Author Archives: Joe Connell

Observations on Butte County Rootstock Trials

Over a dozen different rootstocks have been observed in various orchard situations with local growers in Butte County over the past twenty two years. The complete results of these trials can be found in past Annual Rootstock Project Reports to the Almond Board of California. The following article summarizes what the author believes are the most useful results and conclusions. Continue reading

When is Peach Twig Borer a Concern?

Peach twig borer (PTB) larvae damage new shoots and, if the timing of their generations is just right, can feed on almond kernels at hullsplit causing shallow surface groves on the kernel. Oriental fruit moth (OFM) damage looks similar and its best to monitor both pests with pheromone traps to determine if either of them have the potential for nut damage. Continue reading

Honeybees, Colony Strength, and Beekeeper Challenges

Always be aware of honey bees when they’re in your orchard to pollinate your crop. After all, you’re paying good money for the bees to do a critical job! You can go a long way toward protecting the health of honey bee colonies by avoiding contamination of pollen and pollen foragers and by avoiding products with potential toxicity to honey bees or their larvae while bees are in your orchard. This is good husbandry and it’s in the interest of both the grower and the beekeeper. Continue reading

Beware of Anthracnose!

Did you notice yellow, flagging almond branches this spring?

The anthracnose fungus overwinters in infected mummies left on the tree and in dead twigs or branches resulting from infections the previous year. This year’s infections start when spores are splash dispersed by rain to the bloom or to new nuts. If small nuts are infected, they shrivel and turn a rusty orange color. Later in the season, if hulls are infected when nuts are full size, hulls gum and begin to shrivel. Continue reading