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5 messages
01/02/2014 at 21:31

I'm looking for an apple tree ideally a patio as I haven't much room left to plant and OH doesn't want another big tree in the garden. My local gc has apple trees on offer at the moment but they'll grow to approx 10ft in ten years(and knowing my luck reach 20ft by the following year lol)...is it possible to keep it a bit smaller or should I stick to a patio variety? OH is convinced it will need a lot of care and attention to keep healthy but as a child who grew up with a huge fruit orchard as her back garden i don't remember my parents struggling with all the fruit trees, disease and pests etc., :/ ...or did I just miss it being too busy eating all of the fruit?

01/02/2014 at 23:12

There are loads of options and creative ways of planting fruit trees to fit your needs. One of my faveroute being espalier. They are trained to fan out horizontally which means they can be grown against a fence or can even form a neat screening. If you are after a more traditional shape but want to keep the size to a minimum, look for a tree with a smaller rootstock. I'd recommend a rootstock of M9 or M27..

02/02/2014 at 11:20

Thanks Dirty Diggin, will do

03/02/2014 at 11:27
Rootstock choice
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Apples

Name of rootstock: M27 (extremely dwarfing)
Suitable for: Dwarf pyramids, spindlebush or stepovers, for small gardens where the soil is fertile
Start fruiting: After two years
Ultimate height as trained as bush: Plants reach 1.2-1.8m (4-6ft) x 1.5m (5ft)
Growing conditions: Good weed and grass free soil. Water plants during drought. Unsuitable on poor soil and for weak cultivars
Staking: Permanently
Spacing: 1.2-1.5 (4-5ft) apart with 1.8m (6ft) between rows

Name of rootstock: M9 (dwarfing)
Suitable for: Bush, pyramid, spindlebush, cordons; an excellent stock for small gardens
Start fruiting: After two or three years
Ultimate height as trained as bush: 1.8-2.4m (6-8ft) x 2.7m (9ft)
Growing conditions: Good weed and grass free soil. Water plants during drought
Staking: Permanently
Spacing: 2.4-3m (8-10ft) apart with 3.6m (12ft) between rows

Name of rootstock: M26 (dwarfing)
Suitable for: Bush, pyramid, spindlebush, cordon, espalier and is ideal for containers
Start fruiting: After two or three years
Ultimate height as trained as bush: 2.4-3m (8-10ft) x 3.6m (12ft)
Growing conditions: Average soils including grassed orchards
Staking: Permanently
Spacing: 2.4-3.6m (8-12ft) with 4.5m (15ft) between rows

Name of rootstock: MM106 (semi-dwarfing)
Suitable for: All forms except standards
Start fruiting: After three or four years
Ultimate height as trained as bush: 3-4m (10-13ft) x 4m (13ft)
Growing conditions: Tolerant of a range of soils including grassed orchards and poor soils. The most widely used rootstock, but unsuitable for small gardens.
Staking: 5 years; longer in exposed locations
Spacing: 3.6 (12ft) with 4.5m (15ft) between the rows

Name of rootstock: MM111 (vigorous)
Suitable for: standards and half standards
Start fruiting: After four or five years 
Ultimate height as trained as bush: 4-4.5 (13-15ft) x 4.5 (15ft) less on light soils
Growing conditions: Suitable for most soils including orchards in grass and on poor soils
Staking: Staking is not necessary if planted as a one year old but those planted as 2-3 year old trees need staking for the first 3 years
Spacing: 4.5m (15ft) apart with 6m (20ft) between rows

Name of rootstock: M25 (very vigorous)
Suitable for: Standards
Start fruiting: After five or six years
Ultimate height as trained as bush: +4.5 (15ft) x 6m (20ft)
Growing conditions: Most soils including orchards in grass and on poor soils. They are too vigorous for most gardens except where the soil is poor
Staking: Staking is not necessary if planted as a one year old but those planted as two- or three-year-old trees need staking for the first 3 years
Spacing: 6m (20ft)

03/02/2014 at 13:57

Wow thank you Alan 

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