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Be an Apple Detective!
apple cross cut
Picture courtesy of Wikipedia
What Kind of Apple is That?
Apples and pears are best identified by looking at a variety of characteristics when the fruit is ripe.  Color, shape, length of stem and characteristics of the basin (bottom of the fruit) and cavity (top of the fruit) are the most useful exterior characteristics.  Additional qualities can be determined by cutting the fruit open and observing the shape of the core, the seeds and location of the stamens.  Once documented, the characteristics can be compared with descriptions found in a pomology books.   

When did the first fruit trees arrive in Oregon ?
If you guessed during the Oregon Trail days in the 1800s, you are correct!  In April of 1843, Henderson Luelling departed Iowa with his family and 3 wagons for the adventure of a lifetime.  One of the wagons contained nothing except 300 small fruit trees.  Stories passed down through the years tell of how the family would sometimes go without drinking water on the trail in order to have enough water for the trees!
The Luelling family arrived safe and sound in the Willamette Valley in November on 1843, and 150 of the fruit trees trees survived in the arduous journey as well.  Mr. Luelling settled his family in Milwaukie and established a tree nursery at the confluence of Johnson Creek and the Willamette River (today the site of the "Waverly Golf Country Club".) The fruit trees were sold to local settlers and planted on numerous homesteads throughout the Willamette Valley.  Although many of these trees could still be alive today, none have been confirmed.
Although most historic orchards do not come with a map identifying the names of the varieties planted, a little detective work can produce amazing results. 
If you have questions about identifying fruit visit: