The past 35-40 years has seen huge changes in fruit growing similar in nature to the computer industry evolving from mainframes to ipads. Tree training systems, rootstocks, plant densities and varieties have all changed radically. Apples have evolved from low density single leader pyramid orchards with Granny Smith and Red Delicious as varieties to modern day, high density orchards on multi-disease and pest resistant rootstocks with controlled varieties such as Honeycrunch®(Honeycrisp c.v.), KORU® (Plumac c.v.) and Envy™(Scilate c.v.). The cherry industry has evolved from Dawson as a single variety on seedling rootstocks to well over 40 varieties on clonal rootstocks.

McGrath Nurseries has been at the forefront of these changes and has been New Zealand’s leading fruit tree nurserymen for innovation and change. We have led similar changes within the nursery industry being the first nursery to introduce individual colour coding of trees, new rootstocks changing the planting densities in orchards, and importation of varieties that have increased production and marketability of fruit for our New Zealand orchardists.

While some things have changed, some very basic plant management skills remain the same but sometimes need a quick review.

The following technical information and resources are intended to be a useful tool for experienced fruit growers and beginners alike.

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