Guides and Advice

Whether you are looking to grow your community groups or just more fruit, we have lots of advice and tips for you here. With many thanks to the amazing experts who have helped develop urban fruit growing knowledge.

If you love orchards and the delicious fruit within them as much as we do, you may have never seriously asked yourself why we should plant and nurture orchards but it turns out there are lots of great reasons justifying orchards should you ever encounter an unbeliever.

Once your trees are in the ground, they may be there for another century so careful planning is needed!

From Apple Days to sunny picnics to midwinter pruning parties – there are lots of ways to involve the local community in your new Community Orchard.

What could be more exciting than planting an orchard for generations to enjoy? Our guide will make sure your trees are cosseted and your event a success.

Our research suggests that tree fruit is a low-risk food to grow in urban areas but we have compiled a very useful factsheet with more information.

Whether we are short on space or good, clean soil to plant in, containers can be a great way to grow fruit.

They don't call it hard graft for nothing but once you get the knack of it, you can start your own mini nursery of fruit trees all of which will have the same desirable qualities that their parents have.

Most apples, pears and plums are, in the main, not self-fertile. This means that in order to produce fruit, these trees need to be planted close to one or more suitable varieties in flower at the same time.

There are lots of ways to shape fruit trees depending on the priorities of the grower and the space available but pruning is not just about pretty forms. Pruning can help trees to fight off infections by allowing for good ventilation and should encourage your trees to produce more fruit.

Since 2011 The Orchard Project has been working with communities to restore old, neglected orchards through programmes of educational sessions on restoration pruning.

How to avoid problems from pests and diseases and, if the worst happens, what to do next...

The seasons give us many reasons to celebrate. From picnics under blossom, to harvest festivals and apple days through to wassailing in the depths of winter, orchards are a great excuse for a party.

Download and use our tried and tested primary school lesson plans for years 2 and 3. 

Download and use our tried and tested primary school lesson plans for years 4 and 5.

We've got some of the team's top secret recipes to help you deal with that most glorious of all problems, the fruit glut!

Spring in the orchard is a lovely time. If the weather is good, the trees will wake from their dormant period and their buds will swell and open.

Long days filled with watering and the pleasurable sight of fruits growing before your eyes, followed by warm evenings with perhaps a glass of cider…

It’s harvest time, so reap the rewards of the fruits of your labour! The mature trees should be laden with fruit so go prepared with bags and hungry friends.

While ordinary gardeners may be spending more time looking at seed catalogues than being out in the fresh air, this is one of the busiest times of the year for us orchardists.

Whether you are looking to further your reading with very detailed guides or find helpful organisations, we have collected the best of the orchard wide web here.