Book Review

The Orchard Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to Healthy Fruit Trees

by Steve Page and Joe Smillie

agAccess, Davis, Calif. 1995 (3rd edition). Softbound, 176 pages.
(See CRFG Book Service for prices.)

Reviewed by Claire Guggenheim (9/1995)

Lately, I have felt that the Book Service may be placing too much emphasis on tropical and subtropical fruit. When I found this book from agAccess through our vice president Idell Weydemeyer, I was very happy to be able to offer something that might interest our Northern readers as well as our Southern. The fruits covered include apples, pears, plums, peaches and cherries, but a lot of the advice could be applied to any fruit. Authors Page and Smillie have orchards in Maine and Quebec, respectively, so their timing schedule is based on central New England, but they provide a technique for converting to other areas.

This practical handbook is a useful tool for commercial orchardists and backyard fruit growers alike. The authors explain a strict organic approach, as well as integrated pest management techniques that stress using the least possible amount of pesticides. Whether you want to reduce costs or want to reduce chemical use for environmental reason, you will find practical, well tested approaches you can use to get results.

Organized around the seasons, the guide delivers clear, specific advice on planting and maintaining your orchard--advice that applies whether you have two or 200 trees. In this unique and easy-to-follow seasonal format, the authors discuss planting and pruning, soil and foliar fertilization, new disease-resistant varieties, restoration of old fruit trees, harvest, storage and all aspects of caring for your orchard throughout the year.

All in all, I found it a very useful reference book for a home library.

© Copyright 1996, California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc.
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