been having problems with your lawn grass and your tomatoes next to a walnut tree then you now know why. -Billy Joe Fudge


This story was posted on 2010-09-11 02:55:44
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Kentucky Color: Black Walnut forest in the middle of town



2010-09-11 - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge, Retired Kentucky District Forester. Between Mayne Lane and Stults Street, Columbia, KY
It's a peaceful place of great beauty, but it wasn't planted just for that. The Black Walnut Forest just seven blocks from the the Adair County Historic Courthouse was planted by Jimmy Reliford as an investment. It's one of three tracts of Black Walnut in Adair County he's responsible for. All three are thriving today.

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