Tag Archives: butternut

Endangered Butternut trees are worth protecting

Majestic and important, butternut trees have been experiencing a significant decline in recent years so much so that they are now listed as an endangered species.

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Butternuts: Majesty In Jeapordy

As their name suggests, butternut trees produce a delicious and nutritious nut with high oil content. The nuts are an important source of food for birds and small mammals.

But butternut trees are in serious trouble; in fact the species is listed as endangered in Ontario by the Ministry of Natural resources. A species is classified as endangered if it lives in the wild in Ontario but is facing imminent extinction or extirpation

The reason for this decline is a fungal disease called butternut canker, which affects trees of all ages, all sizes, and on all sites. Sadly, there is no know cure for the canker, and no butternut trees have yet shown proven resistance to the disease. However, researchers in the USA have found trees that are vigorously surviving. Based on this experience, a group called the Ontario Butternut Recovery Team is working to locate trees in the province that may be resistant to the canker. These trees may be included in a long term resistance screening and breeding program.

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