Afourer mandarin pruning methods videos and trial

Steven Falivene (Citrus Development Officer) is leading the Afourer mandarin best practice canopy management (CT19002) funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia. The project will develop best practice canopy management techniques that will improve long-term yields and minimise alternate bearing in Afourer mandarins. Alternate bearing can be a significant issue for Afourer growers, causing high crop loads in one season followed by low crop loads the next, resulting in problems with fruit size and marketing. This project will ultimately develop a best practice manual that will provide practical solutions for growers to implement on-farm.

The project has collaborative officers working in the Riverina (Andrew Creek, NSW DPI Citrus Development Officer) and in Western Australia (Rachelle Johnstone, WA DPI).

Following are videos that outline the various treatments used in trials. The treatments cover a range of pruning intensities from the low intensity mechanical hedging to high-intensity window layering pruning. Two pruning events have occurred in spring 2020 and spring 2021 and one harvest in spring 2021. All labour inputs, costs and net returns are being compared that will help growers choose a pruning option that will suit their specific circumstances (e.g. labour availability and long term yield profile). The first three year phase of the project will implement the treatments and allow time for the trees to adjust to pruning regimes. A proposed next four year phase of the project will monitor yields and inputs once the trees have stabilised after the first phase.

The videos are:

  1. Project Introduction: why is light harvest efficiency and pruning important? (5m 20s)
  2. Replicated trial introduction: overview of the treatments (1m 15s)
  3. Mature tree window layering pruning treatment (10m)
  4. Mature tree window layering pruning treatment (30m extended version)
  5. Light annual hedging pruning treatment (1m 30s)
  6. Half tree hedging treatment (3m 30s)
  7. Centre limb pruning treatment (10m)
  8. Young tree window layering pruning (12m)
  9. Young tree window layering pruning (23m extended version)
  10. Young semi mature tree window layering pruning (6m 45s)
  11. Growing Afourer under nets : challenges of growing Afourer under hail nets (3m 30s)
  12. Safe pruning tips (3m 30s)

An overview of the project is available from the Horticulture Innovation Afourer project description web page.