Sunday, December 18, 2016

Black Walnut Trees

Black Walnut Trees

The only plants that thrive near a black walnut trees are weeds! Just kidding!

I recall reading somewhere that the chemical juglone has a devastating effect on some plants. Juglone is a toxic compound that black walnut trees produce in their leaves, branches and nuts. It is excreted from the root system into the soil.

I can confirm this. Several years ago we had planted about a dozen of thornless blackberries in a plot, they were doing wonderful and were thriving. I was so pleased and then each year after that, they were slowly dying off. It was then that I had noticed a black walnut tree had taken root and grown, I didn't notice it at first as other trees were blocking the view.

Symptoms to look for are are yellowing leaves, wilting and eventual death of certain plants. If you have an established tree near where you want to plant a garden you may want to consider another site.The greatest concentration of juglone is between the trunk of the tree and the end of the branches. But Juglone isn’t all bad, it can be used as a natural dye for fabrics and clothing. It was also used as ink and a herbicide. Did you know that is is used as a coloring agent for hair dye, cosmetics and some foods?

Black Walnut Trees:

Plants that are sensitive to black walnut trees are: Apples, blackberries, grapes, pears, strawberries, asparagus, rhubarb, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.

Flowers that are sensitive to the black walnut tree are: Columbine, daffodils, peonies and some petunias.

The good news is that not all plants are susceptible to the chemical. Most trees, vines, shrubs, perennials and annuals are tolerant of juglone.  

Vegetables that are not affected by black walnut trees are corn, beans, onions, beets and carrots

Feature image is the courtesy of mrmac04 at
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