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Fruit Trees

Francis Draper, retired champion steer wrestler, wrestles his four-wheel-drive through miles of rough sand in Canyon de Chelly and Canyon del Muerto, mystical lands of ruined dwellings in red sandstone cliffs where his Navajo forebears lived 2,000 years ago. He pulls to a stop at Twin Trails and looks with pride at the trees thriving in his apple orchard. They are a living answer to a tragedy that befell the Navajo 129 years ago at the hands of frontier folk hero Kit Carson.
January 17, 2013 | By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times
Faye Resnick of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" has purchased a home in the Hollywood Hills for $1.605 million. The traditional-style house is surrounded by mature landscaping and sits on slightly more than half an acre with fruit trees, patios and a swimming pool. Features include an open floor plan, with hardwood floors, a living room fireplace and a wall of French doors in the dining room that open to a balcony with treetop views. There are three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 2,567 square feet of living space.
July 29, 2012 | By David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Thousands of South Florida homeowners have struck out - again - in their fight to collect more than $27 million in compensation for the destruction of their fruit trees in the state's fight against citrus canker. The 4th District Court of Appeal ruled last week that the plaintiffs have to ask the state Legislature to appropriate the money to pay them, despite their victories in class-action lawsuits against the Florida Department of Agriculture in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
November 6, 2012 | By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times
Actress Sharon Stone has sold a compound in the Beverly Crest area for $6.575 million. Surrounded by walls and gated, the Mediterranean-style estate sits on five acres with pathways, bridges, waterfalls, fruit trees, a meditation garden, a swimming pool and a tennis court with viewing pavilion. The main house, built in 1991, includes a paneled library, a wet bar in the living room and a master suite with dual bathrooms, dual dressing rooms and a terrace. The guest house contains a media room, a gym and two bedrooms, for a total of seven bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms and four fireplaces.
The chief backyard fruit trees I recall from my Pennsylvania childhood were these: an apple tree that annually bore six or eight stunted, less than half-edible fruits; a peach tree whose promising crop succumbed every June to a gummy mess I now recognize as having been caused by the plum curculio; and a plum tree, the most beautiful flowering object I have ever seen, that in about 18 years of life managed just one summer to produce two unimaginably delicious plums the size of cocktail olives.
January 8, 2013 | By Jeff Spurrier
The Japanese apricot -- a plant native to China, actually -- is one of the longest lived of the flowering fruit trees. It's a symbol of resilience in the face of adversity thanks to its early flowers, delicate promises of spring that can begin blossoming before New Year's Day. The tree continues to send out white, rose or red flowers on nearly leafless branches, luring bees all through the winter. And then there is the fruit. Golf-ball sized orbs begin to appear in spring.
March 10, 2011 | By Veronique de Turenne, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Sometimes, the peach on a backyard tree is just a peach, a sweet, home-grown bonus. In certain circles of Altadena, though, that peach is a gateway fruit. One tree becomes three, which becomes an orchard. The quest for organic fertilizer leads to a flock of chickens, which beget a garden. Before you know it, there's a herd of goats out front, heritage turkeys in back, a beehive, a rabbit hutch and a guard llama. This isn't just growing your own, a few clay pots on a condo balcony, say, or a tomato patch next to the rose bed. It's full-on urban homesteading, people raising fruit, produce and livestock in the city, and nowhere in Southern California has it taken off like in Altadena.
September 11, 2012 | By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - All Tara Hui wanted to do was plant some pears and plums and cherries for the residents of her sunny, working-class neighborhood, a place with no grocery stores and limited access to fresh produce. But officials in this arboreally challenged city, which rose from beneath a blanket of sand dunes, don't allow fruit trees along San Francisco's sidewalks, fearing the mess, the rodents and the lawsuits that might follow. So when a nonprofit planted a purple-leaf plum in front of Hui's Visitacion Valley bungalow 31/2 years ago - all flowers and no fruit, so it was on San Francisco's list of sanctioned species - the soft-spoken 41-year-old got out her grafting knife.
QUESTION: I cannot get a straight answer from any nurseryman as to the value of composted steer manure as a mulch or a soil amendment. Aware of its high salt content, I have soaked it in a bottomless trash can before use, or rototilled it directly into the soil. Am I inviting eventual problems? --J.L., Orange ANSWER: You are right about the high salt content.
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