Heritage Orchard

Saratoga began as a frontier town and an industrial settlement before becoming an agricultural hub with many fruit orchards and vineyards. Saratoga’s bountiful fruit harvests made it a popular trading post. Glen Una was one of the largest prune ranches in the area, and the Blossom Festival started as a result of agricultural influences. Saratoga, and the valley as a whole, transformed its identity once again and Saratoga became a residential community. 

The Heritage Orchard was designated as a City park in 1984 in recognition of the City's agricultural heritage. It was designated as a Heritage Landmark by the City in 1988. The Heritage Orchard is now one of the few remaining orchards in the Bay Area. It includes prune plum, apricot, and cherry trees. 

The City works with an orchard maintenance contractor for the care of the Heritage Orchard. Some of the common maintenance practices are noted below by season. 

Winter

  • Perform pest management following integrated pest management practices
  • Prune cherries and plums
  • Plant new trees
  • Manage understory

Spring

  • Perform pest management 
  • Thin limbs to prevent breakage
  • Mow

Summer

  • Harvest cherries, apricots, and prune plums
  • Prune apricots
  • Mow

Fall

  • Manage understory
  • Mow

Throughout the summer of 2020, the City collaborated with Village Harvest to collect fruit from the Heritage Orchard. Community members volunteered with Village Harvest to gather more than 6,000 pounds of fruit that was donated to local food banks. Village Harvest is a nonprofit volunteer organization that works to provide food for people in need, promote sustainable use of urban resources, and preserve agricultural heritage and skills.