Our forests, our communities, our future

The Butternut tree species (Juglans cinerea) (SARA listed as endangered species) are in dying in New Brunswick due to the Butternut canker disease. The tree is important ecologically and culturally to the people of New Brunswick and maybe lost in next 10 to 20 years if the disease progresses.

While there is research is being done, the numbers and distribution of Butternut is in decline (the canker is killing individual trees and whole stands). The fear now is that while research is providing valuable knowledge, it may be too late to save the species in NB. To increase odds of saving the species, three approaches are being used: genetic characterization, archiving trees in a place where there is no canker (BC) and increasing the number and distribution of the trees in NB.

Through a partnership between the FMF, CFS, Notre Dame University and the Province of New Brunswick, the genetics of populations throughout southern NB have been mapped. In the Fall of 2014, Butternut nuts were collected from those populations, have been archived at the CFS and, in the summer of 2015, will be grown. The seedlings will then be sent to BC an Ohio to be planted: acting as an archive for the species and should all the populations be wiped out, used to repopulated the NB stands in the future.

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