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FutureStarrPlants That Will Grow Under Walnut Trees
People who are gifted with a black walnut tree have both an asset and a curse. The asset is a protein source that both you and your squirrels (and other animals) can enjoy. The curse is two-fold: like any nut or fruit tree, they can be messy. But their messiness is far outweighed by their ability to inhibit or kill other plants around them. Isnt that weird that plants can do that to each other? Walnuts are not alone in this skill set, they are just better at it than anybody else in the plant kingdom.
If your property includes a black walnut tree, you’re likely familiar with black walnut toxicity and the difficulty of keeping plants near your black walnut tree alive. However, you may not be aware that some plants are not as susceptible to black walnut toxicity as others and can successfully be grown near or even right underneath a black walnut tree.Every part of a black walnut tree contains a chemical called juglone, which is what makes it so difficult for other plant life to thrive near a black walnut tree. The juglone is at its highest concentrations in the black walnut tree’s buds, root system, and in the shells of the black walnuts themselves. Juglone is toxic to many plants because it inhibits their respiration, reducing the level of the energy that enables them to gather nutrients and ingest water.
Don’t compost any part of the black walnut tree. Don’t use any materials from the black walnut tree in compost, or you risk poisoning the soil where you spread the compost instead of enriching it. The juglone that makes a black walnut tree and the soil where one has grown so toxic to most other plants will still be present in compost. This embargo on black walnut tree debris goes for the tree’s foliage (its leaves), bark, branches, twigs, walnuts, walnut shells, and the soil anywhere close to the tree.Even if you haven’t noticed any black walnut debris as you go about your days, do a walk about once a week, covering just the vicinity of your black walnut trees if the entire property will take too long to inspect weekly. It doesn’t take long for juglones to do serious damage to highly sensitive plants.Parts of the tree may have been carried to faraway parts of the yard by birds, squirrels, and other wildlife or knocked loose by a blustery wind or sudden storm, so you may not even know they’re on the ground until you look for them. (Source: www.gardeningchannel.com)