<img class="size-full wp-image-41631" src="https://goodfruit.com/wp-content/uploads/28162167_10213128634403821_2852677815208935892_o.jpg" alt="Christchurch is a contrast between earthquake recovery and modern metropolitan building boom. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
” width=”2048″ height=”1543″> Christchurch is a contrast between earthquake recovery and modern metropolitan building boom. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)
The next morning, the roughly 100 growers boarded two tour buses for the city of Timaru, about two hours south of Christchurch in a long, narrow plain known for agriculture and, more specifically, becoming known for growing Honeycrisp apples.
Nursery owner Andrew McGrath, co-owner of M A Orchards with Washington state grower Bruce Allen, offered up tours of two Honeycrisp orchards with orchard manager Red Martin.
The first, planted in 2012 to a vertical axis in a 3.6-by-1.2-meter spacing, features largely Geneva 202 rootstocks, but also some Malling 9. Hail netting has been installed over the 6-meter tall trees.
Martin moved to Timaru from Nelson, farther north on New Zealand’s south island, four years ago. In terms of tree growth, Nelson can at times get too hot, he said, whereas “here, we get some impressive tree growth and fruit quality overall.” Of the M.9 planting, Martin said he anticipated yields of 60 to 80 tonnes per hectare.
The second stop featured a V trellis, also Honeycrisp, planted in 2014, with a tree density of 2,900 trees per hectare, compared with 1,850 at the first stop. Most trees were planted on Geneva 202, with some M. 26 and M. 9, and were far shorter than the first stop at 2.7 meters.