Ask a Question forum: Near Black Walnut

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La Crosse WI
Sep 27, 2017 7:53 AM CST
Can a fat albert or baby blue spruce be planted under or near a black walnut.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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Sep 27, 2017 8:18 AM CST
Hi & welcome! The allelopathic substance in walnut trees (and their relatives in the Juglans genus) is juglone. There are lists that are easy to find about common landscape plants known to thrive, and also list of those known to be damaged or killed. You should be able to find them by searching for information about juglone toxicity.

Here's an article about gardening around them to get you started:
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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Sep 27, 2017 8:32 AM CST

According to this article from U of Wisconsin Extension, spruces are sensitive to juglone - they do list alternatives although I'd be cautious about planting under a tree in general because of competition for light, moisture and nutrients even without the toxicity:
Name: Mac
Soon to be MidCoast, ME (Zone 6a)
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Sep 27, 2017 8:15 PM CST
For what it's worth, this little fellow has been growing about 1' from the trunk of a Black Walnut tree for around 3 years, in minimal sun. Earlier this spring I pulled out the weeds and grass, cleaned up the area, and planted a variety of flowers there. There is also a cedar growing under the walnut canopy, about 8' to the south, also in minimal sun. It's grown very slowly but it's still healthy.
Thumb of 2017-09-28/McCannon/dcc5a6

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