1 acre, 2000 trees, 0 losses
Intensive orchard production comes with its overheads, and one of the most predictable is loss. But when a grower used Carbon Gold’s Tree Soil Improver which is enriched biochar as planting aid in January 2018 at Priors Grove Orchards up to 20% fewer trees died this season than last!
Priors Grove, top organic fruit grower in Hereford has been planting new trees every year for over 70 years. With the constant use of their site, Phytophthora and Pythium are inevitable factors that cause some disease or other to all its bare-root pears, apples , cherries & plums to go down with it each season; however losses can be reduced by up to 20% if precautions against these pests are taken properly before hand.
They didn’t lose a single tree in their orchard due to the extreme UK weather conditions of 2018. What’s more, they had trees planted every 60cms and without irrigation – which is difficult for most people! When it came time to plant these pear roots with Carbon Gold biochar at 1kg per grafting (and 300g biochar fertiliser), though…the results were remarkable: not one crop failed even when all seemed lost beforehand
Biochar is a high-carbon form of charcoal that improves the water-holding capacity, nutrient retention, aeration and structure of soils and substrates. It also provides a permanent protective refuge for beneficial microbiology.
Carbon Gold’s Tree Soil Improver is enriched with mycorrhizal fungi, Trichoderma, seaweed and wormcasts and has been shown to reduce the impact of transplant shock and drought, and trees treated with it have been shown to be resistant to pests and diseases including ash dieback, honey fungus, horse chestnut leaf miner and acute oak decline in third-party controlled trials.
“The general principle of biochar is that it improves plant health, so we thought it worth trialling. And the fact that its organic but still used by the conventional growers, that was really intriguing.”
“We used it to plant our trees at the beginning of the 2018 season and the results were stunning, there’s no other way to put it.”
Joe Pardoe, Priors Grove
This year Priors Grove has upped the investment, incorporating enriched biochar and Fertiliser around the roots of every tree they plant on site which are already fruiting heavily.
“People will think we’re mad because of the upfront investment but it pays for itself a thousand times over. We’ve never experienced 0% losses before, it’s a huge result.
“In this game people don’t like to change, so it’s easy to get an edge by innovating and enriched biochar is a no-brainer in terms of innovation. It’s ridiculous how well it works!
Joe Pardoe, Priors Grove