Butternut tree range
Butternut is an endangered tree species, threatened by a fungal disease called Butternut Canker. The climate and soils of Leeds and Grenville Counties are excellent for butternut, making it an important area for butternut conservation. In cooperation with Rose Fleguel of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority and the OMNR Species at Risk Stewardship Fund,
LGSC participates in butternut recovery activities. Many Leeds and Grenville landowners have had their butternut trees catalogued by Rose as she searches for trees which show resistance to the disease.
Each year we receive and distribute butternut seedlings to private landowners. 100 seedlings were planted in 2011. These seedlings are monitored by the landowners for signs of butternut canker, in the hope that some individuals will exhibit resistance to the canker. Although we see many dead butternuts, we remain optimistic that we are contributing towards the species’ conservation and potential recovery.
200 trees were given in groups of 10 to individual landowners in the spring 2013. Due to the exceptional seed year, another 500 nuts were given to LGSC members to plant or place in piles for the squirrels to plant. These seedlings and nuts were product of seemingly disease resistant trees. All the nuts were actually planted by a few council members.
Due to an abundance of seed in 2013, oodles of seedlings and seed were given across Eastern Ontario in spring of 2014. However, there was a severe shortage of Butternut seed in 2014, and there were no seedlings given to LGSC in spring of 2015.
As in 2014, the Butternut in 2015, had no volume of seed / nuts. This meant that there were no seedlings to plant in spring in 2016. However in fall 2016, there was sufficient seed for Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to collect and plant.
In 2017 there were Butternut seedlings available for landowners to plant after 2 years absence due to lack of seed. 150 seedlings were given to 12 people in the County of Leeds and Grenville.
The survival rate for our County was 61% based on the information received last fall from 10 of those landowners.
The Butternut in 2017 had little to no seed / nuts available. Therefore, no seedlings were available for distribution by Rideau Valley Conservation Authority in 2018.
Seedlings, although fewer than usual, will be offered in spring of 2019 to those interested and will keep record of survival rate.
For more information on the Butternut recovery program contact Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.