WSU Extension Clark County Heritage and Experimental Orchard
Established in 2005 the WSU Extension Clark County Heritage and Experimental Orchard is located at Heritage Farm and is a repository of heritage trees, experimental stock and native plants from throughout the region. The cuttings for the heritage trees were taken from area pioneer homesteads to preserve the local heirloom varieties and to tell the story of their origin and uses. Most of these were originally brought from across the country and world as the Pacific Northwest was settled. The Heritage cuttings have come from the Guild-Klady Centennial Farm, Goerig Homestead, Buker Homestead, St. Cloud Ranch, Uptmor Place, Sam’s Walker Site, Neima River Homestead, Klickitat Crossing and the Finnish Homestead. Open to the public the orchard allows visitors to appreciate the diversity and historical impact these plantings had in the past and today.
This collection has been grown from seedlings, and/or grafted and planted by WSU Clark County Extension staff Robert Goughnour in collaboration with WSU Clark County Master Gardners. Special thanks is extended to the input and support of Dr. Wee Yee, USDA-ARS.
Classes of various types are held in the orchard including Master Gardener seminars and Farm to Fork events for local youth. All trees and bushes are clearly marked with their common name, genus, the common uses for the fruit or berry and it’s original location in the area or homestead.
You may tour the Orchard Monday thru Friday between the hours of 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
The Heritage Farm is on the National Register of Historic Places. The site was originally a poor farm operated by Clark County from the 1873 thru 1943 and the current building which houses the WSU Clark County Extension was built in 1926 after the previous building burned down in 1923. From 1949 thru 2008 WSU operated the majority of the property as an experimental agricultural station. Today the farm celebrates not only our agricultural heritage, but also supports agricultural research and experimental research.
The Heritage Orchard showcases historical and experimental plantings, the community gardens allow people to grow their own food, large areas are cultivated for donation of food to the Clark County food bank with the WSU Extension office providing support and promoting volunteering to the community.
Heritage & Experimental
Throughout the orchard you will find seedlings, cuttings and grafts of various trees and shrubs from homesteads throughout the area. Learn more about them.
The experimental segment of the orchard is multi-faceted includes shrubs, trees, and landscaping that are ornamental but also edible, experimenting with various planting to see what grows well, grafting experimentation and control of various problem pests such as the Apple Maggot. Throughout your tour of the orchard you will find various “traps” that are used to further the understanding and control of these pests.
Cherry Grove Natural Area
The Cherry Grove Natural Area contains 5 kinds of seedling cherries from the original poor farm. Bing, Royal Anne, Black Republican and two types of sour cherries. There are also Japanese Plum, Yellow Plum and Native Bitter Cherry.
Nestled against a riparian area the Cherry grove provides a complete ecosystem and is heavily used by local wildlife which includes deer, coyotes, raccoons, possum and multiple species of nesting birds. The fruit provides a high quality source of food for all the wildlife and natural cover that allows them to move freely throughout this area.