Fewer Ohio Nurseries
The Ohio nursery and landscaping business is doing better, according to the Ohio Nursery and Landscaping Association. Ohio is the fifth largest nursery production state and it remains a strong industry there.
''Most everyone I've talked to this year is having a much better season than they have in the last three to four years,'' said Kevin Thompson, executive director of ONLA. ''There are less nurseries in Ohio than there were five years ago, from consolidation or they go into other crops. But it's still a very vibrant industry.''
The main culprit was home construction. In the city of Springfield alone, residential building permits dropped from 628 permits in 2007 to 421 in 2011, according to city records.
But local nurseries and landscapers have seen an improvement in business, especially this past spring, which started early.
''There has been an uptick and it's been vastly improving from the decline of the last few years,'' said Peter Scarff, owner of Scarffs Nursery and Landscape. ''I don't think its an improvement of the economy, it's an acceptance of the economy.''
The improvement has yet to improve employment numbers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the greenhouse and nursery industry hit an all time low in 2011 in Clark County. The number dropped from 499 people employed in that industry in 2008 to 274 employed in 2011.
''It's not over yet,'' said Studebaker. ''It's just a question of where's the new demand going to be? We know it won't be back to the levels it used to be. We're trying to figure where the new normal is.''