Hail Damage from Last Week’s Storm

Photo 1: Hail damage to a mature orchard.
Almonds and leaves litter the floor.

I have had a few questions about what to expect from the hail damage experienced during last week’s thunderstorm. I have included a lot of photos as this is, thankfully, a rare event. Crop and leaf loss on mature trees was experienced (Photo 1), and delayed drop of damage nuts should be expected. Nuts that are damaged but do not fall may have kernel darkening at the spot of impact (Photo 2). This may become relevant at harvest grading. If crop loss has occurred on your farm, please contact the local ag commissioner’s office and inform them of the damage for their reports.

Photo 2. Hail damage on a developing almond.
The sunken spot indicates the point of impact. 

Significant damage has been experienced in young trees as well (Photo 3). Trees that have experienced broken branches and tattered leaves should push out new growth. If the growth point of the branch was broken, the bud below the injury should push creating a fork (Photo 4,5). These may, although unlikely, present problems when selecting scaffolds at the end of the first growing year. Consider removing the branches in-season if a bad angle is being developed by a newly pushed scaffold.

Photo 3. Damage to a young almond tree.
Photo Courtesy of Stephen Boone.

Photo 4. Damaged shoot top from hail on first leaf
almond. Branch should push new growth
from below the damaged area.
Photo Courtesy of Stephen Boone.
Photo 5. Damaged shoot on a first year almond
tree. A new branch will push that
may create problems at pruning.
Photo Courtesy of Stephen Boone.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *