Butternut (White Walnut) Juglans cinerea

Butternut - Juglans cinerea
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Has distinctive ridged and furrowed bark. It produces drooping clusters of sweet nuts which are used in baking. Prefers moist soils. Grows to 40' to 60', 35'-50' spread. (Plant two trees for pollination) (zones 3-7)

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Zones 3 - 7 Zones 3 - 7
Hardiness Zones 3 - 7
The Butternut (White Walnut) can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the zone map. View Map
Nut Tree Nut Tree
Type of tree
Nut Trees
40' - 60' High 40' - 60' High
Mature Height
The Butternut (White Walnut) grows to be 40' - 60' feet in height.
35' - 50' Spread 35' - 50' Spread
Mature Spread
The Butternut (White Walnut) has a spread of about 35' - 50' at full maturity.
Slow Growth Slow Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a slow growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
This Butternut (White Walnut) does well in full sun.
Various Soils Various Soils
The Butternut (White Walnut) grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam, well drained, wet, wide range, clay soils.
Rounded Shape Rounded Shape
This Butternut (White Walnut) has rounded shape.

The butternut or white walnut is one of the hardiest nut trees, A North American native, the nut has a rich, buttery flavor used in baking, confections, and eating fresh. The attractive, light golden wood is used for paneling and furniture. Trees grown from seed will begin to produce nuts in about 10 years.


The butternut tree has distinctive, ridged and furrowed bark and a short, usually forked trunk with a wide, spreading, open crown. The late spring blooms can be damaged by late frosts. It is an alternate bearer meaning it will bear abundantly one year, less the next year or take a few years off before bearing again. The nuts store well. (Plant multiple trees to ensure pollination.) (zones 3-7)

Wildlife Value

Nuts are valuable as food for deer, squirrels, and birds.


Pinnately compound, alternate, 11-19 stalkless leaflets, dull, fine hairy, dark green surface

Flower Color


Bloom Time

Late May to early June

Fruit Description

A tapered. oblong, 1 1/2"-2 1/2" fruit covered with sticky hairs encloses a brown, corrugated, thick, 1"-1 1/2" shell that terminates in a point. The oval kernel is tender with sweet, oily, buttery flavor. Nut production occurs in 7-10 years. Harvested in late October.