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Spring 2023 Volume 40 Number 1 Suite
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2023 Indianapolis Landscape Association Officers and Board of Directors


President.........Wesley Addington

Wesley’s Landscape and Lawncare

Phone (317) 867-1796

Vice President..Chris Geryak

Greendell Landscape Solutions

Phone (317) 996-2826

Secretary..........Ryan Coyle

Vive Exterior Design

Phone (317) 773-9933

Treasurer........Matthew Kelly

Start to Finish Landscaping

Phone (317) 769-2211

Honorary Director..........Joshua Brown

Tiffany Lawn & Garden Supply, Inc.

Phone (317) 228-4900

Board of Directors

Term Expires 2023: Todd Engledow - Engledow Group

Phone (317) 575-1100

Travis Tetrault - Haulstr

Landscape Group

Phone (317) 413-9874

Term Expires 2024: Dan WeingartGreenImage Landscape

Phone (317) 288-2921

Dennis Linner - Heath Outdoor

Phone (317) 420-4636

Term Expires 2025: Alex Grafe - Reed + Everett Design

Phone (812) 455-8191

Scott Levy - Sundown Gardens

Phone (317) 846-0620

Executive Financial Officer: David Todd - Phone (317) 691-1752

4000 West 106th Street, Suite 125

Carmel, IN 46032


Wow, what a mild winter we all experienced. I’m sure half of you are wishing we got more snow and half are thankful for the mild winter. As I am sure most of you are, we are appreciative that spring is here, and we are out working and enjoying the flowers blooming and the beautiful weather to work in. I hope the spring of 2023 has started off great for you and that we all have a fantastic year again. As you probably know, the ILA board is made up mostly of landscape owners like yourself, who volunteer to help our industry in central Indiana. All of us on the board have a burning passion for helping you and your companies. If there’s anything we can do to help, feel free to let us know by reaching out to any of the ILA board members or committee chairs through the contact information found here or on the website. We have a great lineup of events and activities this year as we continue to touch our members and help our industry out at the same time. I’m really excited for our new board members as they always bring a new spark of energy and enthusiasm to the group, which will enviably reach down to the members through the committees they lead. My prayers and hope for our membership and that we have a great and strong producing year with good weather that is profitable for us all. The building permits being down this year is a sure sign of things to come in the near future, so keep your head up and your eyes open. As we have all held on to this boom in business for over 10 years now, we know

that times are due for a slowdown, but we all hope it is not as tough as 2008 and 2009. We - the Indianapolis Landscape Association - are committed to helping you however we can and to showing you all value in your membership. Stay tuned for more information on our upcoming events.

Indianapolis Landscape Association
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4455 E. Conner St., Noblesville, Indiana 46060 317.414.6881
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As a contractor, one of the most important things you can do for your clients is to plan and execute an outdoor space to help them unplug. In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, it’s important to unplug and spend time connecting with friends, nature, and loved ones. Outdoor spaces that promote relaxation, creativity, and well-being are more valuable than ever before.


To plan an outdoor space that helps your client unplug, it’s essential to understand their goals, geographic location, and outdoor interests. Start by asking your client about their vision for the space and what they hope to achieve when spending time outdoors. This is a great time to discuss their outdoor patio ideas.

For example, if they’re looking to create a peaceful and relaxing environment, consider incorporating an outdoor garden wall or outdoor planters with comfortable seating and soft lighting. If your client enjoys outdoor games, consider adding a bocce ball court, a horseshoe pit, or outdoor chess. It’s also important to consider the climate and geographic location when selecting plants and hardscaping materials. By taking your client’s goals, geographic

location, and interests into consideration, you can create their perfect unplugging space.


Incorporating biophilic design principles into outdoor hardscape designs can help your clients feel more connected to nature and provide a calming, soothing environment. Biophilic designs like vertical gardens, built-in planters, and garden walls emphasize our innate connection with nature and seek to integrate natural elements into our built environment. By incorporating these natural elements into your client’s outdoor hardscape design, you can create an environment that feels more organic and promotes more sustainable design. These elements can help reduce stress, increase focus and creativity, and improve overall well-being.


Rectangle fire pit and patioAmbiance is amplified with a beautiful fire pit – which also doubles as a light and heat source.

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create soothing sounds, helping clients unplug in the outdoors. PebbleTec_FireAndWaterWater bowls create a striking scene, especially when paired with fire. Sometimes it’s all in the details. The smaller finishing touches can make a world of difference in your client’s outdoor living space. For clients who enjoy staying outdoors into the late hours, integrating optimal lighting increases functionality, allowing them to use their space any time. Adding a fire pit or fireplace also serves as an extra lighting source – and makes the perfect gathering spot for fireside chats and s’mores.

Water features are another excellent addition to maximize serenity. The sounds of a bubbling fountain or water bowl have a calming effect – and mask noises from neighbors or traffic. Also, think about any privacy elements that will make your client feel more comfortable. Decorative screen panels can be used to create partitions to separate different outdoor rooms or provide added seclusion.


Unplugging outdoors provides numerous benefits for mental and physical well-being. Spending time outside is proven to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and improve overall mood. Unplugging from technology encourages creativity and concentration, which can enhance productivity and mental clarity. Additionally, outdoor physical activities like gardening, swimming, or playing outdoor games can improve physical health, increase cardiovascular function, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Unplugging provides an opportunity to

connect with the natural world, recharge, and prioritize self-care. By creating a unique outdoor space tailored to your client’s needs, you can help them enjoy the many benefits of spending time in nature.

Now more than ever, having a space to unwind and decompress is essential. Helping your clients unplug and recharge in the outdoors has so many positive effects on their well-being. Learning about your clients, incorporating biophilic design, and customizing their projects allows you to create an inviting environment that can be the core of relaxation, rejuvenation, and some of life’s most cherished moments.


The Buttonwood Agreement

About the Author: Jud Scott is a lover of trees and history and has earned the designation of Registered Consulting Arborist #392 (RCA) with the American Society of Consulting Arborists. As an RCA, Jud advises attorneys, landscape companies, park departments, developers, architects, insurance companies, as well as homeowners concerning their trees and landscapes. Jud can be reached at Jud@judscottconsultingarborist. com or at 317-816-8733.

It was under the watchful eye of a buttonwood tree that the New York Stock Exchange was conceived. In May of 1792, 24 of New York’s leading merchants met secretly to sign what would become known as The Buttonwood Agreement. The agreement established trading rules for the buying and selling of bonds and the trading of companies’ stock. The Buttonwood Agreement stood until 1820 when regular meetings and the daily stock calls began.

It is appropriate that the signers of the agreement chose a buttonwood because it goes by another common name, the American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis). Truly a tree with many common names, it is thought that early European settlers gave the tree the common name of sycamore because it resembled the European Sycamore, which is actually a maple. It also goes by the common name “buttonwood”, which may be because portions of the tree were used for early buttons, as well as the common name “buttonball” because of the form of the fruit.

No matter by which name, the American Sycamore oversaw a momentous day in the framing of American commerce.

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Early Season Samples: Spruce Needle Loss and Boxwood Leaf Spots

There have been a number of samples we have received at the PPDL in recent weeks that bear similar problems worth noting. It is still relatively early for significant in-season disease development due to how cold it has been, although we have certainly had enough rainfall to encourage fungal growth. We have received multiple samples of spruce and boxwood which will be covered.

Since the start of the year, we have been received spruce samples showing needle thinning, browning, and loss in the lower canopy (Fig 1, 2, 3). If I said these are Colorado Blue Spruce, we could call it Rhizosphaera and maybe call it a day, however, these samples are primarily from other species of spruce. An important thing to remember when it comes to evergreen conifers is that it takes time for symptoms to develop, whether due to disease or to abiotic factors. The majority of these branches lacked any discoloration within, suggesting that there was no infection and that the limbs were still living.

Last year, we had drought conditions during the summer throughout large parts of the state leading into the fall with below average precipitation (Fig 4). Since evergreen plants hold onto their foliage through the winter, desiccation can occur since they

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Figure 1: A spruce tree showing significant needle loss and dieback lower in the canopy. Figure 2: Needle loss at or near branch tips. Figure 3: Close up of needle browning and loss near spruce branch tips.

are still losing water to the air, especially when it is dry and windy. If these plants are not getting enough water going into winter, there is greater risk of winter injury or burn and needles may turn brown, especially near branch tips (exposed areas).

Irrigation during periods of hot and dry weather will mitigate drought stress, but irrigation may still be necessary in the fall to avoid needle desiccation. What about when trees of the same age, on the same property are showing different levels of severity or one tree is perfectly fine while the next is toast?

I think it is important to remember each tree is an individual. We may see similar patterns in the landscape across the same tree species when stress is caused by environmental effects, but if the overall health of that tree when it was first planted, the amount of love and care, and the site conditions (soil, light, general water levels) are different, then the trees may have vastly different reactions to stress. Determining this 5 years after planting can be difficult for someone just walking into the situation, or when dealing with 30ft tall trees, but it is something we have to keep in mind.

We have also been receiving boxwood samples with yellow ringspots on the leaves (Fig 5, 6). While people may not see this damage until the leaves are turning brown or fall off the tree (Fig 7), this is a symptom of active feeding by the boxwood leafminer and can be quite striking. The maggot feeds within the leaves and causes the leaf to bubble-out where these blotch-like leaf mines are located. This year there have been anecdotal reports of seeing early leafminer activity, which could be associated with the milder winter we have had in the Midwest. We typically see leaf miner activity starting later in the year and that the damage often goes undetected by homeowners until much later in the season.

Additional Resources ack-against-boxwood-leafminer/

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Figure 4: Indiana Precipitation data, in inches of rainfall, from 2019 to present. Courtesy of Midwest Regional Climate Center – cli-Mate: Figure 5: Yellow ringspots on boxwood foliage. Photo Credit: Jeff Pell, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Hendricks County Figure 6: Blotch-like leaf mines caused by the larvae of the boxwood leaf miner. Figure 7: Boxwood leaf miner injury across an entire boxwood plant which will lead to defoliation.

garden Party - Happy Hour

Winter has come and gone as the annual Indiana Flower and Patio Show ushered in four monumental moments of 2023: Daylight Savings Time, March Madness, Spring, and the ILA Garden Party!

This year we had a new approach to the annual gathering of local Green Industry professionals. We moved the event from Sunday evening (postshow) to Monday evening as Happy Hour. The event occurred in the West Pavilion Beer Garden, which Lakeshore Hardscapes beautifully constructed with materials donated by Oberfields.

We had great attendance and even better feedback from the participants, with roughly 160 people represented by 40 companies. It was great to see everyone participate in a scavenger huntthroughout the gardens, looking for those hidden gems and intricate details of the vast Feature Gardens presented by the Indianapolis Landscape Association.

This year’s Garden of Excellence went to Kevin Ladd and his team at Ladd Scapes. Congratulations to them and their team for a great-looking garden.

Our annual event was only possible with the support of Marketplace Events and the many sponsors. Thank You to McGavic/Exmark, Belgard, Brehob Nurseries, Tiffany Lawn and Garden Supply, Greendell Landscape Solutions, Musselman Landscape Solutions, Hare Truck Center, GreenStone, Automatic Supply, Unilock, CAST Lighting, EPIC Insurance Brokers, Brickworks, and Oberfields.

Thank you, and have a great season!

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Cold Injury During a Very Mild Winter?

Remember the pre-Christmas freeze? What about the extremely long fall? The Midwest experienced above-average temperatures through most of the winter, but those extremely cold temps in late December made for more than a few pipes to freeze in the southern part of the Midwest.

The dichotomy in weather patterns over the last several years has been mind-boggling. We’ve gone from flooding to drought in most recent growing seasons, to the extremes in temperatures this winter. Though it’s an inconvenience for us, plants don’t have the option of heated seats or umbrellas, thus stress or death can occur in these extremes.

There’s on-going evidence of damage across the Midwest from the late/long fall and extreme cold that was experienced in midlate December. We’ve observed some perennial evergreens, i.e., American holly, Meserve holly (Fig. 2), and skip laurel (Fig. 3), damaged or killed during this winter, especially in the southern parts of the Midwest. In addition, some deciduous trees have significant bark cracking (Fig. 4). Though these plants are hardy well below the temperatures that were experienced, the maximum dormancy wasn’t yet reached by plants due to the warm temperatures so late into the winter season.

East of the Mississippi River, the 2022-2023 winter has been significantly milder than average, based on past climate models (Fig. 1). We don’t typically have cold injury in late December, but drastic changes in temperatures can cause pernicious effects on plant health. The entire state of Indiana had the drastic changes in temperature December 22-27, 2022 (Table 1).

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Figure 1. Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index for winter 2022-2023 in the United States from the Midwest Regional Climate Center. Table 1. The high and low temperatures (F) in Evansville, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne December 22-27, 2022. Data courtesy of the National Weather Service.
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Figure 2. A planting of Meserve hollies died during the winter of 2022-2023 due to cold injury. Photo via Gabriel Gluesenkamp.

Plants survive through the winter by entering a phase of dormancy in which the plant is in a state of suspended animation. The dormancy process in plants is a complicated series of internal events caused by external events, that allow perennial plants to protect themselves during environmental changes, such as winter.

Endodormancy and ecodormancy are the stages of dormancy in which the plant has ceased growing. These processes use short days and environment to enter and exit dormancy.

Endodormancy includes induction, maintenance, and release. Induction is the process that starts dormancy and is triggered from the reduction in daylight hours, followed by decreasingly cold temperatures to achieve maximum cold hardiness.

Maintenance is the accumulation of chilling hours throughout the winter. Release occurs when the number of chilling hours has

been fulfilled, thus entering ecodormancy. While endodormancy has internal requirements prior to exit dormancy, ecodormancy is mediated by environmental factors and can come out of dormancy once the environmental (i.e., temperatures) is suitable to resume growth.

An interesting phenomenon that I noticed in late fall/early winter was the length of time plants held onto leaves in the fall of 2022. Fall color came and went, but many species held onto the leaves long after leaves turned brown. Some species have a tendency to hold onto leaves throughout the winter, especially juvenile oaks (Fig. 5), but many other species exhibited similar attributes over the past winter season (Fig. 6).

I suspect that the long fall delayed the abscission layer from fully forming until much later than normal. Leaf abscission and senescence are processes that occur in plants due to multiple factors, including response to dormancy, shade avoidance, and compartmentalizing injury/disease. Abscission and senescence rid a plant of individual leaves for the overall well-being of the entire organism. During this process, an abscission zone forms with a protective layer of suberized cells to seal off the separated

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Figure 3. Skip laurel death due to cold injury in 2022-2023. Photo via Tom Creswell. Figure 4. Many trees, especially in the nursery, have experienced significant cracking in the winter of 2022-2023. Photo via Erick Brehob. Figure 5. A juvenile oak will typically retain leaves throughout the winter due to the incomplete leaf abscission. Figure 6. Japanese maple leaf retention.

portion of the senesced leaf and petiole (Figs. 7, 8, and 9). This process prevents winter injury from occurring.

branches can be removed.

According to the National Phenology Network (, spring is about three weeks early in the Southeast. If trends continue, bud break and flowering will be very early in the Midwest. This will increase the chances of late frost/freeze damage to plants. As of publication, magnolia are in bloom in the southern half of Indiana. Expected low temperatures will most likely freeze the blooms. Plants that have experienced damage from the winter will need to be watched carefully throughout this growing season to prevent other stresses, including drought.

Remember, if you have symptoms on plants you manage, the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory is a great resource to ensure the causes of plant problems. You can learn how to submit samples here:

Related articles:

Effects of Recent Cold Temperatures on Plants old-temperatures-on-plants/

Effect of Cold Temperatures During Bud Break

What do Trees Do in the Winter n-the-winter/

Winter Injury Could Cause a Reduction of Flowering on Perennial Trees and Shrubs -cause-a-reduction-of-flowering-on-perennial-trees-and-shrubs/

2020 Has Jumped the Shark!

So, what should we expect?

In the coming few weeks:

As weather warms, expect calls from homeowners regarding overwintering problems.

As bud break begins, marginally cold hardy plants may have dead branches.

If root damage has occurred, bud break may occur normally, but defoliation will follow due to a reduction in the ability to uptake water.

If possible, wait to prune until after bud break so that dead

Winter Injury Update to Michigan Trees and Shrubs te-to-michigan-trees-and-shrubs/


Jin, X., Zimmerman, J., Polle, A., and Fischer, U. 2015. Auxin is a long-range signal that acts independently of ethylene signaling on leaf abscission in Populus. Front. Plant Sci. Volume 6.

Indianapolis Landscape Association
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Figure 7. Leaf abscission formation and separation. Figure 8. White arrow heads point to the abscission zones. (E) Mature abscission zone appears in brown; GUS precipitate in blue. Scale bars correspond to approximately 1 mm (A–C); 0,5 mm (D,E). Black arrowheads point to the forming (D) and mature abscission zone (E). Image via Jin, (2015). Figure 9. Abscission layer with suberized cells on oak.


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