Downed Walnut Tree Milled Into Kitchen Cabinets

Walnut kitchen cabinets

The cabinets in this South Dakota home were milled
from a felled black walnut tree.

If you’ve ever had to cut down a tree around your house, you know how sad that can be. On one hand, the tree might cause you trouble. It might be dying and in danger of falling. It might shed leaves and fruit, or harbor pests, that muddle up your life. On the other hand, the tree might be stately and big, and that’s a sorrowful thing to see felled.

A couple in Mitchell, South Dakota, faced just that problem with an old black walnut tree in their back yard. Squirrels were part of the problem. They ate the walnuts then dropped shells with black walnut “ink” on the deck, and it was a constant mess for years. Finally the couple decided the tree had to go.

But here’s the bright side: instead of turning the tree into firewood or mulch, the couple had the wood milled into new kitchen cabinets. And they are gorgeous, as you can see above, and as was reported in The Daily Republic. (I would have chosen something other than brick for the backsplash, but that’s a story for another day.)

This is the second time I’ve seen cabinets milled from a felled neighborhood tree. In Santa Barbara, Bill and Becka Doerning had downed neighborhood acacia trees milled into cabinets and a countertop. They got the idea when they saw the beautiful conference room table used by their contractor, Allen Associates. That table was also milled from a felled acacia tree.

So the next time you see a neighborhood tree coming down, think not just of sorrow, but of possibilities. It could become the heart of your new kitchen.

Photo: The Daily Republic

4 Comments on Downed Walnut Tree Milled Into Kitchen Cabinets

  1. Frank S.Shropshire

    Great kitchen. Very awesome.

  2. Paul

    I just had to say WOW! These look great. If only other home owners took the time and resources to get custom projects like this done:-)

  3. Good Millwork

    I just found your blog and am thrilled to see you mention milling downed trees into useful products. Did you know you can also have reclaimed lumber remilled? There is a huge demand for the type of lumber used long ago.
    It saves new trees and is vastly superior because it was milled from old growth lumber — what is called “heart wood”. Those huge old trees were much larger in circumference and diameter so the lumber back then had fewer knots, a tighter grain and more varied and beautiful coloring.
    This would make another great post here. If you write one about reclaimed lumber I would love to know about it so I can review it online and send it to others who would be very interested.
    I’m off to review this post at StumbleUpon and send it on to Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed now.
    I would love to start linking to your blog from the Good Millwork blog at We mill fallen trees and reclaimed lumber all the time and would like to add links to your blog if you don’t mind.

  4. Jay Riordan

    Great idea to recycle a tree into something so beautiful.