If you long to grow ornamental fruiting trees in your garden but don't have much space, you might want to consider growing miniature "duo" fruit trees.  Ornamental fruit trees offer a beautiful display of blossoms in the springtime, pretty leaves when the colours turn in the autumn and the added bonus of a crop of fruit during the summer.

But what are duo trees, and how do you grow them successfully?  Read on to find out more.

What are "duo" ornamental fruit trees?

The term "duo" simply refers to the planting of two fruiting trees in the same container or hole.  This is a great way of saving space and maximising your fruit crop.  For example you could choose to grow two different types of apple trees together, or one apple and one pear.  Alternatively, you could grow cherries, peaches, plums or apricots.  There are many different varieties of ornamental fruiting trees with dwarf habit, so the choice is virtually endless.


In order to make sure that your trees bear fruit, you must understand the basics of pollination.  Some species of fruit trees need cross-pollination in order to bear a crop.  This means that some trees of the same variety cannot pollinate each other; they require pollination from a different type of fruiting tree in the same genus.  For example, you could plant two different types of apple trees together, but not two of the same variety. 

Obviously, two cross-pollinators planted in such close proximity will both be visited by pollinating insects, and the vital cross-pollination that you need for the trees to set fruit will therefore readily occur.

Some species of fruit tree are self-pollinators.  For example, many types of cherries self-pollinate so you could grow two trees of the same species together for a bigger crop of your favourite variety, or choose one cherry and one plum. 

Planting ornamental duo fruit trees

Ornamental duo fruit trees can be grown successfully in the ground or in containers. 

If you're planting directly into the ground, dig a hole deep and wide enough to comfortably accommodate both root balls.  Tease a few roots loose from each ball, and place both trees in together.  Fill the hole with a mixture of top soil and compost.  Water well for the first couple of weeks until the trees are established.

Container-grown trees require quite intensive care if they're to remain healthy and productive.  Choose large containers or planter bags, and be prepared to re-pot the trees every couple of years.  This is necessary so that you can trim the tree roots to encourage fresh growth and refresh the compost in which the tree is growing.  Remember that potted trees will require very regular watering to prevent the compost from drying out, especially during the growing season when the fruit is forming.

In conclusion

Growing ornamental duo fruit trees can be a great way of providing attractive blossoms, pretty autumn foliage and fresh fruit for your family even if you only have a small garden.  Have a chat with your local plant wholesaler, such as Din San Nursery, for more advice on the best varieties of ornamental fruit tree for duo planting.