It’s always interesting when we make a change to the orchard by removing some of the trees. We get questions like why, what are you building, or to the extreme… are you going out of business? But the answer is very basic. All moves are part of a long term plan!
Many have noticed the trees we have taken out along Long Hill Road in a block visible from the store parking lot. We took out Jona Mac, Ida Reds, Braeburns and Macouns. The Macouns like to grow more wood than apples so they needed to eventually come out. The Ida Reds and Jona Macs were older strains of apples that have limited market desirability, so it was time for them as well. The Braeburns, although a crowd pleaser, were very weak due to the trees getting old. Think of it like spring cleaning where to make room for new and better “items,” you must weed out the old.
We are always assessing how the orchard is performing and what changes need to be made to keep the farm viable for decades to come. In that block we will be replanting Stayman, Fuji, Braeburn and perhaps some Granny Smith, an apple that will be new for us. We also took about an even bigger block up at our main orchards. This block will be replaced with a new planting of peaches and an early producing block of apples. Apples and peaches take three to four years to produce, so we always have to look ahead and plant varieties our customers want.