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Oregon Trees, Shrubs Get Role In New Action Flick

Universal Pictures
Oregon-grown plants were used to re-create 18th Century Japan in scenes like this one from the movie '47 Ronin.'

The makers of the new action flick 47 Ronin didn't want to film their movie in Oregon. But that doesn't mean the state won't have a starring role.

The trees and shrubs on set aren't the box-office draw -- that's probably Keanu Reeves. But the greenery is the star of the show to some Oregon nursery owners. Producers spent thousands on Oregon-grown maples, pines, ferns and other plants. It was an attempt to recreate the look of 18th-century Japan.

Theresa Yoshioka, from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, says nursery owners are hoping for some repeat business from movie-makers.

"I think it's a great statement that Hollywood is looking to Oregon for some of these plants," she says.

Yoshioka says even in the age of computer-generated effects, you just can't beat an honest-to-goodness living plant for authenticity.