Orchards are a quintessential part of the British countryside, growing apples, pears and cherries among many other tasty fruits. Taking care of these trees requires the right tools. This is Farm Tech Supplies’ top five picks for the best machinery for getting the best results from any orchard.

Orchard Attachments Top Picks

  1. Side-Shift Flail Mower

Side-shift flail mowers are largely the same as standard flail mowers, with the addition of a different A-frame, which allows the machine to be offset on both sides. The offset function can be achieved hydraulically on the Winton Hydraulic Side-Shift Flail Mower. The hydraulic side-shift flail mower’s position can be changed without even leaving the tractor seat. The offset function means that these flail mowers can cut the grass right up to the fence, as well as around trees, and under low hanging branches. Side-shift flail mowers boast all the advantages of a standard flail, such as a powerful cut with the capability of great precision, but with the bonus of increased manoeuvrability. This results in fine clipped grass, even in awkward spaces.

B-FAR5 Fleming aerator

  1. Aerator

Aerators are ideal for maintaining healthy grass and soil. The attachment has multiple tri-point blades fixed to a rotor in a square frame. The rotor angle can be adjusted to suit the terrain. The top of the frame is load bearing, so more weight can be added if necessary. When in storage, aerators have four removable legs to prevent damage to the blades. The blades pierce the soil without uprooting the grass, allowing the soil to be aerated without damaging the grass. Regular use improves drainage and decreases the need for expensive artificial fertiliser. This is not only beneficial for the grass but also the environment. The result is much healthier grass and soil which aids the growth of healthy trees.

WWC Winton wood chipper

  1. Wood Chipper

Wood chippers are ideal for disposing of dead branches from the orchard. The branches enter the chipper through the feed funnel towards the blades, with a plastic flap over the hole to prevent any fly-back. Wood chippers have two types of blades; the flat bed blade on the bottom of the machine, and four fly blades evenly spaced on the flywheel, which spins above the bed blade. All of the blades are reversible, so they can be flipped over when worn. The chippings are then propelled through the large discharge chute. They can be discharged in any direction by adjusting the angle of the discharge hood, and the position of the discharge chute with a simple lock pin bracket. Wood chippers have plenty of benefits. They offer an easy way to dispose of branches, which results in a useful product. Wood chips are great as a mulch for tree roots, providing nutrition and cover from the cold, as well as a fantastic addition to muddy paths and drives for better grip. These machines offer a saving in time and effort for orchard management.

  1. Tipping Trailer

Agricultural tipping trailers are ideal for use around the orchard. They can be attached to a range of small or compact tractors with a simple pin hitch. The two wheels towards the rear of the trailer are turf tyres to prevent them ripping up the grass, with an adjustable jockey stand which can be used on both flat and undulating ground. There is also an independent handbrake to further secure the load. If needed, both sides and the rear panel can be removed to turn the trailer into a flatbed trailer. The trailer can be raised using a hydraulic lever, with gravity returning the bed to its horizontal position. This tipping function makes unloading the trailer much easier, whether it is carrying new trees, manure or other tools.

Winton WRP1 Ripper and Pipe Layer

  1. Ripper & Pipe Layer

Ripper & pipe layers are perfect for laying flexible water pipes and armoured cable. This allows water to be more easily accessible in all areas of the orchard. They have a fantastically simple but robust design, with a solid frame attaching to the three-point linkage. On the outside of the frame is a metal tube, which directs the pipe and cable into the crevice in the ground created by the plough-like blade positioned underneath the linkage. This implement allows you to lay cable or piping without needing a backhoe to dig out the hole, saving money on a hired backhoe, as well as the effort of burying the pipe and re-turfing the ground. Ripper & pipe layers give the best result, with minimum damage to the turf and for excellent value.