Workshop meets growing interest in ciders, tree fruit

apple=pearOLYMPIA, Wash. – Renowned Washington state orchardist Gary Moulton will deliver an educational workshop focused on establishing orchards and growing healthy tree fruit 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Washington State University Thurston County Extension, 5033 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia.

Participants interested in cider production or growing apples, pears, cherries and other tree fruit will learn about rootstock and cultivar selection, orchard layout development, soil fertility management and integrated pest management. Moulton, who has decades of experience in fruit horticulture and management, will also cover irrigation system setup, thinning and pruning techniques and harvest methods.

Registration costs $70 and includes the workshop, morning refreshments and lunch. Register online at

The workshop is open to all but geared toward individuals looking to establish commercial tree fruit operations and fruit processors wishing to learn more about the needs and challenges of tree fruit growers in western Washington, said Lucas Patzek, director of WSU Thurston County Extension.

“The workshop was organized, in part, to respond to a growing interest in apple and pear hard ciders,” Patzek said. “There are 10 commercial cideries in Washington state, six of which are located west of the Cascades.”

Moulton will take participants through a tasting of cider varietals to demonstrate how variety can impact flavor and mouthfeel, among other sensory qualities.

WSU Thurston County Extension, Thurston Conservation District and the South Sound Fruit Society are workshop sponsors. Learn more about WSU’s tree fruit research and extension at