Dwarf fruit trees allow gardeners to enjoy a backyard orchard even in cramped quarters. Gardeners can plant dwarf trees in containers on a patio or porch, grow dwarf citrus trees in the living room or place dwarf peach or apple trees in the ground. Dwarf trees produce standard-sized fruit when they are three to five years old, so determine the age of the tree before you purchase it--this should be on the plant tag--to learn when to expect fruit.
Create a list of the type of fruit you want to grow. Most fruit trees come in dwarf varieties. Depending on your climate, you may have to grow some trees (such as citrus) indoors, though cold-hardy trees (like apple) should perform well outdoors.
Visit local nurseries to browse their rootstock. Earth Easy notes that buying your dwarf tree locally informs you that the type of fruit will grow well in your geographic area. When you order online, you have less assurance that the fruit cultivar can perform in your area. Trees that are sold locally do best locally with less effort from you.
Purchase dwarf fruit trees from your local nursery if you find they have the type of fruit you want to grow. Also buy containers and potting soil for the trees, unless you plan to plant them in the ground.
A good fruit tree has a straight trunk with balanced branches spaced out around the trunk, not clustered together. Earth Easy suggests avoiding trees with low branches or stubby, short trunks. If you can see the tree roots, choose a tree with plentiful roots. Generally, trees don't yet have foliage since they're sold when dormant, so leaf condition isn't an indication of tree health.
Look for dwarf fruit trees through online nurseries if you can't find certain trees at your local nursery. If you wish to plant a certain cultivar of fruit or if you want to try a tree not adapted to your area, you will have to purchase the dwarf tree online.