Everything listed under: Truckee Tree

  • Truckee Gardening Season

    Our gardening season and our "growing season" are not the same. We were gardening in February this year, planting shrubs we didn't get to in the fall as well as seeds and bulbs we forgot we had.  MANY clients were preparing their raised-beds and planting beet and radish seeds. The could have been plating seedlings of chard and kale as well. The best spinach I've ever had was grown from seedlings I planted in early April that then laid covered with snow for 2+ weeks. Our growing season, according to NOAA, is our "frost-free period", when we have less than a 10% chance of ≤ 32°F on any given night, is July 15-August 15.  July 31 is the middle of our growing season.

    Our "average" temperatures are derived from wildly fluctuating daily temperatures at all times of the year. The average gives us a rough guide with which we make wildly fluctuating guesses at how cold it might get on any given day.  That said, it is a tool, much like the USDA zones or the useless-to-mountain-folk Sunset western zones (see Northeastern for a more useful tool).  I've posted this pic of our chalkboard before but it "bears repeating".

    Here is a graph of an "average" winter (temperature-wise). Jan15, 2013-Jan 14, 2014. For interest, note where the "average" nighttime low is ≥32° and where the average daytime temps average ≥70°F.

    I think that, without a greenhouse, our "average" mountain gardening season in Truckee is about March 15 - November 1 (or 15).  It is a matter of taking advantage of clear and warm conditions, choosing the right plants and crops and being able to protect the harvests of others (see RowCover). If you have an unheated greenhouse you can add 3-6 weeks on either end of that gardening season for some veggies. 

    I have planted hardy annuals in February MANY times with great success (pansy, viola, dianthus, calendula, stock, primrose) and I have also planted dormant trees and shrubs in December, January, February and March with excellent success.

  • 3rd Dry Winter... so far

    We all hope this force-field around the Sierras will vanish soon and let in our moisture.  That little bit of drizzle and snow was beneficial for sure but not nearly enough for landscapes nor for our snow-dependent businesses.  I count on nordic skiing to get me in shape for working all summer and I've been once... in Utah.

    If you have new platings in a sunny location that has no snow you might consider dragging out a hose and giving those new plantings some water. This is a winter-watering blog from January 2012:  http://www.villagernursery.com/winter-watering-january-2012

  • Happy Halloween and Biosol is Back in Stock!

    We bring in tons of material late to encourage fall planting because it is GOOD FOR YOUand then we put much of it on sale to reduce our overwintering efforts.  Also, plants are always happier in the ground than in pots and WE LIKE HAPPY PLANTS.
    SO - until we finish putting plants away... in the next couple of weeks... the Final Sales are:
    ALL Outdoor Bulbs: 20% off* (*of ¢ or $/ea price),
    Hardy Trees* and Shrubs are 20% (*except spruce we JUST brought in for Living Christmas Trees).
    4' & Qt. Hardy Perennials are 50% off,
    ≥ #1g Hardy Perennials are 40% off,
    All the bagged composts, manures and potting soils are "buy 4-get 1 free",
    We have a pallet and a rack full of "orphan" plants of all sizes for cheap,
    Pottery over 14" dia. and all redwood planters: 30% off,
    Outside Garden Art: 30% off (gift ideas?)
    & Pumpkins are $3.99 (1 free to anyone under 6  from 10/28-10/31 while they last).  Happy Halloween.


  • Truckee Trees, Truckee Bulbs, Truckee Seeds, Truckee Shrubs, Truckee Perennials

    In the populated locations of the Sierra Nevada (or the Rockies for that matter) the climate does not get much more challenging than it does in Truckee, Glenshire & Hirschdale.  Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Groundcovers, Bulbs and Seeds that thrive in Truckee, plants that the Villager Nursery offers, will grow well anywhere in the mountain west.  Really.  We have MANY wonderful clients from Reno, Colfax, Nevada City, Downieville, Quincy, Portola, Meyers and more mountain-top, glacial valley and upper foothill locations.

    Fall sales are "technically" over, and we have one more load of trees arriving approx. 10/25.  We are like the trees at the Villager these days... changing color but not yet dropping our leaves.  We have begun cutting back perennials and fertilizing with Biosol and Gardner & Bloome but we have not yet begun putting the plants into the shade for winter.  Fall IS for planting and, in the sun at least, the soil is actually still accumulating the warmth that encourages root system expansion.  

    Do not forget to keep your plants and lawns moist.  It does not take much but do not let your plants dry out. Once a week-or-so is probably plenty, less often in shade.  Hopefully you got the memo and  mulched ALL bare soil with Gromulch and wood chips to reduce moisture loss, keep out weeds, reduce temperature swings in the roots and to feed the soil.  Winterizing Class Saturday 10/26 from 10-11am. ($5-ish donation to the Farwest Nordic Junior Ski Program).

    Get your BIOSOL now before we run out again.  Sign-up for the newsletter to receive wonderful coupons and timely advice. Check-in with us or even "Like" us on Facebook just for the fun of it. Or look for the BIOSOL give-away deal!

  • Truckee Trees, Truckee Bulbs, Truckee Seeds, Truckee Shrubs, Truckee Perennials

    In the populated locations of the Sierra Nevada (or the Rockies for that matter) the climate does not get much more challenging than it does in Truckee, Glenshire & Hirschdale.  Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Groundcovers, Bulbs and Seeds that thrive in Truckee, plants that the Villager Nursery offers, will grow well anywhere in the mountain west.  Really.  We have MANY wonderful clients from Reno, Colfax, Nevada City, Downieville, Quincy, Portola, Meyers and even many more high foothill to summit locations.

    Fall sales are "technically" over, and we have one more load of trees arriving approx. 10/25.  We are like the trees at the Villager these days... changing color but not yet dropping our leaves.  We have begun cutting back perennials and fertilizing with Biosol and Gardner & Bloome but we have not yet begun putting the plants into the shade for winter.  Fall IS for planting and, in the sun at least, the soil is actually still accumulating the warmth that encourages root system expansion.  

    Do not forget to keep your plants and lawns moist.  It does not take much but do not let your plants dry out. Once a week-or-so is probably plenty, less often in shade.  Hopefully you got the memo and  mulched ALL bare soil with Gromulch and wood chips to reduce moisture loss, keep out weeds, reduce temperature swings in the roots and to feed the soil.  Winterizing Class Saturday 10/26 from 10-11am. ($5 donation to the Farwest Nordic Foundation).

    UNTIL we start putting plants away (~after Halloween):  

    20% OFF Trees and Shrubs*    

    *except the spruce we've just brought in for living holiday decor.

    40% OFF 4" & Quart Perennials (not woody)

    30% OFF #1g and larger Perennials

    Awesome and hardy wildflower-type bulbs, Garlic and more.  Wildflower seeds for Tahoe, Truckee and the High Sierra along with, always, the best advice for far-better-than-average successes.  

    Pumpkins: 3.99 each.

    Get your BIOSOL now before we run out.  Sign-up for the newsletter to receive wonderful coupons ad timely advice. Check-in with us or even "Like" us on Facebook just for the fun of it.

  • October Sales & Clean-Up: October 5-13, 2013

    October Sales & Nursery Clean-Up: October 5-13, 2013

     

    50% OFF 4” pot size Hardy Herbaceous* Perennials like Shasta Daisy, Peony, Daylily, Coneflower, Catmint, Hardy Grasses, etc... and including Perennial Herbs and Vegetables like Thyme, Asparagus, Sage, Mint, Lovage, etc... Last chance for these youngsters cheap.

    30% OFF all larger qt., #1g, #2g, etc... hardy herbaceous perennials. (Herbaceous plant: is a non-woody plant that has leaves and stems that die down to the soi  level at the end of the growing season. There is no persistent woody stem above ground.)

    30% OFF All Vines (including Hops, Clematis and Virginia Creeper), All Hawthorne,  All Ninebark, All Oaks, All Snowberry, All Spiraea, Roses (except native R. woodsii), AND ALL MAPLES !!! including the hardiest of all: Tartarian and Amur (Flame) Maples.

    50% OFF all Remaining Blueberry and Blue Elderberry

    "Orphans" - we’ve brought out many more plants with a crook or broken top that are not quite retail salable but will grow with compost and fertilizer. Trees, Shrubs and Perennials.  These orphaned plants are a value: Perennials in 4” pots are 50¢ and #1g are $1.00

    20% OFF Tough-as-Nails Trees and Shrubs  including Crabapple, Maple, Serviceberry, Cranberry Viburnum, Thimbleberry, Burning Bush, Dogwood, Willow, Chokecherry, Potentilla, Mock Orange, Mountain Ash and 20% off (and without tax) prolific Currants, Gooseberries, Hardy Grapes and Raspberries. Apples, Pears, Cherries, and worthy of its blooms alone, Hardy Apricot from seed collected near 8,000 ft in Ouray, CO.

    Bulb Specials: Bearded Iris $1.99 (reg 4.99 Plant NOW) / Hyacinth Bulbs for indoor or outdoor 10 for 8.99 (reg. 1.29ea.) / Giant Red Impression Tulips 10 for 6.99 (reg. 79¢ea.)

    Inside the store: 50% off Hydroponic-specific nutrients and Indoor Lighting and Growing Systems and kits.

    The newsletter has a coupon for $$$ of of Biosol.  Sign-up to receive infrequent news and notices.    Sign-up if you want the newsletter coupons.

    Buy 4, get 1 FREE  on Outdoor Composts, Potting Soils, Top Soil, Manures & Bark
    30% OFF Redwood Planters & Trellis, LARGE  Pottery (>$40), 30% OFF Outdoor Art
    Saturday 10/5 Only: Jose’s 30% off any Evergreen Sale: Pine, Spruce, Fir, Cypress, Cedar, Juniper, Broom, Mahonia, Ceanothus, Garrya, Rhododendron, Manzanita, Cotoneaster or any other you can convince us is “evergreen”.
    All sales limited to stock on hand and no double discounts. Discounts off regular retail prices....Sale Ends 10/13/13

  • Fall is in the Air, Nursery-Wide Sale 9/13-9/22 2013 !

    Fall is in the Air

    Nursery-Wide Sale 

    9/13-9/22 2013 !

    DETAILS: sale flier here and newsletter here

    "Seconds" - We're bringing out healthy plants with a crook or a sealing scar or a broken top that are not quite retail salable but will grow with compost and fertilizer. These orphaned plants are CHEAP!

    50% Off Fruit Trees is a SMOKIN’ deal!  Apples, Pears, Cherries, and worthy of their blooms alone, Hardy Apricot and Peach.

    20% off (and no tax) on prolific Currants, Gooseberries, Hardy Grapes, Raspberries and Blueberries and will produce more fruit per square foot than any other plant.  The JostaBerry and TastiBerry (gooseberry x currant hybrids) are specialty plants we grew specifically for Truckee.

    20% OFF Tough-as-Nails Trees and Shrubs - The whole LOT!

    75% Off Annual Color: Stock, Geranium, Cali, Petunia, Nasturtium, Tender Grasses, etc...

    40% Off Perennial Herbs and Vegetables like Thyme, Asparagus, Sage, Mint, Lovage, etc...

    50% OFF Packaged (not Villager brand) Seeds:  Lake Valley, Renee, etc..

    30% Off Bulk Wildflower Seeds: (not packaged) >4 oz.

    30% Bulk Grass, Pasture, Clover Seeds: (not packaged) >5 lbs.

    Bearded Iris $2.99 (reg 4.99)

    Hyacinth Bulbs for indoor or outdoor 10 for 8.99 (reg. 1.29ea.)

    Early Indoor Only Paperwhite Narcissus 10 for 9.99 (reg. 1.39ea.)

    Inside the store: 10% off fertilizers, repellents, pesticides, herbicides.

    Inside the store: 50% off Hydroponic specific nutrients and Indoor Lighting and Growing Systems.

    The newsletter has a coupon for $$$ of of Biosol.  Sign-up to receive VERY infrequent news and notices. Sign-up if you want the newsletter coupons.

    40% OFF Beautiful Hardy Flowering Herbaceous Perennials like Coneflower, Daylily, Sedum, Lupine, Daisy, etc........

    Buy 4, get 1 FREE  on Potting Soils, Manures & Bark

    30% OFF Redwood Planters & Trellis’

    30% OFF LARGE  Pottery

    30% OFF Outdoor Art

    Parking Lot “Orphan Plants” Clearance

    All sales limited to stock on hand and no double discounts. Discounts off regular retail prices....


  • Fall is in the Air

  • Garden Tour Notes and Cart-Load SALE

    The Lake of the Sky Garden Tour was across the north shore on Saturday. Thanks to all the incredible volunteers in the garden club who organized the tour, delivered the tickets and hosted the gardens.  And especially THANKS to the homeowners who dressed-up, tidied and added a little extra color here and there before opening their gardens to 1,000 enthusiastic visitors.  Some of us don't have much opportunity to visit lake-front gardens and that is always an added treat.  Highlights and reminders for me were Helenium spp. a VERY under appreciated and under-used wildflower-daisy that blooms mid-late summer in rich autumn shades. It is seldom eaten by deer.  Crocosmia 'Lucifer' dominated many gardens with it's RED.  Annuals can be perfect, mixed into perennial gardens for continuous color. Even a very small waterfall is a nice addition to a garden.  

    The Villager is having a BIG SALE this week.  25% off any plants or seeds you can put on a cart.  One time, one cart, one customer with coupon from the newsletter.  Plus other specials.  We received our LAST portion of the shrub-form #5g Chokecherries last week and they are going quickly. reg 44.99 for 19.99.  

    NOLO BaitWe also just brought in NOLO bait (Nosema locustae) a protozoan that kills ±90 species of grasshoppers (Melanoplus group), locusts, and mormon crickets (a type of grasshopper).  They are BAD this year and we have started seeing lots of damage.  They are attracted to and eat the bait, become infected, slow and die. Then the other grasshoppers eat them, and become infected and so-on. It is a slow acting and debilitating disease that offers long-term management of grasshopper populations AND there is some Nosema carryover to the next year. It is harmless to any other creatures.  (We have Corry's if you want Carbaryl).

  • Freeze-Drying Winter '11-'12

    January 2007 was similar to this December-January '11-'12. That cold dry year the ice skating was spectacular voles damage was minimal and many plants suffered.

    The process of preparing for winter in hardy plants goes something like this: Plants sense shortening days and cooling temperatures and produce chemicals to start the processes of dropping leaves or closing stomata (the holes they “breathe” through). Food is moved to the roots and important compounds in leaves are recycled and stored away. When freezing begins, water moves out of the cells and into the intercellular spaces (between the cells). This water freezes, but the cell’s contents, with higher concentrations of sugars and salts, have much lower freezing temperatures (like salt water or anti-freeze). As temperatures drop, more water moves out of the cells and solute concentrations in the cells increase, and freezing temperatures drop further. The cell membrane, which is inside the rigid cell wall, actually pulls away and makes room for the ice crystals between the cells.

    If temperatures drop too quickly, water cannot move out of the cell fast enough, ice forms inside the cells and in pores of the cell membrane. As you might imagine, jagged ice crystals inside the cells rip them apart and if enough cells die, the plant dies. This is damage we see frequently suffer in spring.

    This winter, before it finally began to snow, the days were sunny the nights were very cold, the north-east winds were blowing and several things happened.During the warmer sunny days, plant tissues warmed up enough to thaw and begin photosynthesis. Cells woke up and filled with water. At 3:00 PM in mid January, the warm afternoon sun had the plants thinking it was spring, just before the sun went down. The air temperatures were already below freezing and without the sun on the stems, leaves or needles, the temperatures plummeted and many plants suffered – This damage often shows-up as “freeze-cracking” , split bark or tissue damage on the southwest side of trees.

    In many other locations the dry wind and sub-freezing temperatures caused the ice between plant’s cells to sublimate (change from solid to vapor). When the ice around the cells was gone, the cell membrane was exposed and the little moisture remaining in the interior of the cells dried up – This is “freeze-drying”.

    This winter, some plants just dried-up. The soils became so dry that even roots died. I lost 2 of 7, 14 year-old currants. Sometimes there is no telling why some one plant dies and another survives. In the wild it is the same story, one manzanita is dead and 3 feet away another is fine and 12 feet further another is dead and so-on. It could have been one branch of a pine 30' away provided a few extra crucial minutes of shade in mid January or the one plant's roots just happened to be under a large rock... it is fascinating and frustrating at the same time.

    In home landscapes, many people may have saved their plants by watering in January and people with 3-4" of mulch throughout their garden suffered far fewer losses than most. NEVER underestimate the wonders of mulching.

    In the nursery, we lost huge numbers of plants in pots this winter. We tuck the plants together for the winter and put shade around them to trap snow but this winter they froze and dried. You cannot water a frozen container plant because the water freezes and suffocates the roots so we tried to lightly mist them and just raise the humidity but it was largely ineffective. We really need a cheap used snow-making gun for winters like this one (many larger nurseries in the mountain west have them.)

    We don’t have a huge variety of broadleaf evergreens that grow well here but there are a few. Manzanita, Huckleberry Oak, Live Oak and Ceanothus and Mt. Mahogany are some of our broadleaf evergreen natives. Many of these suffered this winter, especially those exposed to the north-east winds (see photo of fried manzanita and dead squaw-mat).  I have not seen damage on any Mountain Mahogany.

    I’ve also seen damage on Native Incense Cedar, Giant Sequoia, Lydia Broom, Hardy Holly, Hardy Rhododendron, Dwarf Alberta Spruce (it often suffers sun scald), Cotoneaster and Bear-Berry Manzanita.

    We are still waiting to see what has survived but many are pushing some new growth. Meanwhile, we've fertilized with Biosol and Dr. Earth and with seaweed to stimulate roots.


  • Arborist Culture

    Improving Tree Structure with Structural Pruning, Western Chapter - International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA) : I spent Friday with 3 of the top research and teaching Arborists in the country: Brian Kempf (Urban Tree Foundation), Ed Gilman (University of Florida etc...) and Nelda Matheny (HortSciense, Inc.).  I went with Helen from A Garden Gecko and Jason from Hall Tree.  We met in a community center near downtown Sacramento with 97 other Certified Arborists from the region where each of the three presenters gave their hour plus talks on the latest research and thinking on a variety of tree pruning topics.  They discussed and showed slides of the best current practices, the engineering and biomechanics, tree growth and response and the biology behind it all.  While much of arboriculture focuses on tree health, vigor and pest prevention, this class was entirely about the art and science of pruning and it was the most insightful class on the topic that I have enjoyed in many, many years.  In the afternoon we all went out into the park and directed, commented and questioned every cut that some brave volunteer tree worker / arborists made in a variety of age and species of trees.  Every time I attend one of these seminars, I am for weeks afterwards pruning every tree I see in my mind.  At every stop light, as drive along the road, I find myself making cuts that will improve the long-term structure and stability of the trees.  For more information, the Urban Tree Foundation with CalFire has produced four "cue cards" on the topic that are full of excellent information and advice (there are some considerations for our environment but they are pretty darn good).  Look HERE.

    Helen and I also attended an all-day seminar last October in Chico where several legends in California arboriculture (Joe McNeil, Rob Gross, Gordon Mann, Denice Britton, Torrey Young) spoke on many aspects of Caring for Mature Landscape Trees.  That day was also a half indoor and half outdoor and was also a great day of education.  

    The arborist community seems to be especially passionate and dedicated to improving itself and the individuals within it and I am proud to be among their numbers.  Eric Larusson, ISA# WE-7983A

  • Winter Watering January 2012

    People were pointing and actually laughing at us as they pulled off I-80 when we fired-up the irrigation system for the nursery and landscape this Friday (1/5).  Their loss I guess. We have been fielding calls every day, usually prefaced by "...this might be a stupid question but..." at which point I often interrupt and say "Yes, you should water" (...as though I could read minds).  In our Planting Instructions and Winterizing hand-outs, we say: "Maple, Birch and Alder are particularly susceptible to drought injury in late fall and winter. Always send your garden into winter with moist soil. The last watering is often around Thanksgiving. Even dormant trees need water, so... if we have no substantial rain or snow, water at least once a month, even through the winter."  Your plants are sleeping, they're not dead.
    In sunny locations if the snow is gone, trees and shrubs planted within the last 2 years, small plants, young plants and groundcovers would love to be watered.  We have been watering the sunny south-facing slopes in the nursery since we had that little rain last week.  I watered the sunniest parts of my exposed lawn earlier this week.  Think "light rain" when watering. You want to avoid saturating frozen soil and creating a solid ice layer that will suffocate roots and beneficial soil microbes but all those same components of soil need some moisture to survive. Water only during the warmest part of the day (when temps are well over 40°F) and give the water a chance to soak well in before afternoon shade and cooling sets in.
    This is a year when we are glad we promote antitranspirant applications and plenty of mulch.  

    Colorado State University has a handout on the subject and we are pretty much in agreement with what they say: look here.
    The temperatures turned dramatically cold this fall before many plants had a chance to naturally shut-down (many still have leaves on them). These would be more susceptible to winter die-back in a NORMAL winter. I am already seeing damage to some evergreens (Cedar and Giant Sequoia) and broadleaf evergreens (Holly, Oregon Grape and Manzanita). It will be yet another instructive winter seeing what really THRIVES in our always challenging climate... stay tuned.

Contact Villager

Villager Nursery, Inc
10678 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161-4834
Central Truckee, exit 186 off I-80
(530) 587-0771
www.villagernursery.com
info@villagernursery

Founded 1975, Incorporated 1990

California Nursery License 1975
No. C 3976.001, Co.29CA
Contractors License 1977
No. 413907-C27 LS
ISA Certified Arborist: Eric Larusson
No. WE-7983A

View All Events