Published Aug 12, 2022

Field day will explore tree transition at a high-density apple orchard Aug. 17

By Tamsyn Jones


Tamsyn Jones | Editor & Outreach Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 |

WINTHROP, Iowa (Aug. 12, 2022) — David and Susan Differding, of Timeless Prairie Orchard, will host a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day exploring their strategy for replacing aging trees in their mid-size, high-density orchard on Wednesday, Aug. 17, from 2-4 p.m., near Winthrop (3049 280th St.).

The event – “Tree Transition at a Mid-Size High-Density Apple Orchard” – is free to attend and will include refreshments. Sign up online, or call Debra Boekholder at (515) 232-5661.

David and Susan Differding established Timeless Prairie Orchard 20 years ago, planting 6,000 trees on 10 acres in a high-density system. The enterprise now features mostly new apple varieties that appeal to a range of tastes and uses, and which are sold primarily through direct sales at farmers market and their on-farm store.

As the trees age, however, the Differdings must contend with one of the transition points in the life of an orchard: replacing established trees nearing the end of their productivity.

In a mid-size orchard, this process takes strategic management to ensure continued production and profitability. The Differdings are now managing these transition points, mapping out how and when to replace trees.

At the field day, they will discuss:

  • Orchard transition readiness and planning
  • Managing high-density systems
  • Tree planting
  • Evaluating and selecting root stock
  • Approaches to direct sales

Full event details are available at Attendees should note that the event will be hosted on an urban lot, and parking will be on the street.

This event is part of PFI’s 2022 field day season, which includes 41 events hosted by farmers located across the state, and beyond, on topics spanning the agricultural spectrum. Attendees can expect a welcoming atmosphere, a spirit of curiosity, a culture of mutual respect and farmers openly sharing their knowledge and experience.

The full roster of events – along with additional information about PFI field day policies and logistics – is available at For questions, contact the PFI office at or (515) 232-5661.

Practical Farmers’ 2022 field days are supported by Level A sponsors Albert Lea Seed; BioTill Cover Crops; Grain Millers Inc.; Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance; Iowa State University Department of Agronomy; Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; MOSA Certified Organic; Nori Carbon Removal; P&K Midwest; Sinclair Tractor; Sunderman Farm Management; and Van Wall Equipment.


About Practical Farmers: Practical Farmers of Iowa works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities. Our values include: welcoming everyone; farmers leading the exchange of experience and knowledge; curiosity, creativity, collaboration and community; resilient farms now and for future generations; and stewardship of land and resources. To learn more, visit