For the Fruit Tree Grower

The For the Fruit Tree Grower series of "tip sheets" and short articles offers information on backyard/small-scale orchard topics. Tip sheets and articles can be downloaded from this page. A list of publications on general gardening topics, including specific crop advice, is available on the For the Gardener page.


    Apples, Pears, Stone Fruits, and Citrus

  • Apple Trees for Every Garden

    Describes apple rootstocks, training and pruning systems that can be used by backyard gardeners to establish an orchard in a limited space. Includes information on planting, fertility and rootstock characteristics (6 pages).

  • Thoughts from among the Apple Trees

    Describes the history and characteristics some of the 100+ varieties of apples growing at the Alan Chadwick Garden (4 pages).

  • Learning to Know and Appreciate Russeted Apples

    Describes some russeted apple varieties (the classic "keeper" apple), lists tree sources and encourages home-scale growers to buy, plant, grow, and eat these wonderful and often underappreciated varieties (3 pages).

  • Cox's Orange Pippin Tribe

    Describes one of the more challenging apple varieties (and its offspring) to grow on California's Central Coast — and why it's worth the effort (2 pages). 

  • Selecting, Growing, and Ripening European Pears

    Describes some favorite pear varieties and how to grow and ripen them (4 pages).

  • Choosing and Growing Stone Fruits

    Discusses the various types of stone fruits (peaches, apricots, etc.) and some good choices for the home garden, along with growing requirements and cultural advice (6 pages).

  • Citrus Offers Year-Round Options

    Describes the wide range of citrus available and how to plant and care for it (6 pages).

  • Musings from the Citrus Terrace

    Siting, planting, and varietal recommendations for citrus on California's Central Coast (4 pages).


  • Varietal Selection, Care, and Pruning

  • Reliable Fruit Tree Varieties for Santa Cruz County

    Information on fruit trees that perform well in the Santa Cruz region (2 pages).

  • Scion Basics

    Defines scions (the fruit-bearing portion of the tree), their origins, and their contributions to both fruit characteristics and the tree's growth habits (3 pages).

  • Rootstock Basics

    Defines rootstocks and the role they play in controlling various characteristics of fruit trees. Lists the characteristics and features of different types of apple, pear, and stone fruit rootstocks (4 pages).

  • Selecting and Planting Bare Root Fruit Trees

    Information on how to select and plant bare root fruit trees, including sources for bare root trees (5 pages). 

  • Bareroot Fruit Tree Planting - Diagram

    An illustration of how to plant a bare root fruit tree (1 page).

  • Annual Fruit Tree Care on the Central Coast

    Describes the annual cycle of fruit tree care for growers on California's Central Coast (2 pages).

  • Tending Fruit Trees – A Template for Success

    Discusses the periods when it’s critical to have nutrients available to fruit trees, and some approaches for meeting those nutrient needs. Includes specific amendment recommendations (4 pages).

  • Tools of the Trade

    Recommendations for some of the basic tools used in fruit tree care (1 page).

  • Pruning and Training Deciduous Fruit Trees

    Describes how to use pruning and training to optimize sunlight interception and distribution in order to optimize  fruit development and tree health (4 pages).

  • Summer Fruit Tree Pruning

    Describes the goals and process of summer fruit tree pruning, and the differences between summer and winter pruning (3 pages).


  • Related Topics

  • An Anomalous Fruit Tree Year

    Describes the concepts of chill hours and dormancy, and the impact of the unusually warm winter of 2014–15 on Central Coast fruit trees (3 pages).

  • Choosing and Using Cover Crops in the Home Garden and Orchard

    Additional information on selecting and using cover crops, including the use of cover crops to build soil fertility in backyard fruit orchards (4 pages).

  • Controlling Small Animal Pests

    Information on how to identify pest presence and methods on how to deal with gophers and other vertebrate pests of the garden (3 pages).

  • The Gardening Seasons of Santa Cruz

    Seasonal recommendations for year-round gardening in Santa Cruz; includes information on summer fruit (2 pages).

  • Water Conservation Tips

    Offers ideas for water-conserving irrigation techniques in the home garden, including a brief overview of drip irrigation (2 pages).

See Also