Apple trees on a dwarf rootstock: varieties + photos

Apple trees on a dwarf rootstock: varieties + photos

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Surprise and even shock are experienced by people who first got into a dwarf garden: one and a half meter trees are simply strewn with large and beautiful fruits. In apple trees of ordinary tall varieties of this size, seedlings are just beginning to bear fruit, while dwarf trees are already producing full yields. Dwarf apple trees have appeared relatively recently, but they are quickly gaining popularity among gardeners. The advantages of "dwarfs" have a lot: they are productivity, compact size, good frost resistance, and much more. But such apple trees have their own characteristics, some disadvantages.

This article will present the best varieties of dwarf apple trees. Here you will be told about the distinctive features of "dwarfs", about their strengths and weaknesses, how they are classified and how to grow such apple trees.

Features of "dwarfs"

All experienced gardeners are aware of the fact that ordinary apple varieties are obtained by grafting onto a stock grown from a seed or from a cut of a varietal culture. To grow a dwarf tree, it is necessary to graft a varietal cutting to a special dwarf or semi-dwarf stock.

Attention! Currently, Russian gardeners prefer to do such grafts on apple stocks b7-35 or m9.

Saplings of dwarf varieties are sold everywhere, but they cost a little more than ordinary tall trees. In order not to acquire a "fake", you need to know the characteristic features of dwarf apples:

  • near the root collar of the "dwarf" there is always a clearly visible protrusion - this is the place of inoculation;
  • the root system of simple apple trees has a pivotal structure, while the roots of the dwarf variety are fibrous, small, well-branched;
  • two-year-old seedlings of dwarf apple trees should have large buds located at the ends of the shoots;
  • the stem should be no more than half a meter high;
  • there should be few formed branches, only a few pieces.

Important! Inexperienced gardeners may confuse columnar apple seedlings with "dwarfs". A feature of a columnar tree is a thick, even trunk and an almost complete absence of branching.

Advantages and disadvantages

Reviews of gardeners about the dwarf apple trees existing today are contradictory: not everyone likes the features of these trees. In order not to be among the disappointed, you need to carefully study all the information about the "dwarfs", know their pros and cons.

All varieties of dwarf apple trees have several common qualities: among them there are both positive and negative characteristics. A gardener who decides to plant a bonsai should be aware of its advantages:

  1. Compact size of the crown and root system. For normal development, the "dwarf" will only need a couple of square meters of the garden. This small tree will not cast a shadow on the site or on the vegetable beds, its roots will definitely not harm the foundation of the house or other outbuildings.
  2. The dwarf apple tree begins to bear fruit very early - already in the third year after planting, full harvests can be collected. But ordinary varieties begin stable fruiting only in the sixth or seventh year.
  3. The yield of "dwarfs" is comparable to the number of fruits in a standard adult apple tree. Every year the yield of dwarf apple trees grows, the tree does not age slowly.
  4. Taking care of a dwarf apple tree, harvesting from it, pruning and spraying is much easier, because the branches of the tree are at the level of human eyes. The gardener does not need ladders, stepladders or other special devices.
  5. The "dwarf" has a small crown, so the branches and leaves need very little nutrition. All nutrients and moisture from the soil go directly to the fruits, which significantly affects the taste and size of apples.
  6. The trunk of a dwarf apple tree is short, all substances move along it quickly, and roots located close to the surface immediately absorb water and fertilizers from the soil. This structure allows the fruit to quickly and fully receive the necessary nutrition.
  7. Fertilizers and means for processing the crown will require significantly less than in the case of tall apple trees.
  8. The bark of the "dwarfs" is thinner, the tree stops growth and development earlier with the onset of cold weather. Therefore, compact apple trees have time to prepare for wintering, as a result of which they rarely freeze out. Winter-hardy dwarfs are increasingly becoming the choice of gardeners from the Urals and Siberia.

Advice! The branched surface roots of the "dwarfs" make it possible to plant them where ordinary trees are likely to die: unfavorable soils, nearby groundwater. Thanks to this quality, you can plant an orchard where nothing has grown before.

Unfortunately, dwarf varieties also have disadvantages:

  1. Short lifespan. Unlike ordinary varieties that can bear fruit for up to forty years, "dwarfs" live only 15-20. But during this period, you can collect as many apples as an adult tree would give in half a century. In addition, the gardener will be able to change apple varieties more often in his area.
  2. In conditions of little snow, but frosty winters, the roots located close to the surface can freeze out. To prevent this from happening, the soil around the "dwarf" stem is insulated, mulched or covered with agrofibre.
  3. Since the short roots will not be able to get food from the bowels of the earth, the dwarf apple tree will have to be watered more often and fertilized better.
  4. A lot of ovaries are formed on "dwarfs", a fragile tree cannot always grow such a number of full-fledged and tasty fruits. Therefore, it is recommended to thin out the inflorescences, cutting off some of them in the spring.
  5. Under the weight of large apples, a dwarf tree can easily break, so supports, trellises, arches are needed.

There is nothing ideal in the world; the owner of a dwarf garden must learn to neutralize all unfavorable factors. Dwarf apple trees are indeed capable of producing more abundant yields, the fruits on these trees can be very large and not inferior in taste to ordinary ones, but for this the gardener must work hard.

How to choose a variety

The first question that arises for a novice gardener: "Which varieties of apple trees are dwarf and which are not?" A detailed explanation is needed here.

The fact is that absolutely any varietal apple can be grown on a dwarf rootstock. That is, having a special rootstock, the gardener grafts his favorite variety to it, and enjoys the taste of the fruit and the small dimensions of the tree itself.

At the same time, in modern breeding, there are already about ten thousand dwarf varieties of apple trees, which, being planted by the root method, will not grow more than one or two or three meters (the height depends on the variety).

Attention! Gardeners should understand that the breeding of dwarf varieties, the production of such seedlings is not an easy and rather laborious business. Therefore, the cost of root seedlings of a dwarf apple tree will be several times higher than usual.

Those with no grafting experience usually acquire varietal or natural dwarfs. Experienced gardeners can safely plant a special dwarf or semi-dwarf stock, and then graft any apple tree to it.

Varietal "dwarfs"

The description of varieties of natural dwarf apple trees should start with their classification. Like all other crops, they are divided by the timing of apple ripening: early ripening (summer), middle (autumn) and late ripening (winter).

Among them there are sweet varieties of dwarf apple trees, sweet and sour, sour - that is, the taste of the fruit has the same classification as that of ordinary tall apple trees.

Attention! It is also customary to allocate frost-resistant varieties into a separate group, but, as already mentioned, due to the peculiarities of the root system, this characteristic is approximately the same for all "dwarfs".


One of the most productive dwarf varieties. This apple tree usually grows in height by no more than three meters. The apples themselves are rounded, slightly elongated, painted green, with a blush visible on one side. Fruits are medium in size, their weight is 200-250 grams.

Melba is a summer variety; apples ripen in early August. Their pulp is juicy, tender, very tasty. The fruits can be stored for a maximum of three months.

Winter hardiness of a dwarf apple tree is average, it is better to insulate the roots. The yield is up to 40 kg per plant.


The "dwarf" widespread in Russia grows to a maximum of 280 cm. Fruits weighing about 150 grams, are yellow, round, with noticeable ribbing and crimson blush. The taste of apples is sweet and sour, the pulp is fine-grained, juicy.

The dwarf apple tree bears fruit in late summer - early autumn. Apples of the Chudnoye variety are stored for about two months. Up to 75 kg of fruit can be harvested from each tree.

The dwarf variety has very good scab resistance, tolerates severe frosts without shelter.

Attention! Dwarf apple-tree Chudnoe is the best pollinator for any "dwarfs". Anis Sverdlovsky is the most suitable for the role of the pollinator.


This dwarf variety belongs to the autumn apple trees with good yields. The tree grows up to two to three meters, and can produce about 120 kg of apples per season.

The fruits are round, colored in a coral-red hue, rather large - the average weight is 230 grams. The pulp is juicy, coarse-grained, tender, sweet and sour taste. Fruits are stored for about six months.

The Zhigulevsky apple has good resistance to pests, diseases, frost.


Abbreviated name "Brother Chudny", another natural (or natural) "dwarf". This dwarf apple tree is suitable for growing in any climate and on almost any soil. The crown of the tree is round-flat, it grows up to two meters.

The apples are medium, greenish-yellow with a crimson blush. A distinctive feature of the fruit is a seam strip on the peel. The pulp is white, pleasant to the taste, not very juicy. But the Bratchud variety is very productive, the fruits tolerate transportation well and are suitable for storage.


Autumn variety of dwarf apple trees, the tree reaches a height of 1.5-2 meters, its crown is drooping. Carpet begins to bear fruit in the third or fourth year after planting.

The fruits are large, greenish-yellow, with a ruddy side. The pulp is creamy, not very juicy, pleasant to the taste, sweet and sour, aromatic. The crop is stored for up to two months.

The variety is very fruitful, tolerates frost well. In very snowy winters, the horizontal lower branches of the dwarf apple tree can break off.


The variety is considered early winter - the fruits ripen in early October. The crown of a dwarf apple tree is spherical, the height of the tree is a maximum of three meters. Shoots are short, strongly leafy.

Fruits are slightly ribbed, large, and have the shape of a truncated cone. When ripe, apples are colored red. The pulp is white, juicy, with a strong aroma and a very pleasant taste.

Dwarf variety Legend is resistant to diseases, pests, has good winter hardiness.

Moscow red

A very productive winter variety of dwarf apple trees. The tree is compact (maximum height is three meters), its crown has the shape of a ball.

The fruits are round, smooth, shiny. When ripe, the apples are painted in a rich yellow color; there is a red blush on the side of the apple. The taste is good, sweet and sour, the aroma is strong. Apples are stored for up to four months.

Moskovskoe red variety very well resists scab and other diseases - leaves and fruits always have a beautiful and healthy appearance.

Review of the "dwarfs"

Vera Nikolaevna

I really want to plant my garden with bonsai, I think to start with apple trees. I have already read a bunch of information about this and I can share: 1. Residents of the northern regions need to choose semi-dwarf rootstocks from local varieties that are well adapted to a difficult climate. 2. The crown of such a tree still needs to be formed, otherwise it will grow more than three to four meters. 3. You can learn to plant seedlings on any trees, be it poplar, willow or aspen. 4. The grafting site should be low only if the winters in the region are snowy. In other cases, the skeleton and stem of the apple tree must belong to a frost-resistant local variety, and the grafting is done at chest level. 5. It is very difficult to find natural "dwarfs" in our nurseries - there are many scammers. In general, in the spring I decided to plant several dwarf rootstocks, and in a few years I will start grafting seedlings on their roots. And I will probably buy a natural dwarf sapling over the Internet - let's see what happens.


Dwarf apple trees are only gaining popularity in Russia; not all gardeners know how to grow such trees. But photos of compact apple trees, hung with large fruits, cannot leave anyone indifferent. It is better to start your experience with "dwarfs" with root seedlings of a natural variety, but it is rather difficult to find them.

Watch the video: Choosing an apple tree variety