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A hard cider tasting wrapped up one of the final sessions of the Empire State Producers conference on Thursday in Syracuse, New York. Cortni Stahl, a Cornell enologist and cidery owner pours samples. Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower

A hard cider tasting wrapped up one of the final sessions of the Empire State Producers conference on Thursday in Syracuse, New York. Cortni Stahl, a Cornell enologist and cidery owner pours samples. Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower

When placing the end post of your orchard trellis system, think of a game of tug of war.

The human body, when asked to play tug of war, will naturally lean at 60 degrees. (Champion teams average 58, but don’t get too literal.)

That’s why 60 degrees is the recommended angle for tilting the end post of an orchard trellis row. Make an isosceles triangle with the end post and the final anchor wire 60 degrees from the ground. That will get you the strongest trellis system.

That’s according to Hugh Fraser, horticulture consultant in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada, one one of Thursday’s speakers at the Empire State Producers Expo in Syracuse, New York.

Fraser was contracted by Ontario apple growers to research some consistent tips for trellis design systems. Coincidentally, Washington growers and researchers have been working on a similar project, unbeknownst to Fraser.

Fraser, admittedly not an expert, warned growers not to jump to any decisions quickly, even after his presentation. Recommendations on trellis systems will differ based on differences in soil conditions, wind levels, crop loads any other unique characteristics of orchards.

Fraser also discussed the growth of wind machines in Ontario, and the different choices. Other speakers presented on irrigation needs in Northeast growing regions, cider apple tannins and climate change.

The conference concluded Thursday.