HD ridging with a dozer, avocadofarmer, 4. Sep 2013 20:48
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I recently bought 20 acres of land that used to be farmed. It had avocados on it and the farm manager (who will remain namelesSP) decided to bulldoze 20 acres of mature avocado trees into the ditch. Anyway whats done it done and its now got some pretty severe rutting as a result of the dozing. I intend to replant it in some sort of HD hass and reeds. I'll pry go 15X15 on the hass and 10X10 on the reeds. The soil is a bit of an odd mix of clay and DG.

So I've got to bulldoze again to get the ruts taken care of I remember seeing a picture of the bulldozed ridges that Chilean growers were using for new plantings. I just can't find the picture now! I was hoping to give it to my dozer guy and have him copy it. I'm also going to take delivery of a ton of LA-green waste mulch and cover everything I can before the winter comes. 1000 Dusa trees on order for Spring! Aiming for organic, hoping that the Dusa rootstock combined with proper irrigation techniques and humic acid apps will keep the root rot away.

Anyone know where that picture is?!?

Thanks!
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Re: HD ridging with a dozer, Reuben Hofshi, 5. Sep 2013 19:57
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I can provide you with some photos
In the meanwhile you can read the article I wrote which is on this website:
The Chilean Avocado Industry: An Overview
Hofshi, Reuben

http://www.avocadosource.com/journals/avoresearch/avoresearch_02_01_2002_hofshi_chile.pdf
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Re: HD ridging with a dozer, avocadofarmer, 7. Sep 2013 10:25
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Hi Reuben,

Thanks for the link...I really do like their way of preparing the land. I'm not a big fan of the bulldozer, but if you need to use it on a piece of property anyway, I think you may as well go ahead and ridge it. My only concerns pertain to large rains and erosion, but I plan to put a LOT of green waste (LA Dep't of Sanitation) mulch down. Should be pretty good...

Thanks again!

Matt
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Re: HD ridging with a dozer, Reuben Hofshi, 7. Sep 2013 15:15
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Several items:
1. Unless you are on flat land your ridges need to go up and down the slope, otherwise you will have erosion everywhere especially with the ridges' loose soil
2. You will need to have pressure compensating emitters which are also anti siphon to avoid water drainage when the irrigation is turned off.
3. Having ridges is a way to distribute rain water over many channels which minimizes erosion, The most important, and it must be done correctly, is the road construction and the way it is sloped. If you don't do it right silt will accumulate and the water will then find an escape channel causing a lot of erosion in the block below.
4. If I were you I would stay away from bringing any uncomposted green waste from LA County or Orange County. Many of the box elder trees among other species in these two counties have been attacked by the ambrosia beetle and its symbiotic fungus. The practice is to remove the trees and haul the cut branches and wood to be recycled. The beetles don't just die and you will end up infesting your grove and other near by susceptible species, Currently there is no cure for either the beetle or the fungus.
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Re: HD ridging with a dozer, avocadofarmer, 10. Sep 2013 20:09
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Hi Reuben,

Thanks for the considerations. I do intend to run these ridges up and down the hills. This is in congruence with what I've seen in pictures. I will also look into PC nozzles.

The LA facility does indeed compost its mulch. From what I understand they are pretty thorough about it as well. I actually saw these trucks going out to ACW ranch in fallbrook by the dozens so I think I should be ok...

Thanks again for the tips! If you happen to run across any pictures I'd love to see them.
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Re: HD ridging with a dozer, Reuben Hofshi, 10. Sep 2013 22:40
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ACW is making a big mistake, taking a lot of risk not seeing the level of damage followed by the frustration of not having any solution. Even though ACW compost everything they bring in I believe they will now refrain from bringing any more of this green waste.
I have to look through the years of photos I have I should have many photos. I will also travel to Chile soon and I can take some photos.
By the way, they use and excavator and not a bulldozer.

Attachments
ridges with clonals.jpg (224.22 KB)

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Re: HD ridging with a dozer, Greg Alder, 12. Sep 2013 21:21
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I think the picture you are looking for may be in this group (High Density) on April 19, 2004, titled "High density Hass picture - Chile."

Reuben, I don't quite understand how mounding the ridges up and down the hill would help with erosion. Seems you're creating riverbeds. Wouldn't putting them on contour -- perpendicular to the grade -- capture the rainfall and prevent erosion better, or does it depend on the soil type?
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Re: HD ridging, Reuben Hofshi, 13. Sep 2013 20:37
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Reuben, I don't quite understand how mounding the ridges up and down the hill would help with erosion. Seems you're creating riverbeds. Wouldn't putting them on contour -- perpendicular to the grade -- capture the rainfall and prevent erosion better, or does it depend on the soil type?
Creating riverbeds is what I want to accomplish. One hectare is (100X100 M =10,000 M2). Each ridge is 2.5 M wide at the base and the combined channel between two ridges equals to 2.5 M. so let’s say that there are approximately 20 ridges per hectare each 100 M long. You need to have 2-3 WELL DESIGNED roads that are perpendicular to the ridges. (The distance between roads depends on factors such as slop, tree density, soil type etc.). The ridges are constructed with an excavator that mixes the soil one meter deep with the top soil scraped from the surrounding trench. The resulting ridge is a rather uniform blend of top soil from 5 M and together with the soil that was excavated. The trench is a depression with no loose top soil and therefore rather compact.
If a fair amount of rainfall comes down continually (assume 5 cm) on a soil that has been soaked by rainwater during previous events, you have 20 “riverbeds” to carry 5 hectare/cm. Not having these riverbeds the rainwater will tend to create a channel to drain the water with a potential for serious erosion.
If your grove is on flat land you will have no problem building ridges in any direction you wish. On hillsides, ridges that are perpendicular to the slope especially if they are constructed along the contour will require draining channels or you will end up with erosion that is likely to destroy some of the ridges. I think that your best choice is, if you find it necessary to elevate the plants that you just create mounds and plant the trees this way.
I don’t like ridges in any direction because you are likely to end up with hedgerows which are difficult to harvest and require sophisticated pruning strategy.
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Re: HD ridging, Greg Alder, 20. Sep 2013 21:33
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Thanks for that clarification.

I recently planted some trees on individual mounds on a light slope and I formed low flanks off the sides of each mound. They don't touch, so it's not a ridge. The flanks/berms are connected to the uphill side of each mound and the ends boomerang slightly uphill. The ends of the flanks/berms are lower than the mounds so that water will drain to either side before it reaches the tree's crown.

I'm just looking for ways to concentrate rainfall so that the root zones will be leached of salts this winter (I'm in Southern California).
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Re: HD ridging, Reuben Hofshi, 20. Sep 2013 22:20
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In Israel I. Adato developed a method of root restriction. His contention is that during the winter and early Spring roots expand away from the drip line where irrigation water is normally absent. Once the rainwater is no longer available the roots die back to the area where the irrigation water can reach. To minimize the amount of energy used for root growth that is later wasted because of root death he places along the edge of the ridge a 6-8" solid plastic boundary. The idea here is that the roots will only grow as far as the boundary and stay there. They normally irrigate with drippers or emitters that have a throw within the plastic boundary. I'll need to get the yield results.
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