The potential for noninfectious bud-failure in propagation source material for `Carmel' almond in California has been determined in progeny tests from commercial nursery sources. Percentage BF increased with time (temporal), but decreased in severity (spatial). Analysis of variability in nursery sources showed that the key to successful selection for low BF potential is the individual tree, although variability exists among nurseries, budsticks (within trees), and individual buds (within budsticks). One-half of the individual trees of the nursery population tested have produced BF progeny so far within the test period. Future BF from the remainder was project by a BF model to be beyond the critical economic threshold. Two low BF-potential single tree sources were identified for commercial usage and progeny tests have started on an additional 19.