|Hawthorne/Crab Apple Guild|
The main element in a guild will be supported by plant(s) or animal(s) serving the functions of, at least, available nutrient fertilizer, soil building or pest control. Choosing elements for guild associates is done mainly through observation of naturally occurring plant and animal associates and then through trial and error based on these assemblies.
Usually a central element is a food-producing plant, though other types of guilds may feature wildlife-attracting or nitrogen-fixing trees. In the city, many times we plant a dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit or nut tree because of space restrictions. The trees should always be pruned to an open shape that allows light to reach the plants below. A tree guild is a community of plants that fulfills a variety of niches, centered around one central species. By planting within the drip line, the area under a tree, shrub or plant where it sheds rain, we are able to support the fruit tree in numerous ways.