I'm looking for a large shade tree to take the bake off the west side of our house. Having my bedroom window west facing, it runs about 5-10 degrees higher than the rest of the house!
Anyway, we have a large yard and a two story house so a large tree would be fine. I'm not too concerned about being shaded quick, though I wouldn't complain... We have cold zone 5 winters, but dry hot summers and clay soils.
I would like to have an edible tree of some sort, but wonder which would cause the fewest issues. Coming from people who don't have a crab apple to avoid messy fruit dropping, and occasionally curse the city for planting ornamental plumbs above the sidewalk, this is a steep order. I'm willing to do some extra raking or care if it will be reasonably successful.
Chestnuts - Drop spiky nut casings. How dangerous can these be? Dogs and children present. Might require pollination?
Walnut - Black walnut is out as it will be close to our pond and garden and may cause toxicity issues. Would and English or American walnut work as it produces less?
Mulberry - Drops staining fruit and creates staining bird poo, I read. Is this much of a problem? Is it too weedy? Even on poor somewhat dry soil? Pruning to a tree might require a lot of attention.
Almond and filbert - A bit too short I think...
My alternative will probably be a maple, but I'd love something edible as long as we will still be able to use the shade. I'm leaning toward walnut if it wont kill my frog pond, or fail to survive the setting.
Any insights welcome!