Mid North orchard 2

General management

  • Pollination and fertiliser planning is contracted out. Remainder of work is completed by owners.
  • A weather station in on-orchard with rainfall, temperature and wind used to inform orchard practices.

Canopy management

  • Tree spaced 8.5m X 8.5m
  • Managed as individual trees
  • Max height of trees in 7.5m
  • Light interception is the main priority when pruning followed by access for picking and spraying, structural tree balance, crop load management and removal of dead or diseased material.
  • Trees are structurally pruned once a year in spring ideally but will wait until autumn if harvest forces delay.
  • An average of 25% of the canopy is removed each year.
  • Flower pruning is used on excessively flowering trees and fruit thinning may also be carried out if needed.

Soil and soil moisture management

  • Orchard is predominately clay loam soil.
  • Leaf litter, avocado pruning and shelter pruning are all used to mulch trees.
  • Soil moisture is monitored using capacitance probe. Irrigation is triggered when the 0-15cm reading shows 30% moisture.
  • The orchard is fully irrigated with ground based micro sprinklers mounted on 1.2m poles.
  • At peak summer it is common to irrigate for 12 hours per irrigation event once a week using sprinklers with a 6m diameter that deliver 40l/hr (17mm per irrigation event)
  • Sprinkler heads are chosen based on soil type, tree size and age, health and variety/cultivar.
  • Pump pressure and flow characteristics along with control valves are checked annually with ongoing inspection of pipework on orchard.


  • Pollinizer species include Bacon, Ettinger, Zutano, Fuerte and Edranol at a percentage of 1-5%
  • Hives are brought onto the orchard at 5-10% flowering at a rate of 3-4 hives per hectare. Hives are located centrally in orchard to capture sun.

Soil and fertiliser application

  • Soil and leaf tests are carried out once a year in March.
  • A consultant provides a fertiliser plan based on test results and crop loading.
  • Both ground and foliar application of fertiliser is used.
  • Boron fertilisers are applied as ground and foliar application when deficient.
  • Calcium fertiliser is applied every year as a ground application.
  • 8 solid fertiliser applications and 6 foliar applications are generally made a year.

Tree health management

  • Only sick trees are injected but every tree has foliar application of phosphonate in autumn. No root testing of phosphonate levels is carried out.

Frost protection

  • No frost protection is in place in the orchard.