Citrus fruit trees that are grown commercially consist of a fruiting variety (desired cultivar) called a scion that is grafted to a rootstock. The scion determines what kind of fruit the tree will bear and the rootstock determines the size of the mature tree. Citrus fruit trees come in 3 basic sizes: standard size grow 20 to 30 feet tall, semi-dwarf grow 10 to 15 feet tall, and dwarf which mature slowly to a height of 5 to 10 feet after about 13 years.
Differences in Citrus Fruit Trees
Standard and dwarf size citrus fruit trees yield the same size and flavor of fruit. Dwarf citrus fruit trees are going to be easier to pick the fruit than on a standard size tree. The rationale behind choosing the different rootstocks and therefore different size mature trees is for the resistance to disease, adaptability to soil composition, hardiness to climate, fruit yield and other growing factors.
There is quite a bit of science behind the decision to use one rootstock over another beside the factor of maturity tree size. Carefully consider where the citrus fruit tree will be planted. If space is an issue, such as in a home garden, then a dwarf variety rootstock may decide the issue. When you are buying citrus fruit trees from a nursery, ask them about the specifics of the rootstock. They will be happy to tell you all about it.