|2014 Kanza crop|
In looking over the records for this block of trees, it is interesting to see the impact of below-average rainfall on tree performance. During the years 2011, 2012, and the first half of 2013 the trees suffered from serious water shortages. Drought conditions impacted tree grow rate, nut weight, and yield. In 2013, mid-summer rains helped to increase nut size but yield had already been impacted by the previous season's drought. You see, each spring's pistillate flower production is largely determined by growing conditions during the nut filling period the previous summer.
|Cracked Kanza nuts, 2014|
Over the years, we have progressively thinned this Kanza block as trees begin to crowd. The thinning plan for this orchard and our tree removal progress has been posted to this blog. When planted, this block of trees contained 144 trees spaced 30 feet by 30 feet. So far we have removed 17 trees but the thinning plan calls for the eventual removal of 72 trees in total (resulting in a 42 ft. x 42 ft. spacing). However, by taking a thin as needed approach to tree thinning, we have maintained total block yield despite experiencing problems with drought.