Black walnut is highly prized for specialty wood products like gunstocks, flooring, veneer and high end furniture due to its unique color and grain characteristics. Interior designers and fashion often dictate the popularity of woods like black walnut and due to its dark color it tends to run in and out of fashion. Currently black walnut is highly valued overseas and the export market is very strong.
The US wood products industry is made up of thousands of smaller companies working in a local or regional area. These primary processers accept logs and manufacture either green or kiln-dried lumber or sliced veneer. Secondary manufacturers convert lumber or veneer into flooring, furniture, paneling, doors, and other products.
The American Walnut Manufacturers Association is a trade association representing manufacturers of walnut lumber, veneer, and gunstock blanks. Their purpose is to help the industry build and maintain better markets for walnut and lead in efforts to ensure proper management and sustainability of the timber supply.
The National Hardwood Lumber Association is the primary trade association for producers of all hardwood lumber species. Walnut lumber constitutes less than 2% of all lumber produced.