Supporting Fruit Laden Branches in Containers

I am using containers sized up to whiskey barrels for my Bud9 and a couple M26 apples. Most are only up to 5 gallon so far. Now that I am getting sufficient sun, and pollination (thanks masons!) I am wondering if others have worked out good methods of branch supports for fruiting. I previously used metal fence posts or forked branches for my in ground trees. The metal posts don’t go deep enough to be a supportive structure in the barrels though.

It would be ideal if the supports could be disassembled for off season. I will be rotating some of the containers to either capture more sun or escape heavy winds (reason why I am not using light wt. flexible pots) . I am hoping to avoid a wire trellis type situation if possible. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


I’d say your first and best option is to thin enough that the branches don’t need support. Leave fruit near the branch base not out on the ends. Leaving too much fruit causes several issues besides support. It can stunt the tree, cause biennial bearing, and reduce eating quality.

If you don’t want a wire trellis you could build some type of four legged, square topped wooden support system.

Thanks for your response fruitnut. You’re right - I need to remove much more fruitlets - which I will. The health of the trees is my first priority, not quantity of fruit. I will repeat this mantra as often as necessary.

I’m surprised there isn’t more discussion on this as container growers will have to figure it out as well unless their containers are in a permanent site.