We never tried to plant any trees back there because the horses needed as much grass as possible to eat... and they would have just eaten down the trees anyway.
In the past few years I have put in a few small trees...but now the problem is with the deer wanting to eat them.
I have found a sort of a solution for the smallest trees with these Tubex Tree Shelters .
They are sold as a kit, with the tube and a wooden stake to drive into the ground and zip ties to hold it together. The trees I have in these tubes are doing well and they are safe for now.
When those trees outgrow the tubes I will make a surround like I've done for some of the other trees, I strung up a circle of plastic mesh stapled to tobacco stakes driven into the ground. It's homely looking but so far it's working.
This Catalpa tree has pretty much outgrown the enclosure! I grew this from a seed from a tree at my younger son's house.
Once before, I removed the mesh from around this Sequoia. It was fine for months then one day a deer just bit off all the branches. Didn't eat them...just dropped them on the ground. The tree recovered and now I think I am ready to take the mesh off again. I can't keep it fenced in forever...that's not a pleasant sight!
I grew that one from a seed, too. The seed was from an old tree in front of a restaurant in Tennessee. My husband had picked up a cone and brought it home. I tried planting the seeds and they sprouted surprisingly easy.
Maybe I will take the mesh off for now but put it back up for the winter...when the deer are hungrier.
Of course if the deer really wanted to eat this tree, that little mesh fence wouldn't stop them.
Maybe it looks scary to them...like a trap. Or it's just more trouble than they want to go through for a bite of tree.