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The Californian-Mediterranean Region 874

fruit, industry, tree and california

THE CALIFORNIAN-MEDITERRANEAN REGION 874. The fifth California.—We have already studied four regions that have the climate of southern and central California, which we have called Californian-Mediterranean cli mate. Where are they? (Secs. 193, 547, 768, 860.) Such a region is always to be found wheat is planted. For the same reason wheat is grown on the highlands in the coolest corner of West Australia.

876. Fruit industry and irrigation.—The third industry to grow up in this region, as in California, was the fruit industry. This requires little land, but much labor. As there is so little rain here, most fruits need irriga tion. What have the mountains to do with California irrigation? (Sec. 158.) (Fig. 157.) The Australian mountains are not high enough for summer snowfields, and Australia has a very poor water supply for irrigation. The best water supply is that from the Murray River and its branches. (Fig. 620.) The largest fruit industry in Australia is in the lower part of this valley. This district sends to the other states and even to New Zealand oranges, pears, cherries, dried peaches, dried apricots, dried prunes, raisins, almonds, olives, and wine. So much wine is produced that much of it is exported to England and to British colonies. Preserved and canned fruit are also important exports.

The fruit industry is growing, and the necessary water is being stored, as in our own country. In order to irrigate orchards

of oranges and other fruits, the Australians, in 1920, began building on the Murray River a dam which would make a lake having a surface of about fifty square miles.

877. Big trees and lumber. —This Australian climate, with its mild temperature and gentle winds, seems to be one that suits big trees where enough rain falls. A similar climate, on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada in California, has given us the sequoia, the tree having the largest trunk found in the world. (Sec. 160.) In Aus tralia are forests of giant eucalyptus, the tallest tree in the world.

The eucalyptus is a very valuable tree indeed, because it yields a useful oil and grows faster than any other tree suited to the Californian-Mediterranean climate. In West Australia there are large forests of certain kinds of eucalyptus which make very tough and durable timber. Many streets in London are paved with these woods, called jarrah and karri.

878. Future.—This region, like all the other Californian-Mediterranean regions, could profitably produce several times as much fruit as it now produces, if a market for it could be found.