21. October 2020

Harvesting my Columnar Apple Trees

I wasn't expecting much from my new columnar apple trees, but I actually got a nice little batch of fruits this year!

Små röda frukter på ett äppelträd.

The Maypole apples grow in lovely little clusters. They fall off the trees when they ripen in late September. Columnar apple trees is a great choice for a smaller garden!


I planted 14 fruit trees in my cottage garden in June. All of them columnar trees, which means that they grow straight upwards and don't really spread out much sideways. I decided to go for several kinds like apple, pear, plum and cherry. This garden is situated on top of a rocky hill and I didn't really have enough space for larger trees. So this seemed like the way to go. And now, it's finally time to start picking the fruits from the columnar apple trees in my garden!

You can read more about my columnar trees and how I planted them in the link below:


Read more: Columnar trees for the cottage garden


En slänt med flera små träd planterade i.

I took this picture of my columnar apple trees in the beginning of June 2020. We planted the all in all 14 trees along the path up to the lawn above the beds.


I was actually a bit worried about my trees this summer. Especially when it comes to the watering. The columnar fruit trees grow in a slope so I was concerned that the water would just trickle down the hill. That's why I was extra careful to really keep on top of the watering. I decided to go for a drip irrigation system on the ground for the entire area. The same kind of system I use for the beds below, actually. And it seems to work very well! The trees have been looking great all season.


Ett litet äppelträdmed gröna frukter.

The variety Green sensation produces plenty of beautiful little fruits.

When are they ripe?

Several of the trees actually had flowers or little unripe fruits when I bought them. They developed already at the garden center, so I didn't have high hopes for them though. Flowers and unripe fruits often fall off the tree when you put it in a new location. It seems to be a big transition that takes a lot of energy. I was however surprised to see that several trees got to keep their flowers and unripe fruits!


Close-up of columnar apple trees with unripe fruits.

The picture was taken in June 2020. This variety is called Maypole, and the fruit is completely red all the way through. The leaves are usually redder than other apple varieties in the beginning, but they turn green with time.


Small columnar apple trees with little fruits.

Here we have the results! We got lots of apples, even though the tree is so small.


I noticed that several apples had fallen off the tree in late September. Well, they don't have to fall very far considering the size of the trees right now. But I still decided to pick all the fruits from my columnar apple trees just to make sure that I didn't miss out on them. All except one apple variety produced fruits this year!

The smallest fruits come from the columnar apple tree variety Maypole. These actually don't grow larger than this. Quite similar to an ornamental apple variety, but larger. The Maypole apple is a bit tart but beautifully red inside. A bit reminiscent of an apple bush with lovely red fruits that grows in my garden, called Appeltini. The fruits are around the same size too.


More from the cottage garden: Garden tour


My columnar apple trees, a large red apple on a small tree.

Red sensation is actually a lot bigger than expected! Fun!


The green apple variety Green Sensation produced plenty of nice-looking fruits. I only got one single apple from my Greencats columnar apple trees though. I hope that it gets better next year. Which variety produced the largest apples then? Well, that would be Red Sensation. Something that actually surprised me a little. The large apples almost looked misplaced on that tiny little tree!

The Redcats variety didn't produce any fruits at all this year.

Of course, the flavor might just be the most interesting thing to talk about. And I haven't tried most of them! I'm going to make a nice apple butter that I can enjoy in my favorite writing chair in winter. Keep your eyes open for that post!


Read more: Baked apple with almond paste filling


Red and green apples from my columnar apple trees.

I'm so happy with what my columnar apple trees have produced so far!


More: Growing Your Own Vegetables – For Beginners

The other trees I planted this summer haven't produced any flowers or fruits. But I can't wait to see what's going to happen next year! It's just really fun to grow fruit trees in a smaller garden too. I actually feel inspired to plant even more columnar apple trees (and other varieties too of course) in my little cottage garden. The only question is where. This is after all a very windswept hill!
/Sara Bäckmo


2 responses to “Harvesting my Columnar Apple Trees”

  1. Brian Horton says:

    Where can you buy these trees?! 🙂

    • Sara Bäckmo says:

      Hi Brian. I would give it a try to ask at your garden center. I hope you will find it there! Best of luck!

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