HRT309 Tropical and Subtropical Horticultural Crop Management (8)

This subject covers the principles of growing plants that are adapted to both tropical and subtropical climates.  It includes crops which must flower before they produce fruits and nuts, as well as beverage crops, such as tea, coffee and cocoa. HRT309 focuses on the production of horticultural crops of tropical and subtropical origin. The subject uses CITRUS (Citrus spp), as a case study crop, to provide an overview of the botany, propagation, cultivation and production of crops grown in these climatic regions.  In addition, students are required to study several other tropical and subtropical crops from a list provided or negotiated with the subject coordinator.  For assessments, students must identify and study their own individual crops, to be studied in a depth similar to that supplied for citrus and other crops studied in the subject.  The subject investigates the various climatic zones of the world, with emphasis on tropical and subtropical climates, and climatic requirements of crops adapted to these regions.  For all crops studied, students must study the industry, including supply chain and economic importance; world and Australian production; peak industry bodies; industry programs; areas of priority and activity within individual industries.  Three main crops that are architecturally, climatically and managerially different are compared: avocado, banana and mango.  In studying the model crops and chosen crops for assignments, students will investigate the botany; propagation; control of growth and alternate bearing.  This subject does focus significantly on pollination and fruit set; fruit development and quality.  Critical issues of study include harvesting and postharvest handling.  As with most crops, students will study the growing of these crops including: soils; plant establishment; cropping systems; orchard layout; tree management - pruning and training; nutrition; water management; managing plants in marginal climates.  Plant improvement is given some consideration.  In addition to the case study crop, Citrus, students study in detail three unique crops: Avocado, Banana and Mango, and thier own chosen crops for assessment items.  There is a three day residential school.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2018.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Students who have completed HRT222 cannot enrol into this subject

Assumed Knowledge

It is assumed that students have a basic knowledge of botany, by having studied Botany (PSC102/BIO102) or Plants in Agriculture (AGR156) or equivalents, and plant physiology, by having studied Horticultural Science (HRT234) or Plant Physiology (PSC215) or equivalents.

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to understand fully, the requirements in setting up a tropical or subtropical horticultural crop enterprise
  • be able to accurately describe the supply chain of horticultural crops, including world and Australian production; peak industry bodies; industry programs; areas of priority and activity within individual industries
  • be able to accurately describe a wide range of tropical and subtropical horticultural crops, including fruit, nut and beverage crops
  • be able to define the various climatic regions of the world, with emphasis on tropical and subtropical climatic characteristics
  • be able to classify soil types, characteristics, potential and limitations of soils in the tropics and subtropics
  • be able to explain and distinguish between various architectural models of these crops, including differences in branching and growth patterns, and flowering strategies
  • be able to develop a management system for chosen crops on: cropping systems; planting materials; propagation; nursery tree management; site selection, preparation and drainage; planting, spacing and orchard establishment
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the principles of tree management, including pruning and training in a range of tropical and subtropical horticultural crops
  • be able to develop a management plan for all other orchard practices, including wind breaks, intercropping, pest barriers, orchard floor management and weed control, fertilization and irrigation practices
  • be able to describe how to manage the flowering and development of fruit and nut crops
  • be able to explain how to balance vegetative and reproductive growth in fruit and nut crops
  • be able to accurately assess the maturity of a range of fruit and nut crops
  • understand horticultural traits for these crops and develop an understanding of breeding objectives, genetic resources and techniques of breeding in a range of tropical and subtropical horticultural crops.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • introduction to tropical and subtropical crops, including disciplines, history and origins, climatic aspects, nutritional values, potential for these crops
  • case study of setting up a citrus enterprise
  • supply chain of horticultural crops
  • climate
  • soils
  • the industry
  • form and function - tree architecture
  • growing in the tropics
  • yield optimization
  • harvest and postharvest
  • plant improvement
  • three main crops: avocado, banana, mango
  • other popular crops

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.

The residential school for this subject will be organised as a tour of tropical and or sub tropical producing regions. The tour will offer a range of activities including nursery and orchard visits, practicals and seminal lectures given by professionals.

Special Resources

The residential school is a study tour. Accommodation and transport are arranged, although students must pay for accommodation and meals.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.