- Full Time:
- Number of Workers Requested:
- Job Duties:
This job requires a minimum of three months of verifiable prior experience working in tree fruit orchards handling manual tasks associated with fruit production and harvest activities. Applicants must be able to furnish verifiable job reference(s) or comparable third party documentation from recent employer(s) establishing acceptable prior experience. Workers must be able to perform all work activities with accuracy and efficiency. Primary tasks will be thinning, tree training, pruning and harvesting of apples and pears.
Workers will perform any of the following duties: Orchard clean-up, building and repairing tree trellises, spreading compost, removal of strings and wire from trellises and orchard blocks and other hand tasks. Workers may be required to perform work incidental to farming the crops listed, such as weeding, cleaning and repairing farm buildings, set up and move irrigation pipes and equipment, operation and maintenance of tractors. Workers will provide labor to assist in the establishment of new orchard properties by clearing property, planting trees, trellis repair and any other labor considered necessary for the efficient structure of new orchard properties. May move sprinklers on overhead cooling system.
Workers will care for young non-producing fruit trees, which duties may include, but not be limited to the following activities: hoeing, weeding, tree trunk painting, growth selection by hand and clipping, propping and tying pear and apple trees, positioning and training of limbs, including tying limbs to trellises and shoots to wire and tying limbs together. Must be able to train trees to trellis without constant management supervision. Other tying activities will be determined by orchard management and communicated to all employees.
Thinning is a manual process used to control the size and fruit quality of grown fruit. Employees will be given appropriate training by supervisors. Ability to pick up, use and safely handle a 12 foot orchard ladder weighing approximately 40 lbs. is necessary for performance of thinning tasks.
This process requires the employee to be able to appropriately remove the smallest fruit blossom, bud and/or identifiable fruit from within a cluster of other fruits. Workers will be expected to be able to identify and remove fruit that is misshapen, damaged and/or have other quality problems as directed by supervisors.
Pruning numerous varieties of apple and pear trees according to established company procedures based on the difference in the treatment of different varieties. Work will be performed on trees for long periods of time using a variety of pruning equipment including pruning hooks, hand shears, hand loppers, hand saws and 12-foot ladders. Pruning and thinning may be done from the ground or ladder up to 12 feet in height or from a motorized platform. Workers pruning apple and pear trees may be required to selectively prune only trees of a certain size and/or color as instructed by the crew boss.
Workers are expected to have requisite pruning skills to be able to recognize tree disease such as blighted branches in trees and to identify and remove stubs or broken branches, downward-growing branches, branches which rub against each other, shaded interior branches, dead wood and shoots/suckers with hand pruning saws and clippers, mechanized clippers and pole pruners. Occasionally workers may be required to use chain saws and other mechanized equipment in pruning activities.
Careful pruning requires knowledge of what to prune, how much to prune and fruit trees’ growth habits. The primary reason for pruning fruit trees is to improve fruit quality and thus increase crop marketability and value.
Maximization of fruit quality is of paramount importance.
- Job Classification:
- 45-2092.00 - Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery, and Greenhouse