Quick Reference Guides

This series of Quick Reference Guides on popular topics in a downloadable and printable format. We hope to create more, so if you have a particular topic you’d like to see, drop us a line.

Basic Fruit Tree Care – 1.2 MB
Grow healthy trees & more fruit with these simple steps! For example, thinning can increase fruit size and quality. This info sheet contains seven quick tips and a resources section that will get you started in caring for your own fruit trees.

Best Fruits for Western Washington – 1.7 MB
If you’re thinking about planting a new fruit tree, but are not sure which one, consult this guide of fruit varieties and attributes that do well in the Pacific Northwest. Learn about all the important factors for what to plant: size, rootstock, sun/heat, pollination, pest/disease resistance, taste and uses. Bonus: A list of our favorite varieties of apples, Asian pears, European pears, plums, peaches, graphics and figs.


How to Plant a Fruit Tree – 422 kb
Did you know that fruit trees need at least 6–8 hours of sun, preferably in the afternoon, in order to thrive and produce good fruit? This and other tips for choosing a location and planting a tree are shared in this info sheet.

Pruning Fruit Trees – 418 kb
In most respects, fruit trees are pruned like other trees, for health and good looks. In addition to improving the tree’s appearance, pruning a fruit tree increases light penetration and thus improves fruit quality. Pruning also increases air circulation, helping to reduce disease. Diagrams of pruning cuts are included.

Apple Maggot Fly – 1.7 MB
Apple Maggot Fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, mainly attacks apples. The fly uses visual and olfactory cues, not pheremones, to mate. Thus, it’s attraction to apples is visual. This info sheet will help you identify and treat (without chemicals) trees being attacked by this pest, or prevent damage before it happens.


Codling Moth – 1.6 MB
Codling Moths, Cydia pomonella, attack apples and pears. Males are attracted by pheromones, not visual cues (unlike the apple fly maggot). They have been significant pests in apples and pears for the past 200 years. In this info sheet, learn to prevent, identify and treat codling moth (without chemicals) on your apple and pear trees.

Pear Scab – 860kb
This info sheet will show examples of pear scab fungus and talk about how to deal with scab on your tree. It also shares tips for prevention; for example, by planting resistant varieties, like ‘Bartlett’.


Fruit Pollination Basics – 200 kb
In most cases, pollinating fruit trees requires at least two trees, often of different varieties, as discussed below. The trees should be within about 50 feet of each other, because pollen is too heavy and sticky for the wind to carry, leaving bees to do the job. This info sheet will teach you best practices in fruit tree pollination.


Mason Bee Pollination - 1.7 MB
Mason Bees are the perfect pollinators for your fruit trees and garden. A native species to the Northwest, non-aggressive these blue and black bees their efforts focus entirely on collecting pollen for their offspring. These non-social bees will go a long way in greatly improving produce yields with very little work.

Fruit Drying Basics – 1.9 MB
In fruit drying, the goal is to remove water, which slows the deterioration process. Once dried, food continues to deteriorate at a very slow rate. If not enough water is removed, the food spoils; if too much water is removed, you get hard, brittle food or ‘chips’. This info sheet will get you started dehydrating your own fruit successfully.

Hard Apple Cider Basics – 1 MB
Hard apple cider results from a fermentation process in which yeast converts the sugar in apples into ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide (CO2). This guide will get you started with the basics of making your own cider from fruit.


Gather It! Organize an Urban Harvest – 1.7 MB
People all over the world are organizing projects in which excess fruit from backyard trees is harvested and shared with others. In the words of one organizer, fruit sharing is “the most common sense type of community development.” This handbook is a response to the question: How do we start a fruit harvest in our own neighborhood? It is based on Solid Ground’s Community Fruit Tree Harvest project in Seattle, Washington, started in 2005.