Research Projects

I’m intrigued and fascinated by all aspects of fruit growing and have spent a fair amount of time investigating and researching the history and practice of orchard growing.

Please see below for more information on my current personal research projects.

Pome Fruit Horticulture: A Science-Based Approach

As an orchardist I’m deeply interested in discovering and applying best practice methods of looking after the trees in my care.

After dozens (if not hundreds) of hours of reading modern and historical pruning guides and recent academic research papers, I’ve learnt that most of the tree training, pruning and maintenance advice that we’re given in gardening manuals and online sources – certainly based on availability here in the UK – is decades, maybe even centuries, old and lags a long way behind the findings of research scientists around the world.

As a result, I think it’s time to update our tree-care techniques and horticultural practices, basing them on the results and conclusions of scientific research, rather than historical values and subsequent received wisdom.

I’m currently compiling the evidence and gathering a narrative together, which I’ll publish as a series of entries here on the site just as soon as I’ve got everything in presentable order.

In the meantime, if this is a subject that you’re particularly interested in, or if you have key information or data that might help me gain clarity and insight into best practice methods, please do drop me a line, I’d be delighted to hear from you. Or, if you’d be in reading the results of my research once they’re posted, please sign up for my mailing list and I’ll drop you a line as soon as everything’s ready.

Historical Orchard Management Methods: A Review

Largely by way of a spin-off from my main Pome Fruit research project, I’m hoping to post a series of articles looking at the evolution (or lack of it) of historical tree care, pruning and orchard management advice over the past couple of centuries. (This one may or may not happen, time and circumstances allowing.)