drying walnut

I am about to cut down a small (but large to me!) walnut tree in my garden. I would like to use the wood from it for woodwork. Should I leave the trunk whole to dry out a bit first, before cutting into rough planks and storing? If so for how long? Thanks, Robert
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: I am about to cut down a small (but large to me!) walnut tree in my garden. : I would like to use the wood from it for woodwork. : Should I leave the trunk whole to dry out a bit first, before cutting into : rough planks and storing?
A whole log contains pith in the center, which dries at a different rate from the wood surrounding it, which can lead to major cracking and checking.
The best thing to do is to cut the log down the center, and seal both ends with wax, Anchorseal, or paint. the former will avoid the pith problem, and the latter will keep the log from drying out too fast through its endgrain (which also leads to checking).
    -- Andy BArss
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