Nursery and Christmas Tree Production

 Nursery and Christmas Tree Production

The Nursery and Christmas Tree Production survey (NCTPS) provides estimates of the numbers of nursery producers, production area, hired workers, sales and inventory by plant category for the 17 largest nursery producing states. This survey was conducted for the first time in the spring of 2001 for calendar year 2000 data.

Over 12,500 operations are sampled in the 17 largest nursery producing states. Over 6,500 operations have gross sales of $10,000 or more. The 17 states are: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

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Program Content

Total production area and the average number of part-time and full-time hired workers are collected from operations with gross sales of $10,000 or more. Additional data are collected for operations with gross sales of $100,000 or more in twelve product categories. For ten categories, broadleaf evergreens, coniferous evergreens, deciduous shade trees, deciduous flowering trees, deciduous shrubs, fruit and nut plants, palms, ornamental grasses, other woody ornamentals and vines, and palms, data are collected for number sold, gross sales, percent sold wholesale, percent of plants sold by category, and number on hand on January 1. For the other two categories, transplants for commercial vegetables and strawberries for crop production and propagative nursery material or lining-out stock, gross sales and percent sold wholesale are collected. Cut Christmas tree data collected are trees cut and sold and gross sales dollars, percent of gross sales that were wholesale, number of trees on hand at year-end, and percent of trees expected to sell in future years. Christmas tree details were asked for all operations with at least $10,000 in cut Christmas sales for the first time for the 2006 crop year.


Nursery production estimates are used to keep abreast of the rapidly changing industry. Survey results help identify state and national trends in areas such as new product development and changing production practices so that growers can plan the future of their business. These estimates are also used to support industry claims in cases involving unfair trade practices and in trade negotiations. The data collected by this survey also measure the economic impact of the industry both by value of sales of nursery crops and by number of hired workers.


The Nursery and Christmas Tree survey is conducted every three years on the same timetable as the Nursery and Floriculture Chemical Use Survey.


Data collection methods include mail, phone, and personal interview. The mode of data collection is tailored to the nursery industry's diversity to address the variability from large corporate operations to small local greenhouses.

Related Programs

Census of Horticultural Specialties
Nursery and Floriculture Chemical Use

Last Modified: 04/17/2024