Could some one in the San Francisco south bay area (San Jose) recommend a few good nurseries where I can find quality trees ?
I'd try the Dave Wilson search:
Most folks get bare root fruit trees. Then you just have to find a quality place that ships to CA.
Two CA nurseries I am aware of are 'Trees of Antiquity' and 'Bay Laurel Nursery' (I haven't ordered from either).
Here is a link that might be useful: retail search
Best source of this information would be the Santa Clara Valley chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers. www.crfg.org
I'm in the South Bay and just ordered three trees from Bay Laurel Nursery to be delivered in January. I previously ordered from Trees of Antiquity several years ago. I was pleased with the trees I got from them at the time. Some local nurseries get fruit trees from Dave Wilson, Yamagani's in Cupertino for one and the Summerwinds chain for another. I was in Yamagani's recently. They are pretty much out of fruit trees for the fall and are getting ready for cut Christmas tree season, but will be getting some more in after the holidays. I don't know how much selection they will carry.
I just wanted to add that anytime I want something out of the ordinary I use mail order nurseries. Specialty nurseries are often excellent, since they sell to those in the know. Very few retail nurseries, even those of excellent quality such as Yamagani's, can have depth as well as breadth. They can't afford to, since their market is the general gardening public. Perhaps their typical customer is more discerning than that, since they are shopping at a real nursery instead of a box store, but still they cannot specialize too much.
One thing about fruit trees is that you may want to concentrate on California-based mail order businesses, if you decide to go that way. A couple of out-of-state nurseries I called were not allowed to ship the fruit trees I wanted to California. I believe that some of the really big ones (Stark) have less problem with this. Apparently there are all sorts of expensive agricultural inspection hurdles to mount for a nursery in another state to ship fruit plants to California. This is California protecting its agricultural base. Kinda surprised me, thinking how fast we are paving over the best agricultural land for expensive housing, but so it is.
I would recommend Regans nursery in Fremont.They have nice fruit trees.I have visited there several times. I bought a few citrus trees.They get trees from very reputable suppliers. Also I would recommend Alden Lane Nursery in Livermoore.They get fruit trees from David Wilson Nursery.This outlet is impressive.I bought there pluot, aprium and apricot trees. They used to have multigrafted and cockail fruit trees. Should visit in right time for fruit trees. Usually January on. Should call before going there for availability. Another nursery I like is Calaveras Nursery in Sunol. For directions go to Google . Jaime
I'd forgotten about Regans, or perhaps I was just thinking of it as a rose nursery, since they have a huge rose selection. But they do carry fruit trees as well. That is probably a good suggestion. It is a high quality nursery as is Yamagani's, as well. There are fewer and fewer good nurseries left. We do well to cherish the ones we have.
On the Dave Wilson Nursery website you can look by county at your local nurseries bareroot order lists for 2008. With this information you can call the nursery that will receive bareroots of what you'd like to buy, preorder/reserve and be assured you will be able to plant what you'd really like to grow this winter.
Bareroot prices are cheaper than container fruit trees and have some advantages in getting established. Some of the new introductions are limited and will be difficult if not impossible to find after bareroot season e.g. Cot n Candy the new white apricot - plum hybrid and the new low-chill cherries Royal Lee and Minnie Lee.
Since somebody mentioned Yamagani's nursery in Cupertino I will say.
It is a small nursery compared to Alden Lane in Livermore,Regans Nursery in Fremont and Calaveras nursery in Sunol. From my house in Snta Clara to Alden Lane is 30 minutes,to Regans is 30 minutes and to Yamagani is 16 minutes.
Yamagani nursery has good quality fruit trees but they overcharge.I question the supervisor why so expensive he replied to me that they help the customers on how to plant the trees and give advise.I personally think they are a rip off.I get instructions and free advise on the other 3 nurseries I mentioned.Maybe the reason is they are in an area pretty affluent and people do not mind paying that money or do not know what a reasonable price is.I can afford paying that but I would rather look for quality and price and a do not mind driving 30 minutes.Besides I grew up in the Old Continent of Europe in the countryside and I do not get easily cheated by pretenders of good service who are greedy.