Urban Trees Contribute to Economic Activity

(June 5, 2005)- Many recent studies document the environmental service value that trees provide, but the value of urban forestry can also be measured in impact as an economic sector. A new national study accounts for the impact of green industry to the US economy, and reveals that tree production and tree care amounts to $21 billion in annual output.

The first national study of its kind, released by University of Tennessee in 2004, found that Green Industry contributed 1,964,339 jobs to the U.S. economy including 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 and intermediaries such as brokers and horticultural distribution centers.
The U.S. environmental horticulture industry, known as the Green Industry, accounted for $147.8 billion in economic output in 2002. The total output of tree production and tree care services nationally was valued at $14.55 billion, which translated into $21.02 billion in total output impacts, 259,224 jobs, and $14.12 in value added.
According to a 1996 state study, Californians spent at least $947 million to obtain environmental benefits and the state’s urban forestry “sector” had sales of at least $1,115 billion in a 12-month period in the early 1990s. As a result of direct, indirect, and induced effects, urban forestry accounted for at least $3,384 billion in total sales. This level of sales became about $1,869 billion in annual income to individuals and supported about 57,200 jobs in this period within the state. Knowledge of this economic activity is important, in principle, to voters and public decision-makers who allocate human resources, tax revenue, and water for the management of community forests and other natural resources in California.
Related Resources:
Economic Impacts of the Green Industry (US)
Urban Trees Contribute to Economic Activity (California)
Journal of Arboriculture