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-   -   anyone have/heard of a fruit cocktail tree? (

Philphine 09-17-2012 10:59 AM

anyone have/heard of a fruit cocktail tree?
i kinda stumbled across this tree while i was looking for ideas for what to do with some big pots i lucked across. a small tree that grows 5 fruits. plums, peaches, nectarines and a couple others.

sounds really interesting, but since i've never heard of such a thing, i don't anything about them. i've emailed one of the places that sell them just now, but i figured i'd ask here too, to see if anyone has any experience at all with them.

the things i'm wondering are if it would grow in a large-ish pot (about 24" wide and 12" deep), if it would grow where i am (louisville, ky, about zone 6), and if it could stay outside through the winter. i'd want to put them on each side of a patio door, so even if i could bring them inside that door, it would only keep them from getting frost or snow right on them. it wouldn't be much if any warmer.

thanks for any help.

dodgeramsst2003 09-25-2012 04:56 PM

Well I don't have any experience with them personally, but have looked into them quite a bit. If I remember right they are good for zones 4-8? If they can survive my winter I'm sure you'll be fine. Basically they graft four different trees together to make the one. They do the same thing with different types of apples, pears, etc, it eliminates the need to plant two trees for pollination. I'm actually looking at a few different trees for my backyard.

Philphine 10-11-2012 11:19 PM

just looking at this again. thanks for the reply. i think i'll try them sometime in the future. i got a reply back from one place, but it wasn't much more than what was in the site description. i still don't know how well they might do in a pot. it wouldn't grow to the advertised height i'd guess, but as long as it produces eventually that would work for me.

notmrjohn 10-16-2012 02:17 PM

I wouldn't try it in anything smaller than a ten gallon pot, and that's on small size. You'd have to have rollers on anything that large. I would not buy one from the ads in newspaper or magazines or online, shady dealers mostly, even when selling shade trees. Their "Guaranteed to Grow" is full of loop holes, do you want to pay shipment on dead tree return? Send soil sample? Detailed report of planting procedure and watering schedule? ( No matter what the schedule they will say too much or too little.) Try local nurseries, orchards.

There are miniature varieties of many fruit trees, a nurseryman, arborist, or certainly an orchard farmer could graft a tree for you. You just want to keep them in the same family at least, sometimes same genus.
Apple and pear types, the ones with multiple pips, you might could even have a rose, apples are in rose family; peaches,cherries, and plums, the pitted ones, you could have almonds on that, they aren't true nuts but the pit of a thin fleshed fruit; the citrus family, a lemon lime tree; walnuts and pecans; etc. You can even graft tomato to potato and have one plant make both, a potamato.

Grafting is how nearly all fruits trees and roses are created. Look up how to do that, create your own monsters. It is not hard, but you have to wait a year or so to see how successful you were in just keeping the scion alive. Scion is the grafted on twig.

There are about 8000 varieties of apple, but only one species, all the varieties are mutants and won't grow true from seed. The same is true of most fruit. All the genes for those 8000 varieties are present in every apple seed so you never know what you'll get. Usually a throw back towards original apple, a thick skinned, thin fleshed, bitter little thing. But sometimes something new. Then the fruit grower grafts branches from that tree onto generic root stock to propigate trees. Or he tries to get twigs to take root, creating clones. He becomes rich and famous, well mebbe not, but he gets to name the variety. If he's smart he names it after his wife and everything is hunky dory in the Garden of Eden.

With the multi-fruit trees you'll get cross pollination, but fruit will be what ever the flower was, the seed will be a cross and that's where you get the mutants.

So go for it, at worst your tree dies and you lose bucks. At best your mutant clones spread over earth defeating all foes and you become ruler of world.

dthornton 10-16-2012 09:02 PM

I haven't personally had one of these trees, although we used to have a "5-in-1" pear tree. I don't think you will have much success with one of these in a pot. Fruit trees generally don't like having their roots too cramped. It may "survive", but it probably will produce very little if any fruit. Dwarf plums, tangerines, and lemon/limes grow well in pots, but peaches like a bit more room. I'd suggest flowers for your pots, and find a spot in the ground for the trees. If you still want to try it, I think you would want at least a 1/2 whiskey barrel (the full size one, not the mini) to plant in. As far as the cold, remember that the ground insulates the roots (which grow all year) from the extreme cold. A pot has the dirt exposed to the elements, and if the temperature stays below freezing for a long enough time, it may get cold enough to hurt the roots. I agree with notmrjohn; get some advice from a nurseryman or arborist in your area. Who knows - with all the new stuff that's being developed, they may have come up with some varieties that WILL grow in pots. Let us know how it works out!

notmrjohn 10-20-2012 11:01 AM

"Fruit trees generally don't like having their roots too cramped." I've seen some bonsai fruit trees. They look kind of ridiculous, foot high tree with full size fruit. Of course it takes years, decades, to get one healthy and vigorous to bear and usually only one fruit is allowed to mature. Many trees do not recover from fruiting.
Miniature trees have similar problem, they are stunted "mutants' and don't have vigor needed to produce much or very large fruit continuously.

Aside from warranty problems with mail order plants, they are not varieties acclimated to your area. Same can be true of nursery plants, could be shipped in from across country, so ask.

BTW, just seeing thornton's name, reminds me. Some fruit grown from seed may actually yield usable fruit, but tree itself may be a thorny monster. Wild ancestor protected fruit untill seeds were mature enuff to be spread by foraging birds, other critters.

CallMeVilla 10-20-2012 11:35 AM

Did some searching . . . try looking here:

notmrjohn 10-20-2012 04:05 PM

Glaring error in that link, "Fruit cocktail trees have been around since the early ’40s,"
Romans had them, Chinese had them centuries ago. Some ancient Talmud scholars said they and fruit from them were prohibited to Jews. Such trees were considered to be evidence of witchcraft in some 17th century trials.Which shows that those trials were really about politics and landgrabbing, as most folks of time were perfectly familiar with grafting.

Also "they are incredibly beautiful in bloom" that depends on which variety was grafted where, some turn out being a striped tree, a random mix of varieties can make a multi colored tree, with blossoms and colorful ripening fruits at different times.

The potamato on other hand looks like a tomato above ground. Don't make mistake of grafting potato top to tomato root. Other beezarr vegies are various squashes, pumpkins on one plant; melons; cabbage family. How about a dill carrot?

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