Caring for Trees courses 2022

Orchard Learning Programme blooms again in 2022
This hands-on and holistic 9-month course is designed to deepen the knowledge and sharpen the skills of those involved in the close care of fruit trees and orchards. Participants are guided through a growing season (February to October) and partnered up with a ‘Tree Buddy’ for the year. The blend of group learning days and one-to-one sessions is another special feature. All sessions take place in the richly diverse outdoor learning environment of Horfield Organic Community Orchard (HOCO).

Some previous fruit tree growing experience is needed. The programme is ideal for anyone involved with community orchards, food growing projects or enterprises with a large number of fruit trees, professional and keen amateur gardeners.

Deadline for applications: Friday 28 January 2022
Informal interviews: Friday 4 and Saturday 5 February
Course begins: Saturday 26 February
Course ends: Saturday 29 October

Get Growing Fruit Trees is a friendly introduction to the basics of fruit tree care. Four afternoon sessions are spaced over a growing season (March, May, July, September). Participants learn to plan, how to manage pests using nature-friendly methods, when to perk up the soil, and how to make the most of the harvest. Pruning for fruitfulness, an ongoing task, is a key activity at each session. Learning is hands-on, and the effects of choices and actions are observed as the seasons change. No previous experience needed.

Deadline for applications: Monday 14 March 2022
Course dates: Saturdays – 19 March, 21 May, 16 July 17 September
Discounted fee for H&DAA members.

More information on the HOCO website:

Contact: or phone 0117 373 1587

Other Courses that are often run:

Pruning – Apple & pear trees in the Growing season:
Contact HOCO for dates

Summer pruning is probably the most puzzling part of looking after fruit trees. Books, videos, and generic advice add to the confusion. Pruning is a complex practice learned over some years. The best way to learn is with real trees and an experienced guide.

Participants learn by doing, and gain hands-on experience and confidence to:

  • Form and train young trees
  • Renew established free-standing and trained trees
  • Restore old trees
    Course fee £68 (H&DAA members – apply giving field and plot number), £75 (non-member)

A one-day Winter Pruning workshop. Young trees must be pruned in the dormant season. While pruning can help mature trees – too often it is done without knowledge or planning. Unpick pruning puzzles, and learn to renew your trees with thoughtful and timely action. Discounted fee for H&DAA members £45. Further discount if booked at the same time as the Summer Pruning course.

One Day courses for beginners:

Introduction to Pruning Apples & Pears in the growing season
Contact HOCO for dates

One-day course for beginners. Participants learn the basics of pruning Apples and Pears, and are guided as they work with real trees.

Group sizes are small, and early booking is advised.

More information on the Orchard Learning programme HOCO website.