• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Dilemma: Cut a shade tree or leave it?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 19
Location: Just off the Delaware Bay in NJ. Zone 7b
2
bee food preservation tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My 90x90 (including house and garage) suburban lot has, among other things, two large Norway Maples.  They provide good shade for the house in summer and a nice spot for the birds and squirrels to hang out as well as pulling lots of nasty stuff out of the air.  Although healthy now, they are slowly strangling themselves with their roots.  I am itching to rip out at least one and replace it with more perennial food sources.  The area that they shade is in the east, and my only source of reliable sun protected from severe winds off the Delaware Bay. I would appreciate pros and cons to consider.
Thanks.
 
pollinator
Posts: 253
Location: Quebec, Canada
23
forest garden hugelkultur trees urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you keep one of the trees, then you still have shade for your house, plus the beauty of having a mature tree on your lot.  Cutting down one of the trees will give you space to start planting some perennial food plants.  Sometime in the future you can decide if you wish to cut down the second tree.  It depends if you value continuing to have one shade tree for many years to come. If you needs for more space for growing food plants, then I suggest that you fill up all the other areas on your lot first with these food perennials before considering cutting down the second tree.  You would be surprised what you can grow elsewhere on your property even with partial sun or no sun.  You might not want to be too quick to make a decision to cut down the second tree.  You could cut back the second tree so it allows more sunlight for other plants, but still retain the beauty and usefulness of one of the shade trees.
 
master steward
Posts: 2521
Location: Maine (zone 5)
467
chicken dog food preservation forest garden goat hugelkultur rabbit trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Would you consider sharing photos of exactly what you're dealing with?  Advice can vary greatly based on what we all imagine in our heads.  If I could see the trees and how much shade they cast, I could probably give you a good idea as to what "I" would do. 

If that's not possible, could you give me a more accurate idea as to where the trees are located?

how large are they?
-height
-canopy width

What percent of the land to they shade at noon on the shortest and longest days of the year?

What are your soil conditions like?

What are your goals for the land?
-plants
-animals
-other structures or projects

I look forward to seeing what you're up to.
 
Sandy Hale
Posts: 19
Location: Just off the Delaware Bay in NJ. Zone 7b
2
bee food preservation tiny house
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Craig Dobbson wrote:Would you consider sharing photos of exactly what you're dealing with?  Advice can vary greatly based on what we all imagine in our heads.  If I could see the trees and how much shade they cast, I could probably give you a good idea as to what "I" would do. 

If that's not possible, could you give me a more accurate idea as to where the trees are located?

how large are they?
-height
-canopy width

What percent of the land to they shade at noon on the shortest and longest days of the year?

What are your soil conditions like?

What are your goals for the land?
-plants
-animals
-other structures or

Not sure if both photos posted. One is of the layout. 
The beds on the east side by the house are a combination of annual and perennial fruits and vegetables as well as food for the pollinators and especially Monarchs. The maples shade these beds in the morning, as well as the lawn I would like to plant up. There is also a grove of native beach plum in the center that receives full sun.
The front of the house faces south and is shaded by oak and maple and exposed to heavy wind from the Delaware Bay. 
West side is a sand path next to the neighbor’s weedy and porous hedge that blocks no wind to speak of. 
To the north is a tiny “wild”  area of cedar, cypress and sassafrass shielding us from that neighbor’s pool and giving birds, burrowers and insects a place to be.  The soil is sandy, acidic and root -filled. It has been a corner suburban lot for about seventy years. We ripped out grasses and randomly planted Christmas trees when we started the gardens last spring.  I have been amending the soil with compost and organic mushroom soil from a farm in Pennsylvania.  Wish I could be more specific about the amount of daylight, but heavy shade under the trees lasts all day.  I would like to include fig, persimmon and maybe an asparagus bed, as well as some layers under the fruit trees yet to be determined.
I really appreciate your interest.

654649B7-8C22-4277-A69E-36BAF994AA01.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 654649B7-8C22-4277-A69E-36BAF994AA01.jpeg]
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
 
gardener
Posts: 3984
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
384
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting purity
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
so the front of the house faces south which is the area that will receive the most light throughout the year.

In this case I'd do a  sun map to find out which of the two trees actually gives the house the most shade then take out the one that gives the least shade.
The Sassafrass is a valuable tree, the leaves can be dried and used for a soothing tea, the inner bark makes the soft drink that used to be called sassafrass but is now known as rootbeer.

Figs and Persimmons will want to live on that south facing area and since neither do well in shade that make the south tree the one to remove, plus the new tree's roots will want the space.
Figs and Persimmon trees don't mind a lot of wind (I have wind up to 60 mph hit my fruit trees with no ill effects).

You could also move or remove at least part of, or prune up, the beach plum? that you show between the two maples for a better looking layout of your new plantings.
 
Sandy Hale
Posts: 19
Location: Just off the Delaware Bay in NJ. Zone 7b
2
bee food preservation tiny house
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great way to look at things  - thanks for your input!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1271
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
114
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Might there be a shade tree on your West neighbor's lot that casts afternoon shade on your lot/house?  Or even across the street?  With smaller acreage it sometimes pays to consider the neighbor's trees and structures in your design. 
 
Posts: 194
Location: Bendigo , Australia
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have to ask, Why did you buy the place if the trees were an issue to you?
 
Sandy Hale
Posts: 19
Location: Just off the Delaware Bay in NJ. Zone 7b
2
bee food preservation tiny house
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A block from the Delaware Bay and very inexpensive.  Retirement home,  I have been learning about permaculture since moving here and want to do the best I can to improve the ecosystem.
 
Get off me! Here, read this tiny ad:
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!