Meet Santa Barbara’s
‘Fruit Tree Guy’
Nat Weller at Pro Garden Supply
Is a Wealth of Knowledge
By Tyler Hayden | Photos by Ingrid Bostrom
May 25, 2023
Read more of our Home & Garden 2023 stories here.
Around these parts, Nat Weller is known as the “fruit tree guy.” Although his Milpas Street nursery — Pro Garden Supply — offers a full menu of plants and hardware, it’s the location’s small forest of potted stone fruits, citruses, and tropicals that really carved Weller’s niche. “I’m good with that,” he said.
A proud western Goletan, Weller was bitten by the horticulture bug as a kid, growing and selling his harvests door-to-door. He went to UC Davis and from there earned his professional landscaping stripes at La Sumida Nursery and then Agri-Turf Supplies. In 2004, he opened Pro Garden Supply and hasn’t looked back since.
In addition to their fruit trees, the nursery is chock-full of perennials, annuals, shrubs, cacti, succulents, herbs, and veggies. They carry bulk soils and mulch as well as a complete assortment of gardening tools and irrigation supplies. The location’s drive-through service is especially handy for bigger loads.
Weller and his team, he explained, take pride in the “deep knowledge” and “true expertise” they provide. Their clients include professional landscapers with contracts at big estates, as well as homeowners looking to add a few new plants to their yard. One manager described the advice they dispense as “anchored in competence.”
It bears mentioning that every morning, the nursery puts out free doughnuts and coffee for customers. There’s also a good chance you’ll meet Weller’s dog Leah, a 190-pound, Great Dane–Lab mix with the sweetest disposition. The place feels more like a fun and busy back patio rather than a business.
In terms of his coveted fruit trees, Weller has a bunch — Meyer lemons, navel oranges, Fuji apples, plums, figs, cherries, and more. He sources them from all over the state, wherever he finds the happiest and healthiest specimens. Hass is the most popular variety of avocado he carries, Weller said, but he also offers Bacon, Pinkerton, and Zutano. Those looking for something a little more exotic may consider a guava, kumquat, or Buddha’s hand citron tree.
Not long ago, Weller thought about expanding to Thousand Oaks but ultimately decided against it. And now, as a new dad, he really doesn’t have time. “I don’t need to make things more complicated,” he said. “I’m happy here.”
You must be logged in to post a comment.