David's Blog

Living a quiet life in Coquitlam, B.C.

Location: Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Butternut Trees Sprouting

Earlier this month (October 2019), I got some Butternut seeds for planting.

When the trees get older they are beautiful and the trees, themselves, look extremely similar to Black Walnut trees--but there are small differences.

However, there is a big difference in the appearance of the nuts produced. The nuts of a Butternut tree are milder than both Black Walnuts and the common English Walnuts usually sold in stores: sweeter and more buttery tasting. In terms of appearance, Butternuts are oval instead of round. And once the husk is removed, the nut is rough and pointed. See the following photo.

I picked these off the ground from a grove of Butternut trees. I think I was about a week late in picking them up; the husks apparently start decomposing surprisingly fast.

Walnuts have to go through a cold temperature stratification process before they sprout, so I have put them in a pot, covered it with soil, and put a mesh on top of it to deter squirrels. This upcoming spring, I will move them to individual little pots and, as they germinate, move them to individual bigger pots. I plan to update this post to track the growth of the trees.

Update: 17 March 2020
Today, I transferred the Butternuts into individual 5" peat pots. Several of them have already sprouted:

The part that comes out first is the tap root which grows quite a bit before the leaf follows. So, nuts that were already sprouted were put into their individual pots with their tap roots pointing down.

I am glad to know the Butternuts are successfully germinating and look forward to seeing the first leaves poke above the ground soon.

Update: 25 April 2020
First day of a new Butternut tree completely out of the soil:

Unlike the Persian Walnut and Black Walnut seedlings, which appear reddish, Butternut seedlings are green.

4 May 2020
Here it is at about 1 week old:

11 May 2020
Here it is at about 2 weeks old:

25 May 2020
Here it is at about 4 weeks old:

5 October 2020
Here it is at about five months old:

The stem of this tree is about thirteen inches tall. The leaves are about to change colour and fall off, so this is about as much as this tree will grow in its first year.

11 April 2021
One of the Butternut saplings has leafed out. The bud has clearly burst; the leaf is small and curled up, but already unfurling.

19 April 2021
In the week since the last update, the Butternut tree has clearly grown:

20 June 2021
Since waking up this Spring, the young Butternut tree has grown about twenty-four inches so far.

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