Everything listed under: truckee plants

  • 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

  • Fall is in the Air

  • Happy Birthday Villager

    December 1, 1975 - December 1, 2013

    We have continued to grow and branch and flower and fruit and hedge and adapt in order to offer our clients an interesting, useful and beautiful selection of plant materials and products that insure your successes.  "We've killed thousands of plants, testing them in our own gardens, so our clients won't have to."

    Our Founder, Jeanette Harper and a partner finalized the purchase of the existing florist in the Gateway center 12/1/1975 and celebrated with Champagne in the office of the Gateway Motel with Roxie Arche and Azad McIver (Our current location is Azad's old home and dairy). 

    Eric showed-up in 1984 and Rob a couple of years after that.  Quite a few nurseries have come and gone in Truckee in 38 years. Some only lasted a season some for a decade or more.  We needed to move our nursery from Gateway to our current home in 1999. The reality is that Truckee is a ridiculous place to run a retail nursery. It seems that you have to be crazy. We also happen to be fanatical botanists and ecologists hell-bent on providing education and materials to local gardeners to show them that they CAN succeed in this harsh climate.

    We've thought that we could just offer the 20% of the plants that 80% of clients ask for and we'd be probably be profitable ... But what about the other 80% of really cool unique native and hardy plants that people SHOULD be using..? And what about that 20% of customers who LOVE natives or thrill at really cool, unique plants, bulbs and seeds from the far coldest corners and peaks around the globe?  It's more interesting the way we've been growing.  We are continually aware that we have YOU to thank for keeping us rooted in Truckee.  Thank You!

    Villager Nursery: helping mountain gardens thrive since 1975.  Experience you can trust / Information you can use.

  • "BIOSOL ! You can grow grass on a lift-tower with that stuff !"

    Biosol Forte Label.pdf

    Biosol MSDS.pdf

    Biosol Studies link

    BIOSOL

    Villager Nursery's FAVOITE fertilizer.  Biosol is our favorite winterizing fertilizer.  We use Biosol in the Villager Demonstration Gardens, and in all of our commercial and residential landscape projects.  Biosol helps Truckee Shrubs, Trees, Perennials and Bulbs thrive.  The Villager stocks Biosol year-round.  

    Biosol is an incredibly long-lasting fertilizer with amazing soil improving characteristics as well.  It is primarily cooked Penicillium that was cultured on and digested organic cottonseed and organic soybean meals.  It was essentially a waste product that was once used for aquaculture.  What it lacks in pleasant aroma (it lacks pleasant aroma) it more than makes up for in its amazing performance in ANY part of the garden.  

    Put Biosol on lawns in Fall.  Now.

    Biosol is an essential with any restoration, wildflower or lawn seeding.  Mix your grass and wildflower seeds with Biosol and Kellogg's Topper and broadcast just before we're expecting a huge snow.  So many folks over the years have said to us.."I know Biosol, we used to use it at (insert any ski area in the northern hemisphere here) and we swore you could grow grass on a lift tower with that stuff!"

  • Back to School Specials!

    In late June, I put together a planter for Erica who is a 2nd year UCLA student and LOVES her school.  The sky-blue Salvia uliginosa was not quite in bloom but the light-blue lobelia and sunshine-gold Golden Fleece Dahlberg Daisy were bright enough.  This is only my second year using S. uliginosa, Bog Sage, in planters and I'm a fan!

     

    I'm working on finishing a Back-to-School / Labor Day newsletter - sending it out Wednesday to be good through Sept. 10.  I'm out-a-here, heading for the Playa.

  • 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.


  • Silvertip Christmas Trees in Truckee

    The Villager staff (all of us boys left here in late November) go out and harvests fresh, high elevation silvertip Christmas trees from snowy mountain tops.  This year we had to wait and wait until it got cold enough to harvest.  If you cut before severe cold, the trees do not hold up as well.  

    When the temps finally dropped, we had exactly 5 days to harvest before the monster storms of Thanksgiving 2010.  As a result we harvested fewer than usual but they were lovely trees.

    While the Boy Scouts and Optimists sell through thousands of trees, the Villager usually sells about 200.  We have 50 or so folks that pre-order and we cut-to-order for them then we bring in 100 HUGE fresh Noble Fir from a great little grower, high in the Oregon coast range.  Troy (the grower) actualy measures for degrees Brix (symbol °Bx: the sugar content) of his fir and compares his to other growers.  His have far more sugar and as a result, hold more water, last longer and smell better.   The 12' trees we received this year weighed nearly 280 lbs but they were spectacular.

    We ususlly sell a few trees before the 20th and the bulk between the 20-23rd.  3 busy days after uncovering these trees from snow for weeks.   We were actually running pretty low so I ran over to a friend's tree lot this morning (they have acres of land north of the Sierra Buttes) and picked up 30 trees.   

    At this point, we have about 20 nice silvertip Christmas Trees left.   530 587 0771   12/21/2010

    I've been so lame with the blog this fall, we were soo busy, Thank Goodness!.   Rob and Eric had an epic trip to the southern Sierra to collect wild birch seeds.   Eric went to Salt Lake City to tour retail nurseries and steal great ideas.  Eric had a 50th birthday surprise party! And 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

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