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Fruit Trees for Small Gardens

 There's an excellent letter in the Western Morning News from the secretary of http://www.orchardslive.org.uk/ (the organisation that I think is mostly behind my lovely North Devon Mazzards! )  extolling the virtues of 'traditional'  big apple trees with 10 foot stems in smaller gardens. 

Admittedly, mine isn't a particularly small garden, but none the less I think she has it spot on.  My garden would have a lot less room in it if I had pruned my trees  to keep their height restricted, as is often advised.  As it is, I can walk under the branches of most of the trees, and although I topped my cherry 'summer sun' last year, I now think this was something of a mistake - that tree only has a 5-foot stem, and it's too low, now the tree is maturing the branches are hanging down rather than reaching up, and you can't get past it.   I think this winter I shall have to go the other way and lift the crown!  

Fruit trees do not produce particularly dense shade, so you can still use the space underneath - and a bush tree that would entirely fill a small garden would be entirely manageable if the fruiting branches were up out of the way overhead.  And you can still harvest a lot of apples just by application of a children's fishing net.  Also, a bit of summer shade keeps the grass from growing quite so fast. And a good way of using lawn mowings is to dump them at the foot of a fruit tree, which will happily Slurp them up and use them to make more apples. 

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
inzilbeth_liz
21st Oct, 2010 19:45 (UTC)
You can also graze things like sheep underneath and they can't eat all the apples.
bunn
21st Oct, 2010 20:13 (UTC)
Very true! I'm guessing most smaller gardens will not have sheep, but chickens seem to be more and more popular. Or rabbits of course.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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