Blossom Season on the Bogs

The bees are back!

While many think of cranberries as a fall fruit requiring much care and attention during the cooler months, the real work begins long before the autumn air arrives.

During this time of year, the tender vines are developing buds that will turn into tiny cranberry blossoms. As the bud and blossom develop, it is crucial to protect them from frost damage, provide adequate nutrients, and establish a healthy environment for growth. This phase of care and protection leads to the next critical element of crop success: pollination.

Typically, blossom time extends from mid-June through mid-July. As the tiny buds begins to open, its outer pink petals reveal a white flower. This is a unique time of year when the thousands of tiny white flowers cover the bog’s surface, resembling a light dusting of winter snow. The sheer volume of flowers that require pollination vastly outweighs the number of native pollinators in a given bog area.

This year, the bees we acquire for agricultural purposes begin arriving during the week of June 7. It takes about a week for them to be placed around the property. Needless to say, some areas that are typically accessible will be closed off during that time, and we urge everyone to use caution throughout cranberry country.

The rule of thumb is approximately two honeybee hives per acre of cranberries or one bumble bee box per acre. While the two varieties of bees cannot be in close proximity to each other, each has its own strengths and characteristics. Although the cranberry industry has long debated the most beneficial bee, today the honeybee remains the primary bee of choice throughout the industry.

Plymouth County, Massachusetts
June, 2021

O’Connor Elected CCLA President

CENTERVILLE, MA — Justin O’Connor has been elected President of the Cape Cod Landscape Association (CCLA). O’Connor also serves as the Cape and Islands Sales Representative for Read Custom Soils (RCS) Division of the A.D. Makepeace Company.

Founded over 35 years ago, the Cape Cod Landscape Association, Inc. is a non-profit trade association serving the needs of individuals and businesses working in and involved with the Green Industry on Cape Cod and in southeastern Massachusetts.

“It was with great pride and pleasure that we learned of Justin’s new leadership role at the CCLA,” said RCS General Manager Christopher Ierardi. “He has long been an advocate of the green industry and of CCLA’s mission to serve the community through resources, education, and an invaluable scholarship program.”

“Justin is a passionate, dedicated and innovative member of our Board and I am looking forward to continuing to work with him,” said Diane Johnson, Executive Director of CCLA. “As a the CCLA president he brings a willingness to help promote the Association and the Green Industry. I know advancing membership is one of his main priorities.”

O’Connor brought over 25 years of experience in the green industry to the RCS team in 2019. He is a certified arborist and landscape professional with an Associates of Science degree in Arboriculture from the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Forestry from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

“I’m looking forward to growing our membership and enhancing collaborations within the Green Industry during my tenure,” O’Connor said. “Networking existing leaders with newcomers and innovators, while providing education and the introduction of emerging topics and trends, makes us a stronger industry.”

Justin is a life-time Cape Cod resident and is primarily responsible for expanding the company’s presence on-Cape. In addition to CCLA, Justin is a tenured member of the MA Tree Warden and Foresters Association, and the Arbor Day Foundation. Justin makes his home in West Barnstable with his wife Susie, son, and daughter, and dog.

Read Custom Soils is New England’s most experienced precision soil blender. The company operates from a New Hampshire quarry, a Westford blending facility, and a state-of-the-art blending facility in Carver. It is New England’s leading provider of lightweight planting soil for green roof installations, stabilized stonedust for nature paths and pedestrian walkways, bioretention/raingarden soils, a proprietary blend ideally suited for challenging urban tree planting, and specialized soils for athletic fields. RCS also provides materials to more than 400 golf courses throughout New England.

RCS works closely with the leading professional landscape architects throughout New England, and its proprietary soil solutions are frequently specified in proposal solicitations and bid packages.