Think carefully before applying fertilisers to your orchard, particularly chemical fertilisers. Consider first whether it is really necessary. It can do more harm than good not only to the trees but also to the grassland. Frequent applications of fertiliser, even good old farmyard manure, can disrupt the nutrient balance of the grassland. This can have a detrimental affect on plant species diversity which in turn can lead to a decline in pollinating insects. Fertilisers can also harm the trees by interfering with their associations with beneficial fungi such as mycorrhizae – the subject of this blog.