Orchards and Wildlife Benefits:
Orchards will attract a wide variety of wildlife which may eat the fruit produced, so be prepared to share with birds and small mammals especially to encourage their presence in your garden.
Specific orchard trees will attract certain wildlife, so it is useful to know what wildlife to expect when planting an orchard tree.
- Apple trees. Blossoms from this tree are rich in nectar and pollen, making them attractive to many bees such as Bumblebees, mason bees, and leafcutter bees. Brimstone Butterflies, Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies, and Apple Ermine Moths are specifically attracted to Apple trees. Also, birds such as Blackbirds or Sparrows feed on fallen apples. Squirrels and Hedgehogs also value fallen fruit from Apple trees.
- Pear trees. Bees collect nectar and pollen from pear trees, but butterflies such as the Pearl-Bordered Fritillary are specifically attracted to pear trees. Moths like the Light Emerald and the Green Pug are also often associated with pear trees. Blackbirds, squirrels, and hedgehogs all feed on fallen fruit.
- Plum trees. Bees and butterflies are attracted to plum trees, specifically the Red Admiral and the Peacock Butterfly. Moths however such as the Mottled Umber and Winter moth are specifically associated with plum trees. Blackbirds and Song Thrushes feed on ripe plums, and Robins and Wrens may build nests in a plum tree.
- Cherry trees. The Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies are specifically attracted to cherry trees, and the Lackey and Pale Tussock Moth is also attracted to them. Blue Tits and Great Tits may search for insects in a Cherry tree. Robins and Wrens may nest there, and Blackbirds feed on ripe cherries.
- Apricot trees. Honeybees, bumblebees, and solitary bees all visit apricot trees for pollination. The Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly feeds on nectar and lay eggs on foliage. Sparrows, Blackbirds, and Tits may be found in Apricot trees.
- Quince trees. Although quince fruits are not commonly eaten by birds compared to other fruits, birds may visit the trees for insects or shelter for example sparrows and blackbirds. Small mammals such as squirrels may climb the tree for shelter too.