En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Healthy black walnut trees from volunteer saplings

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

Smoketree not flowering in Beverly Hills CA
June 29, 2011 - Why is my Smoke tree not flowering? It is big and the leaves are beautiful but no blooms.
view the full question and answer

Hedgerow to block sounds and scenes of traffic
May 01, 2011 - What would make the best year round hedgerow to block the sight and sounds of traffic 60 feet from my house?
view the full question and answer

Eastern Redbud Flowers and Leaves Dried Up
June 12, 2014 - I have a young Eastern Redbud that started blooming last year. This year blossoms formed and leaves started to come, but now they are all dried up. What might have caused this?
view the full question and answer

Can a soapberry tree be grown in Colorado Springs?
May 04, 2010 - I live in Colorado Springs and I was wondering if it is possible to grow a soapberry tree here?
view the full question and answer

Tree for sound block near Houston
April 24, 2010 - I live in Pearland, just south of Houston and am looking for a tree that I can plant along my fenceline between my neighbor and me that will block noise. We have a pool and entertain a lot, but they a...
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