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Restricting the growth of trees

 
Galadriel Freden
Posts: 345
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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Some of the trees I am interested in planting in my small garden don't come on dwarfing rootstock; I don't have room for full-sized trees! I would love a mulberry and a pair of walnuts; does anyone know of a way for me to restrict their growth without compromising their production?

My other option is to do a little guerilla gardening and plant these trees in the local country park.
 
S Bengi
Posts: 1355
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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Walnuts are 100ft trees they do have dwarf 50ft ones though.
There is really no way to turn 100ft trees to 10ft ones.

There are 8ft mulberry trees here is USA.
Weeping mulberry trees will normally only geor to as high as you stake them.
I have over 4 dozen different fruit and nut trees that naturally only grows to 10ft at maturity.
Check it out the list of fruit/nut/vine/shurb trees for your climate. Such as dwarf mulberry, medlar, hazelnut, etc
http://www.onegreenworld.com//index.php?cPath=1

Tell me if you found anything usefull.

Here is my garden too.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjpWBJwPQ0nMdEpjV1AwcVJ0dGFZbnVpVEw0RlFQR0E
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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Mulberry is easy, you can coppice it every few years so it's more of a small bush. They fruit on young wood so the berries are all at picking height. If you have two or three you can rotate yearly. That way you have mulberry abundance every year. The coppiced wood is perfect for rocket mass heaters

It would be hard to have a walnut that's small, the yield will be minimal. I would just buy some fresh walnuts from a farm.
 
garrett lacey
Posts: 72
Location: Edmonton Alberta
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Not to mention the (alellopathic) walnuts would poison the soil of your small garden!

I am definitely in support of planting them in a city park though.
 
Rhoda Kendry
Posts: 15
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Jordan Lowery wrote:Mulberry is easy, you can coppice it every few years so it's more of a small bush. They fruit on young wood so the berries are all at picking height. If you have two or three you can rotate yearly. That way you have mulberry abundance every year. The coppiced wood is perfect for rocket mass heaters

It would be hard to have a walnut that's small, the yield will be minimal. I would just buy some fresh walnuts from a farm.


I need some advice on coppicing (sp) My Mulberry is about 20 feet tall by the looks of it, it has been pollarded at least twice. my garden is tiny,tiny, tiny. less than 100 sq/ft and the tree shades it totally very little grows back there with the exception of the mulberry.

If I cut down this tree will it grow back? (really hope it does)
What time of year is best to do it to cause the least stress to the tree? (that even sounded like a dumb question to me.)

I really want the Mulberry but I need time to establish the other plants i want to grow there too. Any ideas?
Rhoda
 
Kelby Taylor
Posts: 47
Location: SE Pennsylvania, USA
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The mulberry is renowned for being weedy and hard to kill. At my nursery we have them coming up in a tree line and they are impossible to kill (unfortunately the neighbors complain when it gets messy looking).

You should able to chop it down to nothing and it will resprout.

The trick to training non-dwarf trees to being dwarf is to divert the energy that would normally go into growth. Similar to pruning fruit trees, you want to get the branches to grow sideways so they are almost parallel to the ground (not completely though). The more horizontal branches are, the fewer hormones are released by the growing tip of the branch that say 'GROW!'. What I do to get branches to grow laterally is make 'limb spreaders' with a dowel (usually 12-16" long) and nails to push the limb in question down away from the trunk and/or clothespins with rocks tied to them.

Create a basic structure of lateral branches that you can prune back to every year or 2 (with some removal of very vigorous shoots as needed), and you should be able to maintain it to a smaller size. If you look up pruning fruit trees, check out pruning peaches and central leader pruning of apples, both should give some ideas on what you are trying to do.
 
Rhoda Kendry
Posts: 15
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Thank you Kelby now that I know what I'm looking for I'm off to the races.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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I'm always impressed by the ability of trees to recover from being cut to the ground, and mulberries are vigorous growers.

Best time to coppice would be when the tree is dormant.

Since mulberries strike easily from cuttings, why not take a bunch of cuttings as an insurance policy against anything unexpected happening to the mother tree?
 
Rhoda Kendry
Posts: 15
Location: Ontario, Canada
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yukkuri kame wrote:I'm always impressed by the ability of trees to recover from being cut to the ground, and mulberries are vigorous growers.

Best time to coppice would be when the tree is dormant.

Since mulberries strike easily from cuttings, why not take a bunch of cuttings as an insurance policy against anything unexpected happening to the mother tree?



I had planed on doing more than a few lol. Maybe some gorilla gardening is in order since my yard is so small.
 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
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Location: south central VA 7B
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have you thought about espalier? Pears are the easiest, but I've had success with apples too. I'm not a fan of dwarf as the root stock (at least around me) is usually persimmon and 15 years usually is when problems begin. I took my time, bought whips and each year for 3 years I added another horizontal layer. I only wanted 3 rungs, so to speak. These are now in their 4th year and I had a wonderful crop of fruit.
 
Rhoda Kendry
Posts: 15
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Great minds think alike. I was actually thinking of an espalier pear for the back fence.
 
sam na
Posts: 30
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I registered to post this exact same question. Then spotted this post..

Im specifically interested in sweet almond (prunus dulcis) id like to grow some in containers. its a small tree and already fairly drought tolerant. has anyone done this? I read they are sometimes used as a bonsai tree. are there any tricks we can borrow from there?

can i just make it deliberately pot bound to stunt it. then re-pot so it doesnt die?

 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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