Garden tree - how to create a multi-varietal or multi-fruit tree
There were times when the concepts of "tree-garden", "family tree", "collection tree", "multi tree" simply did not exist. And to see such a miracle was possible only in the economy of the “Michurin people” - people whom the neighbors wondered at while looking at their gardens. There, on the same apple tree, pear or plum, not only varieties of different ripening periods were ripened, but also various colors and sizes. Not many despaired for such experiments, but only those who were not afraid of experiments and believed that nature would share their secrets with them.
Today, the "tree-garden" continues to amaze and delight, raises many questions, and sometimes concerns, but is not something out of the ordinary. The data obtained experimentally made it possible to introduce “family trees” into the category of accessible ones, and if desired, create the desired “super-set” on your own. We will talk about the secrets of creating such trees in this article.
The principle of creating multi-varietal and multi-fruit trees
Generally speaking, a “tree-garden” is a tree in whose crown several varieties or crops are grafted. Moreover, if different varieties of the same culture are “planted” on one skeleton, for example, several varieties of apple trees, the plant is called a multi-varietal tree. But if several different crops - apricot, plum, cherry plum - are a multi-tree.
Such trees are created by grafting. Moreover, the formation of the plant takes up to 6 years. First, a variety carrier or “skeleton former” is grown, and then suitable varieties are grafted onto it.
Often, gardeners start this business for the sake of a multi-varietal plant with different ripening dates of grafted varieties. However, experienced plant growers are not advised to do this because of a mismatch in the timing of the so-called phenophases (periods of plant development).
It is correct to plant summer varieties for summer, autumn for autumn, winter for winter, or with close ripening. But here, everyone chooses for himself - after all, any family tree is a kind of experiment.
Can I buy a ready-made tree garden?
Not all gardeners are ready to wait, experiment, improve an unusual multi-sorted tree. But, fortunately, this is not required! Today you can buy a ready-made copy with carefully selected varieties guaranteed to be adapted for the area. This greatly simplifies work and eliminates the need for waiting.
The only complication is not just finding the varieties that interest you. But if there are no particular preferences, but the experiment is important, then there is a choice.
How to create a tree garden yourself
As mentioned above, to create a family tree is possible only by vaccination. Which one? There is someone who likes what the hand is full of. Good results are given by vaccination for the cortex, and vaccination in the cleft, and vaccination with a kidney in the butt, and budding in the T-shaped incision, and vaccination with the vaccination secateurs.
A more difficult question is survival. Not all breeds agree well with scion. For some, wood oxidizes so quickly that it nullifies all attempts. Here you need to study the experience of other gardeners, be interested in published data, read special literature, and try.
And another, very important factor that should not be forgotten is the skeleton former. The longevity and productivity of the "garden tree" depends on it.
An ideal skeleton should meet the following requirements:
- be resistant to the winter conditions of the area;
- have good compatibility with a large number of varieties;
- characterized by the correct angle of departure of the skeletal branches (close to 90 °) and the level of their location above the ground (1-1.5 m);
- differ in the ability of strong intergrowth;
- do not give extra growth;
- have (preferably) restrained growth.
The best skeleton for apple trees
In the matter of the apple tree, the simplest version of the skeleton-forming agent is the wild. If you transplant a tree with a large lump of earth, trying to damage the roots as little as possible, then the vaccination can be carried out in the first year.
However, this solution has a significant minus - the trees are very tall, it is not known what compatibility of the seedling with other varieties, how winter-hardy it is.
The second solution may be two to three-year-old dwarf seedlings (on the insert or clonal stocks) of such winter-hardy varieties as Moscow Grushovka, Korichnaya striped, Antonovka ordinary, Moskovsky later and others from the category of folk selection .
They showed themselves well in the cold climate "Dobrynya", "Ranetka purple", "Bystretsovskaya". However, they need time to root after a transplant. Vaccination on seedlings from the dwarf rootstock "YaS-1" and "Bystretsovskoye" (Seregin), the colonized stocks of Stepanov, on the clonal stock or the seedling "Sharopay" gives positive indicators.
The best skeleton for pear
But what about a pear? The first solution, similar to an apple tree, is to pick up a wild game. But it is not so easy to find a pear seedling, and it is dangerous to take root shoot from old varieties - if the crown is damaged, it will give abundant root offspring, which will be extremely difficult to get rid of.
The way out is to grow independently a winter-hardy skeleton-former from seeds of a forest pear or half-culture. For the middle lane, you can take the variety "Cathedral" or the variety "Chizhovskaya". For the Urals - “Altai Late”, “Volozhka”, “Volga Summer”. For Siberia - “First Swallow”, “Kuyumskaya”.
Skeleton for bone stones - plums, cherry plum, cherry, apricot, peach
Stone fruits are even more problematic to create a multi-varietal tree. In the northern regions, there are practically no good skeletal formers for them. In a cold climate, vaccinations do not take root well enough, and the productive period of crops is not high enough to spend energy on this venture.
However, for Siberia, you can try to plant apricot and plum on the Ussuri plum, and in the Urals, plum and cherry plum on the local turn. In the middle strip for cherries and cherries, you can take varieties of cherries "Good", "Fur", cerapadus (P-3, P-7). For plums - cherry plum varieties “Gift to St. Petersburg” or plum “Tula black” (you can also plant apricot on it), “Eurasia 49”, “Red early ripening”.
In addition, for plums, cherry plum and apricot, you can pick up thorns or the same turn. However, it is worth remembering that they have a large growth potential and the formation of root shoots.
Vaccination rules for a tree garden
Suitable skeleton found ?! It is necessary to prepare him for vaccination. Cut branches with a departure angle of less than 60 °, very thin, too thick, broken, located above 1.5 m (so that a very high crown is not obtained) and below 1 m. Only uniformly pencil-shaped branches should remain on the “skeleton” - they will be vaccinated.
The best choice of varieties for a tree garden is 3-4. Why? If only two varieties are grafted onto the skeleton former, we get two skeletal branches growing in different directions - this is a direct danger of breaking them from a high crop. If 5 or more, the varieties will begin to compete and those that are stronger will dominate the weaker ones. The grafting of the central conductor will also be prone to domination, therefore it is better to plant a variety that is characterized by weakness on the leading branch.
In order to preserve the winter hardiness of the garden tree, the vaccination is carried out on the lateral branches of the first order with an indent from the trunk of 20-30 cm. The rest, as well as the branches of the "skeleton" that are left without the vaccination, are cut off. Vaccination periods for different regions, different cultures, different ways of vaccination vary.
It is clear that in the spring on the "skeleton" of the tree-garden, not only cultural, but also "wild" shoots will begin to grow. Their presence is important for the full development and preparation of the tree for winter, for this reason they are not immediately cut all, but are periodically limited in growth during the growing season. They are completely removed only next spring.
You can create a garden tree on an adult plant, if for some reason it does not satisfy you. To do this, it is necessary to carry out a strong pruning of the crown, and next year to plant interesting varieties in overgrown shoots.
Benefits of a Multi-Varietal Tree
The tree-garden has many advantages. Firstly, you don’t need to uproot a plant if the variety has not shown itself well enough - you can use it as a skeleton former, gradually picking out what you really like.
Secondly, in a small area, you can "get" several different varieties at once using the minimum area. You can combine several crops into one tree, which will allow you to collect a sufficient amount of yield without unnecessary loss of surplus.
A big plus is the pollination of several varieties. Trees give more stable yields. They are more resistant to external factors, such as frost resistance, heat resistance, drought resistance, since the best stocks for a given area are selected for their formation. Often their crown looks with a variety of foliage, fruits of different colors, and, of course, spring bloom
Cons of a garden tree
There are tree cons and cons. They were mentioned above, but worth repeating. The first is a complex formation process. It takes from 4 to 6 years to create one plant, and this, if everything works the first time.
The second drawback is that it’s not so easy to find a good skeleton for the future miracle plant. Not all varieties have a good survival rate. Not everyone fits together. However, if you experiment, you can achieve very successful results. One has only to start and then it will be impossible to stop.