AN ORCHARD DESIGN SUITED TO HAND POLLINATION

David A. Kollas
I have looked at hand pollination in an orchard designed for labor efficiency, with trees trained in the spokewheel overhead canopy system. Even though all flowers were accessible from the ground, the continued overhead reach of hand pollinating was quickly fatiguing. Hand pollination from a short ladder was impractically slow and use of a #4 artist's brush dipped frequently into a vial of pollen was judged clumsy and wasteful of time. One type of commercially available strap-on stilts provided comfortable height-adjustment that permitted continuous non-fatiguing hand pollination. Another type of stilts was unsatisfactory. A new pollen applicator was designed and tested and found to be faster and much more convenient than the artist's brush and pollen vial. Only when all components of the technique were brought together, including tree training system, stilts, and new pollen applicator, was the maximum utility of hand pollination achieved. Economic projections and expected corollary benefits suggest the technique has commercial potential as a method to regulate fruit set.
Kollas, David A. (1997). AN ORCHARD DESIGN SUITED TO HAND POLLINATION. Acta Hortic. 451, 529-536
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1997.451.61
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1997.451.61
Apple, Malus, fruit set, stilts, pollen applicator

Acta Horticulturae