where is the dripline on espaliers

mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)September 8, 2013

I am growing my fruits as espalier on basicaly raised bed line. The soil is clay rich so I tilled added sand, organic material and modified so that I basically have raised rows about 100' by 3-4' wide.

The branch arms go or will be going sideways to about 6 feet. The trees are planted abiut 12 feet apart.

SO..... where is the dripline? Under standard definition it is a 12 inch strip 6 feet from the trink at the end of the horizontal branches.

So where do I fertilize?

Thanx, Mike

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Mike:

Place fertilizer where you irrigate if you irrigate. If you don't irrigate I'd spread the fertilizer on top of your raised bed. That's the best soil so there will be plenty of roots to absorb the fertilizer. If you spread mulch the best place would be under the mulch. Depending on the mulch used that might be enough fertilizer in itself.

I'm not big on fertilizer unless the plants or a soil test indicate a deficiency. Too much, especially nitrogen, can lower fruit eating quality and cause excessive growth which can increase disease issues.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 12:38PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Fruitnut

Most of my trees are still very young most only the second year in my orchard from bareroot whips.

This year I have had 36 inches of growth on many so it seems that fertilization is not yet indicated except for maybe some individual trees or for specific needs that become apparent. The rows are covered by 3-4 inches of shredded trees and wood chips. I have noticed nice mushroom growth recently and ii tthink this is good.

Mike

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 2:25PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Mike:

I agree with your line of reasoning. That much growth on young fruit trees in zone 6 is plenty. They will slow down as the plants mature but that is what you want.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 3:11PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Question..... If I spread any fertilizer on top of the mulch, will it work its way down through the mulch by rain and watering?
Mike

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:12PM
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steve_in_los_osos

I'm so glad to see someone asking this question and I hope I'm not hijacking the thread by me-tooing. I have a number of espaliers going (two year-old citrus and 1-year pomegranate and persimmon) and can't decide what is the best way to water or feed.

The citrus are along a fence so I made a semicircle drip spiral that goes nearly to the ends of the cordons but only about 2 ft. in front of the trunk. For the others i just set up a circular drip spiral like I have for my non-espaliered trees. I have very sandy soil (dune sand) and if you can get it wet it drains pretty fast. And I use chippings from tree trimming for mulch.

But am I wasting water with these arrangements? I know that grape growers only have their emitters in line with the cordons and then only a few emitters. Of course, those soils are very different and grapes don't want water like a fruit tree (I suppose).

So where are the roots for an espaliered tree? We're always told that the root structure of a tree mirrors the canopy. Surely that can't be true for an espalier?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:47PM
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