An orchard is an intentional planting of trees or shrubs that is maintained for food production. Orchards comprise fruit or nut-producing trees which are grown for commercial production. Orchards are also sometimes a feature of large gardens, where they serve an aesthetic as well as a productive purpose. A fruit garden is generally synonymous with an orchard, although it is set on a smaller non-commercial scale and may emphasize berry shrubs in preference to fruit trees.
Most temperate-zone orchards are laid out in a regular grid, with a grazed or mown grass or bare soil base that makes maintenance and fruit gathering easy.
Orchards are often concentrated near bodies of water, where climatic extremes are moderated and blossom time is retarded until frost danger is past.
The forest garden is a food production system that is closely related to the orchard. A move towards more ecologically-friendly coffee production has led to forest-garden production of coffee. Brazil nuts and rubber are produced in such a method in some areas.
Often, mixed orchards are planted. In Europe, quince is sometimes planted along with apples.