Features of growing trellis apple trees
Trees growing on trellises has been used for a long time, in order to be able to place a whole garden on a relatively small area. How to use this technique for apple trees - read below.
What are trellis apple trees
Trellis apple trees are not a single variety. The name implies a special technology for growing crops using trellis, similar to those used in the cultivation of tomatoes, cucumbers, but intended for trees. The use of such a technique began about 200 years ago in Switzerland and France, from where it spread to other countries.
Did you know? Apples are the third most common fruit in the world after pears and peaches.
For cultivation using the trellis method, only varieties on a dwarf rootstock, characterized by slow shoot formation, or dwarf and columnar species are suitable. The tree is initially located on a support, from which the trellises extend to the sides. It is to them that skeletal branches are fixed.
With the help of such devices, you can create a whole trellis series that will play not only a practical, but also an aesthetic role. There is also the option of growing apple trees in the immediate vicinity of the walls of farm buildings, fences and houses. With this approach, plant branches are fixed directly to the wall.
How is the trellis installed on the apple tree
The trellis is made of iron or wooden poles with a frame on which a wire cloth or slats are fixed (wood, metal). The seedling immediately lands in the immediate vicinity of the main trellis pillar. In the process of development, during the annual pruning period, the branches are formed in a way that is convenient for themselves and fastened to slats or wire cloth.
Trellis can be vertical and horizontal. The difference between them is the location of the supporting supports for the branches. In the first version, the wire cloth or slats are attached from the bottom up, in the second - horizontally. The supports themselves are located at a distance of 15–20 cm. The second interpretation is more convenient for fruit crops, therefore it is used more often.
Vertical trellis is suitable for the formation of decorative trees, from which they are not expected to harvest. The fact is that in apple trees, only fruit branches that are located horizontally, at an angle of 70–90 ° relative to the trunk produce fruits, but vertical growths do not form an ovary.
Features of planting and growing do-it-yourself trellis apple trees
Planting a trellis apple tree is practically no different from a regular one. This method involves the proximity of trees to each other and in a row. For cultivation, you first need to choose the brightest place on the site, with a groundwater table of no closer than 2 m. Planting is best done in the spring before buds open, from mid-April to late May (for different regions, planting time will differ depending on weather conditions).
Autumn planting for trellis apple trees is impractical, because immediately after this manipulation it is necessary to perform pruning, and it will take a lot of effort on the tree to restore, which will reduce the rate of root survival. For trellis cultivation, a one-, two- or three-year-old seedling is suitable. But one-year-olds have the best survival rate, plus, they are easier to form.
Important! Buy seedlings for growing on trellises only in specialized nurseries. These points of sale offer customers high-quality grafted specimens adapted to the climate conditions of a particular area.
The landing area should be prepared in six months. First you need to clear it.Then dig the soil to a depth of 30 cm, disinfect with 3% solution of copper sulfate. After 10 days, it is necessary to re-dig to the same depth, having previously made for each 1 m² of:
- 10 kg of sand and peat;
- 20 kg of manure;
- 300 g of superphosphate.
After another 10 days, the main trellis posts are installed. It looks something like this:
Pillars are best made of wood. If you plan to grow trees that in height will reach a height of 2-3 m, a distance of 1.5 m is left between the posts, 1 m will be enough for dwarf specimens, and 60 cm at all will be columnar-like. Directly near these piles will be planted trees.
When the poles are installed, screens are attached to them, from which several rows of wire are stretched or wooden beams are nailed. The height of the supporting piles depends on the variety of trees that you plan to grow. For dwarf ones, a height of 1.5–2 m will be sufficient, taller specimens 3 m, column-shaped specimens 0.8–1 m. Columns should have such a height above the soil level, and they should be dug 1 m deep into them.Devices for tensioning the wire when installing the trellis: a - “Flu” machine; b and d - levers for tensioning the wire; c - a device for pulling the wire; d - blocks with a vice for tensioning the wire; e - ratchet stretcher
This is the end of the autumn preparation process. In the spring, about a month before the landing, the second stage of preparatory work on the site begins. The soil is cultivated again, disinfected. In spring, instead of copper sulphate, you can use the Fitosporin solution (5:10). A week later, for repeated digging, 20 kg of compost or rotted manure + 10 kg of peat-sand mixture + 500 g of wood ash are added.
After digging, the site is leveled to retain moisture in the soil.
A week before landing, digging landing pits. They are made 60 cm deep. The main task: to dig a hole so that the support pillar is in the central part. The upper 30 cm of soil is laid separately, the lower ones are transferred to another part of the territory. The prepared top layer is mixed with:
- 10 kg of compost;
- 10 kg of sand;
- 100 g of superphosphate;
- 100 g of potassium sulfate.
Did you know? In diet recipes, applesauce is used as an alternative to refined sugar.
With this mixture, the pit is filled to a third of the height, then 20 liters of water are poured. After a week, they land in the standard way:
- A mound is being constructed in the center of the pit, on the south side of the pillar.
- The roots of the plants are cut to a healthy tissue (white on the cut).
- Immerse the roots of the seedlings in the Fitosporin solution (add 10 g of powder to 5 l of water) for 2 hours.
- Plant roots are placed in a hole, then they are carefully straightened, the seedling is aligned with the root neck (after filling the hole, it should be located above the soil at a height of 5 cm).
- They fill the rhizome of the tree with soil, tighten the trunk circle and fill in 20 liters of water.
- After settling, the soil is supplemented with the missing layer and mulch its surface with compost or fresh grass to a height of 5 cm.
- The trunk is immediately fixed to the post with a soft cloth or willow branches.
- The central conductor is shortened to 60 cm, if a year-old plant is planted, 2- and 3-year-old specimens are removed from all branches located at a height of up to 60 cm; from the skeletal branches, 2 to 5 of the most powerful shoots are left and fixed on the screen (wire wooden slats).
The subtleties of care
Basic care of plants cultivated on trellises is no different from that of standard cultivation. It includes standard events:
- loosening and mulching of the soil;
- pruning and crown formation.
Watering and feeding
Watering after planting is carried out every month. The plant takes an average of 10 to 20 liters of water at a time. This irrigation scheme is observed during the first 3 years of the tree's life on the site, if a one-year-old specimen is planted.
Important! If autumn turned out to be arid and hot, then it is imperative to pre-winter watering, no later than the end of October - if the root system is not moist enough, the trees will not be able to withstand frost.
Fruiting trees contribute moisture according to the scheme:
- immediately after flowering;
- in the middle of summer;
- a week after the harvest.
Water consumption for fruit-bearing trees is about 50 l, for columnar and dwarf trees - 30 l
During the first 3 years of life, top dressing plants are applied only in the spring to stimulate shoot formation. This will facilitate the work of forming the crown. Nitrogen fertilizers are needed during this period. It is best to alternate minerals with organic in a year. So, in the first year after planting contribute 6 tbsp. l urea or nitrophosphates per 30 liters of water, the next manure solution is used - 300 g of chicken dry manure or 5 liters of liquid mullein are added to 10 liters of water, then another 20 liters of water are added to the concentrate already obtained.
From 3-4 years of the tree’s life on the site in the spring, nitrogen supplements continue to be applied. Immediately after flowering, compost ash infusion is used. 5 kg of grass (celandine, nettle) and 1 kg of wood ash are added to 20 liters of water. The composition is insisted for 3 days, then filtered, mixed with 10 l of water. Such a composition is used not only for watering, but also for spraying. You can apply it every 14 days.
In the fall, in the middle-end of October, the last feeding is carried out. At this stage, 90 g of superphosphate per 1 m² of barrels are made under digging
Cropping and shaping the crown
The formation of crowns during trellis cultivation is the main technique of agricultural technology. You can perform it in several ways, depending on your own preferences:
- horizontal cordon;
- fan trellis;
Such a formation is most easily performed when planting one-year-old seedlings. So, immediately after planting, the stem is shortened to 60 cm. This will stimulate the growth of shoots to the sides. In the second year, in the spring, the 2 most powerful skeleton branches leave, growing in different directions. They are tied to a tightly tensioned wire at a 90 ° position in relation to the stem.
In subsequent years, all shoots appearing on these branches are shortened to 15 cm
When planning this type of formation, you should pre-install the corresponding trellis. It is a support pillar, from which strips extend in two different directions at a height of 60 cm, as in the version with a horizontal cordon. After 40-50 cm from the first level of the planks, the second level is attached to the pillar. Only the slats themselves are fixed at an angle of 70 ° in relation to the central pile.
Did you know? Until 1600, all round-shaped fruits were called apples.
Immediately after landing, shorten the central conductor to the required height. A year after planting, 2 branches that grow at a height of 50-60 cm are fixed to the lower level of the trellis at an angle of 90 °. Subsequently, all branches growing on them are shortened to 15 cm. After a year, a second tier of branches is formed, which are fixed on the corresponding section of the trellis. All other shoots, except for the left 4 and the central conductor, are cut into a ring.
This form resembles a horizontal cordon, but implies the presence of more tiers, and not just one. The distance between the tiers should be at least 30 cm.
Tips from experienced gardeners
We offer several useful recommendations from experienced gardeners to beginners in growing apple trees on trellises:
- Trim and shape crowns just before the swelling of the kidneys.
- Immediately after cutting off excess shoots, those that must be attached to the trellis, bend and gently fix. Only at the end of June can one begin to give the branches the necessary shape, otherwise there is a great risk of breaking the plant.
- A simpler option for cultivating apple trees on trellises is to use the walls of a living room - they accumulate heat, which allows you to grow a good crop even in regions of risky farming.
- Be sure to ensure that there are several different varieties of apple trees for cross-pollination on the site.
Trellis cultivation of apple trees opens up more opportunities for farmers. Using this technique, you can engage in intensive cultivation of trees in small areas. In addition, tapestry specimens carry aesthetic value and are characterized by higher yield indicators, due to the location of the branches at a 90 ° position relative to the stem.