How to Plan and Care for Orchards

If you are planning on planting an orchard either for your community, farm, croft or own garden, here are some great resources on everything you need to think about, including:

  • Suitable land for orchards
  • Where to plant
  • The best soil for fruit trees
  • How to plant fruit trees
  • Pruning Fruit Trees
  • Selecting the best varieties
  • Grouping varieties of fruit trees for pollination etc
  • Looking after the trees
  • When and how to pick the apples / fruit
  • How to keep the trees in good health
  • Organising community apple days, cooking, juicing, cidering!
  • How to add your orchard to the Scottish Orchard Map
  • Orchard Events

And of course, links to our own orchard project:

Planning Orchards

The Orchard Project – Notes on Planning and Designing Orchards. Note that The Orchard Project site is packed full of info on how to plant, plan, prune etc. Grab a coffee and spend an hour there !! 

The Tree Council – Trees for Schools Project. There’s a great pdf document on planning orchards, including everything that needs thought of including making sure to involve the pupils in the design process. The planning document is a good read for anyone planning an orchard.

There’s also a great Facebook Page with lots of  helpful people on there – Orchard Collective Scotland

And, you can read about the Wester Ross Pocket Orchards Project here.

Where to Buy Fruit Trees

Apple Tree Man – Appletreeman (Andrew Lear) propagates and sells hardy, heritage and Scottish fruit trees. at Blackhaugh Community Farm in Perthshire. Andrew provides a consultancy service and runs training courses.

Scottish Fruit Trees – Scottish fruit tree supplier, again providing consultancy service and help on planning and planting trees.

Pruning Apple Trees

Winter is the time to prune apples and pears. Please don’t touch your plum or cherry trees in winter. 

Pruning Young Fruit Trees

This is the best video I’ve seen explaining the fundamentals on how to prune fruit trees. The video goes through a pictoral description on what we’re doing when pruning and then moves on to a practical demonstration.

And here’s the Gardener’s World info on Apple and Pear Tree pruning, leading to how to grow, pick and store apples –