Home garden design > Fruit growing > Fruit orchard planting and laying out

Fruit orchard planting and laying out


There are numerous methods of laying out and staking land preparatory to fruit orchard planting. One of the most convenient and efficient on small areas, which are comparatively level and set by the rectangular system, is the wire, method. Stakes are set along two sides of the orchard beginning at the desired distance from the fence, usually 15 to 25 feet, and then at intervals equal to the distance the rows are to be apart.

In setting these stakes, care should be taken to begin at the same end for both rows and to have the distance between stakes exact. A wire sufficiently long to reach across the field is then stretched between the corresponding stakes on opposite sides. Normal wire wire may be used.

Fine wire or other markers should be fastened on the wire to mark the proper distance between the trees. The wire should also be provided with loops or rings at the end so that it may be kept well stretched. Small stakes are set at the points indicated by the markers, and the wire then moved over to the next stake at each end ready to make the second row.

While designed for the rectangular system, this method can also be used in the hexagonal system by having the first marker of the even numbered rows come half way between the first two trees of the preceding row, and by having the distance between the rows as shown in the following table:

Distance Between Rows in the Hexagonal System
Distance between trees | Approximate distance between row
20 feet ............................. 17 feet, 4 inches.
25 feet ............................. 21 feet, 8 inches.
30 feet ............................. 26 feet.
33 feet ............................. 28 feet, 7 inches.
35 feet ............................. 30 feet, 4 inches.
40 feet ............................. 34 feet, 8 inches.

Lining-in Method
A method very commonly used in setting an orchard by the rectangular system is the "lining-in" method. Stakes are set on both sides and ends of the area to be planted. Lath serve the purpose very well. The first stake should be the proper distance from the fence, and the others at intervals equal to the distance between the rows.

Two rows of stakes are run through the center of the area at right angles to each other, care being taken not to have them come on the line of he row, which is easily done by starting between two of the stakes at the end. These stakes should be in line with the stakes running parallel to them.

The man setting trees now has two stakes in each direction by which to line-in his trees. By this method all intermediate stakes and the planting board may be dispensed with.