Thursday, 16 December 2010 15:55

Yard Bareroot Processing in Fog

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Perfect Tree Weather


Forklift in Processing Yard in Mid Morning Fog (9:30 AM)

Fog.  It can be depressing and cold for workers (or people in general) but the bareroot trees love it  This Central Valley of California is famous for its Tule fog from late November through mid January if we have any rain soaked ground to fuel it. Today we have fog big time although weatherman predicts a week of rain starting tomorrow with hints of needing Noah's Ark.  No risk of drying out the roots!

It is the fog that helps makes this Valley one of the richest agricultural regions in the world.  It is the fog that creates all the great chilling hours that fruit trees need and also holds back the night time freezes.

For example, a fog free 24 hours will typically see 24-26ºF at night but warm quickly to a sunny 70ºF in the day.  Many of the chilling hours are offset by the heat of the afternoon.  But a foggy 24 hours will have lows in the 33-35ºF and highs in the 36-38ºF.  Combine 20-30 days of fog during the winter and the chilling hours below 45ºF really add up.  Simply stated, we can grow almost anything deciduous here which is why so much of the country's edible fruits and nuts are harvested in our back yard.



Woman Employee Grading & Caliper Sizing Trees


I thought it might be interesting for you to see the efforts our employees put into providing quality trees in a timely manner.  Timely in the sense that they all work in winter-like conditions to get the trees out to you starting in early January.  Here you see one of the grading crews sorting the trees between the "keepers" and the trash pile and then measuring the caliper before placing them in the appropriate size pile.

Over the years we have found more and more women in our work force as we automated some of the haevier tasks like digging and tying.  They have proven to be excellent and efficient graders.



Grading is not necessarily light work.  Handle thousands of trees each day and I'll bet you sleep well at night.


We have 7 large grading/tying/labeling areas plus we can use the covered shipping dock to keep a small portion of the crews dry in incliment weather.


Shipping dock can be used as a grading/tying area in the rain.

Fortunately we do not normally have a lot of rain in December and fog is not much of an inconvenience unless you are driving.  Someday we hope to rig or build structures to keep the rain off a larger portion of the processing yard.

Big week of storms start tomorrow - hope the weatherman is wrong about 3-6 inches of rain in the week ahead.  That would be 1/3 to 2/3 of the annual 9+" of rain.  This flat valley would be saturated and digging trees a muddy mess.  More to come.

Ron Ludekens 12-16-2010