Highlighting the Benefits of Whole Orchard Recycling on California Clean Air Day

(Oct. 6, 2021) – On Clean Air Day here in Calif. we highlight the benefits of our Whole Orchard Recycling (WOR) service, removing old, unproductive orchards and grinding the trees – rather than burning the material – for soil incorporation.

This zero-waste alternative to open burning not only helps keep our air clean, but improves soil health and aids in carbon sequestration. It can also help improve production in tandem with the right amendment/nutrients plan.

A decade-long study by the UC Cooperative Extension concluded that orchards undergoing WOR far outperform “burned” orchards planted without woodchip reincorporation, in nearly every measure of soil health, crop performance and carbon sequestration.

Today, growers can also take advantage of grants from the CDFA and Air Pollution Control District, incentivizing operations to adopt orchard recycling practices, which, according to the study, led to:

  • Higher yields and substantial improvement in soil functioning, including nutrient content, aggregation, porosity, and water retention.
  • Increased levels of C in the topsoil (+5 t ha-1) compared to burning.
  • An increase in irrigation water use efficiency.
  • Improved soil and tree water status under stress.


All of which, the study concluded, showed recycling should be “considered as a climate smart practice in California irrigated almond systems.”

Contact us today to more about Holloway’s Whole Orchard Recycling and our other Grave-to-Cradle services at: Grave-to-Cradle.com

And you can read a full peer-reviewed paper on the study, “Orchard recycling improves climate change adaptation and mitigation potential of almond production systems,” here.

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