That may seem like a harsh blog title, and it may be unfair, but that is what I have found with my citrus. I went crazy with dwarf citrus trees about 5 years ago. I was so excited that I could fit so many trees into such a small area. I have been battling disease for a while (mainly on the dwarf trees) http://edibleurbangarden.blogspot.com.au/2010/09/citrus-healthy-and-not-so-healthy.html.
I have found that the standard sized citrus trees have flourished and the dwarf trees have not. It may be the type that I have chosen – 2 varieties of orange and a ruby grapefruit….but all have been more disease prone and have never fruited (although they have had the best positions in the garden). My standard sized trees – a Tahitian lime (which is marginal in Sydney), Eureka Lemon, Ruby Grapefruit and Imperial Mandarin have all been productive and far less hassle. I do prune them quite a bit to keep them at a manageable size. I wonder if anyone else has found this? Or maybe it is just the varieties I have chosen. But for now, the dwarf trees are being given away on freecycle.com and I’m focusing on the full size trees.
A dodgy photo of the fairly unimpressive 4 year old dwarf Valencia Orange tree
Happy full size Ruby Grapefruit (even after being moved 3 times over the years - although it takes a year to recover each time). I keep it pruned to about shoulder height.