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Chestnuts to be available to public

 

The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District has reached an agreement to lease a chestnut tree orchard so the chestnuts can be gathered by the pubic. The orchard is located on Skyline Boulevard above Palo Alto, and has nearly 100-year-old trees.

Under the terms of the agreement, signage will be posted, parking will be provided, and a portable rest room will be installed. The tree farm is located at 22322 Skyline Boulevard, about one mile south of Page Mill Road and near the Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve parking lot. It is one of only three chestnut tree farms in California. The others are in Brentwood and Sonoma County.

“This is a win-win situation for the district and the lessees Hans and Donna Johsens,” said John Dickey, the open pace district’s real property specialist. “We have so many magnificent chestnut trees, and Hans and Donna want to take care of them.”

“The sheer majesty of this orchard is incredible,” Hans Johsen said. “Some of the trees have trunks that are pushing four feet in diameter, while others have 100-foot canopies, and they’re producing a really good yield.”

— Don Kazak

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