Tut fruit tree



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Tut fruit tree

The most widely grown prunus species in the world is the peach. It was the most commonly eaten fruit in the world until the 18th century, when the potato became more popular. Today the United States produces over 80% of the world's peaches. The domestication of peaches occurred relatively recently, originating from the apricot, which was domesticated at least 9,000 years ago in Central Asia. The domestication of the peach began in China in the 13th century, when it was considered a valued food plant and was first cultivated for food. Though cultivation of the peach spread to other regions of Asia and eastern Europe, it did not become established in western Europe until the 19th century. Most of the cultivated varieties were brought from the Caucasus and Near East regions.

The domestication of peaches from the apricot began as early as 8,000 BCE in Central Asia, where apricots are also grown, possibly due to its somewhat similar shape and fruit size. Though it is not certain how many varieties exist, the accepted range is up to 20,000 with a core distribution between Central Asia and western China. The earliest archaeological discovery of a domesticated peach was in a 9,000-year-old tomb in Xinjiang, China, of an older man who was preparing his food. During the Han Dynasty (about 2,000 years ago), peaches were widely cultivated, as were other fruits, for their nutritional and medicinal properties. In more recent times, the Chinese government once produced over 80% of the world's peach crops.

Although some in-season peach varieties are of Japanese origin, peach production in the US is largely of European, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ancestry.While there is some genetic and phenotypic variation among all of the cultivated peach varieties, the Western European and American "Slender" types are generally accepted as being the most similar to the domesticated ancestor. A similar ancestor is believed to have led to peach and nectarine domestication, but more research is required to confirm this. It has been suggested that peaches are considered to be a more important food crop to China than are other trees, with Chinese farmers tending to favor their tree for the greater ease in pruning. Chinese peach trees are usually smaller than most European peach varieties, making them easier to plant and grow. In South Korea, the peach is the country's most important fruit crop and it is said that people "rush into the cherry blossom to eat the peaches".

Etymology

In the year 578 CE, the Byzantine court physician, Theophrastus, wrote about the peach tree and gave it the Greek name, meaning "white apple". The earliest written reference to a "white peach" in the western world comes from King Abdalonymus of North Africa, who ordered the imperial orchard of Palmyra to provide "pears and peaches", which in the modern English language was translated as peaches and pears. "The fleshy berries on the cultivated peach, known today as the peach, were then considered a type of apple."

Peaches first appeared in English in 1611 in John Gerard's Herbal, where he described them as "plaine orkes, white as a womans face, full of a drye rue and the seed of a peach tree". The earliest recorded reference to peaches in English literature, by the poet John Milton, appeared in Paradise Lost in 1664. In "the earth, a paradise of fruits," Milton referred to cherries, strawberries, plums, peaches, nectarines, pears, and others, with a "ripe black cherry-stone, shining thick". When the "Jubilee tree" is mentioned in the Old Testament, it is simply described as "an almond tree".The first formal description of the peach appears to be "one of the finest fruits of the Americas," in The Fruits and Flower Garden of The West Indies, by Richard Lee. The peach's name, in the modern American English language, may have been derived from one of two Greek words, the other being.

Cultivation

The first peach orchards to be planted in America were in the coastal areas of the Southeastern United States in the late 17th century. Peaches were popular in the 18th century, and the first recorded sale of peaches in the United States was in 1783. Prior to this, people in North America had eaten the peaches before they reached their ripened stage. Around the turn of the 19th century, the German fruit-breeding program led to the development of some cultivars such as Princess Antoinette, which was introduced into the United States in 1858. The peach orchard boom began with the release of the Princess and the commercial development of a form of the peach called the "Virginia" variety. Peach orchards made up the majority of the crop in the early years of the industry, with the peach crop by far exceeding the apple and grape crop by far, and by 1913 peaches had surpassed apples as the number one crop in the United States.

In 1837, an peach orchard was planted in the Adriatic Sea in San Remo, Italy. This orchard was planted in soil containing sea salts, a result of the annual high tides in the Adriatic. The soil of the peach orchard remained salt-free for three years after planting, and thereafter the orchard was washed clean of salt by a flow of fresh water during the high tides of the winter. In 1839, more orchards were



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