For as long as we have lived in this house, there has been a large triple-trunked persimmon tree shading the back door and the southwest aspect of the house. Although it didn't set fruit, it was very messy -- it dropped twigs all year, tiny popcorn-shaped flowers for three weeks in spring and green fresh leaves at the same time, and dribbled down its large black-green leaves from mid-September on. The twigs were a particular nuisance, clogging the roof gutters and making a messy litter on the steps and patio, but I tolerated the whole mess for many years because of the shade in summer. One day recently though it dropped a large dead branch onto the patio, a couple of feet from where I was working and we decided that it needed to be gone. Also, there are now two oaks which have grown larger over the years and that are giving us good shade in the mid- to late-afternoons. So, the treecutters came and took it down, at vast expense and trouble, and now the roof gutters are clean and the patio too but I feel a pang of guilt at having done this terrible thing.
Not guilty enough not to begin planning to replant the area formerly shaded by the tree. There are hostas there, a lonely azalea, some hellebores, ferns, and in early spring the whole bank is covered by Dutchman's breeches dicentra -- I planted one corm years and years ago, and it has naturalized very happily. I am afraid it will not come back now that the conditions have changed, and I think that the hostas and ferns won't be happy either. What a delightful dilemma -- what to plant there? So many choices, so little money!