To those that have trees on the rootstocks mentioned in the title, I’m terribly interested to know the age, height, and canopy width of your tree(s) along with the training method you use (central leader, modified leader, cordon, etc.). I would also be greatly appreciative of photos of the trees. I know it’s winter here in the Northern Hemisphere so they may not be at their prettiest but now is when the structures will be most visible. Thanks to all.
Hello mroot, thanks for responding. I live in a residential area and my yard is rectangular with the front and back borders being longer than the sides. I’d like to line my back fence (faces south, runs east and west) with trees and am trying to figure out how to best use and fill the space while at the same time not taking up too much of the back yard. I’m leaning more towards some of the two-dimensional structures - espalier, oblique cordon, maybe even spindles - and I think I would be foolish not to ask for advice and input from the many here who know more than me.
Well here are a couple of suggestions. First, I would make a drawing with the dimensions of your backyard and try some different ideas on how to best use the space. It’s easier to plan and correct mistakes on paper rather than when the trees are in the ground.
If your wanting to do a 2 dimensional tree- espalier will work or you could just prune/ train a spindle so the branches are in a single vertical plane. It’s sort of a simpler espalier. A informal fan type espalier will also be simpler than a formal espalier and less work.
I would look at these two threads they have useful information on laying out an orchard with limited space.
The tree spacing calculator in the threads is very good at determining spacing since it takes into account soil, rootstock, scion, irrigation, and training style.
I have trees on Bud 9 as well as G41 that are going into their 5th leaf. Mostly trained to an open center.
My new trees on G41, Bud 9, G890 and G969 will be modified central leader, as they will be used in a u pick that i am planning on opening in a few years.
Most of my trees are on G11 and spaced about 10ft apart. I have each tree staked with 3 T-posts (triangle around tree about 4 ft out from tree) but even then they are unstable and I need to adjust the wire support at least one a year on each tree. Most are open vase except gala which insists on being central leader. I trim them to 6-7 ft as I don’t want to use a ladder. Most are about 7’ in diameter. If I were doing it over, I would use something like M111 with G11 as interstem. I have one tree like that and it doesn’t need staking.
…or… I would use B9 as a spindle but only 6 - 7 feet high so I wouldn’t need a ladder. Plant roughly 3’- 4’ apart. I could have more varieties in the same space.
This coming year I am going to start some “re-do”. Varieties that I know I want a lot of I am grafting to the M111/G11 combo. Some new varieties I will be grafting to B9 as spindles to see how I like the apple and that growing method. I will be starting and espalier (never done it before) on M111 more as an experiment as I am finding out how LONG it will take to really have a completed espalier (3 wire).