Sign up for the March 22 Day of Classes!

Pre-registration: $10 per adult

Registration day of class: $15 per adult. People under 21 are free!

Come join us for an all you can learn buffet of helpful information!

Raintree will be open from 7:30 a.m. to dark on class day.

How to register: Call us, send in your check or register online.

Located in Southwest Washington, classes are at Onalaska Middle School, 540 Carlisle Ave. Onalaska, WA 98570. From Hwy 508, in Onalaska go north six blocks. The middle school is on the left.

Books, supplies, rootstocks and scinwood will be available for sale at classes.

Special Class-Day Sale: At the classes, we will have a flyer listing dozens of items offered at the nursery at class day only sale prices!

About the Classes

Jo Robinson, New York Time’s best selling author of the book “Eating on the Wild Side,” will be teaching a morning class. Robinson is a long time Raintree customer and a resident of Western Washington. She will be signing books. For years, Raintree Nursery  has offered fruit varieties proven to be high in essential nutrients. Robinson will talk about the important nutrients available in fruit and which varieties are best to grow for maximum health.

Taught by Raintree staff, edible landscapers, experienced growers and WSU scientists, the classes have become famous for teaching what you need to know to succeed in home fruit growing. We cover many of the same basic subjects each year, but the content is always new, fun and informative, with plenty of time for answering your questions. If you wish, bring a tape recorder or video camera. Plan time for visiting the nursery!

9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: GRAFTING: Ongoing small groups! Scionwood available.

9 a.m. — BERRIES-BLUE, BLACK, ELDER, GOOSE, RASP and STRAW: Learn to prune, train, select and plant them.

9 a.m. — FOR THE BEGINNER: All the basics to successfully start growing fruit trees and berries in your yard!

10 a.m. — FRUIT FOR YOUR HEALTH: Jo Robinson, best selling author of the book “Eating on the Wild Side”  will discuss which of the Raintree fruit varieties are the most nutritious and how to pick, harvest and preserve fruit to maximize its nutritive value. We recommend you read her book (catalog #S147) beforehand. She will also answer questions and sign her book.

11:15  a.m. — PLANT PROPAGATION: Raintree staff shows you propagation from seeds, cuttings, layering, budding & grafting.

11:15 a.m. — PESTS AND DISEASES: Learn to control fungus, insects including the new fruit fly, weeds and deer in your fruit garden using ecological methods!

12:15 — LUNCH: A Healthy lunch is sold on site! Or bring a lunch. Anne Bhagwandin,  much loved local chef and author of “The Chestnut Cookbook”  will prepare a reasonably priced delicious organic lunch from locally grown foods. We highly recommend the lunch. You sign up for it  in the morning at the classes.  Proceeds from the lunch go to local non profit organizations. Anne will also sign her book but not while she is cooking.

1 p.m. — MASON BEES: Learn all about how to care for them!

1 p.m. — GROWING GRAPES:  Gary Moulton shares his expertise. Best varieties, rootstocks, growing & training methods.

2 p.m. GROWING NUT TREES: Learn what to grow and how.

2 p.m. — MAKING CIDER: Cider expert Gary Moulton explains how to choose and grow the best cider varieties and how to make wonderful apple and pear ciders.

3 p.m. — FRUIT VARIETIES & TECHNIQUES FROM AROUND THE WORLD  Gardeners from cultures all over the world have settled in Western Washington. Many have brought their fruit varieties and techniques and recipes with them. With audience participation, Raintree owner Sam Benowitz  shares that wealth of knowledge of what was brought from temperate climates elsewhere that does well here. We share wisdom from other parts of the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia.

3 p.m. — FRUIT TREE PRUNING: Gary Moulton formerly from the WSU Mt. Vernon station explains and demonstrates how to prune all fruits including young and old trees.

4-5 p.m. — HANDS ON PRUNING: We go out in the field and learn to prune a large overgrown fruit tree.

4:30-5 p.m. — TOP WORK FRUIT TREES: Learn to graft on existing trees.

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Sam Benowitz’s Top 12 Apples

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...
Apples are an all-American success story-each of us eats more than 19 pounds of them annually.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Akane: Disease resistant and produces a good crop each year even when others fail.

2. Pristine: Disease resistant productive, beautiful yellow color early season.

3. Williams Pride: Scab resistant, Earliest good flavor very productive, long lived blooms, good pollenizer. Can get mildew in some situations.

4. Liberty: Disease resistant, good Mac flavor, pretty apple, rates highest on Jo Robinson’s list of most nutritious. Can overbear and be small.

5. Dayton: Big red, productive, disease resistant mid season apple.

6. Belmac: Excellent keeper, beautiful dark red, big apple, great flavor, Mac family, disease resistant.

7. Bramley: Disease resistant, big apples great cooking apple

8. Ashmeads Kernal: Somewhat disease resistant russet apple, very productive and flavorful

9. Cherry Cox: A productive Cox’s Orange flavored apple, that is disease resistant and productive.

10. Karmijn de Sonnaville: Not as disease resistant but has the finest complex flavor of all.

11. Centennial: Very productive naturally dwarfed tree with small delicious apples. Disease resistant. Perfect size apples for children.

12. Belle de Boskoop: A great keeper apple, large fruit and not too bad on disease.

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Western Washington Winter Field Day to Be Held March 1, 2014

By Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation

The Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation (WWFRF) presents its Winter Field Day on Saturday, March 1, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Washington State University Northwest Washington Research and Extension Center (WSU-NWREC), 16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon, Washington.

Hosted in cooperation with WSU-NWREC, this year’s event will include grafting and mason bee workshops; pruning demonstrations; and presentations on: red flesh apple varieties, the best apples to grow in Western Washington, growing fruit for a healthy diet, and fruit varieties from around the world. Rootstock, scion wood, and grafting will be available for sale. Tours of our six acre Fruit Display Garden containing the one of the largest and most varied collections of antique apple trees in western Washington will be provided. Free to members of WWFRF; Non-members: $15 Single or $30 Family. Go to for more information.

The Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation (WWFRF) was created in 1991 to help fund the Tree Fruit Varietal Research conducted at the Washington Northwest University Research and Extension Center (WSU-NWREC). WWFRF is a volunteer organization, dedicated to supporting research and educating the public about growing fruit in the Pacific Northwest.

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Visit Raintree Nursery at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, Feb. 5-9


Visit the Raintree Nursery booth at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in the Washington State Convention Center, booths 2344-8 in the North Hall, February 5-9.

And, if you are there on Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, you can hear featured speaker Raintree Nursery owner Sam Benowitz at 7 p.m. in the Hood Room of the Washington State Convention Center.

The topic of the lecture is Fruit Varieties From Around the World Proven to Thrive in Northwest Gardens. Sam will show pictures of hundreds of Raintree varieties and talk about where in the world each plant comes from.

Around the World
Proven Global Fruit Varieties for NW Gardens
Wed, Feb 5 at 7 pm / Hood Room

Our Pacific Northwest region is made up of gardeners from around the world. Each has brought their unique techniques, cultivars and recipes for fruit growing with them. For forty years fruit tree expert Sam Benowitz has been distilling this invaluable information into a great collection of plants from many cultures. After trials and testing, he has a list of fruit trees that will thrive in our Northwest climate, mostly coming from other temperature zone regions. Some of the regions outside the U.S. that the proven winners have come from are Great Britain, France, Holland, Italy, Germany, all over Eastern Europe, Russia, Chile, Japan, China, Korea and Canada. Sam Benowitz has spent 40 years bringing the best of the world’s fruit cultivars to the Northwest. Now he wants to bring them to your garden. Bring your own fruit tree growing experiences to the discussion.

Raintree Nursery has made it possible for Northwest fruit gardeners to grow the world’s most nutritious, delicious and most disease resistant cultivars and Sam will take you on his 40 year journey of bringing those varieties to you.

What is Raintree Nursery bringing to the show?

Raintree offers almost a thousand varieties but only has room for about 25 at the show. However, we are bringing some of the best and most popular varieties for you to take home.

We will have Brazelberries (R) both blueberries and raspberries that are dwarfs and ideally suited to grow in containers.

blueberry_tophatAnd also blueberries:

  • Chandler
  • Darrow
  • Sunshine Blue
  • Misty blueberries
  • and Evergreen Huckleberries.

Raspberries include:

  • everbearing Autumn Brittan
  • and July-bearing Cascade Delight.

Strawberries include:

  • Musks
  • Alpines
  • and Day Neutral Seascapes.

We’ll also have Black and Red Currants, Thornless Blackberries and Lingonberries. And Olives, Figs, Bay Trees, Mini Dwarf Apples and Espalier apples, as well as Dwarf Peaches. We will also have root crops of the Incas and Wasabi as well as mushroom dowels and spawn.

See you there, at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in the Washington State Convention Center, booths 2344-8 in the North Hall.


February 22, 2014: Edible Landscape class

Neil Leonard
Neil Leonard

Join us for an Edible Landscape class from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, 2014, here at Raintree Nursery, 391 Butts Road, Morton, WA 98356. Cost is $20 per family.

A garden designer teaches the concepts you need to design and implement your own landscape, helping you decide what to plant and where and how to plant it!The class includes permacultural principles. We send you a questionnaire and instructions prior to the class so you can draw a rough“to scale” map of the part of your property you want to concentrate on. This is a great class to attend before you design and plant your landscape. It can save you countless hours of undoing mistakes in the future.

To register, visit