Black walnuts (Juglans nigra) are lovely trees native to Michigan, and there is no shortage of nuts in the fall.

Some other trees and plants, and various vegetables, won't grow well near black walnut trees - the roots and fallen leaves and nuts produce a chemical called juglone, which inhibits the growth of these plants. Many plants do grow well nearby, though, including:

  • catalpas
  • cherries
  • black raspberries
  • day lilies
  • daffodils
  • ferns

Don't even try growing tomatoes nearby. Here is a nut picker if you want to scoop them off your lawn:

In the blogs and on the interwebs

QUESTION #1: I am in need of information and/or experience with growing natives under mature black walnut trees. The 2 trees are on neighboring property and edge the entire west side of my backyard. I am in zone 5. I have planted pawpaw and redbud under them. I need evergreens, smalltrees and shrubs, vines and ground covers. Thank you -- Linda Lawrence of Ann Arbor, MI