Dwarf vs. semi-dwarf fruit trees

last year

Hi all, I need some advice.

I am working to create a large decorative vegetable garden, about 150’x75’, bordered by bushes on three sides and a stone retaining wall on one side. It will be laid out with beds in decorative shapes and I would like to plant some small fruit trees throughout to enhance the looks and provide fruit for fresh eating.

I want to keep these trees around 8-10 feet for maintenance and space reasons. Should I plant dwarf or semi-dwarf? I have read about summer pruning for size, but I don’t want to create a maintenance nightmare trying to keep semi-dwarf trees small. On the other hand, I live in Kansas, so we have hot, dry and windy summers, and I’m concerned about a dwarf tree not being vigorous enough. I don’t mind staking, and of course I will water, but I guess I’m concerned that a dwarf tree won’t thrive under these conditions.

Can you advise me? I’ve gone back and forth, depending on what I’ve read. Thank you!

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