Plant a Cherry Tree
Fruit trees are here, including Cherries. We have a stunning selection.

Cherries fall into a couple of different groups. Gardeners grow sweet cherries for fresh eating and sour cherries for cooking. Many cherries need a complementary partner/pollenizer planted nearby, but some are fruitful and happy standing alone.

Here is a quick summary of our selection:

Bing Sweet Cherry – Sweet, crisp, dark cherry for fresh eating. Ripens in Early June. Pollenized by Black Tartarian or Rainier

Black Tartarian Sweet Cherry – Softer and earlier than bing – Sprightly Flavor. Ripens in Mid May. Interfruitful with all sweet cherries

Craig’s Crimson Sweet Cherry – Dark red to nearly black, medium to large size, wonderful spicy flavor, very firm texture. Ripens in Mid May. Self-fruitful

English Morello Sour Cherry – Late-ripening tart cherry for cooking. Ripens in Mid June. Self-fruitful

Lapins Sweet Cherry – Self-fruitful, dark red sweet cherry. Ripens in Late May. Self-fruitful

Rainier Sweet Cherry – Large, yellow with red blush. Sweet and flavorful. Ripens in Early June. Pollenized by Bing or Black Tartarian

Stella Sweet Cherry – Large, nearly black, richly flavored sweet cherry. Ripens in Early June. Self-fruitful

Utah Giant Sweet Cherry – Favorite sweet cherry in Utah. Larger, firmer, more flavorful than Bing. Ripens in Late May. Pollenized by Bing or Ranier

Royal Crimson Sweet Cherry – Bright crimson with superb flavor. Ripens in Early May. Self-fruitful

January Pruning – What to Prune When

pruning[1]We have officially entered pruning season. Most leafless plants are fair game for pruning right now. Exceptions include ornamental flowering cherries, plums, and lilacs that bloom once a year in spring and are leafless now. Prune these just after they bloom otherwise you will be cutting off next spring’s blooms. Most other plants, including roses, fruit trees, Shade trees can be pruned in December and January. Say “can” as opposed to “must” be pruned because many plants are happy with little or no pruning.

Take advantage of our upcoming free pruning classes, listed below.

Upcoming Pruning Classes

Learn the basics to shape deciduous trees and shrubs, prune fruit trees properly, or get any of your pruning questions answered. Call 925 447-0280 to register for classes.

  • Join us on Saturday, January 13th for our ever popular ROSE CARE & PRUNING SEMINAR led by the Mt. Diablo Rose Society from 10 – 11:30 a.m.; and by Gerry, Alden Lane staff member, on Saturday, January 20th from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. They will cover proper pruning techniques, feeding, and general care. Call (925) 447-0280 for more information.
  • Saturday, January 20th from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. GRAPE PRUNING with expert, Jim Ryan.
  • Sunday, January 28th from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. for the last ­PRUNING BASICS CLASS. Learn the basics to shape deciduous trees and shrubs, prune fruit trees ­properly, or get any of your pruning questions answered.
  • Get your Maples Ready for Spring! – Join Japanese Maple expert Barry Hoffer on Saturday, February 24th from 1-2:30 p.m.  He will discuss proper pruning, in-ground and container planting, along with root pruning. There’s something for everyone. The cost for this class is $5.00 per person. Call (925) 447-0280 to reserve your spot in the information packed class.




January Garden Checklist

With and without winter fertilizer – Note the yellow lawn in the foreground

checkbox Feed the lawn monthly even during cold winter months. This not only maintains its attractive green color all winter it also minimizes rust disease and other problems resulting from malnutrition. Masters Fall and Winter Lawn Fertilizer is specially formulated for the winter season.

checkbox 2018 Roses are arriving every week! Come select early to get growing.

checkbox Choose your Camellias now! Seeing is believing, so choose now while they are in bloom. The selection is great and you’ll be able to pick just the right color for your winter garden.

checkbox Move your living tree outdoors. Care for other holiday gift plants such as azaleas and camellias by placing them outside where they will thrive in cooler temperatures.
Brighten the garden with colorful bedding plants. Refresh your garden containers with primroses, pansies, Iceland poppies and more. Check with the staff for helpful advice and ideas.

checkbox The Berries are looking awesome this year! In stock now . . . we have a great assortment of Blackberries, including Olallie Blackberries, Raspberries, Huckleberries, Gooseberries, and Blueberries. In addition to all of our berries, we also have Currants, Olives, and Grapes. This is the best time to shop for the best selection.

checkbox Spray Your Roses Now. An application of dormant oil just after winter pruning on roses will help reduce pest populations by smothering over-wintering eggs. Spraying fungicides, as well, will halt diseases such as rust, blackspot and powdery mildew. Bonide All Seasons Spray Oil is listed for use on organic gardens.

checkbox Treat Hydrangeas for Bright Blue flower color. Apply Master Nursery Hydra Blue monthly until summer for bright blue hydrangeas.

checkbox Protect frost tender plants when frosts are expected. Spray with Cloud Cover and for added protection drape frost tender plants with Fast Start Plant Blanket Fabric. Try not to let the covering material rest on the plant. String non-LED Christmas tree lights on your frost-tender plants when a freeze is expected. The warmth from the bulbs will provide another measure of protection.

checkbox Prune most fruit trees, roses and other leafless trees and shrubs from December through January. WARNING: Do not prune spring-blooming shrubs and trees such as lilac, quince, flowering cherry etc. until the blooming period is over.



pixdfig[1]Fig trees are among the easiest fruit trees that can be grown.  They grow happily in the ground or containers, making them perfect for all kinds of gardeners; they also look great with bold textured, tropical-like leaves spring through fall. They need to be planted in an area with good drainage where they will receive full sun, at least eight hours a day.

In the past, we brought fig trees into the nursery in January with the bare root fruit trees, but figs would prefer not to go through the trauma of bare root transplanting. We now have a very large assortment of fig trees grown in liners, which means they have undisturbed roots and they transplant very well.  All are self-fruitful, very water-wise and long-lived.

Fig Varieties

Black Jack
Large, purplish-brown figs with sweet, juicy, strawberry red flesh. Harvest August to October in Central California. Naturally small (semi-dwarf) tree. Suitable for planting in a large container, or in the ground planting.
Black Mission
The favorite. Purplish-black skin, strawberry – colored flesh, rich flavor. Heavy bearing, large tree. Coast or inland.
Brown Turkey
Large, brown skin, pink flesh. Sweet, rich flavor, used fresh. Widely adapted – coast or inland climate. A small tree, prune to any shape.
Large, light greenish-yellow ‘white’ skin, amber flesh. Vigorous. Prune to any shape. Very sweet fruit needs hot weather to ripen.


Pomegranates – Ornamental – Edible – Wholesome

Pomegranates are a delicious and juicy fruit as well as a beautiful water-saving landscape shrub or small tree. They are perfectly happy in our warm sunny climate, producing showy orange-red blooms in summer followed by beautiful bright red fruits that ripen in late fall. There are several varieties of Pomegranates to choose from including Wonderful, Pink Satin, and Eversweet.

pomegranate-smallThey are also healthy. The juice around the seeds is laden with antioxidants, very delicious and a delight to eat. Fruit can be juiced and the seeds removed through a strainer if you object to a mouthful of edible seeds. Pomegranates are great for jelly making.

All pomegranates are long-lived, self-fruitful and they are also naturally water-wise; they can be grown in any well-drained soil. A look through the garden on a spring or summer day will seldom turn up a pest on a pomegranate they are basically free of pests or disease.


Medium to large size fruit with pale pink skin. Large seeds with exceptionally sweet, amber-pink juice. Good source of antioxidants. Inland or coastal climate.

Very sweet, virtually seedless fruit. (Even immature fruits are sweet.) Red skin, clear (non-staining) juice. Harvest late summer through fall. Coast or inland. 8-10 ft. arching shrub, or train as tree or espalier. Large, showy, orange-red flowers.

Pink Satin
Medium to large size, medium pink to dark red fruit with medium to large, light-pink edible seeds. Wonderful refreshing light-colored juice is non-staining, with a sweet, fruit punch flavor. The plant is vigorous and can be grown as a shrub or tree and kept any height by summer pruning. Eat fresh, juice or use in salads.

Sharp Velvet
Large sized pomegranate with a very appealing, unique mildly acid refreshing flavor. The fruit has a dark red exterior and dark seeds, the color of crushed red velvet. Upright growing plant sets huge crops of highly ornamental fruit and can be kept any height with summer pruning. Eat fresh or use in cooking.

Large, purple-red fruit with delicious, tangy flavor. Best quality in hot inland climate. Red-orange bloom, ornamental foliage.

Alternatives to the Traditional Christmas Tree

Consider a living tree to decorate this holiday season — Colorado and Alberta spruce are two great traditional choices.  If you want to be daring here are some fun alternatives:

  • Citrus already decorated with fruit, Japanese maples or Strawberry Tree, whose branches already have red and orange hanging “ornaments”
  • A holly plant
  • A blooming Yuletide camellia whose bright red single flowers may well be decoration enough, or
  • A fruiting olive
  • Spiral clipped Boxwood
  • Bay Laurel makes a beautiful container plant.
    They can be trained to form a small tree, cone, or remain as a bush.

Meyer Lemons
All of these possibilities would make great landscape plants at the season’s end. If there’s no room in your garden, consider a bonsai plant, or how about donating your plant to the garden of a local school, park or church? What a great way to green our communities.

Here are some helpful hints to keep your living Christmas tree healthy and happy.

This is a hard one-try to minimize its indoor time. A week to ten days is a good maximum to be in the house. Choose a well-lit area away from the heat of a fireplace or furnace. Protect the floor with a cork trivet topped with a large saucer to catch the watering water. In between deep waterings water your plant with ice cubes that slowly melt (helpful hint: use a turkey baster to relieve excess water from the saucer after the plant has had an hour or so to reabsorb it).

Decorate with small lights and light-weight ornaments.


Berries and grapes have arrived for the season.

Berries are among the easiest edibles to grow. Our central California grower has shipped a huge variety of berries this week.  Select and plant them now to establish the largest plants by summer. Varieties include Black, Boysen, Raspberry, plus currants and Blueberries, Grapes, Kiwi, and more.


Used in Europe for over 2000 years for culinary and medicinal purposes, they are actually a member of the rose family.

Often scarce in local markets, homeowners may have to grow them or do without! Fortunately, they are hardy and easy to grow. Their fruit is delicious eaten freshly picked, added to desserts for both flavor and contrast and they work well with a variety of recipes such as tarts, pies, and pastries.

For at least 10,000 years raspberries have been used as a food and it is no wonder considering the versatility of this tasty fruit.

Raspberries are ideal for breakfast cereal, in jellies and jams, flavoring for entrees at dinner and they also make a great stand-alone fresh-fruit dessert or enhancement topping for others.

After Planting Berries according to information referenced below, feed them spring, summer, and fall using Master Nursery Fruit Tree & Vine Food.


Blackberries, Raspberries, and Olallie Berries are as easy as pie to plant. Select and area with full sun and Improve soil using Master Nursery Gold Rush.

Blueberries require a little extra preparation, but the benefits are worth every effort. Plant Blueberries in an area with filtered afternoon shade.  Improve the soil using Master Nursery Acid Planting Soil.

Click here to download our Planting Berries Flier.


Dormant Spray for Fruit Trees

dormant-controlPreventative Spraying Program Begins Late Fall! – Thanksgiving signals the time to start dormant spray for fruit trees.  Especially for the prevention of Shot Hole Fungus and Peach Leaf Curl!!  Even before trees are leafless in winter, they benefit from applications of disease control products.

Thanksgiving, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day are holidays around which you should consider treating.

The first spraying should be just prior to or at leaf fall (about the first freeze of winter). A second spraying one week later helps ensure complete coverage. The plants’ bark contracts with the onset of cold weather sealing in disease-causing organisms such as shot hole fungus and peach leaf curl. It is, therefore, essential to spray before heavy frost or freezing weather sets in.

Spray with Bonide Liquid Copper Fungicide.  If rains occur, reapply spray.

Clean Up Your Garden

Debris will harbor insects and diseases. A good general garden clean-up, removing leaves, spent flower heads, old fruits, nuts, dead and broken branches eliminates insect and disease hiding places. Although a potential problem in the garden, these materials are perfect candidates for the compost pile as long as your compost pile generates sufficient heat to kill insects, their eggs, and diseases. For more information, visit

Winter (About New Years)

Within the month of January, most fruit trees will benefit from 1 or 2 sprayings of  Bonide All Seasons Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil to control aphids, scale and mites and some other insects (smothering over-wintering eggs). This January 1st and 15th application may be considered optional if pests have not been a problem in the past.  Also, apply “Go Natural” tree trunk paint or 50% diluted interior latex paint to the trunk of trees from 2″ below the soil surface, up the trunk and a little way into the lower branches for protection from sunburn as well as to help with the prevention of borers.

February into Spring (About Valentines)

coppersoapsm[1]Apply Bonide Copper Fungicide. The timing of spring sprayings for various fruit trees can be crucial.

Leaf curl on nectarines and peaches is controlled with another application of Bonide Liquid Copper Fungicide when flower buds swell but before they show any color.

To control brown rot and shot hole fungus on stone fruits, spray with Bonide Liquid Copper Fungicide when the buds crack and show color, then again 2 weeks later.

October Tree Sale


Time for Our Annual October Tree Sale

Time for our Annual Tree Sale. It’s the perfect time to select trees – especially deciduous ones for autumn leaf color!

The freshly planted roots love the warm soil, and the cooling temperatures are quite forgiving on the foliage. Add in impending rain and you’ve got the perfect formula for successful tree planting. We have a very large selection of trees waiting to get out of their pots and into your soil.

We are offering a 20% OFF on all our trees and conifer selection, Citrus, Tropical Fruit, and Avocados.

Extra savings include 50% OFF ALL Paper Pot Fruit trees; 50% OFF ALL Paper Pot Roses; (EXCLUDES Carpet roses). 50%

Stock is limited so come in early for the best selection.

This sale excludes any pre-ordered and special ordered items, Carpet Roses, Camellias, Shrubs, Perennials, and Vines.

This sale is limited to stock on hand only. No special orders will be processed at sale prices. All sales are final, so make your selections carefully!

Landscape Care and Feeding Calendar

Time to feed your landscape!

As the days shorten, a little rain enters the picture, and temperatures begin to drop, plant’s needs change. September is a transition month in the garden. For many plants, It’s a perfect time for one last feeding for others, the beginning of a winter feeding routine.

View this handy Landscape Feeding Schedule and prepare to nurture your beauties.
Download a printable version here.