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24 February 2020

Dutch fruit growers increase pear area

Dutch fruit growers increase pear area

source: Nieuwe oogst - Han Reindsen -



The Dutch acreage of apple trees more than halved between 1997 and 2017. The acreage of pear trees increased by half in the same period.  

In 1997, there were still 15,190 hectares of apple trees in the Netherlands. In 2017 there were still 6,950 hectares. At the same time, the area under pear trees increased from 6,030 hectares in 1997 to 9,740 hectares in 2017, according to recent fruit cultivation figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

CBS shows also that Dutch fruit grower prefer to plant pear trees rather than apple trees. The acreage of apple trees with an age of zero to five years is 940 hectares. The area under pear trees from zero to five years consists of 2,250 hectares. 

Fruit growers have relatively many old orchards with apple trees. In 2017, the area under apple trees aged between 15 and 25 years was 2,140 hectares. Five years earlier (2012) it was 490 hectares. In the case of pear trees, the acreage per age category remains more or less at the same level.

Plant density

Over te years, the planting density of apple and pear trees has increased, according to CBS figures. The planting density of apple trees is 63 percent (4,380 hectares) between 2,400 and 3,200 trees per hectare. In 1997 this was more than 53%.

The planting density of 2,400 to 3,200 trees per hectare is also a favourite for pears. Almost half of the acreage (47%) has this planting density, followed by 1,600 to 2,400 trees per hectare (38%). The higher planting density together with more productive varieties ensures higher fruit production