Fruit trees are great assets for our home properties. I’ve always felt that there is nothing better than picking and eating a ripe fig or mandarin or mulberries straight from the trees in my backyard.
Most deciduous fruit trees will be available in dormant, bare root forms from nurseries around the region in winter and now is a good time to think about ordering some for your garden or orchard. I thought I would highlight some of the more unusual fruit trees that could be considered.
Dwarf forms of some apple trees (gala, pink lady, granny smith) as well as some varieties of peach, nectarine, pear and cherry trees are available. The dwarf trees will grow to less than half the size of normal fruit trees (1.5 to 2 metres high) and can be grown in large pots or in the
ground in small gardens. The fruit they produce are normal in size. A number of citrus trees that are a bit frost sensitive to grow in some parts of our region (including limes and some forms of mandarins and navel oranges) are available grafted onto dwarf rootstock which can be grown in large pots in protected spots in the garden.
One of the problems with some forms of fruit trees (particularly apples, pears, plums) is that you need two different trees grown near each other so that the flowers can be cross-pollinated to produce fruit.
One way around this is to grow a multi-graft tree that has two different fruit trees grafted onto the one trunk and root system. I have supplied multi-graft apple trees (gala/red delicious; granny smith/pink lady; golden delicious/granny smith) in recent years. New multi grafted varieties of apricot, cherry, pear and plum are now available.
The final form of unusual fruit trees I wanted to mention are the new generation “crossbred” fruit trees where the fruit is an unusual taste of both types of “parent” fruit combined for example, plum x apricot, plum x cherry and nectarine x plum trees. Perhaps not unusual, but a couple of fruit trees not commonly grown in our region are pomegranates and persimmons. They grow very well in our region and produce yummy fruit.
Millthorpe Garden Nursery