Apr. 12, 2018

Orchard Update with Dave Gleason: Episode 41

A modern cherry orchard above Naches, WA.

The Superfresh Growers® farm team is celebrating spring! Honey bees have finished pollinating our apricot orchards and moved on to early-district cherry orchards. Snow continues to fall in the mountains, which helps store water that will be used to irrigate orchards in the summer months.

2018 is a big planting year for Cosmic Crisp® apple, as Superfresh Growers continues to prep for the 2020 consumer introduction of this delicious apple. Years of planning goes into designing modern orchard systems, which take advantage of the latest technology and machinery for optimizing the efficiency and safety of orchard work. “The amount of detail is incredible,” describes Dave Gleason, Chief Horticulturist. “From checking how many inches and acres are in an orchard block, to accounting for surrounding roads and barriers.” The farm team also plans the most efficient systems for tractor and truck movement within the orchards.

Cosmic Crisp trees waiting to be planted in fresh soil.

Baby trees are dug in the fall, and put to sleep through the winter months in a cold, moist climate. In the summer months, the farm team awakens them by bringing them into a warm environment. The real magic happens once the trees are planted in warm, damp soil. Trees that look like dead sticks quickly come to life and start to bloom.

Following the planting, poles and wires are installed to support the baby trees. Irrigation lines are installed afterwards to ensure proper application of water and nutrients. The trees in our video will mostly likely be harvested on their third leaf, in 2021.

For more information on Superfresh Growers growing practices and see past Orchard Updates, visit superfreshgrowers.com. 

A freshly planted Cosmic Crisp tree in a new Superfresh Growers orchard