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Market Outlook Product Segmentation Market Segmentation 4 4 6 Current Global Trends Understanding Trends
Macro Trends 1. Rational Consumption 2. Natural High 3. Greener Shade of Green 4. Buying Online Micro Trends 1. More Hardscaping 2. The Outdoor Structure 3. Outdoor Kitchen Revisited 4. The Hardware Advantage 5. Exterior Design 6. Wood as Graphics 7. Ultra Durability 8. Bathing au Naturel 9. Balcony Sized 10. Craft in the Garden 11. Urban Agriculture 12. Non-Residential Niches

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Appendices Appendix I: Case Studies

Yardistry, Canada Exteta, Italy Deesawat, Thailand

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Appendix II Overview of the Canadian Landscape Manufacturing Sector

Industry Participants Distribution and Buying Patterns Competition Species Associations Perceived Changes

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Print Online Associations

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Using Trends Trends at a Glance

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The goal of this report is to assist Canadian manufacturers in capitalizing on the growing market for outdoor living products. It provides detailed trend information for making informed business, marketing and product development decisions. It is directed at but not limited to manufacturers of wood landscape products. Canadian manufacturers are well situated to take advantage of this growth market. Firstly, Canada is endowed with several well-known naturally durable wood species. Secondly, wilderness and the outdoors are already deeply embedded in and associated with Canadian culture. And thirdly, smaller companies can compete since landscape products typically do not require a high level of sophistication in manufacturing.

This report begins by giving a brief overview of the market for landscape products in North America. Then it identifies current global trends related to the market for landscaping products. These trends encompass both the general, such as the societal trend toward shopping online, as well as the specific such as the trend toward the use of ultra durable materials in landscape products. The information in the Appendices offers additional context. Appendix I provides three case studies of companies who have developed innovative wood landscape products. Appendix II is a brief overview of the existing business context of landscape product manufacturing in Canada.

The research methods used to develop this material are qualitative which means that the results are intended to be directional rather than definitive. Its purpose is to offer inspiration and a context from which to enhance decision making for manufacturers.

market outlook
Landscape products can be segmented into three broad markets; residential, nonresidential and non-building. The largest sector is the residential market, followed by the non-residential market which includes retail establishments, corporate headquarters and hospitality and recreational facilities. The smallest sector is the non-building market which includes things such as golf courses, parks, athletic facilities, school grounds and roadside property. Landscaping products are used to improve the function and beauty of all of these kinds of properties. All kinds of landscaping products are used in all three markets with the exception of small decorative items that are mainly used in the residential sector. Where actual market numbers are given, they are based on US data since none are available for the Canadian market. However, the Canadian market context is very similar when the population ratio of 9:1 is taken in to consideration. For example, the demand for landscaping products in the US totaled $4.1 billion in 2010 (Freedonia, 2011) so the demand in Canada can be estimated at 456 million. There had been a huge surge in the growth of this sector post 911, a response to the fear of travel which resulted in cocooning. This slowed somewhat between 2007 and 2009 due to the recession. Between 2009 and 2010 it experienced growth again. The US demand for landscape products is projected to increase 7.6 percent per year to $5.9 billion in 2015. (Freedonia, 2011) This projection is based on a continuous slow recovery

Product Segmentation
Decorative products account for the largest share of all landscape products (43.8 percent) and are also the ones that have been most recession-proof. This is partially due to the aging population and the growing interest in gardening by all consumers. The specific products that account for most of this growth are; water features, lighting and furniture. In addition, bird and wild animal products, pots and planters and statuary have been popular. The demand for decorative landscape products is predicted to reach $2.5 billion in the US following a 6.8 percent increase per year by the year 2015. (Freedonia, 2011) Hardscape products are those that form the flooring and walls walkways in a landscape. This can include materials such as wood, stone, brick, aggregate, plastic, metal and rubber. Typical wood products in this category are decking, edging and fencing. Hardscapes are responsible for 29.8 percent of all sales in the landscape category. This is in part due to the fact that these tend to be lower cost items. Also, hardscapes such as decks and fences are an integral part of creating outdoor rooms and thus factor in to the interest in outdoor living. Builders will likely continue adding hardscapes to homes to make them more marketable. Hardscapes are predicted to grow at a rate of 10 percent per year to reach $2.0 billion by the year 2015. (Freedonia, 2011)

of the economy going forward with an increase in new construction. For this market outlook, landscape products have been divided into three segments; hardscapes, structures and decorative products. Of these three product segments, hardscapes are expected to be the fastest growing. In each of the three product segments, the residential market is expected to be the largest and fastest growing. The consumer interest in outdoor living will continue to be the main driver of this sector. This will be particularly strong in the urban market.

While stones, boulders and concrete pavers are forecast to achieve the most rapid gains, wood is forecast to achieve above average gains through 2015. Wood hardscape products are expected to grow at a rate of 10.9 percent per year to reach $260 million in 2015. (Freedonia, 2011) This is slightly stronger growth than the hardscape sector in general. The three main issues that limit woods marketability against non-wood products are; required maintenance to keep it looking its best, the chemicals used in treated wood and its relative difficulty in creating curved elements. Landscape structures include sheds, gazebos, arches, trellis, pergolas, greenhouses, bridges, etc. Materials used for landscape structures include wood, composites, plastics and metal. Structures account for 17.6 percent of the market with a total sales volume of $720 million. (Freedonia, 2011) Two-thirds of the market demand for structures is by the residential sector. Sheds are by far the largest portion of the demand in this segment at 72 percent. However, this is a relatively mature market and the growth going forward is expected to be in other categories. Growth is expected to be 5.5 percent per year to reach $720 million in 2015. (Freedonia, 2011) In the shed category, wood is typically at the high-end with metal and plastic in the low-mid end of the market. Going forward, easy-to-assemble sheds will continue to be important as well as sheds with a positive environmental story for example made with eco-certified wood.

Gazebos are a relatively high cost item so they were hit hard by the recession as consumers opted for lower price options. A 2.8 percent increase per year is expected in the gazebo market to reach $70 million in 2015. (Freedonia, 2011) Easy-to-assemble gazebo kits will be favored in the market going forward as many consumers choose to save money. Arches, trellis and pergolas are less costly than gazebos which has resulted in a growing demand since the recession which is expected to continue in the near future. This segment is expected to enjoy a 6.8% increase per year to reach $75 million in sales by 2015. Pergolas are benefiting from the desire to define outdoor living rooms. Trellis is benefiting from the trend toward vertical gardening where climbing plants are used as wall in small spaces. Hobby greenhouses are becoming extremely popular due to the growing interest in growing your own vegetables. The market for greenhouses is expected to reach $40 million in 2015. (Freedonia, 2011) Newer generation greenhouses are designed to provide the optimal environment for plant growth.

Market Segmentation
The residential market for landscape products represents over half of the total market with non-residential and non-building markets sharing the remaining market. The residential market is influenced by housing completions, climatic conditions, income levels, demographic trends, lifestyle trends and environmental regulations. This market was hit the worst across all three markets with 7.8 percent losses annually over the recession years. The demand for landscaping products in the residential market is forecast to reach $3.5 billion in 2015, the fastest pace among the markets, 9.2 percent per annum from a depressed base in 2010. (Freedonia, 2011) Decorative products will remain the largest product segment while structures are expected to be the fastest growing at 14.2 percent per year to 2015. (Freedonia, 2011) The nonresidential market includes the office and commercial segment where landscaping is for retail spaces, corporate headquarters and hospitality and recreational facilities. This market experienced 0.6 percent annual losses over the recession. (Freedonia, 2011) The key variables affecting demand in this market include new building construction and repair and renovation spending. Going forward, the nonresidential market is expected to increase in demand by $1.6 billion annually to 2015 with gains of 6.5 percent. (Freedonia, 2011) As the market improves, more offices, bars, restaurants etc. will be built and landscape products will be required as more and more building owners see the value in creating outdoor spaces. As municipal smoking bans continue across North America, business owners are creating outdoor spaces for smokers. Decorative products are expected to remain the largest demanded product category while hardscapes are expected to have the fastest growth. The nonbuilding market segment for landscape products includes parks, athletic facilities, school grounds, roadside property and golf courses. This market performed the best over the recession mainly due to government stimulus spending on public construction and improvement projects. It experienced a growth of 4.5% annually through the recession. (Freedonia, 2011) Demand for landscaping products in the nonbuilding market is projected to reach $835 million in 2015 following yearly expansion of 3.7 percent. (Freedonia, 2011) This growth will be led by new construction and a rising interest in creating small-scale green spaces especially in urban areas. Decorative products will account for the largest demand since the parks, recreational areas and community gardens that will be developed need these items. The market data above described a very favourable demand situation for landscape products in North America. In general, the market for these products is driven by a strong consumer demand for outdoor living.

Landscape products Demand by market, 2010 4.1 billion

nonbuilding 17% nonresidential 28%

residential 55%

current global trends

The information for this part of the report was gathered by attending two key trade shows, conducting interviews, surveying trend publications and futures reports and through contextual observations. A wide range of International sources were included. This information was then qualitatively analyzed to uncover patterns from which several trends were defined. This trend information is particularly relevant to inform new product development. Each trend is illustrated through specific examples of how it is being manifested in the market. Where possible, opportunities for Canadian manufacturers to capitalize on these trends have been discussed. business. Even change that at first appears only negative can been seen as an opportunity. Trends have a life cycle that can be described by the graph below. There are clear advantages to responding to trends as early as possible. Where possible, indication is given as to where the trends outlined are according to this timeline. Nations that are more advanced in a particular industrial sector tend to lead that sector. In the landscape products market leading nations are Europe (most notably the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain), Japan and Australia so these regions were focused on. While the time lag between trends moving from leading countries to North America varies, it is constantly decreasing. Trends also tend to begin at the high-end of the market since manufacturers of higher-end products assign more resources to R&D and innovation. Thus higher-end markets were focused on here. The best ideas from both the leading nations and higher-end producers eventually trickle down to more mainstream markets. Trends from different but related industries provide extremely important insight. In this study the following sectors were included in the scoping; the construction industry, the repair and remodeling industry, the garden/horticulture industry, the design industries including industrial design, interior design and landscape architecture.

Macro Trends
The trends in this section are based on observing things such as cultural shifts, technological advances, consumption patterns, demographics and regulatory change. They are broad view trends that can be used to guide business direction.

Understanding Trends
In order for businesses to use trend information to its fullest, some idiosyncrasies of trends in general should be discussed. In simplest terms, trends are changes in the status quo. When something happens that is new or different, and it is seen enough times, it is considered a trend. Changes, or trends, represent opportunity for

1. Rational Consumption Consumers are simultaneously being affected by the recession and environmental science and are starting to move toward more rational consumption. In all areas of consumption moderation can be seen, this is not specific to the landscape sector. In essence what is happening is that consumers are carefully seeking out value in products and services. Not the least expensive necessarily, but rather those that offer the best solutions to users needs. The fact that consumer sales are down across all consumer product categories means that people are doing with less. This is partially out of necessity, and partially because they are trying to live with less excess. The products that are doing well in this new market are those that are simple and practical. Not the ostentation of luxury goods of previous years. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) products are once again more interesting to consumers. Products are being assessed in terms of their longevity, how well they solve a particular problem, and whether the company that made them inspires trust. It is a trend that affects all price points and product categories. This trend has emerged since the 2009 global recession and there are many reasons to believe more conscious consumption will continue and may even becomethe new normal.

This product serves two functions; it is a parasol for shade as well as a projection screen for watching video outdoors. Products like these appeal to peoples sense of practicality by solving two problems at once. photo source |

Opportunity | At first glance it is difficult to see this trend as anything but negative for manufacturers, but there are new opportunities and possibilities since users are redefining their needs, preferences and desires. For example, products with lasting aesthetics and quality or that give the user more autonomy (mobility, personalization) are appealing. Consumers are giving particular value to things such as the environment, buying local and time. Manufactures who become adept at understanding the needs of customers and tailoring products that provide value will gain advantage.

Designed by Vronique Maire and Francoise Maire for the Arche de la Nature exhibition in France. The objective of the contest was to build a shed on-site using minimal materials. This is the winning entry which is made from 1x4 planks and champagne bottles in an old technique called entreilles. The tiny shed is called The Stockroom and it is an example of how simple ideas are resonating with people. photo source |

Holes Wellbeing Center is a garden store in Edmonton Alberta that has expanded its services from selling plants to selling plants, fashion and art, and providing a place for dining, playing and learning. By providing the consumer with an experience as well as a product, Holes adds value. photo source |

2. Natural High There is an increasing trend for people to view time spent in nature as a health benefit. The benefits are seen as emotional as well as physical. This is in part, due to the amount of time we are spending indoors with our various technologies and the growing sense it is unhealthy. There is also a growing body of research that supports these hunches. Researchers like Harvard Professor Edward O. Wilson have proven that contact with nature contributes to health and well-being because humans have an innate bond with living things or biophilia. Studies show that without regular immersion

recently, schools are starting to implement nature programs and more natural playgrounds are starting to replace concrete and brightly coloured steel manufactured playgrounds. Homeowners are starting to view the yard as a placebo for nature. Rest-stop parklets replicating European traditions of outdoor plazas for sunning and socializing are popping up throughout cities and small towns. This trend is in the emerging phase in North America. Opportunity | The research around health and nature can help position landscape products in the market. Landscape products can help consumers create spaces for solitude or meditation, they can help create privacy or block out unwanted sounds, they can that allow people to experience the weather, breezes and natural light in comfort.

In his book The Nature Principle Richard Louv describes a phenomenon called nature deficit disorder, which is particularly harmful to children. Proponents of this theory contend that contact with nature not only makes children (and adults) calmer and more able to focus, it motivates curiosity in nature and helps develops a respect for nature. This is one of many popular books dedicated to the subject of the connection between people, health and nature on the market today. photo source |

in nature we can suffer physical and emotional stress that leads to anxiety, depression and obesity. Japanese researchers have discovered that so-called forest bathing can reduce stress by 13.4 percent during a 20 minute walk in a forest. The physiological key to nature therapy is that many plants give off air-borne chemicals called phytoncides which enhance human NK activity. NK or natural killer cells are cells that seek out and destroy viruses, bacteria

Wood in more natural forms such as stumps, logs, twigs or cedar roots like the play structure above, is being used in natural playgrounds. According to the designers of this playground, natural play spaces, foster healthy development of children and strong connections to the natural world. Photo source | Garden City Park, Richmond, BC Designed by Space2Place Landscape Architects

and toxins and are key to the bodys immune system. The psychological key is that we were made to be in nature and when we are not in nature for too long we become distressed. The health care industry has been implementing healing gardens in hospitals and windows with views of greenery for decades. More

These parklets, or parking lot areas that have been recommitioned to serve as mini parks started in Europe but are now appearing in North American cities. These parklets can be either temporary or permanent and usually include plants, seating and bike racks. This is one of 24 parklets in San Francisco, California. photo source |

plants and using reclaimed materials. Those consumers who are interested in gardening and landscaping tend to place the environment in high priority already so when this consumer learns that there are ways to have an improved ecological impact, they are interested. Municipalities are leading this trend but homeowners are following as they understand what sustainable landscaping entails. Third party green building certification programmes are starting to include more issues related to landscaping. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification has been working with the Sustainable Sites Initiative to ensure that any landscape, whether the site of a large subdivision, a shopping mall, a park, an abandoned rail yard, or a single home, improves and regenerates the natural benefits and services provided by ecosystems in their undeveloped state. ( It includes points for items such as preserving existing ecosystems, use of up to 50 percent less water, inclusion of stakeholders and users in the design process, use of native species, reduction of heat island effects, use of vegetation to minimize building cooling loads, use of materials with low environmental impact or high percentages of recycled content, reduced electricity, educational efforts in the design.

As these and other regulations are implemented they may impact the use of old growth wood, chemically preserved wood, coatings, recycled materials and product end-of-life policies. Synthetics such as plastic and woodplastic composites (WPCs), which have taken considerable market share from wood in many categories, may also be affected. Third party life cycle analyses that compare WPCs to wood indicate wood as the better environmental choice. These analyses indicate better scores for Western Red Cedar over WPCs both with and without recycled content and pressure treated (ACQ) over typical WPC decking. More information on these tests can be found at and respectively. Opportunities | Wood as a material is generally well-positioned to work with green regulations especially the naturally durable species such as the red, yellow and white cedars. Chemically treated wood products are already being rejected by the hyper-green consumer, especially in food related applications. There is a growing demand by regulatory agents and consumers for Extended Producer Responsibility or ERP of all manufactured goods. It is conceivable that this will soon be applied to chemically treated wood. This would mean that manufacturers would be responsible for the safe disposal of the products they manufacturer. Thermally modified wood and newer carbon-based preservatives are starting to provide alternative solutions. Products that enable green landscaping like green roofs or walls and water collection will be increasingly needed.

Companies are using images in marketing material that convey a sense of well-being and relaxation. This is a page from Italian outdoor furniture company Coro. photo source |

3. Greener Shade of Green While the landscaping industry is quite green by its very nature, there is a growing movement to make it even more so. This trend is being driven by the growing knowledge about ecological landscaping and better access to products that are green. Landscape architects and designers are being asked more about features such as; permeable pavements, rain gardens, wind turbines, rainwater collection, organic soils, all-natural pest control products and procedures, lawn-free gardens, native


The Pin Foundation Diamond Pier is a pre-cast concrete pier and steel pin system that provides a solid foundation that reaches deep into the ground without digging. It was designed to minimize the disruption of the existing soils state and natural topography. It allows boardwalks and other structures to be built in sensitive areas like marshes. photo source |

The many environmental benefits of green roofs and green walls mean that they are being used more and more often in landscaping. The specific benefits include stormwater retention and attenuation, increased air quality by capturing CO2 and pollution, extended life for waterproofing membranes up to 2 or 3 times, mitigation of noise and glare from hard surfaces, combating the Urban Heat Island effect with evapo-transpiration of plants and plant absorption of the suns rays, increased building performance from added insulation, and increasing wildlife habitat. photo Source | Van Deusen Botanical Gardens Visitor Centre. Architecture by Busby Perkins and Will, landscape design by Sharp and Diamond and Cornelia Oberlander, Vancouver BC.

Architect Katrina Logan designed these rainwater collection tanks so they do not need to be hidden. They are acrylic and come in several sizes. They are illuminated at night from within which shows the water level. This innovation suggests that standard water collection systems are not aesthetic to all consumers. Products that screen these systems are starting to appear on the market after years of users developing their own. photo source |


4. Buying Online The internet and online shopping are changing the way almost everything is purchased. What started as the selling of digital products and electronics has moved to apparel, automobiles and almost anything including landscape products. This trend is being driven simultaneously by the consumers desire to have an easier, cost effective shopping experience, and the desire for the manufacturer to capture the costs of the retailer and/or distributor. In some industries this shift is resulting in channel conflict or conflict between retailers and manufacturers as they navigate this new territory. Some manufacturers sell only direct but most start selling directly online while keeping retailers. This can be achieved by using retail pricing and by having a store locator function on the website. It is easier for larger companies whose product dominates a market or smaller companies who offer unique product to do this since retailers will have difficulty replacing these kinds of products. New manufacturer-retailer relationships are currently being forged by this trend. This trend represents significant changes for manufacturers. The internet is, in effect, giving more control to the consumer. Consumers are able to do research on products, from home at any time of day or night. This makes for a very educated and critical consumer as they not only have access to manufacturers sites but rely more and more on customer product reviews. The direct channel allows manufacturers to gain a much better understanding of the needs of the user. The cost of direct channel investment is relatively low and manufacturers can have tighter control over inventory and simpler distribution systems. Opportunity | Wholesale opportunities in Canada for landscape products are limited. Building supply stores are notoriously difficult to gain access to, while garden stores are focused on plants so landscape products are just a side business for them. Online direct sales provide an option. However, companies may need to add staff and re-engineer business processes to take over roles like marketing and shipping that the retailer would do. Higher priced items that require more research time are more successful as online purchases. Products that will be sold online will need to be easy to ship and install and therefore also need to be easy to assemble and have good assembly instructions. light and perhaps modular or panelized. kiln dried rather than green. stock or mass-customizable rather than fully custom.

The research firm Forrester estimates that e-commerce is now approaching $200 billion in revenue in the United States alone and accounts for 9% of total retail sales, up from 5% five years ago.
Harvard Business Review, January 2012.


Yadistry, a Canadian manufacturer of cedar landscape products has two unique online design tools that allow its customers to work out designs before purchasing components. Yardistry Wizard allows home-owners to drop and drag components into a 2D workspace to create designs. Tools like these are useful to landscape product manufacturers in selling online. Read more on Yardistry in Appendix I. Image source |


Micro Trends
The trends in this section have been arrived at by the examination of new product introductions in the landscape category. Both wood and non-wood products were analyzed. Trends were chosen based on their relevance to wood production in the Canadian context. 1. More Hardscaping This trend involves a marked shift in the way consumers view their outdoor spaces. A typical backyard used to have 80 percent lawn and 20 percent hardscaping and accessories but now it is the opposite, many backyards have 20 percent plants and 80 percent hardscapes. Hardscapes are the stones, wood, metal, plastics and any other non-plant material in the garden. These materials are usually used to create the walls, floors and furnishings for outdoor rooms. This is part of the larger trend toward increased interest in outdoor living in general which is the key driver for the landscape sector. This trend has carried the sector through the recession with relatively little reduction in market activity. This trend toward outdoor living is well established and in the mature phase but is expected to continue into the near future. Factors that will perpetuate this trend include; high cost of travel, economic conditions that mean consumers are improving rather than moving homes, reduced home sizes (since outdoor rooms extend living space) and predictable climate. As a result of this trend, the return on investment for outdoor rooms has become very high with homeowners

The WISA Wooden Design Hotel, Helsinki Finland, Design by Pieta-Linda Auttila This hotel prototype has the outdoor living space fully integrated into the architecture. photo source |

en small urban backyards are moving towards outdoor rooms. photo source | | designer, Kelly Deck

able to add up to 13 percent to the prices of homes with outdoor rooms (American Society of Landscape Architects, 2011). Opportunities | The very favorable demand situation has increased competition for landscape products across all materials, price points and categories. Niche markets are a good opportunity for smaller sized Canadian companies.


2. The Outdoor Structure The distinct categories of pergola, gazebo and shed are being blurred into the less prescriptive Outdoor Structure. These outdoor structures are being thought of as simply a combination of floors, walls and roofs and are used to provide a semi enclosed or enclosed room outside the home. Whether custom or stock, these structures are meant to allow for a variety of uses. As consumers come to appreciate the outdoors more they are moving more and more activities outside. These structures are being used for activities such as; meditation, exercise, bathing, working, entertaining, doing hobbies, playing, eating and sleeping. Their appeal is that they offer some level of flexibility.
Italian manufacturer Exteta has developed a simple pergola-like system that can be ganged up to create several rooms in a cluster. Read more about Exteta in Appendix I. photo source |

This trend can be seen emerging in the high-end Contemporary European market and will likely come to North America in the next few years. Opportunity | Re-think the old labels of gazebo, pergola and shed and come up with something more suited to how people are using these structures today.

French manufacturer Bleu Nature is one of many companies who offer a nest-like product that is somewhere between a bed or sofa and a structure. photo source |

This treated pine structure from Hillhout is part shed and part pergola and can be used for a variety of applications. It provides a basic structure that the user can personalize its function according to needs. photo source |


3. Outdoor Kitchen Revisited The popularity of outdoor kitchens has led to the demand for more modest versions. Outdoor kitchens had become quite grand and elaborate over the years. They were often large, custom, built-in and had all of the appliances found in indoor kitchens and more. This high-end feature is now being made in edited, stand-alone versions making it more accessible to the average consumer. These units are often modular so consumers can purchase only what they need and arrange them to suit. This trend is emerging in Europe as most of these products are manufactured there. However, some of these products are entering the North American market. There are modular kitchen product offerings ranging from low to high-end markets. Opportunity | These modular kitchen units lend themselves better to the use of wood since they are freestanding.

This system, from Italian manufacturer Ronda Outdoors, is a drawer-only solution. These drawers can be purchased in either insulated units or non-insulated. The insulated units use simple technologies like magnetic closes to seal the units so that either hot water or ice might be added to create a refrigerator or a warming drawer. This is an energy saving solution for a kitchen that will be used only intermittently. photo source |

Libero freestanding modular outdoor kitchen from Riva consists of an island, a top, a table and a larder, and is made of teak and stainless steel. It can be either indoor or outdoor. The appliances are from Electrolux and are mounted into the surface. photo source |


This modular outdoor kitchen has three units; one with a cook top, one has a work surface and the third has a sink. It is made from a light weight concrete. This product is pricesensitive and is sold by a mass market retailer in Europe. photo source |

This hardware was developed by a Canadian company to be used to add articulating louvers to items such as fencing, screens, pergola sides or roofs, awnings and gazebos. It is made from a nylon that is impervious to frost and moisture. photo source |

4. The Hardware Advantage Wood landscape product manufacturers are starting to develop their own proprietary hardware. They are doing this to improve the function, durability and style of their products. These fasteners produce significant competitive advantages in strength and ease of assembly or disassembly. This trend is a reaction to the lack of variety and quality of hardware available to manufacturers that provide wood-to-wood, wood-to-concrete and wood-to-steel connections.
This is a very basic kitchen cupboard and counter top. It is made from painted wood and zinc. photo source |

Pircher is an integrated wood manufacturer who make everything from millwork to pergolas to prefabricated homes. Their garden line has many custom hardware solutions. Pictured above is a hidden fastener to mount pergola posts to a floor surface and below is a tarp system. photo source |

This trend is in the emerging phase with a strong presence in new products in Europe. Opportunities | Custom hardware is especially advantageous for DIY products.

Der Komfort-Clip is a German innovation that involves grooves in the underside of the deck board and a fastening strip. This invisible deck fastening system is easy to install since there is no need to pre-drill or pre-mark. In addition, the location of the fastener (the underside rather than the edge of the deckboard) means that there is 40% less wood movement between clips so it is very stable. The clip is made from a nylon that is impervious to frost and moisture. photo source |


5. Exterior Design The design community has discovered fertile ground in the outdoor living market in the last few years. Professional product design in this category had been rare for some time but now designers are creating products with high-style and clever innovations. The level of design in outdoor products is approaching that of interior products. The furniture sector is leading this trend but all categories from gardening tools to gardening fashion to structures and decorative items have all seen the design bar raised in the last five years. This trend is very noticeable at International design fairs such as; Japantex, Design Tokyo, 100% Design (London), Maison & Objet (Paris), Salone Internazionale del Mobile (Milan) and Grand Designs Australia, where entire sections are dedicated to outdoor living

products. In addition, the outdoor living and gardening tradeshows such as Spoga Gafa in Germany, Glee and The Chelsea Flower Show in the UK and Extepo in Japan are introducing designer sections and hosting design competitions. The intriguing products on offer are drawing a younger consumer to the category and they are starting to invest in the outdoors more. This trend is evidenced in the promotions used by landscape manufactures which target the younger consumer. Opportunity | Consider the younger more design savvy consumer when developing new products.
Specific design trends are moving from the interior to the exterior. For example, dark stained wood, which has been popular inside is now gaining popularity outside, particularly dark grey and black. photo source:

Younger adults are being targeting in marketing strategies for outdoor living products, particularly women. As the category becomes more design focused, more like interior design this is expected to continue. The image above is an excerpt from Italian wood products manufacturer Pirchers catalogue advertising pergolas. photo source |

Belgian outdoor furniture manufacturer, Extremis, is experimenting with kits which include the detailed technical drawings and specifications to build a product and a license to do so, for 20 percent of the products cost. In this way, they are selling their intellectual property. photo source |


6. Wood as Graphics Wood slats are becoming the line art of the landscape. Wood used in outdoor applications is usually in the form of narrow boards or slats. Product developers are using the strong graphic quality of these slats to create unique patterns. This is mostly seen in lattice, screening and fence paneling. The original diagonal lattice has become ubiquitous with low-end product so more options are being explored. The patterns and variations on the slatted theme are endless. This trend for horizontal slats is current as they are everywhere in the contemporary market. The fancier slats are an emerging trend and suited to the specialty market.

The shaped slats of this fence panel exemplify how changing the simple slat has a large visual impact. photo source |

Lattice Stix is a US based company that produces unique lattice, both stock items and custom. The designs are inspired by Asian lattice work. photo source |

Feature wall of the Cactus Club, Yaletown Vancouver. Designed by Campos Leckie Studios, Vancouver. This slatted feature wall has been carved out of teak with a CNC router to create a 3D effect. photo source |


7. Ultra Durability The interest in outdoor living has brought with it the desire for low maintenance, longlasting products. Product manufacturers are using technology and innovative design solutions to make their products last longer to meet this need. Synthetics and non-wood products tend to have and edge over wood in this realm. However, innovations in coating technology, adhesives, treatments and design are being made to improve the durability of wood-based outdoor products. For example, the ancient technique of scorching wood is being revived to treat wood used in outdoor applications. Companies are offering siding, screening and furniture made from charred wood. Tropical hardwoods are experiencing increased demand in specific markets like non-residential and higher-end residential where extreme durability is needed. This trend is in the emerging phase.

Canadian company GemThane produces a factory finished deck board that has a 20 year warrantee on the wood and a 5 year warrantee on the marine grade polymer coating. photo source |

This house in Hiroshima Japan has charred cedar siding and fencing. It was designed by Naf Architect & Design. This technique is called Shou-sugi-ban in Japanese and was used widely to preserve wood against rot and fire. This technique is being revived by Architects looking for green solutions in many parts of the world. photo source |

This decking profile has a very slight curvature in the top to improve durability. This curvature keeps the water from pooling on the top, reducing the moisture content difference between the top and bottom of the deck board which in turn reduces the likelihood of warp. This surface also creates a more comfortable walking surface. photo source |

Medite Tricoya is a revolutionary wood based panel product developed for extreme outdoor use. It is based on the same acetylisation process that creates Accoya solid wood from Accsys Technologies. This time, the technology is applied to treat the chips and fibres which make up Medite MDF panels. This product comes with a fifty-year guarantee and can be painted or left bare and drilled without affecting its performance. It remains stable in all dimensions and can be used for; fascia and soffits, external facades and cladding, window and door components, signage, outdoor furniture and so on. photo source |


8. Bathing au Naturel There is an increased interest in bathing outside. This can be seen in the plethora of outdoor showers, hotubs, bathtubs, and saunas on the market. The sheer novelty is part of this trends appeal. In addition, it provides a practical solution for remote recreational properties as some of these products are offered in off-the-grid models. This trend is in the emerging phase with products being made in Europe and Australia and Landscape Architects specifying them in higher-end projects in North America.
A simple spa that doubles as a lounge. Designed by EOOS and produced by Duravit, both German companies. photo source |

Belgian company Manutti created a whole suit of furnishings including a shower for outdoor bathing. photo source |

The Dutchtub is designed by Floris Schoonderbeek. This wood fired hot tub is about boundless bathing. It is a lightweight plastic unit and can be transported on the top of a vehicle. The concepts of independence and mobility are popular for a growing segment of the population. photo source |


9. Balcony Sized There is a plethora of new outdoor products dedicated to the balcony or terrace. A growing percentage of North Americans are living in apartments, townhouses or condominiums and this trend will continue in the foreseeable future. Balconies and terraces on multi-family developments are becoming more important and thus are given more square footage. These spaces represent a relatively untapped opportunity for outdoor products. There are specific requirements for these products including things such as; lightweight, multipurpose, urban aesthetic and freestanding. Strata rules can effect what is allowed on decks. This trend is in the growth phase.

Spaceless, designed by Sandy Lam is an award winning new product. It can either be a permanent structure that is, meant to be added during building construction or it can be a removable/ detachable system that can be added to any existing or newly built balcony. It is made from cedar and aluminum. photo source:

Waterstone condominium, Austin Texas. Designed by Page Southerland Page Architects, Texas. In this project, the south face became a continuous series of terraces, decks and porches that create outdoor rooms. They were conceived, not just as extensions of the interior space, but as fully integrated elements of the floor plans. photo source:

One of the largest outdoor living trade fairs, Spoga Gafa in Germany held a design contest for outdoor products that focused on the balcony in 2011. The above entry was the first prides winner. Designed by Tim Kerp, Sight is a cozy nest for relaxing. The key design feature is that it can be swiveled to expose whatever lighting and/or view is most desirable. The organizers of the contest contend that there are millions of balconies all over the world, all with the possibility of significant contribution to the quality of ones life. photo source:


10. Craft in the Garden Consumers are becoming more interested in products that have an art-like approach or that are hand crafted in the garden. This trend is a reaction to the generic quality of globally oriented industrial products. People are increasingly willing to spend more to get something that expresses their individuality. The current economic situation has resulted in consumers re-evaluating the effect of buying products made offshore. A key factor in this trend is the disconnection we have with the making of the things that surround us. As a result, it is appealing to consumers to know something about the person who made the product they live with and the story of its conception and production. These products also speak to the region they come from, in that they are culturally influenced. Artistic items seem appropriate in a garden and there is less risk on the part of the customer than being creative inside the home. This trend can be seen throughout the home furnishings category not just in outdoor products. It is a niche market and is in the growth stage in many countries including North America.

This cedar orb is handmade in Vancouver Canada by Brent Comber and his team. It can be illuminated from within. photo source:

This is an entire website dedicated to retailing hand-made garden products. According to the company we bring together artists who take pride in their craft and gardeners who appreciate quality craftsmanship and help you create a garden with distinction. photo source:

This cedar passageway was designed and crafted by Victoria Wood Studio, in Victoria BC, for St. Johns church in Victoria BC. photo source:


11. Urban Agriculture There is a growing movement across North America for urbanites to grow their own food. According to the USs Garden Media Group, vegetable gardening is up almost 20 percent and community gardens are up 60 percent over last year. The three main driving forces behind this trend are; the need to reduce food costs, the desire to eat healthier and tastier organic food and the urge to become more self-reliant. In some cases, consumers are actually growing food in their back yards (and sometimes the backyards of others) to supplement their incomes in a movement called market garden farming. The huge trend toward urban agriculture has created a demand for related products. All of the bee keeping, chicken raising, and vegetable-growing activity requires appropriate products. Raised beds, planters, chicken coops, beehives are appearing on the market. The best of these products are tailored to the urban environment which means they are aesthetic, compact, user friendly (often urban consumers have no farming experience) and generally sensitive to neighbours. Many factors have aligned to lift the profile of edible gardening and there is every indication that this will continue in the near term. Its market growth potential is very attractive. Opportunity | In order for these products to be successful in the market they will need to be an significant improvement on what the typical DIYer can produce.

With the popularity of community gardens comes the desire to improve the functionality and aesthetics of these spaces. Students from Rhode Island School of Design worked with the Pawtucket community to create the community garden above. It is wheel chair accessible and it encourages social activity with a pavilion that also acts as a water collection system. photo source |

This concept beehive from Philips melds traditional bee keeping with technology. The unit mounts directly on to a window with only the need for a small whole. On the outside there is a place for a plant pot and an entry for the bees. On the inside there is a honeycomb form for the bees to lay their larvae and deposit honey. It is transparent so that their activity can be observed. There is even a smoke activator that calms the bees when the honey is extracted. photo source: M Brace allows users to make raised beds with no tools, the wood just drops into place. It made from recycled steel and accepts standard dimensional lumber. photo source:


12. Non-Residential Niches More wood products are being specified by municipalities because of environmental science that demonstrates its benefit over materials like concrete, steel and plastic. In addition, wood solutions are often more cost effective in a time when governments need to reduce spending after years of economic stimulus programs. This trend is evident in the use of wood in park and highway settings for items such as; noise abatement systems, tree surrounds, bollards and traffic barriers. There is a plethora of wood pavilions large and small, permanent and temporary around the world. While typical play equipment remains dominated by steel and plastic, more natural play areas are beginning to include wood features. In the street and park furniture category there are a growing number of wood options particularly at the higher-end. These usually involve hardwood and more recently thermally treated wood. This trend started in Europe and is being taken up in various other countries. In some cases there are actual policies that dictate the specification of wood in certain applications. Opportunity | Municipal products like bollards, noise abatement panels and site furnishings are rarely produced in Canada. These products help convey the spirit of the place so there is an opportunity for locally produced products that capture the flavour of our countries, provinces or regions.

Omlet is a UK based manufacturer and retailer of urban farming based products and services. They produce beehives, chicken coops as well as give courses on urban farming. The Eglu chicken coop, pictured above is movable, can hold 2 chickens and comes with a predator proof run. photo source |

Timber Displays is one of a several companies in Europe that specialize in display products for the Garden Center and Nursery industries. They offer a standard range and do custom lines for clients who want a distinct look. photo source |


South Pond Pavilion at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Designed by Studio Gang Architects. Made from prefabricated gluelam beams. Research Pavilion in Suttgart Germany, designed by University of Stuttgart students. Made of finger-jointed plywood. photo sources | | TimberWood Products based out of the US, make light poles, bollards out of wood to satisfy the growing demand for greener municipal projects. They use Western Red cedar and Douglas fir. photo source |

Using Trends
All businesses have access to the same market information so advantage will come from how well they translate these trends into unique superior products. Businesses should not try to respond to all of the trends in this paper, choose only those trends that fit in with overall strategic direction and those the business is well positioned to address. Trends are often used to influence or shape a companys vision, inspire a new business concept, develop an entirely new product, a new service or experience for a certain customer segment. Sometimes they simply help a business speak the same language as those consumers already living a trend.

These two wood products are developed to build strength, agility and gross motor control. They fit in to any park-type outdoor environment. This type of equipment can be seen in a growing number of green spaces. photo source |


Trends at a Glance
Micro Trend Description Stage Example

More Hardscapes

The shift in mindset of consumers to view their backyards as spaces for living so there is less lawn and more built items from stone, wood, plastics, metal and concrete.


Outdoor Structure

The reduced reliance on the traditional product categories such as arbors, pergolas and gazebos in favor of more open-ended structures.


Outdoor Kitchen Revisited The miniaturization and modularization of the outdoor kitchen.


The Hardware Advantage The development of proprietary hardware to create competitive advantage.


Exterior Design The increased use of professional design in the development of landscape products.


Wood as Graphics The exploration of the range of possibilities of the wood slat.



Micro Trend




Ultra Durability

The desire for low maintenance and high durability outdoor products.


Bathing au Naturel

The interest in outdoor bathing products.


Balcony Sized

The need for small, light, freestanding products for the balcony.


Craft in the Garden

The desire to buy handcrafted unique items for the garden.


Urban Agriculture

The need for gear related to urban gardening such as; chicken coups, beehives and raised beds.


Non-Residential Niches

The increased use of wood in various municipal applications due to the favorable LCA and costs.



Appendix I: Case Studies
Yardistry, Canada
Yardistry is a growing company based out of Waterloo Ontario that manufactures a line of cedar outdoor structure construction products for the users at the professional and DIY level. The product line is a modular system focused on the DIY market. It is simple, there are 17 components including; wood screen panels (two styles, three sizes), a small array of posts and beams and some hardware. However, it can be configured to make many different designs for various applications including; privacy screens of any size, screens to cover air conditioners or garbage cans, fences of various heights, deck railing, walkway delineation, outdoor rooms, arbors etc. The product was designed by a landscape architect and has a classical aesthetic that fits in to most environments. The hardware has been engineered to click and lock into place for easy installation. After seeing a demand for the custom hardware used in the system many of the hardware components are now available for individual sale. With feedback from their customers they simplified the offering even further by packaging these components into individual products and selling them complete with instructions, and hardware. The success of the Yardistry products lay in the fact that they provide value. They provide easy, affordable solutions to mass market consumers who are interested in outdoor living. Yardistry has three unique online design tools that allow customers to work out designs using components. The Design Library contains an assortment of pre-planned projects consumers can choose from. The Yardistry Wizard tool asks the user questions about their project space and design requirements and generates a project recommendation based on these responses. The other, the Custom Design is more for professionals or serious DIYers and allows the user to create custom designs by dragging components into a 3D environment. In addition it allows you to automatically generate dimensioned construction drawings and a material list for your project. Yardistry has been selling wholesale through retailers and are looking in to selling online. They have retail distribution across the Canada, the US, the UK and are moving soon into Mexico and Korea. Yardistry products are made from domestically and globally sourced cedar. Yardistry ships its products across North America from facilities near Waterloo Ontario and Buffalo New York. The product is coated with a water-based finish and the cedar is from sustainably managed forests (FSF) and Yardistry has FSC chain of custody.

Click and lock hardware, Yardistry.

Components, Yardistry


Exteta, Italy
Italian manufacturer Exteta produces innovative outdoor living products from Western Red cedar. These products are a re-interpretation of traditional products like the gazebo and pergola. After 11 years of R&D, the company launched its products in 2007 and they found immediate appeal in the International high-end market. Cedar was chosen over species such as Teak or Ipe, which are more typical for this kind of high-end product, for several reasons. Firstly, the developers at Exteta were enchanted with its story as the Tree of Life, sacred to the North American First Nations and use this in their brand messaging. They were also impressed with its durability, stability and colour. Innovation is at the core of Extetas corporate culture so R&D is prioritized. The development team began by researching the historical context of outdoor living from Asia to the Americas. Then they collaborated with well-known architect Paolo Bonazzi who reinterpreted this into products for today. The products are crafted by traditionally trained cabinet-makers, sanded smooth and left natural. All connections are concealed hardware made of marine grade stainless steel. Exteta has two distinct lines of outdoor structures, one that has been inspired by the Japanese teahouse with a peaked roof and the other called Zen which has a flat roof. They arent exactly gazebos or pergolas but rather spaces that capture the imagination for outdoor living possibilities. These rooms can be configured with whatever combination of walls, roofs, saunas, spas, showers, sinks, kitchens, beds, sofas, closets, vaporizers (with or without scent) and remote controls that the client requires. Modular units can also be ganged up to form villages of outdoor rooms, see All products are shipped as pre-assembled kits and the customer can either install themselves or hire an Exteta installer. In most cases these products avoid the requirement of a building permit by being stand-alone engineered structures.
Tea House hardware detail, Exteta.

Zen spa with bath and change room, Exteta.


Deesawat, Thailand
Deesawat is a manufacturer based out of Bankok Thailand. They began making doors and flooring from teak in 1972. Since then they have branched out into furniture, outdoor structures and architectural products. While they are best known for their teak outdoor products, they have introduced other materials including aluminium, stainless steel, outdoor fabrics and synthetic rattan. They currently have 30,000 sq. meters of production facilities and 200 employees, 20 in operations and marketing and 180 skilled workers. Deesawat considers itself a manufacturing company first and foremost. They are known as saw-milling specialists and have a timber yard, sawmill, dry-kilns and complete lines of sophisticated manufacturing machinery. Their reputation has been built on teak, attention to detail and consistency in manufacturing. In terms of distribution, Deesawat wholesales stock products as well as does custom projects. Deesawat stock products are sold locally through three showrooms in Thailand. They also export wholesale products to many countries worldwide including; Japan, North America, other Asian countries and Western Europe. Custom work is usually done directly with the customer and shipped to them. Deesawat products are differentiated from most other teak outdoor products by their unique aesthetic. Many of their products have won International design awards. The Summer Cabanas are one of Deesawats most popular products. One version is for dining and the other is for lounging. In both models the furniture collapses into the flooring creating a flat deck. Their Nest line includes a bench, a shade, a partition and a table. Curves, lightness, modularity and motifs from nature are signature design elements in the Deesawat product line, see Deesawat has an in-house design team and also engages freelance designers from Thailand, Japan and Italy. Each year the R&D department comes up with a theme around which all designers or design teams work with. Their products are used in residential, commercial, hospitality, public and corporate environments. Deesawat considers itself an eco-friendly producer. They use either plantation teak or teak from a sustainable source. Their factory is certified as a Green Wood Production factory from the Thai government. In addition, Deesawat is developing products that use the factory off-cuts and reclaimed timber.
Nest screen, bench and shade trellis, Deesawat.

Dome is a outdoor structure that can be used for whatever the user needs from a playhouse to a dining room. Deesawat.

Summer Cabana, Deesawat.


Appendix II Overview of the Canadian Landscape Manufacturing Sector

The information in this section was gathered through explorative conversations with FPInnovations National Industry Advisor Network, Associations and select companies. The information here is therefore anecdotal, nonetheless, it describes the general business context of manufacturers of landscape products. This sector is extremely difficult to characterize since there is no existing quantitative data and there are several product categories each with their own peculiarities. For the purposes of this review, the broad category of Landscape Products has been divided into three major segments. These are standardized fence panels and gates, structures (such as sheds, gazebos and pergolas) and decorative items which is a catch-all category including things like planters, screens, hot tubs and furniture. Site furnishings including playground equipment are considered a minor category with a very small number of Canadian manufacturers. Decking and landscape ties have been deliberately left out of this survey because, as higher-volume commodity products, they are well researched in other papers. This industry sector will be characterized by discussing the following; industry participants, distribution and buying patterns, competition, wood species, Industry Associations and perceived changes in the sector.

Industry Participants
While there are companies that can be classified as micro (under 10 people), small (under 25 people) and medium (under 250 people) in this sector, many of them are micro-or small-sized. Medium-sized companies who manufacture landscape products often spring from the opportunity to use by-products from mills. This means that they are vertically integrated companies and produce the raw lumber and finished products. Below is a summary of industry participants.There are more companies in the east of Canada than the west and they tend to be larger.

Fence Panels and Gates Medium (under 250) Revenues between $2,600,000$25,000,000. Approximately 3-5 companies. Revenues between $1,000,000$2,500,000. Approximately 50-100 companies.

Structures Revenues between $2,600,000-$25,000,000. Approximately 3-5 companies.

Decorative Products N/A

Small (under 25)

Revenues between $1,000,000-$2,500,000. Approximately 20-50 companies.

Revenues between $1,000,000-$2,500,000. Approximately 15-20 companies.

Micro (under 10)


Revenues between $100,000-$1,000,000. Approximately 20-? companies

Revenues between $100,000-$1,000,000. Approximately 20-? companies


Distribution and Buying Patterns

Wood landscape products follow many different paths between suppliers and users. Each product category has different distribution channels but generally speaking sales are mostly local and regional. However, some manufacturers with specialized products sell products into the US and even overseas. Distribution options range from direct sales, retail, wholesale through distributors to long-term contracts with big box retailers. The key buyers of landscape products include; large building supply retailers, independent retailers (both building supply and garden supply), builders, specifiers and end-users. Key drivers are why buyers choose one product over another, for example price, style, service, turn around time, reliability, ease of assembly, after care service, durability, reputation, etc. The following chart lays out the key drivers for the main buyers of each product category. All products in this sector are subject to seasonality. There are three long weekends each year around which retailer buying decisions are made in Canada. These are; the May long weekend, the July 1st long weekend, and labour day weekend. This results in Manufacturers being very busy in January February and March filling orders placed in December for April, moderately busy from May to August with fill-in orders and then having to lay off staff from September to December. Some manufacturers attempt to counteract this by having markets in places that have opposite seasons like southern US or Australia to smooth out demand. Seasonality and weather conditions have a great impact on this industry and make cash flow difficult, especially for smaller companies.

Fence Panels and Gates Medium (under 250) Large building supply stores Nationally

Structures Large building supply stores Nationally

Decorative Products n/a

Small (under 25)

Independent Building supply stores and garden stores Regionally (some nationally)

Independent Building supply stores and garden stores, builders, specifiers and end-users. Regionally (some nationally and internationally)

Independent Building supply stores and garden stores, builders, specifiers and end-users. Regionally (some nationally and internationally)

Micro (under 10)


Usually direct either online or venues such as simply placing products by highways Locally or regionally

Usually direct either online or venues such as flea markets, farmers markets Locally or regionally


Fence Panels and Gates Vendor product range Large building supply retailers (RONA and Home Depot) Reliability Price (good, better, best positioning strategy) Relationships (built over time, offer of product knowledge sessions) Service Flexibility

Structures Price (good positioning strategy) Reliability Ship-to-customer service

Decorative Products


Independent retailers (both building supply and garden supply)

Vendor ability to provide display model

Price Ease of storage

Price Builders/Developers Manufacturers warrantee Service

Can they add labour? (not kits, for example) Durability Often choose based on their clients request Design Flexibility (customization) Ease of assembly Value Easy of assembly Ease of shipping n/a

Specifiers (Architects, Landscape Architects, Designers)

Design n/a Flexibility (customization) Durability Value



Easy of installation After sales service


The nature of the competition in this market is different for each particular product category. In the fence panel and lattice panel market the largest threat is from non-wood products, mainly plastic and composites. The loss of market share to vinyl or composite fence panels can be described through the expected growth rates for each. The plastic/composite market is expected to grow 3.4 percent annually whereas wood fencing is expected to grow at a rate of 6%. (Freedonia, 2010) This has happened to an even greater extent with decking and sheds and is just beginning to happen with pergolas and arbors. Another significant source of competition for wood products is from lower-cost offshore competition (mainly Asia). This is particularly strong with smaller decorative items like planters, furniture, deck tiles and saunas at low and medium price points. There is starting to be some pressure at the high-end from Europe. Although the weight/value ratio means that only very high-end products will be shipped long distances. Currently this is more evident in the US market but there are some examples here in Canada, mostly in the furniture category.

Species used for landscape products is largely cedar with Western Red cedar used more in the West and Eastern White cedar more in the East. Cedar has the advantage of having recognized fibre value (brand recognition). There is also some use of pressure treated SPF (spruce, pine and fir) for products like-fence panels, trellis and structures. White wood species are used for lower-end products that can be stained or painted to add durability. The species used depends on what is available and appropriate for each region. Douglas Fir is used more in the West, and Tamarack more in the East. Some use of thermally modified wood can be seen as well as tropical hardwoods such as Lyptus.

Perceived Changes
Despite the fact that there has been overall growth in the market for landscape products, wood products made in Canada do not appear to be experiencing this same level of growth. As mid-sized companies close, their employees are starting up companies, thus creating many micro businesses. Some manufacturers describe access to consistent raw material as a growing issue. The use of online sales is changing the industry significantly, especially for specialty or niche products. Wood landscape products are moving either to the low-end, with standardized products or to the high-end, with little in-between.

There are few associations dedicated to the manufacturing sector that produce landscape products. Probably the most influential is the WRCLA (Western Red Cedar Lumber Association). This association does market development for cedar. Another would be the AFA (American Fence Association) which represents the fence, deck and railing industry in the United States and parts of Canada.


Landscaping Products Industry Study 2011, Freedonia Group The Independent Garden Center Industry, the Challenges and Opportunities in the next Decade, White Paper, John Stanley Associates and Trevor Cochrane, 2011.

Western Red Cedar Lumber Association American Fence Association American Society of Landscape Architects Canadian Society of Landscape Architects

Professional Deck Builder World Fence News Garden Media Sustainable Site Initiative UK Based Consumer Trends Anne Roberts Trends in the Outdoor Category Canadian Trend Site The Lifestyle news network


Neither FPInnovations, nor its members, nor any other persons acting on its behalf, make any warranty, express or implied, or assume any legal responsibility or liability for the completeness of any information, apparatus, product or process disclosed, or represent that the use of the disclosed information would not infringe upon privately owned rights. Any reference in this report to any specific commercial product, process or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement by FPInnovations or any of its members. This report was prepared by FPInnovations with support from Value to Wood. Written and edited by Barbara Bell. For more information on this report or ways that FPInnovations can help you improve your business, contact Roland Baumeister,, or Gerald Beaulieu, Visit us at or