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 Apple and European Pear spacing 
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Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:01 pm
Posts: 3
Post Apple and European Pear spacing
I'm looking to plant an orchard this Spring and I need help to determine the correct spacing for the trees. We are planning on quite a few trees, supported by a 2 wire trellis (one at 12 - 18 inches for drip line and one higher up for actual tree support). For the apples, we plan to use exclusively M26 rootstock and for the pears, OHxF513.

My initial thoughts on spacing are to plant the trees 10 feet apart in the rows, and to provide 15 feet between rows. I would really like to hear from folks who've done something similar so that I can get it right the first time - too much time and money is at stake!

Thanks in advance.

Bryce


Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:07 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Apple and European Pear spacing
Just to clarify-are you going to prune them as an espalier?
John S
PDX OR


Tue Dec 30, 2014 4:35 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:01 pm
Posts: 3
Post Re: Apple and European Pear spacing
No, I'm not planning to espalier, just putting up a wire for support - I've heard that M26 needs some support, and I've got a windy site with light soil. Several of the trees we've previously planted have ended up on a tilt without support.

Bryce


Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:26 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1186
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Apple and European Pear spacing
Hey Bryce, welcome to the forum (like yur handle :P ).

I’ve kept my eye on a local developing apple orchard for the last 4 years that appears to be on ten foot centers ...I don't know the rootstock, and though offered ‘my services’ to the owners, have never met or spoken with them. It’s also a windy site but decent soil.

What I’ve noticed is a lack of pruning, which appears to make larger trees faster, but in reality, makes leggy, poor structured and ‘top-heavy’ young trees. I don’t believe they’ve irrigation beyond periodic watering by tractor & tank. They heaped a ‘hay mulch’ a foot thick out to the drip line around each tree and appear to ‘flale mow’ between rows.

As mentioned, I’ve watched this young orchard for years, with them having planted 100 trees the first year, followed by another 100 the next. My concern was their lack of pruning, and the mulch attracting voles, ‘meadow voles.’ Here in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, they’re thick - and they love mulch and apple roots! ...and sure enough - a third of these trees are now leaning ...and it doesn't appear to be due to wind…

No doubt the voles have feasted on the young roots, and without pruning or thinning they’ve lost their root support, along with premature yellowed leaves around harvest time. It’s been hard to watch :cry: but since no one seriously responded to my ‘note on their door’ offering my advice or help, I continue to drive by...

Don’t know what your area’s like regarding voles, gophers or deer, but without predation, 10 foot centers on M-26 ...with occasional fertilizer sounds like a good plan. We’re home orchardists, so commercial plantings aren’t our speciality. I'd run your Q's by an Extension Agent if you've got access to that program, ours are 'free.' Otherwise, I’d look for one inch diameter holes around the base of your leaners… and if you find them, let us know.

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Temperate Orchard Convservancy: http://www.temperateorchardconservancy.org/index.php


Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:38 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Apple and European Pear spacing
I agree with everything Viron said. WE have used certain strategies. There's even a rootstock from Cornell called "Novole". I have a little mini schnauzer dog who feels that her responsibility is to run out in the back yard and kill all small creatures. I'd prefer that she leaves the snakes and frogs alone, but her English listening comprehension skills are poor, especially when given such an exciting context.

I mostly use semi-dwarf rootstock, topping out at 12-14 feet typically. I use the fruitsox and ziplocs on my fruit to keep away codling moth, so I don't want to teeter up 22 feet high. ALso, I can go on vacation without them falling over or dying of drought. They don't really need irrigation once grown. I grow my orchard permaculture style, so it is not rows of one variety. It is many unrelated fruits, vegies, and herbs mixed together to naturally fight problems, like.......... nature.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:28 pm
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