Native North American Nut Trees

Here is a guide to a selection of nut trees native to North America: the common, the disappearing, and the gone.

| September/October 1974

  • 029-hickory
     Hickory nuts are wholesome to eat, and hickory wood has a wide range of uses. 
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 029-walnut
    Black walnut wood is prized for its use in furniture, and the nut meat, though difficult to extract, is worth the effort. 
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 029-beech
    Beech nuts come encased in a round pod, but the nuts are oblong.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 029-pecan
    The brittle wood of pecan trees isn't that useful, but pecan nuts are a valuable cash crop.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 029-butternut
    Butternuts, sometimes known as white walnuts, have a far richer, sweeter, flavor and more pale bark and wood than black walnuts.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 029-chestnut
    Prior to the introduction of a deadly blight that wiped it out, the American chestnut tree was the continent's dominant nut tree, and their chestnuts a food staple.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 029-hickory
  • 029-walnut
  • 029-beech
  • 029-pecan
  • 029-butternut
  • 029-chestnut

The North American continent hosts a wide variety of nut trees. What follows is description of those that are or once were the most popular and economically important, either for their wood, their fruit, or both.


American Chestnut Tree

The chestnut is included as a tribute to its former importance ... and in the hope that it may someday be re-established in a disease-resistant form.

The native American chestnut was highly valued by the early settlers. Its wood was used for furniture, fencing, and musical instruments; the bark produced tannin; and the big, nutritious nuts were an important food (even a money crop, since they were harvested in large amounts for the city markets). Then, about 1900, a fungus disease reached this country from eastern Asia. The Asian chestnut, which had been exposed to the blight over many centuries, was more or less immune. The American trees sickened rapidly and in one human generation we lost a dominant forest species.

A few old chestnut stumps survive, and sometimes still send up sprouts which may reach a height of 20 or more feet before succumbing to the blight.



Black Walnut Tree

The black walnut, one of our most valued hardwoods, is found over most of the eastern half of the United States from southern New England to southern Georgia. The tree is a majestic sight, towering 70 to 100 feet and covered with graceful sprays of leaflets. If you have one on your land, treasure it. They're becoming scarce.

The heavy wood is prized for cabinetmaking and is the traditional material for fine gunstocks. The sap of both this species and the butternut can be boiled into syrup and sugar. Walnut bark is useful in tanning, and the husks around the nuts yield a long-lasting yellow-brown dye (as you'll learn if you get the juice on your skin).






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February, 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE






Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard
Free Product Information Classifieds

}