I have started reading Oliver Rackham's magnum opus "Woodlands". Published in 2006 it was his last work - he died in 2015 - and is a summation of a lifetime acquisition of knowledge about trees and woods.
His "History of the Countryside" was fascinating and this one seems very readable as well.
Already, only 30 pages in, I have learnt that whilst some trees are gregarious, the Malus (crab apple) is anti-gregarious. They don't like being next to each other and are naturally found scattered throughout a wood.
Hrumph - the two that I put next to each other are now too big for me to move one. Still, so far they have fruited well although their branches are all over the place. Hope they learn to ignore each other.
Then I read that ash seedlings are gregarious but don't like growing in the shade of a mature ash. This three days after I transplanted half a dozen from where they had sprouted under the shade of the ok by the stream to the bottom corner where there is a mature ash overlooking them.
Should I disrupt them again? It seems otherwise a good spot for them and I plan to coppice them there. I left one where it was and I have others that I have put in in the woodland area below the apples. Perhaps I will risk leaving them and pay more attention to any more that I get.
I wonder how many more of my mistakes I will discover as I read on...