"The Wolfskill Experimental Orchards are a research treasure," says Professor Ted DeJong, a pomologist and the site's director. "Work here has resulted in the development and release of 55 new varieties - 29 strawberry, 8 processing peach, 7 cherry, 5 almond, 3 prune and 3 pistachio - as well as 2 almond-peach rootstocks."
Germplasm evaluation blocks for research and education have been conducted for 18 commodities - everything from apricot to almond to avocado. The orchards have been invaluable for plant breeding and environmental stress research, such as rain cracking with cherries, and testing cultural practices and tree physiology, like nitrogen requirements for prune and peach trees.
For the past 30 years the bulk of the land managed by the Department of Plant Sciences (formerly by the Pomology Department) has been used for three types of activities:
- Plant Breeding - development of new cultivars
- Germplasm evaluation blocks for research and education
- Horticultural and physiological studies