Golden View orchard owner Glen Manderson, of Roxburgh, is
trying a different way of growing his new Samba cherry
trees, by tying the lower branches down and along to form
low-growing hedges. That will make picking easier and
increase crop tonnage. He is helped by son Aidan (13) and
daughter Neleah (10). Photo by Yvonne O'Hara.
Roxburgh orchardist Glen Manderson is growing cherry
hedges, rather than cherry trees.
Mr Manderson, who owns the 4ha Golden View orchard, has
bought 500 early fruiting Samba cherry trees from a Cambridge
nursery to replace a block of 90-year-old trees and has spent
the past couple of weeks planting them.
''The Samba is an early Christmas cherry and is meant to be
the cherry that replaces Dawson,'' he said.
Following research on the internet, he decide to try a
different way of training the trees so they would grow to
form a hedge, rather than as stand-alone trees. They are
planted 2.5m apart rather than the standard 5m and by tying
the lower branches with string and anchoring them to the
ground, he is training them to grow down and along.
Once the lower branches are fixed, the higher ones will then
be tied, and the trees eventually form a low-growing cherry
hedge. He said the denser planting and training would give
him advantages over the traditional methods, including
allowing more light to the fruit and getting a bigger fruit
''There is a bit more work involved [initially] but I am
expecting to get more tonnage with this system.
''It will also mean easier picking.''
Pickers could walk along the rows to harvest the fruit, and
only needed low ladders to reach the higher branches.
''I think that we will pick 80% of the crop under 7ft [2.1m]
He said other growers in the Teviot Valley were trialling a
similar system, but their trees were planted at a 45deg angle
and faced north. As his rows were too short to do that, he
chose the other system.
He said they would produce a small amount of fruit this
season but within three years would have a commercial-sized
crop. He intends to buy another 500 trees next year.
He intends to underplant the cherries with pumpkins and has
put his children Aidan (13) and Neleah (10) in charge of
They also run the stall for him, attend farmers' markets with
him and enjoy spending hours sitting in the trees eating the
In addition to the cherries, the former Manawatu dairy farmer
grows apricots, plums, greengages, nectarines and peaches, as
well as raspberries and boysenberries.