Everything listed under: Christmas Cactus

  • 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'. 

  • 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.

Contact Villager

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

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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