Fruit tree in a container

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Elstar, May 5, 2009.

  1. Elstar

    Elstar Member

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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    We are building a deck in our south-facing Vancouver back yard, and have included a built-in container in the design, which will be about 2x2 feet, and 3 feet deep. I would like to plant a small fruit tree in the container. I'm considering the following species:

    1. Fig
    2. Crabapple
    3. Cherry

    If you have insight into which would do best in a container, or any particular varieties of them, I would appreciate it. Also, if there is another fruit tree that you might suggest for the space, let me know.
     
  2. Grant Gussie

    Grant Gussie Active Member

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    Cherry trees are big trees... the only version I would consider suitable for a container is one grafted onto gisela dwarf rootstock. That will limit the size to about 10 feet... stiil large for a container but doable. Crabapples are also available on dwarf rootstock, and because crabapples take pruning exceptionally well, controlling their size is no problem. But I personally would prefer a dwarf fig... much more exotic looking foliage than a cherry or apple and if you bring the container indoors for the winter, you might get a second crop of figs. They apparently only grow to about 5 feet. For foliage, however, you can't beat a loquat (Eriobotrya japonica). They are evergreen and tropical looking, and the fruit is quite nice (get a fruiting cultivar... the ornamental and wild types have very tart fruit). The loquat flowers in winter, and so will need hand pollination. Some people have success with them planted in the ground in Vancouver, but they need a sheltered sunny spot will only bear fruit in very mild winter years. My loquat suffered horribly this winter and may not survive. I wish I had it in a container so I could have brought it indoors for the arctic outbreak.

    This website has some relevant information http://miniatures.about.com/od/livingminiatures/a/dwarfruit.htm
     
  3. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I'd say Fig as well; the others need to be too tall before they'll fruit or flower.
     
  4. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Figs do well in a container, with minimal maintenance, and crowding the roots, and try one of the locally grown variety (cuttings taken now is just the perfect time too) commonly grown in Italian and Portuguese yards, thrive in a container... mine even produced lovely sweet fruit.... until I transferred it to the garden after 5 years, where it was very unhappy for another two, then perished....try this site...

    http://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profiles0303/container_figs.asp
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  5. nelson20vt

    nelson20vt Member

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    Figs will definately grow in containers. As will a variety of citrus trees, Loquats, Longan's Lytchee's, Mango's, Sweetsop the only problem is if you plan on keeping them outdoors all year the tropicals cant really handle cold below 5 degrees celcius. Loquat usually dies around -11 degrees celcius if im not mistaken.
     
  6. Elstar

    Elstar Member

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    Thanks all - we are planning on planting all of those species in our yard somewhere, but in general we want small or dwarf species that don't grow too big in our small lot. So this info is really helpful. I'm leaning toward the fig for the container (I didn't realize you could get a dwarf variety), and putting the cherry and crabapple elsewhere.

    We don't really have indoor space to bring in a container for the winter, but that does open up some fun possibilities. One of my neighbours apparently grows Meyer lemons and keeps them outside all year under a cold frame. I might save that particular challenge for later...
     
  7. Grant Gussie

    Grant Gussie Active Member

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  8. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    For a conversation piece, I would recommend a Mandarin tree, Kumquat, or a Meyer lemon tree. There are quite a few citrus growers, some with citrus trees planted in the ground, but many successfully growing citrus in containers in the Vancouver area that receive a good crop of fruit every fall. Many are members on the UBC citrus forum. Mandarins and Meyer lemon can take temperatures as low as 28F. Kumquats can survive at low as 25F. The 3-5 colder nights that Vancouver receives you can either bring the tree in to protection, or just add Christmas lights for those few cold occasions. - Millet (1,350-)
     
  9. Elstar

    Elstar Member

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    I am very intrigued by growing lemons! I think I will give the Meyer's a shot as well in a container.
     

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