Humans adores trees. But humans also migrate and trade, habits that led to the accidental introduction of insects and diseases that harm trees and alter the landscape. Examples are easy to find and may be outside your front door: American elms that once dotted streets across America succumbed to Dutch elm disease. Now all colors of ash species – black, green, white, pumpkin, and blue – are threatened by emerald ash borer. The already uncommon butternut tree, also known as white walnut, faces the possibility of extinction from a mysterious attacker. Many invasive insects and fungi come from regions where native trees have evolved to resist their attacks. When these species enter the United States, they find trees that lack this resistance. There's no immediate end to this dismal pipeline, but there is hope on the horizon.
Unknown, possibly Asia (Furnier et al. 1999)
First detected in 1967, but may have been present before then (Farlee et al. 2010)
Unknown (Ostry et al. 2004)
Lethal disease of butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) (Farlee et al. 2010)
Northeastern and Midwestern U.S.
USDA. FS. Northern Research Station.Select the non-indigenous forest pest to view maps depicting state and county distribution. Produced by: USDA, FS, Forest Health Protection, and its partners.
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
Provides state, county, point and GIS data. Maps can be downloaded and shared.
The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Butternut Canker.
European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.
Invasive Species Centre (Ontario); Great Lakes Forest Alliance.
USDA. FS. Northern Research Station.
Natural Resources Canada. Canadian Forest Service.
State and Local Government
University of Wisconsin - Extension.
See also: Forestry and Natural Resources publications
Broders, K.D., and G.J. Boland. 2011. Reclassification of the butternut canker fungus, Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum, into the genus Ophiognomonia. Fungal Biology 115(1):70-79.
Farlee, L., K. Woeste, M. Ostry, J. McKenna, and S. Weeks. 2010. Conservation and Management of Butternut Trees (PDF | 717 KB). Purdue University Extension. Publication FNR-421-W.
Furnier, G.R., A.M. Stolz, R.M. Mustaphi, and M.E. Ostry. 1999. Genetic evidence that butternut canker was recently introduced into North America (PDF | 236 KB). Canadian Journal of Botany 77(6):783-785.
Ostry, M.E. and K. Woeste. 2004. Spread of butternut canker in North America, host range, evidence of resistance within butternut populations and conservation genetics. In: C.H. Michler et al. (Eds.), Black Walnut in a New Century, Proceedings of the 6th Walnut Council Research Symposium (General Technical Report NC-243, pp.114-120). St. Paul, Minn.: U.S. Forest Service, North Central Research Station.