PLANT SPOTLIGHT: Persimmon (Diospyros)

 PERSIMMON TREE FACTS Asian Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) is native to China, where it has been cultivated for centuries.  Korea and Japan have also been centers of its cultivation, and it was introduced to California in the mid 1800’s. Asian Persimmons usually grow between 13-20 ft tall and wide and are self-fertile.  At our community orchards, … Continue reading PLANT SPOTLIGHT: Persimmon (Diospyros)

PLANT SPOTLIGHT: Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) Tree Facts Black Walnut  (Juglans Nigra) is a perennial, stone fruit tree native to Eastern North America, commonly found in riparian zones (area between water and land).  Technically the walnut produces a fruit called a “drupe” and is not a true nut! The drupes are harvested in the fall, dehulled and … Continue reading PLANT SPOTLIGHT: Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

The World of Apples: A Tour of The USDA Apple Collection

  Article and photos by Robyn Mello, POP Program Director. See an extensive photo selection from the tour below the article. On Monday, I had the sheer joy and privilege of taking the day to visit what is likely the most unique display of Malus (apple) trees in the country, a dream nearly two years … Continue reading The World of Apples: A Tour of The USDA Apple Collection

Plant Spotlight: The Plucky Mulberry (Morus)

Written by 2016 POP Intern, Lucia Kearney.  Despite their reputation as a weed tree, many people in both urban and rural environments have very fond childhood memories of mulberries!  My own past is filled deliciously with mulberries. When I was a kid, my parents worked in Manayunk. On days when there was no school, I’d go to … Continue reading Plant Spotlight: The Plucky Mulberry (Morus)

Plant Spotlight: The Joyful Juneberry (Amelanchier spp)

By 2016 POP Intern, Lucia Kearney. It’s June, and that means a piece of good news for us all: the juneberries are ripening! While this is making some of us leap up and down doing happy dances, I’m sure it’s also making some ask, “What the heck’s a juneberry?!” Great question. Read all about them … Continue reading Plant Spotlight: The Joyful Juneberry (Amelanchier spp)

Plant Spotlight: Meet the Pawpaw! (Asimina triloba)

By 2016 POP Intern, Lucia Kearney. I first encountered the pawpaw one late-September day when my former elementary school art teacher came to my parents’ house for dinner. She and her husband had gone foraging for them on Swarthmore College’s campus before heading our way. I was perplexed; these fruits were native to the area, … Continue reading Plant Spotlight: Meet the Pawpaw! (Asimina triloba)

Edible Perennial Propagation: Cuttings and Layering

By 2015-2016 POP Education and Outreach Intern, Alyssa Schimmel. In this edition of our Edible Plant Propagation series, we’ll cover cuttings and layering as easy and inexpensive methods for generating new fruiting vines and berry bushes for your garden or orchard. Cuttings and layering are two forms of asexual or vegetative propagation in which we … Continue reading Edible Perennial Propagation: Cuttings and Layering

Fruit Tree Propagation: Grafting

By Lucia Kearney, 2016 POP Orchard Intern It might surprise you to learn that almost no fruit trees are grown from seed. There are several reasons for this, one of the primary being that most fruit tree seeds are unlikely to produce the same variety of fruit as the parent tree. This is especially true … Continue reading Fruit Tree Propagation: Grafting

Edible Perennial Plant Propagation I: Stratification and Starting From Seed

By Bridget Downey, 2016 POP Intern, Rachel Baltuch, 2015 POP Intern, and Robyn Mello, POP Program Director Each plant species has different conditions in which they sprout and thrive. POP focuses on perennial edibles and herbs–those which survive winters and continue producing for several years or decades. The most common perennial propagation methods are through … Continue reading Edible Perennial Plant Propagation I: Stratification and Starting From Seed

Growing Peaches from Seed

Ever eat a delicious fruit and wonder about planting the seed to grow a new tree? Although all of the common fruits are usually propagated through grafting, peach and apricot trees can be grown from seed. Read below to find out how! Although planting the seeds of apples, pears, plums, and cherries can also result … Continue reading Growing Peaches from Seed