- 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.
- Likely never common in Ontario, it prefers rich moist soil in fields and forest edges.
- 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.
- 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.
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
7 Bay Street
Parry Sound, Ontario