The effects of the extended bloom can be seen in all orchards. The tonnage still looks to be only about 60% of last year’s number. Still waiting to see how much fruit the trees will drop; the hope is that most will stick. There have not been any reports of hail damage. The forecasted warmer weather should be ideal for growth.
The Oregon and Washington cherry orchards are still blooming with the earliest orchards in Washington at shuck split. The weather has been very windy, cool and wet for the earliest orchards. Cherries like mild weather, so there is still hope that the bees will get the trees pollinated. We have had short windows of bee activity on most days despite the wind, cool temps and rain. There are many orchards coming into bloom with improved weather. Both The Dalles and Salem are showing a lot of bloom with nice weather forecasted for the next few days. The early orchards may be light due to the lack of pollination, while the mid to late season orchards will see better pollination weather.
A few orchards were hit by the hail last week; damage is being assessed. Most of the trees are finally done blooming. Growers say that this is the longest staggered bloom they have seen. Fruit is starting to set. Mixed maturity can be seen throughout all orchards due to the staggered bloom.
Official bunch counts came in at 21 in Bakersfield, which is lower than last year’s numbers. The lower bunch count will hopefully contribute to an increase in berry size. Madera bunches are looking good and preliminary bunch counts should be in soon.
Plants continue to mature as expected and are looking good.
Transplanting continues and plants are progressing nicely.
Transplanting is moving along despite the brief rain and hail we had last week. Growers are back to preparing the ground for planting and continued transplanting. Plant growth should really take off with the recent warm weather.
Later blooming varieties such as Stanislaus are still pushing out of their jackets. Some of the smaller fruit is starting to drop. No frost or hail damage from the storm has been reported.
A few orchards have visible damage from the hail last week. Mixed maturity continues to be a concern, but we are still waiting for drop to occur.
Growers are tying trees and mowing orchards. The north received some slushy hail last week. There are no reports of damage to the peach crop.
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