Ask a Question forum: Walnut Tree

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Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 22, 2014 3:10 PM CST
How close can you plant other plants to a walnut tree? I have always heard they would kill other plants. Is this true? I have a large walnut tree I would like to plant some Hostas around it but did not know if the tree would actually kill them.
Cat
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 22, 2014 3:45 PM CST
I think it's only the Black Walnut that kills other nearby plants. They produce juglone and many plants can not tolerate it.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Jun 22, 2014 4:31 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Don't all walnuts contain juglone?

I don't think your hostas would do well in the vicinity of that tree.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 22, 2014 5:14 PM CST
Of course Dave is correct; I was just thinking of the black walnut being the worst offender. Learned this from my father-in-law who grew them.

Here is a link with lists of plants that may tolerate growing near a walnut tree; hosta is on this list.

http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-021/430-021.html
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 22, 2014 8:18 PM CST
Thanks for the info and the link, I will check it out.
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Catherine
NW Illinois (Zone 5a)
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jerseyridgearts
Jun 22, 2014 9:35 PM CST
Cat,
I garden under black walnuts in z5. I've had good luck with redbuds, Japanese maples, oak leaf hydrangea, physocarpus (ninebark Diablo), star magnolia. Still waiting to see how my evergreen shrubs will do but the16yr old white pines are flourishing despite being on the 'no' list. Planning to try hardy heathers.
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 22, 2014 10:04 PM CST
@jerseyridgearts Hey, we have the same name. I tip my hat to you. I am not sure what I will do. It is a huge tree! I would like to just cut it down for the pain they can be but it provides quite a bit of shade and is huge. Oh, guess I said that. Also I don't think I could talk my husband into it. Glare lol.
Thumb of 2014-06-23/Cat/faa771The tree in question is straight back from the fire. The junk around it has been cut away. I really wanted to put a huge circle of hostas around it but not really sure what I will do now. The next tree over is not ours (at least not yet). Just received a letter from the state that that lot is up for tax sale. That is how we got the one in the pic. I am hoping to get that one also but we will have to see what happens after all bids are in. Anyway for now I was really looking for somewhere to put a decent size hosta garden. Have more space further back but not really the trees for the shade.

Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
Jun 23, 2014 7:02 AM CST
For plants not affected by juglone, walnuts, butternuts, hickories and Kentucky Coffee trees are excellent trees to garden under because they produce few surface roots that hinder planting (compared to other trees). Kentucky Coffee trees don't porduce juglone, but a non-surface rooting.
[Last edited by Leftwood - Jun 23, 2014 11:53 AM (+)]
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Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
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frostweed
Jun 23, 2014 7:05 AM CST
Greene, that was a wonderful article about Walnut trees, it looks like there are a lot of plants that can be grown under them.
Very enlightening indeed!

Do you happen to know about Eastern Red Cedar and it's effect on Honeysuckles?
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Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 23, 2014 8:11 AM CST
Yes, I agree it was a great source of information. There was a link to open it in PDF form so I saved it for future reference.
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 23, 2014 8:25 AM CST
Somewhat off the original topic of Walnut trees and Hosta Whistling , but to answer @frostweed - Lonicera maackii/Amur honeysuckle and L. japonica (there may be other kinds also??) are stronger than Juniperus virginiana red cedar; the vines grows up red cedar trees, can deprive the tree of light and over time can kill the tree. This is not always a bad thing.

Eastern red cedar is native and has many good uses but becomes invasive Thumbs down if not properly managed/controlled. Exudes chemicals to prevent other plants from growing under it (although I find that Lantana laughs Rolling on the floor laughing at this).

Confused If everyone would dig up the small Eastern red cedar trees and sell them to people who make Bonsai that might solve the problem. Thumbs up

@wildflowers wrote a lovely article about the Eastern Red Cedar:
http://garden.org/ideas/view/wildflowers/161/All-About-the-E...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
[Last edited by greene - Jun 23, 2014 8:26 AM (+)]
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Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Jun 23, 2014 9:05 AM CST
Thank you for you response Greene, very interesting the some honeysuckles grow well near red cedar.
I have tried to grow Coral Honeysuckle next to fencing posts made from red cedar and it just won't thrive.
I will check the article by Wildflowers. Smiling
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RainGazer
Jun 23, 2014 10:18 AM CST
Not to hijack the thread, but since my question is somewhat similar I thought it might be best to just tag it on to this one.

Will elephant ears and dappled willow (Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki') grow near a black walnut? I've googled and read many articles and lists, but I haven't seen either of those on a list of plants that will or will not grow close to a black walnut. I want to plant them down a fence line. They won't be right under the walnut trees, for the most part anyway, but they'll sort of be between three large black walnuts so I assume there's plenty of juglone in the area.

Thanks!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 23, 2014 9:26 PM CST
No idea about the willow, but the Ears need tons of water and fert so under big trees, I'd think you'll be well advised to grow them in big pots. You can sink the pots and cover the edges with mulch for a natural look. They certainly won't be big and lush if you make them compete with tree roots, all juglone aside.
Elaine

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Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
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LysmachiaMoon
Jun 24, 2014 6:21 AM CST
Learned the hard way that the leaves of black walnut are also toxic....I mulched a bed of young tomatoes with them (leaves gathered in the fall and kept in bags over winter) one year and it killed/damaged all the tomatoes. Apparently, if you let the leaves sit OUTSIDE exposed to weather (not in bags) during the winter it leaches out the toxin.

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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jun 24, 2014 7:08 AM CST
One thing to keep in mind. Whether something will or will not thrive under a walnut, black or any other type, is not the only thing to consider. The nuts and leaves will be falling on top of and getting intermingled with whatever is planted there. How difficult would it be to gather the fallen nuts and leaves in a Hosta bed? Same question for any other choice of plants. Maybe keeping the area semi-clear, either using mulch or a very low, ground hugging plant, may make life easier in the long run.

Just for fun, paint 2 dozen golf balls a nice earthy green color, go to a neighbors house, (with permission) lob the golf balls into the Hosta bed and then hunt for them. Rolling on the floor laughing
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Name: Linda
southern Minn. (Zone 4b)
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alwaysbehindMN
Jun 24, 2014 8:07 AM CST
I have one black walnut tree, which is very special to me. It grew from a nut we picked up under a tree in Laura Ingalls Wilder's yard at the farm near Mansfield, Mo. where she and Almanzo lived for most of their married life (after they left DeSmet, SD) Our resulting tree is now 25 years old and has successfully killed many peonies, incl. half of my driveway row of Mons. Jules Elie. Hostas, daylilies, lilies, tulips, bleeding hearts, and a lilac tree all grow just fine near it... we've never planted any thing directly under it. We have a small table, chairs etc. under its shade... it's my favorite relaxing spot! I would have liked to plant dahlias and hydrangeas near it, but read that both are susceptible to the juglone. It is the one tree that I rake under regularly and dispose of the leaves, twigs and nuts in a place where they won't ever get into any mulch. The twiglets are a bigger headache than the nuts as they stick into the ground and are hard to rake. I must have dumped dozens of 5 gal. pails full of nuts last fall out behind the barn. The squirrels almost follow in my footsteps! I don't like them eating the nuts near the tree as the shells are a lot harder to dispose of than the original nuts!
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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foraygardengirl
Jun 24, 2014 10:28 AM CST
The first garden I started was under black walnut trees, and I didn't know anything about them at the time. By sheer luck I managed to plant things that would grow there, and there are actually a lot of choices. The only thing I have had to move as the trees have gotten bigger is my tomato plants. Right now my gardens near the black walnut trees contain the following: an old old honeysuckle shrub (not sure what kind) and a gigantic double-trunked cedar tree, Tiger Eye sumac, scotch pine, lilacs, hosta, bleeding hearts, jack-in-the-pulpit, hydrangea, clematis, daylilies, sedum, viola, ferns, solomon's seal, heuchera and tiarella, astrantia, lady's mantle, Jacob's ladder, celandine poppy, anemone, Culver's root, Bowman's root, toad lilies, turtleheads, primroses, amsonia, goatsbeard, foxglove, astilbe, prairie smoke...that's all I can remember for now. I have false indigo not too far away, but I know for sure that wouldn't work if it were any closer. I also tried and failed with rodgersia. Yes, the leaves and nuts are messy, but as you can probably tell my garden is sort of woodland-ish; I actually get worse litter from the cedar tree. I scoop up all of the walnut and cedar litter and spread it out where I don't want anything to grow (like along the alley where I can't plant anything, but weeds and tree seedlings like to cause problems). In the photo below, the black walnut trees are right behind where I stood to take the photo.
Thumb of 2014-06-24/foraygardengirl/cd8a38
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Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.
Name: Catherine
IN (Zone 5b)
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Cat
Jun 24, 2014 11:44 AM CST
@foraygardengirl That's quite a bit of plants! I think I will go ahead an try a few hostas under the tree and see what happens. Hopefully it will turn out somewhere as close to beautiful as yours!! Thanks for the info!
Cat
"Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Veronica A. Shoffstall
Name: Jeanie
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
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foraygardengirl
Jun 24, 2014 11:47 AM CST
Welcome! Hostas definitely will work. If they are under trees of any sort, you might need to water them more because trees are pigs and hog all the moisture.
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Old gardeners never die. They are just pruned and repotted.

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