Dwarf fruit trees take up less space than standard-size fruit trees but produce the same size fruit as standard fruit trees. The overall yield, though, is less. Dwarf fruit trees have the same pruning and pollination requirements as standard-size fruit trees. All fruit trees benefit from having several different varieties of the same type in close proximity so bees can pollinate the blossoms to increase fruit yields. Even dwarf fruit trees that are considered self-pollinating benefit from cross-pollination with other kinds of fruit trees.
Locate an area in the garden that gets at least six hours of sun each day and where the dwarf fruit trees can be planted 25 to 30 feet apart. At least two different varieties of the same kind of tree should be planted, and the varieties must bloom at the same time for good cross-pollination.
Dig a hole large enough for each fruit tree that allows the roots to spread easily without being compacted, usually 1 foot or larger in diameter than the root ball. Plant the fruit trees at the same level they were previously planted. Do not cover the root graft with soil because the root graft will grow and the top fruit producing part of the plant will die. The root graft is the swollen offset area at the base of the trunk. Water the plant while refilling the hole with native soil.
Cover the root base around each fruit tree with a 2-inch layer of mulch, leaving an inch of space between the mulch and the trunk of the fruit tree. This will prevent any diseases from spreading from the mulch to the tree.
Keep dwarf fruit trees moist but not wet throughout the growing season. Don't begin a fertilizer program until after the first year so the plants will have time to grow new roots and become accustomed to the planting site.