Early March Update: Nearly Wrapped up with Pruning

Photo of the orchard after pruning and stacking brush.

It has been a few weeks and a March update is due. Continued pruning took us through the entire month of February.  The weather was exceptionally good with the month’s temperatures as one of the warmest in local record keeping.  Pruning and cleanup are completed in the apple orchards and all looks good for spring bloom.  While pruning in the peach orchard continues, it is safe to say we are rounding third and heading for home in peach orchard pruning and cleanup.  It is always a great feeling of accomplishment when the pruning equipment is stored away for the season.  Really, looking forward to it.  

The extended periods of warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing in this area is causing some concern for orchardists.  Warm temperatures during the days AND during the nights push the trees to bud early.  With warmer ground temperatures the trees are inclined to naturally come out of dormancy.  Nature doesn’t go by the calendar but by climate factors.  After bud follows bloom and after bloom we really don’t want to see below freezing temperatures.  Below freezing temperatures damage the fruit bud and if the trees bloom early enough, and the cold comes late enough, the fruit developing on the tree is destroyed or damaged.  This unusual and unpredictable weather is statewide.  Since our business is so weather dependent, it’s obvious why all growers are feeling somewhat uneasy.   It is just too early to expect temperatures to not drop below that freezing mark.

Many of our older trees are losing limbs and productivity. Part of the decline of a 30+ year orchard.

We are receiving positive feedback from the planting of the new orchard.  The trees continue to develop and the trellising has been completed.  A fertilization program is being formulated.  This is an important year for applying proper nutrients into the soil to promote sustainable growth.

An interesting fact that I recently read.  It takes one liter of water to produce one calorie of food.  Something for all of us to ponder.  So using this fact, consider how many gallons of water are required to produce that apple you put in your child’s lunchbox or the one you grab as a midday snack.  With that in mind,  that 3 inches of rain we had last week was received with a little more appreciation.  


About Patty Doll

Owner, operator, picker, seller, customer service, and grass mower for Doll's Orchard, LLC.
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