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 stakes for mini-dwarf apples? 
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:51 am
Posts: 3
Post stakes for mini-dwarf apples?
I am a new gardener. I am hoping to plant some dwarf apples. My hope is to have several small apple trees in my backyard, that I can keep small with pruning, so I don't have to climb up on ladders. I was advised that using my chain link fence as a support for espalier or cordon apples a was a bad idea, (though it is in the best location for fruit trees in our little yard, and we can"t remove the chain link part or the neighborhood critters will come into the yard.) So my next idea is to get some trees that can be trained/pruned to stay small, and plant them near the fence, about 2ft away. Do you knowledgable folk think I need to go with EMLA27, or could I use EMLA26? I am just over 5 ft tall, so I am hoping for trees that can be kept to about 6 to 7 ft at most...

Everything I've read says that dwarf trees need to be staked their entire life, as their root system is not very strongly anchoring. What do you recommend for stakes? I was wondering if I could use rebar rather than treated wood...

Mon May 07, 2007 2:04 pm

Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:25 pm
Posts: 26
EMLA27 you can keep the tree to 6 ft. Another is Budagovsky 9 rootstock, a very dwarfing apple rootstock similiar to EMLA 9 but more hardy. Trees can be maintained at 6 to 10' in height.

These would require staking. You can use rebars but I would paint them or place inside UV stabilized PVC, like those 1/2" conduit pipes for electricity wires, which are long lasting, like 20 years or more before they deteriorate in the sun. You can drill small holes on them to hold the UV resistant garden ties used for staking, or whatever creative ways you can tie them up to those PVC coated rebars.

Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:42 am

Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Riverside, Southern California USDA Zone 10a
The only problem I can see with the chain link fence for support is once branches grow through it they will be hard to pull back.

For support posts, I use 3/4" copper plumbing pipe, the thicker (more expensive)type. I buy a 10' piece, cut it in half, and drive 2' into the ground to end up with a 3' pole, enough to support a dwarf tree.

I have M27 trees but I'm not impressed with them- if they get damaged, they take forever to re-grow. You'll be much happier with the Bud-9 or M26. But for that matter, I have three seedling-rootstock trees I keep espaliered only 5' high by summer pruning. I never have to worry about an irrigation failure with them (that would surely kill an M27 tree).

Kevin Hauser
Kuffel Creek Apple Nursery
Riverside, Southern California
USDA Zone 10a

Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:22 pm
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