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Native Species Forest Garden?

last year

Years ago, we purchased a 12 acre property that included about 5 wooded acres and 7 cleared acres in Indiana. 2 of those cleared acres we will be using to build a house. The other 5 acres we will be planting what I'm calling a 'forest garden'.

Our forest garden will consist of about 1000 newly planted native (to Indiana) trees (2-4 year saplings) and native wildflowers.

Obviously, this is quite a process. We have sought the help of many local soil and conservation organizations. This year, we are killing off everything currently in the 5 acre field. Next spring we will be planting trees. The spring after that, the flowers will be going in.

We have a list of the tree species we will be using and how they will be laid out. We are using shrubs, small trees, as well as tall trees to create a type of feathering effect (tall to short) -- then after the short trees/shrubs will be the wildflower field. See the attached picture. You'll notice, a lot of these trees are fruit producing. The idea of a food forest is also intriguing to me.

The tall trees we are using include: Tuliptree, silver maple, red oak, and black walnut.

The short trees we are using include: Black cherry, blackgum, and persimmon.

The shrubs we are using include: Hawthorn, American plumb, pawpaw, and flowering dogwood

Any ideas or other suggestions from what I have planned here? Any guidance would be welcome. I know this is quite a large scale, but we are very excited. Also, if you have any native flower (pollinator) suggestions I'd love to hear from you!

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