Fruit Trees, Spot #2

When you get to this stop, you will find a few different fruit trees. This isn't the only place you'll see fruit trees at the Home and Gardens. Some Santa Rosa plums are espaliered(trained to grow along a trellis) on the wooden lattice screens that surround the fountain area.
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Looking at the map, you can see that we're now past the Rose Garden and to the left of the Carriage House. The raised beds are on our left. The fruit tree closest to you is an actual Santa Rosa Plum tree. The tree next to it is a Tilton Apricot.
Changes with the Seasons

The flowers shown above are very pretty, but will be removed soon. Tomatillo plants (light green plants in the photo below) take their places in midsummer.

Burbank's Work with Fruit

Throughout his decades of work, Luther Burbank created and introduced over 200 different varieties of fruits and nuts. He is perhaps best known for creating nectarines, plumcots(a cross between apricots and plums), freestone peaches, and over 100 different types of plums and prunes. His most famous plum is probably the Santa Rosa Plum.

Blueberries

There are also some blueberries in this plot. Just as they are shown here, blueberry bushes were often planted along walkways or in flower gardens in Luther Burbank's time.

Grafting: Young Mother Trees

Although these almond trees are in the raised bed area, it seems like a good idea to include them on this section of the tour. Almond trees are great for grafting. Grafting in this case means taking a branch or bud of one plant species and transplanting that branch or bud to the branch of another species. Species like walnut and almond trees are pretty much pest and disease free so they are often used as "mother" trees for all these grafted transplants. A "mother" tree is one that can nurture the new species that are transplanted to it. Instead of growing the experimental species from seed, horticulturists (plant breeders) such as Luther Burbank can save years of waiting by grafting experimental species onto mother trees . Using almond trees as the mother stock, Luther Burbank once filled an "impossible" order: supply 20,000 prune trees in 1 year. Luther Burbank completed the order and became known as the "plant wizard." (By the way, he didn't like being called a plant wizard - he didn't feel there was any "magic" in what he did. It was all good science.)

Quince

This is a Van Deman quince tree. Although we don't grow very many quince trees today, quince was a popular fruit in the Midwest during Luther Burbank's lifetime. The fruit could be used in jams, chutneys, and even pies. When you take the Gold Ridge Farm virtual tour, you can actually get some quince recipes!

Cherry Tree

This is a cherry tree that is growing close to the Spineless Cacti exhibit. This is a young cherry tree and it is used to demonstrate how Luther Burbank grafted several varieties of cherries on one mother tree.

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