The Q&A Archives: Planting Near Walnut Trees

Question: I would like any information regarding the compatability of walnut trees and river birch trees during transplantation. Will the two grow well together?

Answer: Black walnut (Juglans nigra) has a reputation for being allelopathic. Small amounts of juglone are released by the tree roots, but a far greater amount of this growth inhibiting chemical is found under the canopy of the tree. Many plants are sensitive to juglone, including apple, blackberry, pear and blueberry, asparagus, cabbage, eggplant, pepper, potato and tomato. Landscape plants sensitive to juglone include azalea, birch, honeysuckle, hydrangea, larch, lilac, magnolia, maple, pine, potentilla, rhododendron, spruce and viburnums. Some plants that are tolerant to juglone include: arborvitae, cedar, catalpa, clematis, daphne, elm, euonymous, forsythia, hawthorn, hemlock, sycamore, astilbe, begonia, bellflower, orange hawkweed, hosta, pansy, phlox, marigold, primrose, snowdrop, sweet woodruff, trillium and zinnia. Since your walnut tree is there to stay, try to plant one of the less-susceptible plants in the vicinity of the trees roots or canopy.

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