If you've always dreamed about growing fresh fruit, but didn't have the space, the columnar fruit tree is perfect for you. Home-grown fruit is not only better tasting, it's better for you.
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Designed to take up very little space, columnar fruit trees have a main trunk but very short lateral, horizontal branches. A mature columnar fruit tree grows to approximately 8 to 10 feet tall and 2 feet wide.
Columnar fruit trees produce less fruit even than the comparable dwarf variety, making them ideal for gardeners who don't want to be burdened with a large harvest.
Columnar fruit trees can be grown in a container, such as a whiskey half-barrel, on a patio or porch or planted 4 feet apart in the ground. They require very little pruning.
Unlike full-sized or even dwarf fruit trees, which take three to four years to produce fruit, columnar fruit trees will often produce in their first year.
Columnar trees are more expensive than miniature or regular fruit trees. Since the fruit is full sized, but the branches aren't, some thinning is necessary to avoid breaking branches. You must buy two different varieties that bloom at the same time to allow them to cross-pollinate.
Where to Buy
The only place these trees are available is online or through gardening catalogues. Raintree Nursery sells three varieties of columnar apple through its website and catalogue, as does Ison's Nursery and Vineyards (see Resources for links). But if you're interested in owning a columnar apple tree, keep checking with your local nursery. As these trees grow in popularity, more nurseries may stock them.
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