Never tried it as it isn't native to the US (China and Viet Nam, apparently). I looked on Wikipedia, though, which says it is light and strong and is sometimes used as a substitute for balsa or basswood, which don't strike me as good wood for stickmaking.
Just did some more Googling and I see they do grow them down in your neck of the woods. If they grow them there, they will probably have to prune them as part of their regular maintenance. You could try to find a tung nut farmer and ask for an off cut just to see how it would do. Yellow pages and Yelp might yield some results.
Thanks for the info. Tung nut trees grow all over the place down here. On the sides of the road for miles. There used to be tung nut groves down here before hurricane Camille. After Camille wiped out the groves, no one replanted because mineral spirits was the hot thing and it replaced the tung oil as the go-to paint thinner.
Something else I like to do sometimes is make a cane not exactly for walking or hiking purposes but just to make them for attention grabbers because they look nice. I like to make what I like to call conversational pieces as well. Things that would grab your attention and if tung nut wood is like basswood and other lightweight woods I would figure or it would stand to reason that they would be easy to carve and detail such as a snake, viper or Hydra head. Again not as a practical cane but more as a conversational/ advertising type.
Good point. I have one that I started (but never finished) in elm which I would consider more of a show piece. The one on the right. It is (or is going to be) a falcon swooping down on a group of pheasants. The other one is a lobster claw. Going to be if I finish it, that is.
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