Re: HD Hass, Reuben Hofshi, 15. Apr 2007 20:32
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You have done some reading and I believe you have the main concepts well understood. However you are confusing two systems of HD, the one promoted by Pete Stassen and associates in SA of rectangular planting configuration, where trees are planted closer within the rows and farther between rows such as 2X4, 2.5X4 or 2X5 for example. The other approach is a system best fit for hillside plantings where hedgerows are difficult to maintain. Here 3X3 or 3.5X3.5 are the preferred spacings for Hass avocado trees. In any event your tree height cannot exceed 75-80% the distance between trees or rows (if you plant in hedgerows) and could not be 3 m high as you are contemplating.
Are you in NZ ?
3x3 meter will leave you little room to maneuver among trees with any size vehicle that is wider than 80 cm. You should consider wider spacing or leave wider work rows every so often. The idea of planting trees equidistant from each other eliminates the need for row orientation since each tree stands alone.
If you crop well and you deal with your tree vigor in timely manner you could stretch your trees’ productive years at least a few more years.
I don’t know what kind of plant growth regulator you have but I do hope you mean to apply it as foliar drench and not soil drench. Timing of application and concentration of these materials are very critical for successful use. There is a lot written about these PGRs in this website.
The problem with Phytophthora root rot infested soil is that you will always have problems if you use seedling rootstocks that are not tolerant or resistant to the fungus. Are you sure that it is Phytophthora and not simply root drowning you have experienced? In any event if you insist on using Zutano as a rootstock I would highly suggest you plant the trees on mounds and have a plan of how to deal with the diseases preventatively through the use of mulches, calcium supplement and some formulation of phosphonate applied to the foliage several times per year.
Intensive planting requires intensive care and consistent production. Over-production may bring about alternate bearing ant it is something to consider and keep in mind. If you fertigate and if some trees will be out of cycle and don’t produce (your risk of this taking place is much greater when you use seedling rather than clonal rootstocks), these trees will have to be dealt with individually to slow down their likely vigorous growth. Some growers are actually removing fruit from heavily laden trees to mitigate the potential problem.
You must be attentive to your trees to keep them producing well but not over producing.
The number of 5 bee hives per acre (you mentioned hectares) will give you over 12 per hectare. This is a big number, do you really need so many honeybees? Look at your trees and count bees on the trees, this will tell you the visitation rate of the bees much better than counting hives. Gad Ish Am has excellent presentations that explain the need for bee hives and honey bee: visitation.
I think sending your remarks to the forum provides the opportunity for others to participate in the discussion albeit most prefer to be silent and not comment.
If you will attend the World Avocado Congress in Chile you can see large tracks planted in this manner with great success.
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