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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

SAFE SOLUTIONS

HEALTH & SAFETY IN THE LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY

DESIGN + BUILD + MAINTAIN IMAGINATIVE PLAY

UNITED WE STAND

LOOKING INWARD

THE WAITING GAME

Keeping the play in playground

Value of Industry Associations

Prioritizing mental health

Nurseries restock after freeze


WELCOME

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Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

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WELCOME

W E LC O M E

Through the ups and downs of 2021, the industry is walking away stronger and more connected. We chose to end this high-pressure year by focusing on an important aspect that can be overlooked amid the chaos of business operations— health and safety. These are two main goals of a constructed outdoor space. They improve an individual’s physical and mental health, as well as the health of a community, business or ecosystem. Expertly designed outdoor areas incorporate safety into plans in order to protect people as they enjoy outdoor spaces. The idea of health and safety is a unifying goal for professionals across the industry and the clients they serve. In this issue of Pro Landscaper USA magazine, we are showcasing design, build and maintenance companies that incorporate health and safety initiatives into their work. We share their workflow, ideas and expertise, hoping to inspire other groups to emphasize safety in similar ways.

Unfortunately, there is one area of health and safety that is often overlooked. That is within our businesses. We can forget about prioritizing safety on the job, the state of our equipment and our own mental and physical health. In these pages, find ways to develop a culture of safety within the workforce, on a company level and industry level. Also read about the main causes of landscaper stress and ways to address stress and burnout. We even share easy ways to properly maintain

ANGELIQUE

equipment and explain the cost benefits of keeping equipment healthy. Pro Landscaper USA is also ending the year by celebrating another team expansion! We added two new members, Media Advertising Coordinator Aimee Almaguer and Graphic Designer Caitlyn Wallace. Aimee is first-generation Cuban/Puerto Rican, was raised in Miami, Florida, and now lives in Lafayette, Louisiana. She says she is excited to make new connections and grow relationships within the landscaping industry! Caitlyn recently earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and has experience in graphic design, illustration and advertising. She began working with Pro Landscaper in 2020, before the magazine launch, and is happy to now take a leading role.

MARY KATE

Angelique Robb Managing Director angelique.robb@eljays44.com Mary Kate Carson Production Editor marykate.carson@eljays44.com

We are so thankful to all of the contributors and readers who engaged with us this year and can’t wait to continue building connections with industry professionals! Let’s end 2021 strong!

ANGELIQUE ©Encore® Azalea

A

nother pivotal year is coming to an end, one that will leave a lasting mark on the landscape industry. Aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic continued driving high demand, and companies scrambled to find workers, materials and time. Then, a rare freeze across the mid-south added pressure to an already strung-out workforce. The circumstances did help dozens of companies grow, develop creative ideas and see profits soar. Another positive feature, Pro Landscaper USA launched as a multimedia group to engage the Design + Build + Maintain sectors of the landscape industry. Our bi-monthly magazine, digital platforms and yearly event work to connect all landscape professionals and elevate the industry.

AUTUMN FIRE®

COVERING: TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, LOUISIANA, ARKANSAS, MISSISSIPPI, TENNESSEE, ALABAMA, GEORGIA, FLORIDA, NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA AND KENTUCKY

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Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

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CONTENTS

INSPIRE

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22 27

INFORM 08 10 12 13 14 17

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29

News The industry’s biggest news and events

Imaginative Play Alliance Children’s Garden Austin, Texas Designing Despite Dangers Pearce B. Designs Lakehouse, South Carolina

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Nursing The Landscape Back to Health The Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center Grapevine, Texas

Agenda Why are safety practices important, and which ones do you use in your work? Don’t Wait Until it’s too Late Brooke Inzerella Horticare Landscape Dealing with Burnout Deborah Cole, Deborah Cole Connections

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22

NURTURE

Let’s Hear it From Andrew Bray NALP, V.P., Government Relations The Association’s Role in Pesticide Safety Company Profile Jeremy Ashmore The Greenery South Carolina

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

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27

35 37

Nursery Focus Flowerwood Nursery Loxley, Alabama alterNATIVE Avoiding Japanese Honeysuckle Product Feature Stump Grinders

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CONTENTS

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 E D U C AT E 38 42 45 48

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Industry Insights With John Conroy Organizational Strength, United We Stand Protect the Deck International Association pushes deck safety awareness Too Stressed to Mow On Studying industry stressors and finding solutions by GoMaterials Health Savings 5 Procedures to help equipment last longer by Echo Equipment

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42 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

SAFE SOLUTIONS

HEALTH & SAFETY IN THE LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY

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PEOPLE 50

DESIGN + BUILD + MAINTAIN

Little Interview Five voices in the industry

IMAGINATIVE PLAY

UNITED WE STAND

LOOKING INWARD

THE WAITING GAME

Keeping the play in playground

Value of Industry Associations

Prioritizing mental health

Nurseries restock after freeze

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

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WELCOME

CONTR IB U TOR S BROOKE INZERELLA

DEBORAH COLE

Brooke Inzerella is a licensed landscape horticulturist and owner of Horticare Landscape Company in Louisiana. As one of the area’s leading landscape companies, Horticare is known for superior service, swimming pools, landscaping and outdoor living spaces.

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P35

P45

WWW.HORTICARELANDSCAPE.COM

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WWW.DEBORAHCOLEPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Cammie Donaldson

JOHN CONROY

Cammie Donaldson serves as executive director for the Florida Association of Native Nurseries and Native Plant Horticulture Foundation. With 26 years of experience working for the industry, Cammie is committed to promoting the power of plants and landscapes to solve society’s biggest environmental challenges.

John Conroy is president, founder and owner of Fish Branch Tree Farm, a family-run company. In 2019, FNGLA awarded him “Educator of the Year’ for his work on the state’s grading process, dynamic curriculum for landscape architects and contribution to the Department of Transportation.

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WWW.NATIVEPLANTHORT.ORG

WWW.FISHBRANCHTREEFARM.COM

MarC Elliot

Jason Wilk

Marc Elliott is the CEO and co-founder of GoMaterials, an online marketplace for sourcing plant materials for landscaping professionals. Marc has experience in industry operations, finance, sales, management, strategic planning and customer service.

Jason Wilk has been with ECHO more than 10 years, working in sales and product training, and now as a senior product manager for Blowers, Shred n Vac, Pressure Washers, Generators and Mowers. ECHO manufactures over 200 different, whole-good items and 17,000 aftermarket products.

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WWW.GOMATERIALS.COM

CONTACT ELJAYS44 LLC 109 S. Lemans St. Lafayette, LA 70503 Managing Director Angelique Robb angelique.robb@eljays44.com (337) 852-6318 Production Editor Mary Kate Carson marykate.carson@eljays44.com (903) 283-0513 Printed by Allen Press Inc. www.allenpress.com Published by ©Eljays44 LLC

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As the founder and president of a successful commercial landscape firm with multiple locations throughout Texas, Deborah Cole has learned the importance of communication through images as well as words. She now devotes herself full-time to photography, writing, marketing and training.

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

Designer Caitlyn Wallace Subeditor Erin Z. Bass Pro Landscaper is a trademark of Eljays44 Ltd. 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1903 777 570 eljays44.com

WWW.ECHO–USA.COM

Pro Landscaper USA South is published six times a year and distributed to 5,000 qualified members of the green industry. Postmaster: Send address changes to 109 S. Lemans St., Lafayette, LA 70503. Pro Landscaper USA South verifies information as much as possible. The views expressed by editorial contributors and the products advertised herein are not necessarily endorsements of the publishers. Reproduction of any part of this magazine is strictly forbidden.

UK Directors Jamie Wilkinson jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com Jim Wilkinson jim.wilkinson@eljays44.com Cover image: Pearce B. Designs ©Deby K. Photography

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WELCOME

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Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

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INFORM

INDUSTRY

NEWS LITHIUM BATTERY SAFETY ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETS

T

he U.S. Department of Safety is considering new, safer ways to transport lithium batteries. A committee met to review safety recommendations this fall. OPEI’s Director of Battery Electric Products and Industry Affairs Brandon Martin spoke during the meeting. Brandon specializes in the development of alternative fuel powered products and equipment. He explained whether current regulations for lithium batteries are working and suggested improvements. The committee decided that potential state-of-charge gaps

exist for spare batteries within shipments, and these gaps exist because of harmonization between international and domestic markets. The committee plans to meet again next spring to research the topic further. Their findings will impact the ease of access to lithium batteries and the equipment they power. www.opei.org

FNGLA LEADER RETIRES

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he CEO of the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association is retiring. Ben Bolusky worked with the largest state nursery and landscape association for 24 years. He served in 2004 when Hurricane Charley devastated the state’s industry, and led the effort to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in federal assistance for business owners. He also helped advance the overhaul of the federal nursery crop insurance policy which gives growers more power over their business operations. Plus, he worked extensively with the Florida Department of Transportation in state road and highway landscape beautification plans. Bolusky will step down during FNGLA’s convention in June 2022. The association is actively searching for a new CEO. www.fngla.org

2021 ASLA AWARDS

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he American Society of Landscape Professionals announced the 2021 Professional Award winners. More than 486 designs were submitted from around the world, divided into several categories including General Design, Residential Design, and Analysis & Planning. A jury panel made of professionals from the public and private sectors, and academia, picked the 40 recipients. They say each winning project exemplified the highest achievement in the profession. The ASLA honors award recipients at its annual conference. www.asla.org

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Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

HONOR AWARDED GENERAL DESIGN TO PERKINS AND WILL OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA

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INFORM

BIOHABITATS DAM REMOVAL

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team with the ecological restoration firm Biohabitats is engaging in several dam removal projects in the Eastern U.S. The team is helping take down for 10 days from the Great Lakes, all the way to the bold coast of Maine. Similar efforts are happening nationwide in order to restore stream and river ecosystems that are being cut off by the dams. Nearly 1,500 dams have been removed in the last 30 years, as more environmentally focused groups study the harmful effects of instream barriers. Biohabitats’ current project will impact several major waterways, including Virginia’s Rappahannock River and the New York Hudson. www.biohabitats.com

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NEW STIHL EXECUTIVE BOARD CHAIRMAN

T

he Executive Board of STIHL AG announced their new chairman. Michael Traub will take over in February 2022. The 52-year-old economist was born in Germany, and spent his career managing various businesses in Germany, Asia, and North and South America. The STIHL advisory and supervisory board chairman says Traub brings an in-depth knowledge of product and sales topics, as well as knowledge in IT and the start-up business world. Traub succeeds Dr. Bertram Kandziora, who joined the company in 2002. His contract expires just before his 66th birthday. www.stihl.com

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

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INFORM

AGENDA

HOW DO YOU PRIORITIZE SAFETY IN YOUR WORK? Bianka Filipowicz DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AT SITE SAFETY, LLC MIAMI, FLORIDA

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Matthew Taylor ,

Jonathon Geels,

PLA

PLA, ASLA

PRINCIPAL LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT AT NORRIS DESIGN

VP OF OPERATIONS AND PRINCIPAL LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT AT TROYER GROUP

AUSTIN, TEXAS

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA

While the profession of Landscape Architecture is multifaceted, the overarching emphasis to being a Licensed Landscape Architect is to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare. This can be demonstrated in multiple ways, be it assuring that effluent (re-use) watering systems are safely installed to not cause cross-contamination with potable water; verifying that all designed items are installed per local, state and national code; and assuring all sites are accessible to those of all capabilities and mobilities. The whole purpose of our professional license process is to assure that the above is done by every professional, on every project, no matter size, scale or type.

In the book Power of Habit, there’s a great chapter regarding using the concept of safety as a way to create culture change within companies. In that way, rallying around a common truth—like quality, safety, equity, etc.—can help to set the strategic direction for firms. On the design side, we frequently look through the lens of accessibility, which then connects to equity In all manners, I want to ensure that everyone can experience the full value of public spaces, from creating more inclusive play experiences for people on the autism spectrum to making sure blind people can better experience a park or creating more ways for people to utilize transportation networks. It is all connected for me.

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

Safety is important in every field. Whether it’s construction or general industry, everyone deserves to return home in a healthy condition. Safety education is crucial in order to avoid injuries and/or fatalities. Site Safety recommends having a documented safety program! Not only do they provide potential insurance savings, they can reduce injuries, claims and lead to a more productive and engaging workforce. Consistent training keeps employees updated on new rules, regulations and trends. For the landscaping industry, workers are at risk of injury from exposure to chemicals, noise, machinery, lifting, construction, weather-related hazards and more. Not only is an OSHA awareness course recommended, but also Fall Prevention and Hazard Communication (HAZCOM) courses. In 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 244,000 workers experienced an incident related to slips, trips and falls that involved lost work day(s). Having a designated safety professional in the workforce to monitor safety, whether it’s a consultant like Site Safety or not, is essential. It not only improves company culture but, most importantly, the safety of your employees in the workplace.

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INFORM

Adam Martin, Pla

Merry Mott

Mike Keran

FNGLA DIRECTOR OF CERTIFICATIONS AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT,

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT AT GOODWYN MILLS AND CAWOOD, INC.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT SITEONE LANDSCAPE SUPPLY, LLC.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA

MOBILE, ALABAMA

S T PA U L , M I N N E S OTA

Thoughts of equity are often difficult things to balance regarding safety. We’re working on a park now, where a small group of community members have an appreciation for a particular natural feature in the landscape. There is a particular nostalgia among this group, and they are wishing to honor nostalgia over equity and safety. There are provisions in federal code that allow certain historic features to be preserved, but there are also specific caveats and requirements to meet. Safety and aesthetics are often at odds in antiquated health codes. Safety and equal access can be difficult to balance with convenience, aesthetic and complexity.

SiteOne fosters a culture of safety by empowering all employees to selfimplement and submit to management any safety practices that they feel could reduce potential safety hazards. No matter the employee’s place in the company’s hierarchy, everyone is encouraged to speak up in unsafe situations, from the forklift driver to the CEO. You really feel how much employees care that everyone goes home safe each night.

When FNGLA developed its industry certification programs, we knew safety was one of the most important things our members wanted to impress upon their employees. As such, there is an aspect of safety in every exam section across FNGLA’s six different certification designations. It doesn’t matter if they are being tested on Plant ID or Tree Installation, they must be wearing the proper PPE and using their tools in a safe manner—or they fail their certification exams! In addition, industry professionals in our region must be aware of one of the most prevailing safety issues of all: Florida’s intense summer heat. Our members are acutely aware of training workers to recognize the dangers.

R .W. III SENIOR LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE STUDENT NORTH CAROLINA AGRICULTURAL AND TECHNICAL STATE UNIVERSITY Safety initiatives are continuously developing with our advancements. They require designers to initiate communication from a community or research and gather the specifics of that area. While we like to believe that we can design things to be safe wherever we are, this thought process can overlook the particulars of a site. Safety initiatives are chosen for every location, but without input from those who genuinely use it, they can easily miss the mark. For our projects, we typically explore the area on foot to gather some firsthand experience. The importance of safety initiatives is multifaceted; there must be the observation of the specifics that plague said location or communication between residents to provide designers the details for intentional designs, because the most effective way to design is to adopt informed design principles.

COMING UP: WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO SEE ACCOMPLISHED IN THE GREEN INDUSTRY IN 2022?

E-MAIL OUR EDITOR MARY KATE CARSON AT MARYKATE.CARSON@EL JAYS44.COM TO BE INCLUDED IN OUR NEXT ISSUE.

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INFORM

BROOKE INZERELLA STEPS FOR SUCCESS BROOKE INZERELLA SUGGESTS WAYS TO PROMOTE A SAFETY FOCUSED CULTURE

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s I was preparing my thoughts for the development of this article on safety in our industry and workplaces, I had a fleeting thought: “We do have challenges, but at least we’ll never be featured on the Most Dangerous Jobs television show!” So, I was shocked when I read a CNBC article from 2019 that said Landscaping, Lawn Service and Groundskeeping is on the list of the 10 most dangerous jobs in America. The longer I thought about it, I realized there’s more to be worried about beyond obvious hazards related to things like falls, machinery accidents, and heat exposure. There is exposure to dangerous chemicals, noise, and machinery. Even driving from job to job can pose threats! My company has been in business since 2008 and I’ve always promoted a “Safety First and Always” culture. Even during the busiest of times, we have regular safety meetings -- if only a few minutes to review established safety protocols and our safety non-negotiables. These regular safety meetings reinforce the idea that safety is important to me and to the company. A company operating with lax safety expectations from leadership is negligent toward the staff and causes the company to suffer financially. No one reading this article believes worker’s comp insurance is cheap, but sometimes we all need reminders. My wake-up call happened in 2019. I went 11 years with zero workplace incidents, but in one year I had a team leader slip off a trailer and tear his rotator cuff. It required two surgeries 12

and a lengthy recovery time. Then a venomous snake bit another worker, and the worker’s comp claim was more than my first home mortgage! When you own a landscape and pool company there is so much to do in a day.

STAYING ON TOP OF YOUR WORKPLACE SAFTEY MUST REMAIN A TOP PRIORITY THOUGH

this was a walk-in clinic visit for a tetanus shot. In all situations, though, they know to call me. Leadership is key. Your staff will follow your lead in every area of operations. If they see you and your leaders casually disregard safety protocols, they will believe it’s not important. If you show up to the job site wearing flip flops or handling dangerous equipment without gloves and goggles, they will follow your lead. On the other hand, if they continually hear -- from you -- how important it is to keep everyone safe and well, they will comply. Generally, they all want what’s best for the company.

Try these three simple things for starters: Stay diligent in communicating your safety non-negotiables. We give new employees cards printed in both English and Spanish, have posters hanging all around our 15,000 sq-ft office building, and we have regular safety meetings. I’m like an annoying parent that keeps repeating the same things over and over. Make sure your staff knows “if/then” expectations. If someone gets hurt, then do this. This planning proved valuable in 2019 when I got the call that a poisonous snake bit one of my guys. My team leaders know when to head to the walk-in clinic, but this was an incident for the emergency room and required an overnight stay and a very expensive treatment. We’ve had a minor dog bite before, and the team leader knew

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

ABOUT BROOKE INZERELLA Brooke Inzerella is a licensed landscape horticulturist and owner of Horticare Landscape Company in Lafayette, Louisiana.

www.horticarelandscape.com

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INFORM

DEBORAH COLE

BURNOUT AS A SAFETY CONCERN DEBORAH COLE EXPLAINS HOW TO NOTICE AND FIGHT BURNOUT

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ob burnout is a unique type of workrelated stress—a state of prolonged emotional, physical and emotional exhaustion that might also include a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. Burnout occurs when you (or an employee) feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands on the job. Consider this description. We know it is possible to have some of these feelings on any given day in our challenging jobs in the green industry. Who hasn’t felt physically exhausted after long weeks of relentless heat or cold weather with too much work to do and not enough materials to accomplish it? And who hasn’t wanted to run for the hills after being disrespected one more time by a disgruntled customer who can’t get things done to his/her satisfaction? How about when the family situation at home has been less than ideal over a weekend, and you arrive at work Monday morning to an area stacked with too much work and too few people to accomplish it? Had enough? You are not alone.

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IT HAPPENS TO ALL OF US NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE LOVE OUR INDUSTRY AND NO MATTER HOW MUCH WE LOVE OUR JOBS

occur whether or not the position involves machinery, equipment, vehicles or office tasks. Do you notice in yourself or your direct reports any of the following: • • • • •

But if there is never any sign of relief, the unthinkable can happen. If burnout isn’t something you have personally felt, you might have witnessed it in others in its most profound manifestation. Direct reports who were once very enthusiastic, over time, have become unproductive to the point of apathy. Where they were once eager and receptive, they are now cynical and critical. Have you observed increased absenteeism and less enthusiasm to take on new tasks? Is praise no longer met with gratitude and smiles, and nothing on the job ever seems to go right? Have you wondered what has set the cycle in motion? In reality, it’s often not the job or the workload per se, but the outcome is the same. Stress, disillusionment and dissatisfaction become common states of being. And burnout can lead to less focus as well as accidents and safety issues on the job. This can

Serious errors in judgment while on the job Inability to get a restful sleep resulting in foggy head on the job Sadness, anger or irritability, which leads to inability to get along with co-workers Alcohol or substance misuse on the job or residual effects from either on the job Personal long-term health issues: heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, vulnerability to illnesses

It is critical to take action when burnout is experienced personally or observed in others. There may be options to eliminate or change work situations as well as to seek medical or therapeutic support. At a minimum, it is helpful to explore outside of work activities for stress relief. Ignoring the facts and hoping that things will improve without addressing the issues can lead to accidents waiting to happen.

ABOUT DEBORAH COLE Deborah Cole is the founder of a commercial landscape firm with multiple locations throughout Texas. She now devotes herself full-time to photography, writing, marketing and training. www.deborahcoleconnections.com

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INFORM

Let ’s Hear it From

ANDREW BRAY NALP GOVERMENT REGULATIONS NALP’S ROLE IN DEVELOPING PESTICIDE SAFET Y STANDARDS

E

ach landscaper develops their own safety practices as they develop their careers. There are several influencing factors, including area of expertise, management teams, geographic location and experience level. Safety standards are consistent industry-wide, though, and these are often regulated by industry and governmental leadership. Andrew Bray is a key player in developing that regulation. Andrew is the NALP’s vice president of government relations and serves as the middleman between the EPA and thousands of

landscape professionals. He started his long career as a landscaper in high school and college, but then earned his law degree after undergraduate school. He grew up in the nation’s capital and was always interested in government lobbying. Andrew worked in government relations for different trade associations, then helped with several political campaigns and even launched a short career as a criminal attorney. Finally, he returned to his roots with hopes of improving the industry he loves. “Government relations are incredibly important. The NALP does a multitude of things, including

education, community building, hosting events and meetings, and producing a multitude of other resources,” he says. “But advocacy and government relations are a huge part of our organization.” Andrew works with government agencies like OSHA and the EPA to develop and approve new industry tools. He explains why landscapers need certain products, how often they are used and the overall benefits they can have for a landscape or ecosystem. Andrew then helps develop safety resources that educate landscapers on researcher’s recommendations—things like

DEMONSTRATING PRODUCT USES TO EPA STAFF

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Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

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INFORM

health warnings in product labels and user manuals. He says education is critical to keeping people safe.

9 TIMES OUT OF 10 WHEN SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS IN THE WORKPLACE, THOSE ACTIONS WERE VERY PREVENTABLE. IT IS BECAUSE SOMEONE DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY’RE DOING OR THEY MOVED TOO FAST THROUGH TRAINING “We’re putting in place best management practices to make sure people are using things responsibly, not only to protect themselves, but to protect their customers and the environment,” says Andrew.

A large part of Andrew’s job focus is on pesticide safety and the process of getting them on the market. He says there are three key stakeholders playing a part in the pesticide approval process: the EPA, the company trying to register the products and those using the products. The NALP operates on behalf of the product users. A majority of pesticide research in the United States focuses on agriculture industries, which are responsible for more than half of the product use. Andrew says many pesticides only have harmful potential when they are not used in compliance with the EPA-approved label, which is why landscape representation is critical to help inform the EPA on how to label each product properly. The NALP assists the EPA on how a pesticide is being used in landscapes and why they help the industry. “We often explain the benefit of these products to the EPA when there’s not a viable alternative or there’s a threat to the environment,” he says. “For example, there is nothing else that kills white grubs as effectively as a pesticide. They will tear up a lawn, which impacts carbon sequestration and water filtration, which is bad for an ecosystem. I think the connotation that pesticides are worse for the environment than the actual pests is completely off.” Andrew says it takes months of work, sometimes costing up to $80 million, just to get one pesticide product approved. Scientists with the Environmental Protection Agency must review voluminous peer-reviewed studies that explain how pesticides work and the impacts they may have on human health and the environment. They also gather information from industry representatives, like Andrew, to learn the context and necessity of the chemicals under review. Once federal regulators approve a product, state groups have the chance to do the same. “Many people think that pesticides are just rubber stamped through an easy process, but that is quite the contrary,” says Andrew. “Whenever a pesticide is approved, there is a lot of data supporting that it will not harm human health or the environment when used in accordance with the EPA-approved label. That is why we need to continue to educate the industry

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and the public that pesticides, both synthetic and other non-synthetic tools, when used in a responsible manner, are appropriate.” Andrew recognizes that many companies and their clients will fundamentally disapprove of pesticide use and encourages people to research ways to safely utilize pesticides. He says this is why he and his colleagues at the NALP ensure safety resources are available to government representatives and landscape professionals. “We protect and maintain healthy green spaces for you, your family, your businesses, whatever it may be,” he says. “These spaces have tremendous benefits.”

WE’RE BENEFITTING SOCIETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT WITH THE WAY WE DO OUR WORK C O N TA C T NALP, VP Government Relations Tel: (703) 429 – 4180 www.landscapeprofessionals.org

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021 15


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COMPANY PROFILE

THE TOP PRIORITY

HOW A S OUT H CAROLINA LANDSCAP E COMPANY INTEGRATES SAFETY INTO ALL OPERATIONS

G

o home from work the same way you came in. This is what employees with The Greenery landscape company say each morning as a commitment to stay safe and healthy on the clock. The Greenery is a full-service commercial landscaping organization operating through 12 branches across the southeast. Seventy percent of the business operations are commercial maintenance, and they provide some construction and design services. The Greenery launched in 1973 and became employee-owned about 12 years ago. The company has a lot of success stories, but their

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proudest accomplishment is not their wide reach or profitability, though. It is their low injury record. Administrators for The Greenery say safety is their top priority. They’ve developed an extensive safety plan and training course to integrate safety protocols in all daily activities.

EVERYTHING WE DO REVOLVES AROUND SAFETY

TRAINING/SAFETY RODEOS

the field and will even still drive a skid-steer if need be. “Any meeting we have starts off with safety. If it’s a crew meeting, if it’s an admin meeting, if it’s a meeting in the field or in operations, they all start with safety,” says Director of Workforce Development and Safety Jerry Ashmore.

“I can relate well with our folks. I can understand some of the issues that they face, and hopefully I can help them resolve things,” he says.

Jerry joined the green industry by cutting grass in high school, then earned two landscaperelated degrees and worked his way up during 21 years with the company. He tells teams that he understands firsthand what it is like to be in

That connection helps Jerry develop and push out safety strategies to field teams. He played a key role in developing the company’s safety standards using direction from similar sized companies in the U.S.,

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021 17


INFORM

SAFETY TRAINING AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

resources from industry associations and advice from the company’s insurance providers. It took several years and extensive training to create The Greenery’s unique protocol, but Jerry and his team managed to weave the standards deeply into the company’s culture. Every morning, there are safety briefings during dispatch meetings. Teams discuss the projects they have, brainstorm what threats to expect and plan out how to deal with potential safety issues. Crews go through stretch routines each day, and physical therapists visit each branch once a year to teach proper stretching techniques. Crews must always wear safety vests and hearing and eye protection. Jerry admits these practices are a big investment, but it is a part of the company leader’s moral responsibility. “Safety can honestly be a hassle,” he says. “People say, ‘oh man, I forgot my safety glasses. Do I have to walk all the way back to the truck or do I just do this last 100 feet without them.’ No, you must go to your truck

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Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

and get your safety glasses.”

SOMETIMES SAFETY CAN BE INCONVENIENT, BUT IT’S JUST THE RIGHT THING TO DO Poor safety has numerous financial stipulations. Jerry says less accidents means less dollars going out to pay for those accidents and more money being invested into the company. “If you have an accident, it changes your entire day,” he adds. “Now, your focus is on that accident. It’s not on the meeting that you were supposed to go to later, or lunch or getting a job done. It’s giving the care and attention to that accident, the investigation and the injured employee.” To keep teams healthy in the field, leaders equip them with things like Gatorade, cool

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INFORM

towels and wraps and extra sunscreen. They also give positive reinforcement and gift card rewards for hard work. They work alongside the crews to learn and meet their needs and ensure a positive environment. While rules, training and meetings help, Jerry says the biggest way to keep a workforce safe is by developing a strong company culture. Jerry, The Greenery President Lee Edwards and the rest of the management team wants employees to feel that they’re part of a family.

“It’s just like renting a car. When you return it, you don’t wash it, change the oil and vacuum it out. You just take it back. Your personal car though, you wash it, put gas in it, change tires and take care of it overall. It is because you own that,” explains Jerry.

WE WANT TO ENHANCE PEOPLE’S LIVES THROUGH BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPING. AND THAT’S NOT ONLY OUR CLIENTS, BUT THAT’S OUR EMPLOYEE OWNERS AS WELL

The Greenery’s mission statement is to be the best landscape company in the markets they serve. Their goal is to grow plants, grow personally and grow professionally. The foundation for each of those goals is safety.

“We’ve got a pledge, and we say it every morning,” Jerry says. “‘I promise to myself and my team to be safe today because my family deserves to see me again.’”

C O N TA C T The Greenery, Inc. Hilton Head, South Carolina Tel: (843) 592 – 3818

The Greenery leaders say being employeeowned pushes teams to take pride in their work and decisions.

www.thegreeneryinc.com

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WHY:

WHAT: WHEN:

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To have a lively panel discussion about the issues in Design + Build + Maintain sectors

A one-day, engaging symposium with an expo for innovative products and services

March 24, 2022 9 A.M. – 4 P.M. Indoors and outdoors

Computer Museum of America in Atlanta, Georgia

Register for your free ticket here: Spaces are limited!

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INSPIRE

I M AG I N AT I V E P L AY

PROJECT D E TA I L S Cost of Park $5 Million Build Time 5 years Size of Park 2 acres

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TBG PARTNERS TEXAS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT PUTS PLAY BACK IN PLAYGROUND

S

afety is found in the details. The edges of stonework, the amount of mulch laid in an area, even the surface temperature of a structure during a hot, southern day. These details determine risks and create either a place of danger or a place of exploration, education and excitement. These details are also the key factors in Adam Shriver’s job. Adam specializes in building public outdoor spaces for families, specifically children. He is a senior landscape architect with TBG Partners in Austin, Texas, and earned his Playground Safety Inspector Certification from the National Recreation and Park Association in 2017. TBG Partners is a Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and Planning firm with a presence in several U.S. states and even international locations, but they work mostly on unique Texas projects. One of Adam’s first projects with the group was called the “Alliance Children’s Garden,” a two-acre site just outside of downtown Austin. The park’s development came as part of a $5 million project to turn a massive parking lot into several acres of public-use space. The city of Austin began budgeting for the construction in the late 1990s, then work on the park began in 2016 and ended in the summer of 2021. The children’s area was the finishing touch. Dozens of unique features are sprinkled throughout the playground. There are climbing blocks and nets, mounds with tunnels underneath, a splash pad and even a set of musical chimes that multiple kids can use at once. Several elements were created by local artists. An Austin blacksmith even built the larger-than-life steel sculptures of fire ants, a tribute to the organization that initiated the park plans, Town Lake Park Alliance. “They were called the Town Lake Park Alliance, and people say they were constantly ‘stinging’ local officials to be sure the green space came into play,” says Adam. The Austin locals who use the space most inspired the design of

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the park. Adam and his team coordinated input sessions with children, ages 2 through 12-years-old, to learn what kind of park they wanted. The kids drew their dream playground or built it with blocks and paper. Then the design team brought their wishes to life, mixing in the safety codes and rules.

THE IDEA WAS TO NOT JUST BUILD A CLASSIC PLAYGROUND, BUT A GARDEN WHERE THEY CAN PLAY THE WAY THEY WANT TO. THEY WANT TO CLIMB, HIDE, RUN, AND EXPLORE

AERIAL VIEW OF THE CHILDREN’S ALLIANCE PARK

Safe playgrounds are a successful combination of design, materials selection, and maintenance, with the ultimate goal of protecting children from severe injury. Playground safety inspectors look for surfacing material condition, equipment damage and layout (splinters on wood posts for example), sharp corners and edges, fall heights, and openings that could entrap a child. “We monitor things like safety mulch around a swing,” says Adam. “The depth of safety mulch has a strong relationship to how much impact it can absorb from a kid falling. There could be 12

PLAY AREA FEATURING THE WIDE SLIDE

1 2 3 4

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Hills that feature tunnels to play in Another view of park A climbable wall mural Concrete salamander sculpture

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inches of mulch around the playground when it opens, but as kids run around and wind blows it away, shallow areas form that can cause serious harm. Maintenance crews must also check the condition of bolts, hinges, or hooks. If a child’s clothing gets caught on something they may not be able to get free, and this can cause serious injury too.” Designers also plan for climate factors, like potential risk of damage from freeze or erosion, and presence of shade. Plus, they ensure proper maintenance inspections are conducted and there are strong inspection records. Playground safety rules can change depending on the age of a child using the playground and the region where they are located. They can also change as new research surfaces, so even the safest parks often need audits and updates. These guidelines are all outlined by the National Recreation and Parks Association, an international technical standards organization called the ASTM, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. CPSC staff began developing playground safety standards as lead based paint was discovered in the 1970s on most playground equipment. Adam says since then, designs of playgrounds have focused on risk aversion more than fun. He thinks the Alliance Children’s Garden is the perfect balance of the two because of the unique material used, instead of traditional equipment like swings or teeter totters. The garden creates what he calls natural, imaginative play.

“There are challenges and obstacles they can overcome. The only risks involved are ones they choose to take. Things they are comfortable with. Researchers say this helps their mental development and intellect and makes them more confident in their physical abilities.” The Alliance Children’s Garden is one of several creative projects that embody Adam’s goal to blend creative ideas with strict safety codes. He encourages other landscape architects to adopt this goal, to protect the clients who enjoy their work. The key is to keep the codes in mind during a project’s early stages, not after completion. “Designers tend to rely heavily on the equipment and material manufacturers to handle the safety aspects, without learning about those materials or their maintenance. Learning about playground safety makes me a better designer overall. Often, I hybridize equipment that will be safe before the park is built and once it’s handed over to the owner, city, or whoever is responsible for the periodic oversight, inspection, and maintenance. I can think about those things up front, then have a more intelligent conversation with people in maintenance and operations, or those supplying the playground equipment.

WORKING TOGETHER MAKES IT ALL MUCH MORE REWARDING

Playground Safety information from the CPSC: The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has long recognized the potential hazards that exist with the use of playground equipment, with over 200,000 estimated emergency room-treated injuries annually.

• About 45% are severe fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations and amputations (Tinsworth 2001). • About 75% of nonfatal injuries related to playground equipment occur on public playgrounds (Tinsworth 2001). • Between 1990 and 2000, 147 children ages 14 and younger died from playground-related injuries. Of them, 82 (56%) died from strangulation and 31 (20%) died from falls to the playground surface. Most of these deaths (70%) occurred on home playgrounds (Tinsworth 2001). • While all children who use playgrounds are at risk for injury, girls sustain injuries (55%) slightly more often than boys (45%) (Tinsworth 2001). • Children ages 5-9 have higher rates of emergency department visits for playground injuries than any other age group. Most of these injuries occur at school (Phelan 2001). • On public playgrounds, more injuries occur on climbers than on any other equipment (Tinsworth 2001). • On home playgrounds, swings are responsible for most injuries (Tinsworth 2001).

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CLIMBING ROPE NET

PA R T N E R S & S U P P L I E R S Landscape Architect and Design TBG Partners tbgpartners.com

Precast concrete slide and salamander sculpture QCP qcp-corp.com

Client City of Austin Parks Department

Play equipment Kompan kompan.us

Stakeholder Town Lake Park Alliance

Site furniture Landscape Forms

Civil Engineer Dunaway dunawayassociates.com Structural Engineer Jose | Guerra guerra.com General Contractor Spawglass spawglass.com MEP Engineers EEA eeace.com Roark Sculpture Jim Estes & Music of the Spheres Wall mural install Sundek sundekaustin.com

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Shade structures Icon Shelters iconshelters.com Playground surfacing DuraPlay duraplay.com Blacksmith for ant sculptures Judd Graham 220designs.com Stone supplier Espinoza espinozastone.com Landscape plants Red, White and Greenery rwgreenery.com

C O N TA C T TBG Partners info@tbgpartners.com www.tbgpartners.com

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

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INSPIRE INSPIRE PROJECT D E TA I L S Build time 1 month Site of project 1 acre Project value Less than $150,000

DESIGNING DESPITE DANGERS S afety can be the entire purpose of a landscape transformation. It was a main goal for a South Carolina homeowner who purchased a three-acre property overlooking a lake. The home featured a beautiful interior, but the exterior was a different story. Through creative, skillful designs, the dangerous and unwalkable space became a beautiful outdoor area ready for anyone to enjoy.

PEARCE B. DESIGNS STEEP SLOPE REDESIGNED FOR A SOUTH CAROLINA FAMILY

Pearce launched a career in the landscape industry by combining two passions: art and nature. In college, she double majored in

Pearce focuses on the master plan for her projects, then the homeowners decide how to bring the designs to life. Some just want a long-term goal and will draw out the construction for several years. Some will even take on the project themselves! Many will hand the designs over to a local contractor though, and Pearce will help them find one fit for the project.

“There was about a 100-foot drop from the top of the driveway down to the lake. The grade was way too steep and probably not up to code. Essentially, it was just slippery, dangerous pea gravel,” says Pearce Butcher. She is the landscape designer who took on this tough project. Pearce manages a landscape design firm called Pearce B. Designs based in Greenville, South Carolina. She runs her business from her home, creating beautiful spaces for functional outdoor living.

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art major. I really loved the outdoors though, and she said, ‘You know, there’s a job for designing the outdoors.’ That is when I realized that landscape design was my thing.” After an internship in the Metro DC area with a womanowned design-build firm, she then went to George Washington University to earn her Landscape Design Certificate.

Environmental Science and Art, and her mother helped her navigate her path after graduation. “You know, when you’re 18 and you’re a freshman in college, you’re not always sure what you want to do,” says Pearce. “My mom knew I always loved art and advised me to be an

“Let’s say I have a lot of boulder work, I’ll recommend someone who is great with natural stonework,” she says. “Or another project might be a different contractor’s jam because he loves putting in traditional southern gardens. I try to get to know people in the industry.”

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INSPIRE

For this project she chose James Lajoie of LandArt Landscapes.

gift to the client. Many people will even hang them in their home as artwork!” Pearce says.

Pearce loves keeping her operationssmall though so she can maintain a strong work-life balance.

TO ME, A GARDEN IS A FORM OF ART. PLANTS ARE THE COLOR, TEXTURE, FORM AND SHAPE OF THE PIECE

“As my business grew, my children grew. I have two teenagers and a first-grader, so it is a lot easier to get work done from home,” she says. “I want to take on clients while still being present for my kids.” For each project, she spends several weeks with the client to develop their ideas, get familiar with the project site and give them a hand-rendered layout of the plan. “I enjoy the process of putting marker to paper. I do this kind of strange unique hybrid approach where I design it in CAD, then print it out on paper and fill it in with markers to give it some color. It makes each one a little bit unique, like a special

For the lake house project, Pearce’s artwork took shape in the form of a long path that meandered down the steep hill. It allowed the homeowners and their family, including elderly parents, to safely get from the home to the water. Pearce spent several days on the property measuring and analyzing the area. She designed a path that moved down through the wooded area of the hill and added a pitch at the top and bottom held by a

slate base. Halfway down the slope is a resting and viewing area with a 20-foot diameter firepit that was custom built by Fire Kettles out of Orangeburg, South Carolina. LandArt handled the stonework and landscape installation. James even drove to Tennessee to hand-pick the stones for the project. “I wanted to blend into the natural environment as much as possible. It needed to be functional and still look natural,” says Pearce. After Pearce finished designing, she connected the homeowners with an installation team fit for the job. They finished in about a month, and the entire project cost less than $150,000.

C O N TA CT Pearce Butcher Pearce B. Designs www.pearcebdesigns.com

STILLE LAKE HOUSE PLAN

PA R T N E R S & S U P P L I E R S Stonework and landscape installation Landcare (877) 526 – 3227 Fire pit Fire Kettles Orangeburg, South Carolina All Photos By ©Deby K. Photography

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INSPIRE

PROJECT D E TA I L S Build Time 2 – 3 years

NURSING THE LANDSCAPE

Cost of Project $300,000 Project Size 10+ acres

BACK TO HEALTH GAYLORD TEXAN RESTORATION PROJECT

TEXAS GROUP RESTORES OUTDATED LANDSCAPE SITES

A

healthy landscape will be a lasting landscape. A landscape is healthiest when it is designed to match its native environment.

Therefore, features that thrive in just one or two seasons may not last even a year after installation.

SITTING AREA

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A Dallas-Fort Worth area landscape service specializes in restoring tired, dying projects. They remove outdated or out-of-place materials and nurse the space back to health. Right now, the team is amid one of its biggest projects yet, restoring a massive property that hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center is an iconic North Texas feature. There are more than 1,800 guest rooms and dozens of on-site attractions, including a 10-acre waterpark, four-acre indoor garden atrium and 490,000 square feet of meeting space. The property is so large that it can be easily spotted from planes flying to and from nearby Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The Gaylord Texan hosts conventions and events throughout the year, which means surrounding outdoor space must always be in prime condition to greet guests. LandCare is the commercial landscape company that manages those outdoor spaces. It is one of

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INSPIRE

the largest landscape groups in the country, with 4,000 employees across 60 branches in 20 states. A team within LandCare’s Texas division has maintained the Gaylord grounds since 2018. They are now led by Branch Manager Joel Butler and working to upgrade the property’s landscape material. Joel says the original install was “Texas-styled,” which doesn’t always work year-round. “It did well in the spring and summer, but there were native grasses that don’t bloom and struggle in the wintertime, like Mexican feather grass and other ornamental grasses,” he explains. The project began several years ago but the need for change exploded in February 2021, when a rare freeze wiped out most of the plants on-site. Joel calls the storm an opportunity to really invest in the project. During mulching season, the team ripped out the dead materials and mulched the beds, then planned out the install process and got to work in the summer. The process is lasting several months because only one, 10-person crew is on the property at a time, working on about 10 acres of turf and four acres of bed areas. Joel says one of the most unique challenges is a constant audience. “The resort is open 24/7, 365 days a year. The whole place is constantly selling out for various conventions, with new groups coming in every few days,” he says. “We recently saw a massive cheerleading convention, and the team with the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders reality show even stopped by. There have been major sports teams and presidential candidates staying here. And on holidays the resort is even busier. When they all get to the property, our work is the first thing they see.” LandCare’s team works with property managers to bring in various features throughout the year, depending on events and holidays. Plus, they design many beds differently to give guests new experiences as they explore the space. “We all work together, offering different opinions and suggestions to keep the property evolving and changing,” says Joel. “We are always looking for a magic plant that can perform well against the weather conditions—or just traffic. There are lots of children and other people

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INSPIRE

wandering off the sidewalk, so we try to be creative to be sure everything can withstand that.” The winter storm largely inspired the Gaylord Texan’s landscape overhaul, which Joel anticipates will cost up to $300,000. His team will continue maintaining the space even after the upgrades are in, so he is designing it to last for many years. He suggests other industry professionals do the same, even those who aren’t involved with a site for its entire lifespan. “Everyone should get involved with the group that is maintaining their space,” he says. “Especially if it’s a corporate campus or a resort, it is easy to get feedback on what has or hasn’t worked. Go back to what you’ve designed 10 or 20 years ago and see how things have grown in and use that information to make your future designs last longer.”

YOU CAN LEARN FROM OTHERS, BUT LEARN FROM YOURSELF

LANTANA AT PARADISE SPRINGS WATER PARK

1 Front valet dropoff area 2 T he convention bus stop viewing back toward indoor pool 3 R iver rock provides contrast in color and texture for year-round interest 4 River rock with Miscanthus grasses along the Convention Center

ABOUT LANDCARE

PA R T N E R S & S U P P L I E R S Siteone and Landmark Wholesale Nursery (for plants, mulch and irrigation) siteone.com www.landmarknurseries.net

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LandCare is one of the most comprehensive providers of commercial landscape services in the United States. It employs more than 4,000 people from coast to coast and has been in business for more than two decades. LandCare is consistently ranked as one of the top landscape service companies in North America. Tel: (877) 526 – 3227 www.landcare.com

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NURTURE

NURSERY

F0CUS FLOWERWOOD NURSERY

T

his is the reality for nursery growers across the south. The aftershocks of events in 2020 and 2021 have drastically reduced plant supply, and nurseries are scrambling to restock and fill massive orders. In a growing business, though, things aren’t produced overnight or even within a few years. People wanting quality plant products must accept that they will just have to wait.

©Urban Art Commission

WHITE WEDDING® HYDRANGEA

©Urban Art Commission

“Everything this year has been a challenge. Whether due to the freeze, supply chain or unprecedented demand, I just can’t produce quality plants any faster.”

AZALEA ENCORE AUTUMN FIRE

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©Urban Art Commission

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©Urban Art Commission

NURTURE

“A nursery can’t just go out and produce plants just ‘in case’ someone wants them next season,” Todd says. “When we plant something, we must make sure that we have a customer on the other end. Overproducing is how nurseries go bankrupt.”

©Urban Art Commission

‘SUNSHINE’ LIGUSTRUM

Todd Carnley is the vice president of sales and marketing at Flowerwood Nursery in Loxley, Alabama. He oversees sales across Flowerwood’s six locations in Georgia, Alabama and Florida, and sells to southeastern U.S. independent nurseries, re-wholesalers and landscape companies. Flowerwood employs roughly 650 people, including members of its own private shipping fleet. The group also partners with several widely known brands to bring unique products to the market: things like the Encore Azalea brand, Southern Living Plant Collection, Endless Summer Hydrangeas and Knockout Family of Roses. Flowerwood works closely with Plant Development Services Inc (PDSI). PDSI facilitates research on various plant species, finding positive and negative genetics and combining them to breed new hybrids. The goal is to create products that make

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Whether it is a classic plant or a newly developed design, there is one thing all of Flowerwood’s products have in common. They are hard to come by. Todd says it takes about a year to produce just a one-gallon plant and several years to grow anything larger. Order volume picked up in 2020, when roughly 20 million new gardeners flooded the market. Flowerwood began pulling products forward, selling things in spring that are typically held until fall. They planned to make up for the losses the following spring, until the freeze in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Now, they are preparing for what will come in the next few years, unsure if the demand will stay high or level off by the time new production is ready.

life easier on the landscape company or homeowner maintaining them. “We look at issues that come up in a typical garden or landscape and try to solve those issues by crossbreeding desirable characteristics that we already know work well,” Todd says. “We want it to grow to a manageable size or with a certain color or ability to bloom multiple times during the season.” Plants used in crossbreeding are typically ones that have existed in the market for a long period of time. They use species that are already acclimated to certain climates and have proven they can grow and thrive. PDSI’s research partners spend years testing numerous formulas until finding the right combinations, then determining what plants can propagate and have commercial value.

THE NURSERY BUSINESS IS NOT AN EASY BUSINESS. YOU DEAL WITH A LOT OF MOTHER NATURE AND A LOT OF EVENTS THAT YOU CAN’T CONTROL Eighty-five percent of 2020’s new gardeners are expected to stay with the hobby, so the demand may continue to be higher than it was before the pandemic. Todd does expect it to slow down some, though. That is, if the weather cooperates. “I do not think plant demand will be at the levels it was during the pandemic, but it is unclear what 2022 will hold,” he says. “We just have to wait and hope that things will balance out in time.”

C O N TA C T Flowerwood Nursery

www.flowerwood.com

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November/December 2021 33


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Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

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CLOSE UP OF JAPANESE HONEYSUCKLE

© Thomas Cizauskas, CC BY NC ND 2.0

NURTURE

Invasive plant

• Invasive throughout the eastern U.S. and west to Wisconsin and Texas. • Rapidly invades forests and wetlands as well as roadsides and other disturbed areas. • A native of China, Japan and Korea, this fast-growing vine quickly displaces native habitat by twining around, covering and smothering small trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Dense tangles shade out and prevent germination and growth of other species. Birds eat fruits and disperse seeds to other areas.

© Scott Zona, CC BY NC 2.0

LONICERA JAPONICA, JAPANESE HONEYSUCKLE

WE TAKE A LOOK AT AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE JAPANESE HONEYSUCKLE

AlterNATIVE choice

LONICERA SEMPERVIRENS, CORAL HONEYSUCKLE Benefits Showy and ornamental, this twining, evergreen native vine has attractive foliage, pinkish red, trumpet-shaped flowers and bright red berries. Some varieties may have coralcolored flowers. Flowers bloom from spring into summer and, in zones 9-10, may bloom off and on throughout the year. While not at all aggressive, coral honeysuckle will colonize and reproduce for years. Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bumblebees. Fairly drought tolerant. Design Coral honeysuckle is readily used for fences, arbors, trellises and other structures, and has been used extensively as a low-maintenance groundcover for roadside medians. Train this slender climber to present a robust shrubby appearance.

CORA L HONE YSUC KLE UP CLOS E CORAL HONEYSUCKLE VINE

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© Peg Urban for FANN

© Mary Keim

© FANN

Native from Connecticut south to Florida and west to Texas, coral honeysuckle can be used from zones 4-11. It naturally occurs in open woodlands and prefers full sun to part shade in well-drained, moderately dry fertile soils that are acidic to slightly alkaline.

Consult local native plant resources for best selection and use information in your area. Native Plant Horticulture Foundation www.nativeplanthort.org

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021 35


EDUCATE

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Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

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EDUCATE

EQUIPMENT

STUMP GRINDERS SAFE STUMP REMOVAL WITH THESE SPECIALIZED PRODUCTS

SKID PRO Landscapers often find themselves with little room, little time, and lots to do. Most leverage the versatility of a skid-steer as a means of expanding their service offerings without paying for standalone equipment. SkidSteer mounted stump grinders are compact, quieter and less expensive than a stand-alone grinder while offering an extremely quick ROI. Able to disintegrate stumps up to 10” below grade while achieving a 5” cut per pass, the Skid Pro Stump Grinder has been proving for over 10 years why it’s the best in the industry with a 2-year warranty and thousands sold. See for yourself at www.skidpro.com

DR PRO XLSP Removing stumps couldn’t be simpler or more cost-effective! The DR PRO XLSP is a self-contained, self-propelled machine that employs eight carbide tungsten-tipped teeth to grind away hardwood stumps with ease. Once positioned, the operator simply locks one wheel, engages the cutting head and pivots easily from side to side, shaving off an inch or more with each pass. A hefty OHV engine (11.7 HP) provides plenty of muscle and with its compact footprint (51”L x 29”W wide), the DR takes up very little space on a trailer. See the full line at www.DRpower.com

TORO® STX-38 The Toro® STX-38 Stump Grinder is built for outstanding durability in the toughest conditions. Fully hydraulic operation means no chance of expensive belts breaking or slipping and no tension adjustments. The Intelli-Sweep® feature automatically slows the sweep speed of the cutting head based on the load of the wheel, so heavy cutting loads won’t bog down the engine or your progress. And with easy-touse, TX-style controls and tracks for maneuverability and stability, the STX-38 is extremely operator-friendly. The STX-38’s electronic fuel injection engine provides less maintenance, easier starting and improved performance. Best of all, ground speeds of 4.5 mph allow you to spend more time grinding and less time transporting the machine—for greater productivity. For more information, please visit www.toro.com.

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NURTURE

ORGANIZATIONAL STRENGTH,

UNITED WE STAND FLORIDA GROWER JOHN CONROY RESEARCHES AND EXPLAINS THE ROLE OF ASSOCIATIONS IN THE LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY

JOHN CONROY

I would like to start this column with a heartfelt “Thank You” to the green industry leaders who enthusiastically contributed time and energy to this column. Their generosity characterizes the commitment which they and their organizations promote. Our objective here is to encourage your support of organizations which advance your interests as well as those of the green industry at large. It is not possible to thoroughly discuss all the services and benefits which they provide in detail. We have condensed and highlighted their thoughts about key issues for your consideration. Added details can be found at: south.prolandscaperusa.com.

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OUR PANEL OF LEADERS

WITH

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

How does your organization represent the needs and interests of your membership ? Organizational leaders all agreed that advocacy is an important component of what they offer their members. Ben Bolusky (FNGLA) states, “As a full-service association, FNGLA is fortunate to have a variety of effective arrows in its quiver which it can deploy. Perhaps FNGLA’s most fundamental arrow is its exercise of powerful political advocacy at the state and federal levels of government.” Lanie Riner (GGIA) adds, “GGIA offers a multitude of benefits to our members, but at the forefront are our advocacy efforts. Specifically, dedicated legislative relations

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

BEN BOLUSKY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FNGLA

Ben Bolusky has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and master’s degree in Public Administration, and worked with the American Nursery & Landscape Association for 12 years, even serving as the director of government affairs. After working in Washington D.C, he became the Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association. It’s the nation’s largest state nursery/landscape association with 1,500 member businesses, and works to promote and protect the future of Florida’s $25.4 billion industry.

LESLIE HERNDON, PRESIDENT OF NCNLA AND TIM JOHNSON (DIRECTOR, NCNLA)

LESLIE HERNDON 2021 PRESIDENT OF THE NCNLA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Leslie Herndon is the President of Greenscape Inc. in Holly Springs, N.C., where she began her career 19 years ago. She has a bachelor’s in horticultural science and is a Certified Plant Professional with manager and technician certifications from the National Association of Landscape Professionals. She is the 2021 president of the NCNLA Board of Directors.

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NURTURE

focusing on ensuring your positions are heard on issues that impact your business.” Many organizations get involved at both the federal and state levels to help steer legislation that advances the green industry. According to Mary Beth Cowardin at AmericanHort, “Our advocacy team focuses on policies that advance our industry

THESE EFFORTS BY ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERS HELP SHAPE THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE WHICH IN TURN BENEFITS MEMBERS AND CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED THROUGH STRENGTH IN NUMBERS and tracks a number of issues from employment and immigration to tax reform, safety, agricultural and horticultural law to name a few.” Norm Easey (FLISA) adds, “Florida ISA has by necessity recently gotten active in Florida State governance by employing a lobbyist to represent our interests and to keep us up to date on matters of interest to our members.” They and others also advocate for critical research funding. Bolusky states, “FNGLA often

MARY BETH COWARDIN VICE PRESIDENT MEMBERSHIP & STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT, AMERICANHORT Mary Beth Cowardin leads the AmericanHort marketing and communications team. She has more than 25 years of marketing experience, and worked for nearly a decade with The Ohio Department of Agriculture where as chief of the Division of Markets. Mary Beth is a twotime graduate of The Ohio State University holding both a Bachelor of Arts in French and finance, and an MBA in marketing and international business.

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CRAIG REGELBURGGE, SR. VP PUBLIC POLICY AND GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AT THE IMPACT WASHINGTON SUMMIT

funds and supports scientific research to try to produce both short and long term real-world solutions to vexing industry issues which hinder the flow of business”. These efforts by organizational leaders help shape the political landscape which in turn benefits members and can only be achieved through strength in numbers.

How have you moved forward the interests of your members as well as those of the industry? Organizations help members by keeping their business needs at the forefront of their agenda. According to Riner, “ Most recently, we were victorious in our effort to secure our industry’s essential designation statewide for every sector of our industry at the onset of the coronavirus

NORM EASEY

LANIE RINER

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FLORIDA CHAPTER ISA

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE GEORGIA GREEN INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

Norm Easey has been active in urban forest management and arboriculture in Florida since receiving his bachelors’ degree in Forestry/Resource Management in 1980. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Chapter ISA, and was previously the Forestry Manager for Sarasota County, Florida and a County Forester with the Florida Forest Service. Mr. Easey also has a parttime urban forestry consulting practice where he specializes in tree risk assessment and urban forest management. He is also a long-standing member of Society of American Foresters

Lanie Riner is the Executive Director of the Georgia Green Industry Association and co-owner of Thunderwood Farms, a commercial greenhouse operation located in Woodbury, GA. Lanie has spent years volunteering with the GGIA, Georgia Farm Bureau, and the Center for Applied Nursery Research. She is also a graduate of UGA’s Advancing Georgia’s Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry (AGL), and served as the alumni chair for the group. In her current role as Executive Director, Lanie feels better equipped than ever to advocate for Georgia’s ornamental horticulture industry.

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pandemic.” This was also true of NALP and Americanhort as well. Lisa Schaumann Stryker (NALP) states, “Recently, our team ensured that the industry was considered an essential service provider during COVID-19 so that the industry could continue to work.” Cowardin added, “We’ve helped the industry understand the pandemic relief programs available to help their business survive during this challenging period.” Keeping green businesses open during the pandemic not only helped small businesses stay afloat but also helped provide a need in the community. Lockdowns saw more people turning to home improvement projects, many of which included landscaping, as people tried to avoid cabin fever and stay active.

MOST ORGANIZATIONS ALSO PROVIDE SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEBSITE RESOURCES TO THEIR MEMBERS Most organizations also provide social media and website resources to their members. Leslie Herndon of NCNLA told us, “NCNLA has developed multiple platforms for providing marketing services for its members, including a quarterly magazine and biweekly newsletter for exposure within the industry, and social media accounts that has followers throughout the

KATIE GUSTAFSON, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST FOR AMERICANHORT ASSISTS IN THE RETAILER’S CHOICE AWARD PRESENTATIONS AT CULTIVATE’21

industry and beyond. NCNLA also offers an online directory where members can post their plants and supply inventory, BuyNCPlants.com, and a consumer-focused website, NCGreenprints.com, with projects for homeowners and DIYers, and a directory of member professionals who work with residential customers. The addition of these websites has given our members better tools for working with their customers, and additional exposure within a larger general audience.”

organizations. Herndon states, “NCNLA offers the Certified Plant Professional exam to recognize proficiency in our workforce and provide public recognition for our qualified professionals, which is unique to our organization.” Credentialing offers a measure of legitimacy that helps build consumer confidence across many states. Riner adds, “GGIA partners

What are the educational programs or platforms that your organizations offer advance professional growth in the industry? Education and credentialing are key components for most

with the UGA Center for Urban Agriculture to provide access to the Georgia Certified Plant Professional (GCPP) program and the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional (GCLP).” FNGLA and NALP also offer credentialing. Bolusky states, “FNGLA also endeavors to better the industry by raising the bar on professionalism through its portfolio of six professional

SHANON SPIVEY (FORMER NCNLA PRESIDENT AND OWNER OF SPIVEY’S NURSERY), HUGH CRUMP (PAST PRESIDENT NCNLA AND OWNER OF GREENLINE DESIGNS INC) AND RICHARD LAWHUN, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, NCNLA

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Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

SAFETY IN THE INDUSTRY IS A FUNDAMENTAL CONCERN FOR ALL

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NURTURE

certifications.” Stryker adds, “NALP gives members tools to grow their business through certification, industry specific education, training, and programs to help improve operations and increase profits.” In addition, safety in the industry is a fundamental concern for all. According to Norm Easey, “Florida ISA has worked hard over the past 25 years to lower the deaths and morbidly associated with this dangerous work. Unfortunately, our best efforts with credentialing and education have only impacted about 20% of our industry. Deaths (30 per year) associated with tree work is still way too high. For such a small work force 30 deaths per year is appalling.” Other organizations focus on safety as well. Stryker comments, “NALP is also committed to industry safety, so we offer the Safe Company Program (also available in Spanish) free to all members to help build a stronger safety culture.” What benefits does your organization offer e.g., insurance (legal or personal), bargaining power, political advocacy etc.? Organizations offer their members a wide range of benefits. Cowardin states, “Premium members of AmericanHort are able to access our legal and business consultant partners JPH Law and K-Coe Isom to obtain initial guidance on things like tax and accounting practices, financial advice, legal opinions, labor issues, and more.” Bolusky adds, “FNGLA offers a deep and broad menu of exclusive member benefits and discounts. One rather unique exclusive benefit is a free hotline for member businesses seeking legal guidance to the complex laws governing worksites and employment. FNGLA offers health insurance plans for individual member businesses, as well as exclusive member discounts on new truck purchases, preferential credit card processing rates.” The many benefits and agendas of professional organizations depend on your support. Credentialing cannot and should not be properly administered by governments. Professional organizations are the most qualified institutions in that process. The financial and numerical strength of organizations demands the attention of policy makers. Voices in the wilderness are seldom heard. Be relevant, get involved.

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AMERICANHORT CEO PRESIDENT KEN FISHER DISCUSSES THE INDUSTRY WITH AMERICANHORT MEMBERS AT THE IMPACT WASHINGTON SUMMIT

THE FINANCIAL AND NUMERICAL STRENGTH OF ORGANIZATIONS DEMANDS THE ATTENTION OF POLICY MAKERS

AMERICANHORT’S TAL COLEY, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

CRAIG REGELBURGGE SR. VP PUBLIC POLICY AND GOVERNMENT RELATIONS GIVING STATE OF THE INDUSTRY REMARKS AT CULTIVATE’21

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C H E CK THE DECK KEEPING OUT DOOR DECKS SAF E & ST RONG

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ith more than 60 million decks in the U.S., roughly 30 million are past their useful lifespan. That’s why 19 deck builders teamed up to form the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) and are working to address every deck that needs to be replaced or repaired.

Michael Beaudry

NADRA works in 47 states and six countries to bring awareness to the dangers of an outdated deck. The group’s Executive Vice President Michael Beaudry says decks, like anything else in a home, need to be maintained and serviced, then eventually replaced. They’ve worked for 17 years to push out this information and ultimately save lives. says Michael.

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YOU HAVE PEOPLE GETTING INJURED, AND SOMETIMES KILLED, AND WE ARE TRYING SO HARD TO HELP PEOPLE Several people died, and more than a dozen were hurt, by deck collapses in the U.S. this year. It is crucial for homeowners to have their decks inspected to verify the deck's integrity and ensure safety. Inspections also help extend the deck’s lifespan, improve appearance and increase livability. NADRA leaders say landscape professionals play a key role in bringing awareness to this issue. Crews can check decks as they spend time outside homes and businesses—and remind clients to invest in deck inspection, construction, stability and longevity. “For example, if a group wants to do a patio or install new lighting, or whatever it is, a crew member can tell the homeowner, ‘Hey, I was looking at your deck, and you really should get that inspected,'" says Michael. "Especially because the landscaper will have a closer relationship with the homeowner than the local deck builder.” The association offers an array of tools to help professionals and consumers check the decks, then connect with building professionals who can identify and remedy potential problems. NADRA also built a 10-point checklist to help professionals monitor deck safety.

C O N TA C T NADRA info@nadra.org Tel: (215) 67 – 4884

www.nadra.org

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CHECK YOUR DECK® CONSUMER CHECKLIST Split or decaying wood:

Railings and banisters:

• Check different areas of the deck to be sure the wood is still sound. • Pay special attention to any areas that tend to remain damp, are regulary exposed to water or are in contact with fasteners. Use a tool like a screwdriver to penetrate the wood surface. If you can easily penetrate 1/4-1/2-inch, break off a sliver of wood without splinters; if wood is soft and spongy, decay may be present. • Look for small holes in the wood, which may indicate insects.

Flashing: • Flashing is a metal or plastic guard that directs water out and away from sensitive areas. It's often installed where the deck and house come together, keeping moisture and debris from collecting between the house and deck's ledger board. Be certain the flashing is sound and firmly in place. Consider adding or replacing flashing if you notice areas that are obviously allowing water to collect.

Stairs: • Check any railings or handrails to be sure they are firmly held in place; also check risers and stringers to be certain they are securely attached and not decayed. • If the area behind the stair treads is open, this opening should be no more than 4" high. • Keep stair pathways clear of any tripping hazards, i.e. planters or toys.

Loose or corroded fasteners: • Fasteners include nails, screws or anchors in the ledger boards. Tighten any loose fasteners. (Note: The ledger board should not be fastened with only nails.) • If fastener appears rusted or corroded, consider replacing it. • The deck or stairs should appear even without sagging and should not sway or move when tested.

• These should be secure. This is especially important the higher your deck is off the ground.

Cleaning and maintenance: • Clean away any leaves and debris, since these can be slippery and promote mildew. • If mildew is present or the deck coating has worn away, make time to clean and apply a new waterproofing coating. This can help prevent split, decayed wood and loosedned fasteners mentioned

Grills, fire pits, chimneys, heaters and candles: • Make sure any source of fire or heat is safely placed away from flammable surface or deck is protected from a non-flammable pad. • Always use caution and follow manufacturers' directions.

Lighting and electrical: • Be sure all lighting is working; clean any light covers to allow maxium light to shine through. • Be sure all electrical outlets, appliances and features are up to code, in good condition and childproof if children are present.

Outdoor furniture and storage: • Test all outdoor furniture to be sure it is sturdy. Avoid placing seating right at the edge of the deck. Test that chains and ropes are secure if you have a swing or hammock installed. Consider installing childproof latches on any storage boxes and benches. • Be sure to keep all deck related chemical products stored safely away from children, including BBQ lighter fluids, matches, cleaners, etc.

Surrounding trees: • If you have trees overhanging your deck, make certain there is no danger of decaying limbs falling.

*CHECKING A DECK USING THIS INFORMATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A CODE COMPLIANT DECK. IT IS INTENDED TO ASSIST HOMEOWNERS. SEEK A PROFESSIONAL SUCH AS A DECK BUILDER OR AN ASHI HOME INSPECTOR TO GET A DECK EVALUATION.

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021 43


EDUCATE

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Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

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TOO STRESSED

TO M OW O N :

STATE OF STRESS IN LANDSCAPING

CAUSES OF WORKPLACE STRESS FOR LANDSCAPING AND IDEAS TO MANAGE IT

F

rom unexpected delivery schedules, precarious weather, to quality concerns for plants and trees—landscaping can be a highly stressful job.

Through a series of questions and interviews of an exclusive group of landscaping professionals, the survey explored causes, trends and possible solutions to reduce workplace stress.

Workplace stress has serious consequences for the industry and the people. The American Institute of Stress website estimates that American businesses lose about $300 billion every year to stressrelated issues. They are also responsible for almost 60 percent of the turnover. But what does the landscaping industry itself think about stress? GoMaterials and ProLandscaper decided to find out with a quick poll in 2021.

1 Too Many Jobs & A Chaotic Workflow Cause Stress Brian McMaster, of McMaster Lawn & Pest Services, sums up the root cause of industry stress by saying, “We try to grow our business on the recurring revenues generated from services like fertilization and lawn mowing. The stress always comes from the landscaping installation jobs. The experience of McMaster Pest Services is not an isolated example. New construction or

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enhancement jobs tend to involve tighter timelines and a competitive bidding model, which only increases what can go wrong. The ProLandscaper and GoMaterials survey results reveal the leading causes of stress are excessive work and too little time, and a 'chaotic work culture.' Other factors are a lack of effective communication and the challenges of growing a business." 2 Uncontrollable Chain of Events Add to the Stress Labor and plant shortages of 2021 wrecked the predictability for landscaping and left many in the industry with elevated stress levels. With an average increase of 20 percent across most markets,

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plant shortages have made the landscaping supply chain more competitive and reduced the ability to reserve materials ahead of schedule. This causes last-minute changes of plans and a loss of billable hours as the crew waits for the plants to arrive. As a business that depends upon perishable materials such as plants, weather plays a massive role, too. The Texas freeze earlier this year and wildfires in northern Canada and the West Coast are two catastrophic events that derailed the green industry supply chain.

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Being unable to predict what’s coming next can also be a reason for righteous anxiety

THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING TO THROW A WRENCH IN YOUR PLANS, IT SEEMS adds Brian with a wry smile. 3 Stressbusters for Landscaping The survey also crowdsourced

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

ways to cope with workplace stress from industry leaders. Taking vacations, finding hobbies and spending time with the family are, unsurprisingly, one of the most common ways. Regular exercise and after-hour beers with colleagues also came up frequently. One of the best solutions, though, has a lot to do with a predictable work schedule, especially for smaller or one-man teams. GoMaterials Co-founder and CRO Michael Bellows explains the close relation between creating a nurturing work culture and

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reducing workplace stress. “Creating a clear structure and providing stability to your crew can greatly improve how they feel about working at your landscaping company. Staying back at the end of the day should feel like an exception that gets reciprocated, not an everyday expectation. And that goes even for owners or singleperson landscaping teams—you get more done if you aren’t too stressed out all the time,” says Michael. He says scheduling breaks like work meetings will help you prioritize relaxation.

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4 Brace for Impact It has been a rough couple of years for the landscaping industry, which has been ravaged by uncertainty and unexpected calamities. The industry has remained resilient, though, and found innovative ways to cope. As we look forward to another year, most of us would echo the quote below by 2021 Workplace Stress Survey respondents. “Last year: Covid. This year: Competitive market with material cost increases and shortages. All working harder than ever but the

bottom line looks less than stellar. Goal: Stay afloat long enough to see what challenges next year brings!”

C O N TA C T GoMaterials Tel: (713) 469– 5331 Info@gomaterials.com

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5

PROCEDURES TO KEEP EQUIPMENT HEALTHY BY ECHO SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER JASON WILK JASON SPECIALIZES IN SHRED N VAC, PRESSURE WASHERS, GENERATORS AND MOWERS

W

hen a piece of handheld outdoor power equipment quits working out in the field, the problem can often be traced back to maintenance. Can a piece of equipment simply “wear out?” Sure it can; unfortunately, much equipment dies much sooner than it should. These easy maintenance tasks will extend the life of your equipment, reduce costly repairs and downtime, and save money.

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1. UNBLOCK COOLING SYSTEM It’s important with any air-cooled engine that there’s an unhindered flow of air to cool the engine during operation. Inspect and remove any debris from the cooling air intakes with each refueling. Should cooling air intakes become 70 to 80 percent blocked, the engine can overheat and seize in as little as 10 to 15 minutes of operation. Here’s an example on a handheld hedge trimmer. Continuous operation will cause the engine to fail.

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

BLOCK INTAKE GRID

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2. MAINTAIN AIR FILTERS DAILY

5. INSPECT AND SERVICE SPARKPLUGS

Power equipment can create dust during operation, so the air filter will need to be serviced often. During air filter

Sparkplugs should be replaced every three months or 90 hours of operation. Replace the sparkplug with the correct type and heat range. Using the wrong plug will result in excessive carbon build up, low engine power output and possible engine failure.

maintenance, check the air filter sealing edge for tears and ensure the edges are not deformed or damaged. If they are, the air filter will need to be replaced.

3. INSPECT FUEL FILTER Engine carburetors are set much leaner due to emission regulations. A plugged fuel filter, or anything restricting the fuel system, will cause engine performance issues and eventually failure. Inspect the fuel filter every 90 days. If the fuel filters are discolored or look dirty, replace it to ensure proper fuel flow. It is recommended to replace fuel filters every 3 to 4 months of commercial use. Example of fuel filters in need of replacement on two different models of string trimmers:

BLACK LAYER OF CARBON ON THIS PLUG'S INSTRUCTOR INDICATES THERE IS A PROBLEM

These basic maintenance procedures will reduce costs by extending engine life and reducing equipment downtime.

ABOUT ECHO EQUIPMENT

4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT GASOLINE AND TWO-STROKE OIL FOR ENGINE This is paramount to reduce engine problems. Choose a fuel with an Octane rating of 89 or higher to protect from detonations failures. If using an ethanol blend fuel, the percentage must not exceed 10 percent. For 2-stroke engines, choose a two-stroke oil that meets the JASO FD standard. Oils that are JASO FD certified will have the JASO logo and certification number on the bottle. Choosing a high-quality 2-stroke engine oil, such as ECHO’s Red Armor premium oil, will help extend the life of any handheld two stroke engine.

ECHO makes engine maintenance easy by providing YouCan™ Maintenance Kits that have everything that is needed to perform the job. These kits include an air filter, fuel filter and sparkplug. Additional details can be located at www.echo-usa.com

C O N TA C T ECHO Incorporated 400 Oakwood Rd., Lake Zurich, IL., 60047 Tel: (847) 550 – 7215

www.echo-usa.com

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PEOPLE

THE LITTLE INTERVIEW

PRO LANDSCAPER ASKS QUICK-FIRE QUESTIONS TO GAIN A SMALL INSIGHT INTO THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE UP OUR INDUSTRY. TO TAKE PART, EMAIL MARYKATE.CARSON@ ELJAYS44.COM

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ww

OLIVER PREUS

BOB CHAPPIN

CHRISTIAN PREUS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE OCEAN SPRINGS, MS

LANDSCAPE DESIGNER, THE GREATHOUSE COMPANY LLC. NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

www.cpladesignplanning.

www.greathouselandscape.com

If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? Art, painting and photography, which I do but only as a side gig.

What inspired you to get into the industry? My grandmother taught me about harmony in a manicured landscape from a young age. In addition, my high school FFA horticulture teacher helped me to see a career beyond the confines of a classroom and took a chance by letting me manage the school greenhouse.

Other than the USA, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Even though I have never been, Iceland’s landscape amazes me. I hope to visit soon. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? Having enough time to meet deadlines and still creating good design drawings. What advice do you have for those starting out in the industry? Manage your time well and don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of creativity. Best piece of trivia you know? Bats are the only mammal that can actually fly. Your most used saying or cliché? I don’t use it much, but my favorite saying when an event is coming up is “Well, it’s just like when the cat got his tail caught in the lawnmower. It won’t be long now!” Best invention in years? Wireless phone chargers

Pro Landscaper USA South November/December 2021

Other than the USA, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? I have enjoyed some international travel. As a natural landscape, the grassy plains and hills of the Serengeti in Tanzania, Africa, have the power to stir a deep response with such simplicity. In addition, the equatorial nature of the guest properties there allow for a wild variety of ornamental plantings that show off year-round. One thing that you think would make the industry better? More peer-to-peer engagement. What advice you have for those starting out in the industry? Realize that excellence is a decision. It is always the product of your best intentions, sincerest effort and intelligent execution.

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RICHARD BYRD

C A M I L L A L AT L A D Y

MARTY GRUNDER

FOUNDER, THE PINESTRAW GUYS HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

PRESIDENT & CEO, THE GROW GROUP MIAMISBURG, OHIO

www.thepinestrawguys.com

www.grunderlandscaping.com

If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? My other passion is logistics. I’ve always wanted to own a trucking company that ships containers from ports in Savannah and Charleston to suppliers.

What inspired you to get into the industry? I grew up on a farm in southwest Ohio. It was second nature for us to work outside. I quickly realized I could make money (something my family didn’t have a lot of) doing landscaping for homeowners about five miles from our home. I drove my tractor over there and the rest, as they say, is history.

Other than the USA, which country’s landscape inspires you the most? Australia. I follow a lot of incredibly talented landscapers from this country. They are building incredible landscapes. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? That’s a tough question. There are so many great companies and pioneers in this industry. Jim Huston of J.R. Huston Consulting stands out the most. I spent a lot of time studying his books and articles when I started my first landscape company years ago. We have similar backgrounds. Your favorite joke? Why is grass so dangerous? Because it’s full of blades. LOL. Thank you! You’ve been a great audience. What three things would you take to a desert island? A helicopter. My wife. A saltwater fly rod.

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LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, BRANDSCAPES BY ADIN FAIRHOPE, ALABAMA

If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? Sportscaster. I wanted to go to Ohio University and study broadcast journalism. However, the allure of running my own business was too enticing to turn down.

If you weren’t in the horticulture industry, what would you be doing? Writer for Saturday Night Live! What inspired you to get into the industry? Seeing some architectural blueprints. I then started drawing floor plans, which then extended to courtyards, pools. I did not know about landscape architecture until I started to apply to Tulane architecture school. When I saw what LA was, that was my dream job. I love making spaces for human use and enjoyment. The one person in the industry you’d love to meet? Beatrix Farrand

What would you blow your budget on? A nice bathroom for our team! What three things would you take to a desert island? Waterloo Black Cherry, my iPhone and a helicopter to get the heck out of there!

One thing that you think would make the industry better? Better education of the general public as to reasonable landscape budgets.

Best invention in years? Aspire Software

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? The recession. I really thought the bank might eat me.

Role model as a child? My mother

Karaoke song of choice? “Steal Away” by Player

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