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January orchard update from Eastern Washington

Halfway through winter, Dave Gleason, Chief Horticulturist, and the farm team are prepping for the 2018 apple crop. This time of year our farm team is busy pruning and shaping the trees and limbs, selecting which buds will become fruit.

Gleason discusses the math of pruning and how many cuts each tree needs to grow the right sized fruit. “For each tree, we may want 100-150 apples per tree; bigger trees 350-400 apples. We try to leave them in the perfect place for ample size, shape and sun exposure,” describes Gleason.  

By using modern technology such as platforms, Superfresh Growers said they are able to increase efficiency and worker safety. “In the past with ladders, there was a limited number of people who had ladder skills to do it safely. With platforms, we are in a much better situation. The work goes by them, they are able to do a more careful job and look at the details. We are looking at how to separate buds, which buds we want to leave, and which ones we want to take. Each bud has five to seven apples in it, so we easily could have way too many apples,” explains Gleason. Gleason finishes his reflection of the month by looking to the spring. “I’m looking forward to a nice warm spring, and a full bloom period where the aroma in the blocks is of the flowers.”

For more information:
Catherine Gipe-Stewart
Domex Superfresh Growers
+1 (509) 654-7465

Publication date: 2/5/2018


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