[Top 5] Banished Best Orchard Sizes

Banished orchards, Banished gameplay
Orchards are an important part of the Banished gameplay.

Are you sure you know what sizes are best for your orchards?

Banished, a 2014 Shining Rock Software video game, is a chance at going through an amazing experience of city building, with all of its challenges and rewards. Fun, complex, and entertaining, it pushes you to work hard towards the happiness of the community you’re building in the game. As the population grows, buildings get constructed, and borders expand, it’s getting more and more challenging to keep everything under control, but you must try anyway. And you must succeed if you want your citizens to live on and thrive.

One task you’ll be presented with in Banished is to plant crops to feed your citizens. Those grow in crop fields and orchards. Which can come practically in any size you want. So how do you know what size to choose? Does it even matter? Fortunately for you, this is what we’re going to talk about today: the best sizes for an orchard.

Why is orchard size important?

Just like crop fields and pastures, orchards rely on the workers assigned to them in order for the crops to be nurtured and harvested. The size is important for multiple reasons: 

  • It determines how many workers should best be assigned to an orchard, so that they take care of the crop, but at the same time none of the workers will idle around from having nothing to do.
  • If an orchard is too small, it’ll bring too little food. If it’s too big, your workers may not have enough time to collect the harvest before winter, so any harvest they haven’t collected will die in the cold and, as a result, your orchard will still bring less food than it could have.
  • Different sizes work better or worse depending on what stage in the game you’re in, how many laborers you can spare to be farmers, or how big your population is. There’s a reason we’re talking about 5 best sizes for an orchard instead of the best size: there’s no universal size that would always work better than any other orchard size. To succeed in Banished, you’ll need to adapt your orchards to the circumstances you’re in.

Are you ready to succeed?

5. The 10x10 orchard, with 1 worker

Orchards, full of young, recently planted trees.

This is a rather small orchard that you’ll want to turn to at the beginning of your game when you don’t have many laborers at hand, so you can’t spare many to become farmers. This undemanding orchard requires nothing but a small patch of land and 1 farmer to take care of its yield - a very reasonable request, if you ask me.

Remember that orchards, unlike crop fields, do not bring harvests on the first season after being planted, so don’t put all your hopes on orchards, forgetting all about crop fields. While the trees in your orchards are growing and preparing for their first harvest, you’ll need to take care of alternative food sources, such as gatherers’ and hunters’ cabins, crop fields, and fishing docs.

What is great about this orchard size?

  • It’s easy to build. As it does not need any actual resources to be spent on it, your task is only to clear the area where you want your orchard to be. Not only does it not require resources, but it actually brings more resources to you!
  • It’s not demanding when it comes to the number of workers. 1 farmer can easily take care of an area as small as 10x10, with no risk of some of the orchard’s yield being destroyed by the cold.
  • All things considered, it’s ideal for the beginning of a new game. You’ll be able to distribute your resources wisely and effectively, and a few years later, you’ll get the first harvests from your 10x10 orchards.

4. The 5x15 orchard, with 1 worker

Unusually long orchards can give your city a curious look.

This orchard may be unusually long, but trust me, it’s as efficient as the 10x10 one. Essentially, it offers roughly the same amount of food as the 10x10 orchard, but it has its own advantages due to its long, rectangular shape.

The 5x15 orchard is another good option if you want to keep your number of farmers to a minimum, whether it’s because you don’t have many people in your village or because you simply prefer smaller orchards with fewer people working on them. 

In addition to good food per worker ratio, such orchards also allow you to diversify the infrastructure of your village. Having all your orchards and crop fields square won’t give you much freedom for the construction of those buildings that don’t fit in those square boundaries. Sometimes, you’ll need to fill in some space with a 5x15 orchard unless you want to have random patches of unused land that serve no purpose at all.

What is great about this orchard size?

  • It’s a different shape, rectangular instead of square, which is a pleasant change that will improve your city infrastructure and make your settlement look more interesting.
  • 1 worker - that’s all it takes to harvest the crops from a 5x15 orchard before the first frosts arrive.
  • It’s also easy and quick to build, particularly if you clear the area for an orchard in advance. Then, you’ll have it ready in no time!

3. The 12x12 orchard, with 2 workers

Multiple orchards, neatly planted next to one another.

Only slightly bigger than 10x10, this orchard may make you pause and ask: Is there really any difference between these two orchards? The answer is, yes, it is, but you need to know the game a bit better to feel it. 

The 12x12 orchard has the potential to offer you better food income later in the game, when you have already been able to provide better quality of life to your citizens. What do I mean by quality of life? I mean things like, for example, steel tools instead of iron tools (the better the tools the more work your citizens can get done), or fur coats instead of hide coats (warmer, better clothing will prevent your citizens from going home to warm themselves too often). 

All these tiny details are super easy to overlook, especially if you’re a beginner in Banished. Make no mistake: they do matter!

What is great about this orchard size?

  • Building this orchard won’t be difficult or time-consuming. If you’re far-sighted, you’ll also make sure to clear the space in advance to reduce even more the time required for building it.
  • Bigger orchard size - more work to be done, hence more workers required. Don’t worry, more only means 2 instead of 1. This orchard is still quite small, so don’t bother assigning a band of farmers to do the work a couple of farmers can do. If you feel risky, you can also try assigning 1 farmer and see what happens, but be prepared for this experiment to fail and for some of the yield to be destroyed by the early winter frosts.
  • This orchard is exactly what you need when you’ve already advanced in the game. With better tools, better clothing, and other things that will boost your workers’ productivity, a 12x12 orchard will prove very fruitful - just give it a chance!

2. The 10x15 orchard, with 3 workers

Beautiful maple trees will add bright colors to your city!

As far as orchards go, this one is a middle point between what it demands and what it provides. Yes, it’s bigger than any of the orchards I’ve mentioned earlier, but it is certainly worth the time, the effort, and the workforce put into it.

Although assigning 3 workers to an orchard of this size is your safest option, you can also experiment and see what this bad boy can do with 2 farmers. Perhaps you have all the best tools, all the warmest coats, perhaps your orchard is surrounded with houses for your farmers, storage barns where all the food will be taken, the best stone roads. Maybe conditions as advanced as these will actually allow you to gather all the yield of a 10x15 orchard with only 2 workers. If not, you can always assign one more and not be sad about it for too long.

What is great about this orchard size?

  • A bigger orchard means more food! As your population is growing, you’ll need either to build a lot more small orchards or somewhat more orchards of bigger size, such as 10x15. With hundreds of citizens roaming the streets of your city, 10x10 orchards won’t help you any longer. Reach for 10x15 and you’re going to be just fine.
  • A bigger orchard brings more resources in when being built! All the logs, stones, iron, herbs, and wild foods will end up right in your storage areas where they belong. 
  • The rectangular shape allows for more flexibility when planning the layout of your city. What buildings are you going to surround your orchard with? Which type of residential houses? Having orchards of different orchards and sizes gives you much more freedom to build smart without wasting any space.

1. The 15x15 orchard, with 3 workers

Orchards are a great way to throw some shade on the nearby buildings, especially in the summer heat.

15x15 is the biggest size you will probably want your orchards to have. Any bigger than that might turn out messy, inefficient, and difficult to control. A 15x15 orchard, while being the biggest in your city and bringing you most food, is still a very smart and manageable plot of land that will prove useful to you and your citizens.

The 15x15 orchard is my personal favorite. I use mostly use this size for my orchards whenever playing Banished, so I can say with certainty it has deserved the first place! However, this orchard does not leave much space for experimenting: I strongly recommend assigning no fewer than 3 workers to an orchard as big as this one and not bother trying your luck with only 2. Even with the best tools, coats, and roads, 2 workers won’t be able to gather its full harvest on time, and you don’t really want to waste precious food, do you?

What is great about this orchard size?

  • Building it will bring a ton of natural resources into your storage areas! 
  • Eyes on the prize! If 3 workers seem to be too much of a sacrifice to a single plot of land, remember that this plot of land has the potential of saving your population from starvation. Assigning 3 workers to one orchard is not that high of a price to pay, is it?
  • As soon as you begin to build 15x15 orchards, you can slow down a little and build them with lower frequency. It doesn’t have to be a race anymore, it can now be a marathon. In between building orchards you can also assign your builders to other constructions, such as residential houses, churches, or pastures. Just don’t abandon the idea of new orchards altogether!
  • With three workers, a 15x15 orchard is an excellent source of food. They won’t finish with the harvest too early, so you won’t see them chilling with nothing to do, but there’s also no risk that the winter will come when the orchard still has ungathered yield. It’s a perfect worker-to-yield ratio!

As important as the size of an orchard is, don’t let yourself forget about the importance of other factors. Some of them I’ve mentioned already, but others belong on the list as well:

  • Dress your people well to minimize their necessity to go home and warm themselves too often.
  • Equip all your workers with the best tools. Steel tools tend to last much longer than iron tools, which will reduce the frequency of your workers dropping by a market to get a new tool to work with.
  • Build roads. Stone roads and brick roads speed up your citizens’ travel by a lot. You can actually zoom in on a random person in Banished and compare how fast they walk on the bare land versus on the road. The contrast will surprise you!
  • Build your workers’ homes as close as possible to the orchard where they work. That way, if they do need to go home to rest or eat, it won’t take them long. They’ll be back at work in a blink of an eye.
  • Build storage barns directly near your orchards. The workers will need to take the food there, so why not save them a long journey?

A successful Banished city depends a lot on your ability to multitask and cover all areas of development. As long as you do that - and remember to have fun in the process - your city will be the envy of the world!


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