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Safj Oak Valley Featured
October / November 2022

Oak Valley

SA Fruit Journal: October / November 2022

Dual leaders help to control the vigour of Granny Smith on G.778 under nets. By Anna Mouton

Shade nets create new opportunities for growing Grannies profitably through improving colour and reducing sunburn. The challenge with Grannies under nets is excessive vigour – so why has Oak Valley decided to plant on G.778?

Graeme Krige, technical adviser and general manager of Fruitmax Agri, likes G.778 for its tolerance to replant disease and woolly apple aphid; G.778 is also highly productive.

But Krige concedes G.778 is a strong rootstock and could prove too rampant for higher-density Granny Smith plantings on good soils. His strategy to rein them in? Dual-leader trees. Having two leaders has been shown to cut total vigour by about a third.

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