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How to Dwarf a Tree

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


  • 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.
  • TIP: The best time to attempt a graft is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins.
  • 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.
  • FACT: In 2006 the planet Pluto was downgraded to "dwarf planet" status.

You Will Need

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

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