Deciding on the planting distance is crucial at the start of the durian orchard development. Any miss-calculation will have adverse future impact which could not be reversed any more.
Some growers plant too densely in the hope of cramming as much durian saplings as possible on their land or not knowingly doing so. How about we look at the planting distance or density as recommended by the Department of Agriculture Malaysia.
Planting Distance Following Square Planting
The Department of Agriculture recommends durian sapling to be planted with the below distances between saplings:
40 ft. X 40 ft. = 27 saplings
35 ft. X 35 ft. = 36 saplings
30 ft. X 30 ft. = 48 saplings
The calculation derived for the above saplings planting densities is given below:
Number of saplings = 43,560 sq.ft. ÷ (area of the planting distance)
As an example, if the chosen planting distance is 30 ft. X 30 ft. then:
Number of saplings for a distance of 30 ft. X 30 ft. = 43,560 ÷ 900
= 48 saplings
Planting Distance Following Triangle Method
Different from the square planting method, the triangle method will have the below saplings arrangement:
The calculation for number of saplings on an acre is:
(area of an acre in m2 ÷planting distance) X 1.154
An example using a 30 ft. X 30 ft. distance will then be:
[4,046.9 m2 ÷ (9.14 m 9.14 m)] X 1.154
= 56 saplings
* 1.154 is the triangle factor constant
We could now conclude that a triangle planting method will have a 16% increase in the number of saplings planted compared to the square planting method for the same land area of an acre.
Reason of Why Planting Distance of 30 ft. X 30 ft. Is Considered The Minimum
This figure is decided after considering the smallest canopy of an adult durian tree. To deliberate further, 30 ft. is equal to 9.14 meter (measured distance from the main trunk of a tree to the main trunk of the adjacent tree).
This would mean the canopy radius of two adjacent trees before its branch touches is only 4.6 meter.
Depending on the clone type of the durian tree, the average canopy diameter is between 10 meter to 12 meter. When this is taken in account, a canopy diameter of 10 meter and above shall result in the branches touching. A grower is recommended to conduct pruning activities when this happens.
Having said that., a planting distance of 40 ft. X 40 ft. is the most ideal.
Benefits of An Increased Planting Distance
Among the benefits are:
Improved sunlight exposure into the tree canopy thus enhances the reproductive phase of the tree. This would result in improved fruit development.
Allows for better air circulation of the tree canopy in order to prevent fungus growth and infestations especially to the leaves.
Restricts the mobility or movement of jungle animals especially squirrels and monkeys. This would make the initiative of installing zinc metal sheets onto durian tree trunks ineffective.
What is the planting method and planting distance on your own orchard? I would like to know, please comment below.