What to Plant Near Tall Trees?

I cleared an area that is about 15’ wide, 350’ long. South side is 6’ wood fence, running from SW to NE. North side are some oak and other trees, about 30’ tall etc. So that area receives sun in mid-day, but bright shade in afternoon.

That area was over-run with some red cedar, multiflora rosa, autumn olive etc.

I’m thinking of planting some small trees. Like hazelnut, pawpaw etc. When trees grow tall, they can fight for light.

What else can I plant there?

Here is this area. Between wild trees on the right and evergreen windbreaker on the left.

I have 2 wild persimmons on my place that get mid day sun… like 10-2 and the rest of the day just indirect light… both loaded with persimmons.
I have 2 others that really only get indirect light most of the day and they have fruit too… just not as heavy.


Will American persimmon trees too tall? How do you pick the fruits? Or only pick where you can reach?

I think jujube trees can possibly grow there. It is just very far that I won’t be able to water them.

most any of the bush fruit do well in partial shade esp. near the high end of the zones that they tolerate. currants, blue and honeyberries, bush cherries, bush mulberries , some cane fruit or any dwarf fruit trees should also do ok. some better than others. make a list of what you want and research what does best in your conditions. best way to learn for sure yourself, as everyone’s conditions vary.


Not sure what type of trees you have in mind, but dogwood and redbud are nice flowering trees. Lookup “understory trees”.


Those trees are nice. I’m thinking of small trees that can produce edibles. Small to medium trees for fruits and nuts.

Thought about some fig plants near the wood fence. But they won’t receive a lot of sun. Large fruits are out since I get bad cedar rust and that place is deer valley.

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@RedSun … you couid plant asian persimmons, hybrids, or even some american varieties.

I think my IKkJiro asian is supposed to top out around 8-12 ft.

Over on Cliffs site nuttrees.net .under fruit trees then persimmons he gives size and growth habbits of a few.

H63A – Well known in the nursery trade and is a star among the Indiana Prairie , This selection was Breed By James Claypool and our tree is growing directly behind the house on top of the hill our 20 plus year old tree is a medium size tree of about 14 feet tall and is very productive and produces large delicious tasting Persimmons.

Zima khurma =NB-02 Persimmon bred out of Nikitskaya Bordovaya, cold hardy and good producer of orange medium to large size fruit that ripens Late-season on a semi-vigorous tree. Has low spreading growth habit and is a beautiful specimen in the fall. Trees are very cold hardy tested down to minus -16.4 F for a long time. This cultivar was bred in Japan and brought to America by Jerry Lehman of Terre Haute, Indiana. Zone 5b to ZONE 8, tested to -16 F.

Mikkusu kaki Hybrid = JT-02 - A true 50/50 hybrid of Josephine V. X Taishu Kaki. Bred in Japan, imported by Jerry Lehman in 2006 and grown in several locations in the USA. Medium to large fruit, square-ish shape, is an astringent type till soft when it’s a mouthwatering tasty 2.5 to 3.0-inch fruit. Smallish tree, not vigorous at all, is precocious and has spreading growth habits. It must be staked to support fruit load as it is a very heavy producer. Very cold hardy, has never had any freeze damage or cold injury. Zone 5b and Zone 8 / tested to -16 Degrees F.

American varieties drop their fruit when ripe… my sisters rich tooie trees are 35 ft tall but have lots of low hanging branches that i can easily pick all i want from. Many drop from the tree and land on her grass… and are perfect for eating.

Ps… i will have a bunch of JTO2 Mikkusu scionwood this winter…if you want some just let me know.


@ TNHunter

The info is really helpful.



Below are a couple of wild dv growing roadside here on my place.

Guestimate them to be 5-10 yr olds… this is the first year fruiting for the smaller one… it is around 6 ft tall… and the larger one may be 9 ft.

These have had no pruning… they are growing in the edge if the county road clearing.

They get good sun from around 930 until 130… and only indirect sun the rest if the day.

They are growing just out from the base of much larger trees.

Both are loaded with persimmons.
Looks like i may get 60 or so fruit frim them this year…

I have another roadside persimmon that i harvest from near our local walmart… and again it is growing near the base of much taller trees… it is shaded all day until around 2 pm… then it gets good evening sun until sun down. It is a similar small tree… 8 ft tall…and wide… and is loaded with fruit again this year.

Wild americans seem to do well in perhaps less than ideal locations … (full sun not required) to produce well. I expect that hybrids and asians would too.

Good luck.


I have a double row of about 15 filbert type (presumably) hybrid hazels growing here in very similar conditions to what you describe. They grow happily and yield reasonably well. Usually that type of light regime leads to taller and narrower form, so keep that in mind. These hazels are about 15 ft tall and 6-7 ft across. Really nice nuts. No blight after nearly a decade. The parent trees are 30+ years old and healthy.

Other stuff I have growing in this area include:
spicebush, carolina silverbell, paw paw, arguta kiwi, amelanchier, mayapple, mulberry. Others too, Im probably forgetting


So those are wild (American) persimmons? I heard they can grow to large size. Maybe some cultivars can have smaller size.

Mulberry can fit there. But I do not want to see mulberry go wild everywhere in my property.

I do have several hazelnut seedlings in 4x9 pots. I may just do that. Those small tree or tall shrubs are what I’ve been looking for. Pawpaw and any other edible trees.

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hazel bushes provide a great summer privacy screen as well. try mixing a bunch of stuff up together. i grow in 12ft wide rows running east to west . i planted the tallest trees in the rows to the north and shorter bushes and trees to the south. i also under plant the tress and bigger bushes with smaller shrubs and groundcover. even got herbs and walking onions in there. you would be surprised how much you can fit in that space. make sure you don’t underplant with a plant that’s in bloom, under a tree you need to spray so you don’t poison your pollinators.


@ steveb4

I tried to root the hazel you sent. But no success. My hazel seedlings are from the nuts from another members. I figure I do not lose anything by planting them there. Empty space. I do not have to buy those seedlings.

Here is another area that is more open. It is a different area. I just cleared a 20’ buffer. This area has 3/4 sun facing West.

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Harder to find these available yet, but also consider Chuchupaka and Dar Sofiyivki hybrid persimmons. Both among the hardiest hybrids, small to medium trees with good production and excellent taste. At least that’s what the reviews say. I’ll have to wait a few more years to find out for myself.


I have the Kasandra hybrid persimmon. I’ve been very happy about it. It still stays small size. Abundance of fruits. Not affected by any virus so far. I can’t grow apple. Asian pear is hit and miss.

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@RedSun … my little wild american dv’s are young trees… maby 5-10 year olds… but I have seen several mature trees including my sisters… 30-40 years old… that are 25-35 ft tall when getting decent sunshine and not a lot of close up crowding by taller trees.

The only tall wild americans i have seen here were growing mixed in with oaks and hickory and they had to grow tall to compete.

Cliffs description of H63A… 20+ years old… 14 ft tall… i think that shows you what can be accomplished with a little intervention… as in height control pruning. I have read others comments here… that once they pruned for height control… their american persimmon did more growing out than growing up.

Cliff mentioned that ZK grows out, a spreading growth habit. Below is a pic of my Zima Khurma graft done this spring… 2 scions 4 buds 4 shoots and all have grown out sideways… not up.

I think am seeing already what Cliff mentioned with it.


I just loaded the photo of that area. Here is the Callery pear tree I just cut down. I cut down 3 like this.

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I get some persimmon seedlings. I may just put some there since I get so much room there. Can put 20 trees there.

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@RedSun . I had a big ole 20 yr bradford pear that got mangled badly by high winds in a storm… it split and ripped down the treetrunk.

I cut it down to the ground and had the stump ground… year b4 last… and it is still sending up rootshoots or suckers this year.

I bet you will get some of those… could graft some pears to them.

I grafted pears to two wild callery this spring and they have grown nicely… 6 ft or so now.