Columnar Garden, Or How To Grow 20 Fruit Trees On One Hundred Square Meters? Advantages And Disadvantages, Care, Varieties, Photos

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Columnar Garden, Or How To Grow 20 Fruit Trees On One Hundred Square Meters? Advantages And Disadvantages, Care, Varieties, Photos
Columnar Garden, Or How To Grow 20 Fruit Trees On One Hundred Square Meters? Advantages And Disadvantages, Care, Varieties, Photos
Video: Columnar Garden, Or How To Grow 20 Fruit Trees On One Hundred Square Meters? Advantages And Disadvantages, Care, Varieties, Photos
Video: PERFECT Fruit Trees for SMALL SPACES | Backyard Fruit Tree Columnar Apple Trees | Urban Permaculture 2023, February
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The first columnar apple trees were bred by breeders more than half a century ago, but in our country they are still considered novelties. Coloniforms differ from ordinary fruit trees in a compact crown (30-60 cm in diameter), small in height (1.5-2.5 m), and lack of lateral branching. With an insignificant habit, these wonderful trees are distinguished by their ability to form large yields of large, tasty and beautiful fruits. On 1-2 acres, you can place up to 20-25 columnar trees - varieties of apple trees of different ripening periods. But pears, plums, peaches, cherries, apricots and other crops, which sellers call columnar, are not really such. These are usually fruit trees on dwarf rootstocks and must be pruned regularly to maintain the shape of the column. Our article will tell you about the features of creating a columnar garden.

Columnar garden, or How to grow 20 fruit trees on one hundred square meters?
Columnar garden, or How to grow 20 fruit trees on one hundred square meters?

Content:

  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Columnar Gardens
  • The right choice of columnar apple seedlings
  • Features of laying a garden of columnar and trees on dwarf rootstocks
  • Features of caring for columnar varieties of fruit crops
  • Frost-resistant varieties of columnar apples and fruit trees on dwarf rootstocks

Advantages and Disadvantages of Columnar Gardens

Columnar gardens are not a tribute to fashion, but a new step in gardening technology. The cultivation of columnar and dwarf fruit trees has significant advantages over traditional fruit crops (with a wide crown):

  • the compact crown allows you to place 1-3 trees on 1 m² of area;
  • low height provides high-quality crop care and easy collection of the entire crop, and not only from the lower branches;
  • early fruiting - the first harvest can be removed already in the 2nd year;
  • high yield (from 1 weave to 100, and eventually up to 500 kg of fruits);
  • use in landscape design (green hedge or "phyto-wall" along the path).

Columnar crops and fruit trees on dwarf rootstocks require careful attention and fulfillment of all the requirements of agricultural technology when planting, watering, feeding, pruning, etc. And of course they also have their drawbacks.

The disadvantages of columnar and dwarf trees include

  • the location of the root system in the upper 30-50 cm soil layer, which can cause freezing of the roots. They need winter shelter in the first 2-4 years of life;
  • the intensity of growth and yield of the crop greatly depletes the topsoil, which requires systematic application of additional fertilizing, and in dry years and sufficient (in the first half of the growing season) watering;
  • strong winds necessitate the installation of supports or even trellises;
  • the duration of effective fruiting is limited in most varieties to 15 (less often 20-25) years. Then it is necessary to rejuvenate the columnar garden, since the yield of the old one is sharply reduced.
Strong winds necessitate the installation of supports or even trellises
Strong winds necessitate the installation of supports or even trellises

The right choice of columnar apple seedlings

The best for planting are zoned annual seedlings, but 2-3 year olds can also be planted. Please note that the older the seedling is, the more difficult it is to adapt when planting, it requires more careful care in new conditions for it.

Columnar apple seedlings have their own characteristic features:

  • the central shoot (future trunk) of an annual seedling has a thickness of at least 1.5 cm (more often more). 2-3 year old seedlings do not form lateral shoots;
  • the seedling must be without leaves;
  • the bark should have a lively appearance and be elastic to the touch, not dry. Without damage;
  • roots not bent, not rotting, not shriveled up. When lightly scraping the skin of thin processes, the wood should be white. Dried roots will not ensure the survival of the seedling.

When laying a columnar apple orchard or even planting several seedlings, you can unknowingly plant fakes. Annuals are very similar, and the cost of a columnar seedling is quite high. This is used by sellers on the road or on dubious layouts. Therefore, always buy varietal columnar seedlings only in nurseries, garden centers or specialized stores.

Take your time, ask for a certificate and a characteristic-description of the variety, where the following data must be clearly indicated, which is repeated on the tag attached to the seedling:

  • kind of culture,
  • regionalization (preferably local),
  • variety name,
  • seedling age,
  • ripening period of fruits.

Features of laying a garden of columnar and trees on dwarf rootstocks

Columnar and fruit trees on dwarf rootstocks are undersized and will receive optimal lighting when placed in the southern or southeastern part of the site.

Many varieties of columnar apple trees are self-fertile. When laying a garden, pick up several varieties of the same type of culture with simultaneous flowering. Cross-pollination will increase yields.

When choosing different types of fruit crops for the garden, be sure to observe the rule of "good neighborhood", that is, compatibility of crops. So, an apple tree is a good neighbor for a pear. But these crops do not feel very well next to cherries or peaches. Cherries and peaches get along well with plums and cherry plums.

Before planning your garden, be sure to check the compatibility of trees and draw a diagram of the arrangement on paper by species and varieties.

Columnar apple trees are best placed in a rectangular area, placing trees in a row at a distance of 50-70 (maximum 80) cm, and between rows 90-100 cm.It is easy to calculate the total number of trees on 1 or 2 acres and paint their location on the diagram.

It is more practical to plant seedlings in spring, which will allow them to take root well and adapt to new conditions, but it is better to prepare planting holes in autumn. The planting process itself does not differ from planting conventional varieties.

Columnar trees are best placed in a rectangular area, placing trees in a row at a distance of 50-70 (maximum 80) cm
Columnar trees are best placed in a rectangular area, placing trees in a row at a distance of 50-70 (maximum 80) cm

Features of caring for columnar varieties of fruit crops

Columnar varieties of apple trees practically do not form lateral skeletal branches, which means that they do not need careful pruning, which forms the harvest. The entire crop is located on the shortened pods of the main trunk.

Some varieties have short lateral branches on the central trunk, located at an angle of about 30 degrees in relation to the central trunk. With increased growth, they are shortened to 5-8 cm, and those growing at right angles are cut off (mercilessly).

In the early years, the tops of columnar cultures freeze slightly. The young shoot does not have time to ripen. To prevent this from happening, in the first 3-4 years, the top is wrapped for the winter with an insulating material (not a film) in the form of a cap made of several layers of burlap or thick paper, tied with a rope (so as not to be blown away by the wind). In the spring, the cap is removed so that the top does not rot and mold.

If, nevertheless, the top is frozen, it is cut off, leaving 1-2 lateral shoots with vertical growth, which will become a continuation of the central trunk.

To protect the young root system from freezing (the temperature on the soil surface is -10 … -15 ° C is dangerous for it), for the winter they cover the soil around the trunk with spruce branches, sawdust, high-moor peat or other natural material (straw is not allowed) that does not accumulate moisture. When snow falls, it is also raked under the trunk, as additional protection.

Plum on a dwarf rootstock
Plum on a dwarf rootstock

Frost-resistant varieties of columnar apples and fruit trees on dwarf rootstocks

Columnar apple varieties are widespread in the southern regions of Russia. In the central and northern ones, columnar varieties are also advancing, but more slowly. This is due to the relatively small number of varieties that can withstand severe frosts in winter.

But in the conditions of the Moscow region, the middle zone, the Urals and Siberia, even today, early, middle and late varieties of the following varieties of columnar apple trees and dwarf trees are grown.

Apple trees

Apple trees are the only widespread type of columnar fruit trees today. Breeders have proposed more than 100 varieties that are resistant to winter frosts, adapted to the extremes of spring-autumn temperatures and form annual harvests.

The most popular among them are: "Vasyugan", "President", "Triumph", "Ostankino", "Currency", "Moscow necklace", "Green noise", "Arbat" and others.

Dwarf peaches

Columnar peaches are still a pipe breeders' dream. All over the world, attempts to breed them do not stop, but so far the peach does not have columnar varieties, but it boasts varieties that are sufficiently resistant to adverse weather conditions on dwarf rootstocks.

Pay attention to the following varieties of "columnar" peaches: "Honey", "Steinberg", "Gardener's Totem", "Donskoy frost-resistant", "Capital Jubilee", "Golden Triumph".

Dwarf pears

Pears are unique for their aroma and honey taste. They will take their rightful place in the garden. The best varieties for the Moscow region and other regions with unstable weather conditions are the following dwarf varieties: "Carmen", "Saphira", "Decora", "Medovaya", "Delight", "Severyanka", "Sanremi", "Pavlovskaya".

Plum and cherry plum

Small trees up to 1.5-2 m on dwarf rootstocks are distinguished by their high decorative effect and abundant harvests. They are resistant to adverse weather conditions, therefore they are successfully grown in any region of Russia. An apple tree and a quince provide a favorable neighborhood.

The varietal variety is very large. The most popular varieties of dwarf plums: Oscar, Angers, Russkaya, Rubin, Medovaya, Zheltaya, Blue Sweet, Imperial, Mirabel.

Of the varieties of dwarf cherry plum, the most famous are: "Blue", "Cleopatra", "Traveler", "Anastasia", "General".

Dear Readers! We have told you about the advantages and disadvantages of columnar and dwarf fruit trees. We will be grateful if in the comments to the article you share your experience of growing such crops.

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