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

Bill and Marie Ellery

Swannanoa, North Canterbury

HGA newsletter – Summer 2003

It is important that New Zealand growers of Hazelnuts develop an understanding of what is happening within our industry at the orchard level. Much useful information could be tapped by listening to each HGANZ member talk about what he or she has done which has worked well in their orchard….. or hasn’t worked so well…. equipment that they use or would like to use to make their operation more efficient… or whether they have aspirations to produce Hazelnuts for a living or just as a hobby….or pass advice on to the rest of us.

Each issue of our newsletter will try to touch base with a different grower to see what they are up to in their Hazelnut operation. In this issue we are listening to Bill and Marie Ellery of Rangiora.

Our Hazelnut orchard consists of 950 Whiteheart trees plus pollinators. All of the trees are nearly eight years old. The main variety, Whiteheart, was chosen for the quality of the nuts produces and because it grows well in Canterbury. The pollinators are Alexandra, Merville de Bollwillier, Kentish Cob and Ham Sing, and are planted one pollinator per ten Whiteheart.

The trees were planted over a three year period, as money became available. They were planted in nine blocks with just over 100 trees per block. The rows are five metres apart and three metres between each tree within the rows.

The internal shelter is Italian Alders, which crows nest Poplars, Leyland Cypress, and Wattles as external shelter. In Canterbury, it is important to establish shelter well before planting the orchard.

Approximately 170kg of in-shell nuts were harvested last season. The nuts were mostly sold dry roasted with small quantities sold either as cinnamon or chilli coated. They were marketed as Ellery’s Hazelnuts.

To bring in an income while waiting for the hazels to produce, we put in 900 berry plants. The berries are a cross between a boysenberry and a blackberry and are known as “Karaka Black” and “Ranui”. The fresh berries are sold in roadside stalls and to several wineries and local restaurants. Frozen packs are available during the non-producing months of the year. The berries are very labour intensive and when their producing life is at an end, a future crop might well be Blueberries.

The soil on the property is described as “Eyre Riverstone”. It is ancient
Waimakariri river bed, consequently irrigation is essential. The berries are fed and watered using drippers while the Hazels are watered using sprinklers with the laterals being underground. Hares have been a problem, nipping the 4mm feeder tubes to the sprinklers and in the early days nipping the young trees themselves. Egg and paint spray help deter hare damage.

Our Hazels seem to be pest and disease free here. The orchard floor is sprayed and mown regularly to keep the grass and weeds under control.

Bill and Marie Ellery
North Eyre Rd.
RD1, Rangiora

AGM Field Trips 2010

Les McCracken

HGA newsletter July 2010

Field trips were held in South Canterbury in association with the AGM. On Saturday, about 50 people attended a field-day at Linda and Les McCracken’s orchard at Ashburton where the focus was on harvesting tools. This included a demonstration of the Italian harvester imported by Les and Linda earlier this year, as well as a sweeper designed and manufactured in Oamaru for Tim and Judith Medlicott.
The McCrackens imported the Super Jolly 2800 after seeing it while at the Hazelnut Congress in Italy in 2008. The complete unit cost approximately $29000 including freight. It uses mechanical pickup, rather than suction, to avoid blockages, and screens out soil and trash. A key advantage for the McCrackens is that the unit can be operated by one person.

Les reported that the machine coped well with loose surface material, and sorted this from the crop very effectively – very little rubbish was collected with the nuts. The harvester achieved about 2.8 hours per hectare, and Les believes this can be further improved with some minor modifications to block layout.

The machine has an operating width of 2.8 m (harvester 1.8 m, side sweeper 1 m) and is front-mounted onto a tractor with a minimum PTO requirement of 12.5 kW. The manufacturer also offers smaller and less sophisticated units. For more details, see the full report on the website.

Les McCracken’s Super Jolly 2800 harvester

Field trips on Sunday included visits to the properties of Terry and Christine Hutton, and Murray and Linda Cannon.