The Fruit Tree Handbook by Ben Pike


Price: £16.99 inc VAT

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The fruit tree handbook is a clear, practical guide for both the amateur and expert fruit grower. It explains all you need to know in order to grow delicious fruit; from designing your orchard, planting and maintaining your trees to harvesting your produce.

It is essential reading for anyone interested in apple and pear growing, but also deals with cherries, apricots, peaches and nectarines as well as less common fruits such as mulberries, medlars and figs.

Mark Diacona, who leads the gardening team at River Cottage, says of the book, 'A really well organised, approachable yet thorough guide to sourcing, planting and caring for fruit trees. It's a must for anyone considering anything from a couple of trees to an orchard.'

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The Fruit Tree Handbook by Ben Pike

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The book conveys a deep respect of the natural world, showing how to cultivate healthy trees through good management. Written by Ben Pike, an orchard consultant, author and Head Gardener on the renowned Sharpham Estate in Devon, this is an invaluable book for a keen gardener and would make a much appreciated gift. In his spare time, Ben also helps to run Orchard Link, one of the first community organisations that is dedicated to supporting orchard owners and preserving old orchards in South Devon.

Whether you are planting just a few trees or 50 trees in a field, this book provides the expert yet easily understandable guidance you need to look after your trees and be rewarded with basketfuls of luscious fruit at harvest time.


  • Includes charts recommending dessert, culinary and cider apple varieties as well as pear, plum, cherry, apricot, peach varieties and other more exotic fruits
  • Describes and advises on all pest and disease problems that you may encounter
  • Explains about choosing rootstocks and varieties suitable for your needs
  • Illustrates the mysteries of pruning with excellent and easy to follow step-by-step instructions and detailed diagrams
  • Helpful diagrams relating to orchard and garden planting
  • Includes chapters of restoring old orchards and setting up a community orchard
  • Packed with beautiful colour photographs


  • Part One: Preparation, planning & planting

    • The site of your orchard
    • Rootstocks
    • Pollination, flowering and fruit development
    • Choosing fruit trees
    • Planning your orchard
    • Buying and planting trees
  • Part Two: Fruit tree management

    • Caring for your trees
    • Pruning fruit trees
    • Problems of fruit trees
  • Part Three: The fruits

    • Apples
    • Pears
    • Plums
    • Cherries
    • Peaches and nectarines
    • Apricots
    • Other fruits
  • Part Four: Traditional orchards

    • Restoring a neglected orchard
    • Community orchards


  • Soft-back
  • 352 pages

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