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 Belgian Fences 
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:03 pm
Posts: 9
Post Belgian Fences
i'm thinking of planting a Belgian fence and would like to get some advice.

1. Are the apples on M26 rootstock at OGW a good choice for this purpose?

2. How close together should I plant them? i'm shooting for maximal amount of variety, so I want to go as close as I can

3. Is it best to plant all of them at once?

4. i'm not especially handy and am most daunted by building a trellis -- e.g. how am i going to transport long posts in my small car? where to get those and the wire, and whatever other items I need to rig it up?

5. Can i plant trees in the fall, or is it really best in the spring? (I have lots of gardening/ edible landscaping plans for the spring and may not get around to the apples til fall) Or are all the trees choices sold out by then?

6. What should I be doing now to prep the soil?

More details: I'm in PDX, have a good span on along the northern fence of my yard -- about 22' to work with. I'm a little concerned about clayiness of the soil. and drainage. My yard slopes downhill south to north... But doesn't bottom out til the neighbors yard. (and the uphillbside is too shady). I'm thinking about 10 or so trees (depending on the answer i get), something like 6 apple cultivars, 2 european pears, 2 asian pears.

I'd greatly appreciate any guidance, tips or encouragement!

I have more questions, but that's probaby enough for one post


Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:10 am
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:11 am
Posts: 1
Post Re: Belgian Fences
I have Rubinstar Jonagolds on Elma 26, 12' apart, espaliered, and they are too close. Even if you go to Bud 9 or Elma 27 you can not plant the number of trees you want and expect them to do well. Another option would be columnar, but the number of varieties is very limited. Search online or checkout the Raintree Nursery catalog. Also you could visit the HOS display orchard at CCC in Oregon City.


Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:45 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:21 pm
Posts: 43
Location: McMinnville, OR
Post Re: Belgian Fences
Apples and pears do espalier well.
A Belgian fence is a geometric undertaking to figure out the size of the squares / diamonds with equal symmetry. The geometry will also affect the growth rate and fill in abilities; tree spacing; tree variety. The square root of the length is a good place to start, factoring will also be useful, have fun.

Food for thought your taking an object that naturally grows in a sphere like shape 3D and squeezing into 2D with out changing to total cubic foot dimensions.

The structure is the second most important feature and where most people fail, it needs to be strong and secure enough to be a 10 year fence on it's own.

The last part is the pruning and this part unlike the advanced math in the planning is not rocket science, but still needs to be planed and mapped out. Tree hormones like auxin play an important roll and will need to be manipulated, planning ahead is essential.

Randy
Yamhill County Master Gardener


Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:56 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:03 pm
Posts: 9
Post Re: Belgian Fences
greenthumb3723 wrote:
Also you could visit the HOS display orchard at CCC in Oregon City.


is there a Belgain fence there?


Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:48 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Belgian Fences
I would make sure that the apples and pears are planted at least a few inches above the surrounding terrain, and I would plant old wood, gravel, and leaves mixed iin the hole with the native soil to make it about halfway to really well draining soil from whatever you've got.
John S
PDX OR


Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:20 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:03 pm
Posts: 9
Post Re: Belgian Fences
John S wrote:
I would make sure that the apples and pears are planted at least a few inches above the surrounding terrain, and I would plant old wood, gravel, and leaves mixed iin the hole with the native soil to make it about halfway to really well draining soil from whatever you've got.
John S
PDX OR


Thanks. i have leaves piled up there now - working on building it up a bit.


Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:21 pm
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:21 pm
Posts: 43
Location: McMinnville, OR
Post Re: Belgian Fences
I guess you didn't understand my post, probably my fault too brief.
Everything is figured out by the math (geometry) for a Belgian fence.
Angles need to be such that either a Right triangle or an Isosceles triangle are formed your choice.
After the math is done you will know the dimensions needed for planting. < 2' and > 4' not recommended.
Fill in on the bottom between trees needs to be planed a head, looking at some pictures of finished Belgian fences will help a lot because there are several methods to choose from.

The Belgian fence I did had a planted tree at every third triangle 32 1/2" apart. 4 limbs were trained 2 on each side @ 60 degrees each and side shoots were trained out to a basket weave each other over the frame wires keeping the trellis wires all on one side. The shape started at 12" above ground and was 10' tall the length was the property line at my fathers house.

If you want to discuss more details let me know more about want you want it to look like


Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:35 pm
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