20 October 2007


The volunteer black walnut that has been a pest to our adopted apple tree and nearby tomatoes is no more. This afternoon Meg, Steveo, and I took the first step towards reclaiming the area around our garden. As renters, a consistent obstacle we have to address is clearing out the neglect of former tenants. We're not sour about it because we know that it is giving us the opportunity to learn what to do and not do when we buy our own property.

As I mentioned in the last post, we want to learn how to care for fruit trees. The lucky adoptee we chose had a black walnut that was entirely too close.

As you can see, the tree wasn't all that big, but even at this size, it commanded a good deal of space well beyond its branches. I'll talk about the bennefits of the black walnut's toxicity in a bit, but first there was some fun to be had with sharp objects.

Steve started chopping!

I was chopping!

Meg was chopping! It was anarchy!

Side note: Black Walnut + Tap Root = A whole lot of whacking

The whole project took about half an hour and already the apple tree looks much happier. Now don't get me wrong, black walnuts are not all bad. However, where this one was located was doing more harm than good. If you do have some black walnuts that aren't too close to your garden they are actually quite beneficial. Just this past weekend on "You Bet Your Garden," Mike McGrath said that a good mixture of their leaves can be an effective suppressive mulch that will keep bamboo or other running plants from spreading all over the place.

No comments: