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The Need to Save the Butternut Tree Photos © Barb Boysen For more information on how to save the butternut, CLICK HERE. By Barb Boysen B utternut is a tree known to botanists as Juglans cinerea, and to Americans as ‘white walnut.’ It is valued by wood- carvers for its soft beauty and by nut- growers for its sweet, though hard-to-crack, nuts. It is just one of Ontario’s many southern hardwood species, but unfortunately, it is also one of many trees in trouble. Butternut thrives in deep, well-drained soils, but can tolerate shallow sites. It is not long-lived and requires almost full sunlight to thrive. In a mature forest, as oaks and maples approach a vigorous middle age of 100 years, butternut is dead or declining (Figure 1, page 26), and seedlings cannot survive in the shade of their parents or other species. January 2013 25 CG_Jan2013.indd 25 1/17/13 1:30:58 PM