No, not higher ground to protect from flooding, even if Ladera Frutal is on the slope of Mt. Ararat (more on that later). These subtropical fruit trees, last pictured here in their pots in front of F&V HQ, have now been planted high up on the slope, above the highest level at which frost and freezing temperatures are expected.
With Ladera Frutal worker Martin standing by, this photo shows three subtropical trees high above our Hass avocado grove: A green sapote (left, foreground), a mamey sapote (to Martin’s left), and canistel (behind Martin, but barely visible against the avocado trees down the slope).
The photo above (especially its larger version, which you can get to by clicking the image) gives a good idea of just how high this spot is. In the canyon below (looking south), you can see a neighbor’s vineyard and the main road at the base of the hills of the opposite canyon wall. Below the trees are shown from a different angle, which gives an idea of how close this location is to the crest of the hill.
At one time, I intended to plant these trees all the way up and just over the crest of our one northeast-facing slope. But poaching off the existing irrigation system won out over installing a new one, and the elevation difference is minimal. This location might even be better. The two photos together give an impression of just how protected the location is. Just barely exposed to the normal sea breeze, and probably our most protected spot against the occasional dry northeast (Santa Ana) winds. The avocado trees, as well as the rocks (which act almost like radiators) and slope configuration (cold air flows like water and a south face gets more sunlight), should make this a great spot. Now, we await the growth and the fruit!