Planting A New Orchard

Before we'd finished our coffee last Wednesday, Thomas got a call that our new peach trees from the California nursery Sierra Gold were arriving a day early and that they'd already been dropped off at a farm a few miles away instead of the usual direct-to-farm delivery. Luckily the pallet and half we'd ordered fit on the flatbed of our Dodge pickup—just barely. 

Tree roots will die left dry and exposed to the air, so we needed to get them in the ground quickly. The crew suspended their blossom-thinning operations up in the sparse, 36-year-old block of Loring peaches and split into two planting teams of two. Thomas opened trenches with the John Deere and v-ditcher, pausing to dig out large rocks with the backhoe. I hosed down the roots to keep them from drying, shuttled trees out into the field and trimmed their roots while laying them out for the planting teams, who got the trees in the ground as fast as I could prepare them. In a day and a half of work, the two-acre field was planted with around 1,000 Angelus and JH Hale peach trees. 

Gwen Cameron, Deputy Cameron