Mar 16, 2021
Online resource for information on whole-orchard recycling shared

Whole-orchard recycling involves grinding whole trees into wood chips, spreading them evenly on the soil surface, then incorporating them into the soil before replanting.

Almond Orchard 2025 goals promote the use of innovative, responsible, and sustainable growing practices by finding high-value uses for orchard waste, including wood chips.

The Whole-orchard recycling (WOR) approach may offer a sustainable method of tree removal that could enhance both air and soil quality without compromising tree health, yield and economic benefits to growers. There are over 1.2 million acres of bearing almonds in California. Of these, over 88,000 acres are over 20 years old and soon to be removed and require disposal. A majority of these acres will be replanted to almonds in the coming years.

Restrictions on agricultural burning has decreased the number of permissive burn days, and most cogeneration plants are no longer accepting orchard waste. Tree fruit, nut, and vine growers, who wish to remove dead trees and unproductive old orchards, need alternative methods of orchard removal.

A majority of these acres will be replanted to almonds in the coming years. Follow this link or access the article here to find more information about the WOR process from termination of the previous orchard to replanting and caring for young almond trees.

Mae Culumber, Farm Advisor, UCCE Fresno County

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