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Big Butternut

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:04 pm
by tsharp
NTS:
On 7/20/2019 Fred Sikarskie, Mike Leeden and I had a chance to remeasure the big Butternut(Juglans cinerea} at Pulpmill Bottom, Parsons, Tucker County.

17.5' x 76.8' x 129' with circumference taken at 5 feet.


Click on image to see its original size

Fred Sikarskie
A bulge at 4 1/2' necessitated taking a circumference reading at 5 feet.'

Previous measurement by Turner Sharp and Fred Sikaskie in 2010 was 16' x 74.9' x 105' with circumference at 4 1/2'.

Both crown spreads are an average of the two-axis method with the maximum crown spread in 2019 being 132'.


Click on image to see its original size

Picture by M. Leeden 12/19/2013

After our 2010 measurement Fred (newly retired) kind of adopted the tree and took it upon himself to clean the place of construction debris, limit parking under by placing large river stones as barriers, removing some nearby white pines as competition, mowing the grass, placing some picnic tables and having an informational sign installed as pictured below.




Click on image to see its original size



Fred had the sign made and installed before I got back to him that this tree is a probable hybrid of Juglans cinerea and Juglans atlantafolia or (Julans x bixbyi}. I do not believe I ever brought this to Fred's attention.
Fred also commented that if he not trimmed some of the lower branches to facilitate mowing several would be touching the ground.

Re: Big Butternut

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:52 pm
by ElijahW
Turner,

That's a beautiful tree. We have many similar hybrids up here, as well. Durand Eastman Park in Rochester, NY, is home to a Juglans x sinensis that's 12' CBH and a little over 90' tall. The park may also have the same hybrid as your Butternut, but I haven't looked at those trees carefully yet.

Elijah

Re: Big Butternut

Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:49 pm
by bbeduhn
Turner,
That's a beast! I've seen some photos from Minnesota and Canada butternuts. They are of similar size and also hybrids. I used to live by a large native butternut but nothing like the size of yours.
Brian

Re: Big Butternut

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:22 pm
by Erik Danielsen
Just curious, what was the basis of the suggestion that this is probably x bixbyi rather than cinerea? I believe it's easy for a reading of the Purdue butternut guide to overstate the prevalence of hybridity and understate the trait variation of native cinerea in terms of young twig color, lenticel shape, and leaf scar morphology. The notes on darker vs. lighter gray bark within the fissures I think can be particularly misleading- in my own experience this seems differentiated more by habitat conditions, even on trees with all other traits indicating cinerea (this does not extend to pinkish fissures). Applying that document's Trait Key (though I would discard the bark fissure or modify it to 1 point for pink/tan, zero for any shade of gray) should be pretty reliable, though. I'd be very hesitant to assign hybridity just based on something like good health, though.

Re: Big Butternut

Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:35 pm
by tsharp
Erik/ NTS:
I have pondered the correct classification of big girth "Butternuts" scattered about West Virginia for several years. I have used the Purdue Identification of Butternuts and Butternut Hybrids as a resource.
Here is my current thinking.
I have monitored four large girth Butternuts that were probably planted and in a human influenced environment. One was wind thrown shortly after my first visit. None had Canker present, all had lush green foliage up to and beyond first frost, usually very prolific nut producer with 3-5 nuts per cluster.
I also picked out six forest grown mature Butternuts to monitor about six years ago. I wanted to do ten but could find that many. All six have the Canker and two have since died. All had sparse foliage and usually dropped most leaves by late August/early September, they all had limited or no nut production with one and sometimes two nuts per cluster.
I did not evaluate nut characteristics or bark characteristics.

For those interested the link to the Perdue document is below.

http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedi ... -420-W.pdf

Re: Big Butternut

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:57 am
by Erik Danielsen
Sounds like a carefully considered set of observations. There are a hybrid butternut and a true butternut just a few dozen yards from my door, and that difference in foliage persistence over the season is one of the especially pronounced differences when there's an opportunity to compare trees over time.

Re: Big Butternut

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:59 am
by Larry Tucei
Turner-

Wow beautiful tree! That is one large specimen. Very similar to Black Walnut which we have in Central Ms. Not sure if we have the Butternut. Larry