Re: HD Hass, alant, 13. Dec 2007 09:58
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Rueben

Thanks for your response
I have been away so apologise for delay in responding

Point taken on tree height. We are conscious of ensuring adequate light to the entire tree and were aware of the 75-80% of tree spacing for tree height.

In your comments on tree spacing, are you suggesting that on relatively flat land that hedgerows is the most appropriate?? We have considered 2.5x4 due to concerns of access for picking and moving the fruit out of the growing area to transport to the packhouse. We have not commenced planting yet so it is not too late to change. You mentioned having a work row every so often if planting 3x3. Depending on frequency of these rows this could result in having the same number of trees per hectare as the hedgerow style. I guess this is still high density. For ease of manoeuvring around the orchard and getting fruit out it seems that hedgerow would be the better option

What mechanical means do other HD orchards use to mulch trees, fertilise, spray, control grass growth between the trees and to move crates fruit from trees for transport to market or packhouse. Due to the lack of working or access space between trees, we are considering the use of appropriately configured quad bikes. Is this how it is done in your area or in say Chile?? Obviously with larger tracts, spraying by helicopter is appropriate.

Obviously fertigation will remove the need to manually apply fertiliser and this is an option for us.

Re Phytophera, we are pretty certain that it is present on site as the trees removed had clearly been injected and many of our neighbours are still injecting.
Our trees will be on Phytophera resistant root stock. We have already decided on a regime to manage the problem which includes the things that you talked about.

Re Bees, we do not seem to have a lot of bees around hence higher no. of hives. Obviously that will be monitored throughout the flowering seasons. Problem is that if there are not enough hives then it may be difficult to get hives in at short notice.

My main issue is with the use of pollenisers. In Gad Ish Am material he has used 2 B pollenisers and they appear to be on the same tree. How extensive is the use of pollenisers in this fashion?? Clearly the close proximity of pollenisers have a beneficial impact on fruit set, but as you quite rightly point out heavily laden trees could likely result in alternate bearing which is not desirable. There needs to be a balance here to ensure that there are sufficient nos of Hass for example to generate the returns for the orchard. Thinning of fruit may be necessary. What is the appropriate ratio? Is the regime that I alluded to in my first posting appropriate??

I have also heard people talk about having pollenisers in shelter belts which will also be in close proximity to the main orchard variety. Is anyone doing that?? If so have you had any reports on whether or not that has been successful. What research if any has been carried out on that??

Since penning this reply we have planted part of the new orchard at 2.7 x 3.0

It is looking good and the trees are growing well.

I want like your comments on the pruning regime used by other high density orchardists.

We are going for the central leader but toying with the most appropriate pruning regime for the side shoots and branches. Any pointers??
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