Document your Old Orchard


MORP’s list of historic orchard sites to visit has become years long so we are now asking for your help in preserving this history before it is gone. If you have an old orchard or even just one historic tree, please:                                       

  1. Get to know your orchard by documenting all that you know or learn about it, including associated history. See the orchard documentation form at the bottom of this page.                       
  2. Sketch the layout, giving each tree a unique ID number that you attach to all notes, photos, maps, and grafts. Use a grid map like the one shown at the bottom of this page. The grid continues on the back- side for larger orchards.
  3. Add your tree(s) and orchard to RegisTREE of North America.                               
  4.  Learn to graft. See our events page for grafting workshops.                                         
  5. Graft from your old trees and plant the new trees on site.
  6. Go to MyFruitTree to learn how to have apple and cherry trees of unknown cultivars identified through DNA analysis. Let Cameron and his team know MORP recommended you have your trees tested. This involves submitting young leaf samples in the spring. Current cost per sample is approximately $50 for basic analysis for identification purposes and $120 to include parentage results if avail, but $ is subject to change.
  7. Please share results with us to assist in documenting Colorado’s fruit growing heritage.  

MORP will accept scion from historically significant trees if you complete the bulleted steps below:  

  • Map the orchard location and individual trees at RegisTREE of North America. This will help us determine historic significance.
  • Contact MORP to let us know you registered and to express your interest in having your tree(s) preserved through grafting.
  • If we agree to accept, collect scion in the winter and label each bundle of scion with its unique tree identifier (see step 2 above). (Our friends at Big Horse Creek have good directions on how to collect scion.) Mail to: MORP, 17312 Road G, Cortez, CO 81321. Send us an email reminder when you do.
  • If grafts are successful we will plant them in (or donate them to) preservation orchards. We will also mail one small graft (or one of each cultivar) to you if you have the tree(s) DNA analyzed and share the results with us. (see step 6 above). Completing this process takes several seasons.

 Related page: Heritage Orchard Survey 

Click here for a printable view of the orchard documentation form with grid map.

OrchardFormrev copy

To make a hand-drawn grid map, mark N-S-E-W and prominent features on your map. Use a compass if you’re unsure. Sketch county road, driveway, stream, barn, etc. If you are mapping a large orchard or a scattered remnant orchard recheck your points by going back and forth between known points. It is easier to correct a map while it is being made rather than later on when it is being used for reference. After you have finished with your map re-walk the orchard and see if you can consistently find your location on the map. With your quality map you can now further document, graft, and systematically learn your orchard. Remember! Follow up this process by adding your trees and orchard to RegisTREE.