FRUIT GROWING IN THE OKANAGAN VALLEY
Today the tree fruit industry in British Columbia is comprised of approximately 2,000 orchardists and 9,800 hectares in the Okanagan, Similkameen, Creston and Fraser Valleys. The area produces 35% of Canada's apples and the majority of the soft fruit production. It is estimated that the industry generates 7,500 jobs and $700 million annually in economic activity. Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums and prunes are all grown in the Okanagan. 'Gala', 'Fuji', 'Jonagold', 'Braeburn' and 'Empire' are some of the new apple varieties that are grown. 'Gala' has been the most successful new variety. Climate is a major limiting factor to tree fruit production, affecting commodities, varieties and rootstocks. Production systems have changed significantly and orchard renovation is taking place. British Columbia has been a leader in the establishment of high density plantings in North America. In the 1990s, densities of 3,000 trees or more per hectare have been planted. Some of the highest density apple plantings in the Okanagan are super spindle plantings with densities of more than 12,000 trees per hectare.
Watson, T. (1997). FRUIT GROWING IN THE OKANAGAN VALLEY. Acta Hortic. 451, 45-52
Climate, soils, acreage, varieties, rootstocks, tree density and management systems