Mulching leaves from black walnut trees - Knowledgebase Question

Princeton, NJ
Question by jsalmon
September 30, 2006
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 from NGA
September 30, 2006


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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