Shrubs under black walnut

shadey(z5 Chicago)April 10, 2005

I have 3 canadian hemlocks which were planted in a straight row and look sort of silly since the rest of the area is sort of natural. I am looking for a companion plant (shrub) to plant near them sort of around them -- but scattered -- to make them look more natural and blend in to a woodsy type of environemnt.

Problem -- these Hemlocks are at the dripline of a Black Walnut.

I had purchased 5 Red Chokeberry to intersperce w/ the Hemlock and they looked great since they are tall and whispy and would not overpower the Hemlocks. Problem is, I learned they are sensitive to Juglone and I had to move them.

I can't seem to think of anything that will look as nice -- natural and woodsy -- to plant with the hemlocks that is also tolerant to Juglone.



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Fledgeling_(4b SD)

Native plants of the genus Viburnum arnt usually affected so i hear

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 5:57PM
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Japenese maples are a great companion to the BWT. You can buy varieties that are more mounding and shrub like in appearance. Forsythia is another


    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 6:47PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Dogwoods (red and yellow twig) and, Fledgeling, you're correct about Viburnum. I have dogwoods under mine, Viburnum and also Caryopteris (LOVE THEM!). The Caryopteris will die back partially in our zone, shady, but they pop back quickly in the spring, I'm a huge fan. Umm...let's see...I also have Weigela that seem to be unaffected, as well as Elderberry. FWIW, there's my two cents! :)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2005 at 12:26AM
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Hawkeye_Belle(z6 PA)

I'm surrounded by 9 BW trees. Search the internet for juglon toxin or Black Walnut tolerant plants. There are a large number of them.

If you want blooms, hydrangea macrophelia (big leaf hydrangea) are reported tolerant. Not all varieties may apply. For sure the hydrangea aboracens (native species) is tolerant, and I have this planted between two Kerria shrubs just beneath a BW tree. I'm also testing oak leaf hydrangea. It has lived since last spring and I see signs of life. Of course, if you can place them so they get good sun exposure, rugosa roses and hybrid rugosas will grow and bloom beneath BWs.The varieties I have within the drip lines are Rose rugosa rubra, Therese Bugnet, Marie Bugnet, Charles Albanel, Conrad F. Meyer and Rugelda. The latter two need spraying for fungas.

I'm currently testing hybrid musk roses and multiflora hybrids. It is too soon to report success.

Hosta will grow in the shade of these trees as will some ferns. Also spider warts, foam flower, ligularia and toad lilies.

The list goes on and on. You may not find them too restrictive after all.

Oh, not all Viburnums are tolerant, but one of the best is listed, Viburnum carlise or Korean spice viburnum.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 1:29PM
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sue_minn(4 MN)

I would like to plant some clethra (clethra alnifolia), sargent viburnum (viburnum sargentii), and diervilla lonicera under my black walnut trees this spring? Does anyone know about their tolerance? I am ready to order them but hesitating. Thank you.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2005 at 8:11AM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

I have rose of sharons and wild blackberries, and orange daylilies under black walnuts, and have had for years, so I know those are ok.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2005 at 9:34AM
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Hawkeye_Belle(z6 PA)

I don't think clethra or sargentii viburnum are tolerant. Arrowwood and blackhawk viburnam and the beautiful carlisi or Korean Spice Viburnum are on the lists of tolerant plants. Also I've seen spirea and deutzia mentioned as tolerant. Big leaf hydrangea (macrophelia?) are tolerant.

There are plenty lovely plants that will work. Do the search and check all lists. They vary.
Yes Rose of sharons and blackberries and daylilies are all tolerant. So are siberian irisis

    Bookmark   May 5, 2005 at 4:38PM
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lisaloo(MA z6)

Are you sure blackberries are tolerant, not black raspberry (which I'm pretty sure is tolerant)? I'd love to do blackberries in my yard, and have space by my BW still.

Anyone ever try the honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum Harlequin? I just ordered one from Parks, and am hoping to place it quite close to the BW (Lonicera sp and other lonicera varieties are on many of the tolerant lists).


    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 7:50PM
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sue_minn(4 MN)

I went ahead and ordered clethra (clethra alnifolia), sargent viburnum (viburnum sargentii), and diervilla lonicera, but it sounds like I'll have to plant them somewhere else. Thank you for the information and for the other suggestions. I had planted a pagoda dogwood under one black walnut last fall and see that the rabbits girdled it -- I think I'll replant it as a trial. Any more shrub suggestions? Thank you.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 11:28AM
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Hawkeye_Belle(z6 PA)

Lisaloo, you are right. The blackberry is not listed but I believe the black raspberry is or perhaps the wild raspberry. I see plenty of them sprouting up around the BW tree across the street.

With the hybrids and related cultivars, it is certainly worth a try to check for tolerance. I am trying oak leaf hydrangea around mine since the big leaf hydrangea is listed as tolerant. So far so good.

Sue Minn, I believe the cornus altinfolia(?) or pagoda dogwood is a tolerant plant. I know the red twig dogwood is listed.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 2:23PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I did not have luck with oakleaf hydrangea near black walnut. It could be they died for other reasons: we have very dry summers and I don't have a sprinkler system. I lost three. I tried in another spot and now have a large healthy shrub.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 1:51AM
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kashka_kat(z4 WI)

hi all,

any thoughts on SERVICEBERRY under black walnut-- I have been looking around the web, and have seen serviceberry listed as both tolerant and intolerant. any first hand experience out there that you can report?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 6:41PM
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jayco(5b NY)

My V. tomentosum (doublefile viburnum) IS susceptible to the juglone.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 11:16AM
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Does anyone know if purple smoke bush is okay near black walnut?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 5:33PM
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I'll ask the same question as bekcgarden. The Black Walnut tree of my neighbor's I've coped with for years and between the toxic root system and the squirrels it attracts to their property and my own I'd just love to see the hideous thing gone.
Since it's not my tree to chop down, I will say the shrubs at the drip line on either side of the fence are not languishing nor in peril it seems yet ....
By virtue of the fact that it is menacing, how about a metal sheet barrier driven down in the soil to block the roots from harming vulnerable plants?? Hate that tree!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 10:11AM
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Does anyone know if the caryopteris or blue mist shrub
will survive under the walnut tree?

    Bookmark   January 17, 2015 at 10:01AM
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