Tree Fruit

Tree Fruit

We are a collective team of Extension specialists and agents who deliver year-round programming for the Commonwealth’s tree fruit producers. We provide our stakeholders with the latest research-based information for making sustainable management decisions on their farms. We also develop resources for beginning farmers and home fruit enthusiasts. Our information is disseminated through this website, Extension publications, workshops, on-farm meetings, and one-on-one conversations.

Virginia Tech offers a number of publications with information about growing fruit for personal consumption. These publications are written by our extension specialists and contain research-based information.

Tree Fruit in the Home Garden

Virginia’s varied topography and large geographical area allows for the production of tree fruits in many parts of the Commonwealth, with the majority of orchards located in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and along the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture reported 13,774 acres of apple, 1,538 acres of peach and nectarine, 171 acres of pear, and 99 acres of sweet and tart cherry orchard in the Commonwealth (USDA-NASS, 2007). Nationally, Virginia is the sixth largest producer of apples.

Between 2009 and 2011, the average annual value of Virginia’s apple crop was $35 million, while the peach crop was valued at $5 million over that same period (USDA-NASS, 2012).

About 70% of the apples grown in Virginia are used for processed products, but fresh market apples account for 57% of the farmgate value. These figures do not include value added through processing into products such as fruit slices, applesauce, juice and cider, vinegar, and alcoholic beverages, which are all important for the overall profitability of orchards.

Additional economic and social benefits of Virginia’s orchards add significant value to fruit production in the state. Current production trends indicate increased tree-fruit production for direct marketing and agritourism enterprises.

Visit Virginia Apples to learn more about commercial fruit production in Virginia. Find additional statistics about Virginia orchards in the 2005 Virginia Orchard Survey and through the USDA-NASS Virginia Field Office.

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