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Contact: Cassie Carver , (651) 633-4987

Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Industry Study Reveals Promising Future

Minnesota's nursery and landscape industry is generating “green” – annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, lawns, and dollars.

A recently-completed study shows that the state's nursery and landscape companies generate yearly sales of more than $2.1 billion. There are approximately 3,000 family-owned companies in Minnesota that comprise the professional nursery and landscape industry. Environmental care firms participating in the study included landscape contractors and designers; retail garden centers; wholesale tree, shrub, and flower growers; irrigation contractors; lawn, tree, and garden services; and hardscape suppliers. Gross sales within four major industry segments reveal the following totals:

  • Landscape Services - $1.1 billion
  • Retail Sales - $453 million
  • Agricultural/Horticultural Production - $347 million
  • Wholesale Hard Goods - $207 million

Between 1995 and 2000, the average gross sales of companies in the nursery and landscape industry increased by an amazing 97 percent. Minnesota 's nursery and landscape exports total $100 million, with much of that being tree and shrub sales across the nation and to Canada , as well as sales of landscape services in neighboring states. Survey participants indicated that sales for various industry segments are anticipated to grow another 30-50 percent within 2000-2005.

In addition to substantial gross sales, the industry is a major Minnesota employer with an annual payroll of $697.9 million. There are more than 10,000 full-time employees, 1,700 part-time employees, and 16,500 seasonal employees. “The success of our industry is a testament to the fact that small, family-owned and operated businesses can be created and can succeed. Most of our industry's companies have fewer than 10 full-time employees, yet collectively we provide 28,000 jobs. We're a stable and growing part of the Minnesota economy,” said John Mickman, president of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association. Mickman owns Mickman Brothers Inc., located in Ham Lake .

This economic impact study was the first comprehensive compilation of data on the state's professional green industry. Companies were surveyed in the winter of 2001-2002 and asked for sales figures from the year 2000. National corporations selling plants and garden goods in Minnesota , as well as national corporations in the lawn care business, were not surveyed. Estimates do not include gross sales from those companies.

Data was compiled and analyzed by the St. Cloud State University Department of Economics. Spearheaded by the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association, partners in the project included the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, AgStar Financial Services, and the University of Minnesota Department of Horticulture.

Editor's Note: Charts are available that highlight the forecasted growth of the industry and the breakdown of retail sales and landscape services at the following link: Minnesota's Nursery and Landscape companies are part of a $2.1 billion industry.

To find a garden center or landscape professional in your area, visit Minnesota's on-line gardening resource, GardenMinnesota.com.

The Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association is the state's largest green industry trade association with more than 1,500 member businesses including garden centers; landscape contractors and designers; tree and flower growers; irrigation contractors; and lawn, tree, and garden services.

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