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Dwarf Fruit Trees for Your Backyard Orchard

You may be surprised to discover how many trees you can grow in a small backyard with dwarf fruit trees, columnar varieties, espalier trees and just by the way you prune the tree. With some of these new dwarf varieties you don’t even have to wait for years to see any fruit. Some dwarf fruit trees will produce fruit in the first year!

Plant fruit trees in spring and fall.

Spring and fall is the best time to plant fruit trees. Anytime that’s not too hot and not too cold. However, fall is often preferred because it gives the roots a chance to get used to their new home and stretch out enough to settle in before they go dormant in winter.

So if you’d like to start your own mini orchard, time to get started!


Selecting an Orchard Site

Excerpted from

Keep these three tips in mind when selecting an orchard site:

  • Choose a site with well-drained fertile soil and full sun.
  • Avoid frost pockets and areas exposed to high winds.
  • Don’t plant early-flowering varieties on south-facing slopes, where they may bloom too early and then lose their flowers (and thus that year’s fruit) to a late frost.

Orchard Planting and Maintenance

Plant in early spring while trees are still dormant. Dig large holes, twice as wide and fully as deep as the root system, and add compost and other soil amendments around tree roots. Don’t let roots get dried out as you get your trees into their holes. Water well. Once the hole is filled, surround the tree with organic mulch.

Fruit trees need to be pruned to remove dead wood and establish a healthy and accessible shape. Prune in spring while trees are dormant. All fruit trees are susceptible to pests and diseases, varying by type and area, so consult your local extension service regarding hardier varieties and issues and remedies, and any tips on pruning. 1)

Fruit Tree Basics for the Backyard Orchard

“One of the most important things to understand when it comes to backyard orchard culture is that it’s not commercial orchard culture. In fact, it’s about as different as it could possibly be.” Tom Spellman, David Wilson Nursery

The biggest difference is that you do not need all the extra space between trees.

You will enjoy this interesting and informative 16.49 minute video on how to grow small fruit trees for your backyard orchard.

Do you know the microclimate of your yard?

A Container Garden of Dwarf Fruit Trees

Yes it’s possible! Cherries anyone?

Tune into this 6 minute video to see what’s possible… all while enjoying some classical music!

My mouth’s watering just thinking of harvesting luscious summer fruits from our own fruit trees.

For more tips on growing fruit trees in smaller spaces, you’ll likely also enjoy this article on espalier.2)

If you haven’t visited our Facebook page, we’d love to have you join in on the conversations over there.

Here are some photos from one of the Gardens All Facebook fans, Justine Nalbach. When it comes to growing dwarf fruit trees, Justine says:
     “Dwarf fruit trees are great for cold climate folks who can’t grow them outside! I thought you may like this photo of my dwarf lemon babies, they take 10-12 months to become fully grown. Also dwarf pomegranates are awesome !!! (And Justine threw in a photo of her dwarf orange too. :-))

Justine Nalbach's dwarf orange tree.
Justine Nalbach’s dwarf orange tree.
Dwarf lemon tree with baby lemons.
dwarf fruit tree, dwarf pomegranate tree,
Justine Nalbach’s dwarf pomegranate tree.


You may be surprised to discover how many trees you can grow in a small backyard with dwarf fruit trees, columnar varieties, espalier trees and just by the way you prune the tree.

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