Orchards in Czech Republic

    What is the used name in your country?
    How/why/by, whom was it created?

    Research: Zdeněk Kučera; upload: Bénédicte Gaillard. Entries in progress.


    complex issue

    18th century when planting of fruit trees at arable land took place

    recently orchard meadows are gaining more attention –> establishment of new plots (i.e. the program “Landscaping orchard” of the 2nd pillar of the CAP, as introduced by the Czech government)

    orchard meadows were originally to high degree arable lands with fruit trees (“polní sad”) and turned into meadows during the 19th and 20th century

    current intensive low-stem orchards have been planted on former arable land

    after the 2nd WW some of the orchard meadows were removed as result of agricultural intensification and turned into arable land –> reduction of biodiversity and diversity of varieties

    recent development (promotion of intensive low-stem orchards) is connected with further intensification and mechanization of the agriculture

    many extensive orchard meadows are still in use, but many are overgrown in secondary forests; others were also turned into single use arable land/meadows since the mid-20th century

    decline of fruit production and of orchards

    How is it used today?

    intensive orchards: in areas with high productive agriculture (lowlands with productive soils)

    extensive orchards: on moderate slopes

    legal connections: not a protected biotope, but it is a responsibility of the owner to care about the trees

    technical know-how: there are more and more popular courses about tree cut, tree planting, grafting etc.

    aesthetics: extensive orchard meadows are considered as aesthetic features in landscape; typical example are orchard meadows (also in urban areas, e.g. Malá Strana at the Petřín slope in Prague)

    specific products: fruit juice (“mošt”), partly fruit jam (“marmeláda”), dried fruit

    folklore: there are folk songs about fruit trees, more about pear trees (e.g. “Stojí hruška v širém poli” [a pear-tree stands in fields], “Dozrávajú hrušky ovesňačky” [pears are ripening].

    Is it connected to specific functions?

    Providing: fruit (often high quality, interesting tastes) and fruit products (juice, dried fruit)

    Regulating: erosion control, carbon sequestration, habitat for insects and birds

    Is it connected to specific values?

    Socio-cultural: recreation, aesthetics, cultural history (thousands of varieties)

    About awareness

    Public support under CAP

    the maintenance of permanent grassland, including traditional orchards where fruit trees are grown in low density on grassland…

    “permanent crops“ means non-rotational crops other than permanent grassland and permanent pasture that occupy the land for five years or more and yield repeated harvests…

    Do you have national approaches towards this landscape type?

    not listed in the Czech Nature Protection Act

    evidence of productive orchards (agricultural land-use)

    every tree is protected from harming and destroying

    care for trees is a duty of the owners

    remarkable trees

    Ministerial Edict: at gardens (according to land cadastre) it is possible to cut any fruit tree, otherwise it is necessary to have permission if the perimeter of the tree is 80 cm or more