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I have an apartment in Brooklyn with a south-east facing deck. In the summer it gets a lot of light. Indoors, I also have lots of windows facing that direction. I'd like to get a nectarine tree and have it indoors in the winter, and outdoors in the summer (I can use a dolly to move the pot). Are there dwarf varieties of this type that would do well in this situation?

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I don't have first hand experience, but I do know with appropriate tree stock selection, the right conditions, care, you can most definitely make it work.

As with animals, plants can be dwarfed through genetic engineering and selective breeding, but can also undergo natural, morphological changes to acclimatize to environmental stresses such as soil quality, light, drought, flood, cold, infection, and herbivory resulting in a dwarfed stature.

This, Growing Dwarf Fruit Trees and Nut Trees, appears to be a pretty good, useful article on the subject of "Dwarf Fruiting Trees". Below are a few bullet points I've picked out of that article & stuff I've picked up over the years:

  • For your situation, I believe you will be best served with a genetic dwarf nectarine tree. These trees have been available to home gardeners since the mid to late 1960's.

  • Dwarf peach and nectarine trees should be readily available in a large selection of cultivars. Look for ones that claim to be "disease resistant", this "should" make maintenance that bit easier.

  • Dwarf peach and nectarine trees are short, shrubby trees, grow to about 6 to 10ft (1800 to 3000mm) tall and wide.

  • Dwarf fruit trees fruit earlier than their "standard" family members.

  • Dwarf fruit trees have a high density of bloom, which results in a large fruit crop (for the size of the tree).

  • Due to the high density of bloom, pruning is not as important to stimulate flower and fruit production. Note, appropriate pruning should still be undertaken for the overall health of the fruit tree.

  • Easy maintenance due to their small size eg No need for ladders.

  • Peach and nectarine trees need plenty of sunshine and warmth.

  • Plant the dwarf fruit tree in a "suitably" sized container (with good drainage), basically the bigger the better.

  • Plant the dwarf fruit tree in "good quality" growing medium, either purchase a "high quality" container (soil) mix or mix your own.

  • Mulch with compost, this will help feed the "container" (bound) tree slowly.

  • In the first year, remove all fruits, this will allow the roots and the tree itself to get better establish.

  • In the second second, remove ¾ of the fruits.

    • The first year or two is all about building strong foundations.
  • From the third year onward, you will want to remove (thin) 50% of the fruit, doing so will greatly help your tree remain healthy, prolong its life and result in much better quality fruit (the ones that remain on the tree to ripen).

  • As is the case with "most" plants, the more (appropriate) care you give, the more years of enjoyment you can expect back from your dwarf fruit tree.

Below is some further reading that I believe you will find helpful/useful:

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