Spacing of fruit trees
My son has just bought a flat and his small garden (about 80m3) is very overgrown. The previous owner was in his 90s, once a very keen gardener but obviously hadn't done much recently. It's quite exciting making inroads to it - I'm half expecting to meet Dr Livingstone at any moment!
Anyhoo... one bed contains two apple trees, and an apricot, plum and pear tree. I think there's a fig tree close by too! The trunks of these trees are not much more than 3' apart from each other so, of course, the branches are all crossing. The plum and apricot tree are already producing delicious fruit, though the two or three gooseberry bushes in the bed don't help with picking it!
The man who lived there before must have been extremely regular... there are at least two more apple trees and a pear tree elsewhere in the garden, and white, red & blackcurrant bushes!
My question is, is it possible to keep all these fruit trees growing healthily and productively when they're so close? Presumably their size would have to be restricted. Or would it make more sense to sacrifice/rehome one or more? It seems a shame to have to lose any, particularly as my son has gone from having no interest in gardening and wanting to pave most of it over to getting excited at all that free food!