Autumn trimming at Yokota Tea Farm

November 13, 2014

yokota-autumn-trim_141113We experienced abundant rainfall from summer to autumn this year so the tea leaves grew very thick. For this reason, instead of doing the trimming at once, we decided to roughly cut the tree first and then trim them into shape. Depending on the amount of sunshine after trimming, the sun could damage the tea tree; to avoid this, we trimmed the tea tree in two-steps.

After the autumn trimming is done, a tea tree prepares for the next bud (winter bud) that will become the ichiban-cha (the first harvest tea) in the following year.
The best timing to perform this is in the early stage after the buds stops reproducing, and at an average temperature of 18-19 degrees C.
The tree should be trimmed where the new leaves grew between summer and autumn became coarse. Determined amount of leaf (more than 8 cm of leaf layer) must be maintained, in addition to a consistent plucking surface.

The lower (deeper) the trimming position is, the narrower the internode is so the new bud in the following year will increase; the higher (shallower), the more space in internode so the new buds decrease.

It is said that for ichiban-cha (first flush tea), only few new buds grow within the range of 3 cm from tea stock surface (trimmed surface). Even if the buds grow, it will not reach the blade of the machine at harvesting. On the other hand, if the tree is trimmed where the internode is wide the amount of new buds decrease, leading to a decrease in the income generated by the tea. And again, if trimmed too low the leaf layer cannot be maintained.

Therefore, the trimming process during this period becomes very important.

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