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Tree Crown Widths and Shade Guesstimating.

Posts: 137
Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
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So I have been having fun planning and soon planting my food forest overstory, which will heavily feature nut crops such as Spanish chestnuts, pecans, heartnuts, walnuts and various acorns.

I have been diagramming how much shade these would cast at climax level during the different months of the year, based on how high the sun is, understanding that these trees will take 15-20+ years in reaching the 50+ft they are capable of. I'm also guesstimating their size at about 10 years of age based on info I find and then diagramming how much shade they would cast in ten years. This way you can design in time, planting short-lived sun-loving trees and shrubs (or have gardens) in between the overstory that would start fading when the overstory trees reach their max size.

This brings me to my point. It would be amazing if there was a resource where people could plug in the age, height and width of trees as well as the climate they are in in order to get an idea of how wide these trees spread when given open conditions. I know there is some information in books like Jacke and Toensmeier's Edible Forest Gardens, which I have but Im always looking for more info.

Personally I'm interested in the crown sizes/ages (based on having the tree or observation in the wild) of Black Walnuts, Burr Oaks, Coast Live oaks, Heartnuts, Pecans, Swamp White Oak, Buartnuts, Honey Locust, White Mulberry or any other interesting tree crops.

If anyone is interested in the spread of Cork oak, English Oak or Spanish Chestnut, I can go outside and take some measurements!
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¡hola Jose,

That is a really toughy of a challenge.

Trees do have a general shape, but as cultivars in a forest overstory of an edible forest garden, there are just to many mitigating conditions to give an accurate projection. I would further add, you can train the trees to take any shape you choose, for short and wide; to tall and narrow (not recommended).

Good luck,

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