Due to the small garden spaces, I would recommend to use ‘dwarf’ tree varieties, and there are plenty of them! You can use them as hedges to create privacy in your yard. You can use crabapple and citrus trees that can be trained to give you a lush privacy screen. Or you can use shrubs, such as blueberry, raspberry, hazelnut, elderberry or gooseberry as excellent alternatives.
Whilst the main purpose of an edible hedge is to produce edible nuts, berries, leaves and other parts, you should also ensure to mix with them other plants that attract pollinators and other beneficiary insects. This can increase the amount of food you can produce by approximately 30%!
Also keep in mind that most edible hedges will lose their leaves in winter. If you are looking for an evergreen hedge you should consider citrus fruit, sweet bay or rosemary.
If you don’t have enough room, you can always train trees into fences by using the technique of espaliering. Espailering is the technique used to train shrubs or trees grow in a flat line, it gives it more strength if you can train the tree against a flat wall or trellis.
This technique has been around for centuries, as it allows large trees to be grown in small areas, and also to provide a creative way of growing fruit. It is mainly used on apple, pear, apricot, plum, cherry and almond trees.
You can get rather creative with your patterns when espaliering, one thing to keep in mind, no matter which pattern you are choosing, is that you will have to constantly prune and train your chosen plants to keep them growing the way you want them to, so you have to ensure that you have the dedication to keep on working on your fruit plants.