Friday, March 25, 2011

Storms topple California almond trees


The past week's storms knocked down almond trees in Tehama County and elsewhere. Almond industry and UC Cooperative Extension experts say about 1 to 2 percent of older almond trees were blown over by strong winds, mostly during last weekend's gusts that approached 60 mph.

The photo above is of Rick Buchner, a UCCE farm advisor in Red Bluff, surveying a row of downed trees in an orchard near Gerber. Below, a driver thinks the better of trying to pass through water that flooded out Flores Avenue near Gerber.

Among the state's orchard crops, almond trees are probably the most vulnerable to winds because they leaf up sooner than plum or walnut trees. Older trees are all the more vulnerable because they're bigger and because root decay can undermine their grasp of the ground.

I'll have a full report on how this month's cold and wet weather has affected crop development in next week's Capital Press.

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