We're back and ready for all that this new year has to offer. The chestnut trees are looking good and we are starting to work on the fields. This year we will try to get on top of the weeds before they choke out everything in their path. There seems to be a shortage of 10-10-10, so we're checking some other fertilizer options.
There has not been much loss of trees over the winter. The main problem has been the wind storms that cause the bamboo in the tree tubes to break and knock over the trees. That has an easy fix, just replacing the bamboo with rebar. The other problem is how the tube ties are breaking due to weather exposure. When the wind comes through, the ties are broken, leaving the rebar standing and the tree on the ground. Other than that, the majority of trees have exceeded the tree tube in growth (5 ft) and we are now hoping for a good number of those trees to produce chestnuts this year.
The other focus this year will be irrigation. In order to have a quality chestnut, it is necessary to insure that the trees have the correct amount of water. So we are working on the irrigation system in preparation for a dry summer.
That's all for now. If you have any suggestions on weed control, fertilizer or irrigation, let us know your thoughts. And as the leaves appear on the trees, we'll have more photos.