He’s a Smooth Pollinator — When Peach Trees Need a Helping Hand{10}


Let me just say peach trees are worth the effort, and in the Pacific Northwest that’s some effort. Our rainy cool climate tricks the peach into blooming early–early enough that no bee worth his knees is going to be foraging for pollen or nectar. Even the heavy hitter pollinator of the hood, the orchard mason bee, is barely stirring with night temps visiting the 30s. As day temperatures lumber up to almost 50, the peach tree begins to awaken to a lonely garden, where few fellow photosynthesizers have even peered above the soil line. I did see one bumblebee, but my burly bomber was more interested in bluebells and tulips. 

Being the resourceful fellow that I am, I called upon the best and most available pollinator I knew: me. After one hour and 15 minutes of my household scavenger hunt to find my old artist paintbrushes (from my faux finish period), I discovered them next to my gold leaf, glue gun and fishing lures in a bottom drawer reserved for neglected hobbies. I took my lovely sable Daniel Smith 75-01 and strutted out to the orchard to save my peach trees from a fruitless year. I use one brush for all the trees, assuming a cornucopia of various peach pollens are bound to find a home on a willing pistil. With brush in hand, I ‘paint’ each open blossom with gentle swirls, collecting and distributing pollen as I go about the limbs. Sure I may look silly, but it’s never stopped me before and besides, come July, August and September my mockers’ memories will fail to recall my April escapades when they’re wiping peach juice from their chins.


peach3.jpg                   peach6.jpg

Where’s the bees?                   One of my plan Bs