Dwarf fruit tree yard



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Fresh fruit is incomparable in taste, texture, aroma, and color. Many fruits available in your supermarket produce section have travelled and ripened over time, producing a different result than those items fresh off the tree. Unfortunately, many of us don't have large yards in which to grow our own orchards to ensure these tree-to-table treats are widely available. While it may be difficult to cultivate large fruit trees at home, the good news is there are many smaller varieties available that can be worked into even a tiny yard, and even some fruits that will grow in pots that can be supported on backyard patios too.

Content:
  • Dwarf Deciduous Fruit Trees
  • Issue: January 2003
  • Tree Selection
  • Dwarf Fruit Trees
  • Complete guide to dwarf & miniature fruit trees
  • 5 Reasons Not To Grow Fruit – And Why They’re Wrong
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: What THEY don’t tell you about dwarf fruit trees!

Dwarf Deciduous Fruit Trees

Apple, cherry, plum, and other fruit trees are always a splendid addition to the edible landscape. Gorgeous in every season, fruit trees put out a mesmerizing display of fragrant blooms in spring and dramatic, fiery foliage colors in fall. And during the dog days of summer, they bear bushels and bushels of fruit, sweeter and juicer than anything you could buy at the store.

Standard-sized fruit trees are long-lived specimens that can become quite massive in time. Mature apple trees have a height and spread of around 30 feet. Naturally smaller trees, such as peach and nectarine, can reach up to 15 feet tall and wide. Dwarf fruit trees, by contrast, are much smaller in stature.

Typically reaching around 8 to 10 feet tall and wide, these miniature beauties will provide an abundance of full-sized fruit each season but are much easier to manage and care for than their towering counterparts. Whether you wish to grow a tiny orchard or a single fruit tree, dwarfing varieties are a clever solution for growing fresh fruit in small spaces.

Dwarf trees are able to maintain their petite and compact proportions thanks to the horticultural technique known as grafting. Grafting is a form of asexual reproduction that involves joining the parts of two or more living trees together. It involves taking a cutting from the upper portion of the parent fruit tree. This is called the scion, a selection of branches with budding tips. The scion is carefully joined to the rootstock of another compatible tree. The upper and lower portions of these two trees are conjoined where each were cut, callousing together as they heal.

Most fruit trees are propagated by grafting scion to rootstock to ensure consistency, and there are many different kinds of rootstocks to choose from. For example, an apple tree with an M25 rootstock will grow to be a standard 30 feet in size.

The same variety of apple grafted to an M9 rootstock will be dwarfed to only 8 feet. Then there are multi-grafted fruit trees. When more than one scion is joined to the rootstock, a single apple tree, for instance, could yield several kinds of apples, like Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious varieties.

Clearly, dwarf fruit trees are the ideal for smaller outdoor spaces. Some dwarfing rootstocks can limit tree size to just three feet tall and wide, making it possible to plant fruit-bearing trees in tiny yards and gardens. Many kinds of dwarf fruit trees are good candidates for container gardening and can be set out on a balcony or patio.

Because dwarfed trees grow no larger than 10 feet, maintaining the tree over the course of its lifespan is so, so much easier. Once transplanted in the ground or in a pot, dwarfing varieties will produce fruit in only a year or two. Standard-size fruit trees can take around 5 years before they start setting fruit.

Dwarf trees can help maximize the use of garden space by allowing for multiple plantings. The smallest types can be planted densely to create a flowering and fruiting privacy hedge. Espalier is the ancient technique of pruning and tying growing tree branches against a wall, fence, or trellis. Trees grown along a flat, two dimensional surface can be trained into creative shapes and patterns to save on space and make a living work of art.

Due to their limited growth potential, dwarf fruit trees are great choice for espalier training. And while any woody plant can be trained in this manner, some of the most tried-and-true fruit trees for espalier include apple, fig, stone fruits, and citrus.

Drought tolerance, disease resistance, cold hardiness, early fruiting, ability to grow in poor soils, and of course, size, are some of the optional traits. When grown in containers, dwarf fruit trees can travel with you wherever you go — no need to leave behind a mature tree when you move.

Another advantage of a portable orchard is that container-grown dwarf trees can also be moved indoors during winter. This opens up a world of possibilities for growing tropical trees in cold climates. Dwarf fruit trees will generally live for quite a long time, around 15 to 20 years. Dwarf trees are too short and narrow to provide much by way of shade.

A dwarf apple tree, for instance, will on average produce 48 to pounds of fresh fruit each season. Though less than a semi dwarf to pounds and a standard size to pounds apple tree, dwarfed varieties often provide more than enough to feed a small family.

When shopping around for dwarf fruit trees, pay special attention to traits like disease resistance, chilling hours, pruning requirements, and whether the tree is self-fertile or needs another tree to bear fruit.

Red Delicious is a popular pick that blooms with pinkish-white flowers in mid-spring. In autumn, it bears sweet and juicy apples that are excellent for fresh eating and cooking. The fruit has a good storage life and will keep up to six months in the fridge. You will need a second dwarf apple tree of a different variety to produce fruit on either tree. To ensure successful cross-pollination, both dwarf apple trees should be in bloom at the same time and planted within 20 feet of each other.

Compatible pollinators for Red Delicious include other mid-season bloomers such as Golden Delicious, Gala, and Honeycrisp. Alternatively, you can save on yard space by choosing a multi-grafted apple tree with two or more compatible scions.

An heirloom variety that originated in Georgia, Elberta peaches are yellow freestone fruits that finish with a blush of reddish pink. These fuzzy peaches are large, juicy, and sweet — ideal for eating, freezing, canning, and jam-making. The tree is a show stopper in early to mid-spring when masses of fragrant pink blossoms adorn its leafless branches. Elberta peach trees are self-fertile but will benefit from a second peach tree nearby to cross-pollinate with.

Keeping at least two peach trees will vastly improve the production of fruit. To keep your peach tree healthy and productive , annual pruning is an absolute must. This is because peach trees will only bloom and bear fruit on branches that are at least one year old. Older wood will eventually stop producing flower buds and thus, fruit and needs to be cut back to make way for new fruiting branches. A Japanese plum, Santa Rosa is a self-pollinating plum tree that is stunning in spring and a delicious provider come July.

Santa Rosa is an early and prolific bloomer, bearing sweet and fragrant white blossoms in tight clusters along every branch and stem. The fruit is large, red to purple in color, and good for eating, canning, and cooking. It naturally grows in a rounded canopy and requires minimal pruning to maintain its shape and allow for sunlight to reach the center of the tree. The 1-inch, heart-shaped, purplish-black drupes are perfect for fresh-eating since the inner pit is smooth and separates easily from the flesh.

Black Tartarian also does well in canning and preserve making. Putting out a glorious show in early to mid-spring, the white colored blossoms fill the air with a sweet scent. By mid-summer, ripe cherries arrive in clusters along the branches. Like all sweet cherry cultivars, Black Tartarian is not self-fertile and needs a second cherry species in order to produce fruit. Plant it along with similar early blooming varieties like Bing, Stella, and Ranier.

Best for fresh eating, Washington Navel oranges are seedless, easy to peel, and supremely flavorful fruits. The dwarf version grows to be about half the standard size, but can be carefully pruned to a petite 3 feet in height. An evergreen tree, Washington Navel orange has attractive elliptical leaves that give off a wonderful fragrance year-round. In spring, clusters of waxy, white blossoms appear along the branches. Like all orange trees, Washington Navel loves warmth and sunlight.

In frost-free regions, it can be planted directly in the ground. Fig trees are native to the warm and temperate regions of the Mediterranean and typically grow best in USDA zones 8 toCeleste is a much more cold hardy cultivar that can be planted outdoors to zone 6. Maturing into a handsome multi-branched tree with silver-grey bark and deeply lobed leaves, Celeste bears small, green, and inconspicuous flowers in spring. Celeste figs are small to medium in size, are bronzy-purplish in color, and have a very rich and sweet flavor.

These are delectable eaten fresh off the tree or prepped in jams, preserves, and pastries. Normally, mango trees take up a ton of space and can grow to more than feet in height. But dwarfed varieties, like Ice Cream, will keep your mango tree to a much more manageable size. Ice Cream mango can be trained and pruned to only six feet tall. Ice Cream mangos are sweet, rich, and creamy. The fiberless fruit starts out green and will ripen to yellow as the weather heats up in June and July.

The standard size matures to around 40 feet tall and wide but the dwarfed version can be kept under 10 feet. Because Black Mulberry produces its delicious fruit on both old and new wood, it can be pruned back each season after fruiting has finished in autumn. This is how you can keep it to a tiny 2-feet. Whether grown as a tree or shrub, Black Mulberry is a lovely specimen with serrate and leathery green leaves.

Inconspicuous green catkins in spring turn to masses to purplish-black berries in summer. Black mulberry fruit is considered to be the tastiest of all the mulberry species. The fruits look like oblong blackberries, each about one inch long. Juicy and sweet, these are delightful eaten fresh but are equally wonderful as jam, syrup, and wine. Lindsay Sheehan is a writer, researcher, and lifelong gardener who loves little more than the thrill of nurturing living things from dormant seed.

Endlessly fascinated by the natural world and especially fond of native species, she is always on the hunt for new ideas and techniques surrounding organic gardening, permaculture, and environmental sustainability. She is a firm believer in working with the forces of nature, and not against them, by creating healthy ecosystems within the garden patch.

This philosophy also spills over into lifestyle through a return to our ancestral roots by becoming more self-reliant, wasting nothing, and living simply. When not at the writing desk or tending her ever-expanding garden, Lindsay enjoys taking long walks in the wilderness, reading science fiction, and snuggling up with her two orange tabbies.

Lindsay Sheehan.


Issue: January 2003

You can use a variety of methods to grow dwarf fruit trees in your miniature fruit garden — including using genetic dwarfs and mini-dwarf rootstocks; pruning trees as single cordons, fans, and espaliers; and using multi-plantings. The majority of fruit trees sold by nurseries today are semi-dwarfs. However, most semi-dwarf trees can grow feet high! Even dwarf fruit trees usually grow feet high. I consider it a huge advantage to be able to work on my trees while standing on the ground. There are a few genetic dwarf fruit trees available that will remain under 8 feet tall, but not many.

Growing a dwarf fruit tree in the garden Most dwarf apple, pear and stone fruit trees require a pollinating partner to fruit. Always plant more than one tree.

Tree Selection

New here? I invite you to subscribe to my Free Newsletter for exclusive tips on growing a healthy food garden. Welcome back! Have you visited the free Article Library? You'll also find helpful Gardening Guides here. Dig in! Thinking about growing your own fruit trees? I grow a LOT of fruit trees in a small space.

Dwarf Fruit Trees

If you have the space, desire, and commitment to grow tree fruits consider these points before selecting your cultivars:. Most tree fruits suited for the mid-Atlantic region are botanically grouped into two categories: pome fruits and stone fruits. The pome fruits comprise apples Malus and pears Pyrus and share many cultural similarities and pest problems. Likewise, the stone fruits—peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, and cherries Prunus —share cultural similarities and pests. Bargain plants may not be healthy or maybe a variety not adapted to your area.

Due to limited space, gardeners need to realize how to maximize their area so they can get the most out of it. If you live on a smaller parcel of land and want to grow your favorite fruit tree and think you just have room for one, you need to think twice because by size managing your fruit trees you discover that in reality you can plant multiple trees.

Complete guide to dwarf & miniature fruit trees

More and more gardeners are looking for ways to reduce household costs and grow more of their own food. Fruit trees are prolific, bearing for years. With dwarf varieties, you don't have to own acres of land to grow them. Also, with new disease-resistant varieties, controlling pests is a little easier. However, with a little attention, they can grow and fruit for years, providing food for you, your neighbors, and wildlife. Before you start digging holes and ordering fruit trees from around the country, you'll need to spend some time planning.

5 Reasons Not To Grow Fruit – And Why They’re Wrong

Now offering in-person and virtual appointments FaceTime, Google Duo, and Whatsapp Video for your convenience and safety. Schedule appointment We're in this together Now offering in-person and virtual appointments FaceTime, Google Duo, and Whatsapp Video for your convenience and safety. Many of us dream of walking into our backyards to find shady trees bearing summer fruit for salads, pies or our own canned preserves. While the safest time of the year to plant fruit trees in Michigan is April-June, the smaller dwarf and medium trees can handle planting a bit later — the key is to baby them with a lot of water so the roots can handle this hotter time of the year. Or, you can wait even until September.

* Nectarines: If you prefer smooth-skinned stonefruit, check out yellow-fleshed nectarines 'Flavourzee', 'Garden Delight' and 'Nectar Babe'. · *.

Dwarf fruit trees might be just the thing for a smaller garden space. So, what are dwarf fruit trees? A dwarf fruit tree is one whose size is limited by genetics, grafting, or environmental conditions. Dwarf fruit trees produce normal-size fruit, but they are not as tall as standard fruit trees.

Download Resource. Pruning and pest management — these two chores can be discouraging tasks for many home tree fruit growers. Is it possible to grow tree fruits with limited inputs? With proper tree selection and site preparation, the answer can be yes. The first and perhaps most important issue is site selection.

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Having your own backyard orchard in the form of your favourite fruit trees is a great addition to your organic garden. Growing fruit without chemical herbicides and pesticides is a great way to experience the fresh taste of edible garden fruit. If you venture into most older properties you will generally find a lemon tree and one or two fruit trees which would probably include a stone fruit or possibly and apple or pear.


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