CHERRY BA­BIES

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - FRONT PAGE - ROGER HAN­SON

CHERRY trees en­veloped with blos­som prom­ise a hearty sea­son if frosts stay away.

Tas­ma­nia’s cherry in­dus­try is blos­som­ing and right now it is a sight not to be missed.

At Reid Fruits in the Der­went Val­ley, about 100ha of cherry trees at the Plenty or­chard have started bloom­ing.

The farm is one of the state’s largest cherry op­er­a­tions.

“The weather is fan­tas­tic for us and is per­fect for cherries with cool nights and nice breaks of sun­shine,” man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Tim Reid said.

“Bees are ac­tive and the trees are look­ing strong in blos­som.”

At this early stage ex­pected yields are hard to gauge as ex­treme weather can af­fect the crop.

Reid Fruits Plenty or­chard pro­duc­tion man­ager Mark Sal­ter was hop­ing for fur­ther good weather.

“We are in the pol­li­na­tion pe­riod for the next three or four weeks with the bees quite ac­tive, how­ever, rain hin­ders the bee pol­li­na­tion ac­tiv­ity,” Mr Sal­ter said.

“Af­ter the pol­li­na­tion pe­riod we will then start see­ing lit­tle buds of fruit.”

Tas­ma­nia’s pre­mium dark-fleshed cherries are ex­ported to a va­ri­ety of coun­tries and grow­ers are also mov­ing into sec­ond-grade fruit mar­ket in the Mid­dle East.

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