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Looking for tall but not wide tree

 
Aaron Festa
Posts: 149
Location: Connecticut
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I'm on an acre suburban lot in CT. I have several shrub and smaller (20ft or under) planted and I think I can fit a taller tree into the mix as long as its not wide. From just walking around I think a shagbark hickory might be a good option but curious what else might work. Thanks
 
Michael Qulek
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If you really want a nut bearing tree, I'd plant an English (Persian) Walnut and train it into exactly the shape you want. The walnuts I've already planted, such as Chandler, appear to be relatively tall straight trees, and I've actually pruned them for the opposite effect, to make them shorter and wider. I would suggest planting your tree along with a long wooden stake (say 6-8') and then train it to the stake, following it straight up. You can prune off any side branches that don't want to comply. Once the main trunk is above 8', I think you can have a little more leeway in how you want the tree to respond. With careful pruning you can have exactly what you want within 3-4 years, and then will get a productive, bountiful tree that supplies you food.
 
Bill Bradbury
pollinator
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Location: Richmond, Utah
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When you say tall and thin, I think Poplar.
 
Will Meginley
Posts: 112
Location: Concord, New Hampshire
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What intended uses (Food, lumber, beauty, fuelwood, etc.) and final size are you hoping to get from this tree? One thing to keep in mind is that most hardwoods tend to sprawl if they're grown out in the open. They typically won't develop one tall, straight central trunk unless they are grown in a forest setting. (The competition for light forces them to grow UP instead of OUT) There are exceptions to this - Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra 'Italica') comes readily to mind - but as a general rule you could probably expect a hardwood grown in the open to take up at least half as much horizontal space as vertical space.

Depending on your definition of "wide" and your intended uses you might be better off looking at conifers. If you want a food source you could use Korean nut pine (Pinus koraiensis). For beauty you could try tamarack (larix laricina) - a deciduous conifer species that turns a very vibrant lime green and then bright yellow during fall color season. Pine and fir of pretty much any sort make good wildlife habitat and lumber.

By all means, don't let me discourage you from hardwoods, just be aware that what you're looking at as you walk around may be older trees left standing when the site was cleared for development, and not necessarily representative of what you would get if you planted a new one.
 
Landon Sunrich
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Location: Western Washington
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Mt. ash grow pretty tall and strait if you let them (and with slight pruning). I've heard of people grafting all sorts of crazy stuff to them. Like pears.
 
Aaron Festa
Posts: 149
Location: Connecticut
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Thanks for everyone's responses. Conifers are an interesting choice and one that I tend to forget about. Part of the problem is don't have an overall design and I'm just filling in spots as I go. I'm leaning towards this tree being more for wildlife, bird habitat, and maybe fuel (just not sure)??

And Will good point- what I'm seeing are likely Shagbark hickories that have been cleaned up over the years.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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Aaron Festa wrote:Thanks for everyone's responses. I'm leaning towards this tree being more for wildlife, bird habitat, and maybe fuel (just not sure)??



This. Mountain Ash. It's awesome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorbus_aucuparia

Other Mt. Ashes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus_regnans
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraxinus_texensis
 
Tim Wilkinson
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Aaron,
It really is all up to you and what use you want out of a tree. Pretty much any tree can be manicured and trained to fill the spot intended. If starting with a small tree, just don't cut it up too much right away. Make it a work in process. (Photosynthesis)

I recommend walking around different, nurseries, parks, gardens, and garden centers, and find a tree that speaks to you or one you may fall in love with.

I love all trees. Flowering, fruiting, nut bearing, coniferous, Deciduous... I love em all.
It seems like every year I fall in love with a different tree and I have to have 1 or 3.

As of lately Cryptomeria japonica yoshino has been my love affair.

If in 6-20 years the tree is getting too big, trim it or cut it down and start over.
 
Will Meginley
Posts: 112
Location: Concord, New Hampshire
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food preservation forest garden hunting tiny house trees woodworking
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Tim Wilkinson wrote:Pretty much any tree can be manicured and trained to fill the spot intended.


This is true. It comes down to the amount of time and resources you can/want to devote to training, and how well "manicured" fits in with your aesthetic sensibilities. I, for one, prefer to just place plants in positions where they can do what they want with minimal to no training required. My comments were geared toward someone with a similar mindset.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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