Why You Need A Heartnut Tree

I started a thread of dealing with jugalone. How would you rate carpathian varieties like ambassador on rootstock like paradox?

I’m quite excited to see my first butternuts appearing on one of my three trees. I’ve not seen squirrels in that rural area, so hoping to actually harvest something. I’ve not tasted one since childhood maaannnyyy a year ago. I don’t remember how they taste. I need to look up how and when to pickand cure them. I would assume deer, rabbits, gophers and woodchucks don’t bother them, do they?

I love butternuts. The meat is different than other walnuts. Softer, sweeter, and buttery. The shells on the other hand is on par with black walnut. I think you will be happy.

How old are the trees? I put in a couple butters a few years ago. Mine are growing pretty slow though.

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I think they are about
6 years in the ground. My other two trees are only 4 or five feet tall. This one with the nuts is about 6 or seven feet tall. I wasn’t expecting nuts yet.

One of America’s nut experts (Fred Blankenship) says that ‘Imshu’ for grafted heartnuts is the one that’s going to be tough to beat. I’m just saying it for you guys that might want, grafted-trees. You’ll be able to find Imshu.

Imshu has a very long time in flower and produces a ton of pollen.

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What were those F1’s that I got from you?

Fodermaier is the tree my local friend has and I’ll bet that’s it. I get nuts from Blankenship but those are samples or a few extra seeds here and there.

That sounds familiar. They were small trees you got from someone else. Think I got like 4-5 from you.

That’ll be it.

I killed one trying to move it. The others are about 4-6 feet tall now. Pretty strong growers, they were tiny when I got them.


I planted then dug them out; then planted b. wal. then dug it out. then planted heartnut again. then decided I’d rather have something else… I’m currently back to planting b. wal. for rootstock.

I got the ones I want. Killdeer, Pearl, & another. I’ll have to go look but it’s the greasiest thing you’ll ever find. when pressed it’ll be like squeezing an orange. I tough it and I have oil all over my fingertips or hands. Rhodes… that’s it.

I’m not a big walnut eater.

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Looking at the list of plants you sent me it looks like you took my advice and focused on nuts and persimmon. Currently a 5-6 foot potted persimmon sells for over $100. Nuts even more. When grafting for money they really are the way to go price wise.


That’s what I’ve got, the right size trees.

Thanks for yoru advice.


That IS exciting. Here in Wisconsin it’s just about impossible (for me, at least) to find any butternuts that are not seriously diseased. I have a number from nuts collected from moribund trees, mostly, up to about 2010, and I keep hoping to get a crop or two and plant it out before they plant ME out. You’re right about their imperviousness to those critters. It hasn’t been unusual for me to find nuts lying on the ground for some time, undisturbed (in squirrel-free areas, naturally).

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One is a grafted Douglas Campbell variety, CW-3, I believe. All the others are seedling volunteers

I read once that Pliny, the Roman historian (don’t know if the elder or younger), wrote that nothing grows in the shadow of a walnut (J. regia). So even 2,000 years ago people were having this discussion. I also read in Carl Weschke’s “Growing Nuts in the North”, 1954, how a neighbor planted out thousands of prospective Christmas trees (likely white pine) up in northwestern Wisconsin only to have them all fail. It was later pointed out to him that the land had formerly been occupied by butternuts.

I recently read that native Americans liked Butternut for the abundant oil they contained. They would crush the nuts and boil them, then wait for the oil to solidify on the surface as the water cooled. This could be collected and added lots of calories to a winter diet. But as Barkslip pointed out they could easily be pressed instead.

They crushed and boiled hickory nuts for oil which was used to make corn cakes. It is probable they did the same with black walnut and butternut.

Heartnuts in their own way are saving the Butternut. There are people trying to save them by crossing heartnut genes into it. Heartnut is the most immune of the walnuts to the disease. Butternut grows wild here, but there are not many. Blacks are like weeds, they pop up everywhere.


I got a butternut seedling from La Junta Colorado so clearly they grow here in Colorado. That being said I don’t see any wild or nut trees here. Weirdly I only see fruit trees in people’s yards and no nut trees or in hazelnut’s case nut bushes. Heck I know where wild raspberries are from hikes and know the beaked hazelnut is native to Colorado but never see one.