If you want it short, here it is. If you have to move to new place, do not plant, build your garden or orchard for a full whole year after the move. See it all before you do costly mistakes.
Here is the long story… I was so proud of myself. Thanks to warm winter - I did it! I built (literally) my garden, dug out 10 cu yards of compost (40 years leaves and grass collection), I ordered and planted my crazy expensive trees, I am ready for the season!
Yes, my property is shady. Yes, there is no early morning sun. But look, it is just February, in May everything will be fine, I am sure, I calculated - sun should be here 2 hours earlier!
Nope! Not two hours, not 1, may be 30 min, and I am not even sure about that. 5 hours of sun for pears and plums. 6 for apricot, 7 for persimmon. 6 for last sour cherry in the row of 3.
6 hours for peppers and half of tomatoes… But 8+ hours for 15 berry bushes inside 37X18X6 net enclosure. Good job with the planning .
Now, the septic leach field is actually much smaller than I thought. But who cares to find the actual plan BEFORE I built all the beds in the shade. Though soil in that sunny spot is so bad and dry due to long pine roots, so only way to use it is for containers. Hmmm… and what I am going to put in those containers when everything that could do well in the containers already in the ground? Anybody knows, what kind of container you can grow 7 foot high tomato in? May be I need to dig a big hole and bury container in the ground, so I do not have to use ladder to pick my tomatoes. And the pines(I hope!) will not penetrate hard plastic shell in search for water and nutrients…
Next fall all the trees on the west side going down, that may give me another hour of late afternoon sun. But that is the best I can do. The east side is deep ravine with a seasonal creek in the bottom, you are not allowed to cut and really you also don’t want to cut any trees there - eventually half of your lawn will end up on the bottom of the ravine without them. But something tells me, I will agree with it. It is a shady lawn anyway .
If the trees were a bit shorter you may have been greatly rewarded for your risk taking. We all make as best choice as we can given the unknowns (some of the unknowns aren’t even known to us at the time). If one want to eliminate risk, we need to tread more carefully, and I agree with that.
Why wait until fall to remove the trees on west side?
The trees are dangerously close to my beloved just transplanted peonies. They will be all broken if I let the tree guy to do it now. I have to wait until they die out. Also, I want to use woodchips as mulch - mixed with leaves it will be compost, not mulch. The removal of the trees only slightly improve veggie portion of the garden, it will not help much to the fruit trees. And I want to see how veggies will be doing on partial sun. If they do OK, I may switch them with fruit trees
Sounds like a good plan, and good luck. Yeah, the nice thing for gardeners that cut down trees is we can use the wood chips.
I have lived at my property for 26 years and am still learning my property. I had cherries growing behind a fence and they lived but I had a pear tree behind the same fence with a tree and it died from the shade. Meanwhile I had apple trees and what not growing under the pine tree but a few feet from the fence and it took off. We tried planting strawberries and tulips where the cherries work as a kid but the strawberries and tulips did not work. I have also learned that area to the back in way more cool than the front. My front trees come out of dormancy way before my trees to the back of my house by the fence and my trees in the back of the house near the deck come out around the same time as the front. These are all things according to my house I have learned through experimenting.
My fruit trees in my backyard get an average of 5 hours of sun a day, esp. apples and pears. They get sun from 11 am - 4pm. The lucky ones get 6 hours. They all produce relatively well.
I know it is not optimal but it is not doomed.
Sadly even if you would have waited you still would not be happy with their placement. Every decision is a compromise and at the end of the day you’ll continue to second guess most of it.
Heck your priorities change. I have a friend with a fairly large orchard where he started taking out full grown apple trees to make space for plums. And I mean trees big enough to climb into the lower scaffold.
I think your thread belongs to this category. People can learn from your experience.
My pear trees here, esp. the one on the right get about 5 hours of sun starting from noon. This is because there are several tall oak blocking morning sun. Not ideal but the trees have produced fruit. Wish I have more sunny space.
Chainsaws were made for these issues. Plant some willow in the creek ahead of cutting down the pines or whatever is there. you can find solutions, have a shorter riprarian buffer etc.