minature fruit trees

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by ozarkyehti, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. ozarkyehti

    ozarkyehti Well-Known Member

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    I have been thinking of planting some minature fruit trees on my property.

    What are the pro's & con's.

    What fruits are better than maybe others.

    I have aprx. 1/4 acre I would like to plant in a minature orchard.

    I live in Missouri , aprx. hour outside St. Louis

    Any and all ideas and recommendations appreciated.
     
  2. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The best fruits are the ones that you like and will eat. Look in lots of catalogs from nurseries for descriptions of fruits to see what sounds good to you (since they are written to sell trees, that will be 90% or more of the fruit for sale). For instance, do you want apples to store all winter, for sauce in the summer, to eat fresh off the tree, to make apple pie, etc. Do you like sweet, tart, mild, hard, crisp, crunchy, highly flavored, etc., apples (or other fruit)? Try a wide variety of fruit at roadside stands, orchards, stores, farmers markets to help you decide what you might want to grow.

    Read some books on starting orchards, and on maintaining them, and using lots of fruit.
     

  3. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    Manchurian apricots are naturally "dwarf"...mine are about 10-12 feet high. That is...if you like apricots :)
     
  4. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    According to a friend (degree in orchard management) who used to manage large commercial groves, the main drawback to dwarfs and smaller is the life of the tree. They tend to be short lived, as I remember somewhere around 11-15 years, then have to be replaced.

    She helped us pick out rootstock and varieties for a zone 6 orchard. I remember her saying in colder zones, many trees will naturally semi-dwarf even though they are on non-dwarfing rootstock. Just one of the side-effects of cold climates. Semi-dwarfs can be kept small with aggressive pruning - and they live at least a decade or two longer. (I remember the number 25-30 years being mentioned for semi-dwarfs). If you are wanting an orchard that outlives you (and becomes one of your legacies) then full size rootstock is what endures.

    According to my friend, Pam, the success is generally in the rootstock choice. All the reason to work with a good nursery.
    BW
     
  5. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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    Same here...I had a dwarf peach tree and it just wouldn't grow and flourish. Later on,I got another one and it was the same way.
     
  6. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My manchurian apricots are about 30 feet and 40 feet tall, and are about 10 years old. One hasn't had any fruit, the other has lots most years, for the last 4 years or so. They vary a lot, but not as much as some trees grown from seed. (Mne are seedling trees.)
     
  7. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

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    I second this idea. I believe, if I remember right, they are hardy to zone 2. A person can either let them do their bush property or prune and train them into more of tree-like form. Wild, what they refer to as Native Plums are fun also. I have had good luck with both Nanking and Hansen's Cherry Bushes, also. Deb
     
  8. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    Wow! Mine are more like tall bushes. Did you do anything to yours to get them tree size?