Columnar Apple Trees - Features And The Best Varieties. Photo

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Columnar Apple Trees - Features And The Best Varieties. Photo
Columnar Apple Trees - Features And The Best Varieties. Photo

Video: Columnar Apple Trees - Features And The Best Varieties. Photo

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Video: Columnar Apple Trees 2023, January
  • Part 1. Columnar apple trees - features and the best varieties
  • Part 2. Features of growing columnar apple trees

Apple trees bloom - what a miracle, but not every gardener can handle them. Apple trees are not resistant to a number of diseases and pests, but the high height of the tree and the spreading crown are often inaccessible for full care. Therefore, a new type of apple trees with a small habitus of a bush and intensive fruiting is a real find for small summer cottages and private plots. Columnar apple trees are a worthy compromise when deciding to change the design of a site or landscape design, with the laying of "phytowalls" on a bed of apples of different colors.

Columnar apple trees planted along the fence
Columnar apple trees planted along the fence

Observation, which provided the emergence of a new type of horticultural crops

The appearance of the type of columnar pome fruit (apple trees, and later pears) is not more than 50 years old. It started with observation and healthy curiosity. On one of the old apple trees, the owner noticed a branch that outwardly differed from the other branches of the crown. The branch was distinguished by vertical growth without lateral branches, it was all covered with ringlets and spears. It was a typical spontaneous mutant obtained in vivo on a Macintosh apple tree. The branch was multiplied and received an original variety, which was named Vazhak. The triumphant march across the world of the columnar type of apple trees reached Russia and in 1972 the local type of columns was first obtained from crossing the varieties Vazhak and Korichnoye Polosatoe. At present, the number of varieties has exceeded a hundred, and the area under gardens is over many hundreds of hectares of private summer cottages and house plots.

Benefits of Columnar Apple Orchards

  • The ability to grow a large list of crop varieties in a small area
  • Complete care.
  • The main feature is the small size of the crown habit and root system.
  • High decorativeness.
  • Intensive and early fruiting (1-2-3 years after permanent planting),
  • High taste inherent in common apple varieties.
  • Convenient harvesting.
Fruits of a columnar apple variety Sonata
Fruits of a columnar apple variety Sonata

Biological features of columnar apple varieties

A beneficial mutation was caused by a lack of growth hormone, which determined the type of crown and habitus of the culture. The violation contributed to the enhanced laying of flower buds (to leave offspring), that is, an early return of the crop (by 1-3 years).

The biological feature is the almost complete absence of lateral branching, the formation of a crop on the central shoot (trunk) of the tree, a dwarf type of growth and early maturity. With a small size, apple trees bear fruit constantly, yielding significant yields. However, they also have weak points - the root system. It is superficial, underdeveloped, poorly holding the aboveground part of the culture, and under the gusts of wind, the tree trunk may break. An insufficiently developed root system is not able to provide the plant with a sufficient amount of moisture and nutrients, therefore it needs feeding and watering, but does not tolerate overfeeding and high humidity. Columnar varieties have an intensive type of fruiting, and since the central shoot is involved in its formation, the main part of the fruit formations dies off, starting from the bottom.Fruiting shifts gradually upward. Having reached the top point, fruiting stops. The tree ceases to form fruits, although it continues to function until almost 50 years of age.

Varieties of columnar apple trees are distinguished by their early maturity. Some bloom in the year of planting (Malyukha, Barguzin, Iksha, Moscow necklace, X-3). But leaving the harvest in the first year is impractical. Having given all her strength to the formation of fruits in the first year, she may not lay the harvest the next. The duration of active fruiting in columnar apple trees does not exceed 6-8 years. Most varieties are medium-fruited crops that enter into active fruiting by 3-4 years after permanent planting. Late-fruited crops form a crop 6 years after planting. When buying seedlings, be sure to ask the seller for an accompanying characteristic of the variety, which should indicate the main biological characteristics of the variety. Otherwise, you can buy a completely unpredictable variety, species and type of plant.

Types and varieties of columnar apple trees

Like ordinary apple trees, columnar in habit are divided into several groups:

  • superdwarfs,
  • dwarfs,
  • half-dwarfs,
  • medium-sized,
  • vigorous.

In home gardening, two types of columnar varieties of apple trees are most acceptable - dwarf and medium-sized.

Dwarf columnar varieties are obtained by grafting clonal grafts "with the Co gene" onto dwarf rootstocks. Saplings grow slowly, but they are able to form a crop throughout the trunk from the first year. In this group, the most common varieties are Currency, Arbat, 003.

Medium-sized columns are obtained artificially by grafting conventional varieties onto super-dwarf clonal rootstocks and subsequent formative pruning. Compact trees up to 2.5 m in height are obtained.

The most famous varieties with an artificial columnar shape are Brusnichnoe, Orlinka, Ligol, Vasyugan, Medok, President, Amber Necklace, Moscow Necklace, Bolero, etc.

At the columns, ring-type fruit links are located along the entire trunk. Ringworms bloom and bear fruit profusely. In addition to fruits, leaves are formed on the ringlets, as a rule, of dark green colors and shades. Terminal growths are vertical, short, with a large number of closely spaced internodes. Such varieties are called spur. They are characterized by a compact crown, a weak ability to form shoots, an insignificant height of apple trees within 2.0-3.0 m in height. Most valuable rootstock-dependent inheritance. Therefore, when buying seedlings, be sure to take an interest in parental pairs.

Columnar apple tree
Columnar apple tree

For grafting in order to obtain dwarf columnar varieties, two types of rootstock are mainly used:

  • superdwarf rootstock PB-4 (Paradizka Belorusskaya), which is used in the southern regions;
  • super-dwarf rootstock Kid Budagovsky. Stock material for grafting in central Russia.

Both types are characterized by increased fragility. Therefore, when planting and caring for it, careful and careful handling of seedlings and mature trees is necessary.

When buying stock for grafting at home, pay attention to the color of the bark of the seedlings. The bark color of PB-4 is light green with a yellowish tint. The seedlings of Malysh Budagovsky have an intense purple-red bark. This trait will help distinguish a true super-dwarf stock when buying.

Ordinary apple trees are not suitable for columns. Vigorous seedlings lose the main feature of crown construction (single-stemmed, without lateral skeletal branches).

Columnar apple varieties by growing region

Like ordinary apple trees, columnar varieties are divided by resistance to climatic conditions into frost-resistant and thermophilic.

Columnar apple varieties for the southern regions

For the southern regions, the best varieties of columnar apple trees are considered - Bolero, Yesenia, Trident, Snow White, Taskan, Sparkle, Garland, Green noise, Titania, White eagle, Senator, Ideal. They are quite resistant to cold snaps in southern climates, but do not tolerate severe frosts.

The varieties are late-ripening autumn varieties with good long-term keeping quality of fruits. Fruiting begins in the third year of life. Fruits reach 150-400 g. Slightly conical, round, rounded-flattened in shape. By color of various colors - from the predominant green to red. 2.0-2.5 meter high beauties with a compact crown, the volume of which does not exceed 0.5-0.7 m, they are a true decoration of the garden. Leafy, they retain a high decorative effect throughout the warm period. They are especially elegant in their ridges, forming an extraordinary phytowall that adorns the paths to the house, resting areas.

Columnar apple varieties for the Central Chernozem and Siberian regions

Every year varieties of apple trees with an unusual crown and fruiting are moving further northward. Life expectancy with active fruiting in these regions does not exceed 6-8-12 years. The best varieties with good winter hardiness for growing in the middle and Siberian regions (from the Moscow region to the Urals) include Vasyugan, Moscow necklace, Senator, President, Ostankino, Triumph, Currency, Arbat, Medok, Jin, Dialogue, Renet Mazherova, Iskorka, Chervonets, Elite, Iksha and others. Of the above, the varieties Iksha (-40 ° C), Vasyugan, President, Moscow necklace are distinguished by exceptional winter hardiness.

Medium-winter hardy (for the climatic conditions of the Moscow region) with high taste - varieties of columnar apple trees: Malyukha, Medok, Arbat, Moscow necklace and others. Interesting varieties Medoc and Renet Mazherova. Medoc has a unique aroma and taste of honey, starts bearing fruit from the first year of life. Renet Mazherova has the narrowest crown (no more than 40 cm in diameter), small fruits (50 g), which literally cover the trunk in August-September, resembling a fantastic ear of bright yellow color. Juicy aromatic pulp of creamy yellow color leaves a unique aftertaste. It should be noted that all of the above varieties are high-yielding and fast-growing. Apples have an inherent sourness, which gives a piquant taste to the fruit. The small dimensions of the plants allow, even in a small area, to concentrate a significant number of varieties with different ripening periods, quality indicators,fruit size and color.

Columnar apple trees planted along the fence
Columnar apple trees planted along the fence

To increase the decorativeness of plantings, you can combine several universal varieties of columnar apple trees. Column varieties differ in apple color, flowering period, giving special uniqueness to plantings. So you can plant a rabatka in 1-2 rows of the following varieties: President with light yellow fruits, Ostankino with large red apples, Vasyugan with red-striped ones, Amber necklace with green-yellow fruits and a pale pink blush. Frost-resistant Iksha will decorate a living phytowall with apples, orange with a red-striped blush, round-flat in shape, a fabulous saffron aroma. Separate groups of columns with golden-yellow, bright yellow, yellow-green fruits (Currency, Dialogue, Maluha) look great.

Columnar apple trees, especially in the early years, require patience and attention. Planting and care, feeding and pruning have their own characteristics. Therefore, before laying a garden or a separate small area in the form of several separate groups or a row along the path, you must first draw a planting scheme in the garden diary indicating the width of the row spacings and the distance in the row, varieties with a brief description of the main features, and in the spring, start purchasing seedlings.

You can familiarize yourself with the peculiarities of planting and caring for columnar gardens in the second part of the article "Features of growing columnar apple trees". (Currently the material is being prepared)

  • Part 1. Columnar apple trees - features and the best varieties
  • Part 2. Features of growing columnar apple trees

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