Black walnut is one of the most valuable trees in Missouri. Its warm, brown wood is in great demand for furniture, cabinets, and gunstocks. Our state is the greatest production center for walnut wood and has been for over fifty years. The main clue to look for is the nut. It has a grooved shell and grows inside a thick, green husk. These nuts make the walnut tree even more valuable. The husk contains a dark-brown dye which the pioneers used to dye their cloth. They also used the bark for a yellow dye. The compound leaves have fifteen or more leaflets, each finely toothed and ending in a long point. The upper surface is smooth and shiny; the lower surface, soft and downy. Other clues include the distinct odor of the twigs and leaves and the honeycomb pith in the twigs. Also, notice the horse-face shape of the leaf scars.
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