Growing apples, pears, plums and cherries with Sylvia Travers

Ref: S1D32392

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About this course

An introductory guide to growing tree fruit, including selecting rootstocks and varieties, general care and management, including pests and disease, and formative pruning.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to tree fruit production. You will learn the basic principles of growing apples, pears, plums and cherries. Topics covered include:

• Selecting varieties and rootstocks

• What to look for when choosing a tree

• Planting and tree establishment

• Introductory principles on pruning (and some basic information of fruit tree training)

• Pollination and fruiting

• Storing fruit

• Pests and disease – identification and control

The tutor will use illustrated talks and discussion.

Recommended booklist: Any good fruit growing book such as the RHS titles.

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Please try to identify the soil type in your garden.
  • Bring a note of the size of your garden and what fruit is grown in the area.
  • A notebook and pen.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Notebooks, pens and pencils

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing for the workshop. This includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

General Information


Sylvia Travers - horticulture tutor at West Dean College

Sylvia Travers

Sylvia has worked in horticulture for nearly 20 years, having studied at the Botanic Gardens in Dublin and at Reading University. She also took a detour to Denmark to complete a PhD in plant science. Sylvia has specialised in fruit and vegetable horticulture throughout and ran the productive gardens at The Lost Gardens of Heligan before setting up and running kitchen gardens for Michelin starred restaurants. She previously worked for the RHS overseeing the construction and planting of the Paradise and Kitchen gardens at Bridgewater near Manchester. These days she consults on all aspects of walled kitchen garden restoration and management. 

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