UC Master Gardener Program
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program

The New Backyard Orchard Workshop: Grow Your Own Fruits and Nuts

Liberty apple espalier in the Sherwood Demonstration Garden Orchard in El Dorado County.
Thinking about planting a fruit or nut tree? Fall is the perfect time to start planning the steps for a new tree or trees, including variety selection, location in the landscape and planting plan.   Most gardeners use their taste buds during summer and fall harvest to identify fruit and nut varieties and cultivars that have desired characteristics.  Additional preparation in the fall can make for an easier and more informed process for winter procurement and planting of bareroot fruit and nut trees. 

Developing a healthy and productive backyard orchard, according to The Home Orchard, requires the following:

Identify a location for fruit trees where they will receive full sun 6 or more hours per day during the growing season, too much shade will affect the quantity and quality of fruit produced. If you don't have loose, well-drained soil you may want to amend the soil and add compost, or fertilizers.

  • Proper tree selection 
    Selecting a quality tree and caring for it increases the chances for success.  This begins with selecting a tree from a quality nursery.  At the nursery this winter, select bareroot trees that appear strong, healthy, and do not show signs of disease.

  • Good planting techniques
    Planting of bareroot trees should take place in winter, between December and March.  Dig a planting hole just bigger than the depth and width of the roots, it is best to leave a “pedestal” or to leave the soil below the root system undisturbed to help prevent the tree from settling. Fruit trees should be planted high to help avoid crown rot disease.

A UC Master Gardener volunteer working with schools on a field trip to the Sherwood Demonstration Garden in El Dorado County.
Once your trees are in the ground, having a thorough understanding of how fruit and nut trees function for proper pollination, bud formation, and fruiting will help you more effectively care for your trees.

The UC Master Gardeners of El Dorado County have gathered an excellent team of experts to teach about tree factors and show you how to take advantage of pruning techniques that allow your trees to obtain better sun exposure, better airflow, and better structure for easier netting and pest prevention.

Join the UC Master Gardeners of El Dorado County, on Nov. 2 for a new workshop titled The New Backyard Orchard, at the Cameron Park Community CenterThe New Backyard Orchard workshop will help you choose the right tree varieties for your region, plant trees correctly, and shape trees to make them attractive, as well as high-bearing. You'll receive a thorough, scientifically correct understanding of how trees generate fruit, to help you understand how to manage your orchard.

Nov. 2, 2017
10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Cameron Park Community Center 
2502 Country Club Drive
Cameron Park, CA 95682


  • Phil Pursel, Specialist, Dave Wilson Nursery
  • Ted DeJong, Professor Emeritus, Pomology, UC Davis
  • Chuck Ingels, Farm Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension

$40 registration, light lunch included

Whether you have just a tree or two, or hope to expand your food supply through intensive backyard orchard development, this workshop is for you!

UC Master Gardeners who attend will earn four hours of Continuing Education credit. To learn more and to pre-register, please visit our website at http://ucanr.edu/mgedc-workshop  or register at http://ucanr.edu/mgedc-workshop-reg. If you have questions, please call (530) 621-5528.  

Ingels, C.A., Geisel, P.M. & Norton, M.V. (2007) The Home Orchard: Growing Your Own Deciduous Fruit and Nut Trees UC Agriculture & Natural Resources, Publication 3485

The California Backyard Orchard, homeorchard.ucanr.edu

Posted on Monday, October 23, 2017 at 2:25 PM


Missed the lecture but would love the publication  
khillclimbin@gmail.com MG of Solano County, Program Coordinator for Rio Vista Trilogy Garden Club

Posted by Kat Hill on November 9, 2017 at 10:26 AM

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