Apple Tree Options for Small Spaces

Growing apple trees can be a viable option for people with limited space.

Benefits of smaller compact trees:

  • Saves space.
  • Provides easier access for pruning, picking and pest control.
  • Bears fruit at an earlier age.

basic-pruning-steps

Methods displayed in the Curran Orchard

Espalier is a technique of training trees through pruning and grafting that results in largely two -dimensional growth to create decorative patterns.

  • Use dwarfing root stock so the tree doesn’t outgrow its space.
  • Support trees with a wall, fence or wire trellis.
  • Train trees while branches are young and flexible.
  • Prune to develop a uniform structure and form fruiting spurs.belgian-fence

The Curran Apple Orchard sign along Grandview Drive is an example of Espalier, as is the Belgian Fence growing near the barn.

Slender Spindle

The slender spindle training system keeps a tree small and productive by managing height andslender-spindlepruning and positioning small lateral fruiting branches.

  • Use mini-dwarf rootstock.
  • Only prune shoots and branches growing in the wrong direction.
  • Provide a permanent support system. Ensure adequate moisture.

The High Density area of the Curran Orchard is an example of theĀ Slender Spindle and V-trellis techniques. This area contains approximately 40 trees, on mini-dwarf rootstock, within an area previously occupied by two apple trees.