Thursday, July 9, 2009

Juglans nigra: now with leaves!

[Photo: Juglans nigra.]The black walnuts in the back yard are looking much prettier now that they are in leaf. (Here's what it looked like without foliage.) These native trees will be a source of nuts for the local squirrels when they're older. Black walnut produces "juglone" which makes the nearby soil unsuitable for some plants, such as tomatoes. There are a number of juglone-tolerant plants to choose from to grow under your black walnut. [Photo: Juglans nigra leaves.]The large compound leaves have a tropical feel. They look similar to those of the invasive Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven), but A. altissima's leaflets have a pair of teeth at the base. Black walnut also has pleasantly fragrant leaves, smelling like incense, whereas Ailanthus has a foul smell like burnt peanut butter.

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