Apple, cherry, plum and other fruit trees are always a good choice for an edible garden.
Beautiful in all seasons, the fruit trees offer a mesmerizing display of blossoms in the spring and vibrant colors in the fall. And on the hottest days of summer, they give you plenty of fruit, sweeter and juicier than anything you can buy in a store.
Full-sized fruit trees are long-lived specimens that can grow very large over time.
Dwarf fruit trees, on the other hand, are much smaller. Typically reaching 8 to 10 feet in height and width, these miniature beauties provide an abundance of fruit each season, but are much easier to handle and care for than their larger counterparts.
Whether you want to grow a small orchard or a single fruit tree, dwarf varieties are a good solution for growing fresh fruit in tight spaces. Here you can get it.
What is a dwarf tree?
Dwarf trees are able to keep their proportions small and compact through grafting.
Grafting is a form of asexual reproduction that involves joining the parts of two or more living trees.
It consists of taking a cutting from the upper part of the parent fruit tree. This is called a cob, a selection of branches with shoot tips.
The spike is carefully attached to the rootstock of another compatible tree.
The top and bottom of these two trees are joined where they were cut and come together as they heal.
While the graft is chosen for its good fruiting characteristics, the rootstock will determine the size of the tree at maturity, its resistance to pests and diseases, and the type of soil it grows best in.
Most fruit trees are propagated by scion-to-rootstock grafting to ensure consistency, and there are many types of rootstock to choose from.
There are also multi-grafted fruit trees. When more than one scion is attached to the rootstock, a single apple tree, for example, can produce several types of apples, such as Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious varieties.
Advantages of dwarf fruit trees.
Pruning dwarf fruit trees has many advantages:
- Good for small spaces. It is clear that dwarf fruit trees are ideal for small outdoor spaces. Some dwarf rootstocks can limit tree size to just one meter in height and width, making it possible to plant fruit trees in patios and small gardens. Many types of dwarf fruit trees are good candidates for container growing and can be placed on a balcony or patio.
- Easier maintenance. Since dwarf trees do not grow taller than 3 meters, caring for the tree throughout its life is much easier. Pruning and harvesting are simplified.
- front fruit. Smaller trees also reach fruiting age earlier than full-sized fruit trees. Once transplanted into the ground or into a pot, the dwarf varieties will produce fruit in just a year or two. Normal sized fruit trees can take about 5 years to bear fruit.
- denser plantations. They don’t need a lot of room to grow and can be planted closer together than their full-sized parents. Dwarf trees can help you make better use of the space you have in your garden or patio because you can have more trees.
- tutored. Trellising is an ancient technique of pruning and tying growing tree branches against a wall, fence or trellis. Due to their limited growth potential, dwarf fruit trees are an excellent choice for training.
- customizable. Thanks to grafting, fruit trees can be 100% personalized. There is a wide variety of different rootstocks and characteristics. Drought tolerance, disease resistance, cold hardiness, earliness to fruit, ability to grow in poor soil, and of course size are some of the optional traits.
- Transportable. When grown in pots, dwarf fruit trees can be moved, for example indoors for the winter. This opens up a world of possibilities for growing tropical trees in cold climates.
Disadvantages of dwarf fruits.
- shorter shelf life. Dwarf fruit trees usually live quite a long time, between 15 and 20 years. However, this is less than full size trees.
- Without shadow. Dwarf trees are too small to provide much shade. If you dream of resting under your fruit tree during the summer, it is better not to choose a dwarf fruit tree.
- Lower performance. While it is true that dwarf fruit trees bear relatively less fruit than full-sized trees, these smaller trees will still bear plenty of fruit at harvest time. If you want more fruit, you will need to plant more dwarf fruit trees.
Dwarf fruit trees that we can grow.
When researching dwarf fruit trees, pay close attention to characteristics such as disease resistance, cold hours, pruning requirements, and whether the tree is self-fertile or needs another tree to bear fruit. .
1. Red apple.
The supply of apple trees is staggering: thousands of different varieties are grown all over the world.
Red Delicious is one of the most popular varieties, blooming pinkish-white in mid-spring. In autumn it bears sweet and juicy apples. The fruit has a good shelf life and can be stored for up to six months in the refrigerator.
It is important to note that apple trees do not self-pollinate. 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 flower at the same time and be planted within 6 meters of each other.
Compatible pollinators for Red Delicious include other mid-season flowering varieties such as Golden Delicious, Gala, and Honeycrisp.
You can also save space in the garden by choosing a multi-grafted apple tree with two (or more) compatible scions.
2. Elberta Fishing.
Elberta peaches, a landrace native to Georgia, are large, juicy, sweet yellow fruits that are ideal for eating, freezing, canning and making jam.
Elberta peach trees are self-fertile, but benefit from having a second peach tree nearby with which to cross-pollinate. Keeping at least two peach trees will greatly improve fruit production.
To keep the dwarf peach tree healthy and productive, annual pruning is a must. The peach tree only flowers and fruits on branches that are at least one year old.
3. Santa Rosa plum.
The Santa Rosa plum tree is a self-pollinating fruit tree.
Plum is an early and prolific tree with large red to purple fruits good for eating, canning and cooking.
It grows naturally in a rounded crown and requires minimal pruning to maintain its shape and allow sunlight to reach the center of the tree.
4. Cherry tartare.
These cherries are tender and plump, with a rich, full-bodied flavor.
Ideal for eating fresh, as the internal bone is smooth and separates easily from the pulp. Good for canning.
It is not self-fertile and needs a second species of cherry to produce fruit. Plant it alongside similar early-flowering varieties like Bing, Stella, and Ranier.
Ideal for eating fresh, Washington Navel oranges are seedless, easy to peel and have excellent flavor.
The dwarf version grows to half the normal size, but can be pruned to a meter tall.
The Washington Navel orange tree, an evergreen tree, has pretty elliptical leaves that give off a wonderful fragrance all year round. In spring, clusters of white flowers appear along the branches.
Like all orange trees, the Washington Navel likes heat and sunlight.
In frost-free regions, it can be planted directly in the ground.
There are varieties that can be grown in pots and brought indoors as soon as temperatures drop.
6. Celestial Fig.
Fig trees are native to warm and temperate regions of the Mediterranean.
It grows to a beautiful, multi-branched tree with silver-gray bark and deeply lobed leaves, bearing small, inconspicuous green flowers in spring. Although less showy than other fruit trees when in bloom, this small tree will provide plenty of figs in late summer.
Dwarf varieties of mango, such as ice cream, can be easily grown in containers and placed on a balcony or patio.
Although mango trees are best suited to warm tropical climates, container-grown mangoes can be placed outdoors in the spring and summer and brought indoors before temperatures reach 4°C.
8. Lemon tree.
Lemon trees are ideal dwarf fruit trees for container growing. Enjoy a sunny location. You can find dwarf lemon trees here.