Industry Overview

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Amenity Horticulture has been among Australia's fastest growing industries in recent years, closely linked to Urban Development and lifestyle. Employing some 125,000 people, it turns over 6 billion annually.

Sectors within the industry include:

  • Production Nursery
  • Retail Nursery
  • Allied Trades
  • Parks and Gardens
  • Arboriculture
  • Landscaping
  • Speciality Sectors
  • Turf
  • Floriculture

Production Nursery: The nursery industry has two distinct sectors: production nurseries and retail nurseries. Production Nursery work involves:

  • Propagation, production and maintenance of plants for sale to retail nurseries, supermarkets, garden centres, hardware stores, landscapers, farmers, forestry, urban forestry and revegetation projects
  • Marketing and promotion of plant products and services

Retail Nursery: The nursery industry has two distinct sectors: production nurseries and retail nurseries. Retail Nursery work involves:

  • Maintenance of plants for sales and/or hire
  • Retailing of plants and associated products
  • Provision of advice on plant selection and garden design
  • Marketing and promotion of plant products and services

Allied Trades:The term 'Allied' is a word used by the Amenity Horticulture industry to describe products and services that support the production, sale and health of green-life. There are so many areas that can be described as an allied trade. A sample of these products and services could include:

  • Growing Media / potting mix - to support the growth of green-life
  • fertiliser / chemicals - for pest & disease and aiding the health and well-being of green-life
  • tools & machinery - for large and small scale businesses
  • pots / containers / garden art / water features - for containing greenlife and beautifying gardens and landscapes
  • Furniture & Building Accessories - for outdoor areas, fencing and garden designs
  • Irrigation / watering aids - to support the growth of green-life
  • Gift suppliers - to support the function of a retail garden centre
  • Information Technology - to support the running of an industry business
  • Insurance - to support the running of an industry business

Parks and Gardens: Parks and gardens activities are usually located near to population centres. The industry is undergoing growth as tourism becomes more important and there is greater interest in public health and outdoor recreation. The work involves:

  • Management and maintenance of public and private parks, reserves and gardens
  • Management and maintenance of natural bushland and community recreation areas
  • Management and maintenance of historic, cultural and special-use areas, such as botanic gardens, cemeteries, recreation parks and institutional lands
  • Design and implementation of special plant displays
  • Provision of advice on plant selection and use in commercial and domestic situations
  • Contract administration and management

Arboriculture: Many arborists operate as private contractors; others work for local or state government agencies. Arboriculture involves:

  • Maintenance and management of trees in private and public gardens, parks, and streetscapes
  • Removal and transplanting of large trees
  • Protection and rehabilitation of trees under structural or physical threat
  • Provision of advice on tree planting and maintenance
  • Evaluation and assessment of tree health and monetary value

Landscaping: There is a wide range of landscape operations. However, one key distinction is between those with a focus on hardscape construction, which is often linked to the construction industry, and softscape development, which takes a broader approach to plant use and landscape development. The work involves:

  • Construction and maintenance of domestic and commercial landscapes
  • Design of gardens and commercial landscapes
  • Rehabilitation and maintenance of urban bushland
  • Construction and installation of amenity and recreational landscape structures
  • Provision of technical advice and forward estimates on landscape development proposals
  • Landscaping is associated with commercial construction, hotel and resort construction, engineering projects along transport corridors, new housing developments, and improvements to residential, commercial and industrial properties.

Specialty Sectors: The term 'specialty' sector is used by the Amenity Horticulture industry to describe services that are highly skilled and focus on one specific are of specialty. Examples in this area might be:

  • Research Scientist
  • Plant Pathologist
  • Entomologist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Radio and Television Media Presenter
  • Horticulture journalist

Turf: The turf industry has two main activities: growing and selling turf, and caring and management of turf. Turf management work is associated with golf courses, bowling greens, wicket and pitch preparation, racing clubs, institutional and recreational playing fields, commercial growing of turf operations and mowing contractors:

  • Establishment and maintenance of commercial and recreational turf
  • Design and preparation of sports turf playing surfaces
  • Domestic mowing and turf maintenance operations
  • Commercial growing and supply of turf
  • Management of recreational and sport turf facilities
  • Provision of technical advice on turf irrigation, pest and disease control and turf management practices

Floriculture: There is wide diversity in commodity areas and enterprises across the floriculture sectors. The work involves:

  • Growing and harvesting commercial flowers, flower seed, foliage and essential oil crops
  • Management and maintenance of field and controlled-growing environments
  • Post-harvest treatments and production of plant products
  • Wild harvesting and processing of commercial flowers, flower seed, foliage and essential oil crops
  • The industry is expanding with the impact of greater mechanisation, improved marketing, and advances in plant breeding.