No room for trees? Make the most of the vertical space and create a fruiting wall! With flowers, colourful foliage and attractive branch patterns too, fruit trees are as ornamental as they are productive. A fruiting wall will also double as a privacy screen.
A sunny fence line can be turned into a wall of fruit with a quick growing vine. A passionfruit vine planted in early summer will fruit within 18 months. Encourage side branching by pinching out the growing tip and train the new laterals along a trellis or wire support. Passionfruit vines will fruit for 5-6 years. Pruning off some of the old wood each year encourages vigorous new fruiting growth.
Citrus make fantastic hedges with glossy foliage all year round, and the summer scent of orange blossom is heavenly. For a smaller citrus hedge try mandarins or limequats. Blueberries make an attractive informal hedge up to 2m tall. There is a wide choice of varieties to suit various climates. Feijoas make an excellent windbreak or screen. For best fruiting, plant a named variety (not seedlings). Olive and guava trees also make very attractive hedges.
The age-old craft of training fruit trees flat against a fence or wall is highly decorative and very high yielding. Many fruit trees are suitable, including apples, pears, quince, fig, olive, plums, and even citrus. Important: Make sure your support structure is strong. The weight increases dramatically when plants are in fruit. For more about espaliers www.waimeanurseries.co.nz
These slender fruit trees are ideal for those who have limited space but no interest in pruning. They can be planted in a row, ‘espalier style’ along a wall, as a divider between garden rooms, or as stunning vertical accents in the vege garden.
Know which growth (current season’s or older) your tree bares fruit on and how that affects when you should prune.
The versatile Meyer lemon with its bountiful crop’s bright yellow fruit and lush green foliage is an ideal espalier tree because of its spreading, pliable branches. Meyer lemons are forgiving if you make a mistake because the quick summer growth means a new shoot will soon appear. Wooden trellis makes an ideal support because it provides plenty of places for attaching ties and allows the air to flow around the foliage.
Lemon tree trained onto trellis fence.