Question: I was reading that you really like the Arctic Star nectarine tree for growing here in Las Vegas. Is this tree a dwarf? How big will it get? What do you think of planting fruit trees in the front yard (not as a focal point but rather on the side of the house)?
I do like Arctic Star nectarine. It is one of a few that achieved our five-star vote on the quality of the fruit it produces year after year.
It will have problems eventually with western flower thrips scarring the fruit, so this should be kept in mind if you are thinking about planting it. It is not a dwarf tree, but we have had no problems keeping it at 6 to 7 feet in height its 17-year life.
Using fruit trees as a focal point isn’t a bad idea. I have listed my top choices for fruit trees as landscape plants on my blog, and Red Baron peach is one that has excellent fruit and beautiful magenta flowers in the spring. I haven’t really seen a nectarine that is this good as an ornamental, but at the side of the house, it would be OK .
Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at email@example.com. Visit his blog at