Definitions: The top part of the tree, above the main trunk, containing all the branches, leaves, flowers, and fruit.
Tree crowns in the Forest Garden:
After four years in the Forest Garden Program, farmers have anywhere from 2500-4000 trees growing in their plot. As the trees grow, their crowns provide a wide variety of benefits, including producing fruit and providing shade for sun-sensitive crops.
Several challenges arise as a Forest Garden develops, however. For example, there is still a limited amount of space available. It is extremely important that farmers are intentional with the species they select to fill their Forest Garden as some trees will take up more space than others.
Additionally, as the trees develop, their crowns will begin to extend over more ground. If a farmer selects species that have very dense and wide crowns, for example, the crops growing beneath may eventually suffer due to a lack of sunlight. Trees with higher crowns may be planted to occupy different layers of space, whereas trees with thin crowns can be provided to ensure some sunlight can still pass through.