Paso Robles Daily News

Cal Poly grad creates new fruitless olive tree 

New Western Weeping Olive Tree developed on Santa Margarita Ranch

Shane Hayward; Blair Shurtleff, Inventor; Craig Wilson, GGF Farm Manager; Wayne Tyo, Mollie Field, and Barry Johnson, TMHA Division Director.

Shane Hayward; Blair Shurtleff, Inventor; Craig Wilson, GGF Farm Manager; Wayne Tyo, Mollie Field, and Barry Johnson, TMHA Division Director.

The Western Weeping Olive Fruitless Tree, developed on the Central Coast, was recently US Patent Approved. There are over 800 million olive trees currently growing in the world and now one unique tree from San Luis Obispo County is available.

The new tree was invented and developed in the historic Santa Margarita Ranch Area. According to the inventor, Blair Shurtleff, there has not been a new olive tree to come along that has all of the great qualities of olives such as drought tolerant, multi or single trunk, beautiful bark, able to withstand temperatures of extreme highs and periods of low teens.

Shurtleff has spent 18 years growing this tree, putting it through 6 formal years of rigorous testing in a licensed and secure testing facility, used one of the finest plant patent attorneys, John Peck, KPPB, of Newport Beach California. Typically, trial periods for plant patents usually only last 2-3 years.

“I have spent years online researching every olive tree, olive tree nurseries, worldwide Plant Breeding and Patent offices to guarantee that there is no other olive tree like this in the world,” said Shurtleff. “This is the first new ornamental olive tree patent to come along in over 20 years and it was developed right here on the Central Coast.”

“I have collected trees from all over the world and I set out to find something different,” said Shurtleff. “Unique plants have always been my passion and this invention will change the olive tree landscape market. This is the most unique and spectacular tree to enter the market in years!”

Shurtleff, a horticulturalist and the inventor of this new weeping olive was a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo major in Ornamental Horticulture/Fruit Science in the 70s and is a long time resident of this county.

How is the tree special?

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 6.41.37 AMIt weeps: Long, flexible weeping habit with 6′ (when mature) weeping structure. It cascades. The branches shoot straight up then after a few months turn and grow down.

Next to no leaf drop: Very few leaves ever drop from this tree. There is next to no clean up. This is also excellent for landscape plants in fire prone areas.

The leaf color: The Western Weeping Olive Tree leaf has a deep, dark green and SMOOTH top side with the soft grey ‘olive color’ underside. It will shimmer in the wind.

The leaf size: Over twice the leaf size of all other olive trees.

Fruitless: All of the Western Weeping Olive Trees set no olives but a rare few set some ‘shot berries,’ a very immature fruit that never matures or drops on the ground, dry, so no hazards or mess! This is the only fruitless olive under patent in the world.

Care: The olive requires little care and can be left natural for life. It can be pruned and shaped for patio trees or can be laced to enhance the weeping characteristics. Needs little fertilizer and always has its rich, dark green leaves, with beautiful olive color undersides. Grows in the same soil mix as all other olives. Grows in zones 8-11.

High wind resistant: Tested in 70-80 mph winds with no leaf loss, no branches broken and little leaf tear.

Deer resistant: These trees were tested with and against five other varieties of olives and scored number one in deer resistance. The deer normally left the Western Weeping completely alone but on some consumed some leaves or few leaf tips never to touch again. These trees were tested in extreme deer conditions.

Landscape uses: Line driveways, parkways, shopping centers, wineries, plant collectors, windbreaks, privacy barriers, Parking lots, commercial developments, by pools and walkways.                                                        


SLO BusinessNews and Information from the SLO Chamber of Commerce

Local horticulturalist invents new tree

The Western Weeping Olive™ “Fruitless!” Tree, developed on the Central Coast, has recently been US Patent Approved. There are over 800 million olive trees currently growing in the world and now one unique tree from San Luis Obispo County is available. 

The Western Weeping Olive™ “Fruitless!” Tree was invented and developed in the beautiful and historic Santa Margarita Ranch Area. According to the inventor, Blair Shurtleff, there has not been a new olive tree to come along that has all of the great qualities of olives such as drought tolerant, multi or single trunk, beautiful bark, able to withstand temperatures of extreme highs (100-120 degrees Fahrenheit) and periods of low teens.

Shurtleff, a horticulturalist and the inventor of this phenomenal weeping olive was a Cal Poly Ornamental Horticulture/Fruit Science major in the 70’s and is a long time resident of SLO County. 

“I have collected trees from all over the world and I set out to find something different,” said Shurtleff. “Unique plants have always been my passion and this invention of the Western Weeping Olive™ “Fruitless” will change the olive tree landscape market. This is the most unique and spectacular tree to enter the market in years!”

Shurtleff has spent 18 years growing this tree, putting it through six formal years of rigorous testing in a licensed and secure testing facility, used one of the finest plant patent attorneys, John Peck, KPPB, of Newport Beach, CA. Typically, trial periods for plant patents usually only last two to three years.

“I have spent years online researching every olive tree, olive tree nurseries, worldwide Plant Breeding and Patent offices to guarantee that there is no other olive tree like this in the world,” said Shurtleff. “This is the first new ornamental olive tree patent to come along in over 20 years and it was developed right here on the Central Coast.”

This unique Ornamental Fruitless Olive Tree will be available for sale on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26 – 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. rain or shine each day at Growing Grounds Farm, located at 3740 Orcutt Rd. on the corner of Orcutt and Johnson in San Luis Obispo.

“There are 250 large 15-gallon 6 year old trees available during the sale and over 3,000 one gallon trees,” said Craig Wilson, program manager for Growing Grounds Farm.

Propagation Strictly Prohibited and violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

“There will not be another sale of these trees for at least four more years after the next batch of 10,000 grows, but they will never be sold at this low price again,” explained Shurtleff. “The reason the prices are so low for this initial offering is because we want the trees to stay in SLO County. By giving back to the community we hope to keep this first batch local.” 

This event is the initial release of a new horticultural product through Growing Grounds Farm in San Luis Obispo, a program of Transitions-Mental Health Association. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will be donated back to the program. The olive trees alone will be for sale. There will be no sales of other nursery stock on these days.

“Working with Growing Grounds Farm on this project has been an honor and the best thing to happen to us,” said Shurtleff. “They are an honest and trustworthy group. We try to do everything locally so it was a win-win to be able to give back to a program that does good things for the community.”

“It has been a pleasure to work with Blair on this project,” said Wilson. “The trees have proven themselves to be vigorous relatively rapid growers. Being clean of fruit with little leaf drop, and drought tolerant they will have a multitude of landscape applications. We are pleased to be involved in the initial offering of these trees to the public.”


BRAGGING RIGHTS

OCTOBER 26TH, 2012

 The Western Weeping Olive (TM) “Fruitless!” Tree, developed in Santa Margarita by horticulturalist and Poly alum Blair Shurtleff, is the first new ornamental olive tree patent to be awarded in more than 20 years. A limited number of the drought tolerant, beautiful bark trees will be available for purchase 9 a.m.-4 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26–27 (rain or shine) at Growing Grounds Farm, 3740 Orcutt Road in SLO. The tree represents 18 years of work by Shurtleff and his team

- See more at: http://www.barnettcox.com/bcafyi/category/awards/page/3/#sthash.bnqAAG5L.dpuf