At the recent San Joaquin Valley Almond Symposium in the Fresno County town of Kerman, one speaker was Roger Duncan, a UC Cooperative Extension Farmer Advisor from Stanislaus County. Duncan talked about the very important training phase in Almond Tree structuring.
“It’s during the first one or two maybe three years and this is when we select the scaffolds in order to build the structure of the tree and make sure that we don’t have branches that break later in the life or are in the way of other operations.” said Duncan.
Main branches coming from the trunk of the tree are known as “scaffolds”.
“When we select scaffolds we want to make sure that they are staggered up and down the tree as well around the tree. Also want to choose scaffolds that are not too flat and not too vertical, Essentially we want to have good attachment so that we have good solid architecture of the tree.” said Duncan.
Duncan talks about a common mistake made by growers.
“I think probably the biggest mistake that growers make when their select scaffolds they like to choose the largest scaffolds which typically are right at the top of the tree, the problem is if we have all the scaffolds originating from the same vertical plane then they are very weak. So we eventually those scaffolds will split. We just have to make sure we stagger those scaffold up and down the tree as well as all away around.”