Malus 'Stark Scarlet Spire' (110791 bytes)

Have a Balcony Orchard with Colonnades

By Terry Deem-Reilly, Colorado Master GardenerSM, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Denver

Do you like fresh, crisp, home-grown apples? Hate the scent, taste, AND sound of supermarket fruit? Is growing your own fruit an impossible dream, as you live in a tenth-floor apartment with a balcony, or a patio home with a small cedar deck? Take a minute to consider colonnades.

Colonnade apple trees - products of a mutation discovered several decades ago - bear full-sized red or green fruit on eight-foot trees that each require about two square feet (or an 17" pot) to grow. Their 1" trunks produce a number of small branches that blossom in spring and produce fruit in September. Even considering that at least two varieties must be planted together for pollination, almost everyone can enjoy these trees and their fruit.

There are several varities of colonnades: Emerald Spire, Crimson Spire, Scarlet Spire, and Maypole Flowering Crabapple. (The last cultivar will pollinate any of the others.)

These trees grow to 8' tall and 2' wide, and prefer full sun. They like consistent moisture (water when the top three inches of soil are dry) and are hardy in Zones 4 through 8.

View colonnade apple trees at Stark Bro's Nursery & Orchard Co. (Stark's originated the sale of colonnades in the U.S.)

Photo: courtesy of Mobot

 

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010