California’s Infamous Phenomenon

If you’re driving in the California’s Central Valley, it is impossible not to notice our state’s unique seasonal phenomenon – the almond trees in bloom! California’s 1.39 million acres of almond trees are currently in full-force in bloom marking the world’s largest pollination event.

February 2020’s unusually warm weather pattern has contributed to an extra special bloom season labeled the “super bloom”.

“Many are considering this to be a ‘super bloom’ since the weather has been so warm,” said Ali Cox, CEO. “This means you see all of the varieties blooming at the same time.”

In most orchards, there are different varieties planted from row to row. With different varieties come different maturity patterns (including bloom dates based on weather). This year’s super bloom is occurring because almost all almond varieties are starting to bloom at around the same time due to recent warm weather patterns.

What is bloom?

Bloom is the time when almond trees are emerging from dormancy and their buds begin to blossom, usually from mid-February to mid-March. While some almond tree varieties are self-pollinating, most blossoms must be pollinated by honeybees and will turn into almonds as the trees continue their production cycle. Almond blossoms have a sweet fragrant and are white or blush in color.

Because of California’s Mediterranean climate, the state is one of the few places in the world where almond trees can thrive – growing 80% of the world’s almonds according to the California Almond Board. Almonds play a critical role in California’s economy as they are responsible for 104,000 jobs and contribute $11 billion to the states GDP.

What does bloom mean for us?

For some, bloom season marks the start of spring. For our clients, bloom season typically is a season of preparation. Preparation can range from field and groundwork to crop estimates. Since pollinated blooms eventually mature into almonds, crop estimates can be determined by counting the number of blooms.  

At AC&C, we like to use the bloom season for content gathering! The blooms make for a beautiful backdrop for ag client team photos or headshots, photos for social media or graphic design, and drone imagery. There’s nothing quite like a drone video of the almond trees in full bloom!

As you’re driving around these next few weeks, especially in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties – the counties with the heaviest almond tree concentration, be sure to roll the window down to take in the sweet smell of the blossoms. Take a moment to appreciate the special experience that most will never see and that rivals Washington D.C.’s cherry tree blooms. California agriculture makes for a beautiful backyard!