05.07.2021

In November 2020 Pacific Ag Management removed 410 acres of old almonds on our Greeley Ranch that had reached the end of their productive life. In the fall of 2021 we will be re-planting new almond trees to start the cycle all over. When we remove old trees, we need to make a decision; what do we do with the thousands of old trees? In the past, the best options for removing and disposing of the old trees in California were to burn them in the field, or to send the trees to biomass power generation plants. However, air quality regulations have made burning permits increasingly difficult and expensive for growers to obtain. And since 2015, because of falling natural gas prices and other factors, a large number of California’s biomass power generation plants have closed. As a result, growers have few options for disposing of their old almond trees and the Almond Board of California estimates that thirty to forty thousand acres of old almond orchards will be removed annually over the next decade. A relatively new option is gaining momentum in California, it is a technique called Whole Orchard Recycling (WOR). WOR is the on-site grinding or chipping of whole trees during orchard removal, and incorporation of the ground or chipped biomass into the topsoil prior to replanting. Pacific Ag Management has been using WOR for several re-developments to date and is committed to using WOR on all of our future orchard re-developments to help provide a sustainable method of tree removal that enhances both air and soil quality.