Future Orchards walks – Spring 2017

Rootstock selection will be the theme of the  Future Orchards® spring walks planned for November 2017, continuing the theme of ‘Future Trees’.

AgFirst consultant Ross Wilson and Tom Auvil of North American Plants will join the northern loop walks.  In the Southern Loop, guest speakers will be Craig Hornblow of AgFirst and Nicola Dallabetta from Fondazione Edmund Mach Technology Transfer Centre (FEM), Italy.

The shift to high density planting systems has led to increased use of dwarf rootstocks to provide trees with the desirable dwarfing, vigour reduction and architecture characteristics necessary for an intensive orchard system.  For apples the M9 is recognised as the almost perfect dwarf rootstock for its high yields, precocity and productivity. While many other highly productive commercial rootstocks exist, very few, including the M9, carry the disease resistance traits which will become increasingly important considerations for new plantings.

Both Tom and Nicola will present on their research experiences evaluating rootstocks in their respective regions.

Tom Auvil is a horticulturist with North American Plants and is active in the management of the family’s orchard in Washington State. He previously worked for Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. He worked in the Field Services department for the Trout/Blue Chelan Cooperative for 21 years, as supervisor for 15 years. He has served on the Tree Top Board since 1988 and served four years as Chairman. Tom received a BS degree in Horticulture from Washington State University. He is a member of the North Central Washington Fieldmen’s Association, the Washington State Tree Fruit Association and the International Fruit Tree Association and served on the Orondo School Board for 16 years, 1986-2002.

Nicola has a strong interest in fruit crop research and extension services and has worked at FEM for over 21 years. He is knowledgeable about day-to-day operations within an orchard, including layouts for new plantings, experimental designs, cultural practices and administrative tasks. Nicola specialises in new techniques on manual pruning in intensive, super-intensive orchard systems and is involved in rootstock evaluation sites in South Tyrol, Italy.

The following articles from the Future Orchards library will provide a useful refresher on the topic.

Spring walks presentations will be posted in the Future Orchards library as they become available.

Dates & venues:

Northern Loop

Stanthorpe: Monday 13 November 2017, 9:00am – 12:30pm – Arames Volpato’s orchard, Cottonvale

Orange: Tuesday 14 November 2017 , 1:00pm – 5:30pm – Nashdale Hall & Carinya Orchard

Batlow: Wednesday 15 November 2017, 1:00pm – 5:30pm – Batlow Apples Vanzella Orchard

Shepparton: Friday 17 November 2017,  9:00am – 12:30pm – Plunkett Orchards

Southern Loop

Southern Victoria: Monday 20 November 2017, 9:00am-12:30pm – Staples Apples

Southern Tasmania: Tuesday 21 November 2017, 10:30am -2:30pm – John and Susanne Evans’ orchard

Adelaide Hills: Wednesday 22 November 2017 , 9:00am – 12:30pm – Lenswood Bowling Club

Western Australia: Thursday 23 November 2017, 1:00pm – 5:30pm – Tassone Orchards


For more information please contact Angus Crawford, APAL Technical Manager on 03 9329 3511.


APAL’s Future Orchards® program is funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd using the apple and pear industry levy funds from growers and funds from the Australian Government. AgFirst is a key Future Orchards partner.

By |September 6th, 2017|Future Orchards, News, Varieties and rootstock|

About the Author:

APAL is an industry representative body and not-for-profit membership organisation that supports Australia’s commercial apple and pear growers.