In the era of grocery stores, happening upon a whole orchard of trees covered in ripe fruit can seem magical. Perhaps that’s why botanical gardens, universities, and museums around the world preserve and propagate fruit-bearing trees. Often, these growing exhibits are made up of delicate fruit varieties that, for lack of a viable commercial market, are grown for historical and botanical research purposes. But they also provide a sense of wonder for visitors.
There’s a sweet reward for maintaining these living monuments. Each year, one California community center harvests 800 trees bursting with Blenheim apricots, the former king of the state’s fruits. In Australia, a botanical garden throws open its gates to anyone who wants to try the unusual produce growing there, from peanut butter fruit to panama berries. Before you skip off to visit these arboreal wonders, heed these two reminders: Check to make sure the fruits you want to see are in season, and if they are, don’t pick them willy-nilly unless it’s expressly permitted.
Editor’s note: Visit each place’s website or social media to get the latest information on openings, closures, and how to support them. If you do choose to venture out, please follow all guidelines, maintain social distance, and wear a mask.