Wanted... resources for learning how to manage an apple orchard

As the title suggests, I’d like to find some good resources for reference as my orchard develops. Looking for everything from managing trees in a nursery before transplant, pruning, disease management/identification, harvest, soil development, irrigation… the whole lot.

I’d like something fairly robust that discusses not just what to do, but why it’s done. Bordering on academic is fine, actually preferred if it comes with a good bibliography/references.

I’m focusing on cider apples on (for now) m111 and g890. I don’t have much interest in high density planting’s, but won’t turn my nose up at learning about it. I hope to,stay as low-input and nearly organic as possible, but have no intention of getting organic certified.

Thanks for any and all suggestions!


You might consider “The Apple Grower” by Michael Phillips.
He is mostly Organic and scientific in his approach.


Yep… good stuff. I have both of his books. Looking for more.

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If you like Michael Philips (I really do) you should also read Danny Barney’s book, Storey’s Guide to Growing Organic Orchard Fruits. It’s a little drier, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how technical and in depth it is. It really covers site preparation and pre-planting processes well. I don’t 100% agree with everything he writes (I don’t think he ever considered cider production at all when writing his book), but like Michael Philips he has a lot of great input, even if you don’t plan to follow his directions to a T. I think this sounds like what you’re looking for.

If you have cider intentions, Claude Jolicoeur literally wrote the book, but you probably already have it. He and Michael are apparently pretty good friends. While his book isn’t super in depth and has a lot more basic instruction, it’s still a very good read also and does address a bunch of apple culture issues as well, especially his insistence on low N, which I really agree with.

Great… thanks! And yes, I do have Joliqouer’s book.