The Glut of 2008 (2009)?

My last post received a comment from JB, who tells what is going on with the wholesale nursery industry in Oregon. He say's, "The nursery business has been easy for the past 8-10 years. The demand for Northwest grown nursery stock ballooned and people from back east were coming out here and knocking on doors to buy plants to ship back east. Mom and dad neighbor and anyone who knew a nurseryman saw this and began to 'be a nurseryman' The quantity of small nurseries here is astounding. They really never had a problem selling their product. They would wait for the faxes to come in and fill the orders. You have no idea how many Emerald Green arbor vitae there are in peoples front yards…red maples, ash, locust, etc all the commodities. There is such a glut of plant material and no sales that many are exiting the business." It's a great example of the contradiction we face during this current economic cycle. One the one hand we feel for the nurseries, and on the other hand we realize that when there is a glut of material it has to be thinned out. I also remember a post from Billy Goodnick in Santa Barbara where he said, "Most everyone took off for a tour of production nurseries that were going to show off all their newest introductions. Not only was I uninterested in seeing plants I have little chance of growing in Santa Barbara, but the idea of using plants that are grown in Oregon, then shipped nationwide on trucks would give me a carbon-footprint guilt trip I couldn't endure. One more reason to use plants provided by local growers - they're not only adapted to my climate, but the impacts of shipping are minuscule." Ouch.

We have here in California over sold plants that really don't perform well in our area. This is not Oregon's fault, but rather a response to demand from well meaning gardeners, who want gardens that look like the pictures of places in other lands where summer rain is the norm. Coral Bark Japanese Maples we're planted in front yards, in full sun, at new development's in the Sacramento Valley. The trees will crisp up and eventually be replaced. Of course the low prices on these things at the box stores certainly goes a long way to encouraging poor planting practices. Rows of Living Christmas trees not suited for our climate, balled and burlaped Japanese Maples with dry root balls, etc. Of course with the glut of merchandise the prices are ridiculously low. So low no independent can touch them.

On another note, I learn so much from the comments here. It's hard for me to get out of the nursery so I depend on the comments from my readers. That's why I can not for the life of me figure out why my comment function on this blog continually changes the mode from "allow comments" to not "allowing comments". Very frustrating. Has anyone else using experienced this problem? I found out that the comment feature was not working because a reader alerted me to it via e-mail.  It has been my habit to allow all comments, on all posts, going all the way to the beginning. That's why I find this problem so frustrating. In our fast paced lives, if you want to leave a comment you want to do it NOW. Again, I allow comments and if you find a problem, and have the time, drop me a note. I appreciate it.