Life Cycle Assessment of California Orchard Crops

Almond orchard

What if the trees in an orchard could be considered a savings account for energy and carbon? When determining the value of an orchard, we may account for the fruit it bears, the air it cleans, and the labor it employs. But with California climate policies in place and carbon becoming a tradable commodity, we may be able to calculate and account for the long-term value of a tree itself.

This UC SAREP study aims to help growers and policy makers better understand the energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon sequestration potential of orchard systems throughout California. Using a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to assess energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in orchard crop production, results from this study serve to illustrate the tradeoffs of different practices at several stages in orchard crop production - including orchard establishment, management, and end-of-life removal. See our publications and engagement activities, or use the links below to explore the project findings.

Plums (prunes)
Project Findings
by Crop

Orchard Irrigation
Project Findings
by Management Category
Orchard harvest and packing

Orchard LCA Model
Development and

Central Valley
Project Findings
by CA Region

More information and study results are forthcoming and will be posted in the sections above.

Page last updated June 30, 2015