How to Dwarf a Tree

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


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You Will Need

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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The best time to attempt a graft is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. In 2006 the planet Pluto was downgraded to "dwarf planet" status.