Covid-19 Update

on Tuesday, 24 March 2020.

We Are Open - With a Few Changes!

nursery smShooting Star Nursery is committed to doing everything we can to keep our staff, our customers, and our community safe and healthy during the Covid-19 outbreak. As a result, we are making the following changes to the ways we serve our customers, effective immediately.

          Online orders are the best way for us to get our plants to you! You can check our retail availability on our website, email your order to us (please include a phone number where we can reach you), and we’ll call you to get your credit card number and confirm your order. We will then pull your plants and have them ready for you to pick up, along with a copy of your receipt.

          We can deliver! We offer free delivery for orders of $100 or more that are within 10 miles of our nursery. Our normal delivery charges will apply to any extra-large plants (requiring multiple staff) or locations that are more than 10 miles from Shooting Star. Delivery times will be subject to our nursery schedule, and we are unable to promise specific times/days.          

          At this time, onsite shopping is by appointment only. We are unable to accommodate drop-in shoppers. To set up an appointment, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give us a call at (541) 840-6453. Please note that it may take us awhile to get back to you if you call. Email is probably best if you are hoping for a quicker response.

          We will keep everyone updated on any changes via social media. If you don’t already follow us on Facebook or Instagram, please consider doing so!

          You can purchase a gift certificate for a friend, family member, or yourself to use at a later, healthier date. We are offering $15 off every $100 in gift certificates purchased during this quarantine time.

We do ask that you stay home if you are sick, and to please help us observe the 6-foot social distancing recommendation at all times. No customers are allowed in the nursery office at this time. Your cooperation is key to our being able to remain open!

Thank you all so much for your patience and flexibility during these challenging times. By making these temporary changes, we will still be able to keep you supplied with beautiful, healthy, and hardy plants to brighten your yards – and your hearts – as you remain at home to help “flatten the curve.” This is definitely not the spring any of us wanted – but on the bright side, it does give you a great excuse to spend more time outside in your garden.

From all of us here at Shooting Star – be well!

It's Time for Bare Roots!

on Thursday, 02 January 2020. Posted in Edibles, Fruit trees, Classes, New Plants

Fruit Tree and Berry Season

homeWinter2017 Bare Root Fruit Trees and Berries

Foggy mornings, cold nights, soggy ground, and winter storm warnings - that means it’s a perfect time for planting bare-root trees and shrubs! Our first shipments of bare-root have already arrived, so this is the perfect time to start making your 2021 fruit tree wish list.

Bare roots, for those unfamiliar with them, are dormant plants (generally fruiting trees and shrubs) that are sold with exposed roots. We hold them here at the nursery in bins filled with soil, to keep the roots from drying out. When you buy them, we dig them out, pop them into a plastic bag, and you’re on your way! And although bare roots look a little…unimpressive…at first glance, there are a lot of great reasons to consider planting a few this winter.

              Selection: You’ll find the biggest selection of fruiting trees and shrubs at this time of year - ranging from hard-to-find food plants like quince, jujube, elderberry, currants, and hops; to a larger selection of sizes (from dwarf rootstock to semi-dwarf) and varieties of fruit (five kinds of strawberries, five kinds of grapes, ten kinds of peaches and four persimmons!).

              Price: Because these are bare roots, nurseries have a lot fewer costs invested in them: no containers, no soil, no fertilizer - and they haven’t spent months (or years) caring for them as they’re growing out. Those savings are passed along to the buyer, and they can be significant.

              Mid-Winter is a great time to plant: It might seem counter-intuitive, but this is a wonderful time for planting trees and shrubs. The ground is moist and plants are dormant, so plants are far less likely to go into transplant shock than they are during warmer and drier times of the year. In addition, because the ground is soft, tree-sized holes are a lot easier to dig!

              Getting to the root of it all: Plant roots are amazing structures: they hold plants in place, pull water out of the soil, and store the nutrients plants need to grow and be healthy. And root structures are incredibly variable. Some plants produce lots of thin, fibrous roots; some rely on a long taproot; and others have root structures that branch as widely and intricately as the above-ground part of the plant. And yet, we rarely get to see them! This is probably the only time you’ll have the opportunity to see the whole plant you’re working with. And that can help give you a better understanding of what your trees and shrubs need in order to grow and thrive.

blackberriesapple treepeach

There are just a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when planting bare roots, in order to get your new plants off to the best start possible:

  • Try to get your bare roots planted within a few hours of getting them home. Your bare root plants are dormant, but they’re not indestructible. If you can’t get them planted immediately, make sure you keep roots from drying out between the time you bring your plants home and the time you get them planted.   You can keep them moist inside the plastic bag for a couple of days.  It is best to heel them into some soil or moist bark if you can’t plant them right away.
  • Hold off on fertilizing your new plants until all risk of frost has passed. Fertilizing too soon can push leaf growth before their roots have had a chance to get established. In addition, new leaves are thin and tender and can be killed by late frosts.
  • It is best to prune back the branches of your bare root tree.  You want the top of the tree to be more in line with the root system.  This will help give the roots a better chance at supporting what is up top. 
  • Please feel free to ask us questions! The staff here at Shooting Star is happy to help you with suggestions about the best varieties to plant, how much space your plants will need, and what pollenizers (if any) your plants will need in order to produce fruits. We can even give you a few simple pruning suggestions to get you started on the right foot with your new plants.

Selecting and Caring for your Live Christmas Tree

on Thursday, 28 November 2019.

'Tis the Season for...Conifers!

Live Christmas tree sm

This year, instead of bringing home a cut Christmas tree that was cut weeks ago and kept in cold storage or putting up one of those “trees in a box”, consider getting a live Christmas tree.

It’s easy to understand the charm of a live Christmas tree; one that can be planted outside after the holidays and go on to brighten your garden for years to come. Here are a few tips that will help you pick the best live tree for your home, and keep it alive and healthy until you plant it after the holidays.

 

 Let’s start with a few basic conifer facts:

  •  Most conifers don’t actually stop growing. Some may grow very slowly (less than 6”/year); others can grow much quicker (over a foot a year). When you see the mature size of a conifer listed, that size is just a snapshot of the size the plant will be in 10 to 20 years.

Unless otherwise noted, most conifers prefer at least 5 to 6 hours of sun per day. Most can take full sun

Conifers generally prefer soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH; most prefer well-drained soils

When planting your conifer, if it is wrapped in a burlap ball, cut the twine that holds the ball together but don’t loosen the burlap (that can damage the roots) – the roots can grow through the burlap, and the burlap will eventually disintegrate

Remember to plant the crown slightly above the level of the surrounding soil (link to planting guide)

Caring for your live Christmas tree:

If you are bringing your tree into the house, be sure to keep it away from fireplaces and heat vents

Minimize the time your live Christmas tree spends indoors. Ideally, your tree won’t spend more than 3 or 4 weeks inside.

The best way to keep your live Christmas tree watered is to place ice cubes in the pot. They’ll melt slowly and the plant will soak up the water gradually – and you won’t be left with big messy puddles on the floor!

When you’re transitioning your tree from your house to the outdoors, do it gradually. Remember: your house is a good 30 to 40 degrees warmer than your yard at this time of year! Once the holidays are over, move your tree into a sheltered place outside – maybe on an unheated porch or under a sheltered overhand. While your trees will be happier in the ground, you don’t need to plant them right away - as long as you keep your tree from drying out.

For more information on some of the varieties of dwarf and compact conifers we have in stock, check out this Plant of the Week post!