Butternut - Juglans cinerea - A native nut tree from Canada
The Butternut (Juglans cinerea) is also called white walnut, it is 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 but relatively short lived tree, it will rarely reach 75 years old. Its nut is delightful, it's very mild, sweet and oily, hence its name. It is the only walnut tree to survive in zone 2, but 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, but it still will give correct results in a 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, our population of native Butternut is unfortunately in a decline due to a serious fungal disease named the "Butternut Canker" (Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum). The canker shows its first signs by dying branches on the lower crown and will finaly result in the death of the tree after a few years. Many people are making researches to find a Butternut tree that would have a resistance to the Butternut canker. To give the best chances to your Butternut, you should plant it in a "clean" environment, this means, in a place where it will have less chances to encounter the fungus that could attack it. A "clean" place to plant a Butternut is a place far away from forest and preferably far from any other tree, a lawn with full sun is ideal.
Our seedling are all originating from a tree planted in a "clean" site that does not show any sign of canker. But, that does not mean that our source is resistant to the Butternut canker, it might simply had never been in contact with it. If you know any Butternut tree that has shown resistance to the Butternut canker (this means, a mature Butternut tree in perfect health planted nearby other Butternut trees affected by the canker), we would be really grateful if you could inform us. If everybody could open his eyes and search for a disease resitant Butternut, we might be able to save this specie by propagating this canker resistance genetic.
Why should I risk?
Planting a Butternut tree does not mean that it will not become big and nice and yield a wonderful harvest! The nut is superior in taste to the walnuts you buy in grocery and it contains 20% protein. As explained earlier, if planted in a "clean" place you have amuch better chance to taste those wonderful nuts. The more Butternut that are planted, the better it is for the species because it means that we will have more chances to find a disease resistant Butternut and save it. Help us!
|Height at maturity||82 ft (25 meters)|
|Spacing||27 ft. (8 meters)|
|Sun / shade||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|