Monday 18 February 2013

Planting Cordons - Part Two

Today I finally managed to plant the 22 apple trees I had waiting to go in.
Planting these trees as cordons has been more work than I thought it would be as there was so much preparation work to be done.
Bamboo canes all wired in ready
Before I planted anything I had to make sure that I'd prepared the trench by adding grit and compost to the bottom. This seems to have worked as the only water that was holding was at the very bottom of the slope (and I haven't got enough trees yet for that far down).
I then had to wire all the bamboo canes to the 4 horizontal wires at a 45 degree angle. This took longer than I thought it would, but the fence looked quite good when they were on!
The grit added to the bottom of the trench to help water drain away
 I then started planting trees. The fun bit. I had a rough planting plan, so the latest to ripen were at the top and the earliest at the bottom, but as I need more trees it's not really going to matter where they go.
Planting trees and fixing to the canes
I tied the trees to the canes using a ordinary string as I figure this will rot off before it strangles them. The only downside is I'll have to tie them back in every few years, but this method of growing is quite labour intensive anyway and this will give a good opportunity to inspect them up close.
Line of trees planted
Hopefully some interesting varieties planted
A big job but worth it
It's been a hard few days getting these trees in but I'm glad I've done it. In a relatively small space I've managed to plant 22 different varieties of apple, from claygate pearman to Crawley Beauty, with room for another 7 or 8 trees.
I'm hoping this will provide a nice barrier from the veg garden to the field as well as giving us lots of apples to try over the years!
(In my next post I'll give all the information I've managed to gleam from books and the internet about growing fruit trees as cordons - a lot of the information out there clashes!)


  1. They look great and pitmaston pineapple is a great tasting apple

    I have (i think) 10 trees that won't fit in my orchard I may emulate your idea using the spare trees in my veg plot ......thanks for the inspiration

    1. Go for it - just make sure they're spur bearing trees not tip bearing trees or when you prune them you'll be cutting off the fruiting budds all the time! Good luck


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