How much land do you own / manage and how many how many food trees (fruit or nut) are on the land?
1/4 acre -- 400 trees. That averages out to a 5'x5' area for each tree. In actuality its more like 10'x2.5' - rows 10' apart and trees 2.5' apart within.
80'x60' -12'x12'shed -30'x30'garden = 7 apples, 2 cherries, 2 grapes.
The 30x30 will probably be taken down to 24x30 and 3-4 more trees added.
There's also a butternut in the front yard which isn't included in the 80'x60'.
Scott: How many of your trees do you find have excessive vigor at this dense spacing; most or just a few? I tried 5ft by 10 ft in CA and found it too vigorous for most stone fruit. But I was over watering and over fertilizing; didn't realize it then. I'm doing very well at 6ft by 8ft in my greenhouse with moderate vigor. I did well in Amarillo with apples at about 5ft by 8ft on M9. That site was moderately high vigor.
My apple trees outside now lack enough vigor on M9 and M26 at a spacing of 6ft by 10ft. I'm going to M111 at about 7ft by 15ft.
Fruitnut, I have found 2.5x10 generally to be fine. The problem is the closer spacing I tried - I did a zig-zag on plums which put them about 2' apart on average and that was too hard to prune. In the last year I have re-trained most of them in that planting to either Y or spindle shapes so there would be much more breathing room.
Well now that I think of it the cherries didn't work very well at 2.5x10. Maybe it was how I was pruning them or their location which is a bit low in sun, but they just didn't produce much fruit. I took out a few this spring to give the remaining cherries more room. My most productive plum planting is at 2.5x10 and its working great. Ditto for peaches which are easier to keep small and productive than plums. Dwarf apples are very easy at 2.5x10; I have some apple trees closer than that (a zig-zag averaging a tree every row-foot) and that one is a mixed success.
My orchard is about 3,800 square feet.
I have 4 semi-dwarf apples
17 dwarf apples (8 on a trellis)
3 asparagus beds 3' x 12' each
small herb garden 4' x 5'
regular garden 16' x 18'
There's plenty of room to walk around, drive the tractor. I plan on putting a bench, hammock, adding 4 more dwarf apples this fall, one more dwarf cherry and three blueberry bushes spring of 2010. There are pics on my page if you want to get an idea.
I have almost 2/3 acre with a house, shed, numerous veggie beds, 32 fruit trees in ground and 6 fig trees in pots. All planted last 2 years, so will see how it turns out.
Fruit trees are mixed. Plums, cherries, apricots, apple, pear, Asian pears, nectarines, peaches, persimmons, mulberry.
I've got 8 trees in a backyard of about 40' by 40' or so. I think I can fit in about three more, but they'll be at the bottom of the hill where the drainage isn't quite as good. I've also got a fairly large rose garden, a raspberry patch, and a small veggie garden back there so it isn't all trees.
Is this spacing ok for Texas? I can have way more than I thought!
Roughly 100' X 30' with 26 fruit trees. This fall I will be adding 8-10 more fruit trees and 1-3 nut trees. Around the same time I plan on gifting or trading 8 fig trees and two Asian Pear trees to make room for the new trees.
1/8th acre including my house.
50+ trees, total of 100+ fruit bearing plants (I was going to copy my list, but I don't have it on this computer). two dozen or so figs in containers as well (included in the 100+ number)
I'm sure I am stunting the growth of some of my trees (jujube's for one...thin and spindly, I'm almost afraid to let fruit form...pencil thickness would be a relief) and others are having fruiting difficulties due to spacing constraints (Pawpaw fruit are all wiped out by squirrels trying to get to my mulberries and kiwis).
I've reached saturation at this point in my yard...My mother in law has taken pity on me and given me nigh free reign in her double lot....
40-50 semi dwarf trees on 1/4 acre. Some are 18 feet some are just planted bare root. Their are another 40-50 trees at a cabin Upstate NY. Assorted vegetable gardens, kiwi, strwberry, asparagras, brambles, blueberries, figs.
1 and 1/3rd acre, 400 fruiting plants plus flowering trees/shrubs/vines and a veggie garden. I tend to plant in groups, and many of my older trees are on dwarfing rootstocks so it is easy to keep them small.
An example - on Fruit Tree Hill I have a Barbados Cherry, Cacao, Cinnamon, Ice Cream Mango, Alano Sapodilla, Papayas, Red Lime, many Bananas, Pineapples, Pomegranates, KM Sugar Apple and Coffees. A Black Bat Plant, Starfish Clerodendrums, and a nice small Blue-flowering ground cover add color and interest. The arch we walk through next to FTH is covered with Passion vines, Possum Purple and Yellow-fruiting varieties. On the left of the arch are various Annonas, Citrus, Bamboo, Cashew, Ylang ylang, Moringas, African Tulip Tree, and Orchids tucked into the Palmetto hedge. As you can see, we fit a lot of plants together, and the end result is very nice!
I have many fruiting plants in containers too, on the patio. That is how my collection started, since I had to grow close to the house to try to prevent theft by squirrels. Since we got our Jack Russell Terrier, we no longer worry about squirrels.
Have fun choosing your plants!
Scott, you must be using the spindle method. Care to give us details as to
- amount of work compared to vase or espalier
- which fruit trees lend themselves best (with my limited experience, I'd try only dwarf apples and non-vigorous plums) to the method, and which can not
- do you only have traditional (stone, apple and pear) fruits or also, say, serviceberries
- anything else of interest regarding this method.