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Fans and Espaliers growing in pots

Question

Published: 27-Dec-2011

My garden is quite small but I am determined to have a few fruit varieties in the garden in the forms of fans and espaliers in containers - I can follow all the planting and pruning necessary from your excellent website, so I am not daunted by it - but I can't work out how big a container I should have, I know they don't stay in their pots forever but what size suitable to start off in?

My little trees would have limited space, imagine a courtyard garden. They would fan to a height of six or seven feet - it's a sunny rear garden and I would like a selection of trees, apricot, apple, pear etc.

Answer

Thanks for your interesting enquiry - and I note you are in a sunny part of the country, which is good as gives you plenty of options. However growing trained trees in pots or containers is not easy. In order to achieve a height of 6ft or so you will need a really large planter, with a capacity of several hundred litres. If you use a more normal container of perhaps 60L, it will have a bonsai effect on the tree and you will not get the height and spread you want - which is particularly important in a trained tree.

You might be better off growing small bush fruit trees in containers.