Everything listed under: truckee christmas

  • The Holidays 2018

    Early December and it feels like Thanksgiving was a month ago. We were out on mountain ridges, cutting high elevation Silvertip Christmas trees the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and just before the first real snows of the season arrived Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. 

    We've had fresh-cut Christmas trees delivered from five growers and wreaths, garland and greens from three others. Fresh cut Christmas trees (See Christmas Tree Choices) are in short supply throughout the west and we are happy to get what we can.  So far everything has been fresh and lush and we are of-course keeping the trees frozen and shaded.  This year we have Noble for from Oregon and Washington, Fraser fir from B.C., Normann and Grand fir from Oregon, Red fir (Silvertip) from the high Sierra (two sources).

      Our sustainably harvested wild Silvertips are beautiful trees but only the second-best. Our commercial tree harvesting permits are all about the "leave trees".  We look for the healthiest, disease, parasite free, choice trees and then we thin the trees around them. This reduces competition for resources, eliminates fuels and leaves the forest healthier and safer than when we arrived. Our other Silvertip come from a forester on the ridges of the Sierra Valley who manages a couple of sections and allows the trees to "turnip" (a branch turns up) to form a new leader.  I LOVE helping folks with Christmas trees. We've cut back on our selection of 10-12' plantation trees because @ 300+ lbs, our aging bodies just can't take it. We do have Silvertips in every size up to 20'. 


  • Fall Sale 2018 some details:

    Happy Fall 2018! (and Fall Sale details)
    Fall began Saturday, September 22 with the autumnal equinox.
    Starting Sunday September 23, Villager Nursery will offer 30% off all 6-pack, 4" and quart size herbaceous perennials and wildflowers... plant these now for a beautiful perennial garden next spring. The #1 gallon size and larger herbaceous perennials are 20% OFF until 10/14. 
    ALL of our huge selection of Trees & Shrubs are 20% OFF 
    Plus special selections at 30% off: 
      • Native Tundra Honeyberry: Lonicera caerulea, Honeyberry, Blue-berried Honeysuckle, Hacksap, a circumboreal species native to mountains and forests throughout the northern hemisphere, hardy to USDA zone 1 (≤ -50°F). Two varieties are required for pollination.
      • Native Single-leaf Piñon Pine: Pinus monophylla is the world’s only single-leaved pine. It is also a source of large piñon nuts and is of major cultural importance to Sierra and Great Basin indigenous people. It is said, “the Piñon is to the Great Basin people what the American Bison is to the Plain’s people”. We have some rare, beautiful #10g trees.
      • #10g 'Spring Snow' Sterile Crabapples: Spring Snow Crabapple has a solid mass of enormous white flowers without fruit on a perfect "lollipop tree' to 20’ tall and only 15’ wide.
      • Fruiting Apple, Cherry, Pear and Plum Trees: We offer many hardy varieties of fruiting apples primarily late-flowering and early fruiting. While it is best to have two varieties for pollination, nearby crabapples usually offer up enough pollen for fruit. Roman’s were responsible for propagating Montmorency Cherries in Europe. These “Tart” cherries produce fruit almost every year in spite of spring frosts.
      • Native Sierra Spiraea splendens var. splendens (of "broad ecological amplitude"). Cultivated varieties like 'Summer Song' are 20% off.
      • Hardy Vines:  Clematis including western native C. columbiana. Hardy Kiwi (vigorous vine, yet to see fruit), Hop vine, Honeysuckle, Porcelain Vine, Virginia Creeper, and a few even more interesting options.

      • Elderberry, Currant, Gooseberry, Grape, Blueberry and Honeyberry Shrubs. 

    AND 40% Off one of our best native screening shrubs:

     • Native Green Chokecherries: Our native Prunus virginiana var. demissa. The cultivated variety of P. virginiana var. melanocarpa ‘Canada Red’ (@ 20% off) has a purplish leaf in summer. Chokecherries are fast-growing with abundant and fragrant spring flowers and fruit that makes excellent jelly.  It also has nice orange fall color and can be hedged to almost any height.

    There is also a coupon for Biosol, a coupon for hardy deer-proof Bulbs and Buy-4, Get 1 Free special on ALL Composts, Potting Soils, Manures  and Bark Mulches. 

    Bulbs are 10% off individual bulb prices or individual packets.  10% off G&B Fertilizers.  And there's a coupon for $_ off Biosol fertilizer (also bring a bucket for 12lb Biosol @ 19.99).

    -A link to the newsletter.

  • Christmas Tree "Business"

    12/24/2017 - 1:00PM - I just closed the gate and put the last three, 4-ft Silvertips out by the gate. It is MY tradition to come down here on Christmas Eve, if we have a few trees left and help the last-minute arrivals to Truckee find a tree for the family decorations. 

    My very first job, when I was 11 or 12, was working for an Apple orchard / Christmas tree farm in Pollock Pines, just after we'd moved there from the Peninsula. My job was to know the different trees, show folks where they grew, carry the bow saw, ensure that we saved the lowest branches for "turn-ups" (stump-culture) and to help carry the tree back to the office. I loved tromping through the woods, helping people find their trees.  I worked at Harris Tree Farm for several Christmas seasons and then started working at Santa's Acres, a little further away (my mom had to drive me).  I later worked there in the summers, shearing (with a machette) and shaping the trees in spring and summer, removing weeds, repairing irrigation and eradicating 1000's (upon 1000's) of gophers. - I think there might have been two winters, while in college, where I did not help folks with Christmas trees...  Everyone is happy when they come to get a tree and I have a blast.  

    We care deeply about the quality of our trees. We cut some, as late as possible, often risking life and limb driving crazy places in blizzards, because we wait as long as possible so our clients have the freshest possible trees.  We order trees from growers who love the industry and who use sustainable practices. One of our favorite growers only uses compost teas and measures his brix ° to ensure their sugar is as high and thus their water holding capacity is as high as possible.  Then we keep the trees wrapped, and covered in the shade, essentially refrigerated (or frozen) so they stay as fresh as possible, only bringing a few at a time out into the sun.

    The ONLY part of Christmas tree sales I have any distaste for is the wooden stands that allow the trees to dry-out.  We go to great lengths and risks to cut trees as late as possible and then carefully protect the trees post-harvest.  It is like being a florist with beautiful fresh-cut flowers, lovingly grown and kept fresh in water being sold to someone who will be putting them in a dry vase.  Other than that.  I LOVE helping folks with Christmas trees and I hope you've enjoyed any trees you've picked-up from us.  Merry Christmas.  Happy Solstice.  All the best to everyone for a hopeful and better New Year.

  • Christmas Time is Here

    It is the Holidays. Thanks has been given (Thanksgiven), we are enjoying turkey left-overs and the focus is Christmas decorations. For decades, Villager was closed this weekend after Thanksgiving as we had no one interested in trees. The last few years, however there has been a big shift and MANY people come in early and pick-out or pick-up our freshly cut Christmas trees, wreaths of ALL sizes and beautiful lush garland.  

    We WERE able to get trees this year, from 4 different growers and they look excellent.  The news is out that there is a shortage of fresh trees and we can confirm that. Our favorite grower of Noble fir let us know 3 months ago that he would not have enough trees for us this winter or next and we scrambled and searched for 2 months to find 3 new growers who happened to have cancellations. 

    The reasons for the shortages, as I've understood them are several: After the banking / housing-bubble crash and recession starting in '08-'09 people began purchasing more artificial trees or skipping Christmas trees and there was a glut, an overabundance, of trees in Oregon and Washington farms. In the PNW, they harvest by clearing whole blocks and then replanting and they did not harvest or replant many plots for 2-3 years. There is now a hole in the crop rotations and a shortage of 6-9' trees of those ages.  On top of that, 5 years of drier than normal weather slowed tree growth. The economy recovered over the past 7-8 years. And there was a dock-workers strike last winter that left 1000's of containers of Christmas Trees (bound for over-seas) to rot on the docks and very tragically put 100's of small growers out-of-business. 

    We do have Fraser Fir, Nordmann Fir, Noble Fir, Red Fir and White Fir along with a variety of living potted trees.

    Fresh Cut Tree Types


    Silvertip, Red Fir, Abies magnifica: Local Native with very strong open and symmetrical layered branching. Strong fragrance. Silver-blue tips on green foliage. Excellent needle retention. Easy to decorate. You can appreciate lights and ornaments on the opposite side or see a mountain view through the tree.

    Concolor, White Fir, Abies concolor: Local nativevery similar to Silvertip. Branches strong, often with many internodal branches. Green / Blue-green longer softer needles. Citrus-like fragrance. Excellent needle retention. Easy to decorate. Lights and ornaments visible through the tree.

    Fraser Fir, Abies fraseri: Native to the Appalachian Mountains of VA & NC at elevations up to the summit of Mount Mitchell (the highest point east of the Mississippi) at 6,683 feet. Loved for their up-turned branches, full look and strong fragrance.

    Nordmann Fir, Caucasian Fir, Abies nordmanniana: Native to the mountain "forest refugia" of the Russian Caucasus to over 7,000ft. It has attractive deep glossy green foliage and soft needles. Europe's favorite with perhaps the best needle retention of all Christmas Trees.

    Noble Fir, Abies procera: From the Cascades and the Coast Range CA to WA and occasionally up to treeline. Noble Fir are Intensively managed and pruned to a dense symmetrical taper and neat shape. Very full, slightly layered. Very strong branches. Excellent fragrance. Rich green needle color. Superior needle retention. Holds the many ornaments, and you get a glimpse of trunk. (We have only 10-12' Noble in 2017).

    Living Potted Tree Types

    Colorado Blue Spruce (the state tree of Utah), Picea pungens: Trees in the wild Rockies vary from green to bright silvery-blue. Baby Blue Blue Spruce is a very blue variety grown from seed. Ours have been managed and pruned to produce the compact Christmas Tree shape you see but they can grow 18”-24” (or more) each season easily when planted correctly and fertilized regularly.

    Black Hills White Spruce, Picea glauca var. densata: This geographical variety of the widespread northern white spruce tends to be dense and have great tolerance of drying winter winds. The foliage is greener than blue spruce with only the slightest waxy coating. In both species the blue color is a protective wax produced on the needles that helps prevent sun damage and moisture loss. Black Hills spruce is one of the best trees for surviving in a container.

    Engelmann spruce, Picea engelmannii: Native to mountains of western North America (Cascades and Rockies), from central British Columbia, Alberta, to northern California and southeast to Arizona and New Mexico and northern Mexico. It is a high elevation species often reaching tree-line up to 11,980 ft. Ours are from seed we collected over 9K ft. in SW Colorado (Ironton).

    Kellogg's compost special offer with each purchase of a live tree >$30: One 2cf bag of Bumper Crop and 1 lb Biosol fertilizer for 8.99

    Large saucers for under live trees $4-$15 ea.... Or use a sledding saucer we sell for $16 for larger trees… durable, reusable, fun.

  • Happy Fall 2016! (and Fall Sale details)

    Fall begins Thursday September 22 with the autumnal equinox. I'm in Ouray, CO w/family collecting native seed and appreciating the fall colors (as I have many times over the years).  We have no internet at the house and the cell service is spotty so a "hot-spot" doesn't really work.  I've run into town for the day and parked at Mouse's to use their wi-fi (thanks again) to write a newsletter / sale-flier. The Newsletter highlights our MANY truck-loads of plants over the past 3 weeks and a Fall Sale. My communication with the shop has been rare as well so please forgive them if they didn't know I was writing this.

    Starting Saturday, 9/24, Villager Nursery will offer 40% off all 6-pack, 4" and quart size herbaceous perennials and wildflowers... plant these now for a beautiful perennial garden next spring. The #1 gallon size and larger herbaceous perennials are a whopping 30% OFF until 10/16. ALL of our huge selection of Trees & Shrubs are 20% OFF plus Danny's special selection: 

    Danny's Sale Selection: a large handful of 30% OFF specials…

    Native Tundra Honeyberry: Lonicera caerulea, Honeyberry, Blue-berried Honeysuckle, Hacksap, a circumboreal species native to mountains and forests throughout the northern hemisphere, hardy to USDA zone 1 (≤ -50°F). Two similar varieties are required for pollination.

    Native Single-leaf Piñon Pine: Pinus monophylla is the world’s only single-leaved pine. It is also a source of large piñon nuts and is of major cultural importance to Sierra and Great Basin indigenous people. It is said, “the Piñon is to the Great Basin people what the American Bison is to the Plain’s people”. We have some rare, beautiful #5g trees.

    Native Green Multi (& Single-Trunk Canada Red) Chokecherries: Our native Prunus virginiana var. demissa  and the Rocky Mountain P. virginiana var. melanocarpa. The cultivated variety ‘Canada Red’ has a purplish leaf in summer. It is a fast growing species with fragrant and abundant spring flowers and bitter fruit that makes great jelly (I know!) As fast-growing a tree as Aspen.

    Marilee and Dolgo Crabapples: Marilee Flowering Crabapple has large pink buds and abundant, enormous double white flowers without fruit on a narrow tree 20’ tall and only 10’ wide.  Dolgo is a large (30’+) shade tree with fragrant white blooms and large edible crabapples (1 1/2” dia.) fruit.

    Fruiting Apple & Cherry Trees: We offer many hardy varieties of fruiting apples primarily late-flowering and early fruiting. While it is best to have two varieties for pollination, nearby crabapples usually offer up enough pollen for fruit. Roman’s were responsible for propagating Montmorency Cherries in Europe. These “Tart” cherries produce fruit almost every year in spite of spring frosts.

    Hedge and Bigtooth Maples: Acer campestre, hedge maple, has been used for dense screening for over 1000 years in Europe. It is hardy and relatively fast growing with Aspen-gold fall color.  Acer grandidentatum is native to the dry, cold eastern shores of the Great Basin. Bigtooth maple in the Wasatch range has incredible fall colors and is also grown to produce maple syrup. It is being planted en masse in Brickletown (see pic. in the newsletter)

    Hardy Vines:  I’m not in the nursery today but I know we have several of my favorite hardy Clematis including western native C. columbiana. Hardy Kiwi (vigorous vine, yet to see fruit), Hops (plant in the back-40), Hardy (USDA z.3) Honeysuckle and a few even more interesting options.

    There is also a coupon for Biosol, a coupon for hardy deer-proof Bulbs and Buy-3, Get 1 Free special on ALL Composts, Potting Soils, Manures  and Bark Mulches. 

  • Truckee - Tahoe Christmas Trees 2012

    2012 Villager Nursery Christmas Offerings

    The Villager boys (all of us) go out for several days each November and harvest fresh, high elevation silvertip Christmas trees from snowy mountain tops (talk about a work-out).  With the incredible fall we enjoyed this year, we had to wait and wait and wait until it got cold enough to harvest (if we harvest before the deep cold, the trees don't hold-up in your home). 

    And, of course, as soon as it was cold enough to harvest we received enough snow to keep us out of much of the high country.  In spite of chains and slippery slopes and post-holing through snow atop brush, we managed to bring down a few good loads of nice Silvertip.  We also harvested some very full white fir from slightly lower.  We may yet get out to harvest a few more.

    We also brought down 150 BEAUTIFUL fresh Noble Fir from a great little grower, high in the Oregon coast range.  Troy (the grower) uses compost teas and organic fertilizers for superior trees. He actually measures for degrees Brix (°Bx: sugar content) of his fir needles and compares his to other growers. His have far more sugar and as a result, hold more water, last much longer and are more aromatic.   We have Noble Fir from 5-14'.  

    Troy harvests a portion of our Noble Fir with more natural form ("Open Grade"). These have the tiers of branches with space for ornaments (like Silvertip) but with twice as many branches, rich green color and the superior Noble Fir fragrance.

    While many tree lots sell through thousands of trees, Villager nursery usually sells 2-300.  We have 50 or so for folks that pre-order in September and October and we cut-to-order Silvertips up to 25ft. tall.  It is not to late to reserve a tree: call or e-mail to let us know what you'd like so we can tag it and keep it in the shade.

    We usually only sell a third of our trees before the 18th of December and the bulk between the 19-22nd:  4 busy days after weeks of taking care of them and shaking off the snow. The trees stay very fresh in our "refrigerated" climate.

    If you're interested in living trees we have hardy Colorado and Engelmann Spruce.  Our care instructions here and Spruce planting instructions here.

    As always we have a large selection of wreaths from 19in. to 6ft.  We have mixed and fresh cedar garland by the 75ft. roll or by the foot.  We have mistletoe, greens by the pound, swags, etc...  Sales of our super-full 23" mixed wreaths support a non-profit horticultural training center, providing training and employment opportunities to men and women with varying developmental disabilities.  We've been offering their wreaths since 1984.

    In the shop we have beautiful ornaments, candles, soaps, and a nice selection of subtle holiday accoutrements.

    We are still here.  The lights are still on. 

    Merry Christmas to anyone who might read this!  Thanks so much for keeping us alive.

    Eric Larusson

    Villager Nursery, Inc

    Truckee, CA

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