Mid North orchard 4

General management

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

Canopy management

  • Tree spaced 9m X 9m
  • Trees are managed as individuals
  • Max height of trees is 7m
  • The priority when pruning is light interception followed by structural tree balance, access for pickers and spraying, removal of dead and diseased material and management of crop load.
  • Structural pruning is carried out once a year in autumn (Late Feb – early Mar) and flower and fruit thinning is never carried out.
  • About 25% of the canopy is removed each year with pruning.

Soil and soil moisture management

  • Orchard is predominately clay loam with some clay areas that aren’t planted.
  • Leaf litter and avocado pruning are used to mulch trees.
  • Soil moisture is not monitored on the orchard. Irrigation decisions are made based on visual assessment of tree and recent and forecast weather.
  • The orchard is 100% irrigated with ground based micro sprinklers.
  • At peak summer it is common to irrigate for 6 hours per irrigation event twice a week using sprinklers with a 6m diameter that deliver 45l/hr (9.5mm per irrigation event)
  • Sprinkler heads are varied based on tree size, age and health.  Some trees have 2 sprinkler heads and sick trees get extra mulch and have sprinkler clamped off.
  • Control valves have been checked in the last year and pipework is assessed on an ongoing basis including mainlines, sub-mains and laterals.


  • Pollinizer species include Bacon, Zutano, Fuerte and Reed at a percentage of 1-5%
  • Honey bee hives are brought onto the orchard at about 1-5% flowering at a rate of 3-4 hives per hectare. Hives are located evenly through block.

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.
  • The majority of fertiliser is applied by ground application but foliar application is also used.
  • Boron fertilisers are applied as ground application and foliar every year.
  • Calcium fertiliser is not applied.
  • Fertiliser in some form is applied 19 times a year.

Tree health management

  • Trees are injected once a year with phosphonate with no root testing conducted to verify root concentration.

Frost protection

  • No frost protection is in place in the orchard.