Using Dwarf Fruit Trees in Your Home Orchard

Dwarf fruit trees produce normal-sized fruit in a fraction of the time. Plus, a short guide to growing nut trees.

| March/April 1970

  • Dwarf Fruit Tree
    Although dwarf fruit trees are only a fraction of the size of conventional trees, they produce the same size fruit.
    Photo by Fotolia/Davidein
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    When to expect your trees to yield fruit.
    Image by Ed Robinson
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    A comparison of when standard trees bear fruit versus dwarf trees.
    Image by Ed Robinson
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    Here is one plan for less than a half-acre homestead showing how you can attractively landscape your grounds with fruit trees. Note that tall trees are generally planted on North boundary. In this plan trees are planted as close as is practical and size (spread) at maturity indicated. Scale: 1 inch equals 40 feet.
    Illustration by Ed Robinson

  • Dwarf Fruit Tree
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If the Robinson family of five years ago could talk with the Robinson family of today about home orchards, the Robinsons of five years ago would have been saved a lot of trouble. Now perhaps we can save you that trouble!

Soon after we first moved to our place, we became excited about dwarf fruit trees — pigmy trees that produce delicious, normal size fruit in only two or three years. But when we went to order some, our local nurseryman didn't have the right kind of dwarfs and he advised us to buy standard trees instead.

"But we haven't enough space in our back lot for many big trees," we protested.

"Then why don't you plant your orchard in front of the house?" he suggested.

"Well, we planned to landscape the front with pretty trees."

"Haven't you ever seen an apple tree in blossom?" he asked. Of course we had — so we planted our 18 fruit trees around the house and front lawn. We landscaped with fruit trees instead of shade trees. (Later we discovered that the back of our acre was too swampy for fruit trees anyway. If the roots of young trees stand in water they don't do well.) We've never regretted this decision to plant fruit trees in front of the house.

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