HIGH DENSITY CHERRY SYSTEMS IN AUSTRALIA
Sweet cherry production in Australia has evolved from traditional widely spaced, tall, freestanding trees to much higher planting densities utilizing two approaches to tree training and management. The first system, named the Lenswood tie down system, relies on extensive tying of vigorous branches to a horizontal orientation to induce cropping and manage vigor. This system has often resulted in excessive vigor and shading from the manipulated branches. The second system is a modification of the Spanish bush system. Two versions of this have evolved: the Aussie bush (4 leader bush) or the KGB (Kym Greens bush.). Both the Lenswood tie down system and the bush systems rely on vigorous rootstocks to provide adequate tree growth in the poor soils where cherries are grown and to ensure large fruit size. Other stocks show promise, including Maxma 14. The KGB system has a spacing of 4 to 4.5 m between rows and 2 to 2.5 m between trees. This gives a tree planting density of 900 to 1250 trees/ha. Mature tree height is limited to 3.5 m and most of picking is done from the ground. The tree is developed by heading the tree low and then subsequently heading each scaffold limb 4 times over the first 2 years to develop a bush tree with 25 to 30 limbs. At maturity, pruning consists of the annual removal of 2 to 4 big limbs around the tree, leaving a stub. New replacement limbs are developed from the stubs. This process of limb renewal continually cycles the fruiting wood in the tree.
Green, K. (2005). HIGH DENSITY CHERRY SYSTEMS IN AUSTRALIA. Acta Hortic. 667, 319-324
Prunus avium, Lenswood tie down system, KGB system pruning, training, limb renewal, economics, fruit quality