Tatura method

NZ Life & Leisure - - Life Is Beautiful -

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.

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