In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, the warmer temperatures that are in the forecast have some growers taking precautions in the event of a flash bloom this year. Too many trees blooming simultaneously can overwork bees in getting to the flowers while the stigma is still viable, which can limit nut set.
“If everything blooms quickly and at once you’ve got basically a shortened period of pollination,” said Todd Burkdoll, Field Market Development Specialist for Valent USA. “A flash bloom would shorten that period and typically you wouldn’t have the flower viability over a longer period of time, especially if it gets real higher temperatures, the flowers tend to shrivel up pretty quickly. The stigma dries up and is no longer receptive.”
After the recent cold front that swept through California, daytime temperatures for much of the state are expected to hit the upper 60’s this week. Extended periods of warm temperatures could accelerate bloom and make it difficult for bees to effectively pollinate flowers.
“If we do have high temperatures really come on quick and everything flashes you have a short period of bloom and typically it can affect set. It can be not as good as it could be,” said Burkdoll. “Again, the longer the period of pollination the more bee activity you can have, the better off you are for enhancing fruit set.”
To help extend the bloom period and keep the flowers viable for pollination longer, many growers utilize a plant growth regulator to slow the production of ethylene in the trees. Keeping trees viable for pollination longer can help increase the chance of a stronger nut set.
“If you do have a flash bloom and you’re anticipating it, and if you can get across the field in a timely fashion to get ReTain on there; as a plant growth regulator, ReTain’s a very powerful tool to retard ethylene production and at the same time keep that flower viable longer,” Burkdoll noted.
Listen to the segment below.