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How to make supports for cordon fruit trees

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  • How to make supports for cordon fruit trees

    I'm putting in cordon apple and pear trees in my new allotment and am after some advice on the supports.

    If I use posts thumped in the ground will they not eventually rot? Even if they're treated wood? I thought about using metposts but I've read that you should have cross braces at the end because of the tension you need in the wires? Would that be the case with metposts too? They don't seem that long to get away without the cross bracing.

    I'm not keen on concreting the posts in and am not even sure if we're allowed to do that. I've not checked but seems it might be something they'd want to avoid so some poor soul in the future didn't have to dig it out.

    Any advice appreciated

  • #2
    Wooden posts will last about 4-5 years, less if under tension. Metal posts are better, and can be braced with a wire over the top and taken down beyond the post to deadman log buried in the ground or at 45 degrees.

    You don't want too much tension in the wires (unless you have a very long run). Instead use a light tension and plant bamboo canes at 45 degrees where each cordon is to be located. Then tie the tree to the cane and the cane to the trellis. In this way most of the load is taken by the canes, the trellis merely keeps the canes in line.

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    • #3
      thanks for your reply. Do you mean all metal posts rather than metpost ground spike things with wooden posts in them? I've got some angle iron in the shed but they're not even 5 foot long so probably too short, especially once part of them is in the ground. Maybe I could bolt them together...hmm. I'd not thought of using them, thanks for putting the idea in my head

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      • #4
        Wooden posts are fine above ground (especially if you put a jam jar lid on top to keep the rain off) but they tend to rot below ground. So those metposts should be OK, as the wooden part is not in the ground.

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        • #5
          I think you will find that wooden posts rot at ground level and that the wood below that level lasts much longer.

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          • #6
            Perhaps heavily treating the wood in some way before using?

            Waterseal paint, cresote, etc?

            Or I do recall someone I know posting about a bridge he had made, having scorched and then waxed the pieces of wood that would be in contact with the ground for longevity?

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