Bay of Plenty orchard 13

General management

  • Pollination, pruning, fertiliser planning and spraying are contracted out. Remainder of work is completed by owners.

Canopy management

  • Tree spaced 12m X 12m with maximum height of 12m.
  • Managed as individuals
  • Max height of trees is 8m. Missed a year of pruning due to a number of reasons and some water shoots got a bit out of control so now bringing those back down.
  • Structural tree balance is the main priority when pruning followed by increasing access for picking and spraying, light interception, management of crop load and removal of dead or diseased material.
  • Trees are structurally pruned once a year with larger cuts made in autumn depending on crop remaining on trees. About 25% of the canopy is removed each year.
  • Flower pruning or fruit removal is not carried out.

Soil and soil moisture management

  • Orchard is predominately sandy loam.
  • Leaf mulch is the dominant ground cover under trees with some avocado pruning making up the mulch.
  • Soil moisture is monitored on the orchard using tensiometers but it is not used to inform when irrigation is used.
  • The orchard is 100% irrigated with in-canopy sprinklers with a 4m throw that deliver an average volume of 41L/hr.
  • A typical irrigation event would be for 3 hours twice a week.
  • Sprinkler heads that distribute different volumes over different area are chosen based on tree size and age.
  • The condition of pipe work and control valves has been checked in the last year for proper function. Sprinklers heads are monitored regularly.


  • Pollinizer varieties Ettinger and Fuerte are present in the orchard and make up between 1-5% if trees.
  • Honey bee hives are brought onto the orchard at 1-5% flowering at a rate of about 8-10 honey bee hives per hectare. Hives are located in one spot in the orchard that is hottest and most sheltered.

Soil and fertiliser application

  • Soil and leaf tests are carried out once a year in April.
  • A consultant provides a fertiliser plan based on test results and crop loading.
  • Ground application of hard fertiliser is the most common application method but foliar applications are used as well.
  • Fertiliser is generally applied 8 times a year.
  • Boron is applied to the ground and as a foliar every year and calcium is applied to the ground every year.


  • Trees make up all the shelters and are about 8m high on most boundaries. Some boundaries with kiwifruit don’t have shelter.

Tree health management

  • Trees have injected with phosphonate once a year.

Frost protection

  • No frost protection system is used in the orchard.