The Research Center & Demonstration Orchard, a collaborative effort between University of Nevada, Reno Extension and UNLV located in North Las Vegas, recently completed its annual bare root tree sale. The sale is offered each year as a community service to the Las Vegas Valley and surrounding areas. This year’s 315-tree order included 44 varieties of apple, almond, apricot, aprium, pluot, plum, pluerry, peach, nectarine, Asian and European pear, persimmon, fig, and pomegranates. The sale provides homeowners and backyard orchardists with top-quality tree stock designed for southern Nevada's climate and soils at a reasonable price.
Trees are ordered each year from Dave Wilson Nursery in Hickman, California. The online order, which goes live in December, includes information about the size of the tree, its rootstock, the color and flavor of its fruit, approximate fruit harvest times, and if a different tree is needed for pollination, all important information to know when selecting a fruit tree.
“They are a wonderful company to order from as they offer hybrids like apriums and pluots, which are not readily available from other growers,” Louise Ruskamp, Research Center & Demonstration Orchard manager, said.
When the trees arrived in February, volunteers and staff prepared the orders. The trees were heeled-in with moist wood chip mulch, a technique that is used to store the trees for a short period of time, keeping the roots moist until they are ready to be put in the ground. Moisture levels are monitored carefully to prevent the fragile roots from drying out.
When homeowners pick up their orders, they are provided with directions for planting the trees, plus information about the fruit variety and harvest time. Extension staff and Master Gardener volunteers are available to answer homeowners' questions about how to plant, care for, head or prune the young tree at planting time. Homeowners can also stroll through any of the three orchards on site to see the young and mature trees that are planted there.
“People are always very excited for the annual sale, which sells out quickly. Some varieties are gone within days,” Ruskamp said. “Planting trees reduces our carbon footprint, improves air quality, and when it is a fruit tree, provides you with a wonderful treat. We have been pleased to provide another 90 homes with fruit trees this year and are happy to provide this service.”
Master Gardner Susan Haas keeps the trees moist.
There were 90 tree orders in 2022, totalling 315 trees.
A bare root tree is tagged and ready to be taken home.
A peach tree blooms at the Orchard.