Caring for Trees courses

Do you grow apple, pear or plum trees on your allotment? Puzzled by pruning or pests? Pick from a new crop of Orchard Learning courses at Horfield Organic Community Orchard (HOCO), located in Davies field on the Golden Hill site (nearest postcode BS7 8JP).

Courses take place in HOCO’s rich and diverse outdoor learning environment. They are led by Shannon Smith, a knowledgeable and down-to-earth tutor.


Get Growing Fruit Trees is a friendly guide to fruit tree care.  Participants work with trees of different ages and needs. You will learn how to plan and what to prune, when to perk up the soil, and nature-friendly ways to manage diseases and pest. Learning is hands-on, and the effects of actions observed over a growing season. Discounted fee for H&DAA members £75.

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.

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)

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.

£45 (H&DAA members), £50 (non-members)

More information on the Orchard Learning programme HOCO website.