Colony-shaped fruit trees: features and disadvantages, planting and care


Many city dwellers are looking forward to the first warm days after the winter. And what is interesting is that their plans do not have a rest on the coast of a reservoir or a trip to the southern resort, but work on the improvement of their summer cottage and the cultivation of various crops. At the same time, nature lovers are not particularly eager to get a rich harvest of fruits and vegetables. Often, their main goal is decoration and landscape design. Therefore, in recent times, unusual in appearance plants have become particularly popular. Among them, far from the last place is occupied by columnar trees. Let us consider how they differ from ordinary ones and for what purposes they land. In addition, the article will provide useful information on the care of these plants.

Modern decoration of the landscape area

Often, design solutions are truly surprising for their unusual and extravagant nature. Do you want to amaze those around you with new forms, reliefs and at the same time a harmonious combination of both? Then you should pay attention not only to the use in the landscape design of artificial structures (ponds, flower beds, paths, hedges, light elements, etc.). It is much easier to try natural solutions. One of these modern options - living plantings. And in the event that you use colonic fruit trees for decorative design of the plot, you can achieve several goals simultaneously:

  • make more modern design
  • significantly save space for planting,
  • get a harvest of natural fruits
  • grow trees, unpretentious in the care.

Features of the appearance of plants

What are the main distinctive features of the columnar trees? First, their crown is similar in shape to a cylinder that fits approximately one distance from the trunk along the trunk. Secondly, fruit shoots grow directly from the main stem in the form of short branches without additional branches. It is thanks to these special characteristics of the trees with columnar crowns are often used to decorate the landscape of the site. Of course, to obtain the ideal strict forms, it will be necessary to make a small adjustment (in the first years of cultivation - without fail). But despite this, the main outlines of the tree crowns are natural and created by nature itself through the breeding of new varieties.

Appearance history

Unusual in appearance, columnar trees appeared relatively recently. To be more precise, in 1964 one of the Canadian farmers noticed a rather strange twig on one of the cultivating apple trees in their garden. She, like the neighboring ones, grew from the main trunk, but had some distinctive features:

  • there were no side shoots on the branch, but at the same time it was literally hung with fruit shoots with apples on them,
  • the wood cover was rather dense and resilient.

The surprised gardener showed the tree to a breeder he knew, who then began to carry out experiments with the plant. So the first variety was bred under the name "Vazhel", which means a long stick for transporting hay. Later, the columnar trees came from Canada to Europe, where breeders continued to work on them.

Tree varieties

Considering the diversity of unusual trees, there are three main groups. Below is an overview of each of them:

  1. Conifer. The most unpretentious and for the most part not requiring special trimming to form the correct crown shape. Used for decorating areas with classical architectural landscapes (official buildings, parks, alleys, etc.). Look great when framing the entrance and to get hedges. Combined with any plants and artificial compositions. The most popular are thuja and juniper.
  2. Hardwood. Used for the same purposes as conifers. The main difference from them is the need to control the preservation of the plant form.
  3. Fruit. Used not only to decorate the suburban area, but in order to solve the problem of limited space. Neat neat trees with an abundance of bright fruits that are visible among the poor foliage, will certainly become the main decoration of the site.

Is it worth planting columnar fruit trees on your site?

This question is of particular concern to those who have a fairly limited summer space, which is not particularly clearer. After all, I want to intelligently distribute land for all vegetable, berry and fruit crops. It is possible that you still doubt whether it is worth planting columnar trees on your plot. Reviews of most gardeners will help to make the right choice. They will only once again confirm a number of advantages of using these particular plant varieties both for decoration and for obtaining a good harvest from small land areas. After all, an unusual shape and a small crown will minimally obscure the area and at the same time produce good fruit.

The procedure for planting seedlings

Colony-like fruit trees will bear fruit well only if the work on cultivation at all stages is carried out correctly. The first and, perhaps, the main thing is the organization of the landing of plants. It is best to place the seedlings of the columnar fruit trees in the ground at a permanent place in the autumn. Then by spring the root system will be strengthened, and the plants will give good new stem shoots. Making the markup, it’s more practical to plant young trees in rows. Then, instead of separately located holes, it is possible to dig shallow ditches. The distance from one row to the other should not be less than 1 m, and between saplings 40 cm. After planting, it is necessary to tamp the places around the root necks of the plants well to avoid the formation of air voids, and then pour plenty of water (at least 2 liters for each root).

Care for colony trees: feeding, watering, weeding

Since the plants are abundantly fruited, the soil on which they are located is often quickly depleted. Therefore, mini-trees need mandatory feeding. But too zealous with fertilizers is also not worth it. If possible, use natural products such as manure and urea. In addition to fertilizing the soil, organize regular watering, especially in the first two years after planting, until the plants gain strength. And in order to strengthen the root system, you need to follow the elimination of the fruit ovary in the first season. Although the plant may be literally covered with many flowers, they will need to be completely removed. Only in the second year can they be left on the tree in limited quantities. Keep up with timely and regular watering and weeding. After all, weed vegetation absorbs nutrients from the soil. The following describes the features of the processing of near-stemmed earth.

Features of mechanical tillage

Due to the fact that the columnar fruit trees have a root system that is close to the surface, especially weed. This is best done by hand, as machining with choppers and shovels can damage the roots. To reduce the weed vegetation, sprinkle the ground between the plants with sawdust or sow with cereals. Holes can be covered with straw to preserve moisture.

Decorate your plot with these unusual trees to the delight of your loved ones, as well as your neighbors!

Features dwarf varieties

From the side, the columnar tree looks unusual: it has a straight trunk, and short branches run away from it strictly at an acute angle. In the fall they are covered with fruit, and the seedling resembles a column. Hence the name of such varieties. Despite this, all the fruits are no different from those that give ordinary trees.

The main feature of dwarf varieties, which explains the demand among gardeners - high profitability. Against the backdrop of traditional trees, the columnar give more yield, while they are easier to maintain.

What else attract such varieties:

  • the small size of the crown and rhizome, so that the orchard can be easily grown even in a small area,
  • between neighboring cultures during planting it is necessary to withstand a small gap, so their density in the area will be greater. For example, on 1 hectare you can plant 2000 dwarf saplings, which can not be said about the trees of traditional varieties. They fit no more than 400 pieces.
  • the low size of seedlings - no more than 2.5 meters - makes care of them easier, and harvesting is easier,
  • these varieties do not require a volumetric pruning, you only need to follow the shape of the crown,
  • dwarf fruit seedlings yield very early, a year after planting. If you plant ordinary fruit trees, the harvest will be only after 4-5 years,
  • for processing the garden you need very few chemicals due to its miniature.

The disadvantages of dwarf fruit species

Despite all the advantages, there are such varieties and disadvantages. The main one is a short growing period. The short term - 12-15 years - is explained by the fact that with its small size they give a lot of harvest, sometimes more than ordinary crops.

As a result, the tree is depleted, most of the rings on it die off, the yield drops sharply. From old seedlings need to get rid of and engage in planting new ones.

Types of dwarf fruit trees

Coloniform seedlings that bear fruit are divided into:

The first variant has a special gene, which causes their small growth. Such varieties are grown from seeds by a simple method.

Graft trees are propagated by maternal shoots. They are grafted to the roots of the usual kindred seedling.

Requirements for conditions

Before planting columnar trees, they must be properly selected. Their age should not exceed 1 year. If you take an adult plant, the problems begin:

  • the culture is badly taken root,
  • the seedling will be sick a lot
  • later fruits appear.

Planted miniature varieties in September. In this case, the trees have enough time to acclimatize. They will have time to prepare for flowering, will give fruit in time.

You can plant seedlings in the spring, when the snow melts, thaw the soil. This should be done no later than mid-April.

It is important to choose the right place for planting dwarf varieties. They need a well-lit area, protected from drafts, cold wind.

At the site for six months before planting fruit crops dig holes with a depth and a diameter of about 50 cm. Between the pits should be at least 50-60 cm. In case there are a lot of seedlings, trenches are prepared for planting.

If trees are planted in the fall, organic fertilizer is added to the pits in the spring. It may be:

Just before planting, the mineral complex of fertilizers is applied, then 1-2 buckets of water are poured into the well.

After its complete absorption, place the seedling, sprinkle it on the ground. You need to follow to:

  • rhizomes were straightened,
  • the root neck was slightly above the ground surface.

After planting, the ground is being tamped down and watered abundantly. Be sure to carry out the mulching of the soil around the tree.

Care for dwarf fruit trees in the open field

Caring for colony fruit trees has a number of subtleties. Observing them, you can achieve active growth of seedlings, as well as a good harvest.

After planting, seedlings need to be watered regularly in the first months. After that, moisture is added as the soil dries.

You need to make sure that there is no excess water. It leads to rotting rhizomes.

It is not necessary to add fertilizers in the first season after planting an orchard. They make, starting from the second year of the trees. For this, mineral and organic compounds are used twice a year.

Thinning inflorescences

In the first year of the tree’s life, inflorescences are removed from it, not allowing it to bear fruit. This must be done so that all the forces of the seedling are directed to:

  1. strengthening of the rhizome,
  2. active growth.

For this, all the flowers are cut off.

In the next few years, the number of inflorescences is regulated, because a fragile young trunk can not withstand the weight of the crop. From 5-7 pieces keep 2 flowers, the remaining inflorescences are cut with shears.

For the formation of a beautiful columnar shape of the seedling crown, pruning should be carried out regularly. In the first year, the length of the side branches is reduced, and also the growth of the culture is directed upwards.

The fragile trunk of a young tree does not tolerate the winter cold. In the first year you need to do shelter, which will help to survive the cold. For this fit:

  • spruce spruce branches
  • organic mulch
  • agrofibre.

Rodents and pests

Sometimes dwarf fruit varieties infect pests. This can be avoided by prophylactic spraying. To do this, use:

  1. folk remedies,
  2. chemicals,
  3. biological substances.

The big trouble for colony fruit varieties of trees are rodents, especially they are dangerous in winter. To protect the trunks of the seedlings, they are wrapped in agrofibre, they build a metal fence from the net.

Grow a miniature orchard is easy. The main thing is to follow the rules of tree care, and then very soon they will delight you with juicy, tasty fruits.

A bit of history

Coloniform trees of unusual shape appeared due to the observation of a Canadian farmer. In 1964, he saw that on one of the varieties of apple grows a rather strange branch. It, like the others, took its origin from the main trunk, but possessed and some distinctive features.

  1. There were no particular side shoots on the branch, but at the same time the tree was literally completely covered with fruit shoots, which had beautiful apples.
  2. The woody cover of such a plant was very dense and resilient.

The surprised gardener showed his culture to one breeder, who later began to perform various experiments with the plant. So he was able to bring a new variety, which was called Vazhel, which means - a long stick for transporting hay. At the beginning of some time, such columnar cultures also entered Europe and Canada, where the other breeders also continued to carry out their research and experiments on the plant.


Trunk at the columnar plant of the direct type. Short and frequent branches together with the fruits are located directly on the trunk of a tree, and also grow only upwards, without creating special branches on the sides.

Kolonovidnye trees, in addition to their decorative qualities, help greatly save space on the territory of the summer cottage. Since the plant does not grow around, it will be possible to plant many more crops on the site, and, therefore, their combined yield will be much higher.

The height of the columnar tree will not exceed 2.5 meter marks. It is for this reason that it will be much easier and better to harvest from such a crop. Also, you will not spend a large amount of your free time trying to prune this plant. All types of columnar trees are characterized by high rates of precociation, that is, a sapling, which was planted in the soil in early spring, will be able to begin the flowering process already this year.

Gardeners are advised to remove the flowers, so that the culture has more strength and energy to accelerate its growth and to produce more fruits. But in most cases, pony-shaped pears, apples, and other tree species begin the process of fruiting in the second year of their growth. The garden, which includes a large number of dwarf crops, is able to live for a very short period: after 10-15 years, the yield will begin to decline rapidly and the number of fruits collected will drastically decrease. It is for this reason that the landing sites of columnar cultures will have to change.

Colony species

  1. Coniferous plants. Considered more unpretentious. Most of the representatives of this group do not require special pruning to maintain the appropriate type of crown. Such plants are used as a decorative element of garden plots and surrounding areas with a classical architectural type of landscape (official buildings, alleys, as well as park areas). Colony-like conifers look good if used for the process of framing the entrance, as well as when receiving living types of hedges. They are perfectly combined with other plants, as well as artificial types of compositions. The most popular of them are thuja and juniper.
  2. Hardwood. They are used for the same purposes as conifers. Their main distinctive quality is considered a special need to control the shape of the crown of the plant, and preserve its overall decorative appearance.
  3. Колоновидные фруктовые деревья. Применяются не только для декорирования дачного участка, но и также с целью решения проблемы ограниченности территории на садовом участке. Компактные культуры с множеством ярких по цвету плодов, которые выделяются среди большого количества скучной растительности вокруг, наверняка станут великолепным украшением садового участка.

Features of growing

To carry out high-quality cultivation of the columnar tree and get a lot of good harvest from it, it is worth observe special conditions for growing plants:

  1. the best time to implement the planting process will be autumn,
  2. it is necessary to observe a special distance when planting trees - it should be 90-100 centimeters,
  3. Best of all, if the roots of the tree will be located quite freely, do not bend and be in the planting pit. Place grafting plants on a mandatory basis should be located above the ground surface,
  4. in the process of planting a columnar culture, it is necessary to add special potash fertilizers to the soil, as well as superphosphate. If the landing pit will be prepared for the autumn season, then it is necessary to bring in compost or manure, combined with the soil mixture,
  5. At the beginning of the summer season, plant seedlings can be fed with chicken litter or slurry,
  6. if the root system of the columnar cultures is not very deep, then the soil near the trees should be mulched or lay, that is, sow cereal plants around the trees,
  7. in August, in order to accelerate the process of maturation of the apical bud, it is necessary to eliminate at once in the four upper leaves by one leaf plate,
  8. in order to get a more high-yielding index, it is necessary to carry out regular watering, as well as top dressing with the help of mineral and organic fertilizers, as well as with all efforts to protect the plant from the effects of diseases and pests,
  9. in the winter period, the trunks of such crops must be protected from mice and hares, and the one- to two-year tree should also be covered with straw, shavings, spruce branches or simple snow.

The most common varieties of cultures of columnar apple trees can be called Currency, President, Arbat. Among the most famous columnar types of pears can be distinguished varieties such as Sapphire and Decor.

Benefits of using columnar cultures

Having decided on the use of columnar trees as a component of the landscape composition of the site, You can simultaneously achieve several goals:

  1. create a more modern design in the backyard area,
  2. save a large amount of funds, as well as the total space on the site,
  3. get a high rate of yield from the plant, while you will have a truly natural and healthy fruits,
  4. to grow a culture that will be completely unpretentious to care and cultivation.

Numerous positive reviews of domestic gardeners confirm the feasibility of planting colonic fruit crops at the dacha. Unusual in appearance and a small crown of the plant will minimally obscure the area and at the same time carry out a quality process of fruiting the crop.

The main advantages of the columnar fruit trees

A new variety of miniature fruit "dwarfs" has gained immense popularity due to the fact that when comparing the yields of the gardens of the same size (traditional and colonic), the colony-shaped gardens receive a palm tree in terms of profitability and convenience.

Since the plants are low, they are easier to process from pests, it is easier to conduct annual pruning of branches, it is convenient to collect ripe fruit. And the main argument in favor of trees with a narrow and elongated crown is that their fruiting begins from the second or third year after planting, and ordinary fruit trees begin fruiting for 4-5 years.

On an area of ​​one hectare, you can place a garden of two thousand colonic plants, whereas ordinary fruit, with a wide crown, will fit no more than 400 trunks.

Consequently, more plants are bearing fruit on the same area, and the costs of maintaining and caring for them are much less.

Variety of varieties

Varieties of columnar fruit trees are divided into two types:

  • seed dwarfs that are grown from seeds and have a natural short-growth gene (dwarf gene),
  • grafted dwarfs, they are produced by grafting branches from the parent colonic plants to the root system of a related ordinary tree.
For example, apple varieties “Currency” and “Arbat” refer to natural dwarfs, while “Cowberry”, “Dusen”, “Paradiska”, and “Orlinka” apple trees have proven themselves as varieties for the rootstock. For columnar pears, young quince and irgi seedlings with a well-developed root system are usually used as a stock. Coloniform trees have a maximum height of 2.5 meters. If they are not cut and not guided, the gardener will not achieve the shape in the form of a column; ordinary fruit trees will grow, only with a limited point of growth. Nearly half of young dwarf trees bloom in the year of planting. Experienced gardeners prefer to pick these flowers (pinch), so as not to weaken the young seedling with flowering.

Apple "Arbat" - dwarf variety, small fruits (100-120 grams), skin and pulp of apples of dark cherry color. The apples are tasty and juicy, but the variety is not intended for long-term storage, when laying for the winter it deteriorates quickly,

Apple "President" - the variety has excellent winter hardiness and is not susceptible to fungal diseases and insect pests. The fruits are small and medium size, the weight of apples is 140-250 grams. The color of the skin varies from white to pale yellow, like that of the “White filling”, the flesh is juicy, the color of the flesh is light. Harvest time begins in mid-September.

Popular varieties of columnar pears:

Pear "Decor" - dwarf plant, does not exceed a height of 1.5-2 meters. Pears of medium size (150-200 g) have a pronounced pear aroma and sweetly sour pulp. The fruits are very juicy, in full ripeness the peel is covered with burgundy blush. The ripening time is the second half of August. This remarkable variety has a significant drawback - the fruits are stored no more than 10-14 days.

Pear "Sapphire" - a variety with good frost resistance (up to -20 ° C). It has a good yield, ripe pears are painted in three shades smoothly moving into each other (green, yellow, red). The harvest of this variety has a partial keeping quality, can be stored without loss until December.

Proper planting of columnar trees

Since the colony plants have practically no side branches, they can be planted much thicker than ordinary tall, sprawling trees, but in order to choose a planting scheme for a dwarf garden, all nuances should be taken into account:

  • whether the crop will be harvested by hand or you need to provide a distance sufficient for the passage of vehicles,
  • Whether garden planting is planned according to a single-row or two-row pattern with a spacing of one lane.
The minimum distance between fruit “dwarfs” is 40 cm (between plants and between rows), and the maximum is 120 cm, and even making it even more unprofitable.

Plant miniature fruit plants in spring and autumn. Spring planting is carried out in the first half of April, as soon as the snow completely disappears from the ground and the soil warms up. However, gardeners with experience claim that the autumn planting of “dwarfs” is preferable, since during the autumn and winter the tree has time to settle down and adapt to the new conditions. During the autumn planting, it is important to withstand a reasonable time and to disembark no later than September.

Once the variety is selected and the desired seedling purchased, you need to decide on the landing site. All fruit trees love undimmed, sunny places, reliably covered from the icy northern winds.

Planting pits need to be prepared in advance according to the number of purchased seedlings. Ideally, during spring planting, it is advisable to dig up holes in the fall, while during the autumn planting, in the spring. Planting pits are dug up according to the planting pattern chosen by the gardener, taking into account the distance between adjacent plants and row spacing.

The depth of the planting pit should be 40-50 cm, and the width of the groove is made taking into account the fact that the roots of the tree that is planted should in no way be wrapped or bent. When the recess for planting is dug, fertilizers are applied to the bottom. This may be rotted cattle manure, compost. For one planting pit, two shovels of such fertilizer are sufficient. The selected composition is thoroughly mixed with the soil, which is located at the bottom of the planting pit.

A bucket of water is poured into the finished pit, waiting for it to soak into the ground and plant a tree. The planted plant is watered again under the root (approximately 5-7 liters).

Care features

After planting the colony-shaped fruit and berry trees, measures for the protection and care of them are no different from the care of a regular garden. But, of course, there are some subtleties that not too experienced gardeners need to know:

In the first year

Sometimes planted "settlers" can dissolve the flowers in the year of planting. This threatens with a general weakening of the sapling, its root system and, as a result, the future crop shortage. Such untimely blooming flowers are recommended to be removed, avoiding fruit set.

Yield formation

In subsequent years, the young garden will bloom profusely. This is a beautiful sight, but it does not carry a comic threat to the viability of young seedlings. In place of each flower, with favorable weather conditions, a fruit ovary is formed. If the embryos of the fruit are set up a lot of them need to be removed using a garden shears (manually). A young plant can not always bear too much fruit load. Therefore, when forming the load of a tree with fruits: from a bunch in which there are 5-7 small fruits, you need to leave only two.

Coloniform trees have a root system located parallel to the surface of the soil and shallow beneath the ground. During the summer season, the land near the tree trunk of young saplings and in between rows is treated from weeds (weed). During this treatment, mechanical damage to the shallow roots can occur. This threatens the death of the plant. To avoid damage to the roots and save on the manual labor of workers hired for weeding, all the land in the garden must be tinned. It is also possible to cover the tree trunks with mulch materials: sawdust, shavings, sunflower or peanut husks.

During the mass summer of insects, traps are hung on the branches of the garden - containers with sweet compotes diluted in half with vegetable oil. Insects, attracted by the scent of fruit land in a trap, their wings envelop sticky oil and the pest can no longer fly.

At pristvolny circles of fruit trees are established trap belts. Such a belt is fixed on the trunk, its surface is smeared with a sticky and sticky substance that does not allow ants to put aphids on the leaves of the tree.

Watering Young saplings need regular watering, but it is not necessary for a gardener to spend the day and spend the night with a hose in his hands in the garden. If the garden is laid in arid areas where rains rarely occur, arrangement of drip irrigation for plants is possible. If the garden is small, it can be watered and under the root, in the basal recess, which does not allow water to spread. Usually, young saplings have enough watering during planting and two or three waterings at the root during the first two months of life.

In the first year of life, one liter of water (for one irrigation) is supplied with 2 liters of water. But seedlings can not be poured, as excessive moisture threatens to rot young roots. The gardener should be wise to treat irrigation and take into account the amount and abundance of precipitation. Top dressing If before planting the seedlings, fertilizers (nitrogen, potash) were applied to the planting pits, then such feeding for the young seedling will be enough for the entire first year of life.

If the gardener believes that insufficient amount of fertilizer has been applied, then in the process of summer vegetation, the seedlings can be fed. Such fertilizers are often combined with irrigation. In the water used for irrigation, you can add: liquid fertilizer based on chicken manure or slurry, or use complex mineral supplements for fruit trees.

Already formed adult plants are cut poorly, only to maintain a given shape.

Spring pruning of apple-shaped trees and pears is carried out in April. Summer pruning is carried out from mid-July to mid-August.

Application in landscape design

Garden area can be unusual to decorate with the help of columnar plants. The crown of such trees can be formed depending on the desire of the gardener.

Almost all varieties of popular colony-shaped fruit trees are very resistant to drought and frost, have excellent resistance to fungal diseases and scab, high yields and tasty fruits. It is these qualities of colony-shaped trees that have been recognized by gardeners around the world, and for this reason they are worth growing. If you provide a dwarf garden with decent care and care, it will delight the hosts for many years with the beauty of graceful plants and decent crops.

Advantages and disadvantages

Coloniform trees have only one trunk., and their short side branches, which have no additional branches, are densely covered with fruits. The height of such fruit plants can reach 2-2.5 m, the diameter is only 40 cm. The crown is in the shape of a cylinder.

The advantages of such trees are:

  • compactness, space saving,
  • good survival rate of seedlings,
  • abundant harvests (starting from the second year after planting),
  • large fruits with excellent taste are suitable for use in raw form and for preparing juices, jams, jams, etc.
  • harvesting convenience
  • unpretentiousness to the soil,
  • resistance to disease and frost.

The disadvantages include the relatively short lifespan of trees (up to 15 years), the need for annual pruning and the formation of the crown of some species.

Tree planting rules

For planting colony trees should choose a sunny place closed from the north wind. The landing can be done either in spring or in autumn. Spring planting promotes better rooting of seedlings and is made in mid-April.

In the fall, planting colonous fruit trees is recommended to be carried out no later than September. Many gardeners call this time even more preferable than the spring period, because during the winter the young plant adapts to a new place and takes root. In addition, the tree will be more resistant to frost and disease in the future.

For landing it is required to prepare pits in advance. Ideally, for the spring planting pits will be prepared in the autumn and, conversely, for the autumn - in the spring. However, if such training is not possible, this can be done 2–3 weeks before landing.

It is necessary to leave a distance of 150 cm between the pits. The depth of each pit is 40–50 cm. The pit should be fertilized with rotted humus or compost mixed with the soil. In addition to organic fertilizers, you can make superphosphates and potash fertilizers.

The landing itself is quite simple. In the prepared wells need to pour a bucket of water and wait until the water is absorbed. Next, you need to carefully place the seedling in the hole, making sure that the roots are straightened and not bent. If the tree was grafted, it is necessary to ensure that after planting the site of inoculation is not sprinkled with earth. After the tree is covered with soil, it should be poured abundantly (you will need 5-7 liters of water).

History tour

The history of the cultivation of colony trees begins in 1964. In one of the Macintosh apple trees in British Columbia, a farmer found an unusual flat branch that had virtually no side shoots and was richly fruited. The farmer shared his observation with a familiar breeder. And he, experimenting with scions from this branch, received new amazing varieties of fruit trees. So, thanks to a random mutation and coincidence, colonic trees appeared.

Currently, breeders deduced a large number of varieties of various fruit trees that have a columnar shape. The most widespread apple and pear with an unusual crown. However, there are kolonovidnye peaches, plums, apricots, cherries and cherries.

The crown of such fruit trees resembles the crown of cypress trees or pyramidal poplar. However, the height does not exceed 2.5 m. The diameter of the crown barely reaches half a meter. Short stature and the absence of side branches make harvesting very convenient, and care and agrotechnical measures are greatly simplified. With good fruiting, it seems that the fruits grow right on the trunk. The tree seems to be covered with fruits. However, this is not quite true. Flowers and fruits are formed on short side branches, which differ in shortened interstices. Saplings of columnar trees differ from saplings of ordinary varieties of the same age in their greater thickness and complete absence of lateral shoots.

Planting and caring for seedlings

The cost of colonic fruit seedlings is higher than the cost of ordinary ones. It is worth acquiring them only in specialized shops or farms. Otherwise, there is a high risk of acquiring a sapling, only resembling a columnar.

Planting a crown-shaped pear

Сорта плодовых саженцев не отличаются особой морозостойкостью, поэтому приобретать лучше сорта, адаптированные к местному климату. Посадку лучше всего осуществлять осенью. Посадка и уход за колоновидными саженцами имеет свои особенности.

Некоторые садоводы сажают саженцы колоновидных деревьев ранней весной. Под место посадки выбирают солнечный, защищенный от ветра участок. Best of all is loamy or sandy soil with a friable consistency with good permeability and aeration. Since columnar varieties have a rather weak surface root system, when creating a wall of seedlings of this kind, it is desirable to provide a support structure in the form of a fence. Holes for landing do at a distance of 80-100 cm from each other. When planting in several rows, the distance between them is enough to make 1.2-1.5 m. In the prepared wells make rotted manure, humus, a tablespoon of potash and phosphate fertilizers. In the hole establish a sapling with straightened roots and sprinkled with earth. Then gently tamp the soil in the hole. After that, all planting material is plentifully watered. If winters are harsh and frost can exceed 20 ºС, saplings are better covered with burlap. With the onset of spring, young seedlings are freed from shelter.

Trimming and feeding

It is much easier to care for columnar trees than for ordinary ones. Do not think that they have no side branches at all. Often on the trunks may appear 3-4 powerful branches, sometimes more. This often happens when the apical bud is damaged by frost or other factors. In this case, the side branches are subjected to complete pruning, leaving one the strongest. In the future, it will be a continuation of the trunk. If the side branches appear during the fruiting period, they are simply pruned. Places of slices must be treated with garden pitch to protect the trunk from infection and parasites. Proper pruning helps to increase the yield and life expectancy of these varieties of fruit trees. In early spring, thin and weak young shoots are removed. In the summer pinch the side branches. In the fall, shorten the main trunk and cut thickened branches.

Pruning young apple trees

Since abundant fruiting quickly depletes the soil, the garden with columnar trees must be regularly fed with complex fertilizers. In the spring, ammonia or ammonium nitrate fertilizers are applied to the soil, which increase the growth of the root system and increase the yield of fruit crops. In the autumn, trees should be fed with phosphorus and potassium, which strengthen the plant immunity and increase their frost resistance.

Colony-like varieties of fruit trees are resistant to diseases and pest attacks. However, in the spring before the start of flowering as a preventive measure, trees should be sprayed with insect-acaricidal preparations.

In the first year of flowering, it is recommended to remove all the flowers so that all the forces of the young tree go to the development of the root system. In the second year, about half of the buds are left.

Since the columnar varieties are grafted onto dwarf varieties of similar fruit trees, the root system of such seedlings is rather weak. So that the soil is not trampled under young saplings and their roots are not damaged, wheat, alfalfa or spicy herbs (for example, dill or parsley) can be sown in the same hole. Excellent berry bushes (raspberries, currants, gooseberries) grow well under columnar trees. Such planting also saves space and allows you to create a multi-tiered garden.

It is very important for getting a rich harvest and preserving the health of fruit trees to properly water them. Watering colonic trees should be moderate, and its frequency is determined by weather factors. In hot and dry weather, seedlings in the first year must be watered every week. Mature trees need less watering. Ideal drip irrigation. With this method of watering the plant regularly receives water in the necessary amount for life. The soil does not overdry and does not overwet.

Advantages and disadvantages

The main advantages of a colony-shaped garden include:

  1. Compact landing. Even in a small area you can plant a significant number of trees of different varieties and species.
  2. Stable and high yield.
  3. Uncomplicated care.
  4. Good survival rate of seedlings.
  5. Light harvest.
  6. Unpretentiousness. These trees easily tolerate the lack of watering, and frost-resistant varieties withstand even the most severe winters.

Despite the large number of positive aspects, columnar varieties have their own drawbacks, including:

  1. Short lifespan. Unfortunately, even such long-livers, as apples and pears, bear fruit only about 15 years old. Apricots, and especially peaches, are even less. After that, the trees have to uproot, and the garden to update.
  2. This type of soil depletes more than usual, so a garden of columnar trees requires more fertilizer.
  3. Requires certain skills to form the correct crown. Curvature of the trunk - not uncommon in trees of this type.
  4. The high cost of seedlings.

The most popular are the following kolonovidnye varieties of fruit trees.

  1. Currency - fruits ripen in autumn, have a sweet-sour taste and weight up to 200 g.
  2. Medoc is an early ripe variety, apples ripen by mid-summer and have an excellent sweet taste. Weight - up to 250 g
  3. Maluha - small, but very sweet, bright yellow fruits weighing up to 100 g.

  1. Decor - medium-sized fruits of pale yellow color, ripen to the beginning of autumn.
  2. Carmen - large sweet fruits of an unusual burgundy color, ripens in summer. Each pear weighs at least 300 g.
  3. Sapphire - yellow-green fruits weighing up to 200 g, ripen in autumn.

  1. Blue Sweet - has a compact crown and large blue-gray fruits weighing up to 70 g.
  2. Imperial - has fruits with thin skin and delicate and pleasant taste. Frost-resistant grade. In summer, watering should be frequent and abundant.
  3. Mirabelle - fruits of yellow color, ripen late autumn. Ideal for making jam or jam.

  1. Gardener's totem is a medium early variety. The height of the crown does not exceed 1.5-1.7 m. The fruits are sweet with a red blush, weighing up to 290 g. The variety is distinguished by unpretentiousness and high yield,
  2. Steinberg - tree height up to 2 m. Fruits of medium size, round shape, dark yellow with a raspberry blush, weighing up to 160 g. Frost-resistant variety.
  3. Jubilee of the capital - different early ripening of fruits. Tree height - not more than 1.5 m. Fruit weight - up to 255 g. Resistant to diseases and pests
  4. The Golden Triumph is a compact tree up to 1.5 m high, distinguished by the ripening of very sweet red fruits.

  1. Prince March - low (up to 2 m) wood is frost resistant. Maintains up to 40 ºС of a frost (with shelter). Gives a bountiful harvest of bright orange fruits that have an original taste.
  2. Star - gives large (up to 100 g), tasty, fragrant, juicy fruits. Also frost resistant.

  1. Sylvia - fruits ripen in June. Crown height up to 3 m. High-yielding variety. Fruits are large, ruby ​​color. Suitable for cultivation in the south of Russia.
  2. Helena is also an early maturing and high-yielding variety. Young trees for the winter must be sheltered from frost.

  1. Baby - gives high yields of sweet and sour, fragrant, large fruits. Differs unpretentiousness. Tree height from 1.5 to 2.0 m with a crown diameter of not more than 0.8 m.
  2. Delight - the variety is characterized by consistently high yields. The tree in height does not exceed 2.5 m, the diameter of the crown is up to 1 m. The berries are ruby-red in color, large, weighing up to 14 g. The flesh is juicy, dark-red in color.

Colonies of fruit trees begin to bear fruit early. Under optimal conditions, the young they can begin to produce a crop in the year of planting. But most of the seedlings will yield 2-3 years after planting. Varieties of fruit trees with a crown different yield. From an area of ​​only 0.5 m² you can get 10-15 kg of fruit. Some amateur gardeners form a crown of 3-4 branches, trimming the apical bud on the main trunk. Since the side branches grow strictly upward, the shape of the crown is preserved. But with such a tree you can get up to 30 kg of fruit.

Colonies of fruit trees

Before the traditional garden the columnar has several important advantages:

  • An earlier start of fruiting: 2-3 years after planting (the rest 5-6 years).
  • The yield of the garden is higher.
  • Compact crown is easy to clean and it is convenient to collect fruit from it.
  • There are up to 400 trees per 1 hectare of ordinary planting, whereas up to 2000 trees can be grown with columnar trees.

Among the shortcomings it is customary to mention the high cost of seedlings. Finding among the varieties is inexpensive difficult. In addition, the gardens have to regularly rejuvenate.

All variety of dwarf varieties can be divided into two categories:

  1. Trees grown from seeds. Their genome contains a special gene of short stature.
  2. Grafted seedlings. The graft is performed on a related variety: Currency, Arbat, 003.

Colony fruit trees

Attention! It is very simple to identify a columnar variety: the total height of the tree does not exceed 2.5 m, the crown diameter is up to 0.5 m.

From the central trunk of the columnar tree there are short branches at an acute angle, in which flowers appear in the spring and an ovary forms. The internodes of the twigs are very short. Early colony-bearing fruiting and high yield has its price: after 10-12 years, the old fruit tree will have to be changed to a new one.

The choice of colony fruit varieties is quite large: apples, pears, apricots, plums, cherries, peaches. Regularly there are the latest developments of leading breeding stations, possessing properties of resistance to damage by pests and diseases. Much work is underway on the zoning of varieties, because the first of them did not have high winter hardiness.

How to plant, care for and prune colony fruit trees

In order to get a harvest as soon as possible and not to lose the plantation of colony-shaped seedlings due to care errors, you should follow the general recommendations that can be attributed to all dwarf trees.

Experienced gardeners believe that planting young trees of columnar varieties is best in the first decade of September. This will allow them to take root and winter, so that next year they will be actively touched for growth. Can be planted in the spring, if so the circumstances.

The optimal composition of the soil - loamy or sandy. Since the root system of trees of this type is rather weak, especially in young saplings, everyone will need support. When planting rows it is recommended to install a common long support - trellis or fence.

Landing scheme: 0.8-1 m x 1.2-1.5 m. The distance of 1.5 m between the rows is enough to handle the row spacing both manually and mechanized. A hole is dug 0.5 m deep. A pail of water is poured at its bottom. The excavated soil is mixed with two shovels of compost or rotted manure, add a tablespoon of phosphate and potash fertilizers. In a pit down a sapling so that its roots are neatly straightened. Then sprinkle with fertilizer. Again poured a bucket of water. The stem is tied to a support.

Attention: the point of the scion must be above ground level.

In the first year after planting in the spring, all the flowers on the trees are pinched. This is done so that the plant does not disperse its strength, but directs them to active growth and rooting. In the second or third year, the ovary is also monitored very closely. The fact is that all columnar varieties bloom very abundantly and form bundles of 5-7 pieces on their short twigs. It is advisable to thin them, leaving only 2 in total. This will give the remaining fruits to ripen truly. Otherwise, the young tree will be depleted, and its fruits will be small and of low quality.

The root system of coliform trees is located close to the soil surface. Therefore, they suffer from powerful weeds. To prevent this, you can choose any of the strategies:

  • Manually weed the garden regularly, as the use of hoes and mechanized cultivators is contraindicated.
  • Patching is purposeful sowing of free soil around trees with grassy undersized grasses that enrich the soil with valuable nutrients, as well as prevent intensive evaporation of moisture.
  • Mulching - sprinkling the soil with chips, sunflower or peanut husks, crushed grass, etc. Recommended dumping layer thickness is 3-5 cm.

As a pest control, not only treatment with insecticides and fungicides, but also device trapping belts around the trunks and hanging traps have proven to be well. Sticky substance will not allow ants to be put on the leaves by aphids, and traps on the branches, which are containers filled with a mixture of sweet compote and sunflower oil, will become the place of death of many flying pests.

Attention! The traps of butterflies and beetles are set only when the garden has bloomed, and the fruits are green. This will eliminate the risk of bee death.

Moisture young plants need, but it is important not to overdo it with watering. The recommended frequency is 1 time per month. In this case, you can use a drip irrigation system. In the first year, fertilizers are not used, and in subsequent years once a month, irrigation water is mixed with organic fertilizers.

Although side branches are not typical for a kolovidnogo grade, they may appear from time to time. To provoke this process may freeze the apical bud. If this really happened, then remove all the side branches, except for one, which will replace the trunk in the future. In other cases, the side branches are completely removed.

The cuts cannot be left just like that, they are always smeared with garden pitch, since various pests and diseases can easily penetrate through the damaged area. Pruning performs not only a forming, but also a rejuvenating function. In the spring, all weakened and frozen out shoots are cut out. Without waiting until the lateral shoots formed in summer gain strength, they are gently pinched. In the autumn, the main trunk is slightly shortened, and the too thick crown is thinned.

Pruning of fruit trees

Colony-shaped fruit trees for Siberia, the Moscow region and the Rostov region

Considering how seriously the climatic conditions differ in different regions of our country, breeders purposefully create colony-shaped varieties of fruit trees with varying degrees of winter hardiness.

Colon-shaped fruit trees in Siberia have proven themselves:

  • Iksha is an apple-tree with large (up to 200 g) green fruits, characterized by high yield and keeping quality,
  • Moscow necklace - an apple tree with round maroon apples weighing up to 200 g, is distinguished not only by frost resistance, but also by disease resistance,
  • Sayan - apricot with a yield of 17-45 kg, produces fruits of yellow-green color, makes frosty snowy winters,
  • The Northern Lights is an apricot with a yield of 13-47 kg with fruits of bright red color, it is distinguished by medium frost resistance,
  • Mirabella - plum with pink fruits (up to 40 g), ripening in August, is resistant to diseases and differs in that it does not crumble for a long time.

In the Moscow region imprisoned:

  • Renet Mazherova - winter-hardy apple tree, autumn ripening, with apples of bright yellow color weighing up to 50 g,
  • Medoc is an apple-tree, fruiting bright yellow apples with a thick peel and a strong sweet aroma, weighing up to 140 g,
  • Star - self-pollinated apricot giving large fruits (up to 60 g), the description promises up to 10 kg of yield from each tree,
  • Prince March is a large-fruited (up to 60 g) apricot that can withstand temperatures down to -30 ° C, therefore it is suitable for almost all regions,
  • Blue Sweet - plum with very sweet dark purple fruits weighing up to 75 g, with a yield of up to 15 kg per tree.

Colony-shaped fruit trees for the Rostov region:

  • Bolero is an apple tree of autumn ripening time with green apples with a scarlet blush weighing up to 200 g,
  • Snow White is an apple tree with light green apples weighing up to 130 g, ripening in October and differing in excellent keeping quality,
  • Gold is an apricot with very smooth fruits, ripening in late July, one columnar gives up to 10 kg of fruit,
  • Golden triumph is a peach up to 1.5 m high and giving up to 7 kg of fruits weighing 250 g each.

Tips and tricks

Preferring dwarf trees, you can afford to plant on the site much more varieties and varieties, since the density of planting is much higher. In this case, nothing prevents to arrange a two-tier garden, surrounding the fruit trees with various shrubs: currants, raspberries, gooseberries and others.

If the garden is created in Siberia, in the Urals, then even when choosing the most winter-hardy varieties, it is recommended to create shelters for trees.

There are several options for sheltering a columnar fruit tree:

  • Cover the crown with agrofibre. Cloths can be reused and the next year, and fasten to the trunk is best with ordinary twine.
  • Use protective cones. This cone is a wooden frame of the rails, which is stretched agrofibre. Spring cones stacked until autumn.

It is necessary to recognize that interest in the columnar fruit trees is growing steadily. Gardeners do not discourage high prices on seedlings, which can reach up to 1000 p. apiece and even higher. Excellent taste and commodity qualities of fruit pays for investments in a few years. In addition, many columnar fruit varieties can be propagated independently using sprigs of a grown mother plant for grafting.