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Species at Risk Database

Species at Risk Database

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Butternut

Juglans cinerea

COSEWIC Status: Endangered

COSSARO Status: Endangered

B. Boysen

Description

  • Medium sized tree, it is a member of the walnut family.
  • Distinctive ridged and furrowed ash grey coloured bark.
  • Produces small purplish flowers in the spring.
  • Produces drooping clusters of nuts that have sticky, yellow-green husks.
  • Compound leaves, with 11-17 leaflets. Leaflets are serrated and oblong in shape.
  • Branching alternate.
  • Roots produce a chemical that will kill some nearby plants.

Habitat

  • Likely never common in Ontario, it prefers rich moist soil in fields and forest edges.

Threats

  • Butternut canker is an incurable fungal disease that kills the trees within a few years. This fungus was introduced from overseas. It is estimated that 1/3 of Butternut trees in eastern Ontario have died.

Conservation Actions

  • In Ontario, the Forest Gene Conservation Association has established a Butternut Conservation Group. They will seek out disease resistant trees to be used to propagate seedlings.
  • If you think you have butternut trees on your property, please contact the Parry Sound Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks at 705-746-4201.

Range Map

Photo Gallery

Butternut canopy Credit: Barb Boysen

Butternut Oozing Canker Credit: Barb Boysen

For more information about the Butternut in the Georgian Bay area, contact:

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
SAR Biologist
7 Bay Street
Parry Sound, Ontario
P2A 1S4
Phone: 705-746-4201

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