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Tree/large shrub recommendation for shady spot in zone 4a  RSS feed

 
Mike Jay
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Hello folks, I have a spot that is begging for a tree.  Two white pines fell down and I'll soon remove a black spruce from the same spot.  It's too rough to turn into yard and it's right in front of the chicken run so the girls will be around there all the time.

The picture below is looking NW towards the spot.  A huge white pine (on the right) shades the spot till noon, then a big red maple (on the left) shades it from 1pm onward.  The exact spot is where the small black spruce in the center of the picture is.  Plus there are some birch and other trees casting shade into this nook.  This shade is deepest during the summer solstice, in winter this spot would be in the sun most of the time.

I was initially thinking a mulberry but I'm not sure how they handle shade.  But the chickens would help clean up the berries.  There is tree protection to the North so that would block some N winds in the winter.  Plus those trees kind of act as a sun trap in the winter. I'm in zone 4a but I'd be willing to try a 5a.  I'm hoping for a tree but 1-3 taller shrubs would also work.  I have plenty of elderberry and hazelnuts already elsewhere on the property.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
Need-a-tree-here.JPG
[Thumbnail for Need-a-tree-here.JPG]
 
Todd Parr
pollinator
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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I have mulberries that are growing in pretty dense shade, but maybe not as much as that.  Can you bring it toward the sunny part a bit so that it gets a little more sun, or will that intrude too far into the yard.
 
Mike Jay
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I just took another look at the spot and I can't move it far enough to get into decent light.  The maple really spreads wide.  My guess is that it gets 1/2 hour of full sun during the midsummer with some dapple shade through the maple.  In September it would probably get 3 hours of direct sun.
 
Akiva Silver
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I have seen mulberries do well in pretty deep shade, more than you have there.
 
Crt Jakhel
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Amelanchier (saskatoon)?

It can handle the shade, it can provide for the chickens and it definitely can take zone 4a (which could be questionable for a mulberry, depends very much on the cultivar).

Hazelnut? (Gets quite tall. Unshelled nuts could maybe be tricky for the chickens.)

Maybe even aronia (a tall cultivar such as Viking).
 
Mike Jay
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Thanks for the suggestions Crt!  We have wild Saskatoon's growing around here so they are definitely able to handle the cold.  I have too many hazelnuts already but Aronia could be an option.  I have one and love the jelly I make from it.  I previously planted aronia where they weren't protected from deer and they got eaten.  I wasn't planning on fencing this area from the deer.  If I could get a tall enough shrub that I can protect for a couple years and then it outgrows the deer pressure, that could work.  I haven't seen any aronia that are taller than about 6' but I'll check out Viking.  Thanks!
 
Crt Jakhel
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There is an aronia cultivar called Amit which is supposed to grow up to 12 ft. However it seems to be a Polish cultivar so I don't know whether it is locally available to you.

Some people have reported success with grafting aronia onto rowan (sorbus aucuparia).
 
Mike Jay
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Akiva Silver wrote:I have seen mulberries do well in pretty deep shade, more than you have there.


Thanks Akiva!  Do you know how well they will fruit in heavily part shade like this? 
 
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