Butternut - Juglans cinerea - A native nut tree from Canada
The Butternut (Juglans cinerea) is also called white walnut It's the only walnut tree native to Canada. It's the most cold resistant of all walnut trees.
Soil and growth
The Butternut (Juglans cinerea) is a fast growing tree with a relatively short lifespan. It will rarely reach 75 years old. Its nut is delightful, in that it's very mild, sweet and oily. It is the only walnut tree able to survive in zone 2. However, to produce nuts it needs to be in zone 3. It is easy to identify a Butternut among other walnut (Juglans family) trees: the green husk covering the shell of the nut is sticky! The Butternut will grow better in a rich, well drained and deep soil. It will also thrive in sandy, dry and infertile soil. It will give much better results than the Black Walnut in a poor soil. The Butternut is intolerant to competition and will not survive if planted in complete shade. It must be planted in a sunny area.
Since 1990, due to the serious fungal disease 'Butternut Canker' (Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum) our population of native Butternut is in decline. The first signs of canker is evidenced by dying branches on the lower crown of the tree, eventually leading to its death within a few years. As research is undertaken to find a solution to the Butternut canker, we recommend planting the Butternut in a 'clean' environment, i.e, in environment far away from a forest and preferably from any other Butternut tree. A lawn with full exposure to the sun is ideal.
Our seedlings all originate from a tree planted in a clean site that showed no sign of canker. However, that doesn't mean that our source is resistant to the Butternut canker. It might simply mean it has never been in contact with the disease. If you know any Butternut tree that has shown resistance to the canker, i.e, a mature Butternut tree in perfect health planted nearby other Butternut trees affected by the disease, we would appreciate you contacting us. By working collegially towards a solution, we might be able to save this specie by propagating a canker resistant genetic.
Planting a Butternut tree doesn't mean that it will not yield a wonderful harvest! The nut is superior in taste to the walnuts sold in grocery stores and it contains 20% protein. As explained earlier, if planted in a clean environment, you will have a better chance to taste these wonderful nuts. The more Butternut that are planted will help increase our chances to find a disease resistant Butternut and save it. Help us!
|Height at maturity||25 metres (82 feet)|
|Spacing||8 metres (27 feet)|
|Sun / shade||Full sun|
|Average fruit weight|
|Fruit color||Brown shell / Cream core|
|Years to bear fruit||10|
|Pollination||Self-fertile, but better results with cross-pollination|
|Latin name||Juglans cinerea|
|Average diameter of fruit|