I rated the tree appearance the same way I did last year. Trees were given a rating of "1" if they were barely growing. A "2" rating was given to a tree that was growing better, but still had poor color and bud set. A "3" rating was given to a tree that was growing acceptably. A "4" rating was given to an exception tree both in color, bud set, needle length and fullness. Of course these ratings were completely subjective and sometimes I had trouble deciding between a "2" and a "3" or a "3" and a "4."
Here are the results:
The results were very similar to last year. Some trees looked worse than they did last year and some looked better. Overall the organic trees appeared to have improved a bit, but there were still many more trees growing poorly than the "late" organic trees. (Remember that the "late" organic trees will switch to complete organic practices next year, but so far have been treated conventionally with Round-up and synthetic fertilizers).
But as they say, pictures are worth a thousand words. Here are two shots in July of the organic and late organic trees:
|Organic trees -- there are a few good trees but not many.|
|These trees have been grown conventionally and will switch to organic production next year.|