While we are not in the orchard business, by any means, we are definitely surrounded by them! California is home to over 30 different varieties of almond trees, and this time of year is the easiest for me to recognize different varieties. Some bloom sooner than others, some have pink blossoms and some are white. Whatever their variety, they are all beautiful!
I tried my best to get a shot of the petals falling, this was the best I could do!
Honey bees play a critical role in the successful pollination of the almond flowers each year. I caught this little guy hard at work! According to the Almond Board of California, "almonds are California's number one tree nut crop, and production continues to expand to meet increasing demand. California is the only place in North America where almonds are grown commercially and California Almonds are shipped to nearly 80 countries worldwide."
The USDA listed almonds as California's #4 agriculture commodity in 2009, producing $2,293,500,000 in revenue for the state, and accounting for 100% of the commercial US almond production. Tree nuts ranked the highest in agriculture exports in 2009, with sales over $3,240,300,000.
Some of the younger trees are already budding with leaves and have very few blossoms left.