Mr. Burbank had incredible instincts: he seemed to know, out of thousands of plants, which few plants should be saved for future work. Sometimes, he might keep just one plant out of ten thousand! Mr. Burbank devoted much of his work time to checking his many acres of plants. "...my job was to create and get results..."(Harvest of the Years)

Mr. Burbank did keep written notes on many of his experiments in notebooks and on notecards. Here are a few of his original notecards, as well as photos of his fruit. Photos are a great way to visually record a variety's progress.

This is a photo of the different varieties of Shasta Daisies. When the flower was introduced in 1901, it was the first ever manmade species.The Shasta Daisy

Mr. Burbank firmly believed that plant characteristics such as flower color, rapid tree growth, or sweet fruit flavor could be "bred" into a plant over time. His motto was "repetition, repetition, repetition." Take the Shasta Daisy, a Burbank-created flower that is pretty common today. It took Mr. Burbank over 14 years to get the Shasta Daisy just the way he wanted it. (And even then, he still continued to create new types of Shasta Daisies!) This is a photo of the different varieties of Shasta Daisies. When the flower was introduced in 1901, it was the first ever manmade species.

"Blue Point" Plum Notecard

The card on the left is one of Mr. Burbank's plant notecards, dated 1915. The picture at the top is actually a tracing of the "Blue Point" plum, which Mr. Burbank cut in half. The coloring is the juice from the plum itself. His notes are easy to figure out: the bottom set of slashes was his method of "rating" the fruit. This plum received several slashes, so it definitely rated well!

Photos can help scientists like Mr. Burbank make comparisons between different species. This photo shows Mr. Burbank's notes about 4 different types of plums:

Domestica type, New shiffling hybrid, Americana type, and Botany type - Japan.

Plumcot Records

Notecard - This plumcot from 1908 must have been pretty good; it received several slashes at the bottom, and was labeled a "Keeper."

Photo - Below is a studio photo of plumcots. Mr. Burbank had a glass photo studio right on his Farm!

1 Inch Wide Cherries!

The cherries in this photo are considered very special; each is at least one inch wide. You may be thinking ,"What's the big deal? Most cherries are that big." In Mr. Burbank's time, such large cherries were unusual. He worked very hard to increase the size of cherries. Now, when you eat big juicy cherries, you can thank Luther Burbank!

Yellow Pear Notecard-1914

This yellow pear ranked very well. "As good as Bartlett perhaps much better," wrote Mr. Burbank. In many cases, notecards were kept on the fruit from a tree's specific branches. The No. 29 on this notecard could be the branch number on Tree 15. remember, Mr. Burbank grafted several different species to one "mother" tree.

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