County fruit growers search for rare heirloom trees

COAST CITIES — The North San Diego County Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers is asking for the public’s help to locate and identify heirloom subtropical fruit trees in the San Diego area.
The goal of the organization is to preserve outstanding varieties of fruit trees that have fallen out of favor commercially or are no longer widely grown. To qualify as an heirloom variety, the tree must be more than 30 years old and an uncommon variety of the following species: citrus, avocado, cherimoya, loquat, sapote, mango or macadamia nut.
Outstanding fruit quality and unique characteristics are also desirable traits. Trees that have been grafted with a known variety are preferred but they are also looking for trees grown by seed that meet the above criteria.
Send an e-mail to ncrarefruit@gmail.com if you have a fruit tree that you believe they would be interested in hearing about. Provide detailed information such as variety if known, location of tree, pictures if available, description of fruit, i.e. size, color and shape, age of tree, fruiting season and history of the tree.
CRFG will review each e-mail to determine the tree’s eligibility. If the tree qualifies, chapter members will come out to the site to look at the tree, take pictures and catalog the information in a database.
If permissible they will also collect plant material to propagate the tree for wider distribution and preservation. The California Rare Fruit Growers is a nonprofit 501.3c organization. For more information, visit www.crfg.org.

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