Thursday, 20 October 2011 14:30

Budwood/Scionwood Sales

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Question: Do you sell apple scionwood?
If yes, is there a list of the varieties available?

Answer: Short Answer - Depends.  We sell budwood and scionwood from our extensive orchards if it makes sense as a business.  In other words it should make some profit and not provide proprietary wood to entities not licensed to grow it.  Minimum of 500 buds to even think about it.


Long Answer:

Here is the process required to process a budwood/scionwood request:

1)Qualify request and take order:

Manager - usually me - takes the call and determines if the request is something we can or want to handle.

- Is the order worth the effort (see rest of this discussion)

- Is the variety restricted by license (patented) - if so, does the buyer have a license to grow it?

- Is the buyer a competitor?  We do sell to competitors because in this industry we usually help each other out.  After all, weather or other events beyond our control can affect our own source of budwood supply.  But if the competitor does not already grow and sell the variety and that variety is important to us, I may not sell the variety if it puts them in direct competition with us.  No need to make it easier for them.

- Do we have enough buds - after we cut our own.  Sometimes a large request comes before our own is cut and not easy to answer.  Sometimes a large request comes after we have cut and still not an easy answer.  It could entail a visit to all the trees and see how much vigor and wood is available.  This can take some extra time.

- Write up the order and make copies for order invoicing and the production manager/bud cutters

2) Production manager

- Looks up which trees to cut the buds from

- Finds the employees to do the work.  If we are not in bud cutting mode for ourselves, this requires pulling people from their crews, getting transportation and coordinating timing.

- - finds the bud cutters who cut the limbs from the trees

- - finds the de-leafers.

3) Bud cutters grab a vehicle and drive to the appropriate orchard(s) and the appropriate tree(s).  We have in the neighborhood of 25,000 trees/shrubs/vines in the orchards.  Taking ladders where necessary and labels and markers.

4) Cut branches are taken to de-leafers (or bud cutters do it themselves) who trim off the leaves, wrap, label and package the bud/scion sticks.  Wrapped bundles are taken to cold storage at the office for tomorrow's shipping (1/2 mile away from where buds are prepared).

5) We like to have the wood sit in cold storage overnight before air shipping late the next day.

6) Next day the UPS/FEDEX shipment is boxed, labeled, weighed and shipped by workers at the office.

7) Customer is invoiced and, if appropriate, credit card charged.  Invoices mailed.  Bookkeeping posts to account.

8) If charge account, I hope paid on time so we don't generate statements to mail and collect later.

As you can see, we are talking $50-100 in overhead people costs before the buds are actually cut plus cutting and packaging labor and shipping materials.  So the order needs to be significant enough to justify the whole process.


Ron Ludekens 10-20-2011