[NAFEX] tree spacing

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Thu Jun 5 13:40:24 EDT 2008

I have to recommend on the side of more space is better in a home orchard.
Up here a well managed fruit tree usually lives.  When I started my home
orchard business it was hard to create enough business to survive and I
would error on the side of commerce to determine spacing so I could sell
more trees from my nursery (this was not my explanation at the time, even to

I used to plant peaches on seedling, plums on myro, apples on 7and 106 and
pears on seedling and OH X F, all at spacing of 12 by 15 feet.  Many years
later I'm called on to tend many of the original orchards I installed and I
wish they weren't so close.  Although I've learned some training tricks over
the years I would have to remove many scaffolds to retrain some of these
trees to an efficient structure.

Some species and varieties function well close depending on their
precocity.  Asian pears are one example.  In apples, Goldrush, Jonathon and
any very spurry apple are also OK close.  In general, trees on the above
mentioned root stocks usually function best on a spacing of 20' between rows
that have trees spaced by 14'.  Of course every variety has it's individual
level of vigor so this is just a general rule but adequate space insures
adequate sun and air which goes a long way in determining the quality and
quantity of harvest.
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