General Fruit Resources
Here is a list of links to Internet resources for learning more about growing fruit. It is a wiki page and regulars are encouraged to edit and add/update links. See About the Reference category for a description on how to edit these pages. If you are not a regular, just add a suggestion in a followup and a regular can do it.
General and Beginner Guides
These online guides are good general resources when starting out, even if you are not in or that close to the particular state.
- PSU Small-Scale Fruit Guide - An excellent all-around guide for the beginner
- The Cornell Guide to Growing Fruit at Home - a pdf document giving a general overview of home fruit growing.
- Apple IPM for Beginners - a Cornell guide which is a very nice tutorial for those just starting out with apples.
- MSU Fruit Resources - Michigan information, more spotty than the PSU and Cornell references.
- WVU Tree Fruit Education - Another great state site
- U California Backyard Orchard - for west coasters.
- UC Davis Postharvest Quality Guide Post harvest fruit and vegetable recommendations for maintaining quality
Commercial State Guides
For more serious growers, here are commercial guides.
Pennsylvania Tree Fruit Production Guide -
the version of the above meant for commercial orchards but worth reading for serious home growers as well.
- Cornell Fruit Resources - Another great collection of commercial fruit resources.
Disease and Pest Guides
- Virginia Tech Guide - also includes spray recommendations
- West Virginia Disease Guide
- U Georgia Disease Guide
- U California Integrated Pest Management Guide
- Fireblight management guide
- Cornell apple disease susceptibility by variety
- Virginia Tech Guide - one of the more complete guides for spray information targeted at home growers
- Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide - a very thorough commercial spray guide, includes many chemicals not available to home growers but still has a great deal of good information
- The Growingfruit spray amounts wiki - our guide of how much to mix
- Cold Weather Storage and Handling of Liquid Pesticides - Information on cold weather storage and a list of pesticides grouped by the temperature that effects them,
- Northeast Network for Environment and Weather Applications - spray schedule recommendations based on current year weather history at various northeast weather stations.
- Mississippi’s Disease and Insect Control for Homegrown Peaches and Plums - diseases and how to treat them for the home grower
Pruning and Training
Training and Pruning Apple Trees - an excellent pdf guide to pruning, for apples but also general principles for other trees.
Central Leader Pruning of Peach Tree - Ontario Ministry of Agriculture
Perpendicular V Pruning of Peach Tree - For high early yields and close planting. University of Arkansas
Boyer Nurseries Pruning Guide - a clear guide to the pruning basics
Chuck Ingels’ Fruit Trees: Training and Pruning Deciduous Trees
Oregon State’s Training and Pruning Your Home Orchard
Iowa State’s Pruning and training fruit trees
Physiology of Pruning Fruit Trees - a scientific explanation of why common pruning techniques work based on tree physiology
Pruning and training guide for apples - has particularly good information on branch spreading techniques
For peaches, watch the excellent NC Extension Peach pruning videos.
Oregon State University’s cherry training and pruning catalog Cherry Training Systems | OSU Extension Catalog | Oregon State University
Health, Soil and Nutrition
- WSU’s Soils and Nurtition - a good general overview including links
- Grow Organic Apples’ Soil Health - some new ideas on soil health
- Purdue’s Fertilizing Fruit in Small Areas - a brief guide with suggested amounts
- U Cal. Fertilization - another brief guide
- Article by Cal Poly State University Professor (Soil Nutrients and Fruit Quality, Dr. Tom Ruehr.pdf (1.4 MB) - Basics of major nutrients effecting fruit
- Web Soil Survey Web mapping application that allows you to easily access Soil Survey info. Learn all about the soil type(s) on your land or get a better feel for the conditions on a property you’re considering.
- NC State Guide
- U Kentucky Propagating by Graftage
- Fruitnut’s T-budding Tutorial
- The Grafters Hanbdook (paperback) - this book is a bit more thorough than the on-line information above. You probably don’t need it.
- Grafting Fruit Trees - pdf slides from Oregon State, lots of background information plus grafting training etc.
See the Growingfruit nurseries list
There are unfortunately few good guides on keeping squirrels, rabbits, birds, etc away from backyard fruits. We should make a Growingfruit guide on it
- Clemson’s Reducing Deer Damage
- Some general advice from RHS
- The MSU bud hardiness chart - a critical reference in the spring, to see how much damage you may get based on the low that may be coming.
- Evaluating Tree Fruit Bud & Fruit Damage From Cold | Intermountain Fruit | USU Cold Effects on Fruit from Utah State University
Low-impact / Organic Fruit Growing
- Scott’s low-impact spray schedule here on Growingfruit.
- Cornell’s A Grower’s Guide to Organic Apples
- ATTRA publications - This was once a good source of free information but now they are charging for their guides. Boo.
- Grow Organic Apples - Michael Phillips’ website
- Stephen Hayes
- Permaculture Orchard
- Paul Gautschi, Back to Eden
- Michael Phillips
- Dave Wilson, Backyard Orchard Culture
- Fruitmentor - citrus grafting
- Permaculture Orchard
- NC Extension Peach pruning - some excellent peach pruning videos
- U California Orchard
- José Manuel grafting video blog - follow along with a professional grafter to pick up tips and tricks of the trade.
- Growing Greener in the Pacific Northwest
- SkillCult - one of our own blogs on many fruit-related topics
- Good Fruit Grower - this is the leading commercial fruit growing magazine in the US; older issues are free online
- Fruit Growers News - another US commercial fruit rag
- Tree Fruit - the leading tree fruit magazine in Australia, free online
Individual Fruit Information
- Lee Calhoun’s Pruning and Training Apple Trees
- Jacobsen’s Apples of Uncommon Character
- Lee Calhoun’s Old Southern Apples - The bible of old southern apples.
- Burford’s Apples of North America - The Wise Old Man of US Heirlooms goes through some of his favorite varieties.
- Morgan’s The Book of Apples - the definitive modern book for the British perspective.
- Apple disease susceptibility data from Purdue
- Fruit ID - a new apple identification site in the UK.
- Morgan’s The Book of Pears and the affiliated Website
- Hartman’s Catalog (pdf) of what is now the USDA collection in Corvallis
Stone fruit in general
- Wisconsin Guide - a detailed pdf guide
- Growing Peaches and Nectarines in Virginia
- NJ recommendations for Yellow, White, Flat, and Nectarine varieties
- Romance Series Cherries -slides - History, growing and harvesting
- Persimmons: An overview of cultivars, production, harvesting, and marketing - a slide show giving a good general overview of persimmon growing
- The Ourfigs forum - a very active fig forum
- The Figs4fun forum - another very active fig forum
- Condit’s Fig varieties monograph - the old classic for fig variety descriptions.
- Figs4fun’s Varieties list - a massive list of varieties with pictures.
- Richard Ashton’s book - this book has a lot of random information covering all aspects of jujubes. $7 for the electronic edition.
- Past, Present, and Future of Jujubes—Chinese Dates in the United States - a 2013 academic article summarizing jujubes in the US.
- Richard Ashton’s book - this book has a lot of random information covering all aspects of pomegranates. $7 for the electronic edition.
- Texas A&M Pomegranate
- Kikibob’s website - Bob Glanzman is kiwi-obsessed!
- Oregon State’s Growing Kiwifruit - a reasonably complete downloadable booklet
- Home Orchard: Growing Your Own Deciduous Fruit and Nut Trees - a good overview book by an expert in California.
- Coxe’s A View of the Cultivation of Fruit Trees, 1817 - the first comprehensive book on US fruits
- Downing’s Fruit and Fruit Trees of America, 1881 - the successor to Coxe.
- Wright, The Fruit Grower’s Guide, 1891 - a comprehensive 6-volume collection on fruit growing from England. The link is to volume 1, lower on the page are the other volumes. Volume 3 in particular contains a very rich source of information on advanced pruning techniques.
- Leroy’s Dictionnaire de pomologie, six volumes - the classic French text on varieties, the New York series is an attempt to copy this series for the US. See bottom of linked page for other volumes in this series.
- Hartmann, Catalogue and evaluation the Pear Collection, 1957 - a detailed descripton of pears from the what is now the USDA ARS collection.
The New York Books
These are the classic US books for old varieties. They appeared in the early 1900’s.
- The Apples of New York Volume 1, Volume 2
- The Pears of New York
- The Peaches of New York
- The Plums of New York
- The Cherries of New York
- The Grapes of New York
- The Small Fruits of New York
- Dave Wilson Backyard Orchard Culture - methods for close spacing to grow fruit trees in small spaces