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About the Green Industry
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About the Green Industry 

Definition: The green industry is comprised principally of wholesale nursery and greenhouse growers, landscape contractors and retail garden centers.


Size: The green industry in Pennsylvania generated an annual economic impact in 2007 of $6.8 billion. Pennsylvania’s green industry leads all states in the northeast U.S. in size. Nationally the green industry generates about $150 billion in economic activity.

Growth: Between 2002 and 2007, the green industry in Pennsylvania grew by an average of 11% per year, nearly three times the average rate of growth of the overall Pennsylvania economy during this period.

Jobs: The green industry in Pennsylvania employed 75,000 people in 2007.

Wages and Salaries: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average entry level wage was just over $20,000 and extends to and average of $114,000 for upper management positions. According that same report, "Over this decade (2002-2012), employment for both landscape architects and landscape and greenhouse workers is expected to increase by about 22 percent. That’s faster than the average employment growth projected for all occupations.”

The Benefits of a Green Landscape:

  • New tree infrastructure increases city property values by 3-7% in raw numbers, and from 5% to 11% in perception
  • In contrast to areas without trees, shoppers indicated that they shop more often and longer in well-landscaped business districts, and were willing to pay more for goods and services
  • About two-thirds of the rain falling on a tree in a half inch rain event is held by the leaves and branches of tree where it slowly drips to the ground after the event or evaporates back into the air, reducing pollution from stormwater runoff
  • An acre of trees absorbs enough CO2 over one year to equal the amount produced by driving a car 26,000 miles
  • Deep-rooted prairie grasses, forbs and herbaceous perennials have been found to sequester as much as 1/3 of a ton of carbon per acre per year
  • Trees produce a sixty percent reduction in street level particulates on tree-lined streets vs. streets with no trees
  • Trees along roads and streets reduce nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, cadmium, chromium, nickel and lead levels
  • Trees reduce noise levels along streets by 50%
  • Green space around schools helps kids learn, reduces incidence of violent behaviors and calms kids with ADHD
  • A hospital with window views to green space can reduce patient stays by an average of one day

For more information on the environmental and health benefits of green landscapes, click here to download PLNA's white paper. Click here for a copy of the national study on the economic impact of the green industry, including detailed state-by-state data.

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