Commercial orchards are cleared on a rotating cycle to remove lower producing or unhealthy deciduous fruit, citrus and nut trees or to replace them with a more valuable crop. New, higher-producing trees are replanted so the cycle can start again.
Orchard removal requires whole trees to be pushed over, piled in rows and the tree, limbs and roots to be processed through a grinder or chipper. Chips may be sold for biomass, while ground mulch can be cultivated back into the soil. Putting the wood matter back into the soil can increase soil health and nutrients, and does not pollute like burning does.
Uses for ground or chipped orchard trees include:
- Biomass: An energy source derived from renewable and sustainable organic materials to create electricity or other forms of power.
- Used-on-site: The processed material can be used for temporary roads and pads, erosion control, walking paths or simply spread back on the site.
- Mulch: A protective layer of material applied to the surface soil that can be used for a variety of applications.