Patio Apple Trees

— Written By Donna Teasley and last updated by
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What would Johnny Appleseed have thought about a columnar or patio apple tree? It sure doesn’t look anything like the trees that Johnny planted all those years ago. But, it is indeed a true apple with conventional fruit. It all just happens in a very small area.

Patio apples get about 8 feet tall with a spread of just 2 feet. It has one upright leader branch which contains all of the fruiting spurs. So, there are no real branches on this tree. It grows great in a container or in the ground but the container should measure around 20 inches. This is to insure adequate room for root growth.

Like conventional apple trees, the patio apple needs full sun to produce a good crop and it also needs a pollinator. The roots are small so if it is planted in the ground it should be staked. It will also benefit from staking when laden with fruit. Storms and windy conditions can topple it over.

As with any containerized plant, a regular watering schedule is essential and monthly applications of liquid fertilizer should be made April through August. Pruning is not really necessary. A mature columnar apple tree will produce a harvest of about 1/8 of a bushel per tree. Is it a huge crop? No, but when space is limited it is the perfect solution for the gardener who wants to grow his own fruit.