No more individual scion orders from USDA?

This was recently posted over on a fig forum, thought you folks should know too. This quote is all I know, I’ve never ordered from them but was hoping to order persimmon wood for next year. Oh well.

“John Preece, the station leader at USDA Davis stated at the annual mulberry/prunus fruit tasting that they’ve been overwhelmed with cutting orders and will no longer take orders from individuals, only to institutional researchers and grower organizations such as CRFG.”

I guess we need an official organization. But really there are plenty of sources for fig cuttings if one is willing to start small, build up things to trade, and show consideration for others.


I absolutely agree with you, fruitnut. It seems silly to order figs from UCD because there are so many collectors with all of those varieties and more. I’m more bummed about some of the other fruits that are largely unavailable on the market, such as persimmons and uncommon pears/apples.

Perhaps NAFEX or BFG can order still?

That post was from 06/07/14. However, HarveyC also posted that John said it with a wink!

As an individual I made an order last August of a grape (unavailable elsewhere) and received the cuttings this Spring.

Richard, Harvey just posted this on Saturday. Apparently they are completely overwhelmed now.

@ampersand, thank you for the correction. Here is the post: Unknown Forum

This is no surprise to me, I have seen many posts of people ordering common fig cuttings or ordering a huge number of cuttings. Folks should stop ordering things that they can get elsewhere, and limit order size to something reasonable.

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Anyone know whether this applies to the Geneva station? I hope not.

I assume it is just Davis. Of the repositories with which I’ve had experience, my impression has been that they have been the least amenable to accommodating individuals.

I have heard that John Preece has tentatively agreed to entertain scion/cutting requests from the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers and from individual California Rare Fruit Growers chapters.

There is the hope that this agreement can be expanded to NAFEX, the Home Orchard Society, and the Southern Fruit Fellowship. (Although in the case of NAFEX, it is unclear how material could be internally distributed among their geographically-dispersed members.)

The individual repositories set their own policy, so this does apply to USDA Davis only.

The staff at USDA Davis/Wolfskill Experimental Orchard have been incredibly generous with amateur growers over the years, but I’m not remotely surprised that things have gotten to this point – in fact, I’m quite surprised that it didn’t happen sooner.

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