Semi Dwarf fruit tree spacing

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On Tue, 28 Mar 2006 08:27:51 -0800, "Zootal" <nousenetspam at dead ice dot us> wrote:

Zootal, I wish I knew what kind of fruit tree you are talking about. I have done some experimenting with dwarf trees. I have 8, seven year old dwarf peach trees that I set out 6 ft apart and pruned them in several configurations over the years. I probably average about 7 to 10 bushels of peaches per year total.
The concept behind this is spray and water conservation. I am also experimenting with growing dwarf apple trees on a wire(like grapes).
On your pruning, it too depends on what you have. If it is a peach, it should have been headed back at time of setting out. If it is apple, no, second or third year light pruning to control size and shape of tree.- -you must know what wood produces fruit. For example, a peach only produces fruit on wood that is grown last year. So in February (when I prune) don't cut off all the new wood or you won't have a fruit crop.
I know this may well be contradicted by some of the more "well read" individuals. This is only my opinion based on experience, not some book. I pruned my first peach tree around 1946 as I recall, and have pruned several since.
Have a good day--The Oldtimer.
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Don't worry 'old timer'. You are right on target about pruning retarding fruit production. Peach trees generally don't get too large, even as seedlings, but cutting down the tops to encourage spreading of branches seems to work well for that kind of fruit, certainly not apples. I'm not sure what kind of rootstock you have, but most peach trees being sold are only slightly dwarfing. The really stronger dwarfing peach rootstocks seem to still be somewhat experimental, and many of them have problems such as poor cold tolerance or bad compatibility in the graft union. I'm still waiting for them to develop a suitable dwarfing rootstock that will take a peach tree significantly smaller than a standard seedling.
Sherwin D.
Rogerx wrote:

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Seems like you have planted them at about the minimum spacing. There are many variations of size of dwarf trees depending on the exact type of rootstock and the vigor of the scion. You may have to do some pruning, if they start to
bump into each other.
No need to do any pruning while they are still young, assuming they were initially trimmed by the supplier. They should have a distinct leader branch, so if this is not evident, I would select that branch and trim off any competing branches. No need to trim off the smaller branches, unless they are too close to the graft.
Most fruit sets on the new growth of branches, so excessive trimming of them will effectively eliminate their giving fruit for the next season. It is
recommended to remove any fruit that appear the first season of production, assuming they only number a handful. This will encourage the young tree to put it's energy into the roots to give a stronger tree. You can then harvest fruit in successive seasons. In general, it is better to do your pruning when the tree is dormant, although one can do some lighter pruning in the summer.
Sherwin D. Zootal wrote:

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you are fine. in fact, Bay Laurel has a good read on back yard orchards and that includes planting 2 or more small trees in the SAME HOLE. I dont prune them at all when planting unless there is a crossing or broken branch. the basic idea of semi dwarf or fully dwarf trees is to prune IN SUMMER when what you cut off will not stimulate new growth or suckers AND will prevent growth in the direction of the branch that was cut. http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/orchard/orchard.html the best part about cutting in summer to control height is that you KNOW which branches are producing fruit and where the fruit spurs are. I have had a problem with over setting of fruit and find it hard to thin the fruit off. I keep waiting for natural "fruit drop" and then never get around to thinning. I now have trees produce every other year. and I let them grow out of control one year. this last summer I seriously headed them back. I cannot believe how vigorous they are in those 100 gallon rubbermaid pots. Ingrid
"Zootal" <nousenetspam at dead ice dot us> wrote:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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Ingrid,
I agree with most of what you say, but I think putting two fruit trees in the same hole is not a good idea. They will compete with each other for resources and generally get in each other's way. Biennial producing trees are not good. You should do some aggressive thinning to get them back on an annual schedule.
Sherwin
snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote:

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<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en"> <html> Ingrid, <p>I agree with most of what you say, but I think putting two fruit treesin the same hole <br>is not a good idea.&nbsp;&nbsp; They will compete with each other forresources and generally <br>get in each other's way.&nbsp; Biennial producing trees are not good.&nbsp;You should do some aggressive thinning to get them back on an annual schedule. <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Sherwin
read on back yard orchards and that <br>includes planting 2 or more small trees in the SAME HOLE. <br>I dont prune them at all when planting unless there is a crossing orbroken branch. <br>the basic idea of semi dwarf or fully dwarf trees is to prune IN SUMMERwhen what you <br>cut off will not stimulate new growth or suckers AND will prevent growthin the <br>direction of the branch that was cut.<br><a href="http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/orchard/orchard.html ">http://weloveteaching.com/landscape/orchard/orchard.html </a> <br>the best part about cutting in summer to control height is that youKNOW which <br>branches are producing fruit and where the fruit spurs are.&nbsp; Ihave had a problem <br>with over setting of fruit and find it hard to thin the fruit off.&nbsp;I keep waiting <br>for natural "fruit drop" and then never get around to thinning.&nbsp;I now have trees <br>produce every other year.&nbsp; and I let them grow out of controlone year.&nbsp; this last <br>summer I seriously headed them back.&nbsp; I cannot believe how vigorousthey are in those <br>100 gallon rubbermaid pots.&nbsp; Ingrid <p>"Zootal" &lt;nousenetspam at dead ice dot us> wrote: <p>>I have about a dozen "semi-dwarf" fruit trees, each planted 12 feetapart. <br>>Does anyone have experience with such trees? Did I plant them tooclose <br>>together? <br>> <br>>Also, when initially planting them as bare root trees, how severelyshould <br>>they be pruned? And once they start to bud out, is it too late toprune <br>>them? <br>> <p>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <br>List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at<br><a href="http://weloveteaching.com/puregold /">http://weloveteaching.com/puregold /</a> <br>sign up: <a href="http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup ">http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&amp ;q=puregold&amp;qt_s=Group+lookup</a><br>www.drsolo.com <br>Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame<br>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <br>I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregoldwebsite. <br>I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregoldsite. <br>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <br>Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan</blockquote></html>
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I ordered 10 different dwarf/semi-dwarf fruit trees after moving here (4 apples, 2 pears, 2 peaches,and two cherries), and the instructions said put them 10 to 15 ft apart. If they try to bother each other, you can always prune them in a way to control how they grow. I think your spacing will be fine.
Dwayne
"Zootal" <nousenetspam at dead ice dot us> wrote in message

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Thanks to all that responded. My trees were purchased at costco, and consist of 2 cherries, 2 pears, 2 apricots, 2 peaches, 3 apples, 2 plums...and I'm missing something but there were 13-14 trees, all semi-dwarf. I read somewhere to put them 10-15 feet apart also, so I settled on 12 feet because they fit better into the space I wanted to put them - I have a *huge* apple tree that dominates a good chunk of my yard.
BTW, how big can apple trees get? This thing is huge - trunk about 3 feet diameter, branch spread about...um...30+ feet or so. And each year it drops a bazillion apples. Which cause me to ask - what was I thinking when I bought 3 more apple trees? :P

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well... the whole idea of dwarf fruit trees is they produce very young, like the next year after you plant them = precocious. you can control them, spray them, prune and pick them without a ladder. they produce less on each tree, and the idea is to get trees with fruit ripens at different times to spread your "take" out over a longer season. it is even possible to have them in cages to keep the critters out, have fine netting around them to keep the moths and other bugs off them so much less spraying. Ingrid
"Zootal" <nousenetspam at dead ice dot us> wrote:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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Unless that huge apple tree (they can easily get to be 30 feet, or more) has some very good tasting fruit, I would pull it out and replace it with dwarfs. You probably don't even have a ladder tall enough to get at the top of the tree. If the fruit is special to you, take a branch off and graft it to a dwarfing rootstock.
Sherwin D.
Zootal wrote:

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The tree has been pruned so that it has 8 - 10 big branches that sprawl outwards, starting at about 8-10 feet off of the ground. I can't reach anything on the tree without a ladder. I actually like the tree, I think I'll let it grow this year and see how it produces - I bought the property a few months ago, and don't know how the tree will grow or produce. I'll see if I can find some pics of the tree, maybe some here can look at it and offer their opinion. It's quite old, the bark has a lot of woodpecker holes in it and is peeling in places. I'm not sure of the overall health of the tree.

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