Edible shrub or small tree for foundation planting?

alabamanicole(7b)April 22, 2010

I'm looking for a small tree(s) or shrub(s) which can be trained to grow against the wall of my porch. Maximum height is 5-6', width about 7-8" and depth about 2' ish. I can provide support or it can be free standing. A twining vine would be okay if it can be controlled -- in our sunny climate a lot of plants tend to go wild and try to take over. The location is south facing, gets intense full sun and lots of heat and humidity. In the winter it will also be getting the brunt of the wind and weather, so sub-tropicals are out.

I don't mind pruning once or twice a year. I do want it to have some winter form, not die back to the ground.

I already have blueberries and rosemary elsewhere, and I'll be pulling out a very ugly and neglected rosemary shrub in that spot anyway. I think the location may be too hot for bush plums. Any other ideas?

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Apple/crab-apples can be pruned to grow pretty flat.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 2:50PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

Google "espalier". Depending on the plant species, this can be really easy, or really complex. Keep looking through for the easy possibilities. The fancy word just means an old practice of training certain plants to grow pretty close to, and mostly trained against, a fence or wall.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 8:09PM
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Thanks, I am familiar with espalier. The only tree that I can think of that is self-fruitful and won't attract yellow jackets around the front door is a persimmon, which isn't foundation-friendly.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 7:21AM
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Another idea might be a blackberry. You can manage it each year to the shape you want like an espalier tree. I have a thornless Black Satin.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 10:36PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance

Kumquats? We had one next to the previous house and it was great! No problems at all, except my ex coming over and snaking all the fruit off the thing!!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:02AM
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At that location, maybe Mahonia. i have seen that growing on south walls of buildings in zone 7. The flowers are fragrant, the fruit is edible. They are around 6" tall and I don't know if the landscaping classes there prune them down or not.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 9:52AM
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