Full Bloom in the Almond Orchards
The bloom came on very fast this year but recently the weather has cooled and is now progressing normal. The trees will hold this level of bloom for a week or so as the new flowers open at about the same rate the pollinated ones drop. Towards the end of the bloom period the trees will slowly turn green and the last of the white flowers fall and the tree pushes out the leaves that will harvest the energy from the sun and pump it into the young almonds.
One potential problem on the horizon: as I write this, there is a hard freeze prognosticated for the area as an arctic air mass is expected to move into the region . Temperatures below 28 degrees Fahrenheit will freeze the pollen tube and it will shrivel, not allowing the flower to pollinate and it will fall to the ground instead of making an almond. Not good. A hard freeze is the biggest threat to the almond industry in California because of its potential to devastate the yield potential of affected orchards. Poor pollination can account for a 30% yield reduction but a freeze at the wrong time can cause 90%… easily.