This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info: guerinw@gmail.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

Butternut in Ann Arbor

You don't see many butternut trees in Ann Arbor, but this one made for a striking display this afternoon. The is the only butternut (Juglans cinerea) that I am aware of on public property -- it is on the south side of Jackson Ave, a short distance west from the Jackson/Dexter split. A number of people have alerted me to other butternut specimens, but they've always turned out to be English walnut.

Butternut (also known as white walnut) is native to southern Michigan but has been decimated by a canker disease that girdles mature trees. I have no knowledge as to whether it was ever very abundant around here. But I know from experience that it is quite common in parts of northern Ontario.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Guerin,
    I enjoy your unique blog.
    I'm puzzled about this tree. I picked up a couple of nuts in August and after hulling them I was surprised to see the nuts looked very much like Juglans regia--English/Persian Walnuts with smooth shells not rough like black walnut.
    Ellen Weatherbee's book on edible wild plants has a photo of a hulled Black walnut and butternut and the nut of the butternut is rough like the black walnut (but is oblong and has the sharp 'beak'). The tree is clearly not an English walnut and looks like a butternut to me (huge, sticky leaves and butternut form--smaller and broad crown). What's with the nuts? Can butternuts hybridize with english walnuts?
    -an arborite

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