In our increasingly smaller modern gardens, there is often little space left for planting fruit trees. However, these can be used in an original way: as a hedge!
If you want a hedge that attracts foraging insects, birds, small mammals and ... gourmets, planting it with small fruit trees is a great way to create intimacy while producing delicious fruits in season without encroaching on the space of the garden. Indeed, fruit trees with low development make wonderful natural hedges.
How to create a hedge of small fruit trees?
Two solutions are available to you: either train the fruit trees in “espalier” - this is a cultivation method which allows you to direct the young flexible branches on wires in order to obtain a balanced form - or let your fruit trees grow in “Cépée”, namely tufted. Whenever possible, it is better to compose a fruit hedge of native shrubs that will adapt effectively to the nature of the soil and the climate, rather than trying to acclimatize more delicate varieties. It is best to marry fruit varieties. Each one has its own biological rhythm, so you can get flowering and fruit production almost throughout the year. Contrary to popular belief, fruit trees adapt perfectly to this type of use. The ideal is to opt for dwarf trees or, at least, with small development. Thus, small fruit shrubs growing in varieties, such as gooseberries, black currants, chokeberry, goji, dwarf cherry or hazelnut, are perfect as a natural hedge. Avoid raspberries whose development by suckers quickly proves to be anarchic. If you prefer structured forms, opt for columnar or espaliers apple or pear trees.