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High Density Plantings, rootstock quandry

Posted by John Wood 
High Density Plantings, rootstock quandry
May 29, 2014 02:28AM
I am going to be planting a High Density plot this coming spring. The goal of this is to cram lots of trees into a small space and keep them pretty short (8-10 feet max) So that they can be covered to protect from late frosts which are a big problem on my site.

So here is the question is it better to:

1: plant dwarfed trees (i.e. bud 9) which will produce faster but require more care and expense (irrigation, weed control, Trellising or serious staking)

OR

2: plant larger growing root stock (i.e. Bud 118 EMLA 7 or 111) which will be freestanding and less fickle, and control their size with pruning


the pragmatist in me says I should do both, and then phase out the smaller trees as the larger ones start producing more.

My biggest problem is finding a resource on how best to prune larger trees into a high density planting

Thanks for any thoughts
John

P.S. this is a market orchard in the making in S.E. Ohio
Re: High Density Plantings, rootstock quandry
May 30, 2014 04:18AM
I would personally plant bud 9's and do the all trellising thing…you can plant them 3 to 6 feet apart. I can't see how you are going to plant MM111 in high density, even pruning them at your best.
I planted in 2010 200 crimson crisp and goldrush on bud 9 with trellises, and the amount of apples are producing on their 4th year, is just unbelievable. Also the sprayer covers much better the dwarf trees then MM111's.
I'm not a fan of dwarf trees but if you want high density, it is the way to go, in my opinion.

Westwind Orchard
Zone 5b in New York
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