WHERE SOIL MEETS SCIENCE
As an owner-managed nursery, we are able to focus resolutely on a single goal: to provide the South African apple industry with world-class trees and faultless service.
We pride ourselves on partnering with our grower clients, rather than simply supplying them. Every aspect of CVN is geared to offering the finest rootstock choices, carefully planned, with our growers, to anticipate their needs for the years to come. We work closely with growers, evaluating global trends and assessing local market conditions to plan future stock availability accordingly.
We are uncompromising specialists – it is always and only about apples!
Caledon Valley Nursery is a rootstock-focused nursery. We believe that any given tree can only ever be as good as its base rootstock and therefore place the utmost importance on rootstock propagation in layer beds, in the ‘heart’ of our operation, the MOTHER BLOCK.
Here we produce rootstock clones that are sought after by the industry. Until recently these were predominantly MM109 and M7 but there has been a big industry shift towards the dwarfing M9 and the disease-resistant Geneva® rootstocks. Currently the mother block produces 3 strains of M9 (Nic 29, T337, EMLA) and Geneva® 778, 969, 222, 890, as well as small amounts of M7 and MM109. We also acquire plants from our best-of-the-breed partner lab to keep up with the demand for the Geneva® range, while our own layer beds mature.
Rootstocks are planted out in production blocks each winter and spring, in suitable ameliorated new soil. Raised ridges, drip irrigation, woven weed matting and protective nets are all standard in our production blocks, providing an optimum environment for growth.
All rootstocks are budded to scion varieties determined by customers’ orders.
Lifting & Heeling-In Beds
The finished trees are graded prior and after harvest and tree size is communicated to customers. After trees have hardened off, in winter, they are lifted, tagged and heeled in according to grade, in moist sawdust, prior to dispatch.
Tree dispatch takes place from the middle of July to the end of August, with trees transported overnight in insulated trucks. For those trees destined for the Western Cape, Caledon Valley Nursery has teams that receive the trees, oversee the offloading process, count each order a final time and attend to the documentation.