The value of landscape trees became important to my husband and me when the city paid us for several 100 year old sugar maples which had to come down during street reconstruction in front of our farmhouse. Now, he has an understandable need to protect each remaining tree on our 3 acres, but here's where we differ. He wants to keep 2 black walnut trees on the north side of our house, but I say they should come down because there are 2 sugar maples trying to grow in their shade. I suspect the maples are volunteer maples (from the ones removed), because they are growing in an old fence row. Every year they look like they are battling anthracnose or something similar, but I wonder if they just need to have an environment without the walnut trees. Unfortunately, the maples are a little close to each other, so if the walnuts are taken out, the maples are about 20-25' apart. I suspect the walnut trees are 50-75 years old and the maples are probably 50 years old. What should we do, if anything???
Part of the reason why the sugar maples are not doing well underneath the walnuts is becasue the black walnut produces a chemical called "juglone" in the nut hulls, roots, and buds, which is toxic to many plants. Sugar maples may tolerate the juglone somewhat, but will probably not thrive either. Without knowing the amount of juglone in the soil and how long it will remain if the walnuts are cut may affect the growth of the maples for years. I would suggest keeping the established walnuts and possibly relocating the sugar maples to another place.
|<E (Buffy) Mullin>|
The black walnuts are very valuable now. Perhaps, the valuable price for healthy walnuts could help with a decision, should they have the criteria to meet the demand.
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