Black Walnut Tree and Chicken Compost

Asked October 26, 2017, 11:08 AM EDT

I have a black walnut tree that sits right over my chicken coop and run. My hope is to scavenge some of the good compost from my chicken run for our garden. We throw a lot of food scraps down that the birds break down. But I am nervous with the black walnut right overhead. Right now there are a ton of the actual black walnuts on the ground. Is this compost OK to use with the proximity of the tree and the actual walnuts? Should I purposefully omit the black walnuts and shells? I don't want to put use the compost in my garden if it is going to stunt growth or hurt my plants. Thanks!

Minnesota

1 Response

All parts of the black walnut (Juglans nigra) contain a compound call juglone that can affect the growth of sensitive plants. Here's a list of plants that have shown to NOT be affected by juglone.I believe you could use the compost on these plants: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/landscaping/best-plants-for-tough-sites/

I would sift out any parts of the plant (nuts, shells, husks) simple because they do not break down as fast (esp. the nuts and shells) and they will attract squirrels that may damage / dig in your garden.

Other resources:
https://hort.uwex.edu/articles/black-walnut-toxicity/
http://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-and-plant-advice/horticulture-care/plants-tolerant-black-...