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Date Palms in the Sacramento Valley

 
Caleb Peretz
Posts: 18
Location: Redwood Empire, California
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There is a very small grove of date palms in Wolfskill Experimental Orchard in Winters, CA, which is 30 miles due West of Sacramento, almost into the foothills of the Coastal Range.

My professors planted these palms a few decades ago, just for fun (because it isn't quite warm enough here for them to produce fruit), when the Pomology department was real big and popular (it no longer exists). The Wolfskill Experimental Orchard is rather wonderful, thousands of varieties of hundreds of species, it is a wonderful place besides the fact that it is conventionally grown.

My professors said the date palms had never fruited, or if they did fruit in the extra hot years then the fruit would never ripen. During the Fall of 2014 I ate good ripe fruit off of a couple of these palms (I ate them off the ground, for they are very tall now). This was an exceptionally hot Summer, and we get very hot Summers in the first place. My point here is my little piece of proof of the climate changing slowly.

Does anyone know if there are certain old varieties of date palms (or other things like pistachios and almonds) which are well-suited to the climate in Sonoma County or other places like that in Northern California? I know these plants can grow in our place, but the Summers are not *quite as hot as these desert crops are described to like. I believe there must be a variety which will do well for all these trees.

Thanks!

 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1331
Location: northern California
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I've picked up dates off the ground in one of the parks in Chico and found them good. There are large orchards of pistachio and almond in the Valley north of Sacramento, as well as olives and walnuts. Irrigating all these is in fact the lion's share of the water deficit problem in CA. Most will produce with much less than is used to push for maximum yield, and I have seen both almonds and olives going feral.....
 
Caleb Peretz
Posts: 18
Location: Redwood Empire, California
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I'm sorry, I was unclear.

I know they grow pistachios and almonds in the Sacramento Valley, this is quite obvious. I am wondering about Sonoma county, where the Winters are slightly cooler and the Summer slightly cooler as well.

That is very cool about the date palms in Chico. I too have seen bitter almonds going feral all over the Sacramento valley. I'm sure you've seen the thread about sowing bitter almonds to reforest the arid regions of the world. I have seen Canary Island date palms fruiting in Davis for many years, but not these commercial-variety date palms.
 
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