The Q&A Archives: Mulching leaves from black walnut trees

Question: I was going to mulch up leaves to put on my flower beds this fall. I have a number of black walnut trees on the property. Will the leaves from these trees be ok to use or are they as toxic as the walnuts themselves?



Answer: Genrally, chopped leaves make a terrific mulch. However, many plants are sensitive to the juglone that is contained in the roots, wood, bark, stems, twigs and foliage of this tree -- as well as the nuts. Composting the leaves (and mixing them with other organic materials in the compost) seems to dilute the effect. I still would not recommend using the composted leaves on especially sensitive plants such as azaleas or rhododendrons, or on tomatoes, peppers or eggplants.

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