Maine peach grower sees no fruit this year, but works towards future crops

Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 5:49 PM EDT
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ALBION, Maine (WABI) - With increased wind and rain, this year’s weather in Maine has been a challenge.

“Orcharding is an all year long kind of a thing and multiple multiyear thing and what you end up with is we have to maintain the orchards. Peaches are not a long-lived tree you have to be killing the cost to replace them. And so, you do a purchase a purchase, you know in the fall or in a summer to four pieces you’re gonna buy you’re gonna plant the following year,” said Gordon Kenyon, owner of the Locust Grove.

While some crops in Maine have done well this year, peaches suffered from weather conditions.

“Now we’ve had a lot of years when we’ve had 20 below weather, the trees have tolerated them because normally in a weather situation like that where it gets that cold normally it’s quiet. And in that case, you could have an inversion. Well, that didn’t happen that way. This year, we had a lot of wind with the cold weather. And so, we had we had a significant frost. What that frost did was it took out the leaf buds,” said Kenyon.

At the Locust Grove in Albion, no peaches were produced at all this season.

Although their peach crops turned up empty this year, that hasn’t stopped Kenyon and his team.

Instead of picking peaches this year, they’re working on prevention measures for the future, like irrigation straight to the roots of trees.

“We’re installing this system anyway because we had the equipment it’s all right here, we were going to be doing it this year and so we have crew that is working here has been working here all summer in spite of the fact that there’s no crop,” said Kenyon.

And already seeing growth on the horizon for next season, weather permitting.

“If you look at the trees, they mean one thing that hopefully you’ll notice is that they are in really good shape. As you can see down ahead of us some very much smaller trees, they were planted this spring and this summer in spite of the fact that we haven’t got a crop of peaches. For these, it has been extremely good for planting new trees,” said Kenyon.