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Monday, September 24, 2012

How to Tell Native Butternuts from Butternut-Heartnut hybrids

Our native Butternuts are being heavily attacked but a canker fungus. One problem people encounter in trying to conserve them is that Butternuts readily hybridize with Japanese Walnuts (aka Heartnuts) and produce fertile offspring. Apparently most Trees we think are Butternuts are actually hybrids especially ones growing near our farms and houses. The Purdue Extension Service has a very good brochure (available in PDF)  out on how to identify the Hybrids.  I have used it to confirm my suspicions that the large tree in our neighbors yard is a hybrid. We get seedling from squirrel planted seeds in our yards all the time.

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