Major Slaughter of the Apple Trees!

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Major Slaughter of the Apple Trees!

Post  Blossom on Sat May 10, 2008 9:08 am

Well, I looked at the Espaliered trees in Pete's Patch and have done what he did - remove just about all the upright growth. This has left a rather bare looking couple of trees! The wires are getting stretched so I've decided to install the trellis we are taking down and create a 'wall' for them to espalier on. I have 4 laterals nearly trained and I will stop at 5. Will post a photo when I've finished. I just did this so I could get some twigs for the peas and while Bob was fetching the gravel.
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Re: Major Slaughter of the Apple Trees!

Post  Fran on Sat May 10, 2008 12:54 pm

I don't remember seeing large apple trees anywhere in Tassie. Saw them in closeup at Wychwood and the RHBG - and thought them a perfect size for any small garden. Do they prune these every year or is Pete on about maximizing space. Such lovely trees I don't think I'd be up for espalier in this case. Top me they're an exotic though I suppose Very Happy
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Re: Major Slaughter of the Apple Trees!

Post  Blossom on Sat May 10, 2008 1:26 pm

Most of the orchardists have them espaliered like grape vines these days. I think it has to do with mechanical harvesting because we don;t see the backpackers or pickers wanted signs any more. Mind you a lot of orchards got ploughed under a few years back. Especially those down the Huon. They are pruned every year. I do mine to keep them short and also as a 'wall, rather than a tree. There are a few espaliered ones at the back of Pete's Patch - near the fig trees. All are espaliered as examples of space saving. He takes out all upright growth to get a traditional espalier of 3 or 4 lateral arms. I'm aiming for 5. I guess for Queensland they are as exotic as custard apples are for us!
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Re: Major Slaughter of the Apple Trees!

Post  siri on Sat May 10, 2008 1:47 pm

My guess is those small trees are grown on dwarfing stock. I have ordered 12 trees from Woodbridge fruit trees in Tas for planting this winter. I intend to espalier them and keep them low so I can easily throw netting over the row of trees. Most of mine will be heritage apples. 12 sounds a lot but they should produce around 40 apples per tree at maturity, or more if the fruit are not thinned, I think they claim to produce the same weight in fruit whether they are thinned or not. With a family of 6 kids plus partenrs and grandies, there will always be hands out for the crop.
I have chosen varieties that crop from early - just after Christmas, to very late - right into mid winter, so we can eat fresh fruit from the tree for 6 months or more, with ample to bottle, stew or store. The 3 trees here are Fuji, Gala and Pink Lady. I have eaten most of the Gala and fuji myself, as they are still young trees. I have NEVER tasted such wonderful apples as these fully tree ripened fruits. If an apple a day can keep the doctor away, then I am keeping 3 or 4 doctors away here sunny
I had my ex gardener prune an apple tree once. He never made it to the second one. I caught him snipping off all the little fruiting spurs. He had no idea what they were for. All your fruit grow on those little gnarled spurs on the older branches, so cutting back the taller growth doesn't do any harm. Pulling the branches to the side - as you do when you espalier, encourages more fruiting spurs to grow, and espaliering allows light to penetrate through the branches, giving more even fruit maturity. It also makes access to the tree easier.
Cheers, Jan
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Re: Major Slaughter of the Apple Trees!

Post  Blossom on Sat May 10, 2008 2:59 pm

I have espaliered these two trees ever since we came here - so they are pretty well established, but this is the first year I've given them a really heavy pruning. We have had a great crop ever since the second year and it's been lovely for the kids to pick them at their height.
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