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Second annual Glendale Historical Apple Orchard Care Day

On April 13, 2024, Kane County Master Gardeners along with the Master Gardeners from Iron and Washington County had the second annual Glendale Historical Apple Orchard Care Day with pruning and new tree planting.



Photos courtesy of Victoria Xiong.


Glendale Historical Orchard, which is located behind the Glendale town hall, was established over 130 years ago by the pioneers and recently taken over by the Town of Glendale. In 2022, the Kane County Master Gardener program and the township developed a collaborative project to care for the remaining trees in the orchard, since the trees were not pruned, trimmed or treated for the last three decades or more.


No records can be found about the cultivar of the six original trees that were planted in the orchard. The Kane County Master Gardener is planning to have some tissue sent to the USDA lab for a DNA test that can pinpoint the exact or closest cultivar of the trees. This would help the community to learn about and remember the history and culture. Kane County Master Gardener also planted three new trees in the orchard: two Arkansas Black ones that will mature with blackish-red color and large fruit, and one Fuji that will mature with one of the sweetest fruits in the market today.



Over the past 130 years, apple tree care technologies have switched lanes: from the remaining trees, people can find an “open-center” style of pruning on them, which was very popular back then for all fruit trees, but only remains applied to peaches, apricots and nectarines nowadays. For modern apple, pear and cherry trees, the more efficient and healthy pruning style is a vase shape with a dominant branch at a set height. With the newly added trees, people can witness both styles and understand the new methods better.


The new trees will not be producing any fruit for the next three years for better root and trunk development, but they will have ribbons tied for the upcoming Glendale Apple Fest in October 2024.

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