Spacing for espaliered apple trees

dregaeFebruary 14, 2014

What spacing would be best for espalier train apples. They would be train as a modified fan or the ladder looking espalier. I am trying to narrow my apple choices down and would appreciate any advice on spacing

Grace e

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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

D
Keep in mind that you will be using agressive summer pruning to maintain shape of the espalier and to and keep size in check.

Using dwarfing rootstock, you can plant them as little as 8 feet apart. Assuming 4 tiers of branches you will have 16 feet of fully sun exposed branches on each aide of the tree for a total of 32 feet of branches on the tree. You can easily get 5 tiers on a 7 foot overall height and that is 40 linear feet of fruit production.

You should get great production per linear foot of branch.

You can plant the closer or further apart depending on how many varieties you want to grow and how much fruit you need/want.

ALSO... see the link below for an espalier method that combines two varieties on the same set of support wires by which you can really squeeze different varieties into a smaller space. Also helps with having varieties that need cross-pollination close together.

Just my 2 cents

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: KNNN ESPALIER METHOD - COOL

This post was edited by mes111 on Fri, Feb 14, 14 at 15:31

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 1:09PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

duplicate post deleted

This post was edited by mes111 on Fri, Feb 14, 14 at 15:24

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 1:12PM
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thomis(7)

I have found the best rootstock for espaliered apple trees is Bud 9. They can be planted as close as 3' apart. I have all mine planted 5' apart. Fruit production is very high. If I could do it all over again, my entire orchard would be Bud 9 trees on a trellis system. Pretty, easy to maintain and high fruit production.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 8:43AM
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cartwrij

So, is there a consensus on this? I assume it has as much to do with rootstock as anything.

I have roughly 32 feet of space that I'd like to do an espalier apple "fence" (about 6 feet high), and I'm trying to figure out if I should go with 4, 5 or dare I say 6 trees. My question I guess is that if I go with different varieties (which for me would be the reason for going with more trees) is that I'm not likely to get the same rootstock for them (based on a quick survey of varieties I'm interested in at the online nurseries), so will it mess things up if I have a couple of semi-dwarf trees mixed in with dwarf varieties and only 5 or 6 feet of spacing? I suspect that will just create a lot of work for me.

Am I correct in assuming the easiest thing would be to go with 8 foot spacing and just get varieties that I can get on a dwarfing rootstock?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 3:07PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

At 32 feet total length 5 or 6 foot spacing would give you 5 trees 8 foot spacing would give you 4 trees but either would give 128 linear feet of branches. (32 feet x 4 tiers)

So the linear foot growing area is the same. If you want more varieties get more trees and plant 5-6 feet apart. Or try oblique cordons. Possibilities are endless. See link below.

Raintree, for example, sells ready made three tier 3 variety or same variety espaliers. as they grow you can graft more different varieties to the fourth tier.

ENJOY !!!!!!!

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: CORDOND AND ESPALIERS

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 6:32PM
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cartwrij

Thanks! So, am I overthinking the rootstock and spacing issue? Basically, as long as I'm willing to prune it, it should be fine? I'm still going to shoot for a dwarfing rootstock...

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 7:20PM
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johnthecook

Unless your doing it for the look you may want to look into Tall Spindle planting. I have Espalier and Tall Spindle plantings and it is much easier and quicker fruiting wise to do Tall Spindle. You can plant many varieties close together in a small space.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 8:44PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

The only consideration I would give to the rootstock would be as to the suitability of the rootstock to your soil conditions.

Pruning would be the tool to keep growth in check.

Mike

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 10:21PM
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alan haigh

Check vigor of the varieties as well. This can have as much influence as rootsock. I estimate that a Northern Spy on M26 requires as much space as a Goldrush on 111.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 5:45AM
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2010champsbcs

Harvestman. Is there a site that list vigor of apple varieties. I see the importance but I just don't always know which is which. Thanks, Bill

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 6:03AM
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2010champsbcs

Harvestman. No problem now. I just google a copy and paste of your post. The list the vigor of several varieties. Thanks, Bill

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 6:14AM
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cartwrij

Thanks for all the help, I'm going with 5 trees over a 35' space. I'm going a bit experimental with my varieties, figuring why would I plant Jonagold in my yard when my farmer's market carries them anyway? I'm picking some apples I haven't seen around here, but supposedly are good for my zone (Rubinette, Kid's Orange Red). Should be fun. If it doesn't work out, I'll replace them with another variety, or keep them for fun anyway.

Now to read up on permaculture guilds for the apple trees.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 9:10PM
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