Kiwifruit vines are not self-supporting; their size, vigor, longevity, and heavy crop load mean they need a strong, permanent support structure.

Two main types of support structures or trellises are used in commercial kiwifruit production: the T-bar and the pergola. A pergola provides a single plane of canopy about 6 feet above the ground. The T-bar trellis system consists of posts in rows with a cross arm at 6 feet high.

T-bars are less expensive to construct, less labor-intensive to manage, and better suited to bee pollination. However, pergolas may produce more yield per acre, and the fruit are less susceptible to wind damage. Also, once the full canopy is established in a pergola, the shade reduces weed growth.

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