Giving retired almond trees a second life

Repurposing almond trees into building products

As responsible stewards of the environment, we believe it’s important to make good use of our almond trees even after they stop yielding nuts, part of the life cycle that begins to happen at around 25 years. At that point, we repurpose the almond wood chips into building products. The practice reduces greenhouse gas emissions by allowing the almond wood to be recycled into a useful building product that sequesters carbon for many years to come. 

Another approach to repurposing retired almond trees is what’s called whole-orchard recycling (WOR). It involves on-site grinding or chipping of whole trees during orchard removal and re-incorporating the chips or grindings into the topsoil before replanting.

WOR improves soil health by providing better water-holding capacity; better soil aggregation; lower soil compaction; more carbon, nitrogen, and organic matter in the soil; and more soil biological activity. It also improves tree growth and boosts yields.

Further, the practice provides environmental benefits such as carbon sequestration in the soil compared to alternative disposal methods such as burning or surface mulching. Learn more by visiting the UC Davis Grower’s Guide to WOR:

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