Fruit Cocktail Tree Photo?

Love4Gardening(11 HI)September 6, 2005

I've come across the name fruit cocktail tree a few times in plant catalogs and was wondering if anyone knew how this tree produces 3 different types of fruit and does any one have any experience growing one. If you have any photos that would be great too. Any info would be appreciated.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

These are just 'multi-variety' grafted trees - usually, the 'fruit cocktail' types are stonefruits - they graft/bud a peach, plum, nectarine, and maybe a cherry all onto the same rootstock.
Problems arise in trying to keep the different varieties/species in balance, or one or more grafts may die out, and, additionally, you don't get to choose the varieties - they may be selections that aren't necessarily very good for your area. For instance, since you're in zone 11 Hawaii, you'd have to have some exceedingly low-chill varieties - if, indeed there are any peach/plum/nectarine/cherry selections that would even fruit for you there.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 4:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

There is a citrus variety that is named Fruit cocktail. It is truly very sweet, and is a complex hybrid. There is also a multi-grafted citrus tree that is composed of grapefruit, lemon, and valencia orange and is sold as a Citrus Fruit Cocktail tree.

There are various Fruit Cocktail trees sold in big box stores. Once there is a plum, apricot, prune, nectarine or peach in various combinations, they usually sell it as Fruit Cocktail tree.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 5:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonnielw22(zone6 SE Mich.)

I planted one 2 years ago. It is about 7 feet tall and 5 feet across. It looks kind of like a bush because some of the branches are grafted low to the ground. I don't want to prune any of the stems, because I don't want to lose any variety. My tree is supposed to have 6 varieties of peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines. I have noticed a lot of differences in the leaves on each of the branches. I haven't gotten any fruit yet, but I am hopeful. I don't have any pictures.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

has anyone ever grown one of these and gotten any produce from one of them.......interesting project hey?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 3:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

about 5 years ago i lived in nassau county long island n.y.
and i bought one of those trees. never thinking it will grow to be what they clamed. Well to make a long story short in about 3 years this tree produced necterens, peach,plum,and apricot. All regular size fruit,it was great. We decided to relocate to northeast Georgia. If i could have, i would have taken that tree with me.The new owners threw it out,(what a shame) i tried to grow it down here with no luck. I beleive it needs a cold winter.
So try it, what have you got to loose.Good Luck
Im sorry i did not take pictures.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 11:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kaerie22(z8 Austin, TX)

I bought 2, and both died in the heat of the summer. (2 seperate years) I would think that in HA, it would be even harder.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 8:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Did you ever get a picture of the fruit cocktail tree?

We recently moved to a house with a very large backyard with no plants. I have never done any gardening and am hoping to give it a go this year.

I read a couple of things on the fruit cocktail tree and wanted to see a picture.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 1:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
myardor(Z9 TX)

Basically a cocktail fruit tree is just a fruit tree with more than one type/variety of fruit.
What kind of fruit, well it depends on who is selling/grafting the tree.
If I am not mistaken, JoeReal has a few of those. He grafted them himself so he decided what fruit to have.
The bad thing about buying one is that you dont have a choice of what you get. Joe has explained which variety goes where, ie where to graft the more vigorist one, what to prune to keep them "even" etc.

What I wud do is just do as Joe. Ask him and he might be nice enough to explain it to you.
Harder is getting the scion you want.
good luck.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 11:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Thanks for the compliments Myardor.

I will post picture later in the season. My main problem is that all my trees are always grafted just before they wake up in spring. Not nice to look at this time. I can't help myself grafting new types and pruning away the cultivars that did not perform well. I have grafted together plums, peaches, nectarines, prunes, gages, mirabelles, cherries, pluots, plumcots, apriums and apricots on one tree. Since the cherry graft threatened to tower over, I took it out.

When getting the fruit cocktail tree, it is hard to know ahead in time which of the grafts will dominate due to many factors.

But if European plums or prunes or apricots are grafted together with asian plums and peaches, the European plums and apricots will most likely be the slowest growing. Thus when you plant them make sure the slowest grower are in the south facing to prevent from shading out. To maintain balance, you must be vigilant in pruning for balance. These trees cannot be left alone. The other alternative is regrafting, and you might like it.

I can make the apricot as vigorous as the others by grafting a Flavor Delight Aprium unto the Asian Pear stock and then grafting the apricot unto the Aprium. There are other tricks that you can do for balancing. For example, I keep regrafting the slow growing European plums unto the most vigorous branches of Japanese plums, this way I can have as much European plums as I want. By regrafting the slow growers unto the most vigorous branches, balance are easily achieved after two grafting cycles. But for me, as soon as there are extra branches to graft to, it will not end. Just added 9 new cultivars to my 15-in-1 prunus tree. Last year's graft are full of flower buds at the moment.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 12:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Joe and I discussed this privately - it seems his mind was racing so far ahead of his fingers that he typed 'pear' instead of 'plum'. Prunus spp. are not graft-compatible with Pyrus - but, I had to check to make sure Joe hadn't developed some new technique that I needed to be aware of!
Thanks for the tip, Joe; now, if I just had some way to keep the apricots and pluots from breaking dormancy 2-3 months before my frost-free date!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 3:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Thanks Lucky! Yes, most of the time mind is faster than my fingers, they just don't coordinate well. I meant Asian plum and I was packaging a multi-grafted european and asian pear for Heidibird. Who knows, given enough time and a series of different interstems, we might be able to graft a prunus unto a pyrus, after all they all belong to the same Rose family, but I will not spend time finding that out, LOL!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I was going to ask...I did read in Ripley's Believe it or Not that an English woman was able to graft pears and apples onto the same tree (I think those were the two, and the tree was documented to have produced fruit for a number of years). I thought maybe there was things about grafting I hadn't yet come to understand.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 8:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

my in laws have a combo of different stone fruit... it goes out of balance quickly, and eventually some varieties will die.
I have an apple with 6 different varieties of apples and crabapples. A plum with 5 different kinds. a Mulberry with 3 kinds, an appricot with 2 different varieties.
Multi grafting works out great for smaller areas.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 9:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

What kinds are on your Mulberry?

And that Ripley's Believe it or Not thing was a Tree in Worcester England in the yard of Camilla Bowitz which bore (bears?) both apples and plums. Bass, you'd be unstoppable with such a tree!


    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 1:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

Guiness book of records, indicates 6 grafts of a stone tree as a record, it's a tree in Chile, South america.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 1:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Bass, if you do the technique of regrafting the less vigorous ones over the more vigorous cultivars, you should be able to achieve nice balance. Instead of pruning off the most vigorous branch, simply cut off and graft over it.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Bass, do you have a link to guinness book of world records about the stone tree. I think I've read somewhere that Burbank have made one tree with more than 64 cultivars on it and all are fruiting.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 3:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There are apple & pear selections that are graft-compatible with each other. The apple variety, "Winter Banana" is well-noted for establishing good, long-term unions with many pear varieties. Likewise, the 'Fertility' pear is noted for being graft-compatible with many apples. I don't know how readily available it is anymore, but there was(is) a 'Superclone' apple that supported pear grafts quite well.
OSU had, for a number of years, some experimental trees of Winter Banana on M27, topworked to a number of Asian pear varieties. My understanding is that they pulled them out to make room for something else; all were doing well and fruiting.

I've got - or had - 3 or 4 pears, grafted onto seedling apple rootstocks - these were purchased as a bundle P.communis seedlings, but most were NOT - and I didn't make the connection until I had re-grafted one of them three times, when I noticed that, "Hey, those aren't pear leaves on that rootstock!" None of the pears were 'happy' on apple after the first year, but some hung in there for 6-8 years before they finally declined and died out. Only one ever got around to producing any fruit before it kicked off.

I've currently got several pears, as well as 'Aromatnaya' quince, and several mayhaw selections grafted and growing on native cockspur hawthorn(C.crus-galli) understock. Pretty dwarfing for the pears - requires staking.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 4:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonsaist(Z6/ Bethlehem, Pa)

Here's the link to that record tree with most multi graft.

Here is a link that might be useful: guiness book

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 5:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Thanks Bass! Will look it up.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 5:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Hey, I have beaten that record last year. They should come visit my trees.

I have gages, mirabelles, prunes, damsons, apricots, apriums, nectarines, cherry plums, plumcots, pluots, Japanese plums, peaches. I have recently added Peach plum hybrid and will also add native american plum, a Peach Apricot hybrid and perhaps regraft the cherry and could also throw in almond into the mix. Just counting the existing different kinds of fruit trees, I have 12 types already, and they are all going to produce fruits this season based on current blooms.

Well if we count mirabelles, gages, plums and damsons as one type, ie, European plums, then technically I only have 9 types which is still higher than the current guinness book of world records and if I have time to add other compatible fruits as planned, this will be a 14 type fruit tree.

I could argue that native American plums, european plums and Asian plums are wildly different from each other, the graft do not easily take across each type, but possible with proper sequence and interstem techniques.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 5:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

ok, but how does one get plums and apples on the same tree (without duct tape)??


    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

LOL!!! (duct taping apples and plums)

Chills, I would like to know that... I might know it someday, but don't like to waste most of time finding out how to do it, but it is very possible, since both are from the same family. If i have more time, the first thing to look up is the taxonomic tree based on molecular genetics or DNA analysis, finding out the nearest relative up the chain as possible candidates for interstems. But always, nature can sometimes be counter-intuitive that you can actually graft some specific varieties that based on our current scientific knowledge cannot be grafted together. I will not be surprised if someone stumbles on a shortcut, that is worth knowing.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 6:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bfreeman_sunset20(Ca 9b vta co)

Should they really have counted peaches and nectarines as different types of fruit? They are surely more geneticly similar then european and asian plums.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 7:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

That would have been my argument why prunes, gages, damsons and mirabelles be counted as different kinds.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow . . . I had no idea, maybe I'll use the big yard for a big dog. It's like you're speaking a different language.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

Joe...if they don't count peaches and nectarines as the same fruit, I bet they would consider Apriums and plumcots as different fruits as well.

Though personally I would count gages, mirabelles and damson's as different myself (and if they visit while the fruit are on the tree, the differences in color alone would be apparent.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 10:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bfreeman_sunset20(Ca 9b vta co)

Joe, it doesnt necessarily say stone fruit either. Does your Citrus tree have more varieties?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 12:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

bfreeman, I was going to say that. Currently on my 30-in-1 citrus tree I have these general citrus categories:
1) Pink and regular lemons
2) Orange x Lemon hybrid (so they say, but you can guess this popular "lemon" fruit)
3) Pummelos
4) Grapefruits
5) Pummelo x Grapefruit hybrids
6) Navels
7) Valencias
8) Acidless oranges (some are green skinned even when ripe)
9) Pigmented oranges (ie, Moro Blood, Sanuginelli)

  1. Mandarins (counting all "tangerines" in this category)
  2. Mandarin x Pummelo hybrids (Tangelos and Tangors)
  3. Limes

I would have easily grafted others like Calamondins, Sour Oranges, Limequats, Mandarinquats, Sunquat, Yuzu (considered outside the citrus genus in some literature), Ugli fruit (considered to look the same as the Yuzu and mistakenly grouped the same by some people), Kumquats, Sudachi but it wouldn't make my tree well balanced nor look good. These smallish fruits will be out of place and they have more of a columnar habit of growth. Not counting the various rootstock type.

Still there are other various other hybrids between pummelos and oranges, kumquats, lemons, mandarins and limes. And the resulting hybrids can be grafted easily together. some hybrids are complex when they are back crossed, but usually are grouped according to the dominant taste or look.

Anyway, that's 12 fruit categories right now, and 11 if you count Meyer in the pure lemon group. And if you go with how US market will group this, probably it would be like this:
Valencias, Navels, Mandarins, Tangerines, Tangelos, Pummelos, Grapefruits, Blood, Lemons, Limes, Exotics. So I would still have 11 types.

Anyway, categories are tentative and subjctive, they are always debatable depending upon whom you talk to. I myself may have miscategorized some of my citruses as the literature themselves are conflicting.

Not surprisingly, California marketing is very good at confusing the markets by introducing the term tangerines when technically it would have only been mandarins. And the same mis-information is spread by the same US growers calling all non-astringent persimmons as Fuyu and the astringent ones as Hachiyas!!!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 1:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am looking to purchase a few of the peach/plum variety of fruit cocktail trees but the suppliers all seem to be on the east coast and cannot ship to CA. Any recomendations?

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 2:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I bought one in 2000. It came looking like a stick. I planted it in a container because I wasn't sure where I wanted to put it. The next year I got 2 nectarines and a plum. But that was the year of the big freeze and I didn't take care of it and it died. I am going to get another one and try it again. Also, I bought the 5 kinds of apples, it produced apples every year after the first one, and 3 kinds of cherries, I never had any cherries yet...but its a pretty tree.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joereal(Ca z9/SS z14)

Raintree nursery sells a lot of combo trees. My earlier post that was linked to them got deleted by the server thinking that this was a business post.

Raintree nursery in Oregon can ship the combo trees to California, and you might be surprised that some of these trees came from California (especially Dave Wilson0 and they are acting as resellers. It made roundtrip if you order their pluot combo.

Anyway I hope this one gets through, so just copy and paste the link to your browser instead:

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 4:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have one these trees.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Fruit Cocktail Tree Experiment

    Bookmark   July 9, 2009 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Does anyone know the answer to these questions?

I would like to, if possible, make two very unusual fruit-cocktail trees of fruiting trees in the Rose family.

I'd like to mix:

One Tree (Crataegus-Malus-Sorbus-Amelanchier-Mespilus-Pyrus Tree)
Hawthorn (if the root-stock, C. crus-galli)
Juneberry (if the root-stock, A. canadensis)
Asian Pear
Crab-Apple (one of the natives)
American Mountain-Ash (Sorbus americana)

If so, which one of these should be the root-stock?

A second Tree (Native Plum Multi-Graft):
American Plum
Chickasaw Plum
Beach Plum
Dunbar's Plum (P. americana x P. maritima)
Wild Goose Plum
Canadian Wild Plum

Can this be done (either of these two)?

Also, I'd like to know if you think that if I planted to paw paw trees of contrasting cultivars a mere 8" away apart from eachother, if in time, the trunks of both would expand until they inosculated to form one tree sporting limbs of each cultivar on opposite ends. I only have space to allow a single paw paw (18') to develop into a full, unpruned tree of maximum size-potential. Or maybe I can plant them 2' apart and still get a natural, dual multi-trunk specimen?


    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 2:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Most of the places that sell Fruit Cocktail Trees have been terrible. Has anyone bought one from a reliable seller and actually had it grow? If so, please recommend the source.

Thanks ...


    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 12:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I second Davilance above, and I resurect this thread! lol I too am just itching to buy one of these trees. man 5 fruits on one tree, space-saver! and all my favorites too! But the sellers have TERRIBLE reviews (i.e. Burgess, Direct Gardening, and others) PLEASE if you have recieved one and it's growing healthy, share your source and thoughts!
Dread Fairy

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 1:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi, Dread Fairy. I have been reading this thread for years(!), and finally decided to register to respond to your post.

I grow a lot, although I am just a homeowner and definitely not a pro, and I have owned two of these trees. Both died before bearing any fruit. I also had a peach tree die. I am in zone 6 (Kentucky). I suspect there's something harsh about my climate or zone.

I'd love to have one of these trees that lives, but I just about given up hope. My last, and best one, lasted two years, and grew pretty large. I thought it was going to be fine, but after a very hot summer last year, it didn't come back this spring. So there my dead tree is still sitting, waiting to be replaced by... something.

Anyway, good luck. If anyone knows the secret to keeping these alive, please share. :)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 2:36PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Blue Berries-acid soil and other vegetable plants
I have been growing blue berry plants intermixed with...
can you scrape off canker
i've read that when growing season is strong, such...
Apple Pruning Advice
Can someone tell me if it would be a good idea to prune...
Dan Liptak
Blueberry help!
What's going on with this blueberry bush? Is it going...
Restoring old and neglected apricot trees. Help!
We moved into a new home in the middle of last summer...
Sponsored Products
Fruit table runner (red/green)
Origin Crafts
GG Collection Epergne with 5 Ceramic Inserts - 91453
$336.00 | Hayneedle
Hampton Bay Cushions Beverly Dragon Fruit Replacement 3-Piece Outdoor Corner
Home Depot
Atlanta Falcons Brie Cheese Cutting Board Set
$19.99 | zulily
Collins Beverage Tub - 21" dia.
$199.00 | FRONTGATE
Zoku Storage Case
$19.95 | FRONTGATE
Fruit Medley Opal Oval: 5 Ft. 4 In. x 7 Ft. 8 In. Rug
$259.00 | Bellacor
Bull Mesquite Q Grill Island - BUL175
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™