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Fruit Trees for Small Places

Apr 21, 2008
Have you noticed recently how many times we are being told to take a good look at our current lifestyles? The amount of information appearing in the media which is aimed at getting us to lead a more healthy life is absolutely incredible. All kinds of diets and exercise plans are constantly being developed to entice us to eat healthier and take more exercise on a regular basis. As we are continually being told to eat more fresh fruit it would make sense to grow our own fruit trees in our backyard but if you only have a small space there may be a few problems to consider.

As we gain a better understanding of what is good or bad for us many of us are choosing to purchase organically grown fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately this means that we often have to pay a premium price for the produce and the difference in cost can be very large. By growing our own fruit trees organically be can make considerable cost savings but we also benefit from the most fresh fruit possible. Fresh organic fruit not only tastes better but it also has more vitamins and minerals than non-organic stored fruit.

Sadly, for many of us, our backyards are only a small space to the rear of our homes. If we live in an urban area it is often the case that houses are very close together which means that it is not really practical to grow large plants. In such backyards a large mature tree can cause a number of problems. The most obvious is that a huge tree will look rather out of place in a small space but such a tree could also encroach over into your neighbors backyard. They can block light and, with deciduous tree, it can also create an almighty mess when it drops its leaves. However the most serious problem is caused by the roots and branches which can damage foundations.

Even in the smallest space something wonderful can be created. Professional garden designers can create the most wonderful plans but, with a little time and effort, it is possible to do this yourself. To do it correctly you will need to study a little to understand which are the best plants to use and how to use them.

Adding a point of interest to a smaller backyard can be problematic but one solution can be the addition of fruit trees. During the different seasons of the year a fruit tree will look vastly different. Even in the winter, a bare tree with frosted branches from which icicles hang, can look great but it is in the spring when it will look its finest. Spring is when the fruit tree will be covered in sweet smelling and fantastic looking blossom why, by fall, will (if fertilized) develop into fruit ready for harvest.

In recent decades there have been a number of advances in the creation of dwarf fruit tree varieties. A dwarf tree is created by grafting the main stem of the tree into a dwarf root stock which severely limits the growth. At one time the use of a dwarf root stock called M27 was popular but now M9 is used instead. M9 has two distinct advantages. Firstly M9 is far more reliable than M27 but it manages to create a tree which is smaller but produces more fruit.

Modern compact fruit trees can be used in small backyards as the dwarf variety produces a large amount of fruit from the smallest of bushes. A dwarf fruit tree will rarely be larger than 1.8m high but the growth can be limited still further by planting it in a container. By following an annual pruning regime you can restrict the growth while retaining a suitable shape.

Amongst the most useful of fruit trees for the gardener with only a small space for a backyard, is the spur apple tree. While the tree can still grow up to 1.8m high it has such an upright habit that it often looks rather strange covered in a multitude of ripened apples.

As well as apple trees there are dwarf varieties of fruit tree such as plums, cherries, pears, nectarines, figs, plums and more.
About the Author
Landscaping Info 4U is an excellent source of gardening information including info about fruit trees for small places and general tree care
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