Ben93
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Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:09 pm

Dwarf trees getting bigger than intended.

I have some dwarf apples and a pear tree that are like a column how they grow.
https://www.gardens4you.co.uk/index.php? ... collection
These ones on there but it says 1.5 metres mines already going just over 1 metre is there a way to keep them shorter. When they go dormant in the winter can I cut off some of the height without damaging them like take off 20cm or so. Or should I wait it out and see how tall they get they're in pots and the pots are not big either they just seem to have shot up.

JONA
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Re: Dwarf trees getting bigger than intended.

Hi Ben,
The whole point of pillar or columnia trees is that you shouldn't have to prune them.
Let them get to the hight that your want them to be then cut the tip off at that point. It can encourage shoot growth lower down..but it's a chance you'll have to take. Don't prune them until they get too high for you....it could only make them to grow even stronger.
They will need larger pots...or plant them in the garden. Under cropping they could easily get top heavy if the pot is too small, especially in windy conditions.
Sometimes on these trees you can get a bit of reversion take place and the odd shoot is produced that is far stronger than the rest....cut these off.
John

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Dwarf trees getting bigger than intended.

The pot should contain them once the roots fill the pot. However, if your trees are not in full sun but in shadier locations, they will try to grow taller.

I don't know much about apple trees, but I have dwarf citrus and they can still become 30 ft trees in the ground unless they are pruned. I have citrus in pots that are 18 years old and about 5 ft tall and they are not true dwarfs, they are dwarfed because they are limited by the space in the pots but I do have to prune off any roots that try to escape.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Ben93
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Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:09 pm

Re: Dwarf trees getting bigger than intended.

Thank you they've only just got repotted into heavier terracotta pots that are about another half the size if the pot I had them in at least. I'll let them get to 2metres then cut the tip off. Also when you repot in the future years when roots are crowded will it not grow bigger again.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Dwarf trees getting bigger than intended.

I don't know that much about apples and how they behave. It is too warm here to grow anything ecept the low chill apples. My neighbor does have a low chill apple in the ground and it is about 15 ft now and it is still growing albeit not very fast.

To dwarf a tree in a pot, you limit its' root space, but you need to make sure it still gets all the water and nutrients they need. I do not keep up potting. To keep a tree dwarfed, the roots need to be pruned every couple of years once they get into the final pot along with som top work. Not every plant takes to root pruning. I only shave off an inch around the sides and about 2 inches off the bottom. I make sure the center mass allows water to flow through . A good soak does that. I replant by fillling good potting mix in the bottom and along the sides. This allows the plants room for the fine feeder roots to grow. I only uppot when the center mass is too large to cut off very much. Mostly my plant try to send roots to ground from the drain holes so I have to tip the pots once in awhile to make sure they aren't doing that and cut off any wanderers.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

JONA
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Dwarf trees getting bigger than intended.

Ben93 wrote:Thank you they've only just got repotted into heavier terracotta pots that are about another half the size if the pot I had them in at least. I'll let them get to 2metres then cut the tip off. Also when you repot in the future years when roots are crowded will it not grow bigger again.
I had a look at the site that you bought the trees from Ben.
I must confess that it did puzzle me slightly.
They only state that the trees are dwarf...but do not actually mention Columnia or Pillar. (. Columnia trees would normally be more expensive than those shown )
This makes me a little worried that they may in fact be on an ordinary dwarfing stock like 9 or 27. The 27 is a very dwarfing stock used often for pot growing.
Is there a number written on the labels they came with? There always should be.

Anyway Ben. They will show you later as they grow.
One thing though. Just in case they are on 27. Tie your trees to a supporting stake if you can. This stocks roots are very small so give very little support when the trees carrying a crop.
John

Ben93
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Re: Dwarf trees getting bigger than intended.

I havnt got the labels I have had them a while now nearly a year. I will just have to limit pot size and root prune every 2 years or so. they grow more upwards and outward which is why I thought that were like a column sort of shape like the pictures shown on the website. I will have to rehome them once they get past 2 metres will be too much of a pain to keep them.

Ben93
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Joined: Thu May 21, 2015 9:09 pm

Re: Dwarf trees getting bigger than intended.

This is a description of one of the same trees I have but on a different site.
A new breed of Spur Apples, which have a columnar, upright non-spreading habit. Bred in the East of Holland they are used to very cold temperatures in winter. Even as mature plants they never grow more than 1.8-2m tall and will bear an abundance of delicious fruit making them the perfect feature plant for a patio of very small garden where space is limited. Red spur is self-fertile so will produce fruit by itself, however as with all apple trees the crop will be more abundant and better in flavour if you have a pollinator nearby. Two year old 2 litre pot plants supplied.

Mine come from holland too. Hoping it gets to just 2 metres :) they don't grow too fast it's just gone up a foot or so over half a year.

JONA
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Location: Sussex. England

Re: Dwarf trees getting bigger than intended.

It looks like they should stay below the two metre range Ben.
They are specially bred from Red Delicious sports for close spur production.
Guess they would be great for cordon growing.
I'm trying to get more nursery info on them as too what is making them so small.
Be it stock...breeding or chemical.
John

Ben93
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Re: Dwarf trees getting bigger than intended.

Ok that would be interesting to know let me know if you find out by they stay small apparently they stay at 2 metres even inthe ground.

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