Fruit Cocktail Tree

What about the Fruit Cocktail Tree?

Fruit cocktail tree?  Everyone knows fruit cocktail has been a popular standby in the canned fruit industry since the early twentieth century. The combination of peaches, grapes, pears, pineapple and a cherry half or two packed in syrup was more than likely developed to use fruit that was damaged or bruised and could not be used for canning. Pretty ingenious, actually. But a fruit cocktail tree?

Fruit trees have been around since creation week and through out history gardens or orchards of luscious fruit have been a sign of wealth.  Now day’s gardeners all over the world want to grow their own fruit in an attempt to provide healthy choices for their families.  Often though, they are thwarted due to space, time or lack of knowledge.

There are, however, several varieties of fruit trees that can be successfully grown in the smallest of backyards. Even beginning gardeners or those with limited time can grow such trees as apples, many of the citrus fruits, peaches, pears, cherries or plums. This is where the fruit cocktail tree comes in.

The fruit cocktail tree has not been in production since 1941 like the canned product it shares its name with.  For those looking for a novelty that produces a variety of fruit on one tree imagine four varieties of apples on the same tree-the first variety ripening in August, the second in September and the last two in October as well as being compatible for cross pollination.

How about a tree with a variety of the more popular citrus fruits-oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes, and grapefruit.  Another great combination for a fruit cocktail tree are single stone fruits such as apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums (or peach-cots (peach-apricot cross) peacherines (peach-nectarine cross) or plum-cots (plum-apricot cross) in several varying combinations).

Cherries are available for multiple fruiting-making a beautiful fruit cocktail tree with the degrees of deep red to light red cherry colors.  Several varieties of Asian pears make an interesting tree; also the 4-in-1 plum tree.  And the very best aspect of the fruit cocktail tree is that many can be purchased in a dwarf variety suitable for large containers to be grown on the back patio. Another benefit of fruit cocktail trees is not having great quantities of fruit at any one time.  This is especially true for those with small areas to garden in.  It avoids wasted fruits also.

Just think-harvesting enough fruit to eat as well as canning or freezing enough for jams and jellies fit for breakfast toast. Fruit cocktail trees blossoms in spring, producing fruits in the fall. They attract bees, birds and butterflies, and need only to be watered regularly.  Do not over water.

Some find difficulty in the fruit cocktail tree with managing the different varieties. The plums are invariably more vigorous than the other single stone fruits of the tree making pruning a necessary to keep them from over taking a tree.  Most people however find that the pruning of their standard or dwarf variety fruit cocktail tree is not so different than pruning any other fruit tree. Do all major pruning of fruit cocktail trees in the summer before fruit buds begin to appear.  Cut the main trunk as well, to just above the highest of the other branches using sharp pruning sheers to make a clean cut.

One of the biggest differences is that fruit cocktail trees are not sold as young as single fruit trees meaning the early pruning and training has most likely been done for you. The task then is to simply keep you fruit cocktail tree shaped for maximum exposure to the sun. This ensures healthy branches for good production.