William James wrote:I'm wondering if the benefits you'll get out of building the hugelkulture would really outweigh the benefits you get from that tree. Trees do a lot of things you might not be aware of.
More pointedly, is this tree is going to suffer death and dismemberment because you feel like making a hugelkulture and can't find a better place to put it? Your desire for and placement of a huglekulture should be figured into the design, so it's not just a question of Huglekulture vs. Tree, or "well, that's a nice spot. Too bad there's a tree there." And out comes the chainsaw.
More constructively, you may think about giving the tree a proper radius and building it around the edges, or figuring out how the tree roots and an above-ground huglekulture would interact positively.
I also have a tree that I would like to chop down, but I came to the decision after at least a year of thinking about it, and still, possibly for the better, I was thwarted by my friend whose house, and tree, it is.
Mike Sawley wrote:I would rarely advocate removal of an oak tree, but that particular tree is severely compromised. It sounds like you have other hardwoods on the site, so you're not eliminating the ecological functions of those from your site - you're just changing the function of this part of the property. I would consider incorporating the in-ground stump within the HK bed, if it's in the right spot for you. Seems like it would be a convenient conduit down the the water table for the stuff that'll be growing in the bed. Good luck!