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Abstract

This article summarizes a study of consumers' willingness to pay (WTP), in urban areas in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Michigan, for a powdery mildew resistant dogwood tree. Powdery mildew is a disease affecting flowering dogwoods that can limit growth, detract from the appearance, and may cause plant decline and death. Study objectives were to provide information about consumers' WTP and to identify potential marketing strategies for the introduction of the disease-resistant tree. On average, survey respondents indicated they are willing to pay a $13.35 premium for a flowering dogwood tree which is resistant to powdery mildew. Regression results led to inferences that the presence of dogwoods in a respondent's yard, presence of dogwoods infected with powdery mildew in a yard, landscape expenditures, presence of flower beds, landscape satisfaction, criteria for selecting plants and trees, retail outlets where respondents shop for landscape materials, geographic location, and income had significant effects on the WTP. Marketing implications include the need to provide information at the point of sale, to place the trees near flowering plants at outlets, and to interact with shoppers to determine characteristics of their yards.

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