I saw a squirrel lope through my yard with what appeared to be a tennis ball in his mouth. Then I found the tennis ball on my patio. It was a black walnut I realized with alarm. Black walnut trees produce a toxic substance called juglone that kills plants. If you want to garden, don’t do it near a black walnut. Not all plants are susceptible but most fruits, vegetables and many flowers are.
I have no idea where this came from, there are none in my yard…or so I thought. I took a waltz around the neighborhood and didn’t see any, but they must be somewhere around here. I don’t know how far squirrels scavange but I don’t imagine it’s all that far. Since this is the city and there are lots of busy streets to cross with your mouth filled with a tennis ball sized nut I don’t imagine they risk going to, say, Lake Park..
Then I realized to my horror that there were 4 of them growing right smack under my nose in my yard next to my neighbor’s house. These are not fruiting trees, they’re too small but their roots are still making toxins and I have flowers and trees growing nearby. I wondered why the trumpet vine I planted nearby just upped and died…twice.
I don’t use Round Up. But I have something I use for poison ivy at my cottage. After getting my neighbor’s permission, they were technically on her land, I gave them the poison ivy treatment. The trees are now gone.
Until that damn squirrel gets another nut in the ground again. I will be vigilant.