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Apple trees in Pots Questions

So last year I started several Apple trees from seed and they are currently doing well in 1.5 gallon garden pots. I would like to keep them in some kind of planters for the next 3-5 years as we will be moving around that point and I want to take them with me. They would be planted in the ground at that point. As they are growing on standard rootstock, how can I accomplish this?
I have access to 55gal. plastic barrels. If I was to cut them in half, drill a lot of holes in the bottom, place landscape cloth over the holes and fill with usual potting mix; how long could they grow in that? I could even bury those 1/2 barrels to ground soil height to simulate the natural growing environment. Thought?

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

I have read that fabric pots or specialty plastic pot with holes all over are what you want if you want to grow fruit and other trees for a while in a container then plant them. They will root prune and keep the roots from getting pot bound.

One clever DIY idea I have seen around is to use a laundry basket lined with porous landscape fabric.

Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Spend some time (a good winter-time sport) rummaging around in the bonsai learning forum.

Apple, seedling apple in particular, will take to bonsai training fairly well. Note please what gets used as soil for bonsai.

In your one-and-a-half gallon pots with biennial root pruning, I think your apple will live quite well.

Keeping apple in pots will slow how quickly apple will grow, but if you have to pick something to lead, let it be the feet.

Greener Thumb
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

As your trees are on their own roots they are an unknown as far as rootstock strength. Plant fifty seeds from a single tree and you will have a multitude of tree sizes grow. This is the very reason we use known rootstocks.
You will have to judge each tree on its merits as it grows and decide the power of each tree in the method of control used.

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