The Museum’s Commitment to Heritage Orchard Preservation

By July 1, 2024Blog

Los Altos History Museum remains dedicated to our multi-year plan to rehabilitate the Los Altos Heritage Orchard. The Museum’s Orchard Commons Committee was formed in 2019 to preserve this Historical Landmark, ultimately with the goal of transforming it into a source of civic pride by its 75th anniversary in 2027. In 2023, the City contracted the Museum to care for the 427 trees within the Heritage Orchard boundary. This work is funded by a $225,000 commitment from the Los Altos City Council, allocated over three years starting in June 2023. To date, using City funds, we have installed new drip irrigation and replanted 300 missing trees. The harvest is now underway, with sales available through DeMartini Orchard across the street.

There is currently confusion about the permit to remove 25 apricot trees from the enclosed fenced area near the police department. These trees are not within the boundaries of the Historical Landmark as established by the City in 1991, and unfortunately, they are infected with a fungus that is putting the nearby Heritage Orchard at risk. To that end we had an official assessment completed by a certified arborist, who discovered that the trees were not viable and recommended that they be removed. The Museum initiated that permit process as we are responsible for the rehabilitation and maintenance of the orchard.

The Museum is committed to the health of the 427 irrigated tree sites within the Los Altos Heritage Orchard boundary. We are pleased that members of the community are interested in supporting and protecting this treasured landmark and welcome their assistance as volunteers. Learn more about the ongoing care of the orchard through our Instagram stories @losaltoshistorymuseum.

Contributed by Julie Bly DeVere, Interim Executive Director, June 2024