How to Grow Columnar Apples
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Columnar fruit trees have been specially developed for small spaces. They are fruit trees that grow upward instead of outward, achieving this by having a single column or trunk with short branches extending from them to be only about 2-3′ wide. Because of this shape, the trees are well-suited to small gardens such as urban or patio gardens.
Apples grown on columnar trees are normal sized, though less fruit is produced when compared to a standard sized or even dwarf tree. These unique trees they can be expensive to buy, but it’s well worth the expense because columnar apple trees can be depended on to produce fruit for up to 20 years.
Planting Columnar Apple Trees
Grow columnar apples in an appropriate sized large container about 20″ wide and 20″ deep.
To eliminate the guesswork in selecting the right size containers for your plants, we’ve put together a list of commonly grown herbs, veggies, fruit and flowers along with the minimum pot sizes required by each.
Starting a container garden? Grab my free guide on choosing the best sized pots for each veggie, fruit, and herb in your container garden – Veggie Garden Potting Guide
Columnar fruit trees require regular watering all year. Never let the soil get too soggy or too dry.
Fertilize with a balanced liquid fertilizer during growing season (Spring to Autumn) once every 4 weeks. Alternatively, you can opt for a granular slow-release plant food and feed once a year.
Where Can I Grow It?
Because they can grow up to 8 feet tall and 2 feet wide, you should grow columnar apples somewhere with the appropriate amount of space and plenty of sunshine. Keep in mind that you’ll need at least two trees in order for cross pollination to take place and for your trees to produce apples.
To make the most of small space, you can under plant columnar apple trees with flowers or other ground cover plants. Shallow rooted plants are best in this situation.
Make sure your apple tree is sheltered from harsh weather conditions.
Apple trees need to be pollinated with the pollen from another apple tree, so it is best to get at least two trees of different varieties.
Harvesting: Fruit expectations vary, depending on the variety and age of the plant. A mature, full grown columnar apple tree can yield approximately one-eighth bushel of apples per growing season.
Plants that grow well and provide benefits when planted near or around apple trees include: chives, nasturtium, leeks, garlic, and daffodils.
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