Participants in a two-day Landscape Maintenance Conference at the Tri-Arc Hotel said Tuesday their business is good and the future looks bright for young Utahns who would like to get into the field.
Larry Sagers, Utah State University Extension horticulturist for Salt Lake County, said new landscape maintenance businesses are springing up all the time. "We have more than 250 lawn-care companies in the Salt Lake Valley alone."The construction of landscapes for new homes, new businesses, parks and golf courses, and lawn and garden maintenance continues to be the fastest-growing agricultural industry in Utah, Sagers said, and should continue to be through the 1980s and into the next decade.
"More and more homeowners are realizing the value and fun of having their yards landscaped. New home builders and buyers aren't content with planting seedlings and waiting 20 or 30 years for a big shade tree. They are buying big trees and huge shrubs that have already been grown in nurseries and tree farms.
"Families are more mobile, spend fewer years in a home, and they want instant lawns and instant landscapes that look as if they have been growing for a decade or more - in a summer or, sometimes, in a week.
"Companies that build new headquarters or sales offices want their buildings landscaped just as fast."
Working with large trees and shrubs and expansive lawns is the job of an expert, Sagers said, and people who want to get into the landscape maintenance business must be willing to become experts and to invest money in machinery, equipment and supplies.
"As the number of landscape firms increases, so does competition," he said. "To stay in business, you need to excel."
The boom in landscape installation and maintenance is a boon, also, to companies that sell garden machinery, irrigation equipment, turf, trees, shrubs, flowers and fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.