Ted Kempe

Amberley, North Canterbury

HGA newsletter, Autumn 2003

In this issue our growers’ corner takes a look at Hazelwood Hazelnuts, and in we are listening to Ted Kempe of Amberley, who is one of the pioneer leaders in New Zealand’s young hazelnut industry. Ted has kindly given us the statistics of his operations.

PlantedAugust 1989
Area3.5 acres (1.4 ha)
SoilWakanui: Comparatively shallow topsoil on a clay base.
ShelterTasman Poplars. These are compatible to a saline atmosphere.
Block sizes6 x 50m x 50m blocks
SpacingShelter Belts: 4m in rows with 5m between rows.
Headlands5m between last hazelnut and shelter belt. (Not Enough)
IrrigationPump water .5km from well. Irrigated shelter belts with 4litre drippers.
Irrigated hazelnuts with 2 x 4 litre drippers, 1m either side of the tree.
FertiliserNitrophoska TE Blue special
Weed controlRoundup with Versatil to remove clover.
Sucker controlParaquat (Gramoxone)
Block layout1 row pollinators to 5 rows Whitehearts.
Hazelnuts180 pollinators; 560 Whitehearts.

Hazelwood Mistakes

ShelterPlanted six months prior to planting hazels, resulting in wind damage.
IrrigationHigh iron content resulted in blockage of drippers. Hazels stressed due to lack of moisture.
HeadlandsNot big enough for turning machinery at end of rows.


• Whiteheart is an excellent hazel with many qualities.

• Prune to a vase shape for first two years.

• Weed control is essential.

• Nuts fall onto the ground when ripe. Eventually mechanical harvesting is necessary.

• Moisture content of harvested nuts has to be reduced from around 24% to 9%.

• Yield: Suggest 4kg at year 10 seems to be realistic.

• Beware of poplars and willows for shelter because their surface root systems will chase water (from your irrigation system) and deprive your hazels.

• Roughly allow $1.00 per kg for maintenance/growing expenses per year and $1.00 per kg harvesting costs. These costs reduce as your orchard becomes more productive. Greater productivity does not necessarily mean greater expenses.

Ted Kempe
307 Beach Road