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 5 on 1 fruit trees 
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Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:27 pm
Posts: 1
Post 5 on 1 fruit trees
I have three fruit trees (pear, apple and fruit cocktail)that I ordered and planted in May. I live in Maryland. The pear tree is supposed to grow five different types of pears on the one tree. It has three new 18" branchs that are healthy and 3 buds with leaves on the graft stem. The buds are black and dried out but they have leaves around the base of the bud. I think the 18" branches are the same variety and the three buds are a different varieties.

The 5 on 1 apple tree has one 48" branch two 4" branches and two buds. The 48" branch is vey healthy but the others are gowing very slow. I was going to prune the 48" branch but need advise.

The fruit cocktail tree is supposed to have plums, pears, nectarines and peaches. None of the grafts ever had any buds. It has two 36" brnaches that grew up from the bottom of the tree. I think they are peach branches.

I know I can't do much with the fruit cocktail but can some one give me advise on the pear and apple trees so I can get the different varieties to grow.

Any advise is appreciated

Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:04 pm

Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 1:00 pm
Posts: 204
Location: SE Portland
Post 5-in-1 pear
I have very little experience, but I have the fortune/misfortune to have planted a 5-in-1 pear tree in March of 2000. It is extraordinarily lopsided. One cultivar is taking over, one is doing reasonably well but hasn't set for two years, two have chronically looked diseased, and I might actually get a pear from the remaining one. I asked a similar question of a professional orchardist who basically told me that most of these multiply grafted trees do what mine is doing.

My solution to this problem will be to donate the 5-in-1 to my neighbor who is envying my obscene crop of pears (of only one cultivar, on only one side of the tree), and plant a couple of single-type apple trees. If someone more educated can tell you how to make a success of such Frankensteins, I'll be glad to hear it. I suspect they're just a bad idea to begin with.


Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:25 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1188
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Gregg, Marsha about summed it up, and I'll add; these "fruit cocktail" trees are more gimmick than value - all of them! Every variety will grow at a different rate, and the "base tree," i.e. "Golden Delicious," will outgrow them all. The base tree of the pear and apple will eventually dominate, giving that lopsided effect Marsha described. My advise: prune away any dead material or limbs (scratch the bark first, if there's no green under it, it's dead). Allow the "base tree" to grow. Prune it as you would any single variety tree. If a different variety limb happens to survive, try to allow it enough sunlight to feed itself. In 2 or 3 years, graft on any variety you feel you need for pollination, or curiosity. Search the "Cleft Graft" online, it's excellent for apples or pears; and you sound competent enough to be successful.
Regarding those 2 shoots from the base of that other mixed up tree... Demand your money back, or trade it for a single variety of your choice. The 2 shoots are either rootstock, or base tree, if root stock, replace it. If base tree, it's your guess as to which of those crazy varieties it could be? Replace it with a single tree, and graft on anything you'd like, after you've done some homework!

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Fri Jan 28, 2005 1:31 am

Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:10 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Happy Valley
Post multiple-graft trees
Hmmm. What should I do with a 4-in-1 grafted apple tree that's been espaliered? Is it worth fussing with? All 4 varieties seem to be growing well, though two are a bit more vigorous (yes, one is a Golden Delicious). I've had it about a year and need to transplant it. Should I continue to work with it, or not?

Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:34 pm

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1188
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Diana; of my many apple trees, my favorites are those of "one variety." Their growth is balanced, bloom is at the same time, they ripen at the same time, fruit-set is equal... But it's not easy for an HOS Member to advise giving up on any tree - that's our problem!
Do you plan to use this tree within an espaliered row? If so, I see no problems. There are usually several varieties within such a planting, and the extra pollination could be helpful. If this is to become a stand-alone tree, that's different. With the training you describe, I envision a very short and spindly specimen... There again, Golden Del. will dominate; and to provide the necessary sun to allow the other varieties (branches) to prosper, it will always have to be kept in check.
With lots of room & lots of trees - I'm spoiled, and wouldn't mess with it... But if you haven't got a deer problem, or lots of room, and like the novelty of it, make it your baby!

Temperate Orchard Convservancy:

Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:16 am
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