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How to Purchase Butternuts (White Walnuts)

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Q. Where can I order or purchase butternuts or white walnuts? I would like to purchase the nuts as a gift and need them as soon as possible.

A. Alas, the butternut story is not a happy one. Butternuts, or white walnuts, have been grown in southern Canada and the northern United States, from New England to the midwest. According to out-of-print and collectors-item-priced Book of Edible Nuts, by Frederic Rosengarten, the nuts that were grown were primarily for home consumption. There was little interest in cultivating commercial orchards since the nuts grow slowly and the trees tend to be short lived. Things have only gone downhill from there.

Butternuts were available from small growers and processors from Minnesota to New England some years ago. But a fungus disease moved through the butternut range and has largely wiped out the native stands. Efforts are being made to find disease-resistant trees, but the native industry has all but disappeared. What butternuts there are are harvested in September or October depending on the weather conditions in any given year.

Ernie Grimo, of Grimo Nut Nursery, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, says that he grows a few grafted butternut trees that produce "a relatively inconsistent crop." He has not had a good crop for several years. He is expecting a crop of nuts this year, but it will be a light crop again. He will take orders in the fall, when it is clearer how big the crop will be. His price for nuts in the shell is US$10 for the first pound and $5 for each additional pound ordered, including shipping.

Two other possible off-line sources are:

Parker Coble
843 Table Rock Rd.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-8112
Phone: (717) 334-6876. 

Mr. Coble sells black walnuts, butternuts, buartnuts, hickory, hicans, pecans, chestnuts, hazels, and Persian (English, Carpathian) walnuts, in the shell only.

Bud Luers
5312 Possum Run Rd.
Bellville, OH 44813-9131
Phone: (419) 892-2043

Mr. Luers sells black walnuts, butternuts, heartnuts, buartnuts, hazels, and Persian (English, Carpathian) walnuts.

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