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 Bonsai Fruit Tree

 By Erik A. Olsen

While most people have heard of bonsai trees, there is still a large number that are unaware you can train a bonsai fruit tree, which is an actual standard fruit tree that has been trained to grow miniature. The fascinating thing about this type of bonsai tree is it produces fruit, edible fruit, just small. Some of the more common choices include lemon, tangerine, apple, fig, peach, lime, and cherry. The key when growing a bonsai fruit tree is that you want to choose the species of tree that will grow best in the part of the country where you live. Obviously, if you live in Montana, Vermont, or other cold states, then citrus trees such as lemon and lime will not do well. In addition, some types of apple and cherry trees do not grow fruit properly in some areas with mild winters simply because they require long periods of cold temperature. Therefore, when you get ready to choose a bonsai fruit tree, you can work with your local nursery, bonsai grower, or gardening center to choose accordingly.

Probably the two best places to buy a bonsai fruit tree is through mail order catalogs or on the internet. The reasons include a wide selection and great price. Now, you need to remember that many of these resources will ship the bonsai fruit trees as “bare root”, which means the roots are exposed, usually wrapped in paper. Because of this, it is essential that you plant your bonsai tree within one to two days of receiving it. However, the minute you get the tree, unwrap the paper from around the roots and soak them in warm water overnight to help rejuvenate them. The key when ordering this way is to choose a reputable company, one that offers a guarantee that you will get a healthy bonsai tree and that offers a refund should your tree arrive sick or damaged.

You can also find quality bonsai fruit trees at many local nurseries and gardening centers but not all deal with container trees so you want to ensure you buy from someone that understands bonsai. When you go to shop for the right tree, you need to look for a tree that has a symmetrical appearance around the trunk. However, more importantly, the tree should not have any diseased or broken limbs. In this case, what you want to avoid is root bound trees, which means the roots are circling the container. Once you have chosen your bonsai fruit tree and you get it home, take a few minutes to prune away any damaged or broken roots. Once that is complete, you can plant your bonsai and start the fun.

The next option for your bonsai fruit tree is choosing the right type of container. Typically, you want a pot or container that will complement and enhance the tree, not the other way around. That means for a fruit tree, one that will grow fruit but often blooms as well, you want the color of the container to look great with the tree. If you had a cherry tree, then a red or lime green container would look bad with the soft, pink blooms and small red cherries. However, choosing black, yellow, or even certain shades of blue would look beautiful. Be sure the container is made from untreated wood that is also rot-resistant. If you go with clay, you will need to keep an eye on the water since this material dries out quickly and you will be faced with bacteria and fungi growth because of the porous surface.

Typically, bonsai experts recommend that for a bonsai fruit tree, you go with a 15-gallong pot. This will easily accommodate a tree up to five foot and will contain a good amount of soil and fertilizer for a strong, healthy tree. Now, if you prefer to go with a lemon or lime, bonsai fruit tree, then the conventional choice is a container known as a Versailles planter. The reason this is such a good choice for citrus is that the sides can easily be removed. With that, you can add or remove soil as needed without lifting the tree out of the pot or uprooting it. This particular type of container can accommodate a tree up to 10-feet. Remember, bonsai fruit trees are not always small, although they can be. Many times, the flowering and fruit species will be used outdoors where they are shaped into standard bonsai shapes, just not miniature. Therefore, you need to determine if you want a standard or miniature size, fruit tree so you will know which direction to take regarding containers and planting location.

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