High Density Planting and Pruning Fruit Trees for the Home Orchard

Fruit trees are an exquisite addition to any home, but it requires a commitment to pruning several times a year to stay the tree to a size that will not overwhelm the space and therefore the homeowner. The way you prune your fruit tree is basically up to you, therefore the pruning/growing method is merely one choice to keeping an fruit tree. However, there are several advantages to keeping a tree small and planting approximately. Dave Wilson Nursery may be a proponent of high-density planting for the house orchard. they need some great videos talking about planting multiple trees in one hole (spaced 18-20” apart) and also the way to prune these small trees.

Advantages of Keeping Trees Small

Caring for a little tree is far easier than an outsized tree

Keeps the fruit produced to a manageable size for a family

Allows more sorts of trees to be grown during a limited space

Makes picking fruit easy (no ladders needed)

high-density planting diagram

High-Density Planting for Limited Spaces

Fruit trees are often planted very approximate but to achieve success, the trees will get to be pruned to stay them small. There are several ways to plant during a limited space and can really depend upon the specified look of the orchard.

Multiple trees planted approximate (18” apart) within the same hole

Trees planted approximately to make a hedge

Trees trained as an espalier to grow along a fence or narrow area

types of pruning cuts

Pruning Cuts–Heading vs. Thinning

There are only two basic pruning cuts, heading cuts and thinning cuts. The effect on the tree’s structure is extremely different and thus the sort of cut you create is extremely important.

Heading Cuts

Removes a growing tip

Stimulates lower buds to grow into new branches

Increases branching and make bushier

On a young bare-root, this is often usually done to line the scaffold branches

Thinning Cuts

Removal of the entire branch to the first growing point

Good for opening up a tree’s interior

Most commonly used, especially on older trees

It is Easier to stay a little Tree Small

If you’ve got decided to travel with the high-density planting scheme, then it’s critical to start out off your young tree right, cut it to the peak that you simply want your scaffold branches to start. it’s going to seem counter-intuitive to chop all the branches off your new tree, but there’ll be many buds below the cut which will grow bent form those scaffold branches. Watch the video by Dave Wilson Nursery on planting 3 new bare root trees in one hole. this is often an excellent thanks to having several trees during a limited space. But it does require a commitment to stay the trees pruned and limiting their size. the sole time you’ll not want to try to do this is often if you’re planting a multi-grafted tree. Each graft on a multi-graft will get to be pruned, especially the larger branches. you’ll want to go away the littlest graft alone to permit it to grow and not get out-competed from the larger grafts.

If your space isn’t limited, then plant your trees farther apart and allow them to be a touch bigger. they’re going to still got to be pruned and cared for as a little tree would.

Grow a salad in your home orchard and grow organic for life!


A really great book to possess if you would like to find out all about high-density planting and keeping trees small is Grow a touch fruit tree by Ann Ralph. Another wonderful resource is Dave Wilson Nursery. they need great videos on planting multiple trees in one hole and on pruning.

High Density Planting and Pruning Fruit Trees for the Home Orchard

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