Growing fruit trees together

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by Quantum Flux, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. Quantum Flux

    Quantum Flux Member

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    I’m excited to be moving to a new house where I can grow a food garden. I know very little about horticulture however.

    I was wondering if it’s possible to grow three different fruit trees (say apples, plums, and lemons) in the same spot and slowly twist them together to end up with a kind of Frankenstein-tree that bears the three different fruits.

    Is this possible? Are they likely to just suffocate each other?
     
  2. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Not together. You need 2 apple or 2 plum (of the right varieties that will pollinate each other) so that they'll pollinate and bear fruit. You can get a tree that has 2 (or more) types grafted to the same rootstock so your double/multi-grafted tree will bear fruit, but you can't mix up apples, stonefruit and citrus. (there are multi-grafted ones called "fruit salad trees", but one of the grafts might out-grow the others and they'll cark it, leaving the "boss" to live happily alone. ) Citrus don't need a "mum" and a "dad" so will grow on their own.

    You can't twist the trunks of trees like that. They do sell ornamentals where they've "plaited" 2 ficus or something together, but not fruit trees. You need to prune them so they are open, otherwise you can get fungus/rot happening. You can plant more than one citrus into one hole, but again, one will/may outgrow the others.

    EDIT: if your aim is to get lots of fruit happening, look at dwarf varieties and/or growing in pots. You don't need as much room for those.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Quantum Flux

    Quantum Flux Member

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    Thanks for the reply. That's all really useful info. Since it's a rental, I might do as you suggest and grow some dwarf varieties in pots. That way I shouldn't need permission from the landlord.
     
  4. Lord Belial

    Lord Belial Member

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    Damn broccoli, you should be on Gardening Australia :)
    You might as well ask the landlord if they mind you planting the things you propose, the worst they can say is no. If it's currently just a bunch of dirt they might feel you're improving the rentability/value of the property by getting some greenery and food going in there :)

    I didn't ask my landlord before I planted a bunch of herbs in an otherwise empty planter, but thought if they don't like it I can just pull them up when I move out. Haven't said anything about it in a year of inspections.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  5. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Herbs are a different proposition to fruit trees. You couldn't just pull up an established tree and it'd leave a huge gap in the garden if you paid to have it removed. Also, it takes years for an apple or stonefruit to get established, unless OP has a very long lease, it'd never do him any good, he'd see no fruit.

    Using pots is a good idea. Keep in mind that they will be heavy and difficult to move if/when you have to move. You need big pots, and potting mix gets heavy in large volumes. Citrus is a good start (not sure how they go in Canberra?). There are apple trees called "ballerina" which grown in a column instead of the usual apple tree way. You could also look at those.

    Actually, growing some herbs would be a good start to gardening instead of going full on with fruit trees.

    EDIT: oh and thanks for the compliment Lord Belial, but I'm fairly clueless about fruit, I only know the basics.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  6. Hater

    Hater Member

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    Citrus is fine here just keep 'em covered in the frosty winters
     
  7. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Thanks, Hater, citrus is a go!
     
  8. trop

    trop Member

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    I've got dwarf lemon, lime & mandarin trees in my bbq area in pots. I keep the nutrients up to them as they only have a small space to draw from and I get nice crops of 30-40 good sized fruit off of each variety each season.

    With your original idea of growing multiple trees together, plum/apple/nectarine etc wont grow well close to citrus.

    You can graft similar type trees to one rootstock - ie lemon, lime, orange can be grafted to the one rootstock and similarly you can graft peach, nectarine, etc onto one tree. Grafting buds is relatively easy once you figure out how to do the cuts and having the proper grafting tape & knife makes it easier as well.


    As for broccoli's advice on the plum & apple trees, not all varieties need 2 to produce. A lot of the ones sold in bunnings/nurseries are self polinating trees so you only need 1.
     
  9. Revenge

    Revenge Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    l_ QuadX_l and Lord Belial like this.
  10. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Kosta looks like he's in hobbitland in that photo. Crop out his shirt and he could be hanging with that Frodo guy. :D

    trop, thanks for the info re self-pollinating varieties. If you go to the nursery for stonefruit or apple, just check. Also look at the growth habit and check whether it should fit where you want. Even with the stated "size", it can vary, depending on where you live. Sometimes they don't really tell you the truth about how huge something can get.
     
  11. ShadowBurger

    ShadowBurger Member

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    just moved into a rental with a lemon tree, a kumquat tree, and a greenhouse :D it's awesome having fresh fruit! when I buy a place i'll be building a huge veggie garden
     
  12. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Member

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    you can buy a fruit salad tree. They have up to 5 fruits on the one tree. The makers graft the different trees onto a hardy root stock. I think they are about $100.
     
  13. l_ QuadX_l

    l_ QuadX_l Member

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    Gandalf the Gardener? :D
     

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