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Orchard visit

Posted by Josh Klatt 
Orchard visit
May 02, 2016 03:19PM
Had a sad visit to a local orchard the other day. It’s a brand new cider orchard, all planted within just the last year. There were freshly cut carcasses of big 100+y.o. hardwood trees lying around next to huuuuge stumps that they yanked out of the ground to plant apple trees. I love apple trees ! but why would you dig up such an old, cool tree just to plant another harrison on 106 ?

Emotion aside, wouldn’t those established mycorrhizal networks be a benefit to the orchard’s health that far outweighs the downsides (less yield, fewer trees, less fruit, less profit) ? Why not leave at least 10% of them intact for that purpose ?

Josh Klatt
Ohio River Valley
Zone 6b
Re: Orchard visit
May 09, 2016 10:18PM
Agreed, leaving those venerable trees in place would have indeed enhanced the symbiosis of the orchard location.

Honestly, I would be hard pressed to ever clear cut a forest of oaks and other hardwood trees of such centurion stature to plant any apple tree, orchard or otherwise, period. . . and I am an apple addict. . . . find another spot folks.

The visual I had when reading your post was all about the surge in money making people are rushing towards with any given Ag commodity and nothing to do with healthy balance and biodiversity therein.

I am sad along with you Josh

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
Re: Orchard visit
February 20, 2017 11:33PM
How sad and what a waste. I am in the process of top working a few very old trees for a friend, to more interesting and tasty varieties that do better in our area than the existing yellow delicious (mealy and bland in our climate). The amount of growth the new grafts produced the first season can only be attributed to the old established root system. Unless there were disease issues in the old trees, I would not pull them out either.

VistaRidge orchard, Quilcene, WA zone 8a est. 2012
235 Cider and heritage apple trees, 72 varieties,
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