The Butternuts of JBNR

The Jim Baillie Nature Reserve (JBNR) was our first protected property, purchased in two stages in 1970 and 1973. Part of the “Uxbridge Creek Environmentally Significant Area” it is considered a high quality undisturbed swamp forest with a diverse flora and many regionally rare species. Among these denizens, according to flora surveys conducted by TFN members over the decades, we find Ontario’s endangered butternut trees.

With the threat of butternut canker expected to kill off 97% of the butternut trees found in Ontario, TFN takes the protection of this wonderful species with all due seriousness. To this end, TFN initiated a butternut protection program at JBNR in 2019. The goal of this project is to continue providing refuge to our existing butternuts, while also introducing new, genetically-certified stock to the reserve. With volunteer effort, and a little bit of luck, TFN hopes we can help to encourage genetic diversity and contribute to future propagation of canker-immune butternuts.

TFN’s JBNR Stewardship Team spearheads this initiative by helping to map and monitor our existing butternuts, planting new stock, managing invasive species, installing tree guards, and other similar tasks.

All TFN Members are invited to join the JBNR Stewardship Team: just email for more information or to sign up. No prior specialized knowledge is needed to participate in our butternut project – materials, training, mentorship, and more are all provided!