Frequently asked questions: “Where on the Dave Wilson Nursery website are the dwarf and semi-dwarf fruit trees?”, “What variety-rootstock combinations are grown?”.
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Novice home fruit growers soon learn that for home planting, dwarf and semi-dwarf fruit trees are highly desirable. This is certainly true for trees on rootstocks that are adapted to the soil and climate of their planting site. Among the keys to success for establishing healthy, productive fruit trees are informed variety and rootstock selection - and regular pruning, including summer pruning if small-sized, easy-care trees is the goal. This means there may be trade-offs to consider when there is a choice for rootstock, such as the perceived easier maintenance of a smaller-growing tree that is less well suited to the site in some way vs. the overall easier maintenance (with a little more summer pruning) of a more vigorous tree with characteristics better suited to the site. The better adapted tree will have fewer problems, be easier to maintain and more likely to beome a strong and healthy, productive fruit tree.
For sites with poor drainage, wet soil tolerant rootstocks (and/or planting on mounds, a berm or raised bed) is a top priority. Sometimes a more vigorous rootstock is necessary to conquer weak soil. Pest/disease resistance is often a key factor. See Selecting Varieties & Rootstocks, Backyard Orchard Culture, and Fruit & Nut Tree Rootstocks for related information and recommendations.
If you are choosing home fruit trees for the first time, in addition to basic information about rootstock strengths and weaknesses, local information is extremely valuable; you should consult your local or area retail nurseries and the Cooperative Extension services for your state or region (Google search: cooperative extension [state]). Ideally, the best retail nurseries and garden centers in your area will have learned over time which rootstocks are the best choices locally - they have done the homework and you have the good option of simply following their lead.
New in the DWN home orchard catalog are fruit type subgroups that include current variety lists by rootstock. For example, go to Fruit Trees, find Apples, and click on "View Subtypes". Note also that a fruit variety's page in the catalog now lists rootstocks the variety is offered on for the current planting season: see Gala Apple, for example, at page bottom.
For reference, the list below includes the 2018-19 top-selling 50% of Dave Wilson Nursery miniatures, dwarfs, and semi-dwarfs that are 3/4 of standard size or less, plus a few qualified varieties described as "relatively small trees". Also included are some leading cold-country dwarf/semi-dwarfs. These trees represent DWN's most popular, more commonly available small-stature fruit trees. Remember too that all figs and pomegranates are easily kept small.
DWN Top-Selling Dwarf and Smaller Semi-Dwarf Fruit Trees
Included are semi-dwarfs that are described as 3/4 of standard size or less
Relative tree sizes (unpruned) are approximate, varying with variety and location
Apple, Dwarf on M-27 (6-8 ft., staking required)
Cherry, Sour, Dwarf (8-10 ft., standard root)
Jujube, Semi-dwarf (relatively small tree, seedling root)
Mulberry, Dwarf (6-8 ft., own root, potted)
Nectarines, Semi-dwarf on Citation (1/2 to 2/3 of standard size)
Nectarine, Semi-dwarf on St. Julian (1/2 to 2/3 of standard size)
NectaPlum™, Semi-dwarf on Citation (1/2 to 2/3 of std. size)
Peaches, Semi-dwarf on Citation (1/2 to 2/3 of standard size)
Donut 'Stark Saturn'
Gleason Early Elberta
J. H. Hale
Peach, Semi-Dwarf (relatively small tree, any root)
Rio Oso Gem Peach
Peacotum, Semi-dwarf (naturally small tree)
Pear, Asian (relatively small tree, any root)
Persimmon (small tree, standard root)
Plum, Semi-Dwarf (relatively small tree, any root)
Pluot® Interspecific Plum, Semi-dwarf (small tree, any root)
Apricot/Aprium® on Citation
Cherries on Maxma 14®
Peaches, Cold Hardy on Citation
Pears on OHxF333
Pears, Disease Resistant on OHxF333
Pears, Asian on OHxF333
Plums on Citation
Plums, Low-Chill on Citation
Fruit Salad, Cold Hardy on Citation
Pluot'R' Interspecific Plums on Citation
Zee Sweet® Nuggets Pluot'R' Interspecific on Citation
Cherry-Plums on Citation
last edit 7:47am 2-5-19