You may be wondering "why should I use native plants?" Native plants have many advantages over plants that have been introduced from foreign sources or other areas of the United States.
In addition to satisfying the typical reasons for selecting plants (shade, color and flower characteristics), native plants can provide advantages that non-native plants cannot provide. These benefits include:
Periodically, we will provide suggestions and tips for selecting and using native plants on this page. In addition, we may share our response to questions that we receive from our customers or visitors. If you have any questions that you would like to see addressed here, please feel free to contact us by phone, fax or e-mail.
Landscaping with Black WalnutLandscaping with Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) can be challenging for any home owner. The native black walnut tree contains the phytotoxin juglone, which can cause stunting, death, or wilting in many plants when they are planted nearby. This unusual problem is known as “walnut toxicity”. Juglone is present on the roots, leaves, fruits, and branches of Juglans nigra. So whether your tree was planted on your property for its wildlife value (sweet tasty nuts), for lumber production or if it became a part of your landscape because your home site is situated in a natural area, take heart: while some plants are susceptible to the phytotoxin, others are not. Those that are not may even thrive in the area of black walnuts.
Keep in mind that the average limit of the toxic zone from a mature walnut tree is 50 to 60 feet, but plants as far away as 80 feet have also been known to be injured. The use of native black walnut sawdust, leaves, crushed husks as mulch or in compost can also have toxic results, especially on very susceptible plants such as the tomato.
The following lists name plants (some native, some not) which have and have not been shown to be susceptible to black walnut toxin. The information should be considered as “field research with some probability of variance”. Of course, nothing in the biological world follows precise rules without exceptions, but referencing these lists may be a good first step to successful planting in the root zone of native walnut trees.
Source: MSU Extension, Oakland County. “Landscaping with Black Walnut” The Voice January/February 1999: 46-51 Thanks for visiting our 'Why Use Native Plants' page. Come back soon.
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