[NAFEX] Trees which "prevent" competition, re wood chips

Lucky.PIttman at murraystate.edu Lucky.PIttman at murraystate.edu
Fri Nov 16 06:39:49 EST 2007

 Thanks to all of you who responded to my question
about wood chips. Several  
mentioned that certain kinds of trees, especially
black walnut, produce some  
chemical which discourages competition from other
plants.  That is  
intriguing.  I'm a pharmacist and, of course,
antibiotics are from molds  and bacteria 
which produce chemicals to reduce competition.  Now
you say  trees do it, too.  
I wonder, has any research been done on these 
chemicals--it seems they might 
be very fruitful in producing herbicides.   

The allelopathic effect exerted by some plants - and
the juglone from walnuts is perhaps one of the best
known - has been studied, but, at least in the case
of juglone, it's not a broad-spectrum 'herbicide', it
just has an adverse effect on some ornamentals &
fruits/vegetables that we humans favor - like
azaleas, rhododendrons, tomatoes, apples; other
plants seem to be unaffected, other than by the
shading and competition for moisture and nutrients
that a smaller plant would experience growing in the
rootzone of a large, established tree.


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