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Buttonbush near Black Walnut trees?

 
Eric Powell
Posts: 3
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I want to plant buttonbush shrubs on my property as a mid-summer nectar source for my honeybees but most of the available places to plant it are near black walnut trees. Many plants don't do well under black walnut trees. None of the lists I found on the internet regarding plants that are tolerant or sensitive to black walnut toxicity mention buttonbush so I was wondering if anyone has buttonbush growing near or under black walnut trees?
 
Jay Emm
Posts: 21
Location: Southern Ontario, 6A
forest garden trees urban
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I've been living with massive old black walnut for a while, and I've learned that I just have to try it and see when it comes to what can grow around it. I haven't tried buttonbush, but I've found that most native species that I've tried that live within the same range as black walnut do okay - as long as they're shade tolerant, too. Like pawpaws, ferns, and others. That said, I've had plants that supposedly shouldn't be grown within umpteen metres of the tree's drip line do just fine near and even under it. Tomatoes, peppers, rhododendrons, and honeysuckle have all thrived in proximity to it, while some supposedly tolerant plants (like jack-in-the-pulpit) have croaked.

My suggestion would be to plant one and observe it for the season.

I have told people my experience and had them tell me that old black walnuts produce less juglone than young ones. I have done no research to back that up, but the logic behind that they give to me is that mature trees don't need it as a defence mechanism anymore, so they don't produce as much. I don't know if this is true, but it might explain why some people (like a cousin of mine) can't grow anything near their black walnut while I've only had to worry about shade tolerance.
 
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