[nafex] Multiple fruit trees IN SAME hole - so that they fuse

Scott Smith scott at cs.jhu.edu
Thu Mar 1 08:57:05 EST 2012


Jim, to keep the trees balanced the more vigorous varieties need to be rigorously controlled by pruning.  Basically the minute it looks out of balance, I whack it -- I always have my pruners and saw on my belt and deal with the problem when I first spot it.  If that means removing half the graft right now, so be it.  Multiple scheduled rounds of pruning each year are also needed, I do two in summer and one in winter.  It took me several years of experience to figure out how to do prune properly, but it is now generally working fine.  If I had a lot of space I would not be doing close planting since it is more pruning work, but I have to put all my trees in about 1/4 acre and with close planting methods I can grow over 500 varieties.  I prefer the method of trees in rows with about 3-4' spacing.  I tried closer spacing but found it was too hard to prune.  M9 or other strongly dwarfing stocks can in fact do fine in 2', and things like vigorous pears are better in 4'.  I have used close spacing on all types of fruit, even the most vigorous plants.  The trick for kiwis is to hedge them back twice before midsummer, I use powered hedge trimmers and trim back all the long shoots.  After two prunings they calm down for the rest of the summer.  On the 3-4' spaced trees I will often have multiple varieties grafted to a single tree.  I have done as many as five varieties on 3'-spaced trees but that is too hard to keep balanced; my preferred approach now is 2 or maybe 3 varieties maximum per tree.  Starting out its probably best to just try to get one variety per tree balanced, and later additions or topworkings can add multiple varieties.

Scott


On Feb 29, 2012, at 10:59 PM, Idell Weydemeyer wrote:

> I have European pears, Asian pears, cherries, plums and apples with multiple
> grafts- -some for as many as 20 years --and with summer pruning ,they are
> fine--so far-- On some, I do summer pruning twice. However, I have shallow
> soil and little water so these trees are not the kind to make 3-6 feet of
> growth a year--only my peaches and kiwis do that. 
> 
> Idell Weydemeyer
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Jim Fruth
> Sent: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:50 PM
> To: NAFEX
> Cc: Jackie Kuehn
> Subject: [nafex] Multiple fruit trees IN SAME hole - so that they fuse
> 
>    I wouldn't recommend it.  I did something similar.  When I planted apple
> 
> trees, I grafted four different varieties on the same trees.  It was my 
> thinking that I didn't want the whole crop ripening at one time.  My grafts 
> were to give me a succession or ripening from July into September.  That 
> worked well for a few years but, one by one, the more vigorous varieties 
> strangled the less vigorous.  Where vigor seemed matched, they pushed each 
> other over until today, fifteen years later, there is only one variety left 
> on each trunk.
> 
> Jim Fruth
> Brambleberry Fruit Farm
> 4002 Davis Street
> Pequot Lakes, MN  56472 
> 
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