Fruit Trees

Bonsai Fruit Trees

This is the other option for anyone who wants to keep their fruit trees small and compact, although this is not for those who don't like a bit of good old hard work as the larger the tree is the harder it is to repot.

To bonsai a tree it will need regular pruning as well as root pruning, it is usually done with potted specimens but can also be done with trees in the ground by cutting through the surface root with a sharp spade, this is good for trees like figs and will reduce the height and spread of the tree.
Many grafted fruit trees are suited to container growing and even large trees like sapodillas and black sapotes will happily fruit for many years in a pot if grown with care. To succeed first of all you will need to start with a good quality potting mix, a mix based on composted pine bark is a good start or you can make your own potting mix with equal parts of coarse sand, compost and composted pine bark. Remember that potted plants will use up the nutrients in the mix so they will need regular feeding and repotting. When the tree is repotted this is the time to trim back the roots and the top comparatively, so if you take a third off the roots trim the canopy back by one third as well. The mix can be tailor to suit your tree, blueberries will thrive in an acidic azalea mix, and figs will love a sweetening handful of lime on the top of their mix.

What size pot will you need? The larger the better, but remember the larger the pot the heavier and more difficult it will be to move and work with. The bonsai bags are an excellent option, they come in several different sizes so you can move the pts size up as your tree grow for the best result start with a 15L bag, let your tree grow into this size and then pot it up into the next size 25L and then on to the 35L. This is a good choice to grow a tree to about 2m. The bonsai bags have handles on either side making them easy to move, they can be placed inside a decorative pot and disguised with a layer of straw mulch. This method means that the tree and the pots can be moved separately.

Fruit trees need a sunny position to crop well, in warmer weather it is important to monitor the moisture levels in your pot to make sure it does not dry out, some potting mixes can be hard to rewet once they dry out, so keep your pot moist, but not wet. In hot weather a potted fruit tree may need a drink every other day, ease of the watering in cooler weather. Never sit a potted plant in a saucer of water, all tree roots need oxygen to breathe and remain healthy, sitting a potted avocado in a saucer of water will kill it in no time at all.

Feeding is vital to reduce the frequency of repotting which becomes more difficult as your tree become larger. For hungry trees like citrus regular applications of a complete NPK fertilizer are essential. Foliar sprays are also important and will benefit your tree during the warmer months.
Despite producing delicious fruit some trees do need to be treated with caution. It is wise to wear a long sleeved shirt and gloves when pruning and repotting as some trees can be very irritating to the skin, the sap of figs will burn the skin and the foliage of acerolas is covered in tiny stinging hairs which are also very irritating.

The best thing about potted fruit trees is the amount of fruit that can be cropped off a small tree in a small backyard.