It was a cold, crisp day in December 2019 when Rosemary (Rose) Fleguel, RVCA's resident butternut expert, pulled up in her truck to meet North Grenville woodlot owner Warren Dool at his 47-acre property. Her mission? To find any and all living and healthy butternut trees - a cause to which she has dedicated the bulk of her long career.
A new batch of butternut seedlings have been sent into the world to help pull the endangered tree back from the brink – but this spring's lot may have been the last.
Landowners flocked to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority's specialized cold storage facility on Dilworth Road this spring to pick up their baby butternut trees, carefully grown at the Ferguson Forestry Centre from resilient seeds harvested across Eastern Ontario.
Butternut trees in Canada and the US have been decimated by the butternut canker, an incurable fungal disease scientists believe originated in Asia.