what to plant for tall canopy?
I've got a couple little clearings in the middle of tall hardwood stands that I've been wondering about whether I could plant something. Some of these spots might get up to 4 or 5 hours of sunlight now, but the canopy will probably close in more with time, so unless the tree I planted could get pretty tall it probably wouldn't get much sunlight for long. Is there anything edible I could plant that would do well? I know there are some shade tolerant edibles, but I'm more interested in trees that might compete to some degree in a tall canopy. A grafted hickory was one thought, although I might need to plant hickories out in the open if I don't want the squirrels to get them all. Is my best bet just to grow lumber? What about a native persimmon? I know it wouldn't really compete with oaks, but would it do any good? Are persimmons too slow growing to take advantage of a temporary opening?