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Grove Design :: Nursery Tree Design


Losses in acreage from canker-control actions along with the discovery of greening disease have changed production practices for both growers and nurserymen. The loss of producing trees to canker-control actions under the 1,900-foot rule and citrus greening disease have increased nursery tree demand for resets and replanting blocks within groves. The current disease pressure has growers and nurserymen working together more than in previous years. These new relationships along with the need to replant large blocks present a unique opportunity. By establishing uniform plantings of high-headed trees suitable for mechanical harvesting, growers may be able decrease their harvesting cost.

High-headed trees have a longer than normal trunk that has the scaffold branching begin at 24 inches or greater. Mechanical harvesting requires a clean, straight trunk for the catch frame to fit snug around the trunk to avoid fruit falling to the ground. A straight trunk is required to accommodate a trunk shaker clamp if this type of machine is used.

  • Document the growth and development of high-headed trees planted in a “Concept” grove setting with different rootstocks and tree densities.

Key Findings (Updated on 12/07)

Trees planted summer 2006 have grown well and are flowering and setting fruit in 2008.

Activities Planned for 2007-2008

  • Measure tree growth and fruit set.

Publications and Extension Products


Rouse, Bob, Jameson, Nate and Kesinger, Mike. 2007. Standing Tall. Florida Grower, 110(10):28-30

PowerPoint Presentation

The shape of nursery trees in the future to improve mechanical harvesting efficiency, Citrus Mechanical Harvesting Field Day, April, 2006. Bob Rouse, UF-SWFREC

Brochures and Posters

High-Headed Nursery Trees: Preparing for the Future of Mechanical Harvesting. Barbara Hyman and Robert Rouse

Bob Rouse, UF-SWFREC, and Mongi Zekri, UF-Hendry Co. Ext. High Headed Tree Handout. Citrus Mechanical Harvesting Field Day, January 2007. SWFREC.

For more information:

Bob Rouse
Bill Castle

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