Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Show me the money...

A colleague of mine in NJ just reported that he picked one (20 bushel) bin of Lindamac apples off 100 trees planted last year to a tall-spindle training system that I had sourced from Willow Drive Nursery. These were knip-boom trees, so they were decent, but the branching was a little variable and they may have been 2'nds, so I can't say they were truly great. Nice, but not great, probably equivalent to a decently feathered 1-year nursery tree. Now, some head-only math:
  • 20 bushes, assuming an average count of 100 apples per bushel, equals 20 apples per tree -- more than the 5-10 recommended on 2nd leaf tall-spindle trees, but you got to hand it to McIntosh, it can be a very productive variety
  • at orchard-run wholesale, 50 cents per pound, that is $400/bin. My colleague says he is selling for $300, so it is a bit of a give-away Win... :-)
  • at full retail, $1.00 per pound, and 90% pack-out, that is $720/bin. Let's call it $700
  • if the Lindamac were planted 3 ft. X 12 ft., that is app. 1,200 trees per acre, equals 12 bins/acre, equals wholesale value of $3,600 (might as well give then away) and retail value $8,400. At $8,400 you would have come CLOSE to paying for the trees in the 2nd leaf! Well, for 2/3 of the trees anyways...
Not bad. After the 3rd leaf, assuming everything goes well, it should be all gravy for retail apple growers planting to tall-spindle. Anyone care to refute my logic???


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