Nic Hansen is a 4th generation orchardist. Nic’s father Les Hansen, grandfather Harold Hansen and great grandfather Carl Hansen have all grown apples in the Tasman Peninsula district of Tasmania since 1896. This original apple orchard was of some 170 acres. This apple orchard was sited in an area of yearly rainfall of 45", (simply not conducive to minimised risk cherry growing!). This orchard ceased trading in the late 1990’s.
In 1996 Nic planted the first 1 hectare trial block of cherries at Old Beach approximately 1 km from the present orchard site. Many varieties were planted and trialled for a period of 6 years before selecting the present site for a commercial cherry orchard.
During this period of time, Nic undertook extensive in depth analysis of which sites in Southern Tasmania would be suited to intensive cherry production.
The results led Nic to select establish Cherries Tasmania Orchards in its present location. The first Cherry trees were planted in 2003 The orchard is sited at Old Beach, Tasmania approximately 20 minutes drive North East of the capital city Hobart.
The operation covers a total area of 110 hectares (260 acres) Of this area over 100,000 trees are planted and occupy a planted area of approximately 80 hectares (200 acres) Tree planting spacing is at 4.3mtr row centres at 2.0mtrs apart and recently more intensive plantings at 3.0mtr row centres x 1.0mtr apart have been added.
At Cherries Tasmania we strongly believe in soil health. Before planting any cherry trees we always grow an extensive cover crop of grasses over periods of time. These cover crops are continually worked back into the soil to raise organic matter and humus levels.