English Walnut from the USA is typically grown in orchards where the stump (root system) is California Claro Walnut (Juglans hindsii) grafted to the thin shelled English Walnut. English Walnut trees are generally small due to a weaker root system and do not produce a large amount of nuts. Claro Walnut root systems are very strong and in a sense turbo charge the growth of walnuts which is the goal of the nut producers. A plentiful thin shelled nut of high quality is produced. A wonderful by-product of the grafting is a California Claro Walnut burl underground and a larger than usual English Walnut trunk. Black or dark streaks are produced in a small amount of trees and there is a lot of discussion as to why certain trees have more of the desired streaking while others may not have any at all. When trees produce exceptionally large trunks and stunning striping, they are often used for firearms. Rifle blanks often sell for between $1,000 to $3,500 with some stock blanks fetching upwards of $10,000 each!
All of the wood in this special was cut from marble cake logs of exceptional quality. Colors range from high contrast dark lines to lighter colored streaks or more homogenous grain. There is less than 20% sapwood in the majority of blanks with most being all heartwood.