How to Dwarf a Tree

Although small in stature, dwarf trees will produce the same size and amount of fruit as their larger counterparts.

You will need

  • Rootstock
  • A fruiting branch
  • A knife
  • Grafting tape
  • Grafting wax
  • A pot or other container (optional)

Step 1 Consider options Consider growing dwarf trees in containers, which must be at least 15 inches in diameter. Dwarf trees can also be grown against a structure, such as the side of a building, or interwoven in a series of wire.

Step 2 Get rootstock Purchase dwarf rootstock, making sure your rootstock and scion branches – the branches that will be grafted – are of a compatible, similar species. The scion is a detached, live portion of another plant.

Step 3 Create graft Cut a branch off the rootstock at its base at a 45-degree angle. Then cut the base of a scion branch at the same angle.

Step 4 Position graft Position both branches so that they line up just beneath the bark. Secure the graft with grafting tape and then cover it with grafting wax.

Step 5 Cut off shoots Cut off any side shoots or twigs that could compete with the new graft. White calluses near the graft site will indicate the graft has taken.