John Worle Cider Apple & Perry Pear Trees
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Preparation & after-care
Orchard planted by machine
March 2009 showing post and
wire support, plastic tree guards
and ties

The same orchard in blossom
April 2011, 25 months after planting

The same Orchard Cropping September 2012

Is my soil suitable for growing trees?

Soil should be not be waterlogged or susceptible to water logging for long periods of time, in these conditions the trees will drown and will not survive. Ideally the pH of your soil should be slightly acid between 6 and 6.5 but up to 7 is just about tolerable. A pH of over 7 would be a problem because some nutrients would not be available to the trees. A Phosphate index 3, Potassium 3 & Magnesium 3 is desirable. If in doubt you may like get a soil analysis done, we would suggest Lancrop Laboratories. For planting tips please see John's planting video and our planting guidelines.

Orchard Management Tips

A checklist of aspects that you should consider before and after planting your trees prepared by Chris Fairs, Growers Manager for Bulmers [click here]

How to mark out your new orchard for planting.

To plant an orchard so that your trees are in straight lines from any angle that the rows are viewed from takes care. Here are some tips to help you.

click to enlarge

What planting distances should I have and how many trees do I need?

Popular planting distances for bush apple trees is 8ft x 18ft (trees 8ft apart and rows with a width of 18ft) In metric that is approximately 2.5m x 4.5m. These distances give a tree planting density of approximately 303 trees/acre.

Popular planting distances for standard apple trees is 30ft x 35ft (trees 30ft apart and rows with a width of 35ft). In metric that is approximately 9m x 10.5m. These distances give a tree planting density of approximately 40 trees/acre.

When calculating the number of trees you need to order it is suggested that you deduct 12.5% of the total to allow for lost planting space due to headlands and irregularities in the shape of the planting area. If possible it is preferable to plant rows in a north/south direction to maximize light to the trees.

When you receive your trees.

It is possible that tree roots will have dried out to some extent during transit so please inspect them immediately and if necessary soak the roots in water for an hour or two.

How do I tell the varieties of my trees?

Trees are either labelled individually or for larger orders they will be labelled in bundles of up to 10. In addition to this each tree is marked with a paint colour particular to that variety. These colours may change occasionally from year to year but we do aim to keep them consistent. Click below for the colour index charts [pdfs].

Tree Colour Index Charts
Apple Trees
Apple Trees
2011-12 onwards
Pear Trees

Planting your trees.

Advice on how to plant your trees. Liz Copas, NACM advisor [click here]

A video of John giving a demonstration on how to plant and prune your new tree. Shown here with the kind persmission of Jonathan Hudston of Watershed PR (also an original member of the West Milton Cider Club!)