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Dwarf Fruit Salad Tree

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Dwarf Fruit Salad Tree

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Overview

The dwarf fruit salad tree grows to a height of 8 to 10 feet. It contains two to eight grafted fruit trees that are placed on dwarf rootstock. The separate fruit tree varieties have the unique ability of pollinating each other and each type produces its own fruit variety. Dwarf fruit trees do not have an abundant root system, so they grow easily in containers, which make them ideal plant specimens for patios, small gardens or balconies.

Benefits

One fruit salad tree has the ability of containing multiple citrus varieties, stone fruit types, apple varieties or plum species. The multiple varieties, known as scions, are grafted onto the dwarf rootstock. The gardener has the option of purchasing a tree that contains apples or peaches that mature at various times so they are not overwhelmed with an abundance of fruit. This allows the gardener a chance to harvest ripe fruit slowly over the course of one or two months as each variety ripens at its own pace

Selection

Most garden centers and nurseries offer custom grafting. This allows the gardener the choice of their favorite apple, peach, plum or citrus varieties to be grafted onto their own custom choice tree. Even hybrid fruits are readily available for custom grafting to make the ideal fruit cocktail tree.

Care

Care of the multigrafted fruit tree often involves pruning to maintain the tree's overall appearance. The varying growth rates of the various fruit tree species will often make the tree appear lopsided. Any areas of the tree that show considerable growth will require more stringent pruning then other parts of the tree to maintain its looks an compact size.

Fruit Production

Fruit production on the fruit cocktail tree often begins within six months of first receiving the tree and planting it in its new location. Weather conditions often delay the tree's production until it reaches 1 year of age, however. When the tree is in its height of fruit production, consider draping it with bird netting to protect the fruit. The tree's small size makes it easy to keep unwanted birds from feasting on the fruit.

Care and Growth

The fruit cocktail tree can grow in a container or directly in the garden soil. Plant the tree in organically rich soil. The tree requires at least one feeding of all-purpose fertilizer in the spring. If the tree is grown in a container, it requires repotting every 2 or 3 years to accommodate its root system and also to renew the soil around it. Add a layer of aged manure or compost to the soil around the fruit cocktail tree each spring to add nutrients to the soil.

Winter Care

When growing fruit cocktail trees in containers in areas with cold winters, move the tree into a protected location so the root system does not freeze. The tree also benefits from having mulch layered around the container to afford protection. Place the tree out of the cold wind.

Keywords: fruit cocktail tree, dwarf fruit tree, dwarf tree care

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.