Dwarf Fruit Trees – Choosing Small Trees for Your Garden

Growing your own fruit trees can be a great way to improve your diet and move towards a greener and more sustainable way of life. Dwarf fruit trees make it possible to grow fruit even in the smallest of spaces.

Why Choose a Dwarf Fruit Tree?

If you choose dwarf fruit trees, these can find a place even in the smallest of gardens. Sometimes, these may be grown in the ground, though dwarf trees can also easily be grown in containers. Growing dwarf fruit trees in containers is a popular option, as it means that they can be placed in a courtyard, on a patio or even on a balcony. Container-grown dwarf trees can also be brought inside or under cover during the winter months, which makes it easier to grow a wider range of fruiting trees.

How to Choose Which Dwarf Fruit Tree to Grow

When thinking about which dwarf fruit tree or trees to choose for your garden, it is important to consider:

  • The climate and conditions were you live.
  • The soil conditions (if growing in the ground).
  • How much space you have available for in-ground growing or container-grown trees.
  • Which fruits you personally actually like to eat.
  • Whether the options you are considering can be grown alone and are self-fertile, or need a companion for fertilisation.

Dwarf Fruit Trees

There are a range of different options that you could consider for your garden. Outdoors, you could consider growing the following dwarf fruit trees or small trees:

  • apple trees
  • pear trees
  • quince trees
  • medlars
  • plum trees
  • cherry trees
  • mulberry

In containers, in sunny, sheltered spots in the south, or to be brought inside during the colder months, you could also consider:

  • apricot trees
  • peach trees
  • fig trees

How Do Dwarf Fruit Trees Stay Small?

The size of many dwarf fruit trees is determined by the rootstock on which they are grown. Most fruit trees today are created by grafting the roots of one type onto the top section of another.

Rootstocks are the root sections that are used. These determine the size and vigour of the plant. By grafting different varieties of fruit tree onto these rootstocks, we can get plants that perform ideally in terms of size, resistance and fruit production.

Not all small, patio trees, however, are true dwarfing varieties. Some may be naturally rather small in stature, while others can simply be restricted in size by the size of the container in which they are grown.

Understanding these things can help us determine which varieties to choose, as well as helping us to make decisions about where and how to grow them in our gardens.