Organic Orchard Planning

Planning the Organic Orchard
This fact sheet is written to assist the small-scale commercial tree fruit grower in the upper Midwest who is planning at least one half-acre of orchard to be managed organically.

Pruning Fruit Trees

Pruning Mature Apples and Pears
A neglected but otherwise healthy tree will show improvement in fruit quality as a result of pruning. Pruning increases sunlight penetration, removes less productive wood and shapes the crown into an efficient, stable form.


Tree Pruning Basics 
Pruning a Mature Cherry Tree

Floor Management

Hogs used to control weed competition and dropped fruit from organic orchards
This study supports the use of hogs to control weed and grass growth in an orchard. But this potential method for orchard floor vegetation control in organic systems still requires work to determine if grazing times can be altered to improve disease, rodent and insect control.

MSU Extension Articles

All Michigan State University Extension articles are selected from MSU Extension: Agriculture. To stay current, subscribe to MSUE news digests.

Dormant oil for tree fruit pest management in 2015
Considerations for effective and safe use of dormant oil on tree fruit pests like San Jose scale.

Importance of recycling on tall spindle apple plantings
A key to successful canopy development is to retain and encourage productive growth by recycling vigorous branches in a tall spindle apple planting.

Black stem borer: An opportunistic pest of young fruit trees under stress
Trees with winter injury or drought stress can attract black stem borers. Proper identification, orchard sanitation and timing of control measures using ethanol-baited traps will help minimize its spread.