This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
This is a fine tree, with spreading branches and broad round head. The bark is rough and furrowed, and darker than that of the butternut tree. As an object of beauty for the adornment of our pleasure grounds, this tree can not be too highly esteemed.
When the Black Walnut stands alone, on a fertile soil, it becomes a truly majestic tree; its erect stem and the breadth of shade, its abundant, soft, and luxuriant foliage, recommend it as an ornamental shade tree. "When full grown," said the lamented Mr. Downing, " it is scarcely inferior in the boldness of its ramifications, or the amplitude of its head, to the Oak or the Chestnut, and what it lacks in spirited outline when compared with other trees, is fully compensated, in our estimation, by its superb and heavy masses of foliage, which catch and throw off the broad lights and shadows in the finest manner".
The Black Walnut unites many desirable qualities in a tree - beauty, graceful-ness and richness of foliage in every period of its growth. It is perfectly adapted to our climate. Its growth from the seed is certain and rapid. It is admirably adapted to extensive lawns, parks, and plantations, where there is no want of room for the attainment for its full size and fair proportions. Its rapid growth and umbrageous foliage also recommend it for public streets and avenues. The flowers expand in May, but its fruit is not ripe until October, when it presents a beautiful appearance. It is very prolific: twenty bushels of nuts are not an uncommon yield of one tree.
The wood of the Black Walnut is of a dark violet purple color, becoming deeper and almost black with age. It is valuable for its fineness of grain, tenacity, hardness, strength, and durability; it is beautifully shaded, and admits of a fine polish, and is elegant for ornament.
[We are glad to know that Mr. Bement has taken up his favorite subject again. It is full of rich material. - Ed].