Black Walnut Juglans nigra
Family: Juglandaceae (Walnut)
Together, Butternut and Black Walnut have very distinctive twigs.
Both are very stout (Butternut usually more so) with naked, hairy
buds, and large leaf scars. Also, they both have a very obviously
chambered pith. Differentiating the two, however can be a bit
more difficult. I find bark to be the best key, as young
Butternut bark is smooth and somewhat striped and Black
Walnut becomes rough and starts to peel very early. Even when mature, Butternut
bark always looks more "worn" with its flat-topped furrows. Black
Walnut is a very common tree in the Southern part of Ontario where it
is often found on floodplains.
Winter twig of Black Walnut
Black Walnut end bud and winter twig
Another view of the winter twig
Lateral bud and leaf scar. They are pretty distinctive but can resemble those of Hickories
The chambered pith of Black Walnut
Young bark, looks very different from Butternut
Young bark just as it begins to split
Bark as it begins to age. Mature trees can have very deep furrows.
A comparison of Black Walnut (left) and Butternut (right) twigs
A Black Walnut (left) and Butternut (right) growing side by side. Notice the difference in bark at a similar size and age.
Mature Black Walnut bark
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© 2008 Josh Sayers
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