Fruit in the News

GOOD TREES vs JUNK! Knock on wood: The many reasons why Bradford Pears are a menace to society

My first year at forestry school, there was a novel program initiated, Urban Forestry. At the time I thought it ludicrous. I have been mistaken many times since as well.

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Concerning public planting of fruit trees:


  1. Human food
  2. Wildlife food
  3. Enhanced property values
  4. Greater public health, satisfaction, and well-being
  5. Decreased urban heat island effect


  1. Cleanup and disposal of fallen fruit
  2. Removal and replacement of dead and damaged trees

These are the pros and cons argued in one of the references to the reference cited above. As a hobbyist who actually grew up on a farm, I take a jaundiced view of amateur efforts and the attitudes that lead people to invest in them. There are reasons we pay professional orchardists for their labor. It ain’t that easy!

It’s nice to think that joggers and bicyclists can pick fruit off city trees and consume it on the spot. Many politicians and zociál reformers believe this or say they do. … so, to be true to my roots, I need to take a moment to poke a few holes in such glorified notions.


  1. Human food

    Nota bene: The Garden of Eden was always a myth. Raising food and storing it is a seasonal effort. It’s not always ready to eat and must usually be prepared to make it palatable, safe to eat, and nutritious. Thus, while planting fruit trees in public places is a step toward eating the fruit when you’re hungry, it isn’t the whole story.

    You have to consider that insect damage will render the fruit inedible. If the municipality sprays the trees, you have to consider that joggers and bicyclists should be warned off eating the fruit during the pre-harvest interval (PHI) of the chemical compounds used.

  2. Wildlife food

    Not all wildlife is equally appreciated. Planting fruit trees may attract appealing species such as certain song birds. It is equally likely, however, to attract less appealing species such as black bears and grizzly bears.

    Insects are wildlife, too. It is unfair to attract insects and diseases to public places that private landholders are battling nearby while trying to save their own crops.

  3. Enhanced property values

    The article alludes to DISADVANTAGES as above, which have very real associated costs. Public funds must be used to pick up and dispose of fallen and rotting fruit in public areas to maintain private property values nearby.

    Also, fruit trees are not immortal. Like ornamental trees that local governments typically plant and prune, fruit trees need to be cut down and replaced from time to time albeit on a somewhat shorter time scale, and in the breech this public obligation negatively impacts nearby property values.

  4. Greater public health, satisfaction, and well-being

    Strangely I find this the most compelling argument simply because it is the feel-good argument that politicians and zociál reformers adhere to. Fruit trees — even neglected ones — are as much a source of comfort and consolation to me for their potential as they were to Thoreau.

    But it is at least insensitive and inconsiderate to propose that, even if free public food can be offered, it should be without regard to its impact on for-profit vendors. Free public food is all fine and dandy, but it will never be sufficient. The bulk will be from traditional farms and orchards and, yes, even corporate agricultural enterprise. These sources need love, too.

  5. Decreased urban heat island effect

    I am very much in favor of cities planting and maintaining trees along public right-of-ways, but let these be a variety of ornamentals that are cheap and easy to maintain without the burden of other zociál benefits.


One downside of public fruit trees are the jackholes who will pick all of the fruit before its ripe :frowning:


Thanks for the response Chuck! It definitely is a two sided coin to consider the advantages and disadvantages of planting public fruit trees.

When I think about the disadvantages you mentioned, the one that seems the hardest to rectify is spoiled fruit lining sidewalks. This would certainly attract wildlife which would utilize said fruit. Some may take issue with the types of wildlife that might be attracted, but I imagine that is dependent on the specific area.

I think that planting species which require little to no spray to maintain a healthy plant would be the most realistic option. I am thinking more specifically about persimmons that remain small when mature (JT-02 and other Asian persimmons which stay small). There are two pawpaw trees in Pittsburgh that are sidewalk trees and fit the bill nicely as well. Jujubes, top worked Callery pears to disease resistant varieties, and various other options exist. There could even be volunteer stewardship programs developed, similar to community trash cleanup events where people train/trim the trees in their immediate area.

I would like to think that if people were educated about the benefits of a community based program, that they would be interested in maintaining it.

Regarding the for profit organizations that provide food- I can’t forsee seasonally available fruit as being a huge threat to their business model. If anything, I’d be happy to not import grapes from Chile, avocados from Mexico, cherries from Washington, etc. alllll the way across the country to Pittsburgh if locally available fruit existed that I could pick in season for only the cost of my time. The amount of resources wasted and pollution created unnecessarily is more than compensated by the inconvenience for the local government maintenance.

I already plan to reduce my usage of these sources through my own efforts in the yard, but for those living in apartments or who are otherwise unable to grow their own food, I see ornamental plantings almost as a waste of public resources and space. Fruit trees help pollinators too, possibly more than comparable non-native ornamentals. I’d be happy to discuss this topic further in a separate thread as it is a very interesting one if you would like to.

No different than the fruit shipped across the world to not spoil by the time we eat it :wink:

They’ll eventually learn and not do it again when they get a taste.

Afterthought - Jafar, persimmons would DEFINITELY rectify the early picking, pawpaws too.


News is pretty old (2013) , but New Strawberry discovered IN Cascade Mountains in Oregon
Fragaria cascadensis

I am not certain where the original website I read is, but here is something.
Can I get this job? Researchers have discovered a new species of wild mountain strawberry. It grows in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, at elevations of 3,000 feet to about 5,000 feet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already squirreled away a sample of the strawberry in its plant bank in Corvallis, Oregon. The U.S. agency manages the bank as a repository of genetic diversity for edible plants.

At first blush, the new strawberry looks much like other wild strawberries that grow throughout Washington, Oregon and California, says Kim Hummer, the USDA biologist who discovered the berry. Genetically, however, it’s quite different. It has 10 sets of chromosomes (edit) (2n = 10x = 70 )unlike other wild strawberries in the area, which have only eight. In fact, the only other 10-chromosome wild strawberry that scientists have identified grows on one Russian island northwest of Hokkaido, Japan.**(see below) Grocery store strawberries have eight sets of chromosomes.

Having more chromosomes often make fruits bigger, but the new berry, which Hummer named Fragaria cascadensis, is small.

Other subtle differences set the “Cascade strawberry” apart. It has tiny hairs on the upper surface of its leaves and has comma-shaped, instead of teardrop-shaped, seeds on its surface. (Scientists actually consider each of those “seeds” a separate fruit. They’re called achenes.)

Want to see and taste the new fruit for yourself? Hikers may find the berry growing on the western, wetter side of the Cascade Mountains, off the Pacific Crest Trail, Hummer tells Popular Science. It grows only in Oregon. Hummer suggests rubbing the leaves to feel if there are those telltale hairs.
Some may be able to spot the hairs and the seed shape, although Hummer suggests a pocket magnifying glass for those with “older eyes.”

The berries, which ripen in August, are edible. Hummer doesn’t make them sound particularly tasty, however. “Flavor-wise, it had a sugar-acid mix. It has a white interior. It’s soft,” she says. “It would take a lot of developing to make a commercially viable fruit out of it.”

Copied from here but second link is a better article (has USDA ID NUMBER) D2877-1

the only other 10-chromosome wild strawberry that scientists have identified grows on one Russian island northwest of Hokkaido, Japan.**(see below)
Fragaria iturupensis
Quickly I actually looked this up through investigative work of the Island, (using Latin name of strawberry Fragaria )
but actually afterwards clicked on a wikipedia article was also found but easier

I have to add though that may be the original Article I did read, but may have read several
I am quite certain though what I read was the fruit was insipid , and had not much flavor at all, but I may be wrong (2013 is a while back )

A interesting thing to look up is New Monotype Genus (single Genus like Gingko)
as well saw some new species Today

Do not get this mixed up with subspecies F. virginiana subsp. platypetala
they are different species not the same
(if interested see my previous edited out post on previous article listing subspecies platypetala as decaploid which I think is incorrect )

distinguished F. cascadensis by ploidy from sympatric octoploid F. virginiana subsp. platypetala and diploid F. vesca subsp. bracteata , but also found morphological differences between these taxa in the Oregon Cascades. Fragaria cascadensis has hairs on the upper surface of the leaves, and achenes that are frequently comma-shaped, F. virginiana subsp. platypetala of the Oregon Cascades has no hairs on the upper leaf surface, and achenes are dome-shaped. Differences between F. cascadensis and F. vesca subsp. bracteata are related to leaf color and leaf margins. Fragaria cascadensis has slightly bluish green leaves and the distal tooth of terminal leaflets is smaller than surrounding teeth, while F. vesca subsp. bracteata has Kelly green leaves and the terminal tooth is usually longer than surrounding teeth (Hummer)

(2018 )

Go for it!

… wouldn’t do much to keep joggers and bicyclists from spitting the seeds into the street though. I think, if users of public places were upset about fallen and rotting fruit, they’d be livid about tourists spitting on the sidewalk and discarding half-eaten cores.

Fine! Do you mean to imply that, in order to keep codling moth out of my apple trees, I have to adopt the flowering crab apples the city plants but doesn’t take care of? … or that, to have the privilege of planting fruit trees on my lot, I am assessed a tax to maintain similar trees on the public right-of-way? … just sayin’… .

I would leave the berry alone. A hikers dream. There are so many great tasting strawberries.

1 Like sells a Japanese strawberry from the northern islands. i wonder if that’s the one they mention in the article that also has 10 chromosomes?

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I thought I found that new strawberry too as there’s quite a bit of hairs on the leaves of my local wild strawberries. After sharing pictures and corresponding with Kim Hummer I found out that I just have the very common F. vesca ssp. bracteata. :slight_smile:

However, I did end up finding the rare pale pink flowered form of bracteata (forma Helleri). She of course wanted me to send in seeds of those. I can’t wait until they bloom again this year to better photo document them. My cell phone pictures from last year were poor quality.


I do get misunderstood, but I disagree , and agree I do think many variables play a part here.
I do like Natives , and the the native Pollinator, & ecology they provide for.

There’s many strawberries for a reason , and I could have commented on how I personally feel,
but I do not have time for all that.

I do feel it is good to keep plants in there wild state as well as it always good for local flora, and fauna , and I do think the little ones are pretty good as well (I think we used to have some fraises)

I will copy & paste some facts , and a question

Do you like Getting strawberries Through out the season is a easy one ?
All through breeding from different environmental conditions from Sub species.
(even limes or lemons have like a few percentage of wild in them, but it contributes flavor I believe)

Quoted from the bottom link

The researchers will also be looking for new sources of the day-neutral habit that keeps today’s cultivars bearing fruit in cycles throughout the growing season. Until the late 1970s, commercial plants fruited for only a few weeks each season. Then Royce Bringhurst of the University of California at Davis collected a subspecies of F. virginiana that blooms out of season in Utah’s Wasatch Range. Genes from that mountain clone revolutionized the industry.

I also see a Use for berries or genes that have no benefit if it helps with research understanding Genes.

I can see a problem with some things though like bringing unwanted traits to a native species
So Yes I understand it is not so Simple, but there should be a reasoning behind a objection which you provided, so many Great tasting strawberries, and I thought I should say what I had to say, but yes it’s more complicated then that.

I would say that for the purpose of breeding hybrids between species, like the discussion on raspberries and strawberries, something like this that has a different amount of chromosomes may be useful to someone like @Caesar looking for new possibilities.

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Yes OP I didn’t want to stray off topic , but I did add another reply under quote
(I think as long as I put something in the news it doesn’t veer off too much, and can be ignored by people not caring about genes of strawberries.

I like looking here for fruit, and cultures in the news .

(there is also slow food some news about foods throughout the world
it is easier to find on search took seconds
then above link, and I glad I found fondaz Zione slow food. in notes , b/c I lost it. )


I thought I found that new strawberry too as there’s quite a bit of hairs on the leaves of my local wild strawberries. After sharing pictures and corresponding with Kim Hummer I found out that I just have the very common F. vesca ssp. bracteata. :slight_smile:

However, I did end up finding the rare pale pink flowered form of bracteata (forma Helleri). She of course wanted me to send in seeds of those. I can’t wait until they bloom again this year to better photo document them. My cell phone pictures from last year were poor quality.

If interested Here is a article with more science on the genes I had it opened but have not read it.

Tuesday Night on the Late Show with Seth Myers, in his pseudo-news bit “A Closer Look”, the word ‘quince’ was mentioned 3 times and an actual prop quince fruit was tossed around. That is the first time I have ever heard quince mentioned on a regular network TV show.


Agreed. But people I actually like have told me they like crunchy peaches. It’s tough competing for the harvest against jackholes.

It’s amazing lots of stuff hasn’t sneaked in in backpacks or pockets of illegal border crossers?

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The BBC did a write-up on the Pawpaw and there are a few links to click on for a Ted Talk and info about a restaurant.


Parasitic wasp finally OKed for release in Oregon.

The article says the wasps can be up to 2/3 effective (reduce SWD by 65%)


Oregon is also working on other species too. Oregon State University professor releases destructive moths, wasps into orchards