Dwarf fruit in containers

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I know this subject has been done to death but I couldn't find answers to my questions in searches.
Has anyone in zone 5ish been successful at keeping dwarf fruit in containers that hold less than 50 gallons? Have the containers wintered well outside? Did moving the trees hurt them?
I'm living in a temporary situation for the next 2 years and have lots of porch space. I thought now would be a good time to get some fruit trees started to be moved to my permanant home later but the containers need to be small enough for me to be able to move with a dolly.
Thanks Laura B LauraATwhoeverDOTcom
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I would have thought if you got 1yr old maidens or 2 yer old trees then 2 years in pots wont do a lot of harm, but I would think 5 gall for the first year, then a container wit an extra 3 or 4 inches all round for year 2,
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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Maybe you should be asking 5ish Finkel?
http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/PersonDetail/personid-825

my
containers
outside?
porch
to
enough
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I dwarf fruit trees in 100 gallon rubbermaids ... they are doing fine. http://puregold.aquaria.net/MOH/orchard/orchard.html but I think 50 gallons is still going to be hell to move unless you build boxes with big wheels. actually, dwarf fruit trees bear the second year after they are planted. moving them and replanting will set em back by that much. so go with patio super dwarf nectarines that you will keep in big pots, but have someplace to move em in for winter. Ingrid
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Thalocean2) wrote:

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I have tried several times to keep miniature fruit trees (manchurian apricots and nectarines) on my patio, here in zone 5. I have wrapped them in insulation and they were on the southern side of my house. I have lost every one of these, after a season or two, so I have given up keeping trees in pots. The planters were too big to move (22 inch pot) into a protected area. Even fruit trees I grafted into 5 gallon containers, and put in my shed all died. The only real protection I still think might work is to bury the pots in your garden over the winter.
Sherwin D.
Thalocean2 wrote:

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The answer to moving those big pots is to put them on wheeled bases. These are easy to make with 2x4 lumber and a set of casters. You can get the wood, wheels, and screws or nails at any home improvement store.
Trees in pots are generally not a good idea in Zone 5--too much chance for dehydration in the winter.
J. Del Col
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my favorite refrain is "rootstock". I got dwarf fruit trees from some of these yahoo places like the one in Canindegua (sp) and they were grafted onto incompatible root stock and after 3 years every single one broke off at the graft.
I have a delicate dissectum grafted maple that does fine in a pot on the north side of my shed outside. the fig tree I bring into the barely heated garage has to be watered or it will dessicate too much. rather than sink or bury the pots, it might work to just use hay bales to shelter them.... it if the freeze thaw cycles that break the roots. my rubbermaid water troughs are touch, they dont crack or bend and they do insulate. I had to whitewash the trunks since they are on a south facing wall. http://www.baylaurelnursery.com/catalog/fruit_trees/apricots.html I got peaches and asian pears from them. the trees are wonderful my only problem is I am going to have to seriously construct a frame to hold the branches or the branches and the graft will snap. Ingrid

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"......... I had to whitewash the trunks since they are on a south facing wall. ........"
Why?
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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in winter the sun side heats up because the bark is dark, the shaded side doesnt heat up, the differential in heating results in differential expansion which leads to cracking of the bark. I would rather whitewash than wrap the trunks. Ingrid

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"........in winter the sun side heats up because the bark is dark, the shaded side doesn't heat up, the differential in heating results in differential expansion which leads to cracking of the bark. I would rather whitewash than wrap the trunks. Ingrid........."
Interesting
Top fruit planted against walls (Espalier and cordons) was a very important part of Victorian gardening in the UK, and I have never come across any reference advocating painting the trunks. Could be that we don't have the same strength of sunshine here in the UK.
Also some of the walls were actually heated with a series of cavities running through them and the heat from fires being drawn through them to give extra warmth to both protect the trees and to give them an earlier start. One idea being that the fruit on the South facing wall was first followed by the fruit on the West wall then the East wall thus giving a succession of fresh fruit. Remember that these were the people who by the early 1800's were growing and fruiting Pineapples under glass in the UK.
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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the instructions that came with my dwarf fruit trees specifically instructed me to do this or it would void the guarantee. A young sapling is most susceptible, older trees less so. http://www.cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/h-316.html "Winter sun scald. Summer sun may can burn the bark of weak trees; however, winter sun is equally as injurious, even to healthy trees. During warm winter days, the sun warms the exposed bark of the trunk and main branches on the southwest side. At night, Temperatures then can fall rapidly below freezing. This alternate cooling and warming injures the bark tissues. The tree weakens and becomes vulnerable to insects and diseases. Paint trunks of young trees with exterior white latex paint (not oil base) to reflect the winter sun. Maintain temporary branches on the lower part of the trunk to shade the southwest side. Remove temporary branches when higher main branches extend far enough to shade the trunk in winter. "
many people wrap their trees to prevent sun scald and chewing. If these were planted in the ground, I like metal screening. I can spray paint thru the screen and spray pesticides thru the screen if needed. but it doesnt provide a hiding place for bugs and the white trunk also makes bugs stand out so bugs dont hang around.
you are north of us, but it may also have to do with not getting so damn cold in winter either. when we get full sun it can be - 25oF ... it is the difference in temps that causes the splitting. if the wall is soaking up heat then the back side of the trunk is also warmer. Ingrid

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I think it's more the contrast between the strength of the sun and the extreme cold temperatures many of us deal with. The rapid warm-up of a dark trunk on a bright sunny day can cause them to split.
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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On Sun, 1 Feb 2004 07:46:33 -0000, "David Hill"

I've long wondered about 'The Secret Garden' and references to walled 'kitchen' gardens in the UK which pre-date the Victorian era by 500 yrs or so. Our veg (and flower) patches are in the most open areas we can find. Full sun! Full sun! With a significantly lower amount of direct sun, *why* did Brits wall their gardens?
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Maybe to keep out small animals and starving neighbor children?
Laura B.
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I have lived with walled gardens all of my gardening life. They must be quite large and have innumerable advantages. Half an acre I would have thought and walls up to 12' high.The walls are all used to grow plants that would have needed a better climate than available. The walls act as reservoirs for heat and this is available to the relatively delicate trees grown as espaliers and fans against them. These trees would not survive or fruit without this protection.They are also widely used for lean-to glasshouses. Even the North facing walls are used for Morello cherries and quinces. Don't forget that all walls have two sides so that the outside of the garden is also used.The walls also alter the flow of the wind so that it is not so destructive. I would suggest that a well managed walled garden can produce equivalent to other gardens two or three hundred miles more southerly-- all other aspects being equal. It is also pleasant to be able to close and lock a door at the end of the day or even to have sat and relaxed without being seen when should have been working!! Best Wishes Brian.

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Thank you Brian. I've learned a lot from this thread.
Laura B.
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Thalocean2 wrote:

First of all, dwarf fruit trees should be okay even in a 20 gallon container. I have a dwarf lemon in a tub that is 18 inches in diameter and 18 inches deep. I have had it for about 35 years. I also have a dwarf kumquat in a similar tub for over 20 years; I had it in a large flower pot before then, a total of over 30 years between the tub and pot. And I have had a dwarf orange in a similar tub for about 13 years.
Your climate could be a problem, even for a hardy deciduous fruit tree. You can buy or make (as another response indicated) a wheeled platform for your containers. When I lived in an area with slightly colder winters, I had the lemon tub on such a platform and rolled it into my garage at night and out again in the morning. The kumquat is hardier, so I left it alone. I did not have the orange at that time. With a deciduous tree, you could keep it sheltered day and night in the winter as long as the soil is not allowed to become completely dry. However, many deciduous fruit trees do need some winter chill; so (unless the shelter is not heated) you might want to roll it outside when the temperatures are not too far below freezing. Once buds start to swell, you must be much more careful about protecting the trees from freezing.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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It is interesting... in the UK when we think of fruit trees we think Apple, Pear and Plumb, and sometimes Cherry. All the US answers to this question have referred to Orange, lemon, peach, apricot etc all fruit that we would regard as greenhouse crops.
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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I was kinda thinking the former myself. Citrus won't grow where I am unless you have it in a greenhouse with 24/7 humidifiers.
I don't think I'll waste my time with apricot though. I've only known of one here that ever got fruit and that was only one year out of 20. Damn good fruit though.
I was really hoping to do some sort of euro plum, a pear and a yellow apple. (or two of each if I can't find self pollinating) Since the concenses seems to be that the roots will freeze, and I'm too lazy to move them much, maybe I'll just rig the pots with heat tape and plug em in when it gets real cold?
Thanks for all the responses and advice, Laura B.
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