Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 35

help it live a longer life.
"This one is the oldest live trees I'm
aware of in this area and I really don't
know how old that is," says the 77-year-old
farmer, patting the tree's bark.
To his knowledge, Tom says there's no answer to the disease attacking the butternut, and
through the years, the blight has nearly wiped out
the rich-tasting edible.
Tom gathered up what few nuts he could find beneath
the old tree on his property. A butternut on a neighbor's
farm was near death due to grapevine stangulation,
but it had dropped a few nuts, so Tom asked if he
could have them, too. That was the beginning of his
personal quest to save what butternuts he could for
future generations.
Carefully, he stratifies the seeds - a process of
treating seeds to simulate natural conditions so
germination can occur. The process is tedious, but to Tom the time is well-spent
to help end the plight the butternut
faces. The process includes soaking,
then layering the seeds in containers
of sand, then placing them in a cold
environment for a time so the seeds
germinate.
"If I'm lucky, I usually gather anywhere from 10 to 20 nuts each fall. But
one year I gathered 120 nuts between my
tree and a neighbor's, and I had right at 90 of
those germinate," he says.
Tom says he started out last year with high hopes of
gathering a bumper crop of nuts again.
"I counted at least 75 big nuts on my old tree. Then it
flooded and that continued into fall and I couldn't get up
to the tree," he says. "By the time I could drive to it, the
squirrels had eaten most of the butternuts. I think I found
a whopping seven nuts."
Some years, Tom says he doesn't find any nuts at all.
"I've seen squirrels dig up a
young seedling just to eat what
little of the nut is still beneath the
root," says Tom.
Once the seeds have germinated, Tom places them in pots and
gives them a little TLC until he
feels they're ready for planting. He
then transplants the seedlings,
careful to select a spot he feels
they'll thrive.
"I've been told butternuts
usually like growing in narrow
valleys," Tom says. "They need a
fair amount of sunlight, but I've
seen them growing with 200-foothigh sycamores towering around
them. So I've scattered them
everywhere on my property."
"Some years we have a lot of butternut seeds and other
years, few to none," says Mike Fiaoni, state forest nursery
supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation's
tree nursery located near Licking.

The forester notes that
while there were several hundred available last year, this year's offerings may be less
due to poor growing conditions for last year's nuts.
"It would be great if someone could come up with a 100
percent butternut cross that's resistant to the canker, but
I don't know of any efforts at this time," Mike says. "When
we do have butternut saplings for sale, they usually sell
out pretty quickly. It's great people want to help keep the
butternut genetics growing across Missouri."
Since starting his efforts six years ago, Tom has planted
more than 80 saplings, each with protective fencing to deter critters from chomping on the tender leaves and bark.
As for the dreaded tree canker
or any other disease that tries to
latch on, all Tom can do is keep a
watchful eye on the trees and help
them stay alive and well.
"At this point, helping them
from becoming extinct is about
the only hope," Tom says. "I've always been told 'There's not much
to you if you don't practice what
you preach.' So I do what I can to
help the land I've got."

"There's not much
to you if you

don't practice what
you preach."

The Missouri Department of Conservation's George O. White State
Forest Nursery will begin taking
online and mail orders for trees on
Sept. 1. You can order from them
online or download a seedling
catalog at https://bit.ly/3gKW3LC, or pick up a catalog at
your local Missouri Department of Conservation office. They
recommend checking the online catalog weekly to see if any
backstock has been added to their catalog list.

_ Tom Wekenborg _

SEPTEMBER 2020 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

35


https://www.bit.ly/3gKW3LC http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 9
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 10
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 11
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 12
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 13
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 14
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 15
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 16
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 17
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 18
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 19
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 20
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 21
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 22
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 23
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 24
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 25
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 26
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 27
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 28
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 29
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 30
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 31
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 32
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 33
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 34
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 35
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 36
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 37
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 38
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 39
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 40
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 41
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 42
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 43
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 44
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 45
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - 46
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - September 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/videotest
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201010
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com