Tree Density

Planting spacing for fruit trees

Fruit Trees are grown on a range of rootstocks in order to control tree size. Spacing of fruit trees (tree density) depends on fruit variety/rootstock combination, soil type and a number of other factors. 

Planting fruit trees too close together causes them to shade each other and produce lower yields and lower quality fruit.  

Planting them too far apart decreases yield potential and increases cosmetic defects. 

Tree density and orchard management systems are integrated.

How many trees do you need to order?

The following calculator is a tool to assist you in determining the number of trees you will require to plant your new orchard.

Total area in square metres  LES Area lost to headlands, sidelands, dams, loading areas, storage & buildings

Net area in square metres

Net area in square metres    DIVIDED BY     (Distance between row x distance between trees)

Trees Required

*There are 10,000 square metres in a hectare

 

 

Planting space guideline for calculating trees per hectare

The following chart is a cross-check and rough guide to some common spacings for fruit tree plantings in your orchard and gives tree density per planted hectare for a number of common in-row/between-row spacings:

 Space between Rows in Metres Space within Rows in Metres
1 1.2 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 2 2.2 2.4 2.5 2.7 3
3 3333 2778 2222 2083 1961 1852 1667 1515 1389 1333 1234 1111
3.2 3200 2604 2083 1953 1838 1736 1562 1420 1302 1250 1157 1041
3.3 3030 2525 2020 1894 1783 1683 1515 1377 1263 1212 1122 1010
3.5 2857 2381 1904 1786 1681 1587 1429 1299 1190 1143 1058 952
3.6 2778 2315 1852 1736 1634 1543 1389 1263 1157 1111 1029 926
3.75 2667 2222 1779 1667 1570 1481 1333 1212 1111 1067 988 889
4 2500 2083 1667 1562 1471 1389 1250 1136 1042 1000 926 833
4.5 2222 1852 1481 1389 1307 1235 1111 1010 926 889 823 741
5 2000 1666 1333 1250 1176 1111 1000 909 833 800 741 666

Note that when replacing rows in an old orchard and tree density is changing, common sense sidelands to adjacent rows needs to be allowed.

 

Adjustment for pollinators:

Note when ordering trees that some adjustment may need be needed for pollinators. See the pollination section of our website or individual variety sheets for more detailed pollination information of each variety.

Cherry: For cherry plantings, pollination is critical.  See cherry section for pollination guidelines.

Apple: For apples, the current thinking is to either have rows of commercial pollinator varieties running through the block or 5% of a specific pollinator inter-planted in the rows. These are usually on a rootstock that will produce a small highly flowering tree such as a crab apple or M9 rootstock.  Crab apple requirements are 1/20 of the number of trees required and are additional to the number of trees calculated above.

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