For over 25 years, T-Y Nursery has been the go-to wholesale nursery supplying re-wholesalers, independent garden centers and plant brokers in this state, making us experts for supplying the noticeably different climates of Western and Eastern Oregon.
First and foremost is the amount of annual rainfall on either side of the state. Moisture-laden air masses moving into Oregon from the west gradually rise as they move eastward toward the Cascade Mountains. This increase in elevation causes the air masses to release moisture onto the areas west of the Cascades. By the time the air masses have crested the mountains, they have released the majority of their moisture. This is why the Willamette Valley receives on average 40-50 inches of annual rain, while the great plateaus east of the Cascades get an average of less than 8 inches of rain per year.
In addition, these air masses cause the mild year-round temperatures of the west, compared to the extreme seasons of Eastern Oregon. Warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters are the norm in the Willamette Valley, while the east experiences major snow events every winter and hard frosts into the month of June.
Due to the mild climate, the plant selection in the Willamette Valley is vast, with the general needs of being able to handle ample water and cooler weather. Drought-tolerant plants typically do not thrive in such a wet environment and should therefore only be used east of the Cascades, as long as they can withstand freezing temperatures. Plants typically stocked by garden centers throughout the Willamette Valley are golden bamboo, abelia, Mediterranean fan palm, rockrose, leyland cypress, escallonia, wax-leaf privet, heavenly bamboo, windmill palm and many varieties of juniper.