Apples held in two hands

These resources provide advice and guidance on how to plan, develop, use, and maintain an orchard with your learners, maximising the learning and experience opportunities that these biodiverse habitats provide. From orchard life cycles and food chains, to grafting and seasonal management tasks, take a closer ‘pip’ at apples with your learners.

Plan an orchard for learning

Once your trees are in the ground, they will hopefully be there for a long time, so proper planning is needed to ensure the trees have the best chance to grow and thrive.

The importance of orchards

Apart from the obvious fruitful harvest, orchards provide a focal gathering point for the local community, as well as food and shelter for a wide range of wildlife species.

Resource cards – The importance of orchards

Designing an orchard

When designing your orchard, consider soil, sun and space for your trees to grow. By considering these three things you will be able to choose the fruit tree species best suited to your site, maximise the productivity of your trees and provide the best habitat possible.

Information note – Designing an orchard

Improving soils for an orchard

This information note discusses different soil types and what can be done to improve soils for ensure healthy fruit trees.

Information note – Improving soils for an orchard

Fruit tree ID and facts

From scientific names and information on average height, to how different orchard fruits can contribute to a healthy diet; our resource cards share key facts and will help your learners identify fruit trees.

Resource cards – Fruit tree ID

Develop an orchard for learning

Growing and planting fruit trees

From growing an apple tree from seed, planting a fruit tree in a pot, to instructions on how to plant a young fruit tree in your grounds, our activity plans explain what to do.

Activity plan – Growing an apple tree from seed
Activity plan – Planting a fruit tree in a pot
Activity plan - Tree planting

Fruit tree planting film

Want to plant a fruit tree but not sure what to do? Watch this video!

Fruit tree planting film....Coming soon

Rootstock and grafting

Grafting is a technique used for propagating fruit trees and is the process by which you take a cutting from an apple variety that you like and graft it on to a desirable rootstock.

Use an orchard for learning

Orchard lifecycles and food chains

Fruit trees, with their flowers, fruits and branches, provide a range of food and shelter, support a diverse range of wildlife and are therefore fantastic for biodiversity. Learn more about the flora and fauna supported by this habitat by using our resources.

Information note – Orchard lifecycles and food chains
Resource cards – Food chains in an orchard
Resource cards – Life cycles in an orchard

For more education and learning resources linked to this topic, visit our Trees and Woodlands page. From Foundation Phase to Lifelong Learning, there are a variety of resources available, covering everything from how to measure a tree’s height, to calculating how much carbon is locked up in an individual tree.

Maintain an orchard for learning

Orchard management cycle

These resources explain the different tasks that need to be undertaken to effectively manage an orchard.

Information note – Orchard management cycle
Resource cards – Orchard management cycle

Seasonal management tasks for orchards

From mulching in the spring to pruning in the winter, these resources explain what management tasks need to be completed, and when.

Information note - Seasonal management tasks for orchards
Poster - Seasonal management tasks for orchards

Types of pruning

“In for a trim? What kind of prune would you like? Cordon? Espalier? Fan?” Not a clue what we are on about? Never fear, from when to prune, what tools to use, to different pruning techniques, our Information note will help you make the cut!

Information note – Types of pruning

What are the pro’s and cons of different orchard management techniques?

These resource cards will encourage learners to consider, discuss and learn about the impact of different management techniques on the wider natural environment.

Resource cards – Pros and cons of management techniques

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