Wolfskill Experimental Orchards

almond orchard
John Wolfskill
John Wolfskill

The land comprising the Wolfskill Experimental Orchards was deeded to the University of California in three separate parcels. The original 108 acres was donated by Frances Wolfskill Wilson in 1934 (outlined in red). The Wilson tract of 28 acres was donated by Frances Wolfskill Wilson in 1953 (outlined in yellow). The Masson tract of 20 acres was donated by Masson Land Enterprises in 1985 (outlined in magenta)

Ever since the University acquired the  Wolfskill property in 1938 the majority of land has been used for plant breeding and cultivar evaluation projects. Dr. Warren Tufts, Pomology Division Chairman (1933-56), in a 1946 planning document noted that all 100 acres at Winters was occupied by breeding programs for apricots, peaches, almonds and plums. Since 1946 many additional species have been planted and the types of projects has diversified but the majority of the land is still used for breeding programs and germplasm evaluation, development and preservation.

In 1980 the Department of Pomology and the University of California, Davis, signed a long term lease agreement with USDA ARS to establish the orchards of the National Clonal Germplasm Repository at Wolfskill. This repository includes stonefruit (peach, plum, nectarine, apricot, almond, prune), grape, walnut, pistachio, persimmon, walnut, olive, pomegranate, fig and kiwifruit germplasm.

Since 1980 the remaining land has been used for pomological research conducted by the faculty of the Pomology Department (now Plant Sciences Department).

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