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where to plant an espaliered apple tree

 
Posts: 6
Location: Dayton, OH
forest garden chicken bee
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I am new here I have been immersing myself in permaculture resources for the past couple months and am learning a lot but still have a long way to go.

I was just gifted an espaliered apple tree. It is about 5.5 feet tall in its bucket; its mature spread is about 25 feet. It already has three sets of trained horizontal branches. I am trying to figure out where to plant this in my suburban yard. I am on about 1/3 acre. On the widest wall of my house that is southeast facing there is no room to plant the tree. On the wall that is southwest facing I could. Is this okay to do? Will it get enough sunlight if it's not facing directly south?

I've included a sunlight path map of my house, arrow is pointing to the southwest wall.

I am open to other suggestions if the wall isn't going to work.



 
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Hi Laura! Sounds like you received a great gift. I would refrain from planting it on the southwest facing wall, or even a south wall for that matter. What can happen is the afternoon sun will warm the wall and the heat radiating from the wall, combined with the sunshine in late winter and early spring can make the tree bloom too early, and then at night after the wall has lost its heat, the blossoms can freeze and they will never produce an apple. East and north walls are good, as they are in the afternoon shade during winter and early spring. Fruit trees do need plenty of direct sun to grow well and produce quality fruit during the warm months of the year. And it doesn't have to be against a wall. I've seen espaliered trees along fences, and even the trees being the fence with proper routine pruning. I'm sure you will find just the right spot for it on your property.  
 
Laura Swain
Posts: 6
Location: Dayton, OH
forest garden chicken bee
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Thanks, that is helpful to know I don't have to do it by a wall. I didn't think about the wall being too helpful with heat...very good to keep in mind. Appreciate your help!
 
pollinator
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I would save the wall for something that wouldn't quite work in your climate zone out in the open. Not sure what that would be in Ohio as I dont really know the climate.

Instead of the wall you can train the espalier along a fence, wooden frame or wire frame. It can make an attractive food producing divider on the edge of a ornamental garden (if you want one) or along a path.




 
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