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Juglans cinerea

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
JOO-glanz sin-ER-ee-uh
Description

Butternut is a medium to large shade tree in the walnut family. It is native to moist bottomlands, lowland forests and some drier limestone soils in eastern and midwestern North America. The nuts shells can be hard to crack but the nuts are sweet and oily and prized by humans and wildlife. 

 Plant in moist well-drained soil in the full sun.  It does not tolerate shade or competition.  Established trees tolerate drought and browsing by rabbits. As with black walnut, butternuts produce juglones which are toxic to other plants. The effect usually extends out to the drip line.

However, the tree is endangered in its native range due to butternut canker disease and overharvesting. The canker has devastated the tree and there is no cure. It is not often used ornamentally but as a native tree, it is worth saving.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#large shade tree#shade tree#drought tolerant#native tree#moths#rabbit resistant#edible nuts#showy fruits#nuts#NC native#nighttime garden#edible fruits#Braham Arboretum#allelopathic#messy fruits#moth larvae
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#large shade tree#shade tree#drought tolerant#native tree#moths#rabbit resistant#edible nuts#showy fruits#nuts#NC native#nighttime garden#edible fruits#Braham Arboretum#allelopathic#messy fruits#moth larvae
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Juglans
    Species:
    cinerea
    Family:
    Juglandaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used to make furniture, cabinetry, instrument cases, interior woodworks, hand-carved wall panels, trim, church decoration and altars. Nut popularly used in New England for making maple-butternut candy. Early settlers used fruit husks and inner bark to make orange or yellow dye and the root bark for a laxative. Native Americans used the nuts for food and boiled the tree sap for syrup.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada, central and eastern U.S.A., NC
    Distribution:
    Found from Quebec south throughout the New England states to GA west to MS and AR north through Manitoba
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides food for squirrels and other rodents, birds and mammals. Larval host plant for the Luna moth.
    Edibility:
    Nuts are edible and sought after by food enthusiasts.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Irregular
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Oblong yellow-green sticky hulls with irregularly ribbed brown nut.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Male flowers are yellow-green in 2.5- 5.5 inch long catkins. Female flowers are inconspicuous and appear at the end of branches. Bloom time is early spring.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The dark green odd-pinnately compound leaves are 10-20 inches long with 11 to 19 leaflets. The leaflets are 2-4.5 inches long and 3/4 to 2.5 inches wide. They have serrated margins, hairs on both surfaces and glands on the undersides.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Diamond
    Bark Description:
    Light ashy grey flat topped shiny ridged bark developing diamond shaped patterns
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Moths
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Allelopathic
    Messy