Need help with spacing new dwarf apples trees

NorthGa7A(7b)October 11, 2012

Anyone have experience growing apples on G-11 or G-16 rootstock? I have my order placed from Cummins for 15 dwarf apples on G-11 and G-16. I am doing some layout planning and I am unsure about spacing.

It seems that most of the literature on dwarf apples I have read is geared to commercial high density orchards and the recommendations call for 3 to 4 foot spacing. I want to maximize the space but I am thinking around 5 to 6 foot spacing for a homeowner orchard would be better.

Any input would be appreciated, thanks, Chris.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Chris:

I've used both those plus many others about the same vigor like M26 and M9. I'm with you, if you have enough land a spacing of about 6ft by 10ft up to 8ft by 12ft works very well. The commercial guys go thicker to maximize yield per acre as soon as possible. They are paying $6-8 per tree, we pay 2-3 times that much. The wider spacing gives you more bang for your tree dollar.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 9:30PM
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ltilton

The guys doing the close spacing are also pruning these trees very closely and usually training them on wires. As fruitnut says, that maximizes yield per acre, but letting them spread wider will maximize yield per tree.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 9:11AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Two years ago, I planted a row of apples on G11/B16/B9 (also from Cummins). I used 5 foot spacing and am pretty happy so far. One thing I would warn is to leave extra room in any spots you forsee yourself wanting to cross frequently. I had the row running down the middle of my backyard and if it wasn't for a tree which hasn't grown well (a blessing in disguise I suppose- Winecrisp on G11), I would have to keep going to one of the ends to cross the row.

From another thread, Scott answered the question as follows:

"Bob, if I were to do a new apple planting where I was not trying as many varieties as possible, I would probably do dwarf or semi-dwarf at 5'-7', with ~12' between rows. I have a few trees with that effective spacing and they seem to have the best balance for where they are located in terms of ease of care and production; they are on M9 to MM106 range stocks."

My planting this past spring was at 5-7'. I'm also planning another dozen apples for this spring at 5' (most being interstems and G16, with 1 each of B9/M9/G11/G65/M27).

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 9:07PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Thanks for quoting that Bob, I was about to type the same thing more or less :-)

If you have multiple rows I would do 12' between rows, I did 10' on most of my rows but the new rows I am using 12'+ on. Trees can grow into the rows more than you might think when they are tiny guys. The 10' is still OK but pruning is more difficult since trees from one row can sometimes touch the neighboring row.

Scott

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 11:11PM
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HGFzone8

You might want to throw in your thoughts on how you are going to support these trees. After two years a G11 can be pulled up by hand in a soil that is sandy.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 3:52PM
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NorthGa7A(7b)

Thanks for the imput, I plan to attach the trees to 10 foot galvanized poles, that seems to be a popular method of staking.

I will be tilling lime into the planting holes due to my clay soil having a ph of 5.0, I have read of some growers adding phosphorus to the planting holes to help with the roots get started, anyone else do that?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 11:28PM
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NorthGa7A(7b)

Thanks for the imput, I plan to attach the trees to 10 foot galvanized poles, that seems to be a popular method of staking.

I will be tilling lime into the planting holes due to my clay soil having a ph of 5.0, I have read of some growers adding phosphorus to the planting holes to help with the roots get started, anyone else do that?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 11:30PM
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