Arboriculture requires planning and more advanced techniques than cereal cultivation. Establishing an orchard has long-term implications for a territory, especially as some species take years to grow before producing fruit.
The climate determines the selection of the cultivar, the variety obtained artificially to then be cultivated.
It is possible to plant seeds to start the cultivation process, but the trees would grow too slowly and the quality of the fruit would be uneven. Propagation by cloning is therefore preferred. It consists of two techniques. Amateurs prefer propagation of cuttings, a simpler but slower process, whereas nursery owners practise grafting, which is more complicated but more profitable.
Propagation of cuttings involves taking a young shoot of the plant to be reproduced, the cutting, and then transferring it to a pot so it can put down roots and develop into a new tree, a clone of the first. Grafting consists of inserting the cutting (scion) into a host plant (stock) so that the two can become one and develop together. Fruit obtained by grafting is often larger and sweeter than that obtained from cuttings. This procedure requires not only thorough knowledge of the technique, but also of the mutual compatibilities between the scion and the stock.
Pruning branches and pinching back the buds helps control the shape and fructification of trees. Espalier pruning, for example, is used to achieve a flat crown so that the tree takes up less space while enjoying maximum sunshine. This way trees can also grow against a wall which reflects the heat it stores on sunny days, and thus develop sweeter fruit. This technique also enables species that are sensitive to the cold to grow in harsher climates.
Regular watering, insecticide and fungicide treatments promote growth and reduce the risk of disease before the cycle ends with the harvest.