Tree-a-gram

PLACE your Tree-a-Gram order by sending an email to morporchard@gmail.com. PAY for your order at the Donate Here button (click on the red apple at the sidebar).

Heritage Apple Tree Availability click to download excel spreadsheet for information on quantity and rootstock. Availability subject to change. If there are varieties that are listed on excel that do not have photos on this page that means they have sold out. Place your tree order at the donate button. Send us an email with special instructions.

New orchard takes root in Dolores

Heritage apple trees will produce 700 bushels annually ~

The persistent blank spot on Joe Rowell Park’s east side is set to blossom into a vibrant apple orchard producing heritage varieties.

This fall the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project planted 70 trees in the Dolores park as part of a partnership with the town. Native grasses will be planted as cover for the orchard floor.

“It is here for the community to cherish, a beautiful asset that will be enjoyed by generations,” said MORP co-director Jude Schuenemeyer. “We purposely planted the rarer varieties. It will be a real place of activity where people can learn and be a part of something.” read full story in The Journal

By Jim Mimiaga Journal staff writer

Monday, Jan. 6, 2020 4:52 PM

The Colorado Orange apple was thought to be extinct until now

The Colorado Orange apple was thought to be extinct until now

Though Washington state’s apple growers recently made headlines with the introduction of the crunchy new Cosmic Crisp variety, Colorado has a long history as an apple growing state. Now that history has resurfaced with the discovery of the rare Colorado Orange apple, thought to be possibly extinct.
The discovery comes from Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project (MORP), an organization that “works to preserve Colorado’s fruit- growing heritage and restore an orchard culture and economy to the southwestern region.” Co-founders Jude and Addie Schuenemeyer started the organization to preserve the apple-growing history of Montezuma county, the Southwestern corner of the state that borders Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.

According to MORP, Colorado was a prolific apple producing state starting in the 1860s, winning three gold medals for its fruit at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. Since then the many grown in the state have fallen out of favor in the marketplace; luckily many of those orchards still exist, with 100-year-old trees still producing fruit. Read more in Sunset.com

for Sunset ELLEN FORT – December 30, 2019

The Rediscovery Of The Colorado Orange Apple: NPR

The Rediscovery Of The Colorado Orange Apple

In Colorado they have rediscovered a long-lost apple, the Colorado Orange apple. Jude Schuenemeyer talks about the discovery.

 
December 29, 20197:54 AM ET
Heard on Weekend Edition Sunday

  

Lost for decades, the Colorado Orange apple variety has been found — officially

The Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project compared the fruit of a tree found near Cañon City to botanical illustrations and wax castings of award-winning apples to identify the lost treasure. Read the full article in The Colorado Sun. DEC 18, 2019 5:07AM MST

Also, read the story of the elusive Colorado Orange apple in MORP’s own words.

An apple revival near Four Corners is restoring hundreds of historic fruits — and the local ag economy

Using DNA testing in southwest Colorado, the Montezuma Orchard Restoration project welcomes back apple varieties like Winter Banana, Blue Pearmain, Ben Davis and Esopus Spitzenburg — and businesses are sprouting around them.

MCELMO CANYON — The apple orchard on Jude and Addie Schuenemeyer’s farm in a squiggle of a canyon in far southwest Colorado is a wild place. Turkeys gobble around on the hunt for bugs in native grasses that grow nearly as high as the gnarly limbs of the apple trees. Those trees are set hither and thither instead of lining up in typical tidy orchard rows. They bear apples that few fruit fans have likely heard of: Winter Banana, Blue Pearmain, Ben Davis and Esopus Spitzenburg…read the full article in The Colorado Sun.

Nancy Lofholm 
PUBLISHED ON NOV 28, 2019 5:05AM MST

MORP Capital Campaign

 

Cheers to MORP
Cheers to MORP

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 30, 2020: MORP just held a celebratory virtual cheers! with its new partner The Nature Conservancy. Thank you to everyone that help us reach our fundraising goal to purchase historic orchard property! MORP now has a HOME, an “orchard hub”, a place to grow its mission well into the future. Right now, we are excited to do the on-the-ground work to preserve our orchard heritage, demonstrate water conservation in orchards, and grow our local fruit economy.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Cheers to all our MORP members and supporters, The Nature Conservancy, Gates Family Foundation, Kenney Brothers Foundation, El Pomar Foundation Onward A Legacy Foundation. And most especially to the Olson Family who have farmed this ground for some 100 years. Thank you for entrusting us with your family’s legacy. Finally, we are humbled by Montezuma County’s “fruit growing wizard” Jasper Hall who broke ground on this historic orchard property back in early 1900. Thank you for your vision. We will move it forward.

MORP Capital Campaign phase I
http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/MORP-Capital-Campaign-phase-I.pdf

Gold Medal Orchard

11449 gold medal
 http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/11449-gold-medal.pdf

HISTORIC GOLD MEDAL ORCHARD

Remembering Our Past, Envisioning The Future

 The historic Gold Medal Orchard, located in McElmo Canyon where it joins Trail Canyon, represents one of hundreds of remnant historic orchards located in Montezuma County and across Colorado. First planted in 1890 by James Giles, the orchard soon earned its name by winning a gold medal for the quality of its apples and peaches at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.
Remaining on-site are several old apple, pear, and quince trees, portions of the historic orchard fence; and under the grand cottonwoods are two historic homes with sheds and a privy.


When you visit, close your eyes and imagine what you would have seen while standing here at the turn of the 20th century. Fruit trees spread across the canyon floor, pink, white, and red blossoms snowing down in the spring, limbs heavy with crops throughout the summer and fall. Apples, peaches, apricots, pears, cherries, and plums ripening in the warm sun and cool evenings in the perfect location to grow beautiful and flavorful fruit.


Time passed, the trees grew into their grandeur, and then slowly faded into the landscape. Over 100 years later, only a few historic trees remain, hardy remnants of the orchard’s former glory. Heritage fruit varieties were lost, and the story of the Gold Medal Orchard and its prize-winning fruits was nearly forgotten.


Today, the story of the Gold Medal Orchard is remembered by the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project (MORP) through its work to preserve Colorado’s fruit-growing heritage. In 2015, the orchard was listed as one of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places by Colorado Preservation, Inc. (CPI). MORP works with the Kenyon family to have it become a Saved Site. In 2019, this project was awarded an Endangered Places Progress Award by CPI at the Dana Crawford & State Honor Awards. 


When you are at the orchard, open your eyes wide and take a good look at the roughly 400 fruit trees growing before you. They represent rare fruit genetics (primarily apples) that were grafted by MORP from this and other historic Colorado orchards. Envision these young trees of old genetics reaching their prime, and then still growing another hundred years from now. Gifts of our fruit-growing pioneers passed down by MORP for future generations to taste and preserve.


You are invited to share in this vision by becoming a Sustain-a-Tree Member of MORP. 




The gates to the orchard are opened during scheduled MORP events, but you can view the site anytime from outside the fence. If you are a Sustain-a-Tree member you can contact MORP (via email) to schedule a visit as well.
Interpretive signs paid for in part by History Colorado, State Historic Fund which will be installed by year 2020. 

Gold Medal Orchard interpretive sign http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/11449-gold-medal.pdf


 

Colorado Heritage Apple Trials Initiative

Colorado Heritage Apple Trials Initiative

http://montezumaorchard.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Colorado-Heritage-Apple-Trials-Initiative-.pdf