Keep track of
our new cultivars as they journey to
NZ, undergo quarantine and begin growing in our orchards.
trees have been grafted and are with the propagators. They will be
released for planting in the winter. See them as they were in November
after grafting, here...
Great news! Graft wood from our 3 imported walnut
has been released from quarantine, and is now in the hands of walnut
The imported walnut trees entered the quarantine
on 12 July, so the material would have received around 860 chilling
the time the graft wood was cut on 17 August.
Graft wood was cut by
Plant and Food Research quarantine
staff, with the supervision of a MAF inspector. We received
documentation for the graft wood from ‘Lara’ and
‘Howard’ on 20 August. Release documentation for the ‘Tulare’
was delayed until 24 August while some final lab testing was carried
lab testing showed that some tiny signs of fungus on these trees were
of a kind
common in NZ).
Plant and Food Research
staff carefully packed the graft
wood into polystyrene boxes with ice, and sent them by overnight
Darrell and Karen Johnston at River Terrace Nurseries (Brightwater,
Nelson). The ‘Lara’ and ‘Howard’ graft wood
arrived on 25 August, and the ‘Tulare’
graft wood a day later.
Darrell estimated that
there is sufficient
‘Lara’ material to graft 75 trees, with 53 grafts possible from the
‘Howard’ material, and 65 grafts from the ‘Tulare’. However he
the success rate may not be high, since with the small amount of
propagators will have to use everything available, rather than being
choose just the best buds.
Darrell couriered a
parcel of graft wood from the 3
cultivars to David Murdoch at Peninsula Tree Nursery (Little River,
The intention is that
some of the grafted trees will be put
into a new NZWIG cultivar trial to be planted out in winter 2011.
and David will also plant some of the grafted trees at their own
the purposes of bulking up the new cultivars. NZWIG is keen to
grafted trees of the new cultivars available for sale to members as
possible, and this bulking up should provide a supply of graft wood for
The original imported
trees (just the roots and a short trunk
remaining, after the graft wood was cut) are still in the Plant and
Research quarantine coolstore and will stay there until we can confirm
success of our grafting in October.
16 July: The hardening-off
process for our walnut trees is complete, and they were transferred
quarantine glasshouse into the quarantine coolstore last week.
29 June 2010:
being hardened off in the quarantine glasshouse, ready for
taken on 15 June by Plant & Food Research quarantine staff show
trees had completely lost their leaves at that date, while others had
lost their leaves. The trees will be placed in the quarantine
as soon as the hardening off is complete. Check out the photos - here.
application to release the budwood will be submitted
to MAF in July. Assuming this is approved, in late July we
budwood from the trees for grafting. Grafting will be done in
with the aim for the new trees to be ready for planting the following
winter. Of these grafted trees, the plan is for some to go
into a new
NZWIG cultivar trial, and others to go to propagators’ properties so
new cultivars can be bulked up and made available to members as quickly
Heather North of the
NZWIG research committee spoke about
the cultivar import project at the recent AGM, outlining the import
the current status of the trees, and the planned next steps.
also showed that the project is on track as compared to the allocated
20 April 2010:
We have received the great news that the required tests for our trees
in quarantine are now complete, with no disease problems
The final tests were for Brennaria and Phytoplasmas, and we heard back
in early April that these disease-causing organisms were not found on
next step was the final growing season inspection of the trees in
quarantine, carried out by MAF last week. No issues arose
staff at Plant & Food Research will now harden off the tested
(two of each cultivar) in preparation for cool storage. Once
dormant, the trees will wait in the cool store from early May until we
are ready to take budwood off them for grafting in winter.
hardening-off process was first trialled on the 'spare' untested trees
(these ones will not be available for release) and it was successful
and caused no adverse effects, so we can have confidence it will also
be successful for the tested trees.
9 March 2010:
There will most likely
be one final MAF inspection of the trees in cool store just before we
are ready to take budwood in winter, and at this point,
Research will send in to MAF an application for biosecurity release.
walnut trees are continuing to grow extremely well in
The two trees of each cultivar which in December were headed back hard
to promote budwood growth have responded well, and now have a good
selection of 1-2m shoots. The other trees of each cultivar
were not headed (these are our ‘spares’ which are not being tested for
release) grew to around 4m by late January (some reached the glasshouse
ceiling), prompting Plant&Food Research to check whether we
mind these trees being topped!
early February some small black spots were found on the leaves and
stems of several plants, and samples were sent to MAF for diagnostic
analysis. The results showed several fungi but these were not
significant concern; however, a small amount of leaf tissue was removed
from the trees and an eradicative spray was applied to eliminate any
staff in quarantine are now planning the method for hardening-off the
green shoots and budwood, and have discussed this method with Darrell
Johnston. This hardening-off will take place in early April
will prepare the trees for dormancy in coolstore (where they will be
kept until we are ready to take budwood from them in July, assuming our
trees are cleared for release by MAF). The remainder of the
required testing will also be done during March, covering the
disease-causing organisms Brenneria rubrifaciens and walnut witches
A good start has been made to the series
of tests our trees will undergo to check them for various diseases of
NZ. In November, samples were taken and tested for Cherry
Leaf Roll Virus.
Results were sent to us just before Christmas with the good news that
disease was found.
14 December: We have
reached the point in the growing season when PFR and MAF are beginning
out the required tests for various diseases. First up is the
Cherry Leaf Roll Virus – material was sent away last week for this
test. Because NZWIG members voted for a budget to test and
two trees of each cultivar (not all five), the arrival of this testing
we had to select which two trees of each cultivar to test. If
shows the selected trees to be disease-free then we will be able to
off them at the end of the season for grafting in NZ. Also,
because we can
only take budwood off the two (tested) trees of each cultivar, it is
that we maximise growth of suitable budwood on these trees so that we
sufficient plants for a trial of the new cultivars in NZ. On
recommendation of Darrell Johnston, we therefore decided to cut back
shoots to 5 buds on the trees to be tested and released (the other
each cultivar will not be cut except to prevent them hitting the
ceiling of the
glasshouse). This should encourage new shoot growth, which
should be of
suitable size by the end of the growing season.
See photos of
before and after cutting back ...here
Monday 30 November
imported trees are “making
astounding growth” in the Plant & Food Research quarantine
to Darrell Johnston, who visited them during the week (see pictures).
Most trees are between 1.5 and 2m high, with around 3 strong shoots on
tree. “A jungle of walnuts” is the sight that met Darrell’s
eyes on entry to the quarantine room. He reported that the
trees are receiving
excellent care, and that the staff are enjoying working with
decisions we are now discussing with PFR are (1) managing the vigorous
the trees would go through the roof by the end of the season if we
action! (2) cutting the shoots in an appropriate way for production of
Darrell has made recommendations on this, (3) taking samples of wood
trees for the MAF-required testing. See the photo Darrell took
on 17 November...here.
Check out the photos of the
trees in quarantine on 27 October ...
All our 12
trees now have buds moving in the warmth of the quarantine
Several of the 'Howard' (quarantine code 5-49P-1) have shoots 20-30cm
long which are growing at around 5cm/day (see picture), and others of
'Tulare' (5-49P-3) have clusters of 5-10cm shoots (picture).
remainder of the trees have buds visibly moving.
visited on Tuesday 22nd. She was very pleased with the
plants, and has
agreed that the 6-month growing season inspection period can considered
underway. See the latest
Research quarantine staff inspected the walnut trees on
found signs of disease on three trees. These included a rot on an old
pruning wound, vascular staining in a main tap root, and lesions on the
roots. The MAF inspector, with agreement of the PFR Plant Pathologist,
decided these three plants were unacceptable for importation into New
Zealand. If the trees had been included within the consignment, they
would have jeopardised the release of the whole importation. It would
also be necessary to establish what the organisms were that were
causing these symptoms. To achieve this with certainty would be very
costly and would be our responsibility as the importer.
committee has thought through the options and has made a decision (with
the backing of the NZWIG committee) to go with the PFR/MAF
recommendation to destroy the three trees. It is unfortunate to lose
these trees (2 Howard and 1 Tulare) but we believe it is the safest
option. It is unlikely to affect our plans, since in any case we will
be choosing only the best 2-3 trees of each cultivar (we imported 5 of
each cultivar) for testing and release.
Palmerston North walnut propagator Vern Harrison visited our trees in
quarantine today. He discussed with the quarantine staff the
of the trees in their planter bags, and maximising budwood
growth. Nelson walnut propagator Darrell Johnston has also
phone discussions with the quarantine staff and may visit the trees
during the growing season. The quarantine staff have
horticultural skills and knowledge but have not dealt specifically with
walnuts before, so we are keen for the best walnut-specific advice to
be available to them and are grateful that these expert propagators
have been providing this.
Research (PFR) received the trees on Monday, has carefully
them and has potted them up. The trees were headed fairly hard by the
propagator in Tasmania for ease of packing and transport, and this
heading will also promote the scion wood growth we need during the
coming growing season.
Our 15 walnut trees arrived safely at the quarantine facility in
Palmerston North late yesterday afternoon. They have been
carefully inspected today and look to be in good health.
Friday 14th August:
Our consignment of walnut trees successfully received biosecurity
clearance from MAF Biosecurity at Auckland Airport this afternoon,
which is a great result.
packages of trees will now be held in the courier company's coolstore
at the airport over the weekend, and then be sent on to the quarantine
facility in Palmerston North on Monday. Prior to this we have
a few anxious days tracking the consignment's slow progress from
Tasmania to Melbourne to Sydney and finally to Auckland - there have
been a number of delays from the courier, meaning that the trees
arrived in NZ today rather than on Wednesday as originally
expected. However, there have been no delays at MAF
where the personnel have been very helpful.
arranged that the nursery in Tasmania would apply the insecticide and
miticide treatments (required by our import permit) prior to packing,
and this was witnessed by the Australian Quarantine inspector, so there
were no further treatments required when the trees reached Auckland.
bare-rooted walnut trees left Tasmania on Monday 10 August.
On this day they were cleaned by the propagator in Tasmania, and
inspected by the Australian Quarantine Service. They will be
carefully packed and sealed in polystyrene boxes, with wet material
around their roots. A courier will pick them up from the
and then they will be air freighted to the NZ quarantine facility in
Palmerston North, travelling via Sydney and Auckland. While
Auckland they will be inspected by Biosecurity NZ, and insecticide and
miticide treatments will be applied to them. We are expecting
them to arrive at the quarantine facility in Palmerston North on Thursday 13th or Friday 14th.
2 July we received our permit from MAF to import the 3 new walnut
sub-committee meets to make a final decision on the cultivars to be
imported. The decision
to import Lara, Howard and Tulare was supported
by NZWIG. The decision was reported at the NZWIG AGM, with
the reasoning circulated. [Read the committee decision here]
Research sub-committee begins investigating methods, facilities and
costs for importing and quarantining new walnut cultivars from overseas.
Research sub-committee, working with walnut propagators and other
walnut experts, completes the writing of a section on Post-entry Care
and Propagation for the new MAF testing manual for importing Juglans.
Research sub-committee draws together the information it has gathered
in the past 16 months, and presents a case at the NZWIG Special General
Meeting for importing new walnut cultivars from Tasmania.
are interested in the idea but request further information,
particularly on the taste and nut quality of the cultivars proposed for
2008: The new testing manual for importing Juglans is
completed by MAF and is available for use.
NZWIG imports samples of nuts from new walnut cultivars in Tasmania
into the transitional facility at Lincoln University. A
of a Nut provides samples from New Zealand cultivars, and Lincoln
University carries out testing of nut taste and quality.
members are involved in the (blind) tasting panel.
NZWIG holds a Special Information Meeting on the cultivar import
proposal, having posted out detailed briefing notes in
The briefing notes
further information gathered by the research sub-committee since the
June 2008 SGM, and a summary report from the Lincoln University
researchers on the results of the taste and quality testing.
researchers speak at the meeting and members ask detailed questions and
contribute comments. [Read the briefing notes presented to the meeting here.]
NZWIG sends out a postal ballot to members (along with notes from the
Special Information meeting) so all financial members can vote on the
proposal to import 3 new cultivars from Tasmania. 56 members
vote, of which 36 were in favour of proceeding with the project.