Apple orchards around here are busiest in the fall of course, but there is quite a bit of work to do in the spring. Traditional orchards need to be pruned, usually in earlier spring, and the new high density orchards need to be checked and if needed retied to be ready for those apples! A couple of weeks ago we went for drive past a few of those orchards; here's what we found.
In this orchard the last remaining rows of traditional apple trees were being cleared out, in preparation for a final transition to high density plantings.
That barn is not looking too good!
Right beside this were all the new rows, complete with a windmill for frosty nights.
These tiny trees appear to be twisted around the supports in places.
And a few rows have bird covers available, nets that are unrolled later in the summer. We're wondering if these rows might be cherry or plum trees rather than apple trees.
And at the end of that orchard came an area that is so new it doesn't have the apple trees yet, just all the stakes and supports to hold them when they are planted!
A short distance down the road is another orchard where a crew was out in the field tying up the trees. These younger trees appeared to have horizontal metal spacers for some purpose, and look how close together they are.
The rows are all set at predetermined spacing to fit the equipment that is driven down between to pick up the apples.
And all of these orchards have high densely-wired fencing that is deer-proof. So many up-front costs for such a long-term return.
I have seen a video of a machine that goes between the grapevines, and gathers up the netting so easily. Closer together than I would imagine, high density in orchards and housing too.ReplyDelete
They're not much like trees as most of us know them.ReplyDelete
I have been given to understand that the delicious Honeycrisp apples, which I adore, are difficult to maintain compared to many other varieties.
That's the new more efficient way to grow apples, but it's a shame to see the old trees go the way of the old barns.ReplyDelete
Your last sentence says it all. Not quite the traditional orchard we have come to know and pick from.ReplyDelete
This is an espalier method which is seen quite a bit in Europe. There are some very old espalier orchards in the UK too.ReplyDelete
Lots of time and work to be done for us to enjoy those apples. I thank the workers for their work.ReplyDelete
That is definitely a major investment. Since I love apples, I'm glad that somebody is doing this!ReplyDelete
Certainly not what I would have thought an orchard would look like. With all those trees so close together I'd have to wonder any fruit would ever be produced. Definitely an expensive process.ReplyDelete
Definitely not the orchards I grew up around. That shows what they call progress.ReplyDelete
Be Safe and Enjoy!
It's about time.
Looks like a lot of serious thought and expense have gone into those apple projects.ReplyDelete
It amazes me that trees planted so close together can be very productive but obviously it works.ReplyDelete
My cousin still does his orchard in the traditional way.ReplyDelete
Apples are such a precious fruit. They last so long in my fruit drawer in the fridge and still are edible fresh or make a great pie.ReplyDelete
we have several apple orchards in this area. we visit delicious orchard all the time, their orchard is huge!! interesting stuff, stuff i never thought about!! i love apples, probably because they are so sweet!!ReplyDelete
There is so much to do in spring. I love it.ReplyDelete