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Sticks, leaves and dirt...OH MY!

Almonds are harvested off a tree, where we shake them on the ground. Then they are swept into rows and picked up. Sounds like a fairly easy and simply process but there are a lot of moving parts with several steps and processes along the way.


If you start with shaking a tree, the vibrations don't just knock the almonds off the tree but of course any loose sticks or leaves will also fall too. This could cause a problem when it comes to sweeping the nuts. The sticks could get caught in the sweeper brushes and maybe even get caught up in the irrigation hoses.


Once the nuts are in the rows and the harvester is set to run through to pick up the almonds, those sticks could be troublesome again. The harvester will generally have to run at a slower speed through the field as to allow for the sticks to not get caught up in the series of belts that carry the almonds up. When the harvester empties the almonds into the shuttle cart and further on the elevator, sticks can clog up belts and c…

Sealing an Almond Tree

After almond harvest and when the trees have gone dormant, we put our doctor hats on to see if we have any sick trees that need mending. Winter is a great time to repair any trees and general maintenance around the farm.

When almonds are too green, the almonds aren't dried enough to shake off the tree with ease. The almonds will hold on to the tree branches because there hasn't been enough moisture released. Some trees may be younger than the majority of the orchard causing them to mature differently and not be as ready for harvest when the rest of the field is.

When either one of these happens the shaker operator may have to shake the tree longer than expected to get all the almonds off. This may cause the bark to loosen and fall off exposing the trunk of the tree. If the trunk of the tree has too much moisture the bark will loosen making it easier to fall off as well.

The bark falling off reduces the amount of water and nutrients flowing through the tree. The trunk is the heart of the tree and needs all its bark to carry these valuable resources to the rest of the tree. The bark falling off is similar to a burn on your arm from rubbing it too long. We put a tree seal on the open wound just as you would put cream or a band-aid on your hurt arm. The tree seal helps the almond tree to seal itself and helps reduce insects and diseases from damaging the tree and allows the bark to grow back.

Until Next Time,
Almond Girl

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