The Q&A Archives: mini trees with edible produce

Question: I would like to grow avocado trees, nectarines, sumatra (seedless) oranges, pink grapefruit, & pink lemons in a small yard. Are there miniature trees that would work for me that produce good flavored fruit? If so, please make suggestions including if I need more than 1 tree of a kind for fruit to be produced. I currently have 1 grapefruit, 1 lemon, and 2 orange trees. thank you. -M

Answer: There are many varieties of dwarf citrus trees, which can grow from 5-8 feet in height. They are self-fertile so you only need one and the type you choose will really depend upon the type of fruit you most enjoy. Most of these trees produce regular sized fruit. Here are a few of the dwarf orange trees available:

Cara Cara (Pink) Navel Orange - Early-ripening Navel Orange with medium red colored flesh. Fruit has rich sweet flavor. Venezuelan introduction.

Late Lane Navel - Spring/summer ripening seedless Navel Orange with fine, rich flavor. A Washington Navel hybrid developed in Australia. A new choice for oranges to peel and eat or juice in the summer.

Robertson Navel - Bestselling winter-ripening variety. Early and heavy bearing. Cultivar of Washington Navel.

Shamouti (Jaffa/Palestine) - Fabled orange from Middle East. Very few seeds. Spring to summer ripening. Good Flavor.

Trovita - Spring ripening. Good in many locations from coastal areas to desert. Few seeds, thin skinned fruit, heavy producer, excellent flavor.

Valencia - Summer-ripening juice or eating orange. Fifteen months to ripen. Grow your own orange juice.

Washington Navel - California's famous winter-ripening variety. Fruit ripens in ten months.

Moro (Blood) - Deep red coloration, almost purple-red, even in California coastal areas. Very productive, early maturity, distinctive aroma, exotic berry-like flavor.

Sanquinella (Blood) - A deep red juice and rind. Tart, spicy flavor. Stores well on tree.

Chinotto Sour (Myrtle-Leaf) - Chinotto makes a small but highly decorative ornamental shrub. It is slow growing, with petite closely spaced leaves. It is great for bonsai or container growing. The small sour orange fruit grows in clusters.

Seville Sour - Essential for authentic English marmalade. Used fresh or dried in Middle Eastern cooking.

Bergamot - Another sour orange, this one is prized for its pungent rind which is used to add flavor to some black teas.

Dancy Tangerine - The best-known Mandarin type. Standard tangerine on fruit stands at Christmas time.

Owari Satsuma - Hardiest of all mandarins. Ripens in November, December. Seedless, peels easily.

Clementine (Algerian) - From North Africa. Ripens about a month after Satsuma, good flavor.

Murcott (Honey) - Flesh orange colored. Tender, very juicy, rich tangerine flavor. Spring ripening.

Eureka - Produces large crops of lemons annually. Bears all year. Standard market variety. Easy to espalier.

Lisbon - Fruit quite similar to Eureka. Thornier, dense foliage. Ample year-round crop. Good inland. More resistant to cold than Eureka.

Improved Meyer Lemon - The gourmet lemon. "Improved" refers to the California state tested, virus-free clone. Very juicy; not as tart as Eureka. Prolific bearer nearly year-round; heaviest in winter. Mature fruit takes on a golden hue.

Ponderosa - A citron-lemon hybrid, this ponderous choice is a novelty. Fragrant blooms produce gigantic lemons with many seeds. Tree tends to be rangy and open; needs pruning to control shape.

Variegated Pink Lemon - Distinctive green and yellow variegated foliage. Lemons have pink flesh, clear juice, acidic lemon flavor. Fuchsia colored new growth and flower buds. Excellent landscape tree prized more for interesting variegated foliage than for fruit quality and quantity.

Bearss Seedless (Tahiti/Persian) - True lime. Fruit larger than Mexican lime. Good in cool areas. Year round.

Mexican (Key) - Small, sometime seedy fruit with genuine tropical flavor year-round. Frost sensitive.

Kaffir (Kieffer/Thai/Wild) - Leaves, zest, and juice are used in Thai, Cambodian, and Indonesian cooking. Bumpy fruit.

Palestine Sweet Lime - Round, medium-sized juicy yellow fruit. Has less sugar and acid than the Bearss Lime. Similar to sweet limes from Mexico, which also originated from the Mediterranean. With its mild flavor and few seeds, it makes a refreshing, cooling drink.

Rangpur - Not a true lime (a sour-acid Mandarin). Dwarf if grown on Four Winds True Dwarf rootstock. Does not have lime flavor. Orange colored fruit at Christmas; hangs on tree all year.

Oro Blanco - Produces sweet fruit even in areas of low summer heat. Huge, intensely fragrant flowers. Elegant, nearly white flesh.

Rio Red - Popular red-fleshed sport recently introduced from Texas. Needs summer heat.

Hope this information is helpful!

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