Pistachio block update – amazing (but not surprising) consistency with grow tubes

Back on March 22 I posted about one of the dozens of big pistachio blocks that went in with Wilson Grow Tubes this spring.  The grower planted tiny – as in 2-3 inch tall – tissue culture rootstock plugs.  Here is a photo from planting day:

Grow Tubes on tissue culture pistachio root stock

Wilson Grow Tubes on newly planted tissue culture pistachio rootstocks. Photo taken March 21, 2012.

I swung by the block yesterday to see how things are going.  The great thing about selling Wilson Grow Tubes is you KNOW exactly how it’s going to look, and you’re still pleasantly surprised (because the forester/horticulturist in you still doesn’t believe what your eyes are seeing).

Here are a few shots from yesterday – 2 1/2 months after planting, with much of that time being cool weather.

pistachio tissue culture rootstocks in grow tubes

Photo taken June 6, 2012. Pistachio rootstocks planted in March as 3 inch tissue culture plugs are now well out the top of their 24 inch grow tubes.

grow tubes on pistachio root stocks

Looking down another row - check out the incredible consistency in growth!

pistachio tissue culture rootstocks in grow tubes

... and again

Yes, the growth rate is impressive.  Yes, the survival rate is near perfect (I looked at hundreds of trees and didn’t see a single failure).  But what stands out to me is the astonishing consistency of growth.  One would expect consistency given the fact that the planting stock is genetically identical, but in many fields – those with paper cartons rather than Wilson Grow Tubes – genetic sameness doesn’t translate into consistent growth.

What’s the big deal about consistent growth?  It makes managing the block much easier and economical.  The rootstocks all reach the stage of field budding at the same time, saving several passes through the field (over a thousand acres, like with this block, that’s real money).  Spraying and other treatments can be done in a uniform and consistent way.  The trees will reach maturity at the same time.

More updates to come!

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