November 30, 2004
Mission Olive trees grown from cuttings from an ancient 200 year old grove planted by the Padres and Native Americans were blessed by Sonoma's Franciscan Padre, Padre Aurelio Villa at the blessing of the olives event in Sonoma December 4th. The olive trees are part of a restoration project at the General Vallejo Home in Petaluma which will include pruning of existing trees and planting of new trees to replace some of those lost from the gardens over the years.
The Mission Olive Preservation, Restoration and Education Project (MOREP) and the California State Parks are conducting the project to preserve and restore the historic Mission olive trees. The 125+ year old olive trees planted in the gardens and in the picnic area behind the "chalet" will undergo sustainable restoration so that they do not continue to fall as many of the older trees have done. The canopy has become so heavy that limbs are intertwined and were causing severe breakage last winter. This is not only unhealthy for the trees, but could be a safety hazard.
Volunteers are needed to assist in the preparation and cleanup of the pruning which will be conducted by volunteer professionals from olive tree growers in the Sonoma Valley. For more information call Ron Chapman of MOREP at 707-996-8984.