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collage of Eastern Black Walnut and Butternut

Eastern Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) vs. Butternut (Juglans cinerea)

Updated July 28th, 2020

These plants are notoriously difficult to tell apart, but mature trees can be easily distinguished by nut shape or bark, and leaf scars can usually distinguish even smaller trees. Leaf shape and leaflet count partially overlaps but can be used for identification in many cases. Due to a canker disease, butternut has become much less common where these species' ranges overlap.

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