How to Select Fruit Trees

Learn how to select and grow your fruit trees with these expert tips.

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Orange Tree Close Up

Frank Burkhard, the owner of Burkhard Nursery in Pasadena, Calif., shares tips for selecting and growing dwarf fruit trees.

  • When buying your tree, carefully inspect its health and vigor, checking that the foliage is in good condition, the stem is straight and the dirt is not too high up on the stem.
  • Citrus trees are the easiest fruit tree to grow, since they are very adaptable and need adequate light and moderate water. Apple, pear and plum trees are a little trickier, since they require at least one month with temperatures below 45 degrees to bloom. A wonderful citrus variety to consider is the Meyer lemon, which produces abundant, sweet yellow fruit.
  • Fruit trees look beautiful when they are attached to a trellis. This technique, called espalier, is used to showcase fruit. It entails pruning the inner branches of the tree so the larger branches are highlighted.
  • Pests are a constant challenge for the indoor gardener. It is essential to check citrus trees diligently and regularly for mealy bugs, spider mites and whiteflies.
  • Citrus trees can be grown indoors indefinitely. If they start to lose their vigor, however, move them outside during the warmer months (above freezing) to perk them up.

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