This method of intensively planting stone and pipfruit trees, developed by Australian researchers in the 1980s, requires trellis and wires on which the trees are trained into a sharp V. While the Tatura method is signifi cantly more expensive to set up (requiring six times the number of trees per hectare and the construction of trellis and wires), it has proved very successful for the family’s two orchards near Cromwell. After Kevin and his already adult children Kristin and Mark were driven from their much- loved home and orchard in the Cromwell Gorge in 1989 by the creation of Lake Dunstan behind the Clyde Dam, and had committed to continuing the family legacy of orcharding, Kevin pioneered the use of the Tatura method in New Zealand when planting their new 40ha on the Jackson and Freeway orchards. “I researched Tatura and while it was much more expensive initially, we saved on irrigation costs (for six trees we effectively paid the cost of irrigation for one tree) and we got into production in three years instead of seven. “The benefi ts have continued in the 28 years since; closely planted trees are less prone to wind damage, and the fruit is more easily picked by novices as it’s easier to see and accurately assess its readiness for harvest. The only question that remains for me about the Tatura method is why no other orchardist has followed us into using this system?” says Kevin.