AU: Tasmanaia's cherries ripe for big harvest

Cherries are on track to grace Tasmania's Christmas tables, as well as homes and restaurants in Asia and the Middle East.

The blossoms stretching across the paddocks of the state's biggest stonefruit grower, JW Kirkwood, at Campania, herald the produce to come. Operations manager Mike Oakley said recent high winds had not hurt the fruit trees, although some windbreak trees, including redgum, pines and Japanese poplars, had been damaged.

Kirkwood grows cherries, apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums, pears and blueberries on more than 200 hectares.

It's the biggest supplier to Coles and Woolworths and its cherries are sold in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, India and Taiwan.

Mr Oakley said that in his business no crop was considered a success until the fruit was sold and money was in the bank, but all was well so far.

"Last year I went away and there was a hailstorm," Mr Oakley said.

"But the fruit set looks good.

"This year we have three new varieties of cherries."

Source: www.themercury.com.au

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