En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Wednesday - May 07, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Healthy black walnut trees from volunteer saplings
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We just purchased a piece of property in the Texas Hill Country. There is a stump of a large black walnut tree that has four healthy looking samplings shooting up. Each is about 10 feet high. The original tree looks to have been cut down for its wood - - no rot apparent. Having originated from an old walnut tree base, can we expect the saplings to mature into healthy trees? Or should they all be removed?

ANSWER:

Assuming that this is Juglans nigra (black walnut) we could find no indication that volunteer suckers growing from the root of an old tree would NOT be able to grow into a healthy mature tree. Whether you would want to or not is really up to you. See this additional information on the black walnut from the USDA Forest Service on the practicality of growing it as a yard tree. Apparently, this tree is susceptible to one or more pests or diseases that might affect the trees appearance. The litter from the tree is a nuisance to clean up, and black walnut roots contain juglone which inhibits the growth of some plants beneath the tree. In the wild, the tree often will form a thicket from several suckers coming up from the roots. They would probably crowd each other and not develop individually as well as they would with open space, so you might elect to cut off the three least vigorous saplings and cultivate the fourth. If you are not considering it as a yard tree, but have it out on acreage, you should be warned of the problems if you have horses or dogs sharing the acreage. See this article from the Purdue University Cooperative Extension services on toxicity of the black walnut.


Juglans nigra

Juglans nigra

Juglans nigra

Juglans nigra

 

 

More Trees Questions

Leaf Galls on Live Oak
March 20, 2012 - Hi - I have a live oak tree that always seems to have thinner foliage than our other two. Upon closer examination today I found small brown balls all over the mature leaves. The balls look and feel ve...
view the full question and answer

Bald cypress causing problems in Spring TX
June 22, 2010 - There is a 50+ ft Bald Cypress growing near my property line. While the tree has grown substantial knees along the driveway and some as far as 35 ft from the tree in my flower beds, I do not see any d...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on new water oak turning brown from Matagorda TX
May 30, 2013 - We had water oaks planted in January when they had no leaves. Leaves came on but are now turning brown.
view the full question and answer

Disagreement with HOA on raised beds placed beneath mature oak from Tequesta FL
April 05, 2014 - I have mature 30 year old oak trees on my property and I put a raised bed under each with very good soil and I used pavers for retaining the soil about about 1.5 ft high. I planted a perennial begonia...
view the full question and answer

Treating scarred Gum Bumelia from Lampasas TX
June 05, 2013 - We have a very old Gum Bumelia with a scarred open tree trunk. In the past concrete was used to fill the scarred trunk. What is the acceptable method of helping the tree. More concrete or using blac...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center