Generally speaking, an orchard’s commercial life is about 20-25 years. As the orchard enters its 26th year, our trees are experiencing hardships in three specific ways:
- Disease impacts. Several varieties of fruit trees are disease resistant, but our trees, representing historic commercial varieties, are not. Many are suffering from diseases such as peach leaf curl and bacterial canker.
- Pest impacts. Our trees have been suffering from an unknown pest over the past several years, which is defoliating them and leaving them vulnerable to other pests and diseases. Additionally, our local ground squirrels are overpopulated. The squirrels are not only eating any fruit the trees bear, but their burrows are exposing tree roots (thus, drying out the trees), breaking irrigation lines and sprinkler heads, and generally being a hazard to volunteers and school children who have field trips in the orchard.
- Aged, inadequate irrigation. Our underground irrigation system is as old as the orchard itself. Due to breaks in the irrigation lines, many of our trees are experiencing drought-like conditions as not enough water is getting to them.