How To Grow A Fruit Salad Tree

This is the story of one women’s dream to grow a tree that could produce four different types of fruit. Of course trees of this type are not readily available and have to be artificially created by grafting branches of the four fruit trees on to a single stem. Apart from the novelty this has the advantage of being self pollinating. The process is described in an article by jlshernandez which I found on the Dengarden website.

I have always been obsessed with a fruit salad tree — a multi-grafted tree that produces four or more different fruits on one tree trunk. The thought always fascinated me and the hybrid tree would make an interesting subject for my garden. First and foremost, I will not need an orchard to produce peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots and worry about what to do with the bushels of fruits. A multi-grafted fruit salad tree is ideal for limited garden space and takes up a fraction of the area. It is also self-pollinating because the flowers bloom at the same time. Imagine the thrill of picking four different fruits off the same tree.

So what really is a fruit salad tree? – It is a multi-grafted tree of several fruits from the same family on one tree

A multi-grafted apple tree can have Anna, Dorsett golden, Fuji, and Gordon on the same tree because these belong to the same family of apples. You can have a 3-in-1 cherry tree, 5-in-1 citrus tree with lemons and key limes, tangelos, pomelos, mandarin oranges or 4-in-1 plum tree with four varieties of plums. But you cannot expect to find a combination of lemon, apple and cherry grafted on the same trunk because these do not belong to the same family of fruits.
I chose a 4-in-1 stonefruit fruit salad tree for my garden. Babcock white peach, Late Santa Rosa plums, Blenheim apricot, and Fantasia nectarines –these colorful labels with pictures of the four stonefruits reassured me that one day soon I will be harvesting these juicy fruits from this tree in one-quarter of the space. The multi-grafted fruit tree is also self-pollinating, which means each type pollinate each other and prolong the harvest season.

Spring – Feb. 12, 2012 – The arrival of the 4-in-1 fruit salad tree

The fruit salad tree did not look like much when this was first planted in my garden. It was about 4 ft. tall with a bunch of leafless multi-grafted branches onto one rootstock. There were four labels with colorful pictures of a specific fruit attached to each branch.This was so I could tell which branch belonged to a certain stonefruit. The biodegradable pot it came in is supposed to fall apart and blend into the soil eventually. This was the ideal sunny location I chose for the stonefruit tree with ample room to grow and expand.

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