Quick Reference Guides & Publications

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.

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.

Best Fruits for Western Washington – 1.7 MB

If you’re thinking about planting a new fruit, but are not sure which one, consult this guide to fruit varieties and attributes that do well in the Pacific Northwest. Learn deciding 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.

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.

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.

Pear Scab – 860 kb

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 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.

Additional Resources for Fruit Growing

The following organizations and publications offer comprehensive information about growing fruit in Western Washington and Oregon. Many are written for the home orchardist.

College Thesis

Audrey Lieberworth, a graduate of Scripps College wrote her senior thesis on Seattle’s historic and new orchards. It’s a comprehensive look at the orchards and fruit-related activity in the city.

Seattle’s Orchards: A Historic Legacy Meets Modern Sustainability
by Audrey Lieberworth
(PDF download 1.92MB)


Fruit Handbook for Western Washington: Varieties and Culture
by G.A. Moulton and J. King
(PDF download 1.1MB)


Sustainable Gardening: The Oregon-Washington Master Gardener Handbook
(PDF download 201kb) -  Preview only, full publication is $30



Home Orchard Society
Free articles and downloadable, for-purchase publications


Fruit Horticulture Program
by WSU Research and Extension Center
Free articles and downloadable, for-purchase publications


Western Cascade Fruit Society
Lists events and resources in the Western Cascades