A fruitless search for a fruiting olive tree caused an existential crisis here at the Root Simple compound. With a few exceptions, most nurseries in Los Angeles cater to the mow and blow set. You’re more likely to find parts for your leaf blower and a flat of petunias than anything worth growing. Good luck finding olives.
In the midst of my frustration I stumbled upon a interesting list, put together by the USDA, of retail nurseries and perennial crop resources. You can view that list here. Here’s three sources I found particularly interesting from that list:
California Rare Fruit Growers Member Nurseries and fruit sources
CRFG members are always on the hunt for interesting varieties of fruits. Note that this list of nurseries covers the entire US, not just California.
Permaculture Activist plant sources
The website is somewhat of a graphic design nightmare, but if you’re looking for unusual edible perennials, this would be the place to start.
Hop Roots – where to get them…
Hoptacular! A list of hops nurseries from the Oregon State Hops Commision.
Also note that the USDA maintains a huge collection of fruit trees, nut trees and many other crops at thirty-two federally funded repositories around the United States. At least one of those facilities, the National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Fruit and Nut Crops in Davis, CA, will send out scion wood when available (researchers get first dibs). They appreciate a Fed Ex number so they don’t have to pay for shipping. Of course you have to know how to graft and be ready with root stock.
Now if you can help me find a source of olive trees other than arbequinain Southern California, please leave a comment!