Growing near a large black maple.

Asked May 20, 2019, 3:00 PM EDT

I have a huge, old, beautiful black maple tree in the side of my yard in Grand Rapids, Mi. Rather than fighting the juglone, which will be a losing battle, I need to know how to deal with it. I have 3 old very important peonies that I brought with me when I moved here 8 years ago. They are still alive, bloom a little, but probably are not thriving. If they have been here 8 years, are they probably OK? Or should I move them? They look wonderful this spring, and have buds. They are just not very large, only about a foot across.
My second question has to do with spring bulbs that will do well. I planted many yellow trumpet daffodils from Brecks 2 years ago in the same area. They bloomed last year a little. Did not spread. And nothing this year, Daffodils are supposed to be juglone-tolerant. So could something else be going on?

Kent County Michigan

1 Response

Dealing with black walnut (assuming black maple was a misnomer) is not fun. With the peonies, it is surprising they are doing that well. They would probably improve if moved but there is always a risk in moving plants and there is the recovery time. They would probably do better if moved in the fall. Daffodils, according to most sources, should do well; however some sources don't agree. Most likely you are seeing another issue. Bulbs too deep, critters, insufficient nutrition, or cutting back foliage too soon can all cause the symptoms you described.
I hope this is helpful,