About Us

The Nursery Co. Originated in 1992 on a small scale, growing trees mainly for Harris Farms operations. The Nursery Co. began selling trees to friends and neighbors throughout the area. As the demand for trees increased The Nursery Co. grew to a larger scale, now growing over 3 million trees every year.

What We Do

We research, plant, nurture, and sell almond trees to growers throughout California. Our nursery is one of the most advanced facilities in the industry. Helping customers select the right rootstock is a very important part of overall planning. We analyze soil type, orchard site, tree spacing, and water source and water quality, to determine what rootstock is best suited for planting.

ROOTSTOCKS- The demand for PEACH-ALMOND Hybrid rootstocks in California has grown and The Nursery Co. recognized the need ramp-up production by expanding operations and improving the way peach-almond hybrid rootstocks are grown in California.

The Nursery Co. in 2004 began to experiment with Peach-Almond hybrids grown from Tissue Culture in an Oregon lab, which was then shipped to us to plant in the field rather than in a pot. We grow a Bare-Root quality tree from a tissue culture plant. Most nurseries can grow them in pots but growing in the field has many challenges.

As we outgrew the tissue culture plant supply from the labs we then decided to grow our own plants in our own greenhouses in order to meet the quality and increasing demand. The Nursery Co. is proud to provide primarily the best quality field-grown almond trees on clonal rootstocks in the trade.

The Nursery Co. helps the customer select almond varieties on the rootstock better suited for their soil type and we review plant spacing and planting timing to achieve optimum results.

Varieties

Almonds—Nonpareil and its Pollenizers

  • Aldrich – blooms with, or slightly ahead, of Nonpareil; harvest 14 days after Nonpareil; very productive; considered an excellent Nonpareil pollenizer; nut characteristics similar to Merced; shell is well sealed; 62% crack out; tree is upright—similar to Mission in growth habit. Pruning and topping is very important in first three years. (Use toothpick trick).
  • Carmel – blooms 2 days after Nonpareil; harvest 15 days + after Nonpareil; very productive; kernel is medium sized and elongated; well-sealed soft shell; medium sized tree with upright/spreading growth habit; excellent pollenizer for Nonpareil, Monterey and possibly Butte; susceptible to non-infectious bud failure (crazy top).
  • Fritz – blooms with or slightly ahead of Nonpareil, harvest 40 days after Nonpareil; considered best pollenizer for Nonpareil due to its bloom timing and pollen compatibility. Consistent producer; medium-small, ovate kernel with semi-hard shell; medium sized upright/spreading willowy growth habit.
  • Monterey – blooms 2 days after Nonpareil, harvest 26 days after Nonpareil; large, elongated kernel with high percentage of doubles; well-sealed soft shell; very heavy and precocious producer, tree is medium sized with sprawling-spreading growth habit, often used in combination with Nonpareil one on one.
  • Nonpareil – blooms third week of February; harvest at the end of August; medium-sized kernel with excellent quality and flavor- commands top position in marketplace; paper shell, upright/spreading growth habit.
  • Price – blooms with Nonpareil. Harvest 7 + days after Nonpareil; medium small plump kernel and paper shell; may exhibit alternate bearing; very easy to train upright, strong spreading tree.
  • Sonora – blooms 4 + days before Nonpareil, tendency to alternate bloom, considered less frost sensitive than other early blooming varieties. Harvest 7 + days after Nonpareil; medium sized elongated, light colored kernel; paper shell is often poorly sealed; medium sized tree with slightly spreading growth habit similar to Carmel. Requires a good yearly pruning program in order to promote vigor, thus combined with a strong fertilizer program will help minimize alternate bearing.
  • Winters (Patent #5538) – blooms 2 days before Nonpareil; harvest 14 days after Nonpareil; kernel is medium sized and elongated; well-sealed soft shell; consistent high yields at test plots; vigorous upright spreading tree, may be susceptible to anthracnose and alternaria.
  • Wood Colony – blooms 1 + days after Nonpareil. Harvest 14 days after Nonpareil; productive, tree is small to medium with upright, spreading growth habit. This variety is a great candidate for hybrid rootstock or closer tree spacing due to its small tree size.

Butte—a Pollenizer for Nonpareil?

We’re often asked this question. Butte is the earliest blooming variety in the late variety category and may be considered as long as a secondary pollinator is used to cover the early Nonpareil bloom. Varieties most often used in order of popularity are Carmel, Aldrich, Fritz and Wood Colony. Use caution in selecting the right variety to ensure optimum bloom coverage and pollen compatibility.

Note: Do not get caught in a situation similar to the old Nonpareil, Neplus, and Mission combinations, where bloom can be spread too far apart.

The Butte variety is considered the most consistent and historically the highest yielding variety in the Central Valley. Butte is often planted with Padre one-on-one.

Again, the size of the planting and harvest timing can determine whether or not you should consider a third pollinator. Data has shown that the third pollinator will enhance overall pollination and increase your production.

Example: 50% Butte, 25% Padre and 25% Mission. Replace either Padre or Mission with Livingston or Ruby. These varieties are all considered hard shell with the exception of Livingston, which is often ignored due to its soft shell and earlier harvest compared to the Butte, Padre, Mission, and Ruby varieties. Carmel or Wood Colony has been used as a pollenizer for Butte with good success.

The consistency of high yields on the Butte combinations emphasize the importance of diversifying a certain percentage of your total operations to hard shells, thus will help increase your average production in those poor pollination years on the early blooming varieties.

  • Butte – blooms 5 days after Nonpareil, harvest 14 days after Nonpareil; considered the most productive and consistent almond variety in the Central Valley; small to medium kernel with semi-hard, well-sealed shell; vigorous spreading strong structured tree similar to Neplus in growth habit.
  • Livingston – blooms 5 days after Nonpareil, harvest 8 days after Nonpareil; medium sized kernel; well-sealed paper shell; very productive, upright, medium to large sized tree.
  • Mission – blooms 6 days after Nonpareil, harvest 28 days after Nonpareil; kernel is medium-small and plump; very well sealed hard shell; consistently productive; susceptible to injury by salt in soil or irrigation water; tree is large and upright.
  • Padre – blooms 5 days after Nonpareil, harvest 26 days after Nonpareil; hard shell, medium-small kernel similar to Mission though slightly smaller; good producer with potential for high yields; upright tree similar to Mission in growing habit.
  • Ruby – blooms 8 days after Nonpareil, harvest 30 days after Nonpareil; medium-small, plump kernel with semi-hard well sealed shell; productive, moderately vigorous tree with upright growth habit.

We’ll help you select the right rootstock.

Your soil type, orchard site, tree spacing, and water source and quality will help determine what rootstock is best suited to your planting.

  • Hansen 536 (peach-almond hybrid) – this was originally a cutting grown rootstock. Very difficult to propagate from cuttings, this is now available through tissue culture. Very good anchorage prefers deep well drained soils, highly susceptible to crown rot, crown gall and ring nematode witch causes bacterial canker. Vigorous, drought tolerant, root-knot nematode resistant and tolerant of calcareous soil conditions, excessively vigorous on good soils.
  • Lovell – well adapted to shallow, slightly heavier soils, well anchored, slightly more resistant to wet conditions than Nemaguard but prefers well drained soils. Slightly more resistant to bacterial canker than Nemaguard. Susceptible to root knot nematode.
  • Marianna 26-24 – slightly dwarfing, moderately resistant to phytophthora crown and root rot and oak root fungus. Tolerates wet soils, root-knot nematode resistant, suckers profusely. Very susceptible to bacterial canker, incompatible with peaches, nectarines and some almond varieties. Almonds subject to brown line and union mild-etch.
  • Marianna M-40 – better rooting depth and less suckering than Marianna 26-24, slightly dwarfing, moderately resistant to phytopthora, crown and root rot and oak root fungus, tolerates wet soils, root-knot nematode resistant. Very susceptible to bacterial canker, incompatible with peaches, nectarines and some almond varieties. Almond subject to brown line and union mild-etch.
  • Nemaguard – the most widely used rootstock for almonds, peaches and nectarines, well adapted to sandy loam soils, root- knot nematode resistant, vigorous strong tree. Better adapted to tighter spacing.
  • Nemared – slightly more vigorous than Nemaguard. This rootstock is similar to Nemaguard in all aspects, possibly more resistant to root-knot nematode than Nemaguard. More susceptible to ring nematode than Nemaguard.
  • Replantpac (Rootpac® R) Plum/Almond Hybrid – vigorous with plum, apricot and peach, but expresses a medium vigor with almond varieties. Compatible with most almond varieties including Butte, Monterey and Nonpareil. No suckering, adapts well to heavy wet calcareous soils. Tolerant to Asphixia, Chlorosis. Moderately resistant to Root-knot nematodes and resistant to Phytopthera. Low susceptibility to lesion nematodes.
  • Titan (peach-almond hybrid) – this seed born rootstock is a cross between Nemaguard and Titan almond, this has been the most popular rootstock in the hybrid category, extremely vigorous, some root-knot nematode resistance, considered well anchored, tolerant of calcareous soil conditions, slower to come into bearing, trees may be excessively vigorous in good soil.
  • Titan II™ (GT2) (peach-almond hybrid) – this rootstock selection is grown from tissue culture and is a selection from a cross between Nemaguard and Titan almond. Growing this selection from tissue culture allows 100% uniformity on its performance unlike seed born selections. Extremely vigorous and well anchored may have more root-knot nematode resistance than the standard hybrids, more tolerant of saline soil than peach and more tolerant of calcareous soils than peach; slower to come into bearing, trees may be excessively vigorous on good soil.

Walnut Varieties

  • Chandler – midseason harvest; large, smooth, oval nut with good shell seal and very high quality kernel; excellent kernel color – consistently 90% + light grade; late leafing and bloom reduces frost, blight and codling moth susceptibility compared to earlier varieties; 80-90% lateral pistillate bloom; smaller size tree and lateral pistillate bloom suitable for high density plantings; precocious, medium to small size, highly productive, semi-upright tree; pollinized by Cisco and Franquette.
  • Chico – early harvest; small, upright, highly productive tree; small size nut with excellent kernel quality; often planted as a pollenizer for Vina but well-suited as a primary variety in high density plantings due to smaller size tree and very high percentage of lateral pistillate bloom (90-100%); needs an early catkin blooming pollenizer such as Sunland, Serr or Payne.
  • Cisco – extremely late-leafing variety with 80% lateral bud fruitfulness; large nuts with mediocre kernel quality–60% light kernels; yield potential may be limited; planted primarily as a Chandler pollenizer due to its precocious catkin production.
  • Forde – (UC95-26-37) is precocious with a harvest date 5 to 10 days before Chandler. Forde leafs out about 5 days before Chandler and is protogynous, 100% laterally fruitful and has a low blight score. The nuts are oval to round and medium textured with good seal and shell strength. The large kernels (9 gram) are light and extra light and make up about 54% of the total nut weight. Forde is intermediate in vigor between Sexton and Gillet. A potential pollenizer is Sexton. Patent Pending.
  • Franquette – (Scharsch strain) late harvest; small well-sealed nut with very good quality, light kernel; 0% lateral pistillate bloom – all nuts form on terminal buds; very large, upright tree is slow to come into bearing; considered one of the best pollenizers for midseason to late blooming varieties although its slowness to come into catkin production may limit its ability to pollinize young, precocious Chandler trees.
  • Gillet – (UC95-22-26) – has high yields on young trees and a harvest date 10 days before Chandler. Gillet is protogynous, 100% laterally fruitful and has a very low blight score. The nuts are somewhat more oblong than Sexton but are similar with good seals and strength, easy to remove light colored kernels and an 8.2 gram nut which makes up over 50% of the nut weight. Gillet is the most vigorous of the three new varieties. A potential pollenizer is Sexton. Patent Pending.
  • Hartley – midseason harvest; large, well-sealed nut with high percentage of light kernels; most widely planted walnut in California, a premium in-shell variety; late bloom and leafing minimizes susceptibility to codling moth and blight; low (5%) percentage of lateral pistillate bloom; large, productive tree is susceptible to deep bark canker and slow to come into bearing; usually planted with Franquette as a pollenizer.
  • Howard – midseason harvest; large, round, smooth and well-sealed nut with very high percentage of light kernel (90%); potential for less blight and codling moth susceptibility due to late leafing and bloom; 80-90% lateral pistillate bloom; good candidate for high density planting due to small to medium-sized, semi-upright tree that is smaller than Chandler or Vina; pollinized by Cisco or Franquette.
  • Ivanhoe – Ivanhoe produces light colored kernels and high yields with a harvest date similar to Payne or Serr and about a month earlier than Chandler. It is precocious and 100% laterally fruitful. It leafs out with Payne or Serr, but due to the reversed female and male bloom order, Ivanhoe female bloom is a week earlier. Either of those cultivars would be a suitable pollenizer. Ivanhoe nuts are oval with a smooth thin shell containing easily removable 7.7g kernels which comprise 57% of the nut weight. The tree is only moderately vigorous and is not resistant to blight. Ivanhoe is named after a town near an early field trial. Ivanhoe’s parents are 67-13 for quality and Chico for yield. The cross was made in 1995.
  • Payne – early harvest; medium to small, very well-sealed nut; approx. 50% light kernels; very susceptible to blight and codling moth due to early leafing and bloom; 80-90% lateral pistillate bloom; very productive, medium-sized, round-shaped tree needs good pruning program to prevent overbearing in young trees and maintain vigor in older trees; pollinized by Chico but self-fruitful due to good coincidence of pistillate bloom and pollen shedding.
  • Serr – Harvest is early to mid-season. Nut size is large, with a fair to good shell seal. Kernel is 60% light. Percentage of kernel is high at 59%. Serr planted on shallower, heavier, or less fertile soil seems to bear better. Serr tree size is large and requires a spacing of at least 40 feet. Suitable pollenizers include Chico and Tehama.
  • Sexton – (UC90-31-10) – is precocious, harvests a week before Chandler and leafs-out a week before Chandler. Sexton has low blight scores and is 100% fruitful on laterals with abundant male and female flowers. Sexton is protandrous but the male overlaps most of the pistillate bloom. The nuts are relatively smooth and round with good seals and good strength. The kernels are light colored, easy to remove from the shell and at 8 grams make up more than 50% of the nut weight. Sexton has a densely branching canopy and will require substantial training and pruning of young trees to prevent overbearing. Potential pollenizers are Tulare and Chandler.
  • Solano – (UC95-11-16) produces light-colored kernels and high yields. The harvest date is similar to Vina and two weeks before Chandler. Solano is precocious, 100% laterally fruitful and protanderous. It leafs out a week after Payne and is similar to Vina in leafing and flowering dates. Chandler, Howard, Tulare or Ivanhoe would be suitable pollenizers. Solano produces uniform and attractive oval nuts with suitable strength and seal for in-shell use. Nuts contain easily removed 8.0g kernels comprising 55% of the nut weight and exhibiting good color. The tree appears to have average vigor and size, similar to Chandler. Solano’s parents are 67-13 for quality and Chico for yield. The cross was made in 1995.
  • Tulare –  midseason harvest; large, nearly round, well-sealed nut; 75-85% light kernels; midseason leafing; average of 78% lateral pistillate bloom; very productive, precocious, moderately vigorous, upright tree is suitable for hedgerow and other high-density systems; good coincidence of pistillate bloom and pollen shedding.
  • Vina – early to midseason harvest; medium-sized, pointed nut with good shell seal; 60% light kernels; 80-90% lateral pistillate bloom; midseason bloom is moderately susceptible to blight and codling moth; medium-sized, round-shaped tree is moderately vigorous and highly productive; pollinized by Chico, Chandler, Howard or Tehama.

Note: “% lateral pistillate bloom” refers to the percentage of fruit buds which are borne on the sides of branches rather than on terminal buds. Varieties with a high percentage of lateral pistillate bloom are more precocious and are considered better adapted to higher density planting, terminal fruit buds can be pruned off without removing entire crop.

Planting Guide

Planting Site Preparation

The best time to start ground preparation is the middle of summer: soil is dry and fractures readily. The value of adequate ground preparation for your new orchard site is undoubtedly the most important part of your overall planning.

Rip Before And After Leveling

If more than a foot of fill is necessary, rip low spots before leveling. Ripping high spots before leveling isn’t necessary although it may reduce leveling costs if the soil is very hard or compacted. To prevent sealing of the soil surface, rip the entire site as soon as possible after leveling. Sealing of the soil surface can be a serious problem if there is a long delay between leveling and ripping, after leveling with heavy equipment such as laser planes, and where sites are leveled when too wet.

Apply Soil Amendments

If gypsum, manures, phosphates, or other soil amendments are recommended, they may be applied prior to subsoiling.

Subsoil deep rip, backhoe, or slip plow to fracture subsoil and improve drainage. If you backhoe, backfill each hole as it is dug, taking care to replace subsoil in the bottom of hole, topsoil on top. Don’t leave holes open any longer than is absolutely necessary. If a hole is allowed to dry out, a crust usually forms along the sides of the hole which can become a barrier to water and root movement. (This also applies to tree planting holes.)

Irrigate to settle the planting site and provide adequate moisture for fumigation, irrigate with sufficient water to completely settle the soil. Although winter rains in California are usually sufficient to settle an orchard site, a thorough irrigation after ripping or backhoeing is good insurance against problems with settling after planting.

Fumigate

Pre-plant fumigation is highly recommended for any orchard planting but is particularly advantageous in replant situations.

Planting

Keep roots damp while planting. Organize your planting crew so that roots are exposed for only a few minutes while planting. Drying out of roots most often occurs at this step.

Prune trees for planting. Trim only broken or extra-long roots. Do not prune or crowd roots to fit a small planting hole.

June-budded Almonds

Top trees to 28-34 inches, head back side branches and leave at least 2 good buds on side limbs on the top 12” inches of the tree, especially on larger sized trees.

Walnuts should be cut back to leave approximately 4-6 buds on the scion, approximately 14 inches from graft union.

Crown Gall Preventative Treatment

Where crown gall has been a problem, a pre-plant treatment may be beneficial.

Plant At The Right Depth

After trees are planted and watered in, they should be no deeper than they were in the nursery row. In planting trees on peach rootstock, too shallow is better than too deep. A good rule of thumb is to leave the topmost tiny root at ground level. On heavier soils, trees should be planted on 6 to 8 inch high mounds or berms.

Where prevailing winds are strong and constant, lean trees into the wind. Too much lean can encourage growth along only the top south side of trees and restrict bud development on the north underside of tree.

Allow no more than 10 degrees of lean into the wind. Tilting a 30-inch tall tree 6 inches from vertical gives about 10 degrees of lean.

Do not place any fertilizer in the planting hole; it can injure tender young roots.

Water Trees In flood or furrow irrigate following planting to settle soil and collapse air pockets around roots. If flooding isn’t practical, tank trees in with at least five gallons of water for each tree. For Walnuts, repeat this step. This step is very important, particularly when planting in dry soil conditions, late plantings or cloddy soils. Winter rains are rarely sufficient to properly settle soil in around roots.

A Word About Pruning

Pruning is a very important part to your entire farming operation and understanding the different growth habits of individual varieties and applying the proper pruning techniques will enhance the proper tree structure and obtain the maximum production.

When hiring a contractor or a crew, we recommend that you keep the same pruner on the same variety throughout the entire field; this will keep your pruning and trees more uniform in structure throughout the entire field.

Example: upright growing varieties like Aldrich, Mission and Padre should be headed back, pruning the centers and leaving the outside hangers. It is very crucial to try to open this type of tree in the first three years. On the other hand Nonpareil, Carmel, Monterey and Sonora for example are spreading varieties and pruning these is entirely different.