I'm in the early stages of converting a mostly-abandoned orchard into a permaculture orchard. I have found a few small mulberry trees, which I plan to leave. I also found a few small elms growing in the orchard, and was wondering if these would be a good contribution or something I should plan on removing? They are beginning to crowd out 2 peach trees that are around 5 years old. I'm in central Illinois, zone 5, if that makes a difference. I've started transplanting black and honeylocust trees into the rows. I will be ordering 20 or so different varieties of dwarf fruit trees, and when I get the rows of trees established, I'll be ordering or transplanting a variety of shrubs (edibles and nitrogen fixers) and ground covers (again, edibles and nitrogen fixers). Any advice/ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!
Slippery elm has medicinal qualities. American elm has been even more suceptible to Dutch elm disese. In general I associate morels with elms, especially rotting ones. I don't know if they coppice at all, but perhaps that would foster some underground root die back the morels would like. Perhaps removing the ones that definitely crowd your fruit trees is a good idea, but I like elms.
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