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Seed Propagation Protocol for Pure and Hybrid Butternut (Juglans cinerea L.)

Butternut (Juglans cinerea L.) is a native, eastern North American hardwood tree with economic and ecological value. It is severely threatened by butternut canker disease, which is rapidly killing the species range-wide. Hybrids of butternut and butternut canker-resistant Japanese walnut (Juglans ailantifolia Carr.) have been proposed as an alternative to planting pure butternut. Information on pure and hybrid butternut seed harvest, preparation, stratification, germination, planting, and initial seedling care is lacking. Methods and results are described from a project growing these species at Purdue University, forming a seed propagation protocol for the species. Germination was first observed 14 days after stratification. After 17 days, 64 percent of seeds germinated using the current method. Alternate methods to those used in this project are provided when possible, so growers can tailor protocols at different scales. Click here for more.

The Silent Work of Forest

In a mature forest, woody vines, flowering shrubs, ferns and other plants all blend together in a medley of greens and browns on a floor shaded by a thick overstory.  To the casual hiker, a cluster of saplings standing a few feet tall isn’t much to stop and look at.

Gordon McNickle, however sees something that most people don’t. Those saplings, just a few leaves shooting off from thin green stems, have been locked in a waiting game for years. If the opportunity arises, they’ll set off an arms race that will end with only one survivor. Click here for more.

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