How to reduce stemflow in a macadamia orchard

Soil erosion is an issue for macadamia growers as the large canopied trees shade the orchard floor which prevents ground cover plant growth. Large areas of bare soil, together with intense rainfall events have led to observed soil movement within orchards and occasionally off-site.

Research into the sources of soil erosion has found a surprising result. A large contributor to soil movement was due to a process called stemflow. This is where rainfall is collected by the canopy of the trees and funnelled down the tree stems, leading to soil loss around the base of the trees.

In the video, soil scientist Justine Cox explains the location and amount of soil movement. Macadamia growers also talk about how they have protected their soil under their trees and designed management practices which fit into their current system.

For more information contact Jeremy Bright at Wollongbar (02) 6626 1346.