Been away for a short bit. Logged on and found lots of great responses.
I like your idea. We're trying to come up with ideas for windbreaks. We live on top of what once was a glacier moraine in what is known as the Loess Hills. Winters are cold, but not horribly cold. It's the wind that causes problems. We get worried on calm days and begin to think in terms of animal sacrifice to get the breezes going again. We do have three apple trees and the winds have been very hard on them. In the five years we have had them, we have yet to get a single apple. Every spring, the winds beat the snot out of the blossoms and often we get an untimely cold snap. The poor things desperately need a wind break / sun trap. Right now wind break ideas include bamboo (believe it or not) and/or using the native Eastern Red Cedar. Both are fast growing. Plus the cedar is very resistant to 2,4-D and Round-Up which is a plus for my location (corn and soy beans immediately east and west of the property) and I can get them for free. We have about an acre, but we planted trees and shrubs, higgly-piggly without any real planning and unfortunately without any permaculture considerations. Now I have to really rethink the whole property. It'll be a lot of work but I really would like to see a little green oasis of paradise in the midst of the corn-soy monoculture.
Loved the links. The new USDA plant zone chart is calling our location a 5a. Lawyer Nursery looks very cool. Already added to my favorite links.
Good info. I wondered if what you said would be the case. Nature has her ways and they don't fit in neat, man-defined categories so very well. It's just what it is.
I'll do some digging and asking to see what others have had success with. But, now that I think about it, I don't ever remember seeing a cherry tree around here. Still, I'll ask around. Possible idea for a niche permaculture product? Things that make you go “hmmmm”. Premium cherries at a premium price?
Thanks for all the responses. Very awesome.