How to Plant Multiple Fruit Trees in a Small Space – High Density Back Yard Orchard Culture

Inspired to make the use of our suburban yard space, this video looks at how to plant multiple trees in the space normally occupied by a single fruit tree. Sometimes referred to as “Backyard Orchard Culture” or “High Density Planting”, this makes it possible for a suburban or even urban grower to enjoy a variety of fruit trees where they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. The main takeaways include managing tree height through use of a low Nitrogen fertilizer, and by pruning using quality bypass shears like those linked below.

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50 Comments

  1. Chantal Tulliez on February 27, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Could you please tell me if you also cut your citrus fruit knee high when you plant them to keep them to a reachable height???

  2. Truck Taxi on February 27, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    Amazing

    Thanks

  3. Catherine Woolf on February 27, 2021 at 10:24 pm

    This is genius.

  4. kylin doster on February 27, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    Good info you dont need dwarf root stock

  5. Mdiaz Diaz on February 27, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    Great information! Thanks for sharing

  6. Jennifer Speers on February 27, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    I found this video very informative and encouraging
    We have an area just about the same size as your test orchard. And i was thinking I’d only be able to get 4 varieties in there, at best. Very very encouraged! Thank you.

  7. Muhammad Shaheer Yaqoob on February 27, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Bro, can I do summer pruning to adjust the height of fruit plant or only winter pruning.

  8. Lauri Snipes on February 27, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    This focuses on height. I’m moving to a postage stamp garden from a very large one 😭😭😭😢😢. I need to keep them narrow so I still have room for vegetables .

  9. Paula C. on February 27, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    I’m late to the game here. I realize this video is several years old. Just wanted to say thank you. Its very helpful. Also, one question for clarity: How do you ensure good pollination. If early, mid, and late season are close together, i am guessing the flowering periods don’t overlap too much. Do you have to have other trees of the same seasonality close by?

  10. Walk By Faith Family on February 27, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    What low nitrogen fertilizer do you use? I have 3 fruit trees coming next week that I am going to plant this way. My family thinks I’m nuts bc I have a tiny yard and I’m planting 3 trees. 😆

  11. Aaron Greenup on February 27, 2021 at 10:34 pm

    Hi Cameron, I just discovered your channel today, so good! I’ve watched a few of your videos on how to setup a small backyard orchad and they’ve been great. I was wondering though, about how many apples do you get from the tress when they have such a low profile? I’d just like to have enough to make a batch of cider as well as some for eating if possible and wanted get an idea of what would be possible in the space I have. Thanks again for putting your channel together, its been so helpful.

  12. Maneerat Boonsomsu on February 27, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    Great videos, so informative. One question I have is, is it ok to plant flowering trees like gardenia and jasmine etc. Near the citrus trees?

  13. Gela Tongson on February 27, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    I had an opposite strategy on my fruit orchard, i bought 12 varieties of dwarf/grafted seedlings of tropical fruit trees many years back, and spaced them 4 or 5 ft apart only along the border/fence of my lawn, so i can use the main space for other functions like get togethers/car parking. . I let them grow dramaticallt for visual impact , hardly pruning them since i want that space to look like a forest park. I mulch but am too lazy to put them in a shredder to break them down easily. I hardly prune unless somebody volunteers to do it for me. Though you surely will be producing more fruits than i did, i find your method labor intensive. I got new ideas though from your video. Tnx.

  14. Jesus V. on February 27, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Great info with this video . Are you doing an update soon on your orchard ?

  15. Duh 123 on February 27, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    It’s summer here, my trees are getting too tall, can I prune now? Or do I have to wait for fall?

  16. Lizzie on February 27, 2021 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks for the videos – I would eally find it better without background music –  its too distracting

  17. Trinity Estrada on February 27, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    I don’t like that idea…if you prune…chances are you won’t get fruit the next year. Also….i don’t want to have a tree for just 50 oranges!

  18. Cyndi Smith on February 27, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    I’m planning on planting several fruit trees next season but wanting to plant in containers because I’m not sure I’m going to be staying, long term, in my current home. What size containers should I use and what is the best soil to start with that I can add to later?

  19. lax23eo on February 27, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    Fantastic video. I was inspired by the book "Grow a Little Fruit Tree". The author talks about the first cut that should be about knee high. My mini orchard, not as impressive as yours though, is in its 3rd leaf, has no fruits yet. Hoping this is the year. Thank you for showing yours!

  20. Debbie Scott on February 27, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Why are trees painted white?

  21. Anna Davis on February 27, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    Thank you for this video. I have been trying to find someone that were doing this with regular sized trees. Excellent.

  22. Southeast Alaska - Hunt - Fish - Bike - Hike on February 27, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    This might be the solution for our new homestead, thanks for the video!

  23. Sangita Gupta on February 27, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    Can Espalier work with high density planting of fruit trees ?

  24. The Busy Gardener on February 27, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    What has YOUR experience been with planting multiple trees in single tree space? Remember, it’s SUCH a bug help to have the right tools and gear. Find gear that I use and recommend here: https://www.amazon.com/shop/thebusygardener . I mainly use my Felco pruners, but have had good experience with Corona and Fiskars as well. More "The Busy Gardener" Videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLScRNuJpsSkzyz_PaGsWNTePZiQEUKQoE

  25. जुल्मी जाट on February 27, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    Plant as much tree u want togethor and rest of the work will nature do ..
    i have 1000 trees in one acre

  26. Southeast Alaska - Hunt - Fish - Bike - Hike on February 27, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    So when I get a brand new tree and I cut it at knee height does it need to have existing buds below the cut off point before cutting or will new buds develop automatically on there own? Any types that differ?

  27. Vaughn Blaylock on February 27, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    Prune in summer, fall, winter, or spring?

  28. David Severance on February 27, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    If using 25gal grow bags, how many of each tree type can be planted per bag?

  29. Antoinette Jones on February 27, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    so glad I found your video! I want to get my first fruit trees soon and I don’t have much space. Ive been in my house 5 years and never thought it was possible to get fruit trees because they get so large and you need multiple for pollination. This is life changing info, thank you! What would be some differences of getting dwarf vs regular sized trees? Would there be a difference in the growth rate? (does it require significantly more pruning for the normal sized trees). It seems like the dwarf trees are harder to find and more expensive. Thanks so much

  30. Raymond Childs on February 27, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    Will be planting ten different heirloom fruit trees in the Catskill mountain region in New York on about a third of an acre. This is the perfect solution. Great information/video.

  31. technosaurus on February 27, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    Your video gave me some good ideas for grafting… earliest fruiting on the north (in northern hemisphere) and latest on the south. I want to do an apple+pear variety tree and peach/plum/apricot variety tree… maybe applicable to grapes too.
    Good stuff.

  32. Carol Williams on February 27, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Oh, how I wish that I could have seen this video before planting most of my trees.

  33. Cathy Williamson on February 27, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    Great info Thank you! Hope you made a video on pruning, and how often you can prune.

  34. elioraimmanuel on February 27, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    Hi, we live on 20 acres with half that available for planting. My goal for our orchard is to have plenty of fruit to preserve via canning or dehydrating so that our large family (10 at this point) can enjoy the fruit year round. I plan to plant 2 or three trees of each fruit and don’t want them huge. At what height should I top them for the end result to be approximately 10’? How close should I plant them?

  35. Lora Thomas on February 27, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    How do I fix this problem? I have a golden delicious and honey crisp apples that are supposed to pollinate each other. The honeycrisp flowered literally a week after the blooms on the golden delicious fell off. This is the first year they both flowered. They are 10 ft apart.

  36. Miryana on February 27, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    I just planted an eight foot peach tree. Would it be smart to chop off half of its trunk and bring the trunk height to my knees? Can I do it now (October) or do I wait for spring? I live in Atlanta. It was a potted tree.

  37. The Enthusiastic Gardener on February 27, 2021 at 11:08 pm

    Hello Cameron, just found your wonderful channel and subscribed straight away after seeing you with Kevin the Epic Gardener. Now watching back to back episodes on your miniature fruit trees as I planted my first 4 on Saturday 🥰

  38. mithun gerald on February 27, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Is the 4 to 5 ft spacing between fruit trees good? im planning to do like line the fence,please help with your knowledge

  39. Sangita Gupta on February 27, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    What is the ideal distance between trees planted in one hole and between two such high density holes ?

  40. Shayna Ingram on February 27, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Did you verify any sewer lines or pipes before planting?

  41. Michael joya on February 27, 2021 at 11:11 pm
  42. Deepu Panicker on February 27, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Awesome video mate, keep up the good job

  43. carriad11 on February 27, 2021 at 11:15 pm

    Greetings from Nova Scotia, Canada! The most important thing you have said is that as backyard gardeners we do NOT need all that commercial orchard space for our fruit trees! I have known this now for several years and what I find most frustrating is that the planting instructions that come with all fruit trees are for commercial orchards! It is quite ironic that these instructions actually cause the nurseries to sell less fruit trees to the home gardener!
    Anyway take care and stay safe!

  44. Raul Hernandez on February 27, 2021 at 11:15 pm

    I was planting my trees ten feet apart and I thought that was the way now I it can be different, thanks

  45. South county farm girl Co-op on February 27, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    Great videos! Thank you. I’m also planting high density. Great to see others using it in practice.

  46. Truck Taxi on February 27, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    As I reflected on what I saw in your video I had a question: ‘at some point you’re likely to tired frim this high maintenance system, what is your plan should that occur? Will you thin them, replant, or let survival of the fittest thing decide?

  47. Doug Dunlap on February 27, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    can I plant one peach tree and expect to have fruit grow at some time?

  48. Jenny Wood on February 27, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    Lots of great info in this, thanks! I watched a Dave Wilson video just before this but from 2009 where he planted 3 trees in one hole. Have you done that? What do you think of this approach?

  49. Louie Ortega on February 27, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    Man this fantastic a great and blessed lay out for fruit tree growing.Iam a tropical fruit fan ..! I want to try three different guava trees and mango trees along with peach trees. Thank you so much for sharing your dedication and support !

  50. Geriann Roth on February 27, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    Just found your channel it’s great clear explanation & you really offer tremendous encouragement. I wound love to use this concept too but instead of planting the fruit trees in the ground directly I’m planting them in bottomless containers because my native soil is poor & rocky so I figure I’ll give them a headstart In good rich soil plus the container will help to dwarf the tree too but would you still suggest planting similar varieties together as opposed to completely different varieties?

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