Record breaking high temperatures have caused orchards to break out of dormancy quickly and accelerate the pace of bloom. Very few dormant buds remain in Nonpareil, Monterey, Carmel, and California type varieties. Most of the buds are pushing green with some pink tissue exposed. Actual open flowers are present but have not emerged in great numbers. The early blooming Sonora are averaging around 6% open flowers with the Colusa Country area the furthest ahead with 30% of Sonora buds open for pollination. The late blooming Butte and Padre are also beginning to wake up with less than half of their buds remaining dormant.
Temperatures ranged from the low to mid 40s, with regional patchy fog in the morning, giving way to highs in the mid 70s with clear skies and calm winds for the entire growing region. Bees were able to work all day on what few flowers were available for pollination.
Beekeepers are still working to place their remaining hives as warm weather accelerates bloom. Material for fungicide treatments has been ordered and growers are preparing their spray rigs for treatments to be made next week. Growers that shook their trees to remove mummy nuts are in the process of sweeping and grinding the old nuts to destroy Navel Orange Worm habitat.
We anticipate having data to report on bloom conditions in the Central and Southern part of the state beginning next week.
By Brian Noeller
Photos by Mel Machado, Matt Willson, KC Stone, Ernie Reichmuth, Christine Ivory and Dennis Meinberg