ALCA July/August 2024

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The Parkinsonia or Cercidium is commonly known as the ‘Palo Verde’. The most popular hybrid is the ‘Desert Museum.’ Since there has been no authentication in its hybridization, every nursery makes their own hybrid. Unfortunately, that means you don’t really know what you’re getting with ‘Desert Museum.’ Inconsistency abounds.


Presenting our exclusive ‘Sonoran Emerald’ hybrid. Crafted in our Innovation Lab. Field-tested. Embraced by discerning landscapers.


Retaining all the beauty, without the drawbacks. Bid farewell to undesirable features of the Desert Museum: scarring, droppings, and limb breakage. Envision a lush tree with radiant green bark, virtually indestructible in strong Arizona winds – the “Sonoran Emerald.”


Our breakthrough: grafting exclusively on ‘Parkinsonia X parkinsonia’ rootstock. A more time-consuming and costly process, but one that ensures consistency.

STRONG TREES. HAPPY CLIENTS. Picture a world without noisy clean-ups, costly replacements, or client embarrassment. You’re not just planting a tree; you’re cultivating trust.


Large trees in stock, ready for planting. Choose from 25-gallon pots or 36” wooden crates. Two locations to serve you. Phoenix: 623-581-3100 Cave Creek: 480-488-1968



Now part of the Site One team, Cutting Edge Curbing Sand & Rock Is your one stop shop for all your landscape needs. We are a hauling company with a fully stocked retail yard and a proud distributor for Belgard, Southwest Sod, Evergreen Turf, Phoenix Paver, and AZ Best Block. We carry over fifty colors of landscape rock, river products, soil mixes, rip rap and boulders. Our knowledgeable sales staff will insure that your order is accurate and our experienced drivers will get your materials to you on time. Our certified scale ensures that you are receiving the correct amount of material ordered. Call or come by today.

Monday-Friday 6A-5P Saturday 7A -3P 7540 N 67th Ave, Bldg. A Glendale, AZ 85301 Office 602-353-1020 Fax 602-353-1027




ALCA Retirement Program

Secure your future and the future of your loved ones

AsPresident of our esteemed association, I am excited to highlight one of the most valuable benefits available to our members: our exclusive retirement program. In today’s ever-changing economic landscape, securing your financial future is paramount, and our program offers a robust platform to help you achieve your retirement goals.

Our retirement program empowers you to take control of your financial future. By contributing a portion of your income to your retirement account, you are actively investing in your long-term financial well-being. This sense of empowerment is invaluable in today’s uncertain times, providing peace of mind and a tangible path towards retirement security.

Contributing to our retirement program offers significant tax advantages. Your contributions are made on a pre-tax basis, meaning they are deducted from your paycheck before taxes are applied. This lowers your taxable income for the year, potentially reducing your overall tax liability. Additionally, the growth of your investments within the program is tax-deferred, allowing your money to compound over time without being eroded by taxes.

Our retirement program provides a diverse array of investment options tailored to suit varying risk tolerances and financial goals. Whether you prefer a conservative approach with fixedincome investments or seek the potential for higher returns through equity investments, our program offers choices to align with your unique investment strategy. Our association has carefully curated these options to ensure accessibility and flexibility for all members.

We understand that planning for retirement can be complex, which is why our retirement program is complemented by a suite of retirement readiness tools and resources. From online calculators to personalized consultations with financial advisors, we are committed to providing the support and guidance you need to make informed decisions about your retirement savings journey. Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the path to retirement with confidence.

In conclusion, joining our association’s retirement program is a prudent decision that offers numerous benefits, including financial empowerment, tax advantages, employer matching contributions, diverse investment options, and comprehensive retirement readiness resources. As President, I encourage each and every mem-

ber to take advantage of this invaluable benefit and take proactive steps towards securing a financially prosperous retirement. Your future self will thank you for it.

Warmest regards,

Nickie Velten 2024 ALCA President

Embracing Evolving Trends in Employee Benefits

The landscape of employee benefits within the landscaping industry is swiftly evolving, presenting exciting opportunities for our association and its members. As Executive Director, I am pleased to share insights on the emerging trends that are reshaping the benefits landscape and driving forward industry standards.

One of the prominent shifts we are witnessing is the rise of Technology-Driven Benefits. Technology is becoming increasingly integral in enhancing the benefits experience for employees. Employers are leveraging digital tools to streamline processes, offering virtual health benefits, automated onboarding solutions, and digital health savings accounts, all aimed at empowering our workforce.

Moreover, the era of Personalized Benefits Packages has dawned upon us. Employers are recognizing the significance of tailoring benefits to meet individual needs and preferences. This approach fosters a deeper connection between employers and employees, promoting flexibility and satisfaction within the workforce.

Wellness Programs are also gaining traction as employers prioritize the holistic well-being of their teams. From gym memberships to health coaching, these initiatives not only foster healthier lifestyles but also contribute to increased productivity and morale among employees.

In alignment with this holistic approach, Mental Health Benefits are emerging as a crucial component of employee well-being initiatives. Providing access to mental health professionals, offering mental health days off, and implementing programs that promote healthy mental habits are becoming standard practices among forward-thinking companies.

Furthermore, Financial Education programs are empowering employees to make informed decisions about their finances. By offering such resources, employers are not only investing in the financial literacy of their workforce but also fostering a culture of financial well-being.

These trends, among others, are shaping the landscape of employee benefits in our industry, and it’s imperative for our members to stay informed of these developments. By embracing these trends and adapting our benefits packages accordingly, we can ensure that our industry remains competitive and that our employees receive the best possible support.

Let us continue to collaborate and innovate as we navigate these changes together.

Warmest regards,


2024 Calendar of Events


15 ACLP Soils & Fertilizer – ALCA office or online

17 ACLP Soils & Fertilizer – pre-recorded

21 Phoenix Member Mixer

22 ACLP Plant Problems – ALCA office or online

24 ACLP Soils & Fertilizer – Tucson in Person

6 Developing a Wildflower Program for your Community – Webinar

12 ACLP Irrigation – ALCA office or online

13 ACLP Irrigation (Spanish) - ALCA office or online

14 ACLP Irrigation – pre-recorded

18 Phoenix Member Mixer

18 ACLP Tree & Shrub Pruning – ALCA office or online

25 Tucson Member Mixer

27 SLM – Sustainable Landscape Management – ALCA office or online

28 ACLP Irrigation – Tucson in Person


• Available in Brass, Black Brass, and Nickel finishes

• 11 Unique Configurations

• Fully Assembled, Ready to Install

• 3W Light Engine

• Available in 2700K and 3000K

ALCA Golf Tournament Recap

The vibrant landscape of Arizona is not just a sight to behold; it’s a testament to the skill and dedication of landscape contractors who shape and maintain it. Each year, the Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association (ALCA) celebrates the industry’s excellence and camaraderie with its Annual Golf Tournament. However, this event is more than just a day on the greens; it’s an opportunity to give back to the community and support aspiring landscaping professionals through the Sky Blu Underwood Scholarship.

This year’s tournament, held at the picturesque McCormick Ranch Golf Course, brought together landscape contractors, suppliers, and enthusiasts for a day of friendly competition and networking. Against the backdrop of Arizona’s stunning natural beauty, participants teed off with one goal in mind: supporting the Sky Blu Underwood Scholarship fund.

Named in honor of Sky Blu Underwood, a young aspiring landscape professional, the scholarship aims to support individuals pursuing education and training in landscape contracting. Underwood’s passion for the industry continues to inspire future generations of landscapers, and the scholarship serves as a fitting tribute to his legacy.

Throughout the tournament, attendees had the opportunity to contribute to the scholarship fund through various means, including sponsorships, raffles, and donations. The overwhelming support from sponsors and participants alike underscored the industry’s commitment to nurturing talent and fostering growth within the community.

“We are proud to support the Sky Blu Underwood Scholarship and invest in the next generation of landscape contractors,” remarked Linda Turnage, President of ALCA. “Education is the cornerstone of success, and by providing financial assistance to aspiring professionals, we’re helping to ensure a vibrant future for the landscaping industry.”

In addition to fundraising efforts, the tournament provided a platform for industry professionals to connect and exchange ideas. From sharing best practices to discussing emerging trends, the event facilitated meaningful conversations that furthered the collective knowledge and expertise of participants.

As the day drew to a close, participants gathered for an awards ceremony to recognize the top performers on the course. Yet, the true highlight of the event was not the accolades but the impact it would have on the lives of scholarship recipients. Thanks to the generosity of the landscaping community, the tournament surpassed expectations, raising a significant sum for the Sky Blu Underwood Scholarship.

THANK YOU, Golf Tournament Sponsors!

Arid Solutions Nursery

Arizona CLA

Arizona Olives & Ornamentals

Arizona Turf Masters

Belgard/Superlite Block

Bingham Equipment Company

California Palm Growers

Courtesy Chevrolet

DTR Landscape

Development, LLC

ELS Maintenance

Enterprise Fleet Management

ET Water - Husqvarna Group

Gateway Golf Group

Midway Chevrolet

OnSite OilChanges Plus

Rancho Mesa Insurance

Shade Plus

Simplot Turf & Horticulture

The Toro Company

Vermeer Mountain West

Weinberger Waste Disposal

Western Fence Company

Looking ahead, ALCA remains committed to supporting educational initiatives and empowering individuals to pursue their passion for landscaping. Through events like the Sky Blu Underwood Golf Tournament, the association continues to uphold its mission of promoting excellence and innovation within the industry.

In the heart of Arizona’s breathtaking landscape, the spirit of generosity and collaboration thrives, propelling the landscaping community forward and paving the way for a brighter future. With each swing of the club and each donation made, participants of the ALCA & Sky Blu Underwood Golf Tournament reaffirm their dedication to making a difference in the lives of aspiring landscapers and ensuring that Sky Blu Underwood’s legacy continues to flourish.

Education Updates

TDesert Sunview Landscaping LLC

18631 N 19th Ave STE 158-438 Phoenix, AZ 85027

Samuel Gonzalez

he heat of summer has arrived, and with it, the importance of sustainable landscape management and responsible care of our limited natural resources grows. Ensuring that the landscape professionals who steward our beautifully diverse desert ecosystem have the right tools, resources, and skill set is Frances Craik’s, ALCA’s Education Coordinator, top priority. The ACLP classes in Phoenix and Tucson, along with additional workshops and webinars, are well attended and well received. We owe ALCA’s educational success to the volunteer education committee members, the landscaping companies that prioritize professional development in their company culture, and the volunteer educators who share their passion and expertise with us; thank you! Frances had the opportunity to network with and learn from horticulture professionals, researchers, and experts when she attended the Southwest Agroforestry Action Network (SWAAN) and Desert Horticulture Conferences in Tucson, AZ. It is essential that her knowledge stays up-to-date so she can keep her finger on the pulse of what needs to be shared with landscape professionals through ALCA’s educational outlets. The second half of 2024 is looking just as bright as the first half, with plans to present “Intro to SLM®” at SHADE in August and offer an SLM® Certification class at Tucson’s Park and Recreation Conference in September. ALCA has scheduled ACLP Irrigation in Spanish for September 13, 2024, to meet the needs of all the skilled Spanish speakers in our industry. Please register for this class as soon as possible, as spots are limited, and we expect the class to fill up fast! Thank you to all our Members and the incredible landscape professionals who work every day to beautify and sustain our Sonoran Desert landscape.

At Desert Sunview Landscaping, we specialize in a comprehensive range of landscaping services to meet all your outdoor needs. Our experienced and dedicated team is committed to delivering top-notch solutions, whether it’s landscaping maintenance, hardscape design and installation, efficient irrigation systems, or expert tree and palm trimming. Our mission at Desert Sunview Landscaping is simple: 100% customer satisfaction. We understand the importance of a well-landscaped environment, and we are here to bring your landscaping dreams to life. We believe that every space, no matter its size, has the potential to be transformed into a stunning landscape. Our knowledgeable team ensures your outdoor areas become inviting and visually appealing.

Contractor Class 2

Ayam Land

Luis Lopez Alvarez Gilbert, AZ

Contractor Class 1

2023 Excellence in Landscaping Awards

ALA, Artistic Landscape Architecture, LLC

$0 - $50,000, Award of Distinction

$0 - $50,000, Award of Excellence

$0 - $50,000, Award of Distinction

Fiora Garden, Residential Installation
Gregg Gardens, Residential Installation
Alfertig Front Yard, Residential Installation

2023 Excellence in Landscaping Awards High Desert Designs

Bala, Residential Installation

$300,000 - $500,000, Award of Excellence

Sponsored by:

Lot 60, Residential Installation

$300,000 - $500,000, Award of Excellence

2023 Excellence in Landscaping Awards Desert Crest LLC

Lingenfelter Project, Residential Installation

$300,000 - $500,000, Judges Award

Roman Project, Residential Installation

$200,000 - $300,000, Judges Award

Sponsored by:

2023 Excellence in Landscaping Awards

ELS Maintenance

Escalante, Commercial Maintenance

$300,000 - $500,000, Award of Excellence

Sponsored by:

Ironwood Crossing, Commercial Maintenance

$500,000- $1 Million, Judges Award

Barney Farms, Commercial Maintenance

$500,000- $1 Million, Judges Award

Peralta Canyon, Commercial Maintenance $100,000$300,000, Judges Award
Monte Vista Village Resort, Commercial Maintenance $100,000 - $300,000, Award of Distinction

Excellence in Landscaping Awards

Sponsored by:

2023 Excellence in Landscaping Award Sponsors

Desert Tree Farm

2023 Excellence in Landscaping Awards

Creek Landscaping and Design

Sponsored by:

Desert Tree Farm has been propagating, cultivating and growing native arid plants since the early 1970’s. Our farm grows over 300 plant varieties with 2 convenient growing and sales locations in both North and South Phoenix totaling on over 90 acres. Of these, many are proprietary plants uniquely developed for southern Arizona and the southwestern United States. 602-569-6604

Sprinkler World of Arizona, Inc

Sprinkler World opened its doors in July of 1975 and was founded on the idea that having a knowledgeable sales staff to provide a quality experience added a tangible value to each customer visit.

Metro Phoenix: 1-800-678-3764

Metro Tucson: 1-888-707-9335

Rain Bird

Rain Bird Corporation is a leading global manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services.

6991 E Southpoint Road Tucson, AZ 85756

Ewing Outdoor Supply

Ewing Outdoor Supply is the largest family-owned supplier of landscape and irrigation products in the country. 3441 E Harbour Drive Phoenix, AZ 85034

Target Specialty Products

For over 80 years Target Specialty Products has been and continues to be a leading value-added service provider of pest control and pest management solutions, turf and ornamental solutions, application equipment, supplies and education and training programs. 800-352-3870

Southwest SOD

Southwest Sod was founded in 1985 by two second-generation Arizona farmers.

Southwest Sod grows premium turfgrass on a local, family-owned and operated farm in Pinal County. 41166 W Steen Road Maricopa, AZ 85138 (602) 271-4266 2023

How to Save Cost on Labor

employer knows that the actual cost of paying each employee is significantly higher than his or her hourly rate. Even if you don’t offer benefits, there are still some taxes and expenses you will incur due to having employees on your payroll that you can’t avoid. Labor expenses are categorized in two ways: Variable and Fixed.

Fixed costs: These are the costs that do not really fluctuate with changes in growth or production. They include such things as social security and Medicare taxes, FUTA, and federal income tax.

Variable costs: These are the costs that are due directly and proportionately to changes. They include such things as employee accidents, light duty, unemployment claims, and additional personal costs due to labor growth.

This is where working with an independent contractor like Arizona CLA Landscape is the best solution if you don’t want to pay extra taxes, insurance, and payroll processing costs. For employers, this means that you have fewer obligations. In addition to the previously mentioned cost benefits, employers will not have to send payroll taxes and deductions. Hiring Arizona CLA Landscape as an alternative becomes cost efficient, risk adverse, and provides fewer legal obligations to the company. In this way, employers can remain more focused on continuing to grow their companies. If you would like to find out more don’t hesitate to call or email Alex at (602) 486-7612 /

Technology in the Green Industry

Thegreen industry has been notoriously averse to adapting to new technology, whether that be Wi-Fi controllers or battery operated equipment. Yet in everyday life, we readily adopt these handy tech tools, like Alexa or the Starbucks app. Why do we approach business so differently? Mostly because most of the tools available in our industry weren’t quite as easy as getting McDonalds delivered to your door. But all that has changed with the new business platform.

Launched in February this year, the all new platform makes it easy to securely manage your Horizon account, place orders, check pricing and check product availability. The descriptions and images help you find just the right product, and most contain additional tools such as product information flyers or SDS sheets. All descriptions and information are available in both English and Spanish. And with tools like “lists” and “reorders” it’s easy to oversee consumables and frequently purchased products.

One of the things that sets HorizonOnline. com apart is its consideration for the security of your account and personal information. By offering “layers” of accessibility, the tool allows you to protect certain information such as price or account limits from other registered users. There’s even a feature that allows you

as an administrator to approve any orders before sending them to the branch for fulfillment. Our “token” procedure for storing credit card information with your account keeps the information encrypted, minimizing any fraud. And of course, requiring a web registration key to register your account ensures your Horizon account isn’t vulnerable to imitation.

And now Horizon has released an app version of the platform! Providing the same functionality as the desktop version, the app puts your Horizon branch at your fingertips, whether you are on a jobsite, sitting in your truck, or even watching the game. The app also toggles between English and Spanish, and even has the same great product information.

So who’s ready to jump on the Green Industry Technology Bandwagon? Try it on your desktop at or find it in your favorite app store by searching Horizon Online. Want a personal demo? Just stop by any Horizon branch and we’re happy to walk you through the platform.

Thank you to all of you who help keep our neighborhoods and cities beautiful!

Horizon Distributors is a supplier of landscape and irrigation products to the green industry professional. Our 11 stores in the Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott markets carry a deep inventory of product, including lighting, pavers, synthetic turf, fertilizer, seed, pesticides, tools, battery and gas power equipment as well as all things irrigation. Our Mesa store has a synthetic turf cutter that allows us to provide on demand sizes and our Phoenix store and service center offers equipment repair to the entire Phoenix Metro area. In addition, the Horizon Technical Services team has been the go-to resource for large scale irrigation projects for almost 20 years. To find your local Horizon store visit. today.


Macor Associates, Inc. (602) 989-9960

Please see our ad on page 16


Diversified Truck & Equipment Sales, Inc. (480) 854-7373

Please see our ad on page .. 10


OnSite OilChange Plus (480) 470-0352

Please see our ad on page 19


Horizon (800) PVCTURF (782-8873)

Please see our ad on page 17

Hunter Industries (760) 744-5240

Please see our ad on page 18


Metro Institute (602) 452-2900

Please see our ad on page 16


Stotz Equipment (623) 936-7131

Please see our ad on page 7


Cutting Edge Curbing

Sand & Rock Landscape Materials (602) 353-1020

Please see our ad on page 5


Material Delivery, Inc.

dba MDI Rock (602) 569-8722

Please see our ad on page 4


Brilliance LED, LLC (800) 867-2108

Please see our ad on page 7


All Season Wholesale Growers (602) 276-0230

Please see our ad on page 5

Arid Solutions Nursery (602) 437-5194

Please see our ad on page 16

Arizona Wholesale Growers (623) 581-3100

Please see our ad on page 3

Pacific Palms, Inc. (602) 580-6933

Please see our ad on page 8 South Coast Wholesale (888) 326-7256

Please see our ad on page 2


Evergreen Turf, Inc. (480) 456-1199

Please see our ad on page 20

West Coast Turf (888) 893-8873

Please see our ad on page 4


Western Tree Company (602) 243-6125

Please see our ad on page 14


Chapman ISUZU (480) 752-1540

Please see our ad on page 6

Special Thank You to our ALCA Sponsors


All Season Wholesale Growers

Arizona CLA LLC

Belgard/Superlite Block an Oldcastle Co

Civano Growers

Cutting Edge Curbing Sand & Rock – a SiteOne Landscape Supply Company Desert Tree Farm Enterprise Fleet Management Evergreen Turf Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply


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