Vol 117 (2004): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society

Tree shaping and grove design to enhance performance of citrus mechanical harvesting

Fritz M. Roka
University of Florida
Published December 1, 2004
  • removal,
  • recovery,
  • skirt,
  • clear trunk,
  • trunk shaker,
  • canopy shaker,
  • efficiency,
  • production
  • ...More


UF/IFAS personnel have been collecting performance data on citrus mechanical harvesting systems since the 1999-00 season. In addition, data were collected on tree characteristics including skirt and clear trunk heights. Working in typical southwest Florida grove conditions, trunk shakers and continuous canopy shakers with catch frames remove 95% and recover 90% of the on-tree fruit. Removal and recovery rates are dependent upon adequate tree preparation. Current recommendations for citrus mechanical harvesting systems with catch frames suggest that trees be skirted to a height of 36 inches at the drip line and lower scaffold limbs pruned for at least 18 inches of clear trunk height. This paper presents data that indicate how removal and recovery percentages are affected by skirt and clear trunk heights.