Course Benefits

Orchard People's "Certificate in Fruit Tree Care" is ideal for beginner and intermediate level organic growers and includes these benefits:

  • Short Video Lessons

    Each workshop is divided into short 10-15 minute video lessons that you can watch anytime, even during your coffee break.

  • Watch Anywhere

    Go through the course at your own pace and take the lessons anywhere – on your computer, tablet or mobile device.

  • eBooks and Guides

    Take the beautifully designed eBooks and guides with you into the garden or orchard for reminders about regular tasks.

  • 8 Hours of Training

    The course can be completed in as little as 8 hours but with lifetime access you can go though it at a pace that works for you.

  • Earn Your Graduate Badge

    Graduates receive a certificate of completion and a badge to display in your email signature, your website or on LinkedIn.

  • Completely Risk Free

    If you don’t like what you see we’ll offer you a full refund within 30 days of purchasing the course.

Course curriculum

What you will learn in this course

  • 1
    Welcome to the course!
    • A message from the instructor
    • Student walkthrough
    • Before we begin...
  • 2
    Module 1: Researching Your Fruit Tree
    • 101: Why Research Your Tree?
    • Mini Quiz 101
    • 102: Planting Locations
    • Mini Quiz 102
    • 103: Varieties
    • Mini Quiz 103
    • Fruit Tree Nursery Resource List
    • 104: Climate Zones and Hardiness
    • Mini Quiz 104
    • 105: Disease Resistance
    • Mini Quiz 105
    • 106: Root Stock and Mature Tree Size
    • Mini Quiz 106
    • 107: Pollination
    • Mini Quiz 107
    • 108: Staggering the Harvest
    • Mini Quiz 108
    • 109: Fruit Uses, Heirloom Trees, and Native Trees
    • Mini Quiz 109
    • Growing Urban Orchards eBook (Choosing Your Tree)
  • 3
    Module #2: Planting and Young Tree Care
    • 201: Planting Bare Root and Potted Trees
    • Mini Quiz 201
    • 202: Caring for Young Trees
    • Mini Quiz 202
    • 203: Thinning the Fruit
    • Mini Quiz 203
    • Preparing Your Trees for Winter PDF
    • Planting Your Bare Root Tree PDF
    • Growing Urban Orchards eBook (Planting and Young Tree Care)
  • 4
    Module 3: Winter and Summer Pruning
    • 301: Why Prune Fruit Trees?
    • Mini Quiz 301
    • 302: Winter vs. Summer Pruning
    • Mini Quiz 302
    • When to Prune Fruit Trees eBook
    • 303: Buds as a Blueprint For Pruning
    • Mini Quiz 303
    • 304: Branches and Ideal Tree Shape
    • Mini Quiz 304
    • 305: Winter Pruning in Five Easy Steps
    • Mini Quiz 305
    • 306: Pruning Cuts
    • Mini Quiz 306
    • 307: Summer Pruning and Pruning Out Disease
    • Mini Quiz 307
    • 308: What Does Good Air Circulation Look Like?
    • 309: The 25% Rule
    • Mini Quiz 309
    • Growing Urban Orchards eBook (Pruning)
    • Top 5 Fruit Tree Pruning Tools eBook
    • 310: Growing and Pruning Lemon Trees (Even in Temperate Climates)
  • 5
    Module 4: Preventing Pests & Disease
    • 401: Why Protect Fruit Trees?
    • 402: Orchard Polyculture Design
    • Polyculture Design eBook
    • Mini Quiz 402
    • 403: Good Tree Care Habits
    • Mini Quiz 403
    • 404: Organic Sprays and Your Trees
    • How-To: Alternative Dormant Sprays
    • Mini Quiz 404
    • 405: Identifying and Pruning Out Disease
    • Mini Quiz 405
    • 406: Using Sticky Traps
    • How-To: A Sticky Trap Guide
    • Pest and Disease Mini eBook
    • Growing Urban Orchards eBook (Preventing Pests and Disease)
    • Fruit Tree Recommendation Sheet
  • 6
    Module 5: Soil and Nutrition Management
    • 501: Assessing Your Soil
    • Mini Quiz 501
    • 502: Soil Toxin Testing
    • Mini Quiz 502
    • 503: Soil Fertility Testing
    • Mini Quiz 503
    • 504: Taking a Soil Sample
    • Mini Quiz 504
    • 505: Amending Your Soil
    • Mini Quiz 505
    • 506: Green Manure
    • Mini Quiz 506
    • 507: Mulching Your Tree
    • Mini Quiz 507
    • 508: Evaluating Nitrogen Needs
    • Mini Quiz 508
    • Interpreting Your Soil Test eBook
    • Growing Urban Orchards eBook (Feeding Your Trees)
    • Extra Resources: Soil Testing Guide
  • 7
    Module 6: Final Assessment
    • Final Assessment
  • 8
    Next steps
    • Congrats! Here's what's next...
    • More resources for you
    • Before you go...

Bonuses

Registered students also receive these bonuses:

  • Onboarding Consultation Call 30-minutes.

    $100 - $500 value

    Discuss your goals and ask your questions to your instructor, Susan Poizner, in this 30-minute telephone or Skype call. Those registering for group tuition will also receive a 45-minute long group on-boarding and consulting webinar with Susan Poizner valued at $500.

  • eMail Questions and Course Discussion

    $100 value

    During the course you can email your teacher at any time with your questions. You can also participate in the course discussion group, receiving feedback from both your teacher and from other students.

  • LIfetime Upgrades

    $50 value

    You will have lifetime access to this course and you will be able to enjoy free upgrades as new materials are added to the course.

Course Tuition

Regular Tuition - Full course and certificate for one student

Your training includes access to: 35+ Lessons, 31 mini- quizzes, 8 eBooks, our 40-question final assessment, and graduates receive a certificate of completion and graduate badge to display on Linked-In, in your eSignature, or in social media. ISA CEU credits for arborists are available. Includes an optional free 30 minute on-boarding and consulting call with Susan. Regular price is $249.
Get Started!

Course Reviews

Join the hundreds of home growers, gardeners and arborists from North America and beyond who have learned essential fruit tree care skills through this online course.

  • This is a great course!

    Gerri Gassert

    As a lifelong gardener, I never had the opportunity to grow fruit trees. Having just purchased a property that allows me that privilege, I had many questions. Susan's course answered them all, moving at just the right pace and with great explana...

    Read More

    As a lifelong gardener, I never had the opportunity to grow fruit trees. Having just purchased a property that allows me that privilege, I had many questions. Susan's course answered them all, moving at just the right pace and with great explanations. I have the confidence to care for my baby trees, making growing them that much more enjoyable. I will definitely take any courses she offers in the future, very well done.

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  • Highly recommend this course!

    Wenda Li

    This was an excellent course and certainly the most comprehensive educational resource tool for managing fruit trees that I have encountered. I have been an arborist for more than 25 years and it was humbling and exciting to learn new information...

    Read More

    This was an excellent course and certainly the most comprehensive educational resource tool for managing fruit trees that I have encountered. I have been an arborist for more than 25 years and it was humbling and exciting to learn new information that I can apply and share with colleagues and clients. I greatly appreciate the tremendous time and effort Susan has spent to create such a well-structured, easy to understand, and enjoyable online course that can meet the needs of everyone from the novice to the professional. -Wenda Li Elite Tree Care, Toronto

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  • Well worth the time to take this course

    Rosamund Northey

    There are definitely a lot of differences between caring for ornamental trees and caring for fruit trees. Because of what I learned in this course, my fruit trees - both established and new - are thriving this year. Taking this course was defini...

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    There are definitely a lot of differences between caring for ornamental trees and caring for fruit trees. Because of what I learned in this course, my fruit trees - both established and new - are thriving this year. Taking this course was definitely time well-spent. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

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  • Fantastic course - highly recommend to anyone growing apple trees

    Susan Ruddick

    I have an apple tree I planted about ten years ago in my garden -- a semi-dwarf espalier. I am an academic and so I thought "what the heck I can just go online and download a bunch of stuff to learn how to care for it!" Which I did. But over year...

    Read More

    I have an apple tree I planted about ten years ago in my garden -- a semi-dwarf espalier. I am an academic and so I thought "what the heck I can just go online and download a bunch of stuff to learn how to care for it!" Which I did. But over years I found it almost impossible to sort through different strategies, account for regional differences in when and how to prune and feed, or discussions about timing and keep in my head the big picture about how to best care for my tree. My tree was healthy enough as trees go (lots of great foliage) but in terms of my original plans it was a hot mess, responded to my sporadic interventions in ways I did not fully understand and I have never had anything approaching a decent yield. My interventions were often based on something I had just pulled off the internet with little understanding of the big picture or a multi-year strategy to help my tree reach its full potential. Susan's course is a really worthwhile investment - it lays out the whole process from start to finish - how to pick a site, the need for soil testing (big surprise there when I got my soil test back and discovered some significant deficiencies) the timing and different strategies for pruning, for protection against diseases -- this is the whole package and then some. The videos are short and informative - they anticipate questions as they arise, the diagrams are very clear and on top of that Susan is a wonderful teacher -- ready to answer particular questions you have as they arise, coach you through anxieties (eg about pruning, over pruning). And this is a resource I can turn to again and again over the years as I help my tree reach its potential. I can't recommend this course highly enough - my only wish is I had started it ten years ago!

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  • Fantastic course and the captions made it accessible for me.

    Ellen Murray

    Susan, your course is really great! It's informative, well-structured and fun. I loved the way the Mini Quizzes helped me review the main points all along the way, as did the final quiz at the end. I'm really glad I'll have access to review it ove...

    Read More

    Susan, your course is really great! It's informative, well-structured and fun. I loved the way the Mini Quizzes helped me review the main points all along the way, as did the final quiz at the end. I'm really glad I'll have access to review it over the years since there's so much information to absorb. But I also appreciated your final word, to just go out there and do it! Having a hearing impairment, the captions were great and made it possible for me to follow along. They were perfectly timed and flawless--which is rare and was very much appreciated!

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  • Lot of information, but don't be intimidated.

    Richard Zuchnik

    Very clearly explained. Easy to understand presentation. A lot of information, but don't be intimidated.

    Very clearly explained. Easy to understand presentation. A lot of information, but don't be intimidated.

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  • Highly recommend this course!

    Wenda Li

    This was an excellent course and certainly the most comprehensive educational resource tool for managing fruit trees that I have encountered. I have been an arborist for more than 25 years and it was humbling and exciting to learn new information...

    Read More

    This was an excellent course and certainly the most comprehensive educational resource tool for managing fruit trees that I have encountered. I have been an arborist for more than 25 years and it was humbling and exciting to learn new information that I can apply and share with colleagues and clients. I greatly appreciate the tremendous time and effort Susan has spent to create such a well-structured, easy to understand, and enjoyable online course that can meet the needs of everyone from the novice to the professional. -Wenda Li Elite Tree Care, Toronto

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  • Simply Taught with Valuable in-depth information

    Sarah van der Stam

    This course is simply taught but chock full of valuable information, resources, guidance and my favorite - Susan explains what didn't work in their orchard and within her own garden and most importantly WHY!! So many resources just tell you what d...

    Read More

    This course is simply taught but chock full of valuable information, resources, guidance and my favorite - Susan explains what didn't work in their orchard and within her own garden and most importantly WHY!! So many resources just tell you what doesn't work, but rarely do they explain why. Thank you Susan and Orchard People for making your mistakes and openly teaching us why and how to avoid and/or prevent us from making similar mistakes! -Sarah van der Stam, Kitchener Master Gardener-

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  • Certificate in Fruit Tree Care

    Mary Backiel

    Susan Poizner has created a comprehensive course in fruit tree care. She organized the material in clear and logical manner. The variety of presentations made the learning material fun and always interesting.

    Susan Poizner has created a comprehensive course in fruit tree care. She organized the material in clear and logical manner. The variety of presentations made the learning material fun and always interesting.

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  • Great course. I want to do another one

    Alex Smyth

  • Fruit Tree Care

    gabriel ruzzier-gaul

    This course on fruit tree care was informative and easy to follow. Lots of information packed into the video lessons, with helpful visuals and Susan's voice is very easy to listen to. For me, the art and visuals shown in the videos was most helpfu...

    Read More

    This course on fruit tree care was informative and easy to follow. Lots of information packed into the video lessons, with helpful visuals and Susan's voice is very easy to listen to. For me, the art and visuals shown in the videos was most helpful in understanding what the lessons will look like when applied. Great course!

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  • Interesting Perspective for Prospective Arborists

    Robert Scott

    Coming from an industrial forestry background and then into the urban forestry side, I believed there was only really one way to prune a tree - for height and structure, usually the taller and straighter the better. I thoroughly enjoyed both the w...

    Read More

    Coming from an industrial forestry background and then into the urban forestry side, I believed there was only really one way to prune a tree - for height and structure, usually the taller and straighter the better. I thoroughly enjoyed both the winter and summer pruning modules because they explained that pruning fruit trees is not done for aesthetics or timber - it's done so to maximise fruit quality and yield, and facilitate harvesting. The organic approach was also ideal, as developing orchards and home fruit tree care ought to be done using integrated pest management, of which a lite version has been introduced here with the use of birds, physical barriers, and good tree care. Overall I am excited by the knowledge this course has given me and I hope to revitalise an urban orchard, as well as potentially try my luck with some (very) hardy apples on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Thank you!

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  • Excellent course!

    Carla Giddings

    I would highly recommend the Certificate in Fruit Tree Care for anyone wanting to learn about how to select and properly care for fruit trees inn urban environment. The videos are informative and interesting with excellent handouts and resources. ...

    Read More

    I would highly recommend the Certificate in Fruit Tree Care for anyone wanting to learn about how to select and properly care for fruit trees inn urban environment. The videos are informative and interesting with excellent handouts and resources. Thank you for designing and offering this fantastic course!

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  • Great course. I want to do another one

    Alex Smyth

FAQ

  • How long will it take to complete the course?

    You can complete the course in as little as 8 hours. Or you can take your time and go through it more slowly.

  • How long will I have access to the course?

    You have lifetime access to the course, so you can review it anytime.

  • If I'm an ISA Certified Arborist, can I earn continuing education credits if I complete the course?

    Absolutely! Depending on your credentials, ISA arborist graduates of Orchard People’s Certificate in Beginner Fruit Tree Care will receive the following CEU credits: BCMA Science: 3 CEUs, Practice: 5 CEUs, Management: 0 CEUs, Climber Specialist: 3 CEUs, Certified Arborist: 8 CEUs, Utility Specialist: 0 CEUs, Municipal Specialist: 5 CEUs, Aerial Lift: 3 CEUs

Fast Track Your Way to Fruit Tree Growing Success

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Instructor: Susan Poizner

Author, Film Maker, Urban Orchardist and ISA Certified Arborist

  • Susan Poizner

    Susan Poizner

    Director, OrchardPeople.com

    Susan Poizner in an urban orchardist and the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards. She is the creator of the award-winning online fruit tree care training portal at www.orchardpeople.com and she teaches Fruit Production at Niagara College in Ontario. Susan is also the host of The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast and an ISA Certified Arborist.