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Mother Nature & The Price of Petunias

What does the price of petunias have to do with the price of tea in China? Well, nothing but Petunia pricing, like other plant material pricing, is related to the housing market recovery. While the market recovery is positive, the downside is that it’s at the root in the rise of plant pricing whether you are purchasing for your commercial project or residential landscape So, what’s the scoop? Let us explain.

Current Industry Landscape
New construction is a key driver for the demand for plant material. The housing starts for 2013 were 124% higher than 2011 and has grown steady since. Supplies of plant material that meet certain specifications are decreasing as demand has increased. Since Mother Nature dictates how fast a healthy plant can grow, nurseries cannot “produce” trees that meet these specifications quick enough. The result: during the period since 2011 to 2015, the price of a 30-gallon Live Oak increased 245%. The price increase of a 3” caliper container Live Oak saw a 609% increase!

Industry reports indicate that the shift in supply and demand is of historic proportions. The shortage will likely last through 2017. Nurseries are working diligently to respond since they are the first to feel the impact of these changes. Since they cannot control Mother Nature and growth periods, some nurseries are dealing with this change by implementing stricter pricing strategies, limiting credit, and imposing minimum and maximum quantity orders among a few tactics.

Material Shortage Threatens Construction Projects
Landscape installation is usually one of the last items to be completed before a project can obtain a certificate of occupancy. Longer lead times may cause schedule delays. Hard deadlines may mean paying more or compromising quality.

Will this affect codes, ordinances, and inspections?
Maybe. It is hard to say since each municipality is different. It is wiser for governments to choose quality over size since larger plantings of poor quality can be structurally unsound and expose people and properties to risk.

What Can You Do?
Nanak’s Landscaping continues to be committed to providing the best quality and best pricing for our clients. We will always do whatever we can to best serve our customers so they can meet budgets and timelines without sacrificing quality.

The Nanak’s team suggests that you plan accordingly to avoid delays and budget surprises. A few suggestions are:

  • Select your contractor early so they can work in close cooperation with their suppliers
  • Allow for flexibility in specifications or plant variety
  • Plant or procure early.

Source: Cherry Lake Tree Farm Plant Market Update

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