If you’re looking for fruit trees for your garden, you may have come across the term dwarf fruit trees. Dwarf fruit trees are miniature trees that do not grow to the full size as a typical tree of that variety would. However, being smaller doesn’t mean these trees are less productive. On the contrary, they can produce the same fruit as a full-sized tree.
One size up from the dwarf tree is the semi-dwarf tree. These smaller tree varieties take up less space, making them an excellent option for those with less land or garden to spare. But even more so, dwarf plants have less water, nutrient, and sun demands than their larger counterparts, making them more environmentally friendly in the long run.
Dwarf fruit trees come in all varieties, and you may know of a few yourself, consider, for example, the gala apple, which grows well as a dwarf tree.
How Tall Are Dwarf Fruit Trees?
Type of Dwarf Tree
How Tall These Trees Typically Grow:
|Dwarf trees are typically 8 to 12 feet tall once they mature.
|Semi-dwarf fruit trees are typically 12 to 15 feet tall once they mature.
|Full-sized trees are typically 15 to 20 feet once they grow to maturity.
How Wide Do Dwarf Fruit Trees Grow?
Type of Dwarf Tree
How Wide These Trees Typically Grow:
|Dwarf trees are typically 8 to 10 feet wide once matured.
|Semi-Dwarf trees are typically 11 to 14 feet wide once matured.
|Full-sized trees typically grow to 15 feet or broader once they have reached maturity.
We will explore further specifics regarding dwarf, semi-dwarf, and full-sized trees exploring how these trees fare when living in specific environments.
How Tall Are Semi-Dwarf Fruit Trees?
Semi-dwarf fruit trees are typically 12 to 15 feet tall once they mature and anywhere between 11 to 14 feet wide. Give or take some space as each tree develops uniquely of its own accord. It is typically the norm to expect that once a semi-dwarf tree has grown to full size, a person roughly 6 feet tall would be able to pick the fruit without a ladder.
As we previously explored, the height of this fruit tree does not affect the bounty of fruit it produces. Instead, the size restraints of the plant mean it needs less water, nutrients, etc.
Read our related article 24 Types of Dwarf Fruit Trees
How Tall Are Normal-Sized Fruit Trees?
Normal-sized fruit trees are typically 15 to 20 feet tall, and the tree will be 15 feet or greater. Therefore, once a normal fruit tree is fully grown, a ladder will be needed to harvest the fruit.
While a standard-sized fruit tree uses more nutrients, water, and space than the smaller variety, they typically come to mind when we think of wooded areas. However, a large mature tree can use more water, nutrients, and fertilizer, so those living in areas highly affected by global warming may not find these trees the best option.
How Do Dwarf Fruit Trees Stay Small?
Dwarf trees can remain small due to the historical practice of grafting fruit trees onto a dwarf tree rootstock. It is the dwarf rootstock that controls the height and spread of the overall tree. If you want to graft dwarf fruit trees at home, you can purchase dwarf rootstock and then graft cuttings of your preferred tree to the rootstock. The exact process applies to a semi-dwarf fruit tree though this time, with a semi-dwarf rootstock.
How Long Do Dwarf Fruit Trees Take to Grow and Produce?
Roughly, it will take you a dwarf tree 3 to 4 years to produce a good bounty of fruit, which presumes the tree is cared for ideally. The fruit produced by your dwarf tree, despite the size of the tree, will be full-sized. Once producing fruit, you should expect a good bounty for a few decades with careful fertilizing and pruning. One way to increase the bounty of fruit your tree has is to stake it.
Read our related guide of 19 Types of Fruit Trees in Florida
Can You Grow Dwarf Fruit Trees in a Pot or Container?
Yes, you can grow dwarf fruit trees in a pot or container. It may even be ideal to start your fruit tree in a pot or container, as it gives you a greater ability to control the conditions in which your plant grows. In addition, growing in a container increases where you can raise a dwarf fruit tree even better. Potentially you would like one at your front door, increasing your street presence or even on a balcony.
Can You Grow Dwarf Fruit Trees Inside?
Yes, you can grow dwarf fruit trees inside, and you may even find that your dwarf fruit tree flourishes in a greenhouse. Depending on the size of your greenhouse, if you have a heated variety, you could create a more tropical environment allowing you to grow tropical dwarf trees.
Suppose you do not have any garden space. You may want to grow your dwarf fruit tree inside. Just ensure it is placed near a window to get lots of sunlight.
Hopefully, this article has helped you under dwarf fruit trees a little better. Just because they’re smaller doesn’t make them any less productive than larger-sized trees. On the contrary, you may find it easier to control the conditions of your dwarf tree if you grow it in a container or greenhouse.
Though they fare just as well when planted in the ground or on a balcony. If you do not want a tree as small as a dwarf tree, you could always opt for the sem-dwarf tree or even opt for a full-sized fruit tree if you have the space.
Let us know in the comments section if you have a dwarf fruit tree and what works best for you.
Check out our related fruit tree articles:
- List of Fruit Trees and Plants Safe for Dogs
- 10 Best Fruit Picker Tools
- How to Protect Fruit Trees from Frost
- 19 Types of Fruit Trees in Florida
- 10 Ways to Keep Squirrels Out of Fruit Trees
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.