top of page

Garden Obstacles: Gardening with Toxic Trees

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

Gardening under Black Walnut (Juglans nigra), Butternut (Juglans cinerea) and Hickory (Carya ovata) trees can be quite a challenge but with the right native plants it is a cinch! Trees in the Juglandaceae family produce juglone, a chemical that prohibits the growth of other plants. This is also known as allelopathy.

First Picture: Butternut, Center Picture: Black Walnut, Third Picture: Shagbark Hickory

The following is a list of native plants that are resistant to juglone. There are plenty more but I think this is a good start!

Trees and Shrubs

Acer rubrum - Red Maple

Acer saccharum - Sugar Maple

Amelanchier canadensis - Serviceberry

Amelanchier laevis - Allegheny Serviceberry

Aralia spinosa - Devil’s Walkingstick

Asimina triloba - Pawpaw

Carpinus virginiana - American Hornbeam

Cercis canadensis - Redbud

Cornus amomum - Silky Dogwood

Cornus florida - Common Dogwood

Diospyros virginiana - Common Persimmon

Hamamelis virginiana - Common Witch Hazel

Juniperus virginiana - Eastern Red Cedar

Lindera benzoin - Spicebush

Physocarpus opulifolius - Ninebark

Prunus serotina - Black Cherry

Rubus odoratus - Flowering Raspberry

Salix discolor - Pussy Willow

Sambucus canadensis - Black Elderberry

Sassafras albidum - Sassafras

Viburnum acerifolium - Mapleleaf Viburnum

Viburnum dentatum - Arrowwood

Xanthorhiza simplicissima - Yellowroot


Aristolochia durior - Dutchman’s Pipe

Clematis virginiana - Woodbine

Lonicera sempervirens - Coral Honeysuckle