Espallier Fruit Tree Questions
I would like to make a "living fence" containing plum, pear, and apple trees. The space I have to work with is roughly 36 feet long. I would like a 4-tiered horizontal cordon with cordons at 18, 36, 54 and 72" above ground.
Last spring I purchased the following trees: Plums:
The first horizontal cordon is growing well and I am now starting the second cordon. The trees are currently in containers but will be planted in the ground once I have things figured out.
My original idea was to graft each pair of trees together so that I would have three combination trees (two horizontal cordons of each variety per tree): Plum (Santa Rosa/Elephant Heart)
Apple (Queen Cox/Honeycrisp)
Each tree would be 12 feet wide for a total of 36 feet.
What would the best way be to do the grafting? Should the main trunk be grafted onto (between the second and third cordons) or would it be better to graft onto the side branches? Would the trees even grow 12 feet wide?
Or would it be better to have separate trees (each 6 feet wide)? This seems a lot easier and more prone to success.
The Santa Rosa and Elephant Heart plums will pollinate each other, right? The Santa Rosa ripens mid-July and the Elephant Heart ripens in September. Is that OK, or should I replace one with something better? If so, what?
I was told the Hosui Asian Pear and Morettini European-style pear will pollinate each other. Is that right or is there a better combination? I would prefer both an Asian style and European style.
Is the Queen Cox really self-fertile? The Honeycrisp may have been a bad idea. I see now that it is for zones 3-6 and I am in zone 7b. Having just one apple tree would be OK if that's all I need. Or would it be better to pick another complementary variety? If so, what?
Thanks for any help you can give me. This is a long-term process and I want to get started correctly.