Greening of the Industry I

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Greening of the Industry I

It is an oft-forgotten fact that the green industry in Ohio is a major leader nationwide and an important factor in the economic engine here and throughout the United States. Ken Fisher recently detailed some important data about this in a Buckeye article of ONLA.  


Tree benefits sign
Plants matter to our environment. Here an I-Tree summary of the oaks at the College of Wooster


As Ken notes: “Every five years there is a survey commissioned by USDA-National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and funded by the Horticultural Research Institute, the research foundation of AmericanHort.  I serve as both CEO of AmericanHort and Executive Director of ONLA and had an advance copy of the findings that have now been submitted to the Journal of Environmental Horticulture and should be in an upcoming publication.”


Many benefits of trees
The many types of plant benefits as shown here at the Wellness garden at OSU-Wooster's Secrest Arboretum


It is a voluminous document and we will be sharing more of this information in bygl-alerts in coming months, but here is a taste:


Economic contributions nationwide for all green industry sectors was: $159.57 billion.


The green industry includes: nurseries, greenhouses, turfgrass production, landscape construction and maintenance companies, wholesale and retail distribution firms of horticultural products, direct suppliers for these horticultural businesses, and so forth.  This summary does not include many important components of the green industry, such as  arborists (e.g., Davey Tree Expert Co., a $billion company headquartered in Ohio) and lawncare companies.


Petunias from Ohio greenhouses in street plantings


Total output of the green industry nationwide including multiplier effects: $348.08 billion


Direct employment nationwide: 1,599, 662 full time and part time employees


Total employment nationwide from the green industry: 2,315, 357


And now Ohio: Direct employment, 90,406 jobs, Direct economic output, $14.5 billion,  $628 million in state taxes, $1.02 billion in federal taxes. Ohio trails only California, Texas, and Florida in these numbers. Again, this is an underrepresentation of the clientele in the U.S. and Ohio green industry since it does not include several key sectors of the green industry.


Crablandia at OSU!
Crablandia at OSU's Secrest Arboretum


It should also be noted that in our tough economic times this Spring, the green industry has fared very well: landscapers, arborists, nurseries and greenhouses, and garden centers, defined as “essential industries” had in many cases record springs, as many Ohioans and others around the country turned to their landscapes and gardens for sustenance during these distanced times.


Those petunias again


Thanks, Ken.  Plants are green in more ways than one.


Plants Matter
Plants matter!