Growing an urban orchard is a growing trend that can be accomplished in many different climates. While small urban spaces don’t always lend themselves to larger fruit trees, or large groupings of trees, there are many compact varieties of fruit trees that can make it easy for you to expand your edible landscape.
Small space? Not a problem!
Consider your space in your garden, and plant accordingly. Whether you love juicy fruits or crunchy nuts, there is probably at least one type of fruit tree that will work in your space. Of course, why limit yourself? Plant as many fruit trees as your urban landscape will allow!
Jujubes are one of our favorite exotic and easy to grow fruits. Jujube trees require only minimal care to produce good yields, and at only 12’ wide and 20’ tall they are perfect for the small or narrow urban landscape. Jujube ‘Li’ is self pollinating, making it another great choice for small lots; self-pollinating means you only need one tree to get fruit. ‘Li’ is very prolific with delicious red fruit that become sweeter as the summer gets hotter.
Another favorite variety to consider is an Almond tree. ‘All in One’ Almond is not only beautiful when in flower, but at only 12-15’ tall and wide, it fits right into a smaller-scale garden. ‘All in One’ is self-pollinating, but if you plant two different almond varieties, yields tend to be improved. ‘Texas Mission’ is another almond variety we recommend that is even more compact; plants reach only 10-15’ tall and wide.
In terms of foliage interest, figs make a beautiful addition to small-space gardens. ‘‘Black Jack’ fig produces a nearly black fruit and is about 6-12’ tall and wide. If you have a little more room ‘Conadria’ is another great choice only reaching 10-15’ tall and wide.
Have room for a larger fruit tree? Persimmons are not only stunning ornamental additions to the fall landscape, but can also serve as a small shade tree. Most persimmons reach up to 18-30’ tall and wide, producing beautiful orange colored fruits in fall. If you want to keep a persimmon in a smaller space, you can prune plants to keep them to the desired size.
Contain Your Fruit
Only have a sunny patio or balcony? Most small fruit trees can be grown in large containers. Be sure to find the largest size container your space can manage. Fill with a quality soil mix and apply mulch to retain moisture as containers will dry out quicker than in the garden. Adding a drip system to the potted fruit tree will ensure it always has enough moisture.
Be sure to plant fruit trees in a full sun exposure, meaning 6-8 hours of direct sun for best yields.