An Iowa State University horticulturist has made a name for himself in landing a patent on a breed of walnut tree he helped develop, a tree that’s now named after him. Professor Paul Domoto says he took over a research project on walnut trees in 1975 and over the years one tree, now known as the Domoto, has proven itself as a hardy species, especially during the harsh winters. He says it’s unusual for the flowers and branches to survive as well as they do in the poor weather.Domoto says the tree that bears walnuts — and his name — was part of an experimental grove planted on the Ames campus in 1971.The Domoto tree is a style of Persian walnut which was developed for the back yard. He says the trees are small, slow-growing, have a round shape and upright branches. They leaf out early in the year and lose their leaves late. As for the naming process, Domoto says the Iowa State University Foundation gave him the honor.Domoto says he hasn’t ever concerned himself with ensuring his name “lives forever” in books or even in plants, adding, “there are other things to accomplish.” For Iowans interested in having a Domoto in their yards, they’re being sold exclusively through Stark Brothers Nursery in Louisiana, Missouri, at “www.starkbros.com”. The nursery has trademarked the Domoto cultivar tree under the name Stark Northern Prize.
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