Planning an Orchard

Hey there!

My familiy and I have finally bought a property where we can start our future Orchard :joy:

We would like to start as soon as possible (Spring 2018) but there still is some work left.

The majority of the old trees and bushes where removed and the rest will also be removed by a forestry mulcher and a forestry tiller.

Thats the last step we have to do this year.

Now there is enough time to think about the placement of the “soon to be there” trees.

I already made a list of varieties and how many i would like to have.

What would you think about this layout?

What could i improve?

Would be great if someone could give me an advise :slight_smile:

Additional information:

Hardiness Zone 7a
Location: Surrounded by Fields, 219-223 meters above sea level (minimal slope from west to east and north to south), windy location, full sun
Soil: Medium heavy loam, pH: 6,5-7 (Ill send some soil samples to a company so i know how the quality is)


Keep the mulch, it’s very useful for an orchard.

Rank your trees by their mature height. If you plant smaller trees on the southern side and larger trees on the northern side, this will reduce shading and improve light penetration.


Congratulations Aus.

I’m doing something pretty big next year. I’m removing a conifer collection and putting in rows to plant fruit trees. I’m going orchard style with posts and wires and spacing between rows of appx. 3-meters. I’m going to prune with spacing between trees of appx. 1.5 to 2 meters and a height of 3 meters. It’s going to look awesome from my kitchen window because I’ll be looking down the middle of each row. 3/4’s an acre or thereabouts.

Like this: with wires on each side of the trees with the trees in the middle.



Iam trying to keep a bit … most of it will be mixed with the soil down to 20cm depth. (forestry tiller)

I think the ranking of the lowest and highest trees should be ok like that.

Wanted to have the very large trees at the north side so that they can act as a windbreak (mulberries)

Rootstocks of the Japanese Plums and Pluots will be Myrobalan … i have yet to find a good rootstock for Gages.

It will either be St. Julien A or Fereley.

For the apple trees i will probably choose M111.

Looks nice!

The spacing for my trees will be around 4 meters.

PawPaws will be planted closer.

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Out of curiosity, why don’t you think Myro would be a good rootstock for your gage plums? Or, say, Krymsk? I’m not disputing you, just wondering about the reasoning.

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In my area, Myro is the standard RS for Euro plums including gages. Krymsk-1 also should work fine if one wants a smaller tree.

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I read on this site that the rootstock is likely incompatible with some gages and the tree dies after a few years.

Pflaumenunterlagen -

Of course i would like to have an uniform rootstock for all plums.

I know a nursery who could graft gages onto Myrobalan 29/C … the Japanese Plums and Pluots would have the standard Myrobalan rootstock.

I don’t think you will have compatibility issues with myrobalan for your gages and would give them a chance.
I would stay away from St. Julien if you don’t have your orchard close cause they are struggling in our summers.
If you don’t water frequently the growth will be minimal and the leaves will look in August like in November (my own experience). I would also advise against using VVA-1 (Krymsk 1) or Wavit/Wangenheim although I heard about a new Wangenheim strain which I cannot remember the name of, that’s good for our conditions. I am slowly replacing all my Wangenheims with myro/myro Cs. It all depends how much time you have. If you have your orchard behind your house, fertilize/spray/water regularly, keep the area around the tree free of grass, those are good rootstocks.
If you can get to your garden only every 10-14days for a short time and it looks like a jungle they will suffer.
My M9 apples I keep around the house look all great with a lot of growth. Those planted in my orchard are pity to look at. You don’t have to worry about space, 4m is plenty, so pick something vigorous, it will save you some headache


I never heard about gages being incompatible with Myro, and Myro is probably the most common RS for gages in the US. I would speculate that the observed incompatibility might be due to some latent virus in gage scionwood which occurs in Europe but does not exist or is uncommon in the US. This situation might be akin to Prune Brown Line Disease that is associated with tomato ringspot virus (see

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Mulberries and native persimmons tend to require more room than most common tree fruits on typical “semi-standard” rootsock (apples on 7 or 111).

I wonder why you focus on gage plums- there are so many other wonderful E.plum varieties that are often easier to grow, more reliable producers and more useful from a culinary stand point. People love my Green Gage plums, but love my Valor, Castleton, Empress and others just as much, or more.

One piece of advice I can give you that I’m sure you would ultimately appreciate is to pick varieties that stagger the harvest as much as possible.


Yeah, if i consider that Myrobalan is better … i can only visit the place every week at the weekend.

Ill have to see if the nursery grafts onto Myrobalan … its very uncommon here. (mainly St. Julien A)

I would like to have gages because i tasted some very good ones from a farmers market … they where way better than any plum i have tasted.

We had a few italian plum trees in the past and the fruits were not very good … more sour than sweet.

I love very sweet fruits.

Would like to have these gages + a mirabelle

Count Althans Gage
Large Green Gage
Oullins Gage
Mirabelle de Nancy

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I love only very sweet plums also, and the varieties of prune plums I and many on this forum grow get sugar at least as high as gages. Sugar content is not what differentiates these varieties as a group. Perhaps you had a Stanley plum, which some years here fall from the tree while still green and never get the fully sweet, amber colored flesh. It is often sold as Italian.

If you fail to consider the relative difficulty in growing varieties and the reliability of their cropping in your region, you will likely end up wasting time and switching varieties over. Been there, done that.

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@Paul I got a mail from a nursery person about the myrobalan rootstock used with gages.

We only have Gages on St. Julien A.
Cropping on Myrobalan is very bad … they often have their first crop after 10 years.
SJA handles heavy soils very good … Myrobalan dry soils.



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We have removed alot of the trees and bushes since a few months.

Now there are only smaller trees/shrubs left.

The roots also need to be removed, but that will happen next year in January or February.

Our property looks like a Battlefield now.

However, it had to be done.

Here is a before and after comparison.




What beautiful countryside! I know you live in Austria, but it reminds me a little of the place where I grew up. Rolling hills, hardwood trees, a brook at the bottom of every hill… Enjoy your farm.


Those pictures could have just as easily been of Wisconsin!

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or even East Texas…


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Wait what? those are second year Pear on Quence. how big where they when they went in the ground?

Your land is beautiful. I love your well. My family is from Austria😀

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No that’s an internet photo that I’m going to follow to a certain degree for my upcoming plans. :muscle: :point_left: