Here is the mulberry tree (on the left) before we had it removed. It had had a long life but was fruitless (pun intended).
It took 3 guys to lift the massive trunk piece after they sawed and axed away at the tree and its roots.
We decided to put in a Blackjack Fig. The lavender around it is from where the veggie boxes were, although I really like it there and hope they survive the transplant. We have been having a heat wave, so I am hoping they will make it through. The rocks are from another part of the garden.
We chose a blackjack fig because my husband and I both love fresh figs. Blackjacks are naturally dwarf, topping out at 12-15 feet instead of 25 feet. They are also more local to Northern California where we live, so we thought it would do better here. In addition to loving figs, we thought a deciduous tree would be great for this spot. It is on the south side of the house, so the shade will be welcome in the summer and the sun will be needed in the winter. The book I just read called, "Introduction to Permaculture" made a great argument for edibles in specific places in the garden (such as this).
To plant it, we dug a big hole and placed it on top of some soil amendment mixed with the dirt from the hole. There are so many kinds of soil amendments- I used what the local nursery recommended for clay soils. We filled in the rest of the hole with this mixture and patted it down, taking care to have the dirt from the fig and the soil around it even. We made a mound of dirt about 2' wide encircling the tree so that water will pool there and go to the roots instead of all around the area. We watered it deeply, then added some shredded redwood mulch around the base, making sure to keep it away from the base of the trunk so that it wouldn't rot the trunk but would help keep the soil moist. We watered it deeply again 2 days later, then will water it deeply weekly through the dry season. I read not to water new plantings too much or else they will rely on all that water. The same source said that infrequent deep waterings will cause the tree to set deeper roots while looking for the water table and not need to be watered as frequently.