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October 2017 | Volume 38, Issue 10


November 2 - 4 is The Landscape Show Redux! The Landscape Show -- the Southeast’s most prominent event for the nursery and landscape industry -- crossed paths with Hurricane Irma in September and had to stand down, temporarily. FNGLA is excited to announce The Landscape Show Redux has been scheduled for November 2 – 4, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. And while the show will go on, be aware of many changes centered around the new date. Due to limited availability of convention center space the rescheduled show, initially slotted to take place in the North building of the Orange County Convention Center will now take place in the West Building. The headquarters hotel will move from the Rosen Centre Hotel to the Rosen Shingle Creek on Universal Blvd. Bus transportation will be available to and from the Rosen Shingle Creek and the convention center. In an effort to make it as simple as possible to register for the show and to encourage attendance, the normal trade show badge registration fee is waived for The Landscape Show Redux. Online registration and additional rescheduling details will be posted at as soon as they are finalized. “It was the right decision to cancel The Landscape Show in September with the danger and destruction of Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida the same week as the show,” said Pete Dunnington, chairman of The Landscape Show and general manager of Brantley Farm. “It’s the right decision to reschedule the show as it provides an important forum for FNGLA members and industry colleagues to reconnect and rebuild. It’s a way to show the resilience of our industry to the rest of the country. FNGLA has always served as a conduit to bring industry members together during the best of times and during the challenging times. The Landscape Show Redux is our industry gathering place following Hurricane Irma.” Continued on page 3


Ed Bravo, FNGLA 2017-2018 President

Plan B: The Landscape Show Redux! Landscape contractors are accustomed to delays and changes in plans for a variety of reasons. Anything from site issues, material availability, labor shortages, or even the weather can disrupt the schedule or a well thoughtout plan. An original plan or schedule rarely makes it past the beginning of each day without adjustments to new challenges. Nursery work, on the other hand, is more like farming and tasks are more seasonal in general. Some jobs are only done at certain times of the year and must be completed in order. For example, delays in production will affect scheduled management programs and ultimately sales. Both landscape contractors and nursery managers are experts in time management -- especially when challenged by weather interruptions. We adapt and overcome the issues of the day. In this industry, Plan B is the rule rather than the exception. On September 7, FNGLA’s officers, The Landscape Show committee, and staff made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2017 Landscape Show. Hurricane Irma was en route. She was huge and her path could not be predicted with any certainty. As it turned out, it was absolutely the right thing to do for our members’ safety. Since then, many exhibitors and attendees have asked if it was possible to reschedule the show. So, the staff quickly investigated a variety of options with all the moving parts, consulted with key association and industry leaders and then sent a member survey requesting input. With the survey results in hand, the September 7 group reconvened to discuss all pertinent facts and concerns expressed by our members, staff and volunteer leaders. We vacillated between our heartfelt concerns for our members most impacted by Irma and the needs of our industry overall. When it came to a vote, as officers charged with executing our Association’s mission of “protecting and promoting,” we chose to support a rescheduling of The Landscape Show for November 2 - 4. I am very proud of the work FNGLA staff and volunteer leaders put into the process to create this Plan B.


In last month’s President’s perspective article, I explained I wish help our chapters in a variety of ways with the support of staff and the help of my amigos – FNGLA’s officers. The goals have not changed, yet the priorities have and the plan now needs to be adjusted. Hurricane Irma left a mark on every Florida family and business and on our FNGLA members, especially those in Southeast and Southwest Florida who were particularly affected. Since the storm passed, their issues as individual businesses and as chapter members radically changed. We finally visited with chapter leaders from Miami-Dade, Broward and Royal Palm to get a better understanding of the local challenges and any assistance. During and after Irma, FNGLA posted a needs and assistance link for members to help each other. I continue to believe chapter members, if properly informed, can help each other in a storm’s aftermath better than anyone else. And, if members of an adjacent FNGLA chapter are able, then they too should assist. A disaster preparedness manual for each chapter will not resolve everyone’s problems, yet it will provide a format to prepare and assist each other to save our plant inventories and our businesses. FNGLA will soon provide a printed disaster preparedness manual tailored specifically to each chapter along with updated online pages complete with Google maps. This information will only help if folks build trust and respect for each other long before a disaster hits and then need help. So where do we go from here? First, we address the knowns (positive/negative) and take note of the lessons learned under fire. What worked? Where we were under-prepared? And, then resolve to improve! Second, reach out to your FNGLA chapter members, if you haven’t already done so! Whether you are in need or can offer some help – there is strength in numbers. On July 31, Tropical Storm Emily seriously damaged Orbans Nursery in Bradenton, FL only to have Irma come through again and destroy most of the repairs on which Marty and his son spent weeks working. Every journey begins with a first step and this is where I choose to begin. On Saturday, October 7, I ask you to join me and like-minded folks in taking a step forward at Orbans Nursery for a volunteer work day—details will follow. Respectfully, Ed Bravo Big Trees Plantation (Gainesville, FL)

FNGLA HAPPENINGS Continued from Page 1 Due to the storm impact and varying schedule conflicts, it’s understood The Landscape Show Redux will be a scaled-down version of The Landscape Show, yet it will still have the same big focus to serve as a marketplace, information and idea sharing center and industry resource center. Due to timing, some elements of the show will not be in place -- such as the FNGLA Career Fair and FNGLA Certification Showcase. Yet the most popular social activities of the show are part of the event including the Opening Night Reception and Tapped-In, for the under 40 crowd. The Landscape Show/SHARE Golf Tournament takes place on Wednesday, November 1 at 1:30 p.m. at the Rosen Shingle Creek Golf Course. Additional show activities include select Knowledge College classes, the presentation of the FNGLA Landscape Awards, the presentation of The Landscape Show Cool Products Awards, and, the Exhibitor Showcase. FNGLA is working to attract government agency and relief organization officials to the show to offer expert guidance on available programs or even how to prepare for future storms and their aftermath.

The Landscape Show Redux offers exhibitors and buyers alike the chance to reconnect and show their resiliency as we rebuild and keep pressing forward.

“FNGLA’s mission is to promote and protect the interests of Florida’s nursery and landscape industry,” said Ben Bolusky, Chief Executive Officer of FNGLA. “Regrettably, Hurricane Irma disrupted one of our members’ greatest opportunities to promote their goods and services and to access important business resources and products. A constant drumbeat of members throughout the state asked FNGLA to do all it possibly can to help members begin to recover lost business and reschedule The Landscape Show even if it was not on its traditionally grand scale.” “At the same time,” Bolusky said, “we know this is a challenging time for many FNGLA member operations who are in cleanup mode and may just now be starting on the road to recovery. FNGLA is pressing hard with Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and our congressional allies to do all we can to protect members with more disaster assistance possibilities. If their situations allow, we hope these members can still be a part of The Landscape Show Redux as attendees if not as exhibitors.” All exhibitors of the canceled Landscape Show are being contacted and given the option to take part or not in the rescheduled event. Anyone who registered as an attendee for the September show will automatically be registered to attend The Landscape Show Redux. Continue to visit for updated information or call 800-375-3642.



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FNGLA HAPPENINGS FNGLA’s Efforts to Assist Florida’s Nursery & Landscape Businesses

As part of FNGLA’s all-out drive for disaster assistance to help Florida’s nursery growers clean-up and recover from Hurricane Irma, FNGLA met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in Clewiston. Accompanying Secretary Perdue were Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, U.S. Congressmen Tom Rooney and Mario Diaz-Balart, and State Senator Denise Grimsley. The meeting was preceded and followed by aerial helicopter tours of damaged agricultural operations.

Given the storm’s immense size, FNGLA highlighted Irma’s statewide impact on Florida’s nursery growers. Nurseries experienced flooding; strong and sustained winds for hours; direct hits by mini-tornadoes; shade cloth and poly ripped away from the production facilities; days without electricity to run irrigation systems; and, unavailability of fuel to run generators. While not yet fully evaluated, the unfolding result is tens and likely hundreds of millions of dollars in plant and tree losses. And, this does not begin to account for similar millions of dollars in structural damages incurred by shade and greenhouses and other facilities. FNGLA emphasized the unprecedented statewide scope of Hurricane Irma’s wrath underscores the urgent need for USDA disaster assistance grants for nursery crop loss and debris clean-up, as well as the need to expedite the nursery crop insurance claim and adjustment process. FNGLA stated many nursery growers do not have crop insurance due to its exceptionally burdensome up-front paperwork and inspection requirements, the high costs of buy-up coverage and the experience of insufficient return. Secretary Perdue cautioned against high expectations for USDA financial disaster assistance grants for any agricultural crops. He reminded the assembled agricultural leaders no such financial assistance has been made since the 2014 Farm Bill whose intent was to eliminate supplemental financial assistance in favor of crop insurance. As a result, Perdue suggested Congress may be very hesitant to open up USDA disaster assistance grants and it may take extraordinary intervention from Florida’s and Texas’ congressional delegations. Regardless of any congressional stance, Perdue committed USDA will do everything under the law - and he will exercise all of the flexibility with which he is authorized - to help Florida’s nursery, citrus, sugarcane, dairy and vegetable farmers recover from Hurricane Irma. FNGLA is pushing a package of USDA disaster assistance modeled largely on the helpful nursery relief secured after the 2004 hurricanes. It contained financial grants for crop losses, as well as grants to offset debris clean-up costs. FNGLA is also promoting modifications to USDA’s Tree Assistance and the Emergency Conservation Programs. FNGLA will be doing all it can to secure supplemental disaster assistance and it may prompt an all-out grassroots push, so stay tuned.

FSA Offers Extra Time

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced farmers and ranchers have extra time to document disaster losses from Hurricane Irma. Access details at FSA also offers emergency loans to growers to help cover expenses arising from Hurricane Irma. Access details at https://www.

Emergency Bridge Loans

Governor Rick Scott announced an emergency bridge loan program for businesses. Access details at http://www.flgov. com/2017/09/14/gov-scott-activates-emergency-bridge-loan-program-for-small-businesses-damaged-by-hurricane-irma. Hopefully, this may offer some interim help for businesses.


FNGLA HAPPENINGS SBA Economic Injury Loans

Landscape businesses may be eligible to apply for Small Business Administration assistance via the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. This is for non-agricultural businesses. Access details at EIDLLoans.

FEMA Programs

The Federal Emergency Management Agency may reimburse counties which remove disaster-related debris moved from private property and place in public right-of-ways. CAUTION: This is a county-by-county situation based on how a county is classified (either as public or individual assistance counties). Be sure to check first with your county authorities! Access details at Meanwhile, FEMA provides information and guidance for disaster survivors who wish to apply for assistance related to a federally declared disaster. Apply for the program at

Burning Debris

Under compliance with several conditions, agricultural operations may openly burn hurricane vegetative debris at Florida Forest Service-designated sites to which a county or municipality mutually agrees. Please see the burn guidance document at FNGLA will be providing an even more comprehensive federal/state resource list as details continue to come together!

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FNGLA HAPPENINGS 2017’s Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference to take place November 2 & 3, Lake Buena Vista The 2017 Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference (FAFMC) scheduled for November 2 & 3 at the B Resort and Spa in Lake Buena Vista addresses key financial issues growers and producers face. Some of the nation’s leading agricultural and economic experts will provide information on the latest trends and tools to assess and manage the overall financial health of their business. Analyzing financial performance, evaluating new market opportunities, risk management, cybersecurity and adapting to regulatory and technology changes are just some of the highlights of the conference. The conference, now in its seventh year and supported by influential sponsors, will equip participants with the skills to analyze their economic opportunities and challenges. Organizers have maintained their commitment to offer a high-quality experience and affordable pricing for farmers and producers at one of Central Florida’s premier resorts.

2017 Program Highlights include: • Hurricane Relief – Overview of Financial Funding Available • Agriculture Farmland Valuations as Florida’s Economy Heats Up • Florida’s Current Climate is Ripe for Solar Energy Tax Incentives • 180 Days to Maximum Profit – Analyzing Efficiencies in Your Operation The event promotes networking with colleagues and peers, the sharing of ideas and best practices, and gives attendants the opportunity to discuss the current financial market and its impact on agri-businesses. Owners and managers of Florida farms – large and small – are encouraged to attend, along with chief financial officers, controllers, CPAs, accountants, bookkeepers, lenders and attorneys who represent growers. CPE and CLE credits will be available.

The B Resort and Spa is located at Lake Buena Vista in Orlando and will be the host hotel for the 2017 Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference.

The Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference offers solutions and relationship-building opportunities. Anyone invested in the future of agriculture in Florida will benefit from attending and be part of building the future for us all. For more information about registration, program content and hotel reservations, visit


INDUSTRY NEWS FNGLA HAPPENINGS National Horticulture Foundation Launches Newsletter

TPIE is Now the Tropical Plant International Expo & You Should Exhibit! TPIE is the place where interior design and plant design connect and where the industry looks to discover new products and technologies which can lead to enhancing their business. It’s also a venue for energizing creativity and an opportunity to meet new people, see new business opportunities and old connections with a new perspective. If you’re not exhibiting, here are a few great reasons to be a part of TPIE: 1. Gather qualified leads for post-exhibition company follow-up. 2. Introduce new products or services to market: Showcase your new products on the show floor at the Exhibitor Showcase.

The National Horticulture Foundation has created a digital newsletter to keep everyone up-to-date on what the Foundation’s been up to. “We’re excited to have created a magazinelike platform for sharing the great and important things NHF has been doing to fulfill its mission of supporting education and research activities to address specific problems affecting the green industry,” Foundation Administrator Linda Reindl said. “We want to bring the incredible research advancements and heartwarming stories behind our endowment holders to life for our supporters -- and show them just how much our Foundation is contributing to the bright future of the horticulture industry in America.” The Foundation, which has been serving the green industry across the United States since 1987, boasts a $3 million endowment.

3. Give your customers the opportunity to meet the expert: you! 4. Connect face-to-face with buyers not easily accessible to your sales force. Over 10% of TPIE buyers travel from out of the country. TPIE brings these buyers to you. 5. Take advantage of advertising and sponsorship opportunities to enhance your presence outside of your booth. 6. Network with industry professionals and colleagues. 7. Open doors for future sales calls. 8. Directly influence top decision makers: 84% of TPIE buyers are direct influencers or final decision makers for purchases. 9. Reach dealers, reps and distributors and further develop relationships. 10. Reinforce your company brand. Ready to learn more? Logon to or contact FNGLA’s Billy Deal,!

The digital newsletter, which is published every other month, is free and also includes feature spotlights on past scholarship recipients. To subscribe, go to https://af322. Feature story suggestions are also welcomed and can be sent to kclary@


INDUSTRY NEWS Garden Media Group Offers Consumer Trends: Nature is the Best Medicine In today’s world, it is almost impossible to escape the realities of social media, instant news, 24/7 connectivity and the mental exhaustion which follows. The rising trend of wellness isn’t just about keeping the body healthy anymore; it’s about keeping the mind and spirit healthy, too. In Garden Media Group’s 17th annual Garden Trends Report for 2018, Nature’s Rx for Mental Wellness, nature is the best medicine. The 2018 report introduces seven industry trends to inspire a cleaner, more relaxed state-of-mind. It shows when we disconnect from digital media and reconnect with Mother Nature, we can make steps towars rebuilding mental wellness. “We all know gardening works wonders for our physical health,” says Katie Dubow, creative director at the trend-spotting firm. “In our 2018 Garden Trends report, we’re looking at new ways people are transforming their spaces, indoors and out, to further improve their mental well-being.” The report highlights new ideas, styles and colors to help clear the mind and step away from the infinite connectivity is wearing people out. The 2018 Garden Trends Report encourages confidence in Wabi-Sabi, going with the flow of being perfectly imperfect. It dives deeper into the role of climate change in the garden, showing also how plants form their own social networks to cope with challenging conditions. Gardening is again shifting to reflect global changes. The 2018 Garden Trends Report closely examines how these changes affect gardeners. Here’s a snapshot of the 2018 Garden Trends: Nature’s Rx for Mental Wellness. The complete report is available for free download at

Climate Controlled

Gardeners can no longer rely on historical data to predict the climate in their own backyards. To adjust to these unpredictable times, Garden Media has outlined four climate controlled garden types. From wind-resistant gardens and desert gardens to rain gardens and freeze-proof gardens, each collection is designed to guide garden centers and gardeners toward successful choices for their climates. Plants which stand up to hot, dry conditions, such as Costa Farms’ Desert Escape Collection, are essential for desert gardens. Climate change can be tough on trees in all areas, especially urban, according to The Davey Institute. Tree care needs to be addressed or those valuable benefits could be lost forever, which is why many homeowners need to consider their trees as part of their gardens.

Social Network

Just as people utilize the benefits of networking, plants in gardens benefit from networking among themselves. It’s time to shift from thinking of plants as individuals to thinking of them as a community.


INDUSTRY NEWS Choosing plants which work in harmony allows management of the garden instead of maintenance of each plant, which makes gardening less stressful. Plant communities, once established, are more for enjoyment and less for yard work.

Imperfect Gardening

The ancient Japanese practice of Wabi-Sabi is the new trend. Wabi-Sabi is an appreciation of the imperfections in life and the ability to age gracefully. Applying this perfectly imperfect attitude to the garden encourages an imitation of nature in a way allowing people to relax and appreciate humble and imperfect forms. Choose plants which look good, are easy to manage and provide food for pollinators. Allow natural beauty to shine in imperfect design, lawns and plants, and a peaceful, relaxing mindset will follow.

Breathing Room

Take a moment to relax, unwind and clear the mind in new breathing rooms. Most people spend the bulk of their lives indoors, so the focus needs to shift to creating clean air around us. Designate a place at home to meditate and reflect while surrounded by hard-working houseplants, such as those from Costa Farms’ O2 For You collection.

Make a Splash

As more public gardens receive overwhelmingly positive responses to reflective pools and fountains, there’s proof that water is more popular now than ever before. Preparing the garden to embrace storms and excess rainfall will not only help save water by RainScaping but also help to control storm water runoff. The growing trend of filtering water with plants helps with healthy water management, while still keeping beauty in the garden.

Grow Your Own Protein

There is a new consumer in town: The Flexitarian. Flexitarians are eating more plants and eating meat less often. Growing clean, sustainable, protein-rich foods at home is providing more control to the consumer. Keeping a balanced diet starts with feeding plants the right nutrients such as Espoma’s new organic liquid plant food line.

Purple Reign

Purple is the color of 2018, mirroring Pantone’s 2018 pallet “Verdure.” Purple goes beyond the vibrant color and often indicates nutrient density and antioxidants in food. Grow purple at home by planting colorful shrubs such as Bushel & Berry’s new compact blueberry and blackberry plants. Purple foods promote mental focus which is the first step in achieving mental wellness. The complete 2018 Garden Trends Report: Nature’s Rx for Mental Wellness is available for free download now. Read Garden Media’s GROW! blog for weekly trend updates and industry news.

Florida Water StarSM Date Change Two Fall dates have been set for training on Florida Water Star principles of landscape and irrigation design. It’s great training for creating efficient and water-conserving landscapes in Florida. Plus, those who would like to earn the Florida Water Star Accredited Professional designation have the opportunity to test the day following the class. Monday, November 13 University of Florida Mid-Florida Research Center, Apopka $25 for class / $50 for optional exams. Thursday, December 14 Alachua County Health Department, Gainesville No cost for class / $50 for optional exams. For more information or to signup to attend, contact Merry Mott at FNGLA at mmott@fngla. org or 407-295-7994 for more information.


INDUSTRY NEWS U.S. Gas Prices Holding at a High, Florida’s Pricing Slightly Down National gas prices are at a high, $2.55 per gallon at press time. Yet last week, Florida faced the highest gas prices it has seen in three years, however prices are lowering as we pass the post-hurricane peak in an odd-to-the-season happening. “When fall arrives, motorists expect gas prices to be cheaper than they were in the summer. That’s just not the case this year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Back-to-back hurricanes packed a punch to Gulf Coast refineries’ gasoline production and inventory levels. As they play catch-up, gas prices are going to be higher than we’d like to see.” Gulf Coast refineries are building toward resuming normal operations, but it could take some longer than others to return to pre-hurricane production rates. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that Gulf Coast utilization rates are up nearly 12 percent to 85 percent of capacity since last week. As utilization rates increase and operations improve, gas prices will drop. “While the market continues to be volatile, post-hurricanes, AAA expects gas prices to slowly, but steadily drop by up to ten cents in the coming month,” added Casselano. In the Southeast, gas prices continue to decline each week, down 6 cents this week for Florida pricing. Despite a significant drop in gasoline inventory, the South and Southeast tout the highest inventory level of any region in the U.S. However, gasoline inventories are at the lowest level for the region since November 2015, according to EIA data. As Gulf Coast refineries come back online and inventory levels build, gas prices will continue to drop, possibly bringing the lowest pump price by year-end.


INDUSTRY NEWS Gov. Scott Pushes $50 Million Legislative Proposal in Opioid Crisis Governor Rick Scott recently announced a new $50 million proposal to combat opioid abuse in Florida, namely placing a three-day limit on prescriptions unless “strict conditions” are met for a seven-day supply. Scott will push the proposal as part of the state’s budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The proposed legislation will include: • Placing a three-day limit on prescribed opioids, unless strict conditions are met for a seven-day supply; • Requiring all healthcare professionals who prescribe or dispense medication to participate in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a statewide database which monitors controlled substance prescriptions; and, • Additional reforms to fight unlicensed pain management clinics, require continuing education courses on responsibly prescribing opioids, and create new opportunities for federal grant funding. The proposed $50 million investment will include funds for: • Substance abuse treatment • Counseling and recovery services • The Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council Some pharmacies, such as CVS, have already indicated they plan to restrict opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies by the end of the year. Scott released the following statement regarding the proposal: We made a commitment here in Florida to do everything possible to support our communities and fight the national opioid epidemic, and while we have taken major steps to fight this crisis, more must be done. Today, I am proud to announce that I will propose major legislation during the upcoming legislative session and more than $50 million in my recommended budget to combat opioid abuse in our state. As I travel the state, I have met many families who are dealing with the heartache of drug addiction. Growing up, my own family dealt with the struggle of substance abuse and I know firsthand how this painful issue causes families to worry and pray for help and healing. As states across the country continue to fight this national epidemic, we must make sure Florida is doing our part to help vulnerable individuals and keep our families safe. These proposals will make a major impact on limiting the chance of drug addiction, reducing the ability for dangerous drugs to spread in our communities, giving vulnerable Floridians the support they need, and ensuring our hardworking law enforcement officers have the resources to protect Floridians. I look forward to working with President Negron, Speaker Corcoran and the entire Legislature to pass this impactful legislation and major investment. I would also like to thank Attorney General Pam Bondi for her focus on this issue and her commitment to keeping our families safe. We will continue to work closely with our federal, state and local partners throughout this fight. Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi, Senate President Joe Negron, (R-Stuart), and, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, (R-Land O’Lakes) have said they are fully onboard with Scott’s proposal. More details on Florida’s opioid crisis and plans for gaining more control over the issue are forthcoming.


INDUSTRY NEWS Perseverance a Priority for Florida Farmers Post-Irma By Lisa Lochridge, FFVA | As Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture since 2011, Adam Putnam has seen the state’s growers survive a host of challenges including citrus greening, Oriental fruit flies, screwworms, and misdirected water management regulations. Now, Florida growers must rebound from the statewide wind and water destruction from Hurricane Irma. Putnam was the keynote speaker at the closing dinner of FFVA 2017, the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association’s 74th annual convention. Although he touched on other key agricultural issues, his focus was on the aftermath of the September hurricane, which was a Category 4 storm when it made landfall in the Florida Keys. Although it lost some strength as it made its way up the heartland of the state, the storm devastated agriculture operations in its path. “Now is our gut-check time,” said Putnam during the closing dinner at FFVA 2017. “We are tough and resilient and we will persevere, putting one foot in front of the other as we replant and continue doing what we do best: feeding our state, our country and the world.” Putnam told the crowd he would soon present the needs of Florida’s agricultural sector to Congress and ask for short-term federal disaster relief. “This is the fastest way to get help to the U.S. farmers impacted by Harvey, Irma, and Maria,” he said. “Our goal is to get the relief funds structured in such a way that real farmers can get real help to get their crops back in the field.” The leading Republican candidate for Florida governor, Putnam said he traveled the state in the two weeks after Irma examining the extent of the damage and documenting the agricultural sector’s need for federal assistance. “Unlike other hurricanes, Irma was the size of Texas, and virtually all of Florida was seriously affected, including the dairy, citrus, sugar, landscaping, and nursery industries. We recently flew [U.S. Secretary of Agriculture] Sonny Perdue over Central and Southwest Florida and it was heartbreaking to see the scope of destruction.” But Putnam said he was Photo: Dr. Monica Ozores-Hampton, UF IFAS heartened by the strides A Southwest Florida citrus grove following Hurricane Irma. Across the region, much of being made by growers Florida’s agriculture lands were damaged and/or flooded. around the state as they begin to recover from the hurricane. “We have seen new plants in the ground, plastic being rolled over the soil, crews putting trees back up, and shade houses being stitched back together,” he said. “The hurricane also has created a sense of community as families, friends, and neighbors help each other out in their businesses and their homes. A disaster like Irma brings out the best in people, not the


INDUSTRY NEWS worst.” In that vein, Putnam told the story of a meeting with the mayor of Everglades City, a community on the southwest Gulf Coast that was devastated by Irma’s storm surge. “Although two-thirds of the homes were uninhabitable and flood-damaged furniture and appliances littered the roadside, he wanted to send their relief supplies to Puerto Rico,” Putnam said. “He told me, ‘We deeply appreciate the generosity of the agencies, the churches, and the National Guard, but the people of Puerto Rico need help far more than we do.’ He was thinking about our neighbor in the Caribbean in a way that tells us about who we are as a nation.”

FNGLA Training Rescheduled

Putnam added that Florida could soon see an influx of newcomers from Puerto Rico as the U.S. territory struggles to rebuild its infrastructure and economy. “We will welcome those families with open arms,” he added. “There also is likely to be an influx of people looking to work in areas like construction and agriculture, and we’ll be darned glad to have them here.”

Training for the South Florida Landscape Technician exam is still scheduled for Friday, October 27. This handson preparation workshop for the FCLT exam will take place at the University of Florida Ft. Lauderdale Research Center in Davie, which also serves as FNGLA’s South Florida test site. The day-long training is $75 and includes lunch.

This article originally appeared at

While the industry recovers from the effects of Hurricane Irma, FNGLA’s certification programs are also getting back on track by rescheduling its Fall training events. Training for the North Florida Landscape Technician/ Maintenance Technician exams has been rescheduled for Friday, October 13. This hands-on preparation workshop for both the FCLT and the FCLMT exams takes place at Florida Gateway College in Lake City. The day-long training is $75 and includes lunch.

Bilingual training for the South Florida Landscape Technician exam takes place the following day Saturday, October 28. This hands-on preparation workshop for the FCLT exam takes place at the University of Florida Miami-Dade Extension Office in Homestead. The daylong training is $30. Contact Merry Mott at FNGLA at or 407-295-7994 for more information or to sign up!

The Florida Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is a non-profit organization committed to serving the needs of Florida’s professional arborists and tree-care consumers.

Palm banding is one of the many skills tested as part of FNGLA’s Professional Certifications.


MEMBER NEWS TreeTown USA to Acquire Village Nurseries TreeTown USA has announced a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Village Nurseries, a specialty grower for landscape professionals, re-wholesalers and retailers, for an undisclosed amount. The deal represents one of the largest strategic nursery acquisitions in recent history and creates a nursery with a true coast-tocoast footprint. Company CEO Jonathan Saperstein stated, “This acquisition is an opportunity to merge two excellent companies that share the same customer-centric cultures. We will capitalize on the combined resources of the company to create industry leading best practices while fostering a safe and rewarding work environment for our 1,500+ full time employees.” The strategic acquisition of Village Nurseries supports TreeTown USA’s continued growth plans and accelerates entry into new and adjacent markets. With the addition of its new West Coast division, which will continue to operate under its trade name of Village Nurseries, TreeTown USA’s operations will encompass 16 farm locations throughout California, Texas and Florida, consisting of over 4,000 acres in production. In addition to the company’s focus on employees and market expansion, the synergistic effect of this deal solidifies TreeTown USA as a market leader in the horticultural industry.

BrightView Landscapes Acquires Girard Environmental Services BrightView Landscapes, LLC, the nation’s leading landscape services and snow removal company, recently announced the acquisition of Florida’s Girard Environmental Services, LLC (GES). GES specializes in commercial landscape maintenance, construction and facility services. The Sanford-based company operates nine branches, employs nearly 450 people and services more than 800 client sites across Florida. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. “This is a great addition to BrightView and we are pleased to welcome Girard into our family,” said BrightView Chief Executive Officer Andrew Masterman. “Girard is one of the nation’s largest and most respected privately held landscape maintenance companies with a long tradition of innovation and client service.”

FNGLA Sadly Reports Industry Death Mary Elizabeth “Libby” Dewar, passed away September 7. She was the faithful and loving wife of Alex Dewar (Dewar Nurseries in Apopka) for over 63 years. Libby and Alex met as students at the University of Florida and after marriage in 1954, embarked with him on a tour of duty in the U.S. Army. Later, she used her training in accounting to assist in establishing Dewar Nurseries. Whether it was her dedication to tending to the babies in the church nursery or her baking brownies for a family in need, those who knew Libby remember her as a possessed a caring and giving heart. Libby will be missed.



Welcome New Members

The following are new FNGLA members from September 1 - September 30, 2017:

ACTION Edward Jones David Rivas 3248 W Lake Mary Blvd Lake Mary, FL 32746 407-324-1554 Rec’d by: Ty Strode, Agri-Starts, Inc.

Tropicana Products, Inc. Allison Drown 1001 - 13th Ave E Bradenton, FL 34208 727-585-7900 Rec’d by: Phillip Rucks, Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery, Inc.

BROWARD Aldo Cargo Express William Rendon 401 NW 127th Ave Plantation, FL 33325 954-483-8806 Rec’d by: Steve Weiss, Tri County Truck

NORTHEAST Walter Bryant (Supportive) 1221 Monticello Rd Jacksonville, FL 32207 904-704-6218

Pinders Lawn Service, Inc. Timothy Pinder 8940 NW 7th Ct Hollywood, FL 33024 954-919-8018 Rec’d by: Steve Weiss, Tri County Truck COASTAL SPRINGS Crystal Products Group LLC (Alumne) David Yancey PO Box 273 Sumterville, FL 33585 352-793-3229 MANASOTA Gardens By Allison Allison Abizaid 7235 N Leewynn Dr Sarasota, FL 34240 941-400-0431 Higgins Ag LLC Steve Brown 3010 County Rd 675 E Bradenton, FL 34211 941-773-2507

City Isuzu CJ Smith 10575 Atlantic Blvd Ste 1 Jacksonville, FL 32225 904-998-7111 Rec’d by: Eric, Nextran Truck Center Jacksonville Commercial Tire Services Ryan Smith Full 5108 Cemetary Rd Jacksonville, FL 32210 904-814-1788 Rec’d by: C J Smith,City Isuzu OUTSIDE FLORIDA Nursery Source/RediRoot Chris Murphey 24111 NE Halsey St Troutdale, OR 97060 770-542-7229

1. Action 2. Big Bend 3. Broward 4. Central East Coast 5. Coastal Springs 6. Miami-Dade 7. Frontrunners 8. Highlands Heartland 9. Polk

10. Manasota 11. Northeast 12. Palm Beach 13. Panhandle 14. Pinellas 15. Royal Palm 16. Space Coast 17. Tampa Bay 18. Treasure Coast

USGMASS, Inc. Edivaldo Reis 386 Squire Rd Ste 2 Revere, MA 02151 248-525-6555 Steve Weiss, Tri County Truck

Landscaping & Gardening By Partners, Inc. Garcia Guillermo 1727 54th Terrace SW Naples, FL 34116 239-352-4390 Rec’d by: Steve Weiss, Tri County Truck

ROYAL PALM Buttonwood Landscape Services, Inc. Regan E. Lolly PO Box 990302 Naples, FL 33916 239-353-9891 Rec’d by: Tom Scott, Steele Truck Center, Inc.

SPACE COAST Paradise Lawns & Landscaping, Inc. Eric Olseen PO Box 542189 Merritt Island, FL 32954 321-848-8481

Texas A & M University-Kingsville Citrus Center Mark VanNess (Supportive) 312 N International Blvd Weslaco, TX 78599 956-447-3360

FNGLA Communication Archives Back issues of FNGLA’s Greenline are located at: Back issues of FNGLA’s Member-exclusive weekly communication, Ben’s Bullets are located at: babbles.aspx To access Ben’s Bullets, you must be an FNGLA member.

Are you aware of FNGLA’s recruitment contest? It’s simple, fun and pays you $50 for each new business (full membership & up) you recruit as an FNGLA member. This contest, originally run January 1 through June 1, is extended for a full yearwith recruitment recognition at the FNGLA Annual Convention. All monies earned are intended to be paid each June-- and you decide who gets the cash... you or your local FNGLA chapter. Yup. It’s pretty simple! 17

Calendar of Events

Contact Us

See and submit events at, under calendar

October 5-7:

America in Bloom Symposium & Awards Program, Holliston, MA


AmericanHort: Production Technology Conference, Dallas, TX


Landscape University, UF-IFAS Orange County Extension, Orlando


ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification, UF-IFAS Ft. Lauderdale REC, Davie


International Plant Propagators’ Society (IPPS) Eastern Region Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, MI


Bio Controls USA East Conference, Hyatt Regency, Orlando


FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician & Maintenance Technician Exam, Florida Gateway College, Lake City


GIE+EXPO, The Green Industry & Equipment Expo, Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville, Kentucky


National FFA Convention & Expo, Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, Indiana


FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician Training, UF/IFAS Ft. Lauderdale Research Center, Davie


FNGLA Certified Landscape Technician Bilingual Training, UF/IFAS Miami-Dade County Extension Service, Homestead


International Plant Propagators’ Society (IPPS) Southern Region Annual Conference, Dallas, Texas

November 2-4:

The Landscape Show Redux & FNGLA’s Knowledge College, Orange County Convention Center West Building, Orlando


The Irrigation Show, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando

FNGLA Phone: 407.295.7994 Toll-free: 800.375.3642 Fax: 407.295.1619 E-mail: Web:




President Ed Bravo Big Trees Plantation, Inc. 104 SW 131st St Newberry, FL 32669 (352) 332-2150

President-Elect Will Womack, FCLC Tampa Bay Landscaping 5821 Maple Lane Tampa, FL 33610 (813) 368-9891

Past President Robert Shoelson, FCLC Getting Green Plant Services & Betrock Information Systems PO Box 840107 Pembroke Pines, FL 33084 (954) 680-1819

Secretary/Treasurer Shawn Thomas Southern Green Chemical Lawn Care 9456 Phillips Hwy Ste. 10 Jacksonville, FL 32256 (904) 598-4358

Connect with us: About FNGLA This publication is produced by the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) as a service to its members and the industry at large. The statements and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Association, its staff, Board of Directors, Greenline or its editors. Likewise, the appearance of advertisers or their identification as members does not constitute an endorsement of the products or featured services. The mission of the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association is to promote and protect the interests of Florida’s nursery and landscape industry.


1533 Park Center Drive Orlando, FL 32835-5705

Read the latest FNGLA news inside & visit Greenline online at

FNGLA's 2017 October Greenline  

FNGLA's official newsletter for association members and Florida's nursery and landscape industry's members.