Improving Production Efficiency
A decade of Almond Board-funded research continues to challenge once-held assumptions about almond pruning and tree spacing and their impacts on efficient almond production.
UCCE Farm Advisor Roger Duncan, Stanislaus County, says that based on what he has learned through his own trials and additional research, the goal in designing an orchard should be to maximize light interception through pruning, training and spacing to optimize yield without causing problems.
Duncan’s ongoing 37-acre Stanislaus County trial confirms past research in almond growing regions throughout California: There are many reasons to prune an almond orchard, but yield does not appear to be one of them. The trial has also confirmed that traditional tree spacing of 22 feet by 22 feet or more is too much to intercept the light necessary to optimize per-acre production in the orchard.
These documents provide 2011 season results and detailed data from this trial.
Almond Growers Get New Pruning, Tree Spacing Guidelines
Tree Spacing Considerations for Efficient Almond Production (June1, 2012 field day presentation)
Integration of Tree Density and Minimal Pruning for Effiecient Almond Production (2011 Conference poster)