Cider apple blossom tends to be two to three weeks later than dessert apple blossom in April or May. There is a 10-14 day spray programme used by most growers during the growing season to nourish, protect and overcome various disease issues such as scab, mildew, fireblight and pest issues such as blossom weevil, aphids, spider, rust mites and apple sawfly.
Cider trees are planted on average at about 750 trees per hectare with trees planted 2.4m apart and row widths of approximately 5.8m. These are called Bush Orchards.
The harvesting peak is mid October to mid November and the winter months are spent pruning the trees, often by hand. This creates the optimum shape to get the maximum light into a tree and to manage old wood and encourage new growth. A cider apple orchard will not come into full production until year 8. Payback usually occurs at 15 to 20 years old.
Cider apples have been grown in the United Kingdom for over 1000 years. The unique climate means that they are grown without irrigation making them very sustainable.