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Edible shade tree?

    4 responses

Toby starts with ...
We've got a large garden umbrella (probably 2.5m diameter) out the back that we put up in summer. I'm thinking about replacing it with something useful - a fruit tree of some sort. It needs to be similar to the umbrella in shape i.e. it's in the middle of pavers (I'll pull up a few to plant) and we walk around the umbrella currently. If it was too bushy it'd block the walkway. So ideally it'd have an upright ~2m trunk before branching out into a canopy and not growing too tall.

I was thinking I might be able to train a pomegranate to have a long trunk before branching - does this sound feasible? Any other suggestions?
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Toby
Perth
20th August 2009 2:47pm
#UserID: 2325
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Steven says...
Hi Toby.


You will have to train the tree via pruning to get the trunk 2m high before branching as no tree will naturally do that in an open space.

In regards to what you want it depends on what you would like, if you want something that doesnt grow too tall maybe try a citrus, olive or stone fruit tree a pomegranite grows between 6-8m tall so that might work.

If you want something really shady though i would suggest myabe a walnut, chestnut, avocado, mango.

it depends on what fruit do you like?
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
20th August 2009 6:35pm
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Toby says...
We've got lemons, probably got some other citrus too. We've got a very productive olive, more than enough of those. We've got a couple of avocado and macadamias, maybe some other small nuts too. One mango that's not too happy.

I thought pomegranate because that's one we don't have. Training's OK but I'd hope to have a natural umbrella within 3-5 years, not sure how long a pomegranate would take to develop the 2m trunk.

Another thought I had was white shahtoot mulberry. We've already got one in with the chooks but it's still small and in a bit of a shaded spot. This new spot will get a fair bit of sun in the middle of bricks.

I guess one other I could try would be jujube, but I'm not sure if we could get it to grow tall enough.

Any of those three would be great as long as we can train it. I'd hate to spend 5 years only to find it was impossible to get a long upright trunk due to its natural branching habit.
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Toby
Perth
20th August 2009 9:50pm
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Itdepends says...
Because you only put the umbrella up in Summer I'd go for a decidous tree- just be prepared to deal with the leaf drop in autumn.

Maybe have a look at a pear tree? (Will require continous pruning to keep down to size though)
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Itdepends2
 
21st August 2009 2:52pm
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Steven says...
Hi Toby

Any tree that grows higher than 2m other that say a hazelnut, you will be able to prune into a nice trunk shape. whether or not it grows quickly will obviously depend on your soil, water etc. A pear would be good, or maybe an almond.

I like seeing the leaves drop everywhere during autumn i think it looks beautiful but thats my opinion. you will also get alot of fruit dropping when the fruit is ripe but again i dont really see that as a problem as the pros far outweight the cons.

I think a pomegranate will be fine there as long as its healthy and you have deep soil so it can grow quickly.

Regards

Steven
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
21st August 2009 5:51pm
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Posts: 325
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