The Buckner Orchard is an intact example of early farming of rural mountain communities of the interior Pacific Northwest at the turn of the Century. By preserving the Orchard you are helping keep our history alive, allowing neighbors and visitors alike to see and understand the ways of life in times past.
Preserving the legacy of the Buckner Homestead and Orchard quickly falls to the next generations. Adopt-A-Tree is a great way to create a meaningful bond between young people and the Orchard. Consider giving a birthday or special occasion gift of a tree and certificate to a young person, perhaps a child or grandchild. While in Stehekin, the recipient can meet with Laurie, our chief orchardist, to pick out a tree and learn more about the care of the tree and orchard.
Partners In Caring
Caring for the orchard takes commitment, time, and of course financial support. You can help ensure that this example of early homesteading and entrepreneurial farming is preserved for many years to come by adopting an apple tree in the orchard! Your $25 adoption fee will be used to support annual pruning, deer and bear protection, replacement of dying trees, and maintaining the original gravity-fed irrigation ditch system that has watered the orchard from the beginning.
The Time is Now
Why preserve the Bucker Orchard?
In addition to being a thriving orchard with more than 315 trees and an integral part of the Stehekin community’s social fabric, the Buckner Orchard is an intact example of early entrepreneurial farming, characteristic of rural mountain communities of the interior Pacific Northwest at the turn of the Century. By preserving the orchard you are helping keep history alive, allowing neighbors and visitors alike to see and understand the ways of life in times past.
A Little History
In 1912, William “Van” Buckner and his family planted 20 acres of their Stehekin Homestead with fruit trees. By 1925, the orchard covered nearly 50 acres with trees producing the following apple varieties: Common Delicious, Jonathan, Rome, Beauty, and Winesap. Most of the trees were Common Delicious. Because of its size and color, the Common Delicious is no longer being produced grafted or sold by any known nursery in the United States. However, this ancestor of America’s favorite apple is still thriving in Stehekin!
Maintaining the Orchard
The original apple trees in this orchard have lived beyond their natural life span. As they die, National Park Service personnel, as stewards of the orchard and its related homestead, replace them with seedlings of the same varieties grafted to hearty rootstock the same way the Buckner family did many years before. Working with volunteers and residents of the area, the park also ensures the irrigation ditches are cleared and living trees are pruned and maintained through all the seasons.
For more information contact
Buckner Homestead Heritage Foundation
PO Box 184, Manson, WA 98831
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