The Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project

Jesús Manuel García-Yánez, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum & Robert M. Emanuel, University of Arizona

Las Matas: Project Origins & Methods

In 2004, Tumacácori National Historical Park, an important mission site in southeastern Arizona, completed the acquisition of an original 5-acre mission orchard and a significant portion of its original agricultural area. In 17th and 18th centuries missionaries, including Jesuit Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino introduced European fruit trees to this region, catalyzing an agricultural transformation. The goal of the Kino Fruit Trees Project is to assist the National Park Service in replanting appropriate varieties of those fruit trees on this land. This has involved the project's team in an ethnohistorical, ethnobotanical and horticultural adventure. This poster introduces the project, initial results, and new directions.

The Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project is a multi-partner, community-sponsored program designed to reintroduce appropriate fruit trees to Tumacácori National Historical Park as well as surrounding heritage parks in the Santa Cruz Valley and Missionized region of Southern Arizona.

The primary goal of the Kino Fruit Trees Project is to assist the National Park Service in replanting historically, culturally and horticulturally appropriate varieties of those fruit trees on this land. Secondary goals include:


The methodology for the project was originally designed to support tasks around gathering information on the trees, their locations and history. Throughout the course of the project, we have found it necessary to adapt to new information and take advantage of new opportunities. In some cases, we found it advantageous to collect trees ahead of schedule as they became available for propagation or with fleeting opportunities to visit these locations and families cultivating them.

Agatha Gastellum, Tumacácori
Agatha Gastellum, Tumacácori

The Kino Fruit Trees Project focused on identifying communities where continuous or semi-continuous occupation meant that fruit trees might have persisted since the missionization period.

Agatha Gastellum, Tumacácori
Quince Fruit, Oracle, Arizona

Communities Founded By Padre Kino

Spanish Town Date Contemporary Town
Nuestra Señora de los Dolores 1687 Cucurpe
Nuestra Señora de los Remedios 1687 El pintor
San Ignacio de Caburica 1687 San Ignacio
San Pedro y San Pablo del Tubutama 1687 Tubutama
Santa Theresa de Atil 1687 Átil
Santa Maria Magdalena 1687 Magdalena
San Jose de Imuris 1687 Imuris
Nuestra Señora del Pilar y Santiago de Cocóspera 1689 Cocospera
San Antonio Paduano del Oquitoa 1689 Oquitoa
San Diego del Pitiquito 1689 Pitiquito
San Cayetano de Tumacácori 1691 Tumacácori
Los Santos Angeles de Guevavi 1691 Rio Rico
San Lázaro 1691 San Lázaro
San Xavier del Bac 1692 San Xavier District
San Cosme y Damian de Tucson 1692 Tucson/San Xavier
La Purísima Concepción de Nuestra Señora de Caborca 1693 Caborca
Santa Maria Suamca 1693 Santa Cruz
Nuestra Señora de Loreto y San Marcelo de Sonoyta 1693 Sonoyta/Quitobaquito
Nuestra Señora de la Ascencion de Opodepe 1704 Opodepe
Los Santos Reyes de Sonoita 1692 Sonoita/Patagonia
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