Columnar apple orchard in pots

Seen on the Blackrock/Riverside Tour of Gardens here in Buffalo. This serious gardener keeps all his columnar apple trees in pots to form a vertical orchard against a wall that keeps the heat on them, producing prodigiously. He drags them into his garage for the winters to protect them. I have one columnar apple tree (in the ground) in my front yard. If I had five, not sure I’d want to bring them in each year. Bringing them in probably protects the planters from winter ice more than the trees themselves.

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

0 comments on “Columnar apple orchard in pots

  1. It's good to know that these trees produce. Then there's hope for mine although I don't keep it potted. Columnar Apple is planted near our front stoop against the house. I fell in love with the idea of opening my front door and picking an apple. Something along the lines of what California Gardeners do with lemons.


  2. Anonymous

    I always wanted to try the columnar apples. But like you wanted to put them in the ground. I never thought to pot them up and store them over winter, I already do this with my rose standards. You have yours in the ground, but I was always afraid of the cane freezing. I may try it like you did this year. Saves a lot of work.


  3. pelenaka,My own Columnar produces only 3-6 apples a year — hardly prodigious. Mine too, is planted in the front of my house. My problem is that the apples it does produce are way up high in the tree and I have to get a ladder to get them.GWGT,Planting in pots or bins just seems like extra work to lug them into storage each year. I guess if, like the gardener above, you didn't have room for them otherwise it would make sense.


  4. Ooooh, that looks amazing. I have wanted one of those columnar apple trees for a year now. I'm definitely going to buy two this year, I've seen them sold at Gardeners Supply. Where did you buy yours? I actually have several trees that I keep in pots and move them indoors every year. Among them are a meyer lemon and a dwarf lime. It's the only way they stay green all year long, and I don't mind moving them back and forth.


  5. meemsnyc,I bought my columnar apple tree at an Agway store in Binghamton, NY. I bought two, one died. They were a gift from my mother right after my father died. She bought a “tree of our choice” for each of us three kids to plant in his memory. Not sure why, exactly, dad was never a gardener nor particularly fond of specimen trees. But it does now remind me of dad. I may have to invest in a meyer lemon and a dwarf lime myself. And an olive tree. We were in Greece last week and appreciated the lemon and orange trees growing along city streets and fell in love with the beautiful green of olive leaves.


  6. For what it's worth, if your columnar apple tree isn't producing it may be because you actually need two of them for cross pollination.


  7. Thanks slicey,The columnar apple I have actually produced a couple dozen apples this year. It's my espaliered pear trees that have never bloomed for me!


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