Wind protection is one of the key elements to get to first crop fast, it’s of course important in the consecutive years to keep the reject percentage of fruit damaged by wind as low as possible. Ultimately, we believe that a natural shelter provides the best long-term solution for spray drift mitigation, longevity, and cost effectiveness.
Unfortunately, it takes 5-6 years for shelterbelt trees to reach height where they can offer sufficient wind protection without any help from artificial netting.
Our philosophy is to combine both options when doing a development. By doing so, we immediately benefit from the artificial netting and after it’s lifespan (around 10 years), we reap the rewards of a fully established natural shelter. SCH’s preferred variety is Cryptomeria, planted on the orchard boundary allowing the trees to be trimmed from both sides to mitigate pest risk by having an additional buffer around the orchard. It obviously depends on the client’s preference.
Our standard approach would be to plant the trees in the wintertime, contingent on irrigation dripper line to be installed beforehand.
Next to the trees we post and install ‘perimeter fast-track’, green artificial netting that surrounds the orchard separating the orchard area from the surrounded area and offering wind protection to the newly planted trees.
Inside the block we erect either hail coved which can be fully enclosed or with top sides only, or overhead vertical shelters. The decision is based on the client’s preference, geographical location and kiwifruit variety being planted.
On top of that we install ‘undervine netting’ in every 4th row which helps with windbreak closer to the ground level.