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I'm getting ready to begin building a food forest on the back quarter acre of my half acre yard. However, my yard is absolutely surrounded by walnuts. Walnuts release Juglone, an allelopathic chemical that inhibits the growth of most other plants, from their roots, rotting wood and nuts. There are a number of plants that are Juglone resistant, but I'd rather not be limited in that way. I could remove some, but not all of the trees, however I'd be great to keep them if I can. Walnuts are a wonderful source of protein and oil.

I found an article on indicating that a species of mushroom, Pleurotus sajor-caju, is capable of digesting Juglone and removing it from the soil very quickly. However, there is no species of mushroom that is Pleurotus sajo-caju, rather there is a species of oyster mushroom (Pleurotus pulmonarius) that is frequently misidentified as Pleurotus sajor-caju and a separate species of tropical mushroom (Lentinus sajor-caju) that was previously thought to be a Pleurotus but is now a Lentinus.

Has anyone succeeded in using oyster mushrooms for Juglone remediation? What species and where'd you get them from? Are there any other species of fungus or plants known to remove Juglone from the soil?

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  • Robert, in your link you use an example: "How to get rid of greenfly in roses and grapes without toxic chemicals?", would you prefer the title be changed to: "How to plant a healthy food forest in an area with lots of Walnut trees, without cutting them all down?"
    – Zach Dwiel
    May 1 '13 at 2:11
  • May be a little late, but it's worth mentioning that both of the species that you mentioned are wood-rotting fungi and do not live in soil, excepting that it's soil covering, or with a high concentration of, wood.
    – user11188
    Apr 27 '15 at 19:08
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I don't know the answer to your question on fungal counters, but if you have space for barrier plants between the walnuts and your other plantings, you might consider that. I've seen service berries and sumac named as effective barrier plants, and both are multi-functional plants appropriate for a food garden. Best of luck!

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