This nut tree is native to the eastern United States and southeast Canada. It rarely lives past 75 years. Male flowers are yellow-green catkins; female flowers are short, light pink terminal spikes on the new growth. The nut is surrounded by a green husk and can usually be harvested mid- autumn. The butternut is declining because of a serious disease called the butternut canker (sirococcus). A fungus infects the tree and spreads slowly and causes its demise. The nuts can be eaten by humans and animals and are used in baking and making candies. Since it is a softer wood, woodcarvers like to use butternut, but it can also be used in furniture making.