Does orchard only relate to apple trees? or can orchard be any kind of fruit trees?

Because I looked on Google Images with the word orchard and there are mainly apple trees.

And because I can't find the same word in my language, and the closest is garden, which is not the same thing.

Can you clarify what exactly orchard?

The first place where I saw the word orchard was on an apple vendor that sold apples that they get locally. And it seems to be the same on Google Images. And in the dictionary it says "place where fruit trees are planted", but I've no idea why this word mostly is where apples are. Anyway, can you clarify for me?

In my language it just says fruit garden, with two words. but why does the word mostly appear with apple trees? Beause fruit includes any kind of fruits. Can you clarify?


2 Answers 2


Dictionaries are very handy things sometimes. ODO tells us that an orchard is

A piece of enclosed land planted with fruit trees.

So, yes, as long as there are fruit trees, it's an orchard.

The etymology of the word is interesting, as etymonline shows:

late Old English orceard "fruit garden," earlier ortgeard, perhaps reduced from wortgeard, from wort "vegetable, plant root" + geard "garden, yard" (the word also meant "vegetable garden" until 15c.); see yard (n.1). First element influenced in Middle English by Latin hortus (in Late Latin ortus) "garden," which also is from the root of yard (n.1).

So the first part is “influenced” by Latin hortus, the second part is also derived from hortus. You could read it as a garden-garden.

The reason you find mostly apple orchards is probably because apples may be the most common fruit that grows on trees in orchards in English speaking countries. I would suspect some pear orchards, peach orchards and cherry orchards to pop up as well. But if I look around at my supermarket, there are more apples than pears, peaches and cherries combined.

Many other fruits that grow on trees tend to grow in warmer climates, and places where they grow can have different names; I think oranges grow in groves.
Grapes have their own word, vineyard (and they are not on trees).

  • 1
    "Peach orchard" shows up fairly often, and I've heard "pear orchard". Oranges we usually say "grove". "Plum orchard" shows up very low in Google ngrams, I don't know if there's another commonly-used name. And at that point you've listed most of the fruits that Americans commonly eat.
    – Jay
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 13:42
  • @Jay: I added the peaches, how could I have forgotten about the peaches?
    – oerkelens
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 13:48

An orchard, by definition and according to ODO, is "a piece of land planted with fruit trees". Therefore, an orchard can have any kind of fruit trees in it, be it apples, or oranges, pears, or peaches.

So why is that when you look up "orchard" in Google Images, all you see is apple trees?

Because Americans love apples. I'm serious. Most people who grew up in America will probably remember learning about Johnny Appleseed, a man who gained legendary status devoting his life to setting up apple orchards all over the American Midwest. He has become part of American folklore, so nowadays when most people think of an orchard, they automatically think of apple orchards.

So, if you're doing a Google Image search for "orchard", and you're currently located in the U.S., it is not at all surprising that all you see is apple orchards.

Even if you're not located in the U.S., I wouldn't be surprised if a search for "orchard" turns up mostly apple trees. As of 2014, if you look for the most popular sites on the internet, you'll see that the majority of them are owned by American companies. Google is an American company. There are more native speakers of American English than there are native speakers of other forms of English. All of these add up to to more apples trees in your orchard.

By the way, apple orchards are also the most common type of orchards found in books: orchard popularity

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