Forest Services

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Butternut canker is caused by the non-native butternut canker fungus Ophiognomonia clavigignentijuglandacearum, formerly known as Sirococcus clavigignentijuglandacearum. The disease affects butternuts throughout their native range and is gradually eliminating the butternut tree, since the species has very little, if any, resistance to the disease. Butternut trees have specific soil requirements and only grow naturally in certain areas in Maine, with populations more abundant in the southern parts of the state, but reaching as far north as Houlton, Maine. Some butternuts can be found in areas further to the north, but these are rare and often are planted. The fungus that causes butternut canker spreads by rainsplash and wind during wet weather and insects may also be involved in spore dispersal.



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