How to Plant Dwarf Fruit Trees in Canada


The cold climate of Canada can make it a challenge to grow fruit trees and other garden plants, since many varieties of fruit trees are frost-tender or will only set fruit during hot weather. According to the St. Lawrence Nurseries in Potsdam, New York, dwarf fruit trees especially tend to not be cold hardy. This doesn't mean gardeners in Canada can't grow dwarf fruit trees. Look for fruit trees that have a vigorous, cold-hardy rootstock, and try to plant fruit saplings that were grown in a climate similar to your own, so you know that they'll be winter hardy.

Step 1

Purchase bare-root fruit trees in the very early spring. Choose a bare-root fruit tree that is pliable and has a moist root ball.

Step 2

Choose a location for the fruit tree that has well-drained soil, full sunlight and protection from strong winds. South-facing slopes are ideal. Check to be sure these requirements suit your particular fruit tree, since some have slightly different needs.

Step 3

Dig a hole that is as deep as the root ball and twice as wide as soon as the ground is workable in the spring.

Step 4

Build a small mound inside the hole. Spread the roots over the mound. Backfill the hole with the excavated soil.

Step 5

Spread 3 to 4 inches of mulch or compost over the planting site to keep down weeds and help regulate soil moisture and temperature. Leave a space of about 3 inches around the base of the tree so the bark can breathe.

Step 6

Water the dwarf fruit tree thoroughly after planting and continue to water regularly throughout the first growing season. Saturate the soil at least 6 inches below the surface, but there should be no puddling on top of the soil. Deep, infrequent waterings are best.

Step 7

Wrap a length of metal hardware cloth around the trunk to protect the bark from rodents. Cut the hardware cloth with wire cutters, then wrap the loose ends of wire together to make a small cage slightly larger than the trunk. Remove or replace the wrapping as the fruit tree grows.

Things You'll Need

  • Dwarf fruit trees
  • Shovel
  • Compost or mulch
  • Hardware cloth
  • Wire cutter


  • St. Lawrence Nurseries Northern Climate Fruit and Nut Trees 2010 Catalog
  • Tree Help: How to Plant a Tree

Who Can Help

  • BNet: Truly Hardy Fruit Trees
Keywords: dwarf fruit trees, Canada fruit trees, coldy hardy fruits

About this Author

Sonya Welter worked in the natural foods industry for more than seven years before becoming a full-time freelancer in 2010. She has been published in "Mother Earth News," "Legacy" magazine and in several local publications in Duluth, Minn., including "Zenith City News," for which she writes a regular outdoors column. She graduated cum laude in 2002 from Northland College, an environmental liberal arts college.