Co-founder, Jim Duarte’s experience in agriculture began in 1971 working in viticulture in Fallbrook, California. He commercially propagated the first UC heat-treated selections of grapevines. Jim revolutionized the viticulture nursery industry by growing the virus-free stock in a more sanitary method using plastic containers. In 1976 Jim expanded his focus to include the house plant industry as he and his wife Anita operated a tropical house plant nursery for the next thirteen years. The rise of the threat of Phylloxera, coupled with the increased consumption of red wine in the late eighties, brought Jim to Hughson to begin construction on Duarte Nursery. In 1989, Jim, Anita, their sons John and Jeff and a small staff once again brought change to the viticulture industry with the introduction of containerized, grafted grapevines enabling farmers the option of planting grapes year-round.
Over the past couple of decades, the popularity of year-round planting has taken Duarte Nursery into a variety of agriculture nursery products. The company has continued its growth-through innovation by making tissue culture tree rootstocks commercially available. Dry Creek Labs, a subsidiary of Duarte Nursery, is continually expanding its facility to meet demand for clonal prunes, citrus, pistachio, walnut rootstocks, and now avocados.
Duarte Nursery is committed to product improvement through their many research trials, customer relationships and development of their facility. Duarte Nursery is known for its dedicated staff of over three hundred people. As Jim Duarte puts it, “our goal at Duarte Nursery is to provide the farming industry with the cleanest, highest quality nursery products available.”