For Oregon’s growers, the 2020 shipping season started with uncertainty due to COVID-19. But with people staying home more, the demand for plants and trees just kept coming, well into summer.
And coming. And coming.
With all the changes that happened this year, one thing didn’t: The nursery and greenhouse industry continues to be the #1 segment in Oregon agriculture, with greater sales than cattle, grain, dairy, hazelnuts or hops. Nearly 80% of the trees and plants that Oregon grows are shipped out of the state.
Oregon material sells because customers know they will get a quality product — one that looks great when you roll it off the truck. Customers say they can tell the difference just by looking at the plant.
Several factors contribute.
The climate provides a mild winter colder than warm states, sufficient to provide woody material with the dormancy it needs. However, spring warmth comes earlier than in colder states, assuring a long growing season.
Water is adequate, though it’s faced with competing demands.
The high quality Willamette Valley soil is rich and abundant.
And then there are the people. The factors mentioned above encourage quality growers to stick with it — and stick together. They encourage each other. Learn from each other. Refer customers to each other.
Every January, the Nursery Country issue of Digger profiles quality growers from Oregon. This year, we feature Advanced Ornamentals Inc. in St. Paul; Ernst Nursery & Farms, also in St. Paul; Lone Elder Nursery in Canby, and Swan Island Dahlias, also in Canby.
We hope you will enjoy getting to know the growers behind these great nurseries.
All of these growers and many others have their products listed on NurseryGuide.com. You can search the site by botanical or common name to find the plants you need.
Curt Kipp is the director of publications and communications at the Oregon Association of Nurseries, and the editor of Digger magazine.