Almond Matters: Orchard Planting Considerations

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In today’s Almond Matters, brought to you by Valent, orchard planting requires a significant amount of work and preparation before the trees are ever physically put into the ground.  Considerations typically begin about a year in advance of planting to ensure the variety that is desired will be available and allow enough time to perform the necessary soil preparations.  Once the ground is ready for planting there are a number of actions that can assist young trees in reaching their full potential.

Orchard Planting“Putting some type of inoculum on the roots to help the roots get off to a good start, a mycorrhizal type product,” said Field Market Development Specialist for Valent USA Todd Burkdoll.  “It works really effectively for enhancing root growth giving the tree a jumpstart for the first couple of years, effectively mining the soil better for nutrition and for water.”

Once the actual orchard planting is finished there are steps that can be taken to give the new trees the best chance for successful growth.  “After those trees are in you want to go through and put some type of herbicide down, preemergent herbicide to keep the weeds from coming up, from competing with those trees,” Burkdoll noted.  “There’s a lot of different combinations out there, typically you want something that is safe that’s not going to damage the tree.”

The recent storm systems that have come through much of the state may delay some growers from getting their planting done, but Burkdoll noted there will still be ample time to get trees into the ground.  “If the fields not ready they can hold [the trees] in cold storage.  I’ve seen fields go in as late as the middle of May,” said Burkdoll.  “It’s better to do it when the time is right when the field is ready to receive the trees rather than when you call the shot to have it done.”