Butternut Tree Seeds
(Juglans cinerea) Deciduous. Zones 3-7.
The Butternut tree is really something special! Not only is it a striking shade tree, it's also a wonderful food source.
Similar in appearance to Black Walnut, Butternut is sometimes called White Walnut because of the light colour of the bark and wood. The wood is softer, and used to make paneling, cabinets, and furniture. It is the only walnut tree native to Canada.
Butternut is a fast growing tree and can reach up to 60 feet during its 80 year lifespan. It thrives in full sun and organically rich, deep, well-drained soil and doesn’t like competition.
In Spring, female flowers give way to drooping clusters of edible oval nuts encased in hairy, sticky husks. The nuts mature in Fall, and while they can be small and difficult to crack, the treasure inside is incredible! Butternut tree nuts are tender, sweet, oily, with a rich, buttery flavour.
The nuts are rich in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and have antioxidant properties. They look like a walnut, but are sweeter and creamier! Crushed Butternuts are wonderful in breads and muffins, sprinkled over soup and salads, or used to add richness to sauces.
Indigenous communities traditionally used Butternut nuts as a staple food and boiled the tree sap for syrup. This is still done today! The crushed nuts can be mashed into nut butter and the rich nut oil is used in cooking, leather making and polishing tools. The husks can be used to dye fabric and your hair!
** Please note that all members of the Juglans family (Butternuts, walnuts, heartnuts, etc.) create a protective substance in their roots called Juglone. This can kill certain other plant species within the root zone.
Cold Hardiness: Zones 3 - 7
Size: Medium Tree
Growth Rate: Medium
Nitrogen Fixer: No
Native Plant: Yes
Germination: 60 - 80%
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Soil Preference: Moist, well draining.
- Soak Seeds 24 hrs. Follow with 120 days cold, moist stratification. For more information on stratification, check out our article "How To Start Your Tree Seeds".
*If you are doing the cold period in your fridge, please check on your seeds. 120 days is an estimate & they may sprout sooner.*
- Plant stratified seeds in pots or a nursery bed using standard potting soil. Heat mats are NOT required & can hinder germination!
- Protect young tree seedlings from slugs, cutworms & rodents. Slugs especially can eat primary leaves as soon as they come up, so be vigilant!
Available direct from Incredible Seeds, a Canadian Heirloom and Heritage Seed Company, offering only the best natural, non-GMO, open pollinated and untreated seeds, located in Mi'kma'ki / Nova Scotia.