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Dwarf Trees

In our backyard orchard at the Urban Homestead, we grow 28 different apple varieties.  Our house is situated on a 50x150’ city lot, and our orchard occupies roughly 120 square feet—less than half the area gobbled by a single, mature, semi-dwarf tree.  We can grow this many trees in a small space because we have planted them as a kind of informal espalier, or dwarf apple hedge.  And because we’ve chosen varieties that ripen the entire harvest season, we enjoy fresh apples from June to November. 

Dwarf apple trees are notoriously prone to uprooting under the weight of a heavy crop, so it’s essential to grow them with a support structure.  There are a number of ways to do this.  You can grow them on a fence, next to a building, on a trellis, etc.

Dwarf trees should be spaced 2-10’ apart and may be pruned to a variety of forms.  Our trees are supported by a post and wire trellis and pruned roughly to the shape of an oblique fan.

The quantity of fruit produced by a single dwarf tree is quite small—a  bushel or less.  So if you are looking to put away lots of preserves from a single variety, you’ll need to plant several trees to get enough fruit.  We planted 28 different varieties since our orchard provides scions for the trees we propagate. 

Varieties Available

Cox's Orange Pippin EMLA 26
Enterprise Bud 9
Golden Delicious Bud 9

Grimnes Golden EMLA 26
Red Stayman Bud 9

3-5' dwarf trees are $30.00 each.

Copyright 2012 Tim Hensley