Part of Local Orchard Missing-- For Now - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Part of Local Orchard Missing-- For Now

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BRIDGEVILLE, DE -  Tom Smith is a fourth generation farmer in Sussex County.  His family owns the popular T.S. Smith & Sons produce market located right on Route 13 in Bridgeville. They are famous for their delicious apples and peaches.  If you driven past their orchards lately you'll notice something very different. A 14-acre orchard  is now completely bare, says Smith, "That orchard actually has been in 15 years which is probably two years longer than it should have been."  

The Smith family says it was time to replace those peach trees which have taken a beating over the last 15 years from Nor'easters and hurricanes. "Peach trees are very susceptible to root rot. Once the root system is damaged. So you may have started with 120 trees per acre, and now your down to 80. So your production per acre is not good enough to justify mowing costs and spraying costs to keep them in production."

Next up they are planting a new crop of peach trees which from the time they plant them to seeing a return on their investment will take about four years, and  a couple of years from now will be a great peach site.

As for the remaining peach crop on the other side of route 13, T.S. Smith customers could be in for quite a summer, "we still have four weeks to worry about a late season frost, and cold weather but we've had a great bloom and set, and hopefully we're very optimistic we're going to have  a great year", says Smith. 

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