A Family Apple Tree | The Edible Garden

I last told you about the family apple tree last year in this blog post. It gets its name from the fact that it has three different varieties of apples combined into one tree!


It looked like this after planting last year and with some initial shape training:




Now fast forward to January 2018 and it was looking like this:




However, I was unhappy with the shape so I retrained it and also trimmed the side shoots to use as cuttings for propagation (scions – stay tuned for that update!). Here it is now:




The branch with a question mark is because I do not know what variety this is as I must have lost the label somewhere along the line. I will no doubt narrow it down once it flowers and produces some fruit. I have noticed that it seems more vigorous that ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Sunset’.

I am much happier with the shape now after some coaxing! The plan is to train it into a candelabra shape to allow for multiple tiers of each variety and to utilise the full height of the fence panel and trellis above it. This diagram shows you the double u shape candelabra I am aiming for:





It’s great to see how well the stems are now conforming properly to the shape! It’s my first go at attempting a candelabra espalier and so far so good. I certainly could have made it easier for myself to choose a tree with only one variety on it, but it will be fun attempting grafting for the first time and I enjoy a challenge! These multiple variety trees are also excellent for smaller plots like my own and the fact that they bloom at different times will add additional interest to this area of the garden. So far so good! Fingers crossed for the seasons ahead with this lovely little tree.



Written by Bethany Wright






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