Returning to work last Friday we had no idea that the weather had gotten so bad while we we're gone. In southern California we kept hearing about the approaching storm. While in Riverside the wind did pick up but not that bad. It was interesting that while we were in Santa Barbara it did rain one night but by morning it was clear.
So when we got to the nursery we we're surprised to hear the power had been out four days. The wind was a 50 year record! Trees were down all over northern California and in the foothills power remained out for some as long as seven days. We had power at the nursery but it was weird. Some things worked, others didn't. Lights glowed at half their strength. PG&E said we had lost our negative wire when the trees blew against the power pole. This is a dangerous situation that Monica and I had no idea about. They cut the power to the store, fixed the pole, and got us power, all in the dark! One guy in a boom truck with a chain saw and lights got the job done. Our utility deserves credit for their hard work. Just a couple of miles from here a utility repairman was electrocuted trying to get the power back on.
The clean up will take days but we are glad we didn't loose any large trees like Alden Lane Nursery did. That nursery, located a couple of hours from here in Livermore lost one of, if not "the" signature oak tree of the nursery, which had stood for centuries. I have been to Alden Lane and met owner Jackie Courtright and she must be devastated at the loss. Here is a link to their website and I assume the tree mentioned is the one in the picture. What a storm!
This next week we should receive our bare root fruit trees. While I don't like the physical part of dealing with them (as I get older my back "talks" to me more) I do like having something new and fresh to get the season rolling. We will plant up half of the trees right away for spring sales and sell the rest â€œbare rootâ€. I wish bare root season was a growing side of the business but as people become less knowledgeable about gardening many don't even realize there is a bare root season. Customers want fruit trees when they are shopping in spring, hence the reason we pot half of them up. We may start potting up a greater percentage in the future if sales dictate it.
We are having our fruit tree pruning workshop this Saturday from 11 to noon. It is in the event tent, which I am amazed didn't blow over. We'll have coffee, hot chocolate and tea. See you there.