Home / Clausen Nursery / Clausen Nursery: one of the best values around

Clausen Nursery: one of the best values around


I am writing this because I think more people should know about this gem of a nursery in northern San Diego County.  This is not a paid advertisement, I just like the place.  I have no financial stake in Clausen Nursery.

Clausen Nursery

Clausen Nursery sign/hours

Clausen Nursery:

Clausen Nursery is a family owned and operated business with the healthiest and most reasonably priced fruit trees that I have found.  Landscapers are in and out of here all the time getting trees… that should tell you something.

This is not a chain nursery in any respect.; don’t expect frills.  The paths are dirt, the parking lot is on the side of a small street, and the checkout is in a shack.

However, what you will get is real down to earth people who care deeply about what they are doing.


Clausen Nursery Truck

Clausen Nursery Truck

Clausen Nursery, young citrus

Young citrus


Clausen Nursery, young Avocados

Young Avocados

Clausen Nursery; More trees

Clausen Nursery; More trees

Clausen Nursery; rows of fruit trees

Clausen Nursery; more rows of fruit trees

The 20 acre nursery has over 200 varieties of common and hard to find fruit trees.

I have scanned in a recent product list (below).

Click on the list for a larger image.

 1. Clausen p2 list

Clausen Nursery plant list

Clausen Nursery plant list

As you can see the prices are hard to beat (price list below).

Click on list for a larger image.

Clausen Nursery price list

Clausen Nursery price list

Family/Business History:

  • I had a chance to sit down recently with the owner Gordon Clausen and learn some history about the nursery.
  • Gordon told me that Clausen Nursery was started in 1930 by Edwin Stromberg.
  • Edwin migrated to the US from Sweden via Ellis island.  Edwin kept traveling west and finally found his home in Vista.  He was enthralled with the rich diversity of plants that could be grown in the area and he was one of the first to grow citrus, avocados and subtropicals in the Vista, CA area.
  • Edwin’s daughter (Evelyn Stromberg) married Alvin Clausen.  Alvin also loved fruit trees and began working in the nursery in 1948 after his service in the US Navy.  In time, Alvan Clausen took over the nursery and continued to work there into his 80s.
  • Edwin’s son, Gordon Clausen currently runs the nursery and is eager to share his 3 generations of plant knowledge with customers and visitors.
Edwin Stromberg

Edwin Stromberg

Gordon (Santa Claus look alike) and his right hand man Ray.

Gordon (Santa Claus look alike) and his right hand man Ray.


Clausen Nursery is located bit off the beaten path.  However, my GPS found it without any problem.

3132 Blackwell Dr. Vista, CA 92084

Clausen Nursery Map

Clausen Nursery Map (area circled in red)

Official website:




Support local business, save money and get a great tree. 


About Thomas Osborne, MD

Dr. Osborne is a Harvard trained Radiologist and Neuroradiologist who loves to share his insight about medicine and gardening.


  1. Tom

    Plants from this place are always strong and do awesome. Also in Vista.

    • Thomas Osborne, MD

      Thanks Mike.
      I agree Clausen Nursery is great.
      Although they have a really large selection, they tend to only carry the trees that are nearly full-proof in the Vista growing zone.
      Therefore, they dont carry the more challenging exotic trees like exotica.

      Although Exotica, is just down the street from Clausen Nursery, the vibe is that of a jungle from decades past.
      There are a lot of hard to find tropical fruit trees there though.
      In my experience, it is also a little hard to find help there too.
      Ong nursery (http://www.ongnursery.com/) is a nice alternative but a bit of a drive into SD and that vibe is also unique in its own way.

  2. Dr. Osborne, I recently attended the California Rare Fruit Growers conference in San Diego which has inspired me to fill my backyard with fruit trees. While I did see many cool trees, the reality is I only have room for about a dozen varieties max. Based on this limitation, what trees would you recommend I purchase from Clausen? For a tree to make the cut, it must meet one or more of the following criteria:

    1. Fruit must be significantly superior in taste to corresponding fruit available for sale in supermarkets.
    2. Fruit is expensive when sold in markets
    3. Fruit is rare or unavailable in local markets.

    Based on these criteria, can you recommend the 12 best fruit trees to plant, that will give the most “bang for the buck” in terms of quality, novelty, and cost savings.

    • Thomas Osborne, MD

      Hey Lori
      Awesome question, and I am totally with you on the list of criteria you mentioned.
      However, this is not an easy question to answer; there are just too many amazing fruit trees to choose from.

      So obviously we will want to narrow the list to ones that will do in southern California.
      And ones with significant value add when grown at home.

      So additional info that might help:
      do you have a particular type/category of fruit you like now.
      Ex: stone fruit/peaches, etc.
      Would you prefer easy with minimal maintenance, or would you be willing to try more challenging fruit or trees that need more moisture, etc?
      Are you looking for evergreen trees or deciduous?


      • Thank-you for your quick response to my question. As far as maintenance/water, I am up for about anything as I have a small garden so these may not be big issues for me. With regards to particular classes of fruits -I like them all, but would be most interested fruits that are best eaten out of hand. Here are some of my initial thoughts on the criteria I listed. Perhaps you could expand on this list:

        1.Taste quality of home grown vs store bought: When I think of great tasting home grown fruit, the first thing that comes to mind (rightly or wrongly) are peaches – bursting with sweetness and color instead of the rock hard flavorless lumps often sold in the store. Compare these to apples, which are available in the grocery in a multitude of varieties, and , at least to my limited experience, are fairly comparable to home grown specimens in terms of taste.

        2. Cost: what I first think of are cherimoyas – a great tasting fruit that can sell for up to $8.00 a piece in supermarkets.

        3. Novelty: As part of the CRFG conference, we were able to tour several backyard member gardens where I got my first taste of a jabuticaba. Wow! I have never seen these available in markets.

        • Thomas Osborne, MD

          Sounds like you and I are on the same page in regards to our gardening/growing preference.

          As a side:
          Store fruit is usually less appealing for 2 main reasons:
          -1. fruit is often picked before optimally ripe so it survives the time of shipping.
          -2. commercial varieties of fruits and veggies are often grown for their shipping resilience and not necessarily for the flavor.

          The best time to plant deciduous trees is in the fall/winter.

          Ill have to give this some thought for you.
          It is such a big topic, I might have to create an article about it.


        • Thomas Osborne, MD

          Hey Lori
          I just created an article to help answer part of your question.
          Specifically, it is meant to give you the info needed to pick the right peach trees for an extended harvest.
          Best peaches to grow in Southern California

          Ill keep plugging away at this question for you.


          • Thank-you. Great article!

          • Thomas Osborne, MD

            Your very welcome

          • Where do I find this article? I am very interested in the answer. I also have a small area next to my home that gets almost no direct sun light. Do you have any thoughts on what fruit trees would like that area? I have room for 4 trees in this area.

            Because of your information I am very interested in Tarocca, Moro Blood Oranges, Hosui Pear, and Meyer lemon. These would be in a area with direct sun. I am in hardness zone 9b

            Thank you, great website.


          • Thomas Osborne, MD

            Hey Richard.
            What article are you looking for?

            The citrus plants you mentioned are great.
            all should do well in zone 9b

  3. Dr. Osborne,
    I live in LA and most of the retail nurseries here carry Dave Wilson or La Verne Nursery Inc fruit trees. Would you recommend these growers/suppliers?
    Thank you!

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