What is your favorite or best performing dwarf fruit tree?

Tue, December 01, 2015 10:54 AM | San Diego Horticultural Society (Administrator)

Cathy Tylka: Meyer lemon…. Need I say more? (Escondido)

Chris Elliott: My favorite dwarf tree is my Kumquat tree. It produces fruit all year long, if you keep up with watering. (92078)    

Arlene Watters: Meyer lemon.

Linda Chisari: Far and away, ‘Beverly Hills’ apple. It does beautifully in my coastal garden. It was planted 40 years ago in a bed that’s only 42” deep. The tree is now 7’ tall and 12’ wide. As you can tell, it takes to pruning very well and, as such, is great to espalier. We harvest between 600-700 apples each year, generally in July and August. I inadvertently cut off water to the tree this spring; when I noticed it neither bloomed nor put out leaves, I corrected the problem and it went through its complete bloom/leaf/fruit cycle about three months late. I am just now picking the apples. Whew! (Del Mar)

Patty Berg: Though I only have a few dwarf fruit in my yard, I’ve had the advantage of selecting stock for the Wishing Tree Company for the past five years. We’ve planted over 500 gift trees all over the county – about 20% have been dwarf fruit trees. Our most popular deciduous dwarf trees (by far) are PixZee peach and NectaZee nectarine from Dave Wilson Nursery. They were both developed by Zaiger Genetics in Modesto. They’ve been hybridizing the best of the best for many years. Among the citrus choices, I planted a Bearss lime on dwarf rootstock that has stayed very small. I love that it immediately flowered and I had ready-to-pick limes the first year and continuously ever since.

Sue Lasbury: My dwarf Meyer lemon, which sits right outside my kitchen door looking quite adorable. It dependably produces high quality fruit with very little effort on my part. I fertilize twice a year, water, and trim on occasion.  

Charlotte Getz: ‘Red Baron’ peach tree, when there is sufficient winter chill. This past year I only got two peaches because it was a warm winter. I live in Encinitas. 

Jane Coogan Beer: Dwarf variegated calamondin. With neglectful watering, it has fruit which I eat out of hand (others need sugar). My clay soil gives it what it needs here in West Los Angeles.  

Deirdre Swansen: Love, love, love my Meiwa kumquat.

Gerald D. Stewart: His favorite dwarf fruit tree is a Mandarin orange purchased and planted over thirty years ago, when he never forgot anything so documented nothing. That was then, now is now, and the cultivar name is long forgotten. It is ripe in January when the peel puffs out, making it really easy to get to the sections, which have lots of white stringy things that are a pain to clean off. The fruit is candy sweet, which compensates for the myriad seeds that beg for a pea shooter. It tends to have a heavier crop every other year. With no pruning (other than clearing limbs that die back), it is still under six feet tall, allowing for ladder-free harvesting. 

Debbi Dodson and Michael Meacham: Meyer lemon. (92117)

Deborah Young: Probably my Meyer lemons. (92024)

Susi Torre Bueno: My best performing dwarf fruit tree is a “Dwarf Improved Meyer’ lemon, which bears two large crops (several hundred lemons) each year. The tree is barely 4’ tall, but about 6’ wide. It was purchased from Walter Andersen Nursery (as were most of our citrus trees) and planted in January, 2008, and produced fruit within a year. We’ve also had great fruit from our ‘Satsuma’ mandarin – basically a super-sweet, seedless tangerine that is extra-easy to peel. Our ‘Bearss’ lime bears on and off all year, producing very sweet and extra-juicy, seedless limes. I’m in Vista, 92084.

Marilyn Nelson: My favorite dwarf fruit tree is a five-citrus tree. It produces a lot of huge Meyer lemons, some Honey Mandarin oranges, Washington navels, Valencia, and Bearss limes. It is 2-3 years old and barely 4’ tall. It is amazing. (92056)

Barbara Naas: Meyer lemon.

Kathleen Arciero: Meyer lemon. (92056)

Marilyn Guidroz: How many lemons does it take to make lemonade? Answer: Not very many. I love my dwarf Eureka lemon tree. It gives me plenty of lemons and is easy to manage. I rarely see the reason for putting in full size fruit trees. (92082)

Una Marie Pierce: This has been the most amazing miniature tree. It has delicious navel oranges and I have to thin it out every year. I had it some 5 years in a pot and then moved it into my garden some 7 years ago. It just keeps getting wider and producing more, but never gets too tall.

Deborah Brenner:The best performing for me is a dwarf Meyer lemon. (92130)

Jim Bishop: We only have one dwarf fruit tree, so I guess it is our favorite by default. It is a dwarf pomegranate. The fruit makes great fall table decorations and the foliage turns bright yellow in early winter. There are also lots of blooms off and on all summer. While you can eat the arils inside the fruit, they can be a little tough and there aren’t as many as in regular pomegranates. We have a second, larger pomegranate that we planted over 12 years ago. It was labeled “white pomegranate” and we wondered why it never set fruit. It turns out it is a sterile cultivar. However, it now occasionally sets some fruit if it is in bloom the same time as the dwarf pomegranate. (92103)

Margaret Burzynski: Satsuma Mandarin orange. (92008)

Kathleen Arciero: Gosh, with this hot weather we’re putting on hold so many activities in our garden. Doing some demo work on the slope, planning the front yard renovation. I see us turning to more friendly succulents and water-wise plantings. We’ll be doing lots more container gardening, like we did last spring.

Leslie Sheridan: My favorite dwarf fruit tree is the Cara Cara Pink Navel, varigated. The best performing is Valencia orange. (92126)

Ken Selzer: Dwarf lime. (92121)

Susan Groves: Page Mandarin orange. It’s been wonderfully flavored, productive, and ornamental since I planted it 14 or so years ago. We also have a kumquat tree, which has lived in various large pots and has moved with us from coast to coast (sometimes via suitcase) for the last, almost 40 years. Three years ago it finally hit terra firma and was planted in our garden, and after gopher barriers were installed, it’s once again enjoying life and producing a bounty of fruit. (92024)

Sharon Swildens :My favorite dwarf fruit tree is my kumquat tree.

Charlotte Minter: I have to tell you about my dwarf papaya tree.  I am sure God touched it because last cold season, it became like a stick in the ground.  All the leaves fell off and I thought for sure I had lost it.  Today, it is loaded with papayas.  It is my favorite dwarf tree and gets looked at and taken care of on a regular basis.  (92019)

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