Starting an Orchard: Apples, Cherries, Peaches, Plums and Pears

Learn where to plant your fruit trees, how to prune them, harvesting techniques and more.

| January/February 1973

Pear Trees

Pear trees can be some of the hardest fruit trees to grow. Prune your newly-planted saplings carefully to prevent too-rapid growth.


Special Note: All material here reprinted from Grow It! Copyright © 1972 by Richard W. Langer. The title of this excerpted chapter is "Fruit." 

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

—A.E. Housman  

All worms have an apple,
But not all apples have a worm.
—Peter Reeves

There's no place on the farm quite like the orchard. For dew-fresh fruit, but also for picnics in blossom time, watching the bees gather nectar for your honey, and simply enjoying life. Making a detour on your way to feed the chickens in the morning and stopping by the orchard for a night-chilled Transparent apple is a country experience hard to pass up.

The only problem is, unless your land comes with an established orchard, it's going to take a couple of years' wait. That's why starting an orchard should be one of the first things you set out. If, as is likely, you move to the country in spring or summer, planning your grove of fruit trees right away and getting the trees in time for fall planting will give you a year's head start over putting it off till you're settled in. Even if you don't have time to get the trees, you can sow a green manure crop of rye to help prepare the land for early spring planting the next year. Fruit trees can be set in either season as long as they are naturally dormant when transplanted.

To speed up your first yield even further, try a few dwarf trees. You probably won't bother much with these once your big ones start bearing, but they will give you an initial crop to tide you over the second or third year of waiting.

2/22/2016 3:01:46 AM

i am a student of business management and i humbly require some some steps to write my orchard business plan?

8/27/2015 6:54:21 PM

With the cherry tree that my wife and I have been growing for about 3 years now, would we need to do a tree trimming and pruning service on it? The branches are already spreading out like crazy and it seems like they are about touch the roof tiles of the home. My guess is to probably give it some more time of about three months to see if the tree will grow any larger.

7/21/2014 12:36:34 PM

How can I get cherry seeds from this years fruit to germinate for a new tree?

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