The nursery industry is a complex one, not easily categorized into dis­tinctly different branches. There are plant growers, retail sellers, and associated supply and/or service businesses, but they are not always separate operations. Each of the following type of business is part of the nursery industry:

• propagation nursery

• wholesale nursery

• wholesale nursery supplier

• retail nursery

• privately owned garden center

• chain store garden center

• landscape nursery

Each function will be described separately, but remember that count­less nurseries throughout the country combine two or more functions. As in any seasonal business, diversity is often the way to keep the cash register ringing during the off-season. With summer the peak period for nursery production, and the sale of nursery plants occurring almost entirely in the spring and fall, nurseries may rely on the sale of flowers, Christmas trees, decorations, birdhouses, and endless other products to expand their profits. Some may combine the propagation of woody plants with their wholesale production and sale. Others may combine wholesale and retail operations.