Olla pots for fruit trees?

txdurkApril 7, 2014

I'm 35 or so miles NW of Houston in zone 8b. I ordered three apple trees (Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady) all on M7 rootstock that should ship this week from a northern nursery. I m considering planting the three in the same hole ~24" apart in a triangle shape. I use ollas for my potted berries and the plants seem to enjoy them (so do the fire ants). Since the trees will be in a triangle shape an olla centrally located seems to me to be a logical way to keep them hydrated through a typical Texas summer. One olla maker suggests it is only appropriate for vegetables & such and not for trees. They don't explain why though so I am asking the forum. Does anyone know if the use of an olla for fruit trees is a bad idea?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

It should help but won't be adequate by itself. You'll need to water heavily at least out to the dripline. Assuming you are talking one pot inside the triangle of trees it's just not nearly enough water.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 12:37PM
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I would think it would inhibit the trees from sending their roots outward and thus make them less secure and stable in the ground.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 1:12PM
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I won't have a drip line. At least I hadn't planned on one. Maybe I'll rethink but I was concerned with chloramine in the water killing microbes and trees are spread around a half acre. Soo, A 1.5 gallon olla buried 12" sounded like a good idea to me. I can supplement water manually on a daily basis if need be during the summer months from a stock tank that has aged water in it. I'm retired so being a water jockey is ok.

I hadn't thought about stability itilton. Good thinking.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 2:14PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Those three trees on M7 in 5 years will probably use 40 to 60 gallons per day. Maybe you'll get half that in rain but not always.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 2:23PM
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Thanks fruitnut. Obviously I need to rethink. First off, I'll need to plant the three trees with normal spacing. They would be competing with each other too much for resources in a 3 in 1 hole design. Second, I may need to go with a drip line. Cheers.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 2:30PM
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