Garden Obstacles: Gardening with Toxic Trees

Updated: Mar 21

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


Vines

Aristolochia durior - Dutchman’s Pipe

Clematis virginiana - Woodbine

Lonicera sempervirens - Coral Honeysuckle

Parthenocissus quinquefolia - Virginia Creeper


Ground Cover

Asarum canadense - Wild Ginger

Aster macrophyllus - Bigleaf Aster

Iris cristata - Dwarf Crested Iris

Viola labradorica - Labrador Violet

Viola sororia - Common Violet


Ferns

Adiantum pedatum - Maidenhair Fern

Athyrium filix-femina - Lady Fern

Dryopteris goldiana - Goldie’s Fern

Dryopteris marginalis - Marginal Fern

Matteuccia struthiopteris - Ostrich Fern

Onoclea sensibilis - Sensitive

Osmunda cinnamomea - Cinnamon Fern

Polystichum acrostichoides - Christmas Fern


Perennials

Aster cordifolius - Blue Wood Aster

Echinacea purpurea - Purple Coneflower

Eupatorium maculatum - Joe Pye Weed

Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium

Lobelia cardinalis - Cardinal Flower

Lobelia siphilitica - Great Blue Lobelia

Monarda didyma - Bee Balm

Monarda fistulosa - Wild Bergamot

Oenothera fruticosa - Narrow-leaf Evening Primrose

Phlox stolonifera - Creeping Phlox

Physostegia virginiana - Obedient Plant

Podophyllum peltatum - Mayapple

Polemonium reptans - Jacob’s Ladder

Solidago caesia - Bluestem Goldenrod

Solidago flexicaulis - Zigzag Goldenrod

Solidago odora - Sweet Goldenrod


Grasses

Muhlenbergia capillaris - Purple Muhly Grass

Panicum virgatum - Switchgrass


Sedges

Carex appalachica - Appalachian Sedge

Carex bicknellii - Bicknell’s Sedge

Carex pensylvanica - Oak Sedge


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References:

  1. https://mortonarb.org/plant-and-protect/tree-plant-care/plant-care-resources/black-walnut-toxicity/#tolerant-trees

  2. https://nativeplantherald.prairienursery.com/2016/06/planting-under-black-walnut-trees/

  3. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1x3rbooIFKQ9APJdYoqxSEObtU2zAVZvSen42afRtsV8/edit?usp=sharing



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