- Features of columnar trees
- Planting dwarf trees on your site
- Selection of seedlings
- Site selection and soil preparation
- Planting seedlings
- Care and feeding
- Winter care
- Cutting methods
These trees are so unusual that they can be not only a part of the garden, but also its decoration. How do columnar apple trees differ from dwarf ones? What are the characteristics of these fruit trees? How to choose seedlings and decorate your plot with these miniatures? You will learn about all this from our article..
Not every summer cottage has free space for spreading fruit trees. So you also want lush flower beds, berry bushes, and next to them a gazebo and a pond, and a barbecue. Columnar or dwarf fruit trees will be both an ornament and a wide variety of fruit trees. They can be placed not only in a separate place, but throughout the entire territory of the site, as decorative columns.
Features of columnar trees
Dwarf (columnar) fruit trees cannot be called any special species or variety. This is a hybrid tree, which is grown in special nurseries on dwarf low-growing stocks. Fruits are formed on ringlets (spears – fruit formations). They are divided into 3 types:
- Dwarf – up to 2 m.
- Semi-dwarf – up to 3 m, may have a conical crown.
- Vigorous – up to 4 meters.
Trees grafted in this way bear fruit for about 15 years. They can have different shapes: even (columnar) and branched, depending on the cut.
All columnar trees are different from each other. Some of them grow in a column, the fruits are located on the crown itself. Others can be branched, which can be shaped by pruning so that the remaining sprouts branch out at an acute angle while maintaining the shape of a curvy column. Such “branched” (from 3 to 5 branches) are called dwarf.
There are noticeable advantages over vigorous rootstocks, but there are also disadvantages.
- Fruiting begins at 2 years.
- There is no such growth as in ordinary ones – the volume of the crown is small, regular fruiting, juicy fruits. It would be fair to add – not all fruits are tasty..
- In a small area, they can be planted thicker, which will allow you to simultaneously have all types of fruits: apple, pear, plum, cherry, sweet cherry.
- You can not beware of the proximity of groundwater in specific areas (at least 1.5 m) from the soil surface, thanks to the small root system (no more than 1 m).
- Easy to care for and harvest.
- Frequent watering is required, since the root system is superficial.
- Supports required. In open areas, seedlings can bend and break from gusts of wind, the weight of snow. It is easier to wrap up trees near the support for the winter.
Planting dwarf trees on your site
Selection of seedlings
First of all, attention should be paid to the choice of seedlings, so as not to purchase another fruit tree instead of a columnar apple or pear. Choose only those varieties that are recommended for your area.
Dwarf – have a noticeable feature – their roots are fibrous. That is, there should not be a central rod at the root!
In a dwarf seedling, a protrusion is clearly visible above the root collar, in the form of a defect (scar, damage, bend). This is the place where the game is cut above the fruit bud grafted onto it..
At the ends and throughout the crown of the seedling there are large buds.
Site selection and soil preparation
Planting holes should be dug and fertilized in advance so that the soil is enriched with all nutrients. For spring planting – in autumn, and for autumn planting – 2 months before disembarkation. The soil in the area set aside for planting dwarf trees must be loosened to a depth of 50 cm.
Important! When preparing the pit, we use only the top layer of soil saturated with organic matter. Subsequently, for burying the seedling, the missing part of the land can be taken from the rows. Surface layer only!
When choosing a location, it is worth considering that, with a fibrous root system, trees can be damaged by strong winds. Therefore, it is advisable to plant them with a reliable support or near a fence. You can fertilize the planting holes only with rotted manure, compost or those fertilizers that the breeder recommends when buying seedlings..
Important! You can not fertilize the soil with fresh manure!
Planting columnar seedlings is similar to the technique of planting vigorous fruit. But it is necessary to take into account some of the features of this species, which will subsequently allow to obtain a bountiful harvest..
If the purchased seedlings are in special containers, this makes the task easier – an earthen lump must be placed on the bottom of the hole and dug in. It is more difficult with open roots. They must be dipped in a clay solution, spread the roots over an earthen mound poured in the pit, sprinkled with earth and compacted. In any case, it is necessary to plant so that the root collar is 4-5 cm above ground level. After planting, the seedlings must be watered abundantly. You can add a weak solution of potash fertilizers when watering. Potassium mitigates stress and increases plant adaptation. You also need to take care of creating a support for the plant..
Care and feeding
In order for trees to complete their annual growth on time, fertilizing should be stopped in the middle of summer. Otherwise, the growing branches and buds will not get stronger before the onset of cold weather, and the trunk will begin to hurt. Recommended 3-time feeding for the whole summer, the first one – with the appearance of the first leaves: fresh mullein diluted with water (1/10 l), or chicken manure infusion (1 kg / 30 l). Saltpeter – 1 tbsp. l. 10 l.
Treatment of dwarf trees from diseases and insects follows the same pattern as vigorous ones.
For the winter, trees need shelter from frost and rodents. You can use white lutrasil or spunbond for this. Roots can be covered with spruce branches or dry branches.
Dwarf pruning depends on what shape of the tree is needed. If there is only one column, then you need to remove the side shoots. If you wish, you can leave 2-3, but at the same time it should be remembered that the fibrous root system of these hybrids is designed for only one column.
From one column (1.5 m), you can collect 5-6 kg of fruit. From a branched dwarf – up to 10 kg.
Giving preference to the original design of your site with compact fruit-bearing trees-columns, in a small area there will be enough space for beds with vegetables, and for a lush flower bed, and for a gazebo by the reservoir.