One Hole Fruit Tree Planting

I have done the same with some Bud9 grafts that I felt I really didn’t have room for. I have three sections of trios in the front of the orchard. It’s a bit of an experiment, but like you, I am anxious to see the results. My planting is more simplistic and not as well done as yours.

The rest (18 total) are planted as cordon espalier around the outside of my chicken coop. What an odd place you say?

I expect there will be pros and cons with these plantings, but there are with grafts on trees as well. In particular I had a 4 in 1 Asian pear grafted by starke which could never be pruned easily due to the different growing habits of the grafted varieties. It was always a challenge. I expect the same with trios but they are competing with each other in a different way.

Continue to share your experiences so that we can all enjoy and learn from them.


Best of luck. I’m trying again with cherry too after all 4 of my original planting died the first winter.

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That is interesting. So does that mean if I say plant a Lovell peach, citation and Saint Julian A they will all become one tree and share nutrients? I may have ironically done this without realizing I was doing so.

My cherries have all lived after the first year I planted them but I live in CO. It is not nearly as humid here.

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I believe mine died due to combination of insufficient care (deer related) and soil too “heavy”. Trying a different patch now with lighter soil.

Different species, different soils, no heavy crop loads… who knows? I have had the problem of trees tipping over only with peaches which are the only trees I ever tried planting two to a hole. And I’ve only tried it in my light silt soil. That’s because I used to have a lot of trouble grafting them.

Now the peach trees I sell to home orchardists as bearing age trees usually have two varieties on them… actually that’s true of most of the tree species I sell. On vigorous rootstocks fruit trees of one variety usually bear more fruit in too short a time for most home-owners… once they are in production.

I would like to see a hobbyist photo of 4 trees to a whole at maturity and loaded with well colored fruit. That would be quite an accomplishment in my book. It’s hard enough for beginners to learn to prune trees grown conventionally.


No deer here or even rabbits or armadillos.

Because I get standing water in parts of my yard on heavy rain days that can take hours to drain, I’ve mounded up the planting quite a bit to at least try to get the root crown from being flooded… the soil will settle over time so I hope I did enough.

My soil near the surface is on the loamy side and acidic, but it takes a while to drain because I live in a place with absolutely no ground gradient.

When I lived in San Jose I had successful 2in1 hole apple trees and peach trees. They were easier to maintain than multi graft. Emma prusch park had a pomme fruit orchard with 3-4 in a hole. It’s definitely doable if I had tight space I would do it but now on 4 acres so not necessary. I think you will be happy with it


@Shibumi … my two eu plums were 5 yr olds this spring.

No fruit yet.

This year they both did produce a few blossoms… my royal maby a dozen… rosy gauge like 5.

But mt royal bloomed and stopped blooming just a few days before rosy gauge started blooming.
They are supposed to pollonate… but this year did not… possibly because RG was ill ?

But anyway… eu plums can take several years to produce fruit… i have none here in year 5.

Perhaps next year mt royal will come thru. I may graft another pollinator or two onto it next spring. Someone above said it self pollinates well… so may not be necessary… but i may want other varieties… especially ones that ripen earlier or later to extend the season.


I have those same 4 varieties here in California (USDA zone 10a). They don’t seem to mind the humidity (although we probably don’t have as much as you do), but we don’t have the hot summers here that you do. I planted all four of them together in a 4’ x 4’ area three years ago. They are producing cherries, which is nice since cherries in the grocery store here are selling for $6.99 a lb.

I also have pears planted four together and a couple of nectarines planted together with a Japanese plum and a pluot. The pears are working out great since pears tend to be less spreading anyway. I have to prune the plum and pluot pretty severely to keep them from outstripping the nectarines. Would I do it again? Yes. Maybe it’s not optimal from an experienced orchardist’s point of view, but experienced orchardists aren’t trying to grow their fruit trees on a 20’ x 50’ plot of land.


Gulf coast humidity is pretty insane in the summer. Most days in July and August will be over 70F dew point!

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Nice to hear from you. California is a big place but I am sure wherever you are you don’t have the heat with the humidity that we do here.

I’m zone 9a winter wise. We spend about 3.5. months here with average highs above 90° (lows above 70°) and daytime humidity 60% or above and overnight and early day AM humidity of 100%.

I know it’s a big if here for even trying but they are in the ground so…

Nice to hear you are getting some fruit.


the first year I planted things here I put two apples in one hole. they were very small whips and I thought it would look cool. no other reason.

one of them is ok, not producing yet but ok. the other died. that’s my anecdote about trying this.


To be honest I don’t think it is a good idea and yet I’m probably going to find a spot to try it. Life is more entertaining when you dare to try.


Another benefit of multiple trees in one hole, you can get multiple patented varieties in a small space (legally).


As someone who has a tiny grow space, I root for your success. Living in a suburb with tiny lot, and tightly packed houses which impedes sun exposure my fruit tree patch is a 4ft x 30 ft hedge row, I have 2 apples, one fig, and one peach that are producing. I planted a cherry, Aprium, and plum this year. They are tightly spaced going against the conventional wisdom. But I’ll cherish half a dozen home grown fruits a year than not having those trees.


Trees of Antiquity also has information on planting multiply trees in one hole. I had thought of doing this but was not sure how it would end up. It will be interesting to see how this works out for you.


If I were you I’d move 2 of them, now or this fall or early this coming spring, but I’m not you, so it’s your call. :smiley:

I have all of my trees planted 3 feet apart, some in containers are only 2 feet apart. I only have 2x1 hole for 2 grape plants. I get enough variety of fruit to eat all through season. I have heavy clay soil, so nothing tipped over yet.
If you have a tiny lot like I do, try to espalier the fruit trees. I also don’t trim the fruit trees so they can spread out either. They can take too much sun space.


A nice pic of apple trees pruned in cordon form and grown vertically.