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English Walnut

 
Posts: 98
Location: NorCal
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Is there a way to compost English walnut leaves so they are usable in my garden without causing any harm?  What about English walnut shells?   We have 3 English walnut trees, and I am not sure what to do with the mess, every fall.  I hate to put it in the landfill.
 
Posts: 155
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leaves are leaves, when it comes to composting, mix with manure, or whatever organics you have, mix it all up, pile it and let it cook
 
Posts: 41
Location: Lasqueti Island, British Columbia
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My suggestion would be to keep the walnut leaves separate or leave them under the walnut tree. They will have juglone in them and i would be somewhat concerned if you put a large amount of them into your compost.
A thought which just came to me, would be to put them in your paths where you do not want plants to grow. Just an idea so do what you will with it :D

What we are doing with the spent hulls is placing the water/hull mixture back around the tree.

 
bruce Fine
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i have black walnut trees all over the property and the leaves don't seem to inhibit growth in the weeds, grasses and other trees that are around them
but most of my place is wild mature forest and things just grow how they will, i do have a compost pile and rake leaves from around the house into it and I dont mess with it much, just keep piling stuff on and wild onions and lillies grow at the edges of it.
the weeds 8' tall this year under two very large walnut trees in front of property.
if your worried about juglone keep the walnut leaves in a separate compost pile and experiment with it once its composted
 
Posts: 15
Location: Southern Oregon
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I have gardened for many years in two different parts of the northwest (southern OR and southern WA) under English walnuts and used their leaves and left their leaves where they fell and never had a problem. Why do you need to get rid of them?  I know that BLACK Walnuts can be a challenge to grow some things under but never heard of a problem with English walnuts. From what I understand English walnuts do not have enough juglone to be a challenge to most plants.

Here's an article by Penn State Extension service on the subject that includes a great list of plants that are tolerant of juglone so if you are concerned you can see that you will not be very limited in what you can grow under them... Leaving the leaves and hulls on the ground to feed the plants is also a great option.  https://extension.psu.edu/landscaping-and-gardening-around-walnuts-and-other-juglone-producing-plants   They are wonderful trees to have, especially if you are already getting nuts! I am impatiently waiting for the tree I have now to bear.   I eat a LOT of walnuts. :-)
 
Jen Fulkerson
Posts: 98
Location: NorCal
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Thank you for all your helpful suggestions.  I usually have to rake the leaves to make it easier to find the nuts, and it looks nicer.  Maybe after all the nuts are up, I will just mow the leaves and leave them under the tree.
 
Barb Allen
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Location: Southern Oregon
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Ah - That makes sense.  Well - you could do both, probably. Compost the first raking or so to help you find the nuts, and in the end mow what's left and leave them under the tree.  :-)
 
Posts: 57
Location: Eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mnts. Virginia
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I haven't taken pictures yet, but... I did a test plot this fall planting eco-till radish in a line extending from one of our walnuts. It is extremely visible what juglone can do.  My walnuts are well established and range from 15 to 75 years of age. Juglone doesn't seem to affect common grass, but something affected my tomatoes and something is affecting my eco-till radishes. My scientific wild ass guess is long term natural composting of walnut sheds has created poor growing conditions for broad leaf plants.  On the other hand I pick and dry all the fresh leaves I can get my hands on, powder the dried leaves and put the powder in #1 veggie capsules. They can be used for a sleep aid for people or a dewormer for animals. You may not be able to plant under a walnut, but walnut is a versatile medicinal and they are good to eat.
 
Posts: 66
Location: Rocky Mountains, USA
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Concerning the shells, I don't know how well they compost, but they are very abrasive and are great for blasting/tumbling/polishing of metal.  (Just an option.)

Also, walnut husks can be used for making ink.
 
gardener
Posts: 6256
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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The English walnut does indeed contain Juglone and it can be found in the waxy coating of the leaves, however, the content of juglone in English walnut is less than 1/4 the amount found in Black Walnut.
All the members of the walnut family (Juglans) contain Juglone, just in differing concentrations, in all species the highest content will be found in the root system.

If you want to use English walnut leaves for a mulch for other than the walnut tree, I recommend you soak them in water for a few days then let them dry out, once dry they can be chopped up and used as is or they can be included in a compost heap that has good fungal activity.

Redhawk
 
Chris Griffin
Posts: 57
Location: Eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mnts. Virginia
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I've never researched the English walnut, so I did a little today.

"How to Compost English Walnut Leaves
Chop the leaves into small pieces by running over them with a mower equipped with a mulching blade or by raking them into piles and chopping them with a hoe. The leaves will compost more quickly if broken into small pieces.

Layer the leaves in the compost pile with other organic matter, such as kitchen scraps or grass clippings. Leaves are naturally high in carbon, which composts slowly. Layering in high-nitrogen matter such as grass and vegetable peelings will speed composition and increase the temperature of the compost pile, which will break down the juglone more quickly.

Water the compost pile to keep it moist but not soggy. Moisture encourages the growth of organisms that speed decomposition and hasten the transformation of the leaves to healthy compost.

Turn the compost pile regularly to aerate the contents. This also hastens decomposition."

I would still be concerned with juglone, but if you're composting material is limited I would try chopping the leaves and as mentioned above soaking them in water.
 
pollinator
Posts: 992
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I know this doesn’t directly relate to your question, but I thought I’d mention that grafted English walnuts are usually on black walnut rootstocks. I believe the black walnut rootstocks also produce more juglone.
 
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