Planting trees too close together on purpose, long-term effects?

njbiologyAugust 29, 2008


I would like to plant the following medium-sized trees in a small area of my yard, EACH having an eventual width span of 26':

-American Persimmon (2)

-Canadian Serviceberry (2)

I may planted these 4 trees so that there is only about 17' feet space in between each sapling's truck, instead of the optimal 26' which would allow unrestricted spreading to each trees full potential of width. The reason I want to do this is because I want a naturalized look (i.e. woodland growth performance) and to be able to fit more trees.

My questions are these:

1. Will the trees liveout a full lifespan once mature, since they will grow taller then wide, or would the stress weaken them? I think that in the woods, native american persimmons grows perfectly healthy when under such conditions, but that serviceberry shrub-trees tend to weaken and suffer rot.

2. If the persimmon trees do well and the serviceberry trees

suffer some rot, will it kill the tree or only cause it to loose branches and continue to resprout lost trunks.

3. Will the fruit from the persimmon trees, which will be out-of-reach, be able to be harvested as they fall to the ground ripe, or will they fall from too great a height and splatter?



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    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 1:57PM
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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)


Unless you are a teenager, I think the questions you are asking are unnecessary. Maybe you are just planning ahead for great-grandchildren's concerns?

Kidding aside, you could plant these trees even closer together if you like, and they would grow just fine. These are native species here in KY, too, and in woodlands often occur this close together and often much closer. The decline that you mention with serviceberry is probably more related to that plants (relatively) shorter expected lifespan, and that Amelanchier is a member of Rosaceae which as a family is afflicted with many normal insects and diseases.

You will have many seasons of fruit harvesting before the persimmons get out of reach, unless you prune off all the lower branches. You'll more likely lose the fruit to mammalian competition (spelled opossums and raccoons) than to splatter.

You will want to try to make sure you plant enough persimmons to be sure to have male and female trees, since Diospyros virginiana is dioecious.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 2:20PM
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Viburnumvalley's answer is perfect--take it to the bank!


    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 9:22AM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

The real question is if you want to plant specimen trees, which grow to their fullest extent with no other trees to obstruct them, or if you are planting trees to provide a canopy of shade.

The one will give lovely trees, with "pools" of shade scattered over your property, and the second will give you a shady area mimicking a small (or larger) woodland. With this option, you won't get the spreading branches, which can extend to of almost to the ground (would you want them anyway, what with lawnmowers, etc.?) as lower branches will be shaded out, if you don't limb them up with time to be able to pass under the trees.

I agree with Viburnumvalley's and Spruce's answers - go for it.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 10:10AM
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How about close enough to be touching, then fastened with deck screws? See link below

Here is a link that might be useful: Trunk Fusion

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 5:27PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I guess dubblers' post is supposed to be a joke? The treatment in the link would definitely would not be a reasonable solution for the original inquiry.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 9:20PM
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You wouldn't necessarily need to plant a male persimmon. You could buy or graft some cultivars that will produce seedless fruit in the absence of pollinators. And not all persimmons are completely dioecious, szukis and early golden, for example. (This is all assuming there aren't already male persimmons in your area.)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 8:31AM
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My Meader persimmon is self pollinating.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 7:38PM
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