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Dwarf Fruit Trees of Oregon

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Dwarf Fruit Trees of Oregon

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Many types of fruit trees are compatible with Oregon's climate. Dwarf trees are a good choice if your garden area is small--you can even grow them in a large container on your deck or patio if you live in an apartment or condo and love the taste of homegrown fruit. The fruit that dwarf trees produce is generally the same size as the fruit from full-sized trees, but the harvest will be a little smaller.

Cherries

Pop-in-your-mouth cherries are one of spring's best fresh fruits. Cherries can be either sweet or tart in flavor and several dwarf varieties of each exist. The tart dwarfs include Montmorency, Meteor and North Star. Genetic dwarf sweet cherries include Starkcrimson, which is a self-fertile type, meaning you needn't plant a second tree in order to pollinate it.

Apples

Dwarf red delicious apples are a good choice for Oregon gardens. It's a crisp and juicy apple that is a favorite for eating fresh as well as for cooking. This dwarf tree grows to only 7 to 10 feet tall and produces a good-sized crop of full-size apples. They do, however, require another apple variety for pollination: some nurseries, such as Fast Growing Trees, recommend planting a Granny Smith apple tree nearby for cross pollination. The dwarf red delicious apple is not drought tolerant, according to ArborDay.org, so it's a good choice for growing in a container where you can keep better control of the soil moisture.

Pears

The dwarf Bartlett pear tree grows well in Oregon. A disease known as fire blight has made the growing of pear trees difficult in some parts of the United States, but because of Oregon's mostly dry summer weather, it remains a good growing environment for pears. Pears and apples grow in similar conditions, so if you know of apple trees in your neighborhood, you might have success with a dwarf pear. Dwarf pears are reported to be easier to grow than apples, according to the National Gardening Association, because they are less vulnerable to insect damage and can withstand wet clay soil better than apple trees. Dwarf pear trees can take up to six years before they reward you with a crop and they do require a second tree of another variety in order to become pollinated.

Peaches

Succulent, juicy peaches are a summertime treat, whether in the lunchbox or a pie. The dwarf peach originally came from Asia and the Romans introduced it to Europe from the Middle East. It was called the Persian apple as long ago as 392 B.C., according to the web site Delange.org. Dwarf peach trees require little pruning and are generally easy to grow. This tree performs best when you train it to an open center, which means you'll prune the main central branch to within 2 feet of the ground when you first purchase your tree. This helps the tree to develop strong lateral branches and allows light to reach the center of the tree. It is important to thin the fruit in order to ensure large fruit with good quality: Delange.org suggests removing some of the fruit when it reaches the size of your thumbnail. Leave about 5 inches between developing peaches.

Keywords: Oregon gardening, dwarf fruit trees, apples peaches pears

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.