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Anatelostaxus's avatar

Compost problem with walnut?

Asked by Anatelostaxus (1418 points ) October 30th, 2011

A few days ago I found a mound of derelict wood scraps and shavings near a neighbour’s land. I asked if I could use them and was granted the request. I put about 1 full layer of the shavings on my compost heap (It looked and smelled perfect for it; and my neighbour suggested that they would be excellent for the compost).
Then, after the rush of enthusiasm, I realised that maybe I’d just abundantly fed my compost with Walnut shavings. I’ve come to learn that walnut is actually harmful to the plants around it. We had a small walnut smack in the middle of a section of our garden and the vegetables around it perished eventually because of the sour soil it had created. Will this cause a (terminal) problem to my dearest, beloved compost?
Note:
I smelled it before adding it, and I was convinced it was not walnut. The leaves and some young trees around the heap were, though, indeed walnut.

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6 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

Do you know the type of walnut tree? From what I’ve read, only black walnut trees produce the juglone that can create problems.

Anatelostaxus's avatar

@bkcunningham No, actually I don’t know which type. I’ll se if I can get someone to identify it for me in the local term, then translate it.

keobooks's avatar

Black walnut produces an extremely acidic natural herbicide that kills anything that grows near it. We had a volunteer black walnut sprout out and it killed all of the peonies and bulbs that were planted there before.

I hope that didn’t go into your compost.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I live in an area with a lot of black walnut trees and if that is the case, do your best to remove the material.

cazzie's avatar

I had a walnut tree in a back yard in New Zealand. I loved the thing, but the neighbours ringed it, trying to kill it. They were not successful. The advice I got at the time was do not compost ANY part of a walnut tree. Sorry….

http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-021/430-021.html

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