Research Findings and Impacts

Measuring stomatal conductance
Measuring stomatal conductance using a leaf porometer at Kearney

Whole-orchard recycling (WOR) is the on-site grinding or chipping of whole trees during orchard removal, and incorporation of the ground or chipped biomass into the topsoil prior to replanting. WOR could provide a sustainable method of tree removal that could enhance both air and soil quality. If widely adopted, WOR could also help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

UC-led research has identified significant advantages to WOR in increasing the health and productivity of the subsequent replanted orchard and soils while sequestering carbon, reducing GHG emissions, improving soil structure and increasing water use efficiency.

Some California growers have begun using WOR in their operations, and UC researchers are working toward understanding the benefits of this practice and how they may stack up against the costs of implementing WOR on a commercial scale.

Use the links below to explore recent research findings and impacts.