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Well, at least I got some yard work done before the rain started.

I'm sad to say I'm now convinced the dogwoods by the drive are all likely to die in the next few years, certainly because of that virus going around. I've already lost one, which I got around to chainsawing down today. Several others show signs of stress.

So now comes the question of how and when to replace them, and with what. Apple and walnut trees are attractive options, if not compatible ones. But I'm afraid deer would destroy apple trees.
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Walnut lumber sells well, if it ever gets to the point you're harvesting the trees for lumber. When I lived in Indiana, the walnuts sold well, though husking them is a pain. And if you don't want to collect them, they make awful noises when the mower goes over them.

Cherry trees are attractive - I don't know how they'd stand up to the deer.

I'd check with your local arborist (or failing that, Soil & Water Conservation District) to see if they have any recommendations. And I recommend going for native rather than exotics.
Mike D
 
Yeah, some version of a food forest is the idea. I just can't find enough info on how to start one when most of the site is already covered with 40 year old oaks!
 
Are there any universities in your area with a forestry/natural resources program? Purdue has a good one (I'm biased, that's where I got my degree).
 
What mature size are you aiming for?
Mike D
 
About the same as dogwoods. But I would love to be able to get something edible off of some of them. I know walnuts are killers of many other plants, so might not be tempted to plant more than 1 of those.
A plum might be good. I do like those red ones. And of course cherry trees.
Mike D
 
Oh, also considering ornamentals: Golden Chain tree, resistant dogwoods, red maples, deciduous magnolia, things like that.
 
We replaced our deceased dogwood with a redbud. No food, but a nice native that grows well all over the place.
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