It would be glorious to have several favorite fruit trees growing in your backyard. However, for many people, space is an issue. Luckily, with the hybridization of large fruit trees, breeders have created smaller versions. Minimal space is needed to grow a dwarf fruit tree. You get to enjoy your favorite fresh fruit, with enough extra to share, from a tree that grows to a height less than 7 feet (or half the height of the regular fruit tree) at maturity.
The apple may be the most popular fruit there is. Even so, you may have your favorite apple variety, as do most people. Luckily, most of the regular-sized apple trees have been hybridized and are now available in dwarf-sized trees. For all-around use, choose the dwarf Granny Smith tree. The apple’s crisp, tart taste is perfect for pies, jam or just eating fresh. For an added bonus, this tree grows fast in hardiness plant zones 5 through 8 (see Resources). The dwarf apple tree needs a pollinator partner (brings bees in for pollination), such as a Fuji, Gala or Yellow Delicious apple tree. These all yield delicious fruit.
Bing cherries can be used for preserves and baking. They are the most popular eating cherries, as well. The dark cherry flesh has a sweetness and flavor that is difficult to resist. The dwarf variety grows to only 4 feet, making it a good choice for limited outdoor spaces. The Black Tartarion cherry tree is a good pollinator partner to the dwarf Bing cherry tree. You’ll enjoy the lovely blossoms, as an added bonus to your landscaping, before the tree bares fruit. This tree grows best in hardiness plant zones 4 through 8, which covers most of the United States.
If you’ve never had fresh-picked, fresh-squeezed orange juice, you are in for a treat with your dwarf orange. There are also dwarf grapefruit, lime, lemon and tangerine trees to choose from. Large and dwarf-sized citrus trees need to be grown in areas that receive little or no frost, such as southern California and Florida. Still, some citrus varieties can tolerate more coldness than others. The most frost-sensitive types of dwarf citrus trees are lemons and limes. The majority of these citrus trees cannot live in temperatures that drop below 30 to 32 degree temperatures during the winter months. For a moderately warm location, oranges, tangerines and grapefruits are a better choice. Some of these varieties can live in conditions that reach cold spells of 28-degree temperatures.