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 How Do I Survey An Apple Orchard 
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Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:28 am
Posts: 2
Location: West Sussex UK
Post How Do I Survey An Apple Orchard
Hello Everybody

Im studying Horticulture at the moment, part of the course is a long term project and a suggested option has been to survey and restore the college apple orchard, which according to the tutor contains some very rare varieties(not sure which so don't ask me) I know little about the orchard other than there is about 30 trees, they all produce fruit, but they are getting seriously neglected. The tutor has approached me about doing this as i would like to get into fruit/veg growing long term(most of my classmates want to go into garden design or landscaping)

So how would i go about surveying an apple orchard, i think only 2 of the trees have name plates on them so the others are all in need of identification and pruning etc etc, im really not sure where to even start with this.

Any advice, info would be much appreciated, thankyou

Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:52 am

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: How Do I Survey An Apple Orchard
I would start by making a map or chart, including the varieties that you know.

Then I would take pictures and note characteristics of the other trees. You could try to send the pictures to this site or another, asking for help with identification.

I would try to note the health and/or condition of each of the trees. Who has been taking care of the orchard previously? Perhaps there is a local person who knows about apples. I've heard they've been growing them in England for a long time :)
John S

Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:34 am

Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:42 pm
Posts: 189
Post Re: How Do I Survey An Apple Orchard
Here's an example of a grid for our Piper's orchard (an antique orchard) in Seattle: ... rd-map.pdf

How much time do you have? After mapping the varieties and noting height, width, quality, etc. as John noted in a previous post, then you need to find someone who can help you identify the varieties.....someone in one of the large horticulture departments there in the U.K. will know of who the local guru is that can help you identify these old apples....maybe you should start saving three or four of these apples now from each tree and refrigerate them for future reference.

In Seattle, we are trying our hand at being able to ID apples with the help of computer info.

My suggestion is do the easy stuff first in the way of mapping what you know, and then if you have the time, find an expert for the hard part of deciding what the varieties are.

If you discover a long-lost and extremely valuable heirloom, please forward your donation to the Home Orchard Society.....(and yes, every paragraph other than this last one was serious).

Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:27 pm

Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:28 am
Posts: 2
Location: West Sussex UK
Post Re: How Do I Survey An Apple Orchard
Thanks for the responses,

well i have a year to do this project so plenty of time, im not sure who has been looking after the orchard previously but it clearly needs attention, i think being that it belongs to the college it has just got lost in the system, they have had a lot of building/renovation work done there in the last few years and i think it just got put on the back burner.
im going to try and find a local expert next i think and see if i can get them to come and have a look at it, in the meantime i will measure the area layout


Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:29 am

Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:41 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Somerset England
Post Re: How Do I Survey An Apple Orchard
How old do you think the trees are? If the college paid for the orchard to be planted within the last decade they'll probably have records of which trees they bought.
If there's no information, you could try going to Wisley, not that far away, where the RHS fruit collection is based, on a Fruit Identification Day, details and dates are on the RHS website. They also do pruning courses and may know of someone who can help with the rejuvenation of the trees

Fri Sep 21, 2012 2:58 pm
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