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best size/material for fruit tree containers?

Posted by Addie18 24 (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 29, 12 at 17:15

I have ordered several naturally small-size fruit trees on medium vigor rootstock to espalier along my back fence. I was originally going to plant these in the ground, but long story short, I need to put them in containers now. What size container should I use? If all my dreams came true, these trees would grow relatively fast to their full size (which is small,) and would not need to be repotted since this would be a real pain given the communal trellis I have planned. Do the containers need to be extra huge and if so how huge?

Also, should I be concerned about toxicity of tree containers? For instance, if I get cheap pottery containers, could lead from the pottery into the fruit?

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RE: best size/material for fruit tree containers?

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 29, 12 at 18:14

My experience is that most trees only last 4-5 years in 12-15 gallon containers. By then they are so rootbound that vigor drops off the chart. I'm not sure how much longer a bigger container would last. And I'd not want to repot an espalier of any size. My guess is that 6-10 years is all you're going to get without repotting even a big container.

Personally I won't worry about anything from the container material ending up in my fruit. Not like I would drinking an acid drink from the same material. But if I really thought it had lead I'd use a black polypropylene nursery pot inside the decorative one.

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