I've already received some suggestions in another post, but figured I'd post a photo and create a thread specifically for recommendations.
We're having the black locust removed from our patio garden. The tree is in terrible condition and poses a threat due to its close proximity to the house, not to mention it dropping large limbs on our patio over the past couple years.
This photo was taken when we first moved in a couple years ago...
Unfortunately they won't be able to get a stump grinder to the tree so we'll have a lovely stump forever. I'd still like to put a tree nearby to provide some shade for the patio and just for structural interest. We had a fence put in and it goes along the left side of the existing tree so we'll probably have to plant either a bit up the hill from the tree, or to the right. My top pick for this location was a witch hazel. The only witch hazels I've seen in person however are more like shrubs in size and shape. Do you think a larger variety of witch hazel would provide some shade for the patio? I don't want a large tree like the locust, but I'm not sure if the witch hazel will be quite big enough. I have another black locust I plan on removing next year and want to put a redbud in its place. Would a redbud also work here? Another option I've considered is serviceberry, but I'm a bit nervous about the mess from the berries falling all over the patio. A dogwood is also an option. The tree guy suggested a japanese maple or cherry tree.
Any thoughts or opinions?