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5-in-1 trees--yea or nay?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:15 am
by wingdesigner
I see ads in catalogues for these multiple-variety, and sometimes multiple species trees, i.e.: 5 different pear varieties or cherries on the same trunk. I presume they're grafted, are they hardier or less than a one-variety type? Any more or less prone to frost or insect damage? Short or long lifespan? I live in a zone 5-ish old suburb with houses close together, sandy soil, snow cover and temps depend on whether or not it's an "El Nino" year. How is the fruit production on one of these and how many years do I have to wait?

What about the columnar-type "patio" fruit trees? Anybody have any experience with them? OK, that's probably enough questions for one post, eh? Would welcome input. Thanks.

Happy Gardening.


Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 5:49 pm
by pixelphoto
It depends on what you are looking for for home garden use I think they are great as you get a choice of varieties. For production or farm use I would advise against it. I would think they would be less prone to insect damage as there are several varieties on one tree and one bug may pass up one varieties but like the other so leaving you some.
Fruit trees usually take 3 years some may produce as soon as 2 but not well. At year 4 or 5 you should be at full production.
Yes they are grafted, what I have had experiences with in grafted varieties of plants is one of the grafts will outperform all others and one varieties may even die.


Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007 10:10 pm
by kita9880
I have a hybrid dwarf peach tree. It's trunk has 3 peach variations (1 branch for each).

I don't like it.

Don't get me wrong, it a good, healthy tree and it produces nice fruit and so forth, but it seems to not want to grow. It was supposed to reach 15-20' tall, but after 4 years it is still only about 4' tall, and the main trunk shows no interest in shooting off new branches. The 3 branches I have will send out small branches every so often, but it is tiny. I read all the details of it befor purchasing, and my soil and climate should make it happy, but it doesn' seem interested in growing. Honestly, the tree looks sad.

All my other fruit trees (non-hybrid) have grown more than 5 feet and branched out incredibly in the last 4 years, but my hybrid has no interest.

It's my only experience though, hopefully you'll find others with more.

Best to you.

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:52 am
by wingdesigner
Thanks for the tips, I'll take them under advisement. Actually, Kita, I prefer a smaller tree because I'm short, and have restrictions as to not reaching over my head. :) However, it does sound like you either got a "super dwarf" or it's stunted. No, I'm not looking for commercial production, just something for the family (small family), so if it doesn't bear too much, good, the fruit won't go to waste on the ground--that is, if I can beat the squirrels to it... I hope they grow in partial shade, because I'm afraid that's all I can offer, unless I plop the thing in the middle of my driveway! Oh, being as there's several varieties on one trunk, I shouldn't have to worry needing more than one for cross-pollination, right!

Happy Gardening.

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:44 pm
by pixelphoto
most of those type plants are self pollinating correct

Resurrecting for reply to a question

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:25 pm
by wingdesigner
Um, no, I never got around to ordering or planting one. Someday, I'll get to it. I'm a bit embarrassed to say, but most catalogues that carry the multiple-fruit grafted trees are "cheaper ones", meaning you'd get a smaller tree. I don't even know if they ship outside the USA. All that having been said, here are ones I remember offering such trees, either columnar, multi- or both: Meillinger's (Canandaiuga, NY), Kelly's, Farmers or Burgess (sister companies), that's all I can remember off of the top o' the old brain. Some subscribers on your side of the Atlantic may be able to help with sources more "locally", I hope. Good luck.

Happy Gardening