Trees splitting under heavy Ore. peach crop

Trees splitting under heavy Ore. peach crop

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by Keely Chalmers, KGW reporter

kgw.com

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 31 at 8:52 PM

SAUVIE ISLAND, Ore. – An overly abundant peach season has sent some Oregon growers scrambling to save their crops.

That’s because many of their trees have been breaking under the weight of the extra peaches.

Douglas Farm is one of the oldest family-operated farms on Sauvie Island. But even with all their years of experience, they have never faced a challenge like this before. Many of their peach trees have been splitting and branches snapping off.

“Right here you have a prime example of where we have gone through and staked the trees and that clearly still isn't helping,” Megan Hoffart said as she walked through the family orchard. “It’s just too much fruit on the trees.”

An especially warm spring and lack of frost brought on the bumper peach crop.

Farmers have been scrambling to save what they can now, by thinning out the peaches. It’s a technique they commonly use once a year at Douglas Farm, but were already forced to do three times this season.

Douglas Farm has also been encouraging people to come out and pick the fresh peaches, so they don’t go to waste. They said one silver lining is that peaches on the damaged trees actually turn out sweeter than a normal crop.

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