When you think about planting your home garden this season, you may imagine an abundance of fresh leafy greens, all sorts of squash and zucchini, sweet organic corn and peppers and those long, nail-biting days waiting for your perfect summer heirloom tomatoes to ripen. But, don't forget about these often overlooked—but quite valuable—additions that might be perfect for your garden plans: Dwarf fruit trees.
You may be wondering why anyone would choose to grow a dwarf tree instead of a full-sized fruit tree full of ripe, juicy fruits. And while there's no denying the allure of sitting under a big shady apple tree, there are plenty of benefits to smaller fruit trees.
Dwarf trees are typically under ten feet tall versus their standard counterparts that can grow up to 40 feet in height. The smaller tree size makes care and pruning much easier; less fruit is wasted because it's easier to harvest, and unlike larger trees that need lots of space to grow, dwarf trees take up little room, and can even grow in containers. But perhaps the main advantage to dwarfs is that they fruit a lot faster than regular fruit trees, sometimes in as much as 1/3 of the time.
No, dwarf trees will not produce dwarf fruits. They offer the same size fruits as regular trees. With the cost of many fresh fruits outrageously expensive, and the excessive amount of transportation involved in getting them to most parts of the country—as well as the pesticides and herbicides often used on conventional produce—growing your own may be the very best choice.Check with your local nursery for quince, apples, pears, cherries, plums, peaches, lemons, limes and many more fruity garden delights!
"Dwarf fruit trees can provide a family—especially one living in tight urban spaces—months of delicious and healthy snack options each season," says Cem Akin, Director of the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. "They're a smart investment for any fruit tree lover, especially someone who wants to start harvesting fruits as soon as possible."
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Photo: The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation