Dwarfing fruit trees
Rootstock choices when growing fruit trees in pots – best fruit trees for small spaces
Best fruit trees for small spaces – We have found through years of selling fruit trees that to have a confined space is no barrier to enjoying home grown wonderful fruit!. When choosing any fruit tree it is important to understand what determines the overall size (vigour) of a tree.
A modern fruit tree is in fact 2 tree joined together, it is a union of the rootstock (bottom) and the tree proper (Bramley, Cox etc) this is known as the graft wood. This allows us to keep a variety pure, the seed from a apple is random act which wonderfully benefits the development of new strains but a graft (or clone) allows a Bramley to always be a Bramley. A seed will be random and unpredictable.
Another vital use of the stock is the passing of the rootstocks size characteristic to the grafted element. Rootstocks are given codes M9 will grow 2.5 metres tall MM106 will grow 4m tall. MM106 is a type of apple tree that will grow 4m tall… the apples it produces if left to its own devices are not very nice.
At Edibleculture we sell M9 apple trees, G5 cherry trees and QC pear trees that are naturally dwarfing and react well to the confines of our apple planters and further dwarf the tree to about 2 metres.
We also select varieties with dwarfing characteristics, which are slow-growing and/or not to vigorous.
Growing fruit trees in pots or patio containers has a number of benefits:
- You can move the trees into a frost-free area during bad conditions or to avoid spring frosts.
- If you move house, you can take the trees with you.
- They provide a decorative and fruitful effect on patios.
- Best of all you can grow fruit trees in very small spaces, ideal for houses with no gardens.
Soil requirements for your tree
It is best to use normal soil and compost in a 50/50 mix- do not use pure compost as it dries out too easily. Put some large stones or broken clay pot pieces in the bottom to allow drainage. The most important thing when growing fruit trees in containers is not to let the soil dry out.
Possible problems with Pot grown fruit trees
Choosing to buy Dwarf Fruit trees – The main problem of growing a fruit tree in a container is that it is actually need a bit more attention than if grown in open ground. The simple fact that the tree needs sustenance and it will quickly use up the compost/earth mix it is planted is a primary concern. Slow release fertilizers and regular changing of the compost will result in a productive tree, the interesting anomaly is that pruning a tree stresses it and results in improved yield.. the suppression of the growth can have the same effect.