Economic Impacts of the Green Industry in the United States


Charles R. Hall, PhD, University of Tennessee
2621 Morgan Circle Room 314B, Knoxville, TN 37996

Alan W. Hodges, PhD, University of Florida
PO Box 110240, Gainesville, FL 32611

John J. Haydu, PhD, University of Florida
2725 Binion Rd, Apopka, FL 32703

This research report was made possible by a grant from USDA-Forest Service, National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Committee, along with funding from the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (formerly ALCA, now PLANET – the Professional Landcare Network). Others who contributed to the effort by providing information or technical reviews included John Brooker (University of Tennessee), David Mulkey and Tom Stevens (University of Florida), Jennifer Dennis (Purdue University), and members of the Green Industry Research Consortium (S-290 Multi-State Research Committee of USDA-CSREES).

The U.S. environmental horticulture industry, also known as the “Green Industry”, is comprised of wholesale nursery and sod growers; landscape architects, designers/builders, contractors and maintenance firms; retail garden centers, home centers and mass merchandisers with lawn and garden departments; and marketing intermediaries such as brokers and horticultural distribution centers (re-wholesalers). Environmental horticulture is one of the fastest growing segments of the nation’s agricultural economy. In spite of the magnitude and recent growth and interest in the Green Industry, there is surprisingly little information that has been developed on the national level regarding its’ economic impact. Thus, the objective of this study is to estimate the economic impacts of the Green Industry at the national level. In addition, this study seeks to evaluate the value and role of forest tree species (woody ornamental trees). Economic impacts for the U.S. Green Industry in 2002 were estimated at $147.8 billion (Bn) in output, 1,964,339 jobs, $95.1 Bn in value added, $64.3 Bn in labor income, and $6.9 Bn in indirect business taxes, with these values expressed in 2004 dollars.

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