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Cork Independent

Home & Property

Fruit trees for all gardens

Wednesday, 30th October, 2019 4:39pm

Margaret Griffin

If you’re short on space in the garden but would love to grow fruit, I have the solution!

There is nothing as nice as going out and picking an apple from your garden and you don’t need an orchard to do so. Have you heard of espalier or curly multi fruit trees?

Espalier trees

These do not require any special skills by the grower but it takes time to achieve good results. Training apples and pears such as espaliers are a space-saving way of growing fruit on a wall or fence. They require little pruning once established and are attractive in blossom. For small gardens, espaliers in containers or planted along a brick wall provide interest and life to plain wall.

It will provide instant vertical impact to the space without taking valuable square footage. In theory, any tree or large shrub can be made into an espalier, but it is essential to select a species that will ultimately fit your space and conditions.

What started as a way to grow trees in small spaces has turned into an art form. Espaliers allow a gardener to create a beautiful work of art that will grace the landscape with interest in all four seasons.

Plant your apple trees in full sun, from six to eight hours a day, on well drained and fertile soil about 15 feet apart. A south-east or west facing wall, fence or building is best.

You'll have to support the developing branches with a trellis system, so select a site where you can run a wire trellis outlining the ultimate shape of the tree.

Anchor your wires into the wall or attach them to the fence. It may take three to five years to get the entire fruit tree structure in place. Your tree, though, should start bearing fruit in a few years. You may have to prune two to three times a year to keep the tree in shape.

Curly multi fruit trees

This is an exciting addition to our fruit tree range. This unique plant has a total of four delightful types of fruit curled around each other.

A delicious autumn apple, a juicy dessert pear, a fresh and sweet plum and a deliciously sweet cherry are all in one pot together. I am growing mine on our patio so I can run out and pick fresh fruit in the morning.

The tree is self-pollinating and requires very little maintenance. Location is probably the most important factor. Ensure this plant gets enough sunlight.

Make sure sunlight gets through the tree by bending outwards some branches that are growing straight up. Occasionally cut away some thicker branches that are crowding the plant.

If this plant is in a pot ensure that you feed it well and remember its only source of water in summer is from you.

Like all fruit trees, give the tree a generous amount of organic fertiliser in both autumn and spring.

For the month of November, Griffins will be hosting free demonstrations every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 11am. This Friday and Saturday, be inspired by Margaret as she reveals the Christmas themes and trends for 2019.

If you wish to be placed on Griffins mailing list for all upcoming events, email your details to or check out the website,

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