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2014 VNLA Officers & Directors OFFICERS


President MATT SHRECKHISE Communications ‘08 Shreckhise Nurseries PO Box 428 Grottoes, VA 24441-0428 540-249-5761 Matthew@shreckhise.com

CHERYL LAJOIE Certification ‘09 Lancaster Farms 5800 Knotts Neck Rd Suffolk VA 23435-1353 757-484-4421 Fax: 7575-686-8637 Cheryl@lancasterfarms.com

Vice President SONYA L. WESTERVELT Public Relations ‘10 Saunders Brothers Inc 2717 Tye Brook Highway Piney River, VA 22964 (434) 277-5455 sonya@saundersbrothers.com


Secretary/ Treasurer Bill Gouldin ‘12 Strange’s Florist/Garden Ctrs 3313 Mechanicsville Pike Richmond VA 23223 804-321-2200x331 wjg@stranges.com Past President MATT SAWYER - Research Bennett’s Creek Nursery ‘07 5635 Shoulders Hill Rd Suffolk, VA 23435-1807 757-483-1425 Matt@bcnursery.com

Executive Director

VNLA Newsletter

TOM THOMPSON, Environmental Affairs ‘10 Natural Art Landscaping 3540 S Belmont Rd Richmond VA 23234-2912 (804) 674-5703 Naturalartlandscaping@yahoo.com

REGIONAL ASSOCIATIONS Central Virginia Nursery & Landscape Assoc. Greta Bjorkquist Hoyt 804-339-3661 gbjorkquist@jrgm.com Eastern Shore Nurserymen’s Association Stuart Burnley 757-442-3548 hermfarm@verizon.net

DOUG HENSEL Beautiful Gardens ‘08 Great Big Greenhouse & Nrsy 2051 Huguenot Rd Hampton Roads Richmond, VA 23235-4305 Nursery & Landscape Assoc Christopher@lancasterfarms.com 804-320-1317 doug@greatbiggreenhouse.com Wes Bray (757) 422-2117 VIRGINIA ROCKWELL wemows@aol.com Legislation ‘12 CRAIG ATTKISSON ‘13 Gentle Gardener Green Design Green Side Up Landscaping Northern Virginia PO Box 418 PO Box 2026 Nursery & Landscape Assoc Gordonsville, VA 22942-0418 Glen Allen, VA 23058-2026 Amanda Caldwell 540-832-7031 804-514-4610 ajcdenali@hotmail.com (cell) 434-531-0467 craig@gsulandscaping.com Lancaster Farms 5800 Knotts Neck Rd Suffolk VA 23435-1353 757-484-4421


Educational Advisors DR. ROGER HARRIS VA Tech Horticulture Dept. Head Saunders Hall (0327) Blacksburg, VA 24061-0001 540-231-5451 rharris@vt.edu

DR. JIM OWEN HARAREC JEFFREY B. MILLER 1444 Diamond Springs Rd Horticulture Management Virginia Beach, VA 23455 Associates LLC (757) 363-3804 383 Coal Hollow Road Christiansburg, VA 24073-6721 jim.owen@vt.edu 1-800-476-0055 Fax: 540-382-2716 info@vnla.org

VNLA Newsletter


MANTS’ Directors JOHN LANCASTER‘02 Bennett’s Creek Nursery 3613 Bridge Road Suffolk, VA 23435-1807 757-483-1425 john@bcnursery.com TOM SAUNDERS ’96 Saunders’ Brothers Inc. 2508 Tye Brook Hwy Piney River, VA 22964-2301 804-277-5455 Tom@saundersbrothers.com DANNY SHRECKHISE Shreckhise Nurseries ‘12 PO Box 428 Grottoes, VA 24441-0428 540-249-5761 Danny@shreckhise.com

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

Piedmont Landscape Assoc Jessica Primm 434-882-0520 info@piedmontlandscape.org Shenandoah Valley Nursery & Greenhouse Assoc Matt Shreckhise 540-249-5761 matthew@shreckhise.com

Directors at Large MIKE HILDEBRAND ‘12 James River Nurseries 13244 Ashland Rd Ashland VA 23005-7504 804-798-2020

mchildebrand@ jamesrivernurseries.com


Table of Contents

Ad - Bennett’s Creek Nursery ...................................... 83 Ad - Bremo Trees......................................................... 84 Ad - BuyNCPlants.com ............................................... 77 Ad - Carolina Bark Products ........................................ 71 Ad – CNCNA PlantSource .......................................... 48 Ad - Eastern Shore Nursery of Virginia....................... 57 Ad - Fair View Nursery ............................................... 71 Ad - Farm Credit .......................................................... 84 Ad - Goodson and Associates ...................................... 63 Ad - Gossett’s Landscape Nursery............................... 60 Ad - Guthrie Nursery ................................................... 24 Ad - Hanover Farms..................................................... 10 Ad - Hardwood Mulch ................................................. 73 Ad - Hawksridge Farms ............................................... 35 Ad - Hortica Employee Benefits .................................. 49 Ad - JOCOPLANTS .................................................... 65 Ad - Lancaster Farms ................................................... 67 Ad - Lilley Farms and Nursery .................................... 55 Ad - Mid-Atlantic Solutions ........................................ 31 Ad - OHP - Marengo.................................................... 2 Ad – Pender Nursery .................................................... 81 Ad - PLANTSOURCE N.C. (CNCNA)....................... 48 Ad - Plantworks Nursery.............................................. 51 Ad - Shreckhise Nursery .............................................. 20 Ad - SiteLight ID ......................................................... 53 Ad - SNA Membership ................................................ 11 Ad - Turtle Creek Nursery ........................................... 15 Ad - VA Society of Landscape Designers ................... 68 Ad - Waynesboro Nurseries ......................................... 13 Ad - Willow Springs Tree Farms ................................. 69 Best Management Practices: Guide for Producing Nursery Crops .......... 10 Events - Calendar ......................................................... 82 Events - SNA - Southern Plant Conference ................. 11 News - AmericanHort Formally Launched January 1 . 12 News - ANLA and HRI Announce Research Team Staff ...................... 13 News – Green Area Ratio – Are You Ready?.............. 25 News - MANTS Hosts 44th Annual Horticulture Industry Event ........................... 14 News - Monrovia acquires Imperial Nurseries .......... 16 News - The Carville M. Akehurst Memorial Scholarship ................................... 14 News - TREE fund established in Dr. Bonnie Appleton's Memory ................. 75 News - USDA, EPA Partnership Supports Water Quality Trading To Benefit Environment ....... 15 News - Virginia Agribusiness Banquet & Townhall Meeting ....................................... 81 News - White Fringetree- Chionanthus virginicus ‘Spring Fleecing’............................................. 22 Research - 3 Reasons to Irrigate Plants 4


in the Early to Mid-Morning.......................... 66 Research - Weed Management Research Update ....... 63 Research -Boxwood Blight Research on Prevention and Management .................. 58 Tips - Basic Soil Fertility page 1 of 14 ........................ 26 Tips - Is it Time to Sell? Is it Smart to Buy? ............... 54 Tips - Is Your Green Business Smartphone Ready?.... 49 Tips - Redbud Cauliflory ............................................. 23 Tips - Winter is for Thinking ...................................... 21 VNLA - Accomplishments for 2013 ........................... 8 VNLA - Annual Membership Meeting Minutes......... 76 VNLA – Board Meeting Minutes – Winter ................. 68 VNLA - Certification Quiz Article Basic Soil Fertility ........................................ 26 VNLA - Certification Quiz# 67 ................................... 43 VNLA - Certification seal for your landscape plans .. 79 VNLA - How to Contact Congress ............................. 7 VNLA - Login to Your VNLA Account ..................... 7 VNLA - Member Profile - Shreckhise Nursery & Matt Shreckhise ....................................... 18 VNLA – Newsletter Ad Rates ..................................... 80 VNLA - Photo Contest Rules/Winner ......................... 17 VNLA - Professional of the Year: Bob Warhurst....... 46 VNLA - Research Gala/Auction Photos ...................... 39 VNLA - Thanks Breakfast Sponsors………………9, 45 VNLA - Website .......................................................... 7

January / February / March 2014 January/February/March 2014

Support VNLA Member Growers! Online at www.VNLA.org New Native Plant Section! For a print copy call 1-800-4760055 or email info@vnla.org Newsletter VNLAVNLA Newsletter

Classified Ads Classified Ads

VNLAMission, Mission, VNLA Visionand andObjectives Objectivesfor for2013 2014 4 Vision MissionStatement: Statement:To ToEnhance Enhanceand andpromote promoteVirVirMission ginia’s nursery and landscape industry. ginia’s nursery and landscape industry.

Vision:totobecome becomethe theleader leaderand andresource resourcefor forthe the Vision: Virginia nursery and landscape industry. Virginia nursery and landscape industry.

Objectives Objectives

Educated,Available AvailableSkilled SkilledLabor LaborForce Force- -Goal: Goal: Educated, VNLA will continue to promote programs that will VNLA will continue to promote programs that will education, train and provide an available skilled laeducation, train and provide an available skilled labor force. bor force. EffectiveCommunication Communicationand andAdvocacy AdvocacyGOAL: GOAL: Effective VNLA will effectively communication among staff, VNLA will effectively communication among staff, board, members, partners and the community. board, members, partners and the community. Maximizingand andAllocation AllocationResources Resources- -GOAL: GOAL: Maximizing VNLA will secure increased funding from diverse VNLA will secure increased funding from diverse sources and secure the necessary staff, board and sources and secure the necessary staff, board and committee members to run a dynamic organization. committee members to run a dynamic organization. Membershipand andOutreach Outreach- -GOAL: GOAL:Expand Expandand and Membership communicate the value of membership. communicate the value of membership.

Stewardship- -GOAL: GOAL:VNLA VNLAwill willpromote promoteadoption adoption Stewardship of Best Management Practices. of Best Management Practices. StrategicMarketing Marketing- -GOAL: GOAL:VNLA VNLAwill willpromote promote Strategic itselfasasthe theleader leaderand andresource resourceofofthe thegreen greenindustry. industry. itself

Whatare aremembers membersproblems? problems? What How are we going to help thembecome become How are we going to help them more successful? more successful?

WANTED: Nursery Manager

Bremo Trees, a wholesale ball and burlap nursery in Bremo Bluff, VA is seeking a manager forHorticulture Bremo Trees. The chosen manager Exciting Opportunities - Coastal Landwill be aable to leaddesign a team; interact positively scapes, landscape and install company with an 18+ acre nursery, is seeking highly motivated indiwith people; manage all aspects of the nursery, viduals with a passion for plants! especially the business and marketing operaWe havemake been ainlong-term business for 26+ years and tions; commitment to are thestill rapidly expanding. We are seeking people with the business; and desire to live in a rural communicapability and knowledge to help us take our company ty. Additionally, knowledge of farm or nursery to the next level. We are currently accepting applications for Nursery Manager, Landscape Designer and operations is desirable. Nursery Labor.please submit a cover letter and To apply, Nursery Manager resume withmust: salary requirements to: AdWoody - TD Cumbofertilizing, watering,  Have knowledge of Watkins plants, pest & disease PO control Box 128  Be able to manage a staff Bremo Bluff, VA 23022  Be well versed in customer service & marketing Or bremotrees2@gmail.com Landscape Designer must:   

Nursery help must:       

Ad – CW Reeson Nursery Same as previous

VNLANewsletter Newsletter VNLA VNLA Newsletter

Be able to draw landscape designs to scale Met with & discuss plans with clients Bid plans based on available materials

Have knowledge of pruning Have knowledge in sales/ customer service Have or be willing to obtain pesticide applicators license Have plant knowledge Be able to operate Skid Steer Be able to work weekends Have reliable transportation

Coastal Landscapes, Virginia Beach, VA 23457 757-721-4109 fax: 757-426-8585 admin@coastallandscapes.hrcoxmail.com

January/February/March 2014 2013 July/August/September January / February / March 2014

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Vol. 84, No.1; Jan/Feb/Mar 2014 Editor: Jeff Miller

Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association, Inc. 383 Coal Hollow Road; Christiansburg, VA 24073-6721 Internet E-mail Address: info@vnla.org www.vnla.org (Association Info) www.VirginiaGardening.com (Consumer Info) Telephone: 540-382-0943 or 1-800-476-0055 Fax: 540-382-2716 Disclaimer: Published for your information, this newsletter is not an endorsement for individual products or editorial comments.

President’s Message It’s a special honor and privilege to begin my term as VNLA president. I’d like to thank the VNLA board and Executive Director for all of their hard work in 2013 and we will strive to keep the ball rolling as we work to provide for our members a high-quality trade association. The VNLA started its year, as usual, at The MidAtlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS), held January 8-10, 2014 at the Baltimore Convention Center. MANTS was once again a huge success and continues to be the premier tradeshow of the Green Industry. To emphasize how widespread the show has become, there were industry professionals from 48 states and 7 additional countries who attended or exhibited at MANTS in 2014. The complete 2014 show summary is available on page 14 and at www.mants.com . MANTS will take place January 1416, 2015 next year in Baltimore and note it is a week later than usual. We hope to see you there! As of December 31, 2013, the Executive Committee of Beautiful Gardens® decided to end the program. While it is disappointing that Beautiful Gardens® was not self-sustaining, we appreciate all the hard work and 6


time that many invested in launching the project and their efforts in researching, growing and promoting plants for the green industry in Virginia. The popular ‘VT Spirit’ daylily will continue to be sold and royalties will go to the VNLA. 2013 was a busy year for the VNLA (Accomplishments are listed on page 89) There are many items on the docket for the board in 2014 and there are a couple I would like to highlight. We are going to continue to pursue a new branding program for the VNLA as part of our strategic plan. The VNLA has changed a lot over the past several years, and more cohesive and consistent marketing materials are needed. There are also plans to enhance our Virginia Certified Horticulturalist program that may better suit our varied industry. We’ll continue to look for ways to increase membership and provide our members with important legislative information that may affect our industry as well as unique networking opportunities. As members of the VNLA, we have great reason to be proud of our association and the benefits we receive through our membership. The VNLA has been bringing Virginia’s diverse green industry professionals together January / February / March 2014 January/February/March 2014

for over 80 years and we hope many more years to come. From our Virginia Certified Horticulturalist program to our Field Day and Summer Tour, the VNLA continues to provide informative, entertaining and educational programs for its members while fostering opportunities to network and share ideas. We will continue to lobby our legislators through our close partnership with the Virginia Agribusiness Council and we will keep you informed of any pressing issues that may affect our businesses. In these challenging economic times it’s more important than ever to be active in the VNLA. The more active you are the more you will benefit from the VNLA and the opportunities it provides. Thank you for your continued support and advocacy. Matt Shreckhise

By Matt Shreckhise, President VNLA 2014

Save the Date! VNLA Field Day & Summer Tour, at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg August 7-8, 2014

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ul with a new design, compplete overhau re-or rganized info o tabs and uhad a The VNLA website has updated infor rmation. complete overhaul with a new design, re-organized infoin,tabs and yo updated You can now log activate our information. accouunt and set up p your user naame and ppassword. You can now log in, activate your Acceess and your user contac ct account andupdate set upe your name infor rmation and password. See tthe and CEU’s thaat your are recorde Access update contactd for you V Virginia Certiified Horticullturist information VNLA Newsletter

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Use U the online store to orde r See the CEU’s that are recorded for Certification C su upplies you Virginia Certified Horticulturist Renew R your membership m Use the online store to Additional A cap pabilities order will be added Certification supplies on n an ongoing basis Renew your membership How w to Log nbe added Additional capabilities willin on an ongoing basis Go G to www.vn nla.org/

totop Log int Click C on How “log gin” right Click C on “Acttivate” in thee left Go to www.vnla.org/ co olumn Click on “login” top right En nter your email address. Iff you have Click on “Activate” in the left it an n email addrress in the ddatabase, column will w email you ur login info aand let you Enter Ifword. you have se etup ayour useremail naameaddress. and passw an email address in the database, it Return R to the andletlogin will email yourmain loginscreen info and you name and pa with w your user assword. setup a user name and password. Go G to “My VN NLA” and yoou canlogin see Return to the main screen and yo our contact t informatio on, sales with your user name and password. hiistory, CEU’ss etc. Go to “My VNLA” and you can see If f you do not have h information, an emaail in the your contact sales da atabase, con ntact the LA Office history, CEU’s etc. VNL fo or your Memb ber Account N Number at in nfo@vnla.org or 1-800-4766-0055 January / February / March 2014 April//May/June 20 13 January/February/March 2014

IfLetters you do not an k email the s - have Thank Youin for database, contact the VNLA Office Reseaarch Gift ft, Kelly for your Member Account Number at Ivors info@vnla.org or 1-800-476-0055 On behalf of the North Carolina Ag gricultural R Research Serrvice, the NC C Agriculturaal and Life Sciences ReeHow to Contact search Foun ndation and tthe College of o Agriculturee and Life Sc ciences, thank k Congress you and tthe Virginia Nursery and d To contact for your you conLandscape Associate ur gressman $12,500 giift to suppoortand Dr.senator, Kelly y go the www.vnla.org Ivors' boxw wood blight reesearch. and click in the legisYour invesstment in the e College and and d lation tab/button, the North Aggricultural UpReethen click Carolina on the “Legislative search Serv vice helps ena able the futur date” or go directly to:e breakthroug ghs and adva ances in agri www.votervoice.net/ANLA/home iculture, biootechnology and life sciiHere, yourccitizens congressman ences you that can w willfind benefit in ou ur and state,senators’ nationn andcontact world. info and can email them directly from this link. David W. M Monks, PhD, In Interim AssociThere are also summaries of current ate Dean annd Director; C Catherine Maxissues and sample letters. well Executi ive Director, N NC Agricultural & Life Scieenceswheel Research h Foundation squeaky gets the oil!” “The

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VNLA Accomplishments for 2013  VA Agribusiness Council o Legislative Banquet - the VNLA had 6 representatives at the meeting and hosted Delegate Chris Jones and his guest. o VAC National and State Policy Meetings - VNLA was a sponsor and represented.  Regional Meetings - The VNLA was a sponsor of the following meetings/events and the Executive Director represented the VNLA distributing membership, certification and Beautiful Gardens information as well as the Guide to Virginia Growers and sample VNLA Newsletters: o Mid-Atlantic Horticulture Short Course o Northern Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association o Shenandoah Greenhouse and Nursery Assoc. o Piedmont Landscape Association o Hampton Roads Nursery and Landscape Association o Virginia Society of Landscape Designers o Central Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association o Shenandoah Valley Plant Symposium o VA Tech College of Agriculture & Live Sciences Homecoming Open House  VNLA Board - held 4 board meetings and a budget meeting plus several conference calls.  Event/Program Sponsorships o Hahn Horticulture Gardens o Virginia Tech Horticulture Students to PLANET Career Days and Competitions o Virginia Tech Graduate Student to IPPS o FFA State Nursery Proficiency Award 8


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Virginia Agribusiness Council Ag In The Classroom Virginia Green Industry Council Master Gardener Annual Conference Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Horticulture Program American Nursery & Landscape Association Legislative Beacon Fund and Lighthouse Program Research $27,000 in research projects were funded by the VNAHRF $12,500 Boxwood research funding VNA Horticulture Research Foundation Gala/Auction The Research Committee held another successful gala/auction in Baltimore adding additional funds to the permanent research fund; now at over $650,000 Scholarships Laird/Gresham Scholarships at Virginia Tech ($1,500 each) Shoosmith Scholarships ($6,000) Field Day - was attended by 269 members representing 120 companies at Brent & Becky’s Bulbs Summer Tour - was sold out with 70 participants State Fair - The VNLA, in conjunction with the Virginia Green Industry Council, had consumer-oriented displays promoting Virginia Certified Horticulturist and the Beautiful Gardens’ new introduction “VT Spirit” Daylily. The attendance this year was 229,000, a 40 percent increase over 2012 attendance and the educational tours had around 8,000 students come through the agriculture exhibits in the Meadow Pavilion.

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014



Certification 61 members passed the VNLA Virginia Certified Horticulturist (VCH) Exam o Began updates to the Certification Manual and started developing an online test review, working towards having the manual and test online. Communications o Website Upgrades  Added option for Virginia Certified Horticulturist to review their CEUs recorded to date and to update contact information.  Consumer online lookup for Virginia Certified Horticulturist in their area  Membership renewal was added as an online option o E-News Updates to members on time sensitive and important issues o Newsletters - Quarterly Newsletters, 4-color, 68 pages Guide to Virginia Growers added a “native plant” section to list growers who grow these plants and distributed over 4,000 copies. Legislation and Regulatory Issues - the VNLA has been represented at meetings concerning invasive plants, noxious weeds, stormwater runoff, sustainable landscapes, Bayfriendly landscaping Mission H20 - VNLA is a member of this state organization working to coordinate collaboration and development of positions on water supply issues, advocate for regional water supply studies/solution and legislative tracking. Distributed 140 gift baskets with VNLA info to members of the General Assembly, the Governor’s office and Virginia Department Secretary’s o

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

THANKS to these Breakfast Meeting Sponsors! $500 Gold Sponsors

$250 Silver Sponsors Eastern Shore Nursery of VA Griffin Greenhouse & Nursery Supply Grigg Design Ingleside Plantation Nurseries Lilley Farms & Nursery VNLA Newsletter

Nursery Supplies Riverbend Nursery RSG Landscaping & Lawn Care Shreckhise Nurseries Waynesboro Nurseries

January / February / March 2014


Letters Best Management Thank you for supporting our 7th AnPractices: nual Legislative Golf Tournament on Guide for Producing June 12 at Mattaponi Springs Golf Crops Club. WeNursery had a terrific response with

112 players including a number of elected and appointed state officials, 18-hole sponsors, three food and beverage sponsors and numerous sponsors of gifts and prizes. This is a substantial increase from past years thanks to your efforts. This event is not only a very enjoyable way to promote agribusiness to all participants, but it also contributes to the Council’s ability to represent our industry’s interest throughout the year with the General Assembly, Governor’s office state agencies, congressional delegation and the general public. Our significant accomplishments are attributable to the support you provide. Thank you. We look forward to your joining us

th Annual again for out BMPnest v 3.0year ONLINE for 8Reference Legislative goldaTournament. or Order Desktop Copy

Sincerely, AgribusinessPractices Council The BestVirginia Management

(BMP) is VNLA designed help Editor’sGuide Note: The was atoteam growers identify and promote excepsponsor, prize and give away contributor tional management practices, methand a hole sponsor. ods and procedures. Any of these Arborpractices Day Thanks management can be implemented regardless nurseMany thanks for the ofwonderful ry size or location, and empowers Swamp White Oak that was donated container and field-grown to Lorton Library for Arborplant Day prothis ducers to operate at a higher level of year. It’s doing well and sprouting efficiency and as effectiveness while new growth even I write. implementing proactive management An articlenecessary about theto ceremony was practices produce plants featured on the library website with minimal environmental impact. www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library/branches/ This ever-popular guide has abecome . It was lovely lo/oaktreeplanting.htm

recognized as ourthe undisputday and I know neighbors will ed benchmark for horticultural enjoy the tree for many years. BMPs in the U.S. with more than 6,000 copLortonThe County ies Sincerely, in use today. BestLibrary ManagementEditor’s Practices Guide, v 1.0 was Note: Vice-Presiden,, publishedLou in 1996 an updated Kobus,with provided the tree v 2.0 behalf of VNLA. printed inon 2007. Version 3.0 has just been released and is now available, for the first time, on the SNA website

as a reference tool, and in print. This VNLA –Summer 176 page manual features Board two new sections Constructing Wetlands: Meeting Minutes A How To Guide for Nurseries, as well Friday, June 23, 2006; as Crop Insurance for Nurse9:00 am 12:30 ries. Version 3.0 to will also pm be translatHampton ed toVirginia SpanishRoom, later this year. Inn, Front Royal, VA Funding for this update project is 9:00 Call by to the Order – Richard made a.m. possible USDA's Risk Johnson, President called the meeting Management Association (RMA) in to order withwith the the following people cooperation North Central present: Lizzy Lesley Pine, Jeff IPM Center at Pine, the University of IlliMiller, Bonnie Appleton, Duane nois. RMA’s mission is to promote, Shumaker, Butch Gaddy, and Billy support, and regulate sound risk manCrigler. agement solutions to preserve and strengthen the economic stability of Guest Introductions – Bill Dutcher, America’s agricultural producers. As President of the CVNLA, was intropart ofand this mission, toRMA operates duced welcomed the meeting. and manages the Federal Crop InsurSecretary’s Butch Gaddy ance Corpora-Report, tion (FCIC). RMA was reported that the minutes had been created in 1996; the FCIC was foundprinted in the VNLA Newsletter and ed in 1938. emailed to the Board. A motion was made to accept the minutes, seconded and passed.

Ad–- Hanover Hanover Farms Farms Ad

10 VNLA 10 Newsletter

January / February / March 2014

July/August 2006 January/February/March 2014

VNLA Newsletter

7 Newsletter VNLA

Connecting the Industry Across the Southeast July 22-24 2014 Atlanta Georgia

Georgia International Convention Center

SNA 2014 combines the SNA Regional Marketplace with the Southern Plant Conference, the SNA Research Conference, the SNA Annual Business Meeting, the SNA State Officer’s Conference, and SNA Day @ to bring one unparalleled industry event!

Plants... Featuring the best plants ornamental trees, shrubs, and color from top growers across the region

Products... Featuring the latest in retail, landscape and outdoor living products, garden gifts, accessories and more

People.. Connect with the industry’s most forward thinking growers, breeders, researchers, retailers, landscapers, manufacturers, and distributors from across the Southeast

Education and More... Educational sessions for retailers, growers and landscapers by top industry experts


SNA 2014 Half Page Ad.VNLA.indd 1

2/4/14 12:13 PM

Southern Nursery Association

Expand Your Business Across State Lines As a regional associa�on, SNA helps you expand your network, promote your business through an online marketplace, and provides you with �mely informa�on from across the region. Since 1899, SNA has been working to strengthen the hor�culture industry and helping businesses - just like your’s - to grow. For as li�le as $125 you can get connected today and become a part of this growing marketplace! To learn more about all that SNA has to offer, visit our website at www.sna.org or give us a call at 678.809.9992.

VNLA Newsletter

January / February / March 2014

SNA... Your Regional Association.


Printed manuals are now available of the BMP Guide Past versions have cost $75 (member) and $100 (non-member), but through funding provided by the USDA’s Risk Management Association (RMA) in cooperation with the North Central IPM Center at the University of Illinois, the only cost for the printed manuals will be a small fee of $15 to cover shipping and handling. Order your copy today by contacting the VNLA at 800-476-0055, info@vnla.org To view the online BMP Manual http://contents.sna.org/bmpv30.html

News - AmericanHort Formally Launched January 1 National Trade Association to Serve Horticulture Industry Columbus, Ohio AmericanHort, the horticulture industry’s new trade association, formally began with the closing on December 31, 2013 of the consolidation of the American Nursery & Landscape Association and OFA - The Association of Horticulture Professionals. The more than two year effort to bring the groups together was initiated by the volunteer leadership of the legacy organizations in order to better meet the needs of the industry and the respective memberships. The members voted in September 2013 to approve the consolidation. The mission of AmericanHort is to unite, promote, and advance the industry through advocacy, collaboration, connectivity, education, market development, and research. The vision developed by the new board of directors is to be a leading and unifying organization for the horticulture industry in order to cultivate successful businesses, and for the industry to enhance lives through the benefits of plants.



The new organization will represent the whole of the plant industry, including breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden center retailers, distributors, interior and exterior landscapers, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers, and all of those who are part of the industry supply chain. AmericanHort will have its primary office in Columbus, Ohio, and an office in Washington, DC to facilitate government relations and research activities, including the management of the Horticultural Research Institute. AmericanHort will also continue to manage America in Bloom, the industry’s community beautification initiative. While AmericanHort is a new nonprofit corporation, it represents 220 years of service to the industry through the combined history of the two previous associations. “We will not forget the past as we rapidly move toward the future. We will continue the legacy of providing innovative education, industry promotion, developing consumer and professional markets, an expanding convention and trade show, and leading a powerful national government relations program,” said Michael V. Geary, CAE, the president and chief executive officer of the organization. While the OFA and ANLA corporations ceased to exist on December 31, 2013 the members of both groups have been automatically enrolled in AmericanHort. They will receive new membership certificates and instructions to update their company and individual profiles. The group’s web site launched with information on membership and basic services. Enhancements to the site and additional membership features will roll out over the coming months. “It's what our members want. We sur-

January / February / March 2014

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veyed our members, spoke with them, and finally asked them to cast a ballot. Each time they told us they want a national association that unifies and serves the entire horticulture industry,” said Mark Foertmeyer of Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse, the association’s first Chairman of the Board of Directors. “We have the largest national nursery, greenhouse, and garden retail membership of any horticulture association in the United States. Those communities will join together with breeders, distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers, and the whole of the supply chain to represent our industry with one, strong voice and a greater base of volunteer, staff, and financial resources,” said Dale Deppe of Spring Meadow Nursery, the association’s first Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. “This is an exciting time for our industry. We sincerely appreciate all of the support and encouragement given by our members in order to make the vision become a reality,” Geary said. “There’s more to come from AmericanHort, and I encourage everyone to get involved through membership and supporting the in-person and virtual activities. I have no anxiety about the future - I expect this is going to be a successful venture for all involved.” About the organization: AmericanHort was formed by the consolidation of the American Nursery & Landscape Association and OFA - The Association of Horticulture Professionals. AmericanHort represents the whole of the plant industry, including breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden retailers, distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers, and all of those who are part of the industry supply chain. The mission of AmericanHort is to unite, promote, and advance the horticulture industry through advocacy, collaboration, connectivity, education, market development, and research. The association has its primary office in Columbus, Ohio and an office in Washington, DC to facilitate government relations and research activities.

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VNLA Newsletter

News - ANLA and HRI Announce Research Team Staff

Washington, D.C. — The American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), ANLA’s research affiliate, are pleased to announce the hiring of the staff team that will provide leadership to the organizations’ research efforts on behalf of the horticulture industry. Dr. Joseph Albano joins the team as research director. Albano comes to ANLA and HRI from the USDAARS Horticultural Research Labora-

tory (USHRL) located in Fort Pierce, Florida, where he has served as Research Horticulturist for over 14 years. Albano’s research focus with USDA-ARS has been on plant nutrition, water quality and conservation, and alternative substrates. He led a major multi-researcher, multilocation collaborative water quality project funded by the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative (FNRI). Albano brings to ANLA and HRI an impressive record of accomplishment and deep knowledge of horticultural research and the research community in the U.S. Albano received his Bachelor of Science in Plant Science from California State UniversityFresno, and his Master of Science in Horticulture and Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Clemson University. Jennifer Gray joins the staff as research programs administrator. Gray is well-known and respected in the nursery and landscape industry. For approximately fifteen years, Gray

served in numerous capacities for the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association, including communications and marketing activities, editing The Buckeye magazine, and overseeing grants and scholarships. Since 2007, she has served as associate executive director for the association. For ANLA and HRI, her primary responsibilities will include managing the fund raising campaigns, staffing the volunteer leadership groups, and overseeing the competitive grants program funded through HRI’s $11 million endowment fund. Gray has a degree in English from Otterbein College in Ohio. “We are thankful to have two industry experts join us to help expand the visibility and capacity of HRI and ANLA’s research activities. There’s a tremendous opportunity to expand our research portfolio to include other industry sectors and better connect with the research community. Jennifer and Joseph are the right people

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January / February / March 2014

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at the right time,” said Michael V. Geary, CAE, ANLA’s executive vice president. Albano and Gray will officially begin employment in November, and will transition to the new AmericanHort organization when the ANLA/OFA consolidation takes effect in January 2014. Gray will work from the office in Columbus, Ohio and Albano will join the Industry Advocacy & Research staff team based in Washington, DC. From: Jonathan Bardzik

News - MANTS Hosts 44th Annual Horticulture Industry Event

Premier Green Industry Trade Show Brings Thousands of Horticulture Industry Business Leaders to Baltimore for Three Day Convention Baltimore, Md. - The Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS), the premier green industry marketplace for businesses, successfully hosted their 44th annual trade show from January 8 - 10, 2014 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD. Thousands of buyers, shoppers, and horticultural industry leaders and businesses gathered despite the cold weather for three days of networking and business opportunities. "We are so thankful to have completed another successful year of the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show," said Vanessa Finney, Executive Vice President of MANTS. "Each year we look forward to coming back to Baltimore to host the show. The Convention Center, as well as Visit Balti14


more and the hotels we use in the area, are always so supportive and wonderful to work with. While the record low cold temperatures across the country did affect the show, it certainly did not dampen the spirits of those who were there." Green Industry companies and professionals from 48 states and 7 additional countries exhibited at or attended MANTS in 2014. There were 10,352 paid registrants for the show which included 967 exhibiting companies spread out over the 300,000 plus square feet of contiguous exhibit space at the Baltimore Convention Center. 3,145 buying (non-exhibiting) companies were represented. MANTS proved to be a beneficial marketplace again for businesses in attendance this year, with many selling out the products they advertised at their booths. For one nursery from Oregon, the trip was well worth it: "Within the first couple hours of the show we sold out our booth," said Tammie Yoerger from Boyko Nursery, a wholesale plant nursery in Boring, OR. "The sales covered all of our shipping costs back home. MANTS is definitely one of the bigger and most professional trade shows we have been too, we are just happy to be here." When asked if Boyko Nursery would return to MANTS next year, the answer was an enthusiastic "of course!" MANTS also welcomed various special guests over its three days including the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Secretary Earl F. "Buddy" Hance. Secretary Hance attended industry meetings held at the Convention Center and toured the show floor with the Maryland Agriculture Commission. "We felt it was important to bring the Maryland Agriculture Commission here to show the size and quality of January / February / March 2014

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this show and how important it is to not only the Maryland Landscape and Nursery Industry but how important it is to the entire country," said Secretary Hance. "Exhibitors are here from across the country showing their products; this show contributes about $11 million to the economy when it is going on. MANTS is vitally important to Maryland's agriculture sector and that's why we are here today, to promote the importance of it." MANTS continues to have a large economic impact on the city of Baltimore, bringing in thousands of out of town guests who enhance business for attractions like hotels and restaurants in an otherwise slow time of the year. At a private media event on the Thursday morning of the show, representatives from the Baltimore Convention Center, Visit Baltimore, the Hyatt and Hilton all gathered to comment on the gratitude Baltimore businesses have for MANTS each year thanks to the show's ability to bring new business to Baltimore. Next year, MANTS will take place from January 14 - 16, 2015 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Check www.mants.com or Twitter.com/MANTSBaltimore for updates and news on the show over the next year. Eve Hemsley, Maroon PR, 443-8644246, Eve@MaroonPR.com

News - The Carville M. Akehurst Memorial Scholarship The Carville M. Akehurst Memorial Scholarship was established in 2002 by the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show, Inc. (MANTS®) to memorialize Mr. Akehurst who served the horticultural industry as one of the founders of MANTS. In addition to his thirty plus years as Executive Vice-President of MANTS, through the years Mr. Akehurst served as Executive Secretary of the Maryland VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

Nursery and Landscape Association, the Maryland Nurserymen's Horticulture Research Foundation, Maryland Christmas Tree Growers, American Conifer Society, and Maryland Greenhouse Growers' Association. MANTS, which is co-sponsored by the state nursery and landscape associations of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, has established this scholarship with the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) with the belief that the strength and future success of the horticulture industry lies in the solid education of today's students. Moreover, this scholarship reflects Mr. Akehurst's firm belief that education begets one the opportunity to achieve. Through this scholarship, MANTS will provide qualified student applicants, who are residents of one of our co-sponsoring states, a scholarship opportunity that will help ensure the continuity of the nursery and landscape profession.

Akehurst Memorial Scholarship Recipients 2013 Chelsea Gusler, Virginia Tech, Dublin, Virginia Stephanie Marino, University of Maryland, Severn, MD

News - USDA, EPA Partnership Supports Water Quality Trading To Benefit Environment WASHINGTON - The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced an expanded partnership to support water quality trading and other market-based approaches that provide benefits to the environment and economy. "New water quality trading markets hold incredible potential to benefit rural America by providing new in-

come opportunities and enhancing conservation of water and wildlife habitat," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "Additionally, these efforts will strengthen businesses across the nation by providing a new pathway to comply with regulatory requirements." "EPA is committed to finding collaborative solutions that protect and restore our nation's waterways and the health of the communities that depend on them," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "We're excited about partnering with USDA to expand support for water quality trading, which shows that environmental improvements can mean a better bottom line for farmers and ranchers." Water quality trading provides a costeffective approach for regulated entities to comply with EPA Clean Water Act requirements, including water quality-based effluent limits in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. Trading would

Ad - Turtle Creek Nursery

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allow regulated entities to purchase and use pollutant reduction credits generated by other sources in a watershed. Cost savings and other economic incentives are key motivators for parties engaged in trading. Water quality trading can also provide additional environmental and economic benefits, such as air quality improvements, enhanced wildlife habitat, carbon capture and storage, and new income and employment opportunities for rural America. EPA and USDA are working together to implement and coordinate policies and programs that encourage water quality trading. The Department and the Agency will identify opportunities to work collaboratively to help improve water quality trading programs across the country. Cooperative management and technical assistance will improve resource management and public services, and accelerate implementation.

ble to assist in stakeholder decision making and opportunities. The purpose of this policy is to support states, interstate agencies and tribes as they develop and implement water quality trading programs for nutrients, sediments and other pollutants where opportunities exist to achieve water quality improvements at reduced costs. EPA: Alison Davis, 202-564-0835, USDA Office of Communications (202)720-4623

CVNLA would like to Thank their Sponsors of their Short Course!

USDA and EPA will: 

Coordinate and enhance communications and outreach to states, agricultural producers, regulated sources, and interested third parties on water quality trading; Engage expertise across agencies in the review of grants, loans or technical assistance programs focused on water quality trading;

Share information on the development of rules and guidance that have the potential to affect water quality trading;

Collaborate on developing tools and information resources for states and credit generators to guide decision making, reduce costs in program design and implementation, improve environmental performance, and foster consistency and integrity across regional initiatives;



Gold Sponsors: Davey Tree Virginia Nursery and Landscape Assoc. Glen Allen Nursery Silver Sponsors Farm Credit Manchester Gardening Colesville Nursery J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College

Co-host a workshop by 2015 to share tools and resources availa-

News - Monrovia acquires Imperial Nurseries 1/14/2014 - Monrovia, the leading U.S. grower of premium garden plants, has acquired Connecticut-based Imperial Nurseries. According to Monrovia CEO Miles Rosedale, "This is an important acquisition to serve our customers east of the Mississippi who will have better access to Monrovia's Distinctively Better plants throughout the growing season. "Having growing facilities closer to our customers in the Northeast will enable them to refill orders on a more complete and timely basis." Monrovia has growing operations in Visalia, Calif., and Dayton, Ore, and Cairo, Ga. The acquisition will boost total plant production by 15 percent. "Imperial was the perfect candidate to combine with Monrovia, as they have a shared commitment to quality plants and customer service - it's a great team," he added. Joining Monrovia is Imperial's Greg Schaan, named vice president of production for the East Coast, overseeing the Connecticut and Georgia nurseries. Imperial's sales representatives will work in tandem with Monrovia's sales team to ensure a continuity of service to their garden centers and landscape customers. Rosedale added, "This change will strengthen the sales, production and distribution capabilities of the combined company." He said that existing inventory on the ground will continue to be sold under the Imperial brand, but will change to the Monrovia brand as new canning takes place. Other branded lines sold by Imperial will be evaluated individually to see if they remain in the product mix. "Our garden center and landscape contractor customers are as eager as we are about this acquisition and are looking forward to all the benefits," Rosedale said. From the American Nurseryman Magazine Blog: http://amerinursery.com/blog

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January/February/March 2014

VNLA Newsletter

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Winner of the January/February/March 2014 Photo Contest

Photo Winner: Heather Truax StudentStudent- Virginia Virginia Tech Tech summer summer intern intern at at Ingleside Ingleside Plantation Plantation Nurseries Nurseries CameraiPhone 4S Camera- iPhone 4S This This photo photo was was taken taken at at Ingleside Ingleside Plantation Plantation Nurseries Nurseries summer summer 2013 2013 during during my my summer internship. This beautiful shot was taken of the Foxgloves down in a summer internship. This beautiful shot was taken of the Foxgloves down in a hoop hoop house house in in the the perennial perennial section section of of the the nursery. nursery. Being Being an an intern, intern, II was was able able to to capture many moments during my internship and loved seeing and capturing the capture many moments during my internship and loved seeing and capturing the natural natural beauty. beauty.

Win Win $50, $50, submit submit your your photos! photos! Good Good Luck Luck and and Happy Happy Photographing! Photographing!

VNA Horticulture Research Foundation Gala/Auction

Thanks to these Sponsors! $1,000 $1,000 -- Bennett's Bennett's Creek Creek Nursery Nursery $1,000 -- Lancaster Lancaster Farms Farms $1,000

$500 -- Saunders Saunders Brothers Brothers $500 $250 -- Willow Willow Springs Springs Tree Tree Farm Farm $250 VNLA Newsletter VNLA VNLA Newsletter Newsletter

January / February / March 2014 January/February/March January/February/March 2014 2014

VNLA - Photo Contest Rules 1. The 1. The contest contest is is open open to to any photographer (amateur any photographer (amateur and and professional) professional) except except members members of of Board Board of of Directors Directors of of VNLA VNLA and and their their families. families. Entries Entries are are limited limited to to VNLA VNLA members members and and their their staff. staff. 2. Each photographer 2. Each photographer may may enter enter up up to to three three (3) (3) digital digital images per Newsletter images per Newsletter deadline deadline (see (see #6). #6). E-mail E-mail images images to to ininfo@vnla.org. Include fo@vnla.org. Include your your name, name, phone phone number number and and occuoccupation. One winning per pation. One winning entry entry per photographer photographer per per year. year. You You may may re-enter re-enter non-winning non-winning enentries. tries. 3. Please 3. Please e-mail e-mail images images separately. Feel separately. Feel free free to to elaboelaborate rate on on any any story story surrounding surrounding the the photograph. photograph. Photos Photos should should be 300 dpi high resolution. be 300 dpi high resolution. 4. All 4. All photographs photographs subsubmitted mitted must must have have been been taken taken within within the the past past five five years. years. 5. All photographs 5. All photographs must must be related be related to to the the Green Green IndusIndustry. try. The The subject subject can can be be located located in in aa nursery, nursery, back back yard, yard, or or in in aa landscape--just so it is obviouslandscape--just so it is obviously ly related related to to the the green green industry industry profession. profession. 6. Deadline 6. Deadline for for submissubmission is 5:00 p.m. on sion is 5:00 p.m. on the the NewsNewsletter letter Copy Copy Deadline, Deadline, which which is is the the 15th 15th of of January, January, April, April, July, July, and and October. October. All All submissions submissions become the property become the property of of the the VNLA. VNLA. 7. 7. 7. 7. Model Model Release Release forms are required forms are required with with each each photograph photograph which which contains contains aa clearly clearly identifiable identifiable person. person. ReRelease lease forms forms are are available available from from the the VNLA VNLA office, office, on on request, request, and are also available and are also available for for download download from from the the VNLA VNLA website website at at Model Model release release in in MS MS Word format or Adobe Word format or Adobe PDF PDF format. format. Judging Judging done done by by the the VNLA VNLA Communication Committee. Communication Committee. All All decisions decisions are are final. final.

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Member Profile - Shreckhise Nursery Matt Shreckhise They took on landscaping jobs in Augusta and Rockingham counties, with an occasional job as far away as Washington, DC. The three brothers, along with their younger brothers Jim, Dick, and Fred, also operated a dairy and beef farm and manufactured wooden chicken coops among other ventures.

production is in containers. I joined the business in 2006 becoming the fourth generation Shreckhise to enter the nursery industry.”

Noah Shreckhise - 1880’s

“The Shreckhise family’s roots in the nursery industry date back to the late 1880s, when Noah Shreckhise founded Augusta Nurseries. The nursery was located on the family farm in Augusta County, Virginia near the community of Mt. Sidney. Uncle Noah died in 1934, and then in 1935, three of his nephews, my Uncle George, Uncle Charles and my granddad John Shreckhise formed a partnership called Shreckhise Brothers.

Matt and Danny Shreckhise

Matt Shreckhise grew up in the nursery business. However he was a Business Major at Virginia Tech, graduating in 2002. He worked outside of the business for five years. He is married to wife Elizabeth. They have one child, but have another child on the way. Matt has now been with the company since 2006. Organizations that he has been involved in are:

(l) John Daniel Shreckhise

Their father, John Daniel, died at the age of 37 in 1924 and the burden of making ends meet and raising the rest of the family fell on their shoulders with the help of their mother, Pearl, and the Mt. Sidney community. They undertook numerous business ventures including nursery and landscaping, where they grew their plants on the same farm Uncle Noah had used. 18


In 1961, they moved the nursery to its current location in Rockingham County. As production increased, the nursery began to wholesale material to local garden centers and landscape contractors, and wholesaling became a major part of the business by the early 1970s. In 1977, the next generation, including my dad Danny, and his cousin Jerry Shreckhise, bought the business. Shortly thereafter, landscaping was dropped and nursery production became the primary focus. In 1980 they grew their first basket-grown trees, and at present, almost all of our January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

Virginia Tech Horticulture Advisory Board (2009-Present) President of the Shenandoah Valley Nursery & Greenhouse Association (2009-Present) President of the VNLA (2014)

The following are eloquent answers to questions presented to Matt: Hobbies:” We’re a sports-loving family and I still enjoy playing basketball when I can. What I enjoy most is spending time with friends and family, especially my wife, ElizVNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

abeth, and our 3 year-old son, Mason. I’m also excited for the new addition to our family, expected in the middle of April. Perfect timing!”

and encouraged me to try things out of my comfort zone.”

picture” thinking, and a lot of patience for a family business to succeed long term. On top of that you ultimately have to like what you do. We like people and we like plants, and we want to grow quality plants to please our customers.” Biggest Challenge, Obstacle or Disaster in Business History “I know in the early 1980s the switch from field production to containers was a huge challenge for the business and at the time my granddad thought my dad was crazy for making the switch. But it did work out for the best.

Elizabeth, Matt, Danny, Linda

If you have business interests other than those listed in Part II, or any other data that would be helpful or interesting, “My wife, Elizabeth, also works in her family’s business, which is a girls’ summer camp in Lewisburg, WV, so I enjoy spending my weekends during the summer months along the Greenbrier River. While I miss my family during the week we are blessed that our children will have that unique experience growing up. They have very little to zero access to electronics and fast-paced modern society, just good old-fashioned outdoor fun.” Favorite Plant: “There are so many that I’d like to say are my favorite but every time I walk by the large ‘Vardar Valley’ Boxwood my dad has planted at his house I fall back in love with it. He has them planted at the perfect spot and I know it sounds boring but when they get larger they are beautiful. To each their own I guess! Best Habit: “I try to stay even-keeled but I know when a sense of urgency is needed.” Worst Habit: “There are too many to list but I’m working on correcting them.” Dream Vacation:” I would love to have an entire week off with my wife in a warm, tropical location.” Hero:” Definitely my parents. They instilled in me a strong work ethic VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

4th Generation in training (Mason)

Aspirations:” Personally, to be the best dad and husband I can possibly be and professionally to be a good and honest businessman.” Hardest Part of Your Workday: “Seriously, waking up in the morning… I’m not a morning person.” Best Part of Your Workday:” I enjoy talking and working with our customers on a day-to-day basis. I also love tagging plants that are sold!” Helpful Hint When Handling Employees:” Try to be consistent and fair and always treat everyone with respect.” Best Advice Ever Received: “I went to Hall of Fame coach Lefty Driesell’s basketball camp when I was about 12 years old and he would always tell his campers, “The harder you work, the luckier you’ll get.” That has stuck with me since.” How or Why Your Company Managed to Stay in Business So Long? “Working in a family business can be hard and many in our industry understand that family dynamic. Growing up I witnessed how much my dad worked. I think that along with hard work it takes some foresight, “big January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

Recently our biggest challenge was the 2012 Derecho Storm. Literally, it almost put us out of business. Tens of thousands of our shrubs and trees were blown over and thousands of our trees needed to be re-staked and/or repotted. It was in the middle of July with 90+ degree temperatures; we were out of power and had no way of watering our plants without a large 3 phase generator, which we didn’t have. Luckily we found one and needless to say we have access to it if another such disaster hits. We also 19


wouldn’t have made it through without our dedicated employees who went above and beyond their duties.” wouldn’t have made it through withWho is your most significant out our dedicated employees menwho tor and why? “Definitely dad. went above and beyond their my duties.” He has been through the good times Whobad is times your in most menand the significant nursery business tor I’ve and tried why?to“Definitely my as dad. and learn as much I He has been through the good times can through him. He is good about and bad in the business giving histimes opinion on nursery issues that arise and I’ve tried to learn as much as I but also lets me make my own decican through him. He is good about sions even when he knows what the giving his opinion outcome will be.” on issues that arise but also lets me make my own deciFuture Plans: “We’re always looksions even when he knows what the ing for ways to improve our business. outcome will be.” I think the future of our business is Futurebut Plans: lookbright only “We’re if we’realways willing to ing for ways to improve our business. adapt to the changes that are coming I think the futureThat’s of our why business to our industry. beingis bright but only if we’re willing to involved in organizations like the adapt to the changes that are coming VNLA are so important. Not only to our That’s information why being does the industry. VNLA provide involved in organizations likeabout the regarding legislation and news VNLA are so Not only our industry butimportant. also provides netdoes the VNLA provide information working opportunities for its memregarding legislation and news about our industry but also provides networking opportunities for its mem-

bers to learn from each other.” How has the industry changed since started business? bers to you learn from each in other.” “Since I started working full-time in How hasbusiness the industry the family in 2006, achanged lot has since you started in main business? changed, and one of the areas “Since I started working full-time in has been technology. Because of the family business in 2006, has smart phones and tablets oura lot trucks changed, and one of the main areas have now become our main office. I has asked been my technology. Because beof also dad this question smart phones and tablets our trucks cause he has a few more years’ expehave now become rience to draw from.our Hemain says office. that theI also asked my dad this question beindustry isn’t as seasonal as it once causeThe he off has months a few more expewas. aren’tyears’ as slow as rience to draw from. He says that the they used to be and many landscapers industry isn’t asround seasonal it once are planting year now.asOver the was. The off months aren’t as slow as last 25 years, box stores have grown they used to be and many landscapers and have taken over more of the marare planting yearindependent round now. Over the ket, therefore garden last 25 years, box stores have grown centers have had to adapt significantandinhave taken more of the marly order to over be competitive. The ket, therefore independent garden labor market has drastically changed centers havemore had to adaptofsignificantand we’re aware environly in order to be competitive. The mental concerns now than we were labor market has drastically changed 25 years ago. He also said “Up until and Great we’re Recession more aware environthe thatofbegan in mental concerns now than we were 25 years ago. He also said “Up until the Great Recession that began in

2008, pretty much if you grew it you could sell it… The whole game changed in 2008.” 2008, pretty much if you grew it you Matt the 2014 couldShreckhise sell it… isThe wholeVNLA game President changed in 2008.” Edited by Sandy Matt Shreckhise is theMiller 2014 VNLA President Edited by Sandy Miller Save the Date! VNLA Field Day Save the Date!

& Summer Tour VNLA Field Day at & Virginia Summer Tech Tour Blacksburg at Virginia Tech August 7-8, 2014 Blacksburg August 7-8, 2014

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Ad - Shreckhise Nursery Since 1936 Growers of Quality Trees & Shrubs, Conifers, Flowering Shrubs, Broad Leaf Evergreens, Shade & Flowering Trees, B&B Taxus & Thuja. Specializing in Container Grown Trees Located in the Heart of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia

1903 Forest AVE | PO BOX 428 | Grottoes, VA 24441 nursery@shreckhise.com 540-249-5761 | 800-628-5871 | fax 540-249-5762

www. 20


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Tips - Winter is for Thinking by Judy Sharpton

January and February are the thinking months. The numbers are in. You know what happened at the register. Winter is the shut-in time. The orders are placed and you can only hope the plugs or plants or pots will arrive as promised. Winter is the expectant time. The coming spring season holds every promise of good weather. Read: Fingers crossed! So, if you can’t control the weather, now or next spring, what can you control? Now is the time to think about all those possibilities.

Start with those numbers. As far as you can drill down using your technology, determine what sold and what didn’t sell. Then take a hard look at your numbers and technology; is this the year to invest in new technology? Consider the benefits of moving customers through that line that got way too long last spring and the potential for making that toosmall parking lot serve another year. At the very least, determine to visit the various point-of-sale vendors at one of the winter shows and take the time to talk to the representative in the booth and pay attention to the details of each system’s capabilities. If you have a warehouse or storeroom, a greenhouse or nursery yard, take inventory of the dollars sitting on the shelves or over wintering in the yard. Divide the group into those items that were stored after this year’s sales and those items that have been stored for more than one (more than two?) selling seasons. Then, figure out how to get those liabilities off your books. Stage a giant indoor sidewalk sale or make a donation to Goodwill or some other local charity. Then plan a staff training session for early in the season titled “Clearing Inventory.” Share the dollar amount VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

of merchandise you put on sale, donated or still have boxed in the storeroom or heeled in or, worse, keeping warm in a greenhouse. Then, develop a staff-wide plan for clearing the entire inventory of the store by the end of next year - both merchandise in storage and the stuff that’s on the way.

Take charge of what happens at the register. While you’re shut in for the winter, review the month-to-month customer count and total monthly transactions. Calculate an average sale amount for each month. Plan another staff training session titled “Do you want fries with that?” Share the month-to-month average sales figures and develop a strategy for increasing the average sale by a percentage you and the staff think you can accomplish. Create a “Do you need?’ program for the register by selecting the five products every customer should have for gardening success in a given season. Tape that list to the register and place the five items on every register endcap. Then, select at least two other places in the store for each staff person to manage an add-on sales product for their department. What happens when you increase the average sale? Take some of your print advertising dollars and spiff the staff.

Take charge of merchandising. Create a merchandising plan using a scale drawing of the entire retail area. With a list of all the merchandise you expect to arrive within the next few months, schedule a staff training session titled “Where’s it gonna go so it sells?” Give each staff person a copy of the store drawing and the merchandise list for his or her department and have the department managers and staff plan where the product will go. This planning time is also great brainstorming for promotions and events. Be sure there’s a calendar in each staff planning packet and one big calendar for the wall.

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Take charge of store basics. Walk the entire retail environment with a camera and document what the customer sees. Start at the moment the customer turns into the driveway and end with the exit to the street. You can’t fix everything before next spring. You can prioritize two or three vital improvements. Does your streetside sign need a coat of fresh paint? Could you use some fresh shopping carts? How long has it been since you cleaned out under the cash register counter? What does the bathroom look like? Do the outside shopping areas need grading and fresh gravel? If you can’t trust your tired eyes to “see” the store, invite three of your best customers to walk the store and make suggestions for what they think would make shopping more pleasant.

Winter is the thinking time. If the weather is good this spring, you won’t have time to think. But, you do now. Judy Sharpton is a garden center design and renovation specialist with 35 year's experience in advertising and promotion and the owner of Growing Places Marketing. Since 1995, Growing Places Marketing has specialized in on-site consultations on store design, renovation and branding exclusively for independent garden centers and farm markets. Judy has served more than 300 individual independent garden centers with a wide range of renovation and new construction design services. In addition, Judy provides program content on store development, store branding and product placement to trade groups and suppliers through Growing Places’ Store School™. Store School™ provides content for more than 25 trade and vendor groups attended by thousands of members of the green industry annually in the United 21


States and Canada. Store-School is particularly pleased to provide content for smaller state trade groups where garden center owners and staff have less access to professional development..

New White FringetreeChionanthus virginicus ‘Spring Fleecing’

Judy writes a monthly column on store development titled Retail Ready™ for Green Profit magazine and contributes feature articles on garden center development to a range of trade publications. Judy publishes two electronic newsletters especially for independent garden centers. The Growing Places Retail Checklist reminds retailers and the suppliers who sell to them of timely planning issues throughout the year. Success Stories (S2) chronicles store development and merchandising campaigns that measure success in the dollars added to store’s the bottom line. Judy has earned LEED Green Associate accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council and is a member of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA). This article first appeared in Green Profit magazine. by Judy Sharpton

‘Spring Fleecing’ (r) compared to other varieties of Chionanthus in the Beautiful Gradens® trials in the Urban Hort Center at Virginia Tech

If you’re a member of the Plant Propagators Society, you probably know Sam Allen of Tarheel Native Trees in Clayton, NC. He’s well known for his ability to squeeze roots out of some hard to grow plants. He also likes plants. He likes to grow different and unusual plants. He is interested in improved plants. The economy has put a damper on that sort of interest in the last few years, but back in the 1990s, Sam bought a group of native Chionanthus virginicus seedlings from Flowerwood Nursery in AL. He grew them all for several years and then selected the one that put on the best show each spring. Since it bloomed at tax time, he decided to name it ‘Spring Fleecing’.

Support VNLA Member Growers! Online at www.VNLA.org New Native Plant Section! For a print copy call 1-800-4760055 or email info@vnla.org 22


BG planted them along with some seedlings in the test plots across the state.

Beautiful Gardens® heard about this one and another selection named ‘Emerald Knight’, selected by Brian Upchurch of NC. Native plants have become increasing popular and White Fringetree, also called Grancy Graybeard & Old Man’s Beard, has been especially so. It is dioecious, having male and female flowers on separate plants. The males are generally thought to have the showiest blooms. “Spring Fleecing’ and ‘Emerald Knight’ both are male cultivars, so January / February / March 2014 January/February/March 2014

When the evaluations were in, ‘Spring Fleecing’ was by far the showiest of all in flower. It also blooms at a very young age. BG had decided this would be a Plant Of Distinction for 2014 and announced it as such in 2012. The plants can be purchased at Colesville Nursery in Ashland, VA, and at Tarheel Native Trees in NC. Liners are usually available from Heritage Seedlings in Salem, Oregon and Pleasant Run Nursery in NJ. Provided by Linda Pinkham, lindapinkham@me.com Newsletter VNLAVNLA Newsletter

Tips - Redbud Cauliflory The inside story One of the most distinctive features of redbuds, Cercis canadensis, the 2013 VNPS Wild-flower of the Year, is its production of flowers on mature trunks and major branches, a habit termed cauliflory. Redbud flowers also form on young, one-year old twigs; as explained below, twig-and trunk-borne flowers are parts of a single developmental continuum; twigs bearing flowers eventually becoming trunks and large branches that continue to bear flowers.


But before exploring the biological details of cauliflory, some attention to etymology is warranted. In the context of redbuds, the term cauliflory is derived in straightforward fashion from the Latin, "caulis" (stem) and "flor-" (flower). And while all flowers are borne on stems of one sort or an-other, botanical use of the term restricts cauliflory to those uncommon in-stances in which flowers develop on the sides of mature woody stems. Cauliflower, the vegetable, by this definition, is not cauliflorous! It seems that "caulis" also means "cabbage" and cauliflower the vegetable is, literally a massive glomeration of very early stage flower buds of plants closely related to cabbage; cauliflowVNLA Newsletter

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er buds form on the ends of succulent non-woody stems and thus do not qualify as cauliflorous as the term is usually applied in botany. The vast majority of flowering plants produce flowers at or near the tips of relatively young actively growing stems. Commonly, flowers or inflorescences (flower clusters) form at the very ends of stems or from lateral buds located not far below the stem tip. Cauliflory, on the other hand, is decidedly uncommon, but it does occur in a small number of plant genera, mostly from the tropics. Perhaps the most familiar tropical cauliflorous plant is the chocolate tree (Theobroma cacao); the flowers are quite small, but the subsequent fruits, about six inches long, deeply ribbed and bright yellow, are decidedly eyecatching (and can be seen in a recent television ad). Redbuds constitute one of the few examples of cauliflory among temperate zone plants. The developmental connection between redbud flowers produced on one-year old twigs and those found on mature trunks should be obvious to any careful observer. The first pertinent fact is that the alternate leaves of redbuds are borne in strict distichous phyllotaxy, which is to say that successive leaves are oriented 180 degrees apart from each other, alternately on opposite sides of the stem, leafy branchlets, thus, being more or less planar. Because redbud leaves occur along two lines (think right-and left-hand sides of the stem), flower clusters arising from lateral buds of one-year old twigs also occur in two lines窶馬othing unusual here, a great many plants produce flowers in the axils of one-year old twigs. If one carefully studies a flowering red-bud tree, however, it will soon become evident that flowers on slightly older twigs continue the distichous pattern seen on the youngest twigs, as do the truly cauliflorous flowers of large branches and main trunks. The straight-forward conclusion is that the pattern of flower production for any January / February / March 2014

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redbud stem must be initiated in its earliest growth stages, following the architecture established by distichous leaves and the flower buds that form in their axils.

Redbud Cauliflory

To explain how principal trunks and main branches of redbud retain the capacity for flower formation requires microscopic examination, and such studies have been reported in a series of papers by Shirley Owens and Frank Ewers from Michigan State University (see literature cited). One key point is that redbuds make not one, but a series, of lateral buds in their leaf axils. As many as 10 first order lateral buds per node have been documented, and these occur in a linear series of descending size. The largest lateral buds have the potential to produce a flower cluster in the year subsequent to their initial formation; successively smaller buds occur below the largest one, with the smallest located closest to the leaf axil proper and likely to remain dormant for as long as five years before forming flowers (on what would then be a fairly substantial branch). In part, then, cauliflory in redbuds is a straightforward matter of the plants possessing multiple lateral buds capable of forming flowers over a number of years as that stem becomes incrementally thicker. But redbud stems much older than five years 23


continue to produce flowers, which is the distinctive hallmark of cauliflory. It seems that the first order lateral buds, those that formed when the stem segment was very young, also have the ability over time to proliferate new second order buds. Thus, cauliflory can continue indefinitely from proliferating bud clusters that were initiated in primary growth. Another way to conceptualize the developmental pattern of redbud cauliflory is to remember that lateral buds, in general, also have the capacity to make branch stems. In the usual case, the branch stem elongates rapidly and, over time, its basal region becomes engulfed as its parent stem increases in diameter, eventually forming a knot in the woody tissue of the parent stem. The cauliflorous bud clusters of redbud can be viewed as the tips of greatly fore-shortened branches that grow so slowly that their tips barely protrude beyond the bark of their parent stems. And just like ordinary branches that form knots as their parent stems over-

grow their bases, careful dissection of redbud trunks will reveal small knotlike tracks that extend from the central pith to surface bud clusters. So that's the "how" of cauliflory. What about the "why?" "Why" questions are often difficult. In the case of redbuds, one is tempted to assert that because its closest relatives are tropical plants, and because most cauliflorous trees are tropical, cauliflory in Cercis is an ancestral trait that belies the tropical origin of now temperate zone redbuds. But that explanation only shifts the context of the question in time and space: so why did the tropical ancestors of redbuds develop the cauliflorous habit? Frankly, attempts to answer such questions tend to be speculative and most speculation revolves around the complexity of tropical forests and the intricacy of pollination interactions observed in tropical plants. Understory trees and shrubs in the tropics can't be expected to attract the same pollinators that service flowers in the canopy. Rather, understory trees and shrubs are

more likely to be pollinated by insects or other animals that live near the forest floor; cauliflory may thus be a means to provide easy access to flowers for these inhabitants of the lower strata of tropical forest. Returning to modern redbuds, one notes that bumble-bees and carpenter bees are frequent pollinators, and these are insects that spend a great deal of their time relatively close to the ground. So, perhaps the "Why cauliflory?" explanation boils down to "it worked" for the tropical ancestors and it continues to work in its present temperate zone habitats. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! W. John Hayden, VNPS Botany Chair Literature Cited •Owens, S. A., & F. W. Ewers. 1990. The development of cauliflory in redbud, Cercis canadensis (Fabaceae). Can. J. Bot. 69: 1956-1963. •Owens, S. A., & F. W. Ewers. 2012. Experimentally induced changes in bud fates in Cercis canadensis L. (Fabaceae). Int. J.

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Green Area Ratio Fact Sheet What is the Green Area Ratio?

Green Area Ratio (GAR) is an environmental sustainability zoning measure that has been proposed for development sites in Washington D.C. It is intended to set standards for landscape and site design that contribute to the reduction of stormwater runoff, improve air quality and reduce the urban heat island effect. The Green Area Ratio model allows a user to choose from a number of optional environmental elements (from landscaping to solar panel installation) in order to achieve an overall GAR score for the site.

Where will the GAR Apply?

The Green Area Ratio will apply to all new buildings requiring a Certificate of Occupancy and to major building renovations that more than double the assessed value of a property. For residential properties, only buildings with more than two units would need to comply. Different GAR scores would be established by zone. The following is an example of possible GAR scores required in commercial zones.

How is the GAR Calculated?

Zone GAR Score SP-1 0.3 C-2-A 0.3 C-3-A 0.25

The GAR score is based on a measure of landscape elements, their environmental benefit and the total area on the site. There are a wide variety of landscape elements that can be added to meet the GAR requirement. DCRA will provide a scoresheet that automatically calculates the GAR requirement for a property. To calculate a GAR score: (a) The area of each landscape element is multiplied by its corresponding multiplier (b) The resulting numbers for all landscape elements are added together; (c) The resulting point total is then divided by the total land area of the lot; (d) The product of the equation equals the property’s GAR. For more information about GAR and other zoning review updates, visit www.dczoningupdate.org

Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility

Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility Greg Mullins, Former Professor and Extension Specialist, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech Kathryn C. Haering, Research Associate, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech David J. Hansen, Associate Professor, Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware

Plant Nutrition

Table 4.1. Eighteen essential elements for plant growth and the chemical forms most commonly taken up by plants.

Essential Elements An essential mineral element is one that is required for normal plant growth and reproduction. With the exception of carbon (C) and oxygen (O), which are supplied from the atmosphere, the essential elements are obtained from the soil. The amount of each element required by the plant varies; however, all essential elements are equally important in terms of plant physiological processes and plant growth. The exact number of elements that should be considered “essential” to plant growth is a matter of some debate. For example, cobalt (Co), which is required for nitrogen (N) fixation in legumes, is not considered to be an essential element by some researchers. Table 4.1 lists 18 elements that are considered essential by many scientists. Other elements that are sometimes listed as essential are sodium (Na), silicon (Si), and vanadium (V).

Categories of Essential Elements Essential elements can be grouped into four categories, based on their origin or the relative amount a plant needs in order to develop properly (table 4.2). 1. Nonmineral essential elements are derived from the air and water. 2. Primary essential elements are most often applied in commercial fertilizers or in manures. 3. Secondary elements are normally applied as soil amendments or are components of fertilizers that carry primary nutrients. Nonmineral, primary, and secondary elements are also referred to as “macronutrients,” because they are required in relatively large amounts by plants.

Symbol C

Form absorbed by plants CO2



H+, OH-, H2O






NH4+, NO3-



HPO42-, H2PO4-















Fe2+, Fe3+



Mn2+, Mn4+



H3BO3, BO3-, B4072-



















Element Carbon

Table 4.2. Essential elements, their relative uptake, and sources where plants obtain them. Macronutrients Nonmineral Primary Secondary (Mostly from (Mostly (Mostly air and water) from soil) from soil) Carbon Nitrogen Calcium Hydrogen Phosphorus Magnesium Oxygen Potassium Sulfur

4. “Micronutrients” are required in very small, or “trace,” amounts by plants. Although micronutrients are required by plants in very small quantities, they are equally essential to plant growth. 26

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Micronutrients (Mostly from soil) Iron Manganese Boron Zinc Copper Molybdenum Chlorine Cobalt Nickel VNLA Newsletter


Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility

Functions of Essential Elements in Plants

Sulfur (S)

Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H), and Oxygen (O)

• Required for the synthesis of the sulfur-containing amino acids cystine, cysteine, and methionine, which are essential for protein formation.

• Directly involved in photosynthesis, which accounts for most plant growth.

Nitrogen (N) • Found in chlorophyll, nucleic acids, and amino acids. • Component of protein and enzymes, which control almost all biological processes.

• Involved with development of enzymes and vitamins, chlorophyll formation, and formation of several organic compounds that give characteristic odors to garlic, mustard, and onion.

Iron (Fe) • Serves as a catalyst in chlorophyll synthesis.

Phosphorus (P)

• Involved in many oxidation-reduction reactions during respiration and photosynthesis.

• Essential component of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — which is directly responsible for energy transfer reactions in the plant — and of DNA and RNA.

Manganese (Mn)

• Essential component of phospholipids, which play critical roles in cell membranes.

• Functions primarily as a part of the enzyme systems in plants. • Activates several important metabolic reactions.

• Important for plant development — including development of a healthy root system, normal seed development, and photosynthesis — respiration, cell division, and other processes.

• Plays a direct role in photosynthesis.

Potassium (K)

Boron (B)

• Along with iron, serves as a catalyst in chlorophyll synthesis.

• Responsible for regulation of plants’ water usage, disease resistance, and stem strength.

• Essential for germination of pollen grains and growth of pollen tubes, seed, and cell wall formation.

• Involved in photosynthesis, drought tolerance, winter hardiness, and protein synthesis.

• Essential for development and growth of new cells in meristematic tissue.

Calcium (Ca)

• Sugar/borate complexes associated with translocation of sugars, starches, nitrogen, and phosphorus.

• Essential for cell elongation and division.

• Important in protein synthesis.

• Specifically required for root and leaf development, function of cell membranes, and formation of cell wall compounds.

Zinc (Zn)

• Involved in the activation of several plant enzymes.

• Essential for promoting certain metabolic/enzymatic reactions.

Magnesium (Mg)

• Necessary for the production of chlorophyll, carbohydrates, and growth hormones.

• Primary component of chlorophyll, and therefore, actively involved in photosynthesis.

• Aids in the synthesis of plant growth compounds and enzyme systems.

• Structural component of ribosomes, which are required for protein synthesis.

Copper (Cu)

• Involved in phosphate metabolism, respiration, and the activation of several enzyme systems.

• Serves as a catalyst for several enzymes.

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• Necessary for chlorophyll formation.

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Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility

Molybdenum (Mo) • Required for the synthesis and activity of the enzyme system that reduces nitrate to ammonium in the plant. • Essential in the process of symbiotic nitrogen fixation by Rhizobia bacteria in legume root nodules.

Chlorine (Cl) • Involved in energy reactions in the plant, breakdown of water, regulation of stomata guard cells, maintenance of turgor, and rate of water loss. • Involved in plant response to moisture stress and resistance to some diseases. • Activates several enzyme systems. • Serves as a counter ion in the transport of several cations in the plant.

Elements can be either “mobile” or “not mobile” within plants. This determines where symptoms of an element deficiency will first appear in a plant. A mobile element is one that is able to “translocate” (move) from one part of the plant to another depending on its need. Mobile elements generally move from older (lower) plant parts to the meristem, or growing point.

Soil pH, Nutrient Availability, and Liming Effect of pH on Nutrient Availability Many soil elements change form as a result of chemical reactions in the soil. Plants may or may not be able to use elements in some of these forms. Because pH influences the soil concentration and, thus, the availability of plant nutrients, it is responsible for the solubility of many nutrient elements. Figure 4.1 illustrates the relationship between soil pH and the relative plant availability of nutrients.

Cobalt (Co) • Essential in the process of symbiotic nitrogen fixation by Rhizobia bacteria in legume root nodules. • Not proven to be essential for the growth of all higher plants.

Nickel (Ni) • Component of the urease enzyme. • Essential for plants in which ureides are important in nitrogen metabolism.

Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms Visual diagnosis of plant deficiencies can be very risky. There may be more than one deficiency symptom expressed, which can make diagnosis difficult. Both soil and tissue samples should be collected, analyzed, and interpreted before any recommendations are made concerning application of fertilizer. Terminology used to describe deficiency symptoms (table 4.3) includes: Chlorosis

Yellowing or lighter shade of green.


Browning or dying of plant tissue.

Interveinal Between the leaf veins.



Growing point of a plant.


Distance of the stem between the leaves.

Figure 4.1. Relationship between soil pH and nutrient availability. Graphic by Kathryn Haering.

Phosphorus solubility and plant availability are controlled by complex soil chemical reactions, which are often pH-dependent. Plant availability of P is generally greatest in the pH range of 5.5 to 6.8. When soil pH falls below 5.8, P reacts with Fe and Al to produce insoluble iron and aluminum phosphates that are not readily available for plant uptake. At high pH values, phosphorus reacts with Ca to form calcium phosphates that are relatively insoluble and have low availability to plants.

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Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility

Table 4.3. Element mobility and specific deficiency symptoms. Element


Deficiency Symptoms and Occurrence


Mobile within plants; lower leaves Stunted, slow-growing, chlorotic plants; reduced yield; plants more show chlorosis first. susceptible to weather stress and disease. Some plants may mature earlier.


Mobile within plants; lower leaves Overall stunted plant and a poorly developed root system. Can cause show deficiency first. purple or reddish color associated with the accumulation of sugars. Difficult to detect from visual symptoms.


Mobile within plants; lower leaves Scorching or firing along leaf margins, slow growth, poorly show deficiency first. developed root systems, weak stalks, small and shriveled seeds and fruit, and low disease-resistance. Deficiencies most common on acidic sandy soils or soils that have received large applications of Ca and/or Mg.


Not mobile within plants; upper Poor root growth and failure of terminal buds of shoots and apical leaves and the growing point show tips of roots to develop, causing plant growth to cease. deficiency symptoms first. Most often occurs on very acidic soils where Ca levels are low but other deficiency effects such as high acidity usually limit growth before Ca deficiency becomes apparent.


Mobile within plants; lower leaves Yellowish, bronze, or reddish color in leaves while leaf veins remain show deficiency first. green.


Somewhat mobile within plants, but upper leaves tend to show deficiency first.


Not mobile within plants; upper Reduced leaf size and deformation of new leaves, interveinal leaves and the growing point show chlorosis, distorted branches and stems, possible flower and/or fruit deficiency symptoms first. abortion, stunted growth.

Chlorosis of the longer leaves and possible chlorosis and stunting of entire plant with severe deficiencies. Symptoms resemble those of N deficiency; can lead to incorrect diagnoses.

May occur on very acidic, sandy-textured soils or alkaline soils. Copper

Not mobile within plants; upper Reduced leaf size, uniformly pale yellow leaves, leaves may lack leaves and the growing point show turgor and can develop a bluish-green cast, become chlorotic, and/or deficiency symptoms first. curl. Flower production fails to take place.


Not mobile within plants; upper leaves show deficiency symptoms first.

Interveinal chlorosis that progresses over the entire leaf. With severe deficiencies, leaves turn entirely white.

Not mobile within plants; upper leaves show deficiency symptoms first.

Interveinal chlorosis, brownish-black specks.



Factors contributing to Fe deficiency include imbalance with other metals, excessive soil P levels, high soil pH, wet and cold soils. Occurs most often on high-organic-matter soils and soils with neutral-to-alkaline pH and low native Mn content.

Not mobile within plants; upper Shortened internodes between new leaves, death of meristematic leaves and the growing point show tissue, deformed new leaves, interveinal chlorosis. deficiency symptoms first. Occurs most often on alkaline (high pH) soils or soils with high available P levels.

Molybdenum Not mobile within plants; upper leaves show deficiency symptoms first.

Interveinal chlorosis, wilting, marginal necrosis of upper leaves.


Chlorosis in upper leaves; overall wilting of plants.


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Mobile within plant, but deficiency symptoms usually appear on the upper leaves first.

Occurs principally on very acidic soils because Mo becomes less available with low pH. Deficiencies may occur in well-drained soils under high rainfall conditions.

Used by symbiotic N-fixing Causes N deficiency, chlorotic leaves, and stunted plants. bacteria in root nodules of legumes Occurs in areas with soils deficient in native Co. and other plants. January / February / March 2014

Urban Nutrient Management Handbook


Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are most present in soils with pH levels greater than 6.0. They are generally not as available for plant uptake in acidic soils because they may have been partially leached out of the soil profile. At pH values less than 5.0, Al, Fe, and Mn may be soluble in sufficient quantities to be toxic to the growth of some plants. Aluminum toxicity limits plant growth in most strongly acidic soils. Aluminum begins to solubilize from silicate clays and Al hydroxides below a pH of approximately 5.3, which increases the activity of exchangeable Al3+. High concentrations of exchangeable Al are toxic and detrimental to plant root development. In general, most micronutrients are more available in acidic than in alkaline soils. As pH increases, micronutrient availability decreases, and the potential for deficiencies increases. An exception to this trend is Mo, which becomes less available as soil pH decreases. In addition, B becomes less available when the pH is less than 5.0 and again when the pH exceeds 7.0. Soil organisms also grow best in near-neutral soil. In general, acidic soil inhibits the growth of most organisms, including many bacteria and earthworms. Thus, acidic soil slows many important activities carried on by soil microbes, including nitrogen fixation, nitrification, and organic matter decay. Rhizobia bacteria, for instance, thrive at near-neutral pH and are sensitive to solubulized Al.

Soil Acidification and Liming Acidification is a natural process that occurs continuously in soils throughout the mid-Atlantic region and is caused by the following factors: • The breakdown of organic matter can cause acidification of the soil as amino acids are converted into acetic acid, hydrogen gas, dinitrogen gas, and carbon dioxide by the reaction: 2C3H7NO3 + O2 → 2HC2H3O2 + 3H2 + N2 + 2CO2. • The movement of acidic water from rainfall through soils slowly leaches basic essential elements such as Ca, Ma, and K, below the plant root zone and increases the concentration of exchangeable soil Al. Soluble Al3+ reacts with water to form hydrogen ions, which make the soil acidic. • Soil erosion removes exchangeable cations adsorbed to clay particles. 30

• Hydrogen is released into the soil by plants’ root systems as a result of respiration and ion uptake processes during plant growth. • Nitrogen fertilization speeds up the rate at which acidity develops, primarily through the acidity generated by nitrification: 2NH4+ + 4O2 → 2H2O + 4H+ + 2NO3-. Liming is a critical management practice for maintaining soil pH at optimal levels for plant growth. Liming supplies the essential elements Ca and/or Mg, reduces the solubility and potential toxicity of Al and Mn, and increases the availability of several essential nutrients. Liming also stimulates microbial activity (e.g., nitrification) in the soil, and improves symbiotic nitrogen fixation by legumes. However, over-liming can induce micronutrient deficiencies by increasing pH above the optimum range. Most plants grow well in the pH range 5.8 to 6.5. Leguminous plants generally grow better in soils limed to pH values of 6.2 to 6.8. Some plants, such as blueberries, mountain laurel, rhododendron, and others, grow best in strongly acidic (pH less than 5.2) soils.

Determining Lime Requirements Soil pH is an excellent indicator of soil acidity; however, it does not indicate how much total acidity is present, and it cannot be used to determine a soil’s lime requirement when used alone. The “lime requirement” for a soil is the amount of agricultural limestone needed to achieve a desired pH range for the plants that are grown. Soil pH determines only active acidity — the amount of H+ in the soil solution at that particular time — while the lime requirement determines the amount of exchangeable or reserve acidity held by soil clay and organic matter (figure 4.2). Most laboratories use soil pH in combination with “buffered” solutions to extract and measure the amount of reserve acidity, or “buffering capacity” in a soil. The measured amount of exchangeable/reserve acidity is then used to determine the proper amount of lime needed to bring about the desired increase in soil pH. The rate of limestone applied to any area should be based on soil test recommendations. A soil test every two to three years will reveal whether or not lime is needed. Sandy soils generally require less lime at any one application than silt loam or clay soils to decrease soil acidity by a given amount. Sandy soils, however,

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Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility usually need to be limed more frequently because their buffering capacity is low.

Nitrogen The Nitrogen Cycle

Figure 4.2. Relationship between residual, exchangeable, and active acidity in soils. Graphic by Kathryn Haering.

Nitrogen is subject to more transformations than any other essential element. These cumulative gains, losses, and changes are collectively termed the “nitrogen cycle” (figure 4.3). The ultimate source of N is N2 gas, which comprises approximately 78 percent of the earth’s atmosphere. Inert N2 gas, however, is unavailable to plants and must be transformed by biological or industrial processes into forms that are plant-available. As a result, the turf and landscape industry is heavily dependent on commercial N fertilizer. Some of the more important components of the N cycle are discussed below.

Figure 4.3. The nitrogen cycle (modified from the Potash & Phosphate Institute website at www.ppi-ppic.org).


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Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility

Nitrogen Fixation “Nitrogen fixation” is the process whereby inert N2 gas in the atmosphere is transformed into forms that are plant-available, including ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-). Fixation can take place by biological or by nonbiological processes. Biological nitrogen-fixation processes include:

Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation This process is mediated by bacteria with the ability to convert atmospheric N2 to plant-available N while growing in association with a host plant. Symbiotic Rhizobium bacteria fix N2 in nodules present on the roots of legumes. Through this relationship, the bacteria make N2 from the atmosphere available to the legume as it is excreted from the nodules into the soil.

amino sugars, and other complex nitrogen compounds. Inorganic forms of soil nitrogen include ammonium (NH4+), nitrite (NO2-), nitrate (NO3-), nitrous oxide (N2Ogas), nitric oxide (NOgas), and elemental nitrogen (N2 gas). Ammonium, nitrite, and nitrate are the most important plant nutrient forms of N and usually make up 2 to 5 percent of total soil N. Nitrogen “mineralization” (figure 4.4) is the conversion of organic nitrogen to NH4+. This is an important process in the N cycle because it results in the liberation of plant-available, inorganic nitrogen forms. Nitrogen “immobilization” is the conversion of inorganic, plant-available nitrogen (NH4+ or NO3-) by soil microorganisms to organic N forms (amino acids and proteins). This conversion is the reverse of mineralization, and these immobilized forms of N are not readily available for plant uptake.

Nonsymbiotic Nitrogen Fixation This is a N2-fixation process that is performed by freeliving bacteria and blue-green algae in the soil. The amount of N2 fixed by these organisms is much lower than that fixed by symbiotic N2 fixation. Nonbiological N-fixation processes include:

Carbon-to-Nitrogen Ratios

Atmospheric additions Small amounts of N in the order of 5 to15 pounds per acre per year can be added to the soil in the form of rain or snowfall. This includes N that has been fixed by the electrical discharge of lightning in the atmosphere and industrial pollution.

Industrial Nitrogen Fixation The industrial fixation of nitrogen is the most important source of N as a plant nutrient. The production of N by industrial processes is based on the Haber-Bosch process where H2 and N2 gases react to form ammonia (NH3). Hydrogen gas for this process is obtained from natural gas and N2 comes directly from the atmosphere. The NH3 produced can be used directly as a fertilizer or as the raw material for other N fertilizer products, including ammonium phosphates, urea, and ammonium nitrate.

Forms of Soil Nitrogen Soil N occurs in both inorganic and organic forms. Most of the total N in surface soils is present as organic nitrogen. Organic soil N occurs in the form of amino acids, VNLA Newsletter

Figure 4.4. Mineralization and immobilization of soil nitrogen. Graphic by Greg Mullins.

Mineralization and immobilization are ongoing processes in the soil and are generally in balance with one another. This balance can be disrupted by the incorporation of organic materials that have high carbon to nitrogen ratios (C:N). The ratio of %C to %N, or the C:N ratio, defines the relative quantities of these elements in residues and living tissues. Whether N is mineralized or immobilized depends on the C:N ratio of the organic material being decomposed by soil microorganisms. • Wide C:N ratios of more than 30-to-1: Immobilization of soil N will be favored. Materials with wide C:N ratios include bark mulch, straw, pine needles, dry leaves, and sawdust. • C:N ratios of 20-to-1 to 30-to-1: Immobilization and mineralization will be nearly equal. • Narrow C:N ratios of less than 20-to-1: Favor rapid mineralization of N. Materials with narrow C:N ratios include manure and biosolids. The decomposition of an organic material with a high C:N ratio is illustrated in figure 4.5. Shortly after incorporation, high C:N ratio materials are attacked and used as an energy source by soil microorganisms. As these

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Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility Nitrate-N can be also be lost through denitrification, the process where NO3- is reduced to gaseous nitrous oxide (N2O) or elemental nitrogen (N2) and lost to the atmosphere. During nitrification, 2 H+ ions are produced for every NH4+ ion that is oxidized. These H+ cations will accumulate and significantly reduce soil pH; thus, any ammonium-containing fertilizer will ultimately decrease soil pH due to nitrification.

Phosphorus Figure 4.5. Nitrogen immobilization and mineralization after material with a high C:N ratio is added to soil. Graphic by Kathryn Haering.

organisms decompose the material, there is competition for the limited supply of available N because the material does not provide adequate N to form proteins in the organisms. During this process, available soil N is decreased and the carbon in the decomposing material is liberated as CO2 gas. As decomposition proceeds, the material’s C:N ratio narrows and the energy supply is nearly exhausted. At this point, some of the microbial populations will die and the mineralization of N in these decaying organisms will result in the liberation of plant-available N. The timing of this process will depend on such factors as soil temperature, soil moisture, soil chemical properties, fertility status, and the amount of organic material added.

Nitrification “Nitrification” is the biological oxidation of ammonium (NH4+) to nitrate (NO3-) in the soil. Sources of NH4+ for this process include both commercial fertilizers and the mineralization of organic residues. Nitrification is a two-step process where NH4+ is converted first to NO2-, and then to NO3- by two autotrophic bacteria in the soil (Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter). These bacteria get their energy from the oxidation of nitrogen and their carbon from CO2. Nitrification is important to N fertility because nitratenitrogen (NO3-N) is readily available for uptake and use by plants and microbes. However, NO3- is an “anion,” or negatively charged ion. Anions usually leach more readily than cations because they are not attracted to the predominantly negative charge of soil colloids. Because of its negative charge and relatively large ionic radius, nitrate is not readily retained in the soil and is easily leached to groundwater and surface waters. Nitrate losses can be minimized through proper N management, including the proper rate and timing of N fertilizer applications. 34


The Phosphorus Cycle Soil P originates primarily from the weathering of soil minerals, such as apatite, and from P additions in the form of fertilizers, plant residues, manure, or biosolids (figure 4.6). Orthophosphate ions (HPO4-2 and H2PO4-) are produced when apatite breaks down, organic residues are decomposed, or fertilizer P sources dissolve. These forms of P are taken up by plant roots and are present in very low concentrations in the soil solution. Many soils contain large amounts of P, but most of that P is unavailable to plants. The types of P-bearing minerals that form in soil are highly dependent on soil pH. Soluble P, regardless of the source, reacts very strongly with Fe and Al to form insoluble Fe and Al phosphates in acid soils and with Ca to form insoluble Ca phosphates in alkaline soils. Phosphorus in these insoluble forms is not readily available for plant growth and is said to be “fixed.”

Phosphorus Availability and Mobility As discussed earlier, plant roots take up P in the forms of orthophosphates: HPO4-2 and H2PO4-. The predominant ionic form of P present in the soil solution is pHdependent. In soils with pH values greater than 7.2, the HPO4-2 form is predominant, while in soils with a pH between 5.0 and 7.2, the H2PO4- form predominates. Phosphorus has limited mobility in most soils because it reacts strongly with many elements and compounds and the surfaces of clay minerals. Unlike nitrate, P anions (HPO42-, H2PO4-) do not easily leach through the soil profile because of their specific complexing reactions with soil components. The release of soil P to plant roots and its potential movement to surface water is controlled by several chemical and biological processes (figure 4.6). Phosphorus is released to the soil solution as P-bearing minerals dissolve, as P bound to the surface of soil minerals is uncoupled or “desorbed,” and as soil organic matter decomposes or mineralizes (figure 4.7).

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Figure 4.6. The phosphorus cycle (modified from the Potash & Phosphate Institute website at www.ppi-ppic.org).

Most of the P added as fertilizer and organic sources is rapidly bound by soil minerals in chemical forms that are not subject to rapid release; thus, soil solution P concentrations are typically very low (less than 0.01 to 1.00 ppm). The supply of adequate P to a plant will depend on the soil’s ability to replenish soil solution P throughout the growing season (figure 4.7). Phosphorus availability and mobility is influenced by several factors:

Soil pH In acidic soils, P precipitates as relatively insoluble iron and Al phosphate minerals. In neutral and calcareous soils, P precipitates as relatively insoluble Ca phosphate minerals. As illustrated in figures 4.1 and 4.8, soil P is most available in the pH range of 5.5 to 6.8, where the availability of soluble Al and Fe is low.


Figure 4.7. Phosphorus content of the soil solution. Graphic by Greg Mullins.

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Movement of Soil Phosphorus to Plant Roots Phosphorus moves from soil solids to plant roots through the process of “diffusion.” Diffusion is a slow and short-range process with distances as small as 0.25 inch. This limited movement has important implications because soil P located more than 0.25 inch from a plant root will never reach the root surface. Dry soils reduce the diffusion of P to roots; therefore, plants take up P best in moist soils.

Residual Fertilizer Phosphorus Recovery A plant uses only 10 to 30 percent of the P fertilizer applied during the first year following application. The rest goes into reserve and can be used by plants in later years.

Timing and Placement of Phosphorus Fertilizer New plants need a highly available P source in order to establish a vigorous root system early in the season. Once the root system begins to explore the entire soil volume, there should be adequate amounts of residual P to maintain plant growth.

contribute to excessive growth of aquatic organisms, which can have detrimental environmental impacts. Soils have a finite capacity to bind P. When a soil becomes saturated with P, desorption of soluble phosphorus can be accelerated, with a consequent increase in dissolved inorganic P in runoff. Thus, if the level of residual soil phosphorus is allowed to build up by repeated applications of phosphorus in excess of plant needs, a soil can become saturated with P and the potential for soluble phosphorus losses in surface runoff will increase significantly. Research conducted in the mid-Atlantic shows that the potential loss of soluble P will increase with increasing levels of soil test P. Very high levels of soil-test P can result from over-application of manure, biosolids, or commercial phosphate fertilizer. Soils with these high soil-test P levels will require several years without P additions to effectively reduce these high P levels.

Potassium The Potassium Cycle Potassium is the third primary plant nutrient and is absorbed by plants in larger amounts than any other nutrient except nitrogen. Plants take up K as the monovalent cation K+. Potassium is present in relatively large quantities in most soils, but only a small percentage of the total soil K is readily available for plant uptake.

Figure 4.8. Effect of pH on phosphorus availability to plants. Graphic by Kathryn Haering.

Phosphorus Transport to Surface Waters Transport of soil P occurs primarily via surface flow (runoff and erosion), although leaching and subsurface lateral flow may also be possible in soils with high degrees of P saturation and artificial drainage systems. Water flowing across the soil surface may dissolve and transport soluble P, and erode and transport particulate P. Virtually all soluble P transported by surface runoff is biologically available, but particulate phosphorus that enters streams and other surface waters must undergo solubilization before becoming available for aquatic plants. Thus, both soluble and sediment-bound P are potential pollutants of surface waters and both can VNLA Newsletter


The K cycle is illustrated in figure 4.9. In the soil, weathering releases K from a number of common minerals, including feldspars and micas. The released K+ can be taken up easily by plant roots, adsorbed by the cation exchange complex of clay and organic matter, or “fixed” in the internal structure of certain two-toone clay minerals. Potassium that is fixed by these clay minerals is very slowly available to the plant.

Potassium Availability and Mobility Although mineral K accounts for 90 to 98 percent of the total soil K, readily and slowly available K represent only 1 to 10 percent of the total soil K. Plant-available K (K that can be readily absorbed by plant roots) includes the portion of the soil K that is soluble in the soil solution and the exchangeable K held on the soil’s exchange complex. Exchangeable K is that portion of soil K that is in equilibrium with K in the soil solution. Potassium is continuously made available for plant uptake through

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Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility

Figure 4.9. The potassium cycle (modified from the Potash & Phosphate Institute website at www.ppi-ppic.org).

the cation exchange process. There can be a continuous, but slow, transfer of K from soil minerals to exchangeable and slowly available forms as K is removed from the soil solution by plant uptake and leaching. Potassium applied as fertilizer can have various fates in the soil. • Potassium cations can be attracted to the cationexchange complex where it is held in an exchangeable form and readily available for plant uptake. • Some of the K+ ions will remain in the soil solution. • Exchangeable and soluble K may be absorbed by plants.

Potassium fertilizers are completely water-soluble and have a high salt index, so they can decrease seed germination and plant survival when placed too close to seed or transplants. The risk of fertilizer injury is most severe on sandy soils, under dry conditions, and with high rates of fertilization. A convenient and usually effective method of applying K fertilizers is by broadcasting and mixing with the soil before planting. Fertilizer injury is minimized by this method, but on sandy soils, leaching may cause the loss of some K.

• In some soils, some K may be fixed by the clay fraction.

Secondary Plant Nutrients

• Applied K may leach from sandy soils during periods of heavy rainfall.


Potassium moves more readily in soil than phosphorus does, but less readily than nitrogen. Because potassium 38

is held by cation exchange, it is less mobile in fine-textured soils and most readily leached from sandy soils. Most plant uptake of soil K occurs by diffusion.

Secondary macronutrients Ca, Mg, and S are required in relatively large amounts for good crop growth. These nutrients are usually applied as soil amendments

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Good Times at Research Gala/Auction

photos by Larry Canner Photogr aphy

Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility or applied along with materials that contain primary nutrients. Secondary nutrients are as important to plant nutrition as major nutrients, because deficiencies of secondary nutrients can depress plant growth as much as major plant nutrient deficiencies.

Calcium and Magnesium Calcium and magnesium have similar chemical properties and behave very similarly in the soil. Both of these elements are cations (Ca2+, Mg2+), and both cations have the same amount of positive charge and a similar ionic radius. The mobility of both Ca and Mg is relatively low, especially compared to anions or to other cations such as Na and K; thus, losses of these cations via leaching are relatively low. Total Ca content of soils can range from 0.1 percent in highly weathered tropical soils to 30 percent in calcareous soils. Calcium is part of the structure of several minerals and most soil calcium comes from the weathering of common minerals, which include dolomite, calcite, apatite, and calcium-feldspars. Calcium is present in the soil solution and because it is a divalent cation, its behavior is governed by cation exchange, as are the other cations. Exchangeable Ca is held on the negatively charged surfaces of clay and organic matter. Calcium is the dominant cation on the cation exchange complex in soils with moderate pH levels. Normally, it occupies 70 to 90 percent of cation exchange sites above pH 6.0. Total soil Mg content can range from 0.1 percent in coarse, humid-region soils to 4 percent in soils formed from high-magnesium minerals. Magnesium occurs naturally in soils from the weathering of rocks with Mg-containing minerals such as biotite, hornblende, dolomite, and chlorite. Magnesium is found in the soil solution and because it is a divalent cation (Mg2+), its behavior is governed by cation exchange. Magnesium is held less tightly than calcium by cation exchange sites, so it is more easily leached and soils usually contain less Mg than calcium. In the mid-Atlantic region, Mg deficiencies occur most often on acidic and coarsetextured soils.

Sulfur Soil sulfur is present in both inorganic and organic forms. Most of the sulfur in soils comes from the weathering of sulfate minerals such as gypsum; however, approximately 90 percent of the total sulfur in the surface layers of noncalcareous soils is immobilized in 40


organic matter. Inorganic sulfur is usually present in the sulfate (SO42-) form, which is the form of S absorbed by plant roots. Both soluble SO42- in the soil solution and adsorbed SO42- represent readily plant-available S. Elemental sulfur is a good source of S, but it must first undergo biological oxidation to SO42-, driven by Thiobacillus thiooxidans bacteria, before plants can assimilate it. This oxidation can contribute to soil acidity by producing sulfuric acid. Several fertilizer materials contain the SO42- form of sulfur, including gypsum (CaSO4), potassium sulfate (K2SO4), magnesium sulfate (MgSO4), and potassium magnesium sulfate (K-Mag or Sul-Po-Mag). These fertilizer sources are neutral salts and will have little or no effect on soil pH. In contrast, there are other SO42--containing compounds, including ammonium sulfate ((NH4)2SO4), aluminum sulfate ((Al2SO4)3), and iron sulfate (FeSO4), that contribute greatly to soil acidity. The SO42- in these materials is not the source of acidity. Ammonium sulfate has a strong acidic reaction primarily because of the nitrification of NH4+, and aluminum and iron sulfates are very acidic due to the hydrolysis of Al3+ and Fe3+. Sulfate, a divalent anion (SO42-) is not strongly adsorbed and can be readily leached from most soils. In highly weathered, naturally acidic soils, SO42- often accumulates in subsurface soil horizons, where positively charged colloids attract the negatively charged SO42- ion. Residual soil SO42- resulting from long-term applications of S-containing fertilizers can meet the S requirements of plants for years after applications have ceased.

Micronutrients Introduction Eight of the essential elements for plant growth are called micronutrients or trace elements: B, Cl, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Zn. Cobalt has not been proven to be essential for higher plant growth, but nodulating bacteria need cobalt for fixing atmospheric nitrogen in legumes. Although micronutrients are not needed in large quantities, they are as important to plant nutrition and development as the primary and secondary nutrients. A deficiency of any one of the micronutrients in the soil can limit plant growth, even when all other essential nutrients are present in adequate amounts.

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Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility Micronutrients can exist in several different forms in soil: within structures of primary and secondary minerals, adsorbed to mineral and organic matter surfaces, incorporated in organic matter and microorganisms, and in the soil solution. Many micronutrients combine with organic molecules in the soil to form complex molecules called chelates, which are metal atoms surrounded by a large organic molecule. Plant roots absorb soluble forms of micronutrients from the soil solution. A micronutrient deficiency, if suspected, can be identified through soil tests or plant analysis. Total soil content of a micronutrient does not indicate the amount available for plant growth during a single growing season, although it does indicate relative abundance and potential supplying power. Micronutrient availability decreases as soil pH increases for all micronutrients except Mo and Cl. Specific soil-plant relationships for B, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, and Zn are discussed in the next sections.

Boron Boron exists in minerals, adsorbed on the surfaces of clay and oxides, combined in soil organic matter, and in the soil solution. Organic matter is the most important potentially plant-available soil source of B. Factors that affect the availability of B to plants include:

Soil Moisture and Weather Boron deficiency is often associated with dry or cold weather, which slows organic matter decomposition. Symptoms may disappear as soon as the surface soil receives rainfall or soil temperatures increase and root growth continues, but yield potential is often reduced.

Soil pH Plant availability of B is maximized between pH 5.0 and 7.0. Boron availability decreases with increasing soil pH, which means that B uptake is reduced at high pH.

Copper In mineral soils, Cu concentrations in the soil solution are controlled primarily by soil pH and the amount of Cu adsorbed on clay and soil organic matter. A majority of the soluble Cu2+ in surface soils is complexed with organic matter, and Cu is more strongly bound to soil organic matter than any of the other micronutrients. Sandy soils with low organic matter content may become deficient in Cu because of leaching losses. Heavy, clay-type soils are least likely to be Cu-deficient. The concentrations of Fe, Mn, and Al in soil affect the availability of Cu for plant growth, regardless of soil type. Like most other micronutrients, large quantities of Cu can be toxic to plants. Excessive amounts of Cu depress Fe activity and may cause Fe deficiency symptoms to appear in plants. Such toxicities are not common.

Iron Iron is the fourth-most abundant element, but the solubility of Fe is very low and highly pH-dependent. Iron solubility decreases with increasing soil pH. It can react with organic compounds to form chelates or ironorganic complexes. Iron deficiency may be caused by an imbalance with other metals, such as Mo, Cu, or Mn. Other factors that may trigger iron deficiency include excessive phosphorus in the soil; a combination of high-pH, high-lime, wet, cold soils and high bicarbonate levels; and low soil organic matter levels. Reducing soil pH in a narrow band in the root zone can correct iron deficiencies. Several S products will lower soil pH and convert insoluble soil iron to a form the plant can use.


Soil Texture Coarse-textured (sandy) soils, which are composed largely of quartz, are typically low in minerals that contain boron. Plants growing on such soils commonly show boron deficiencies. Boron is mobile in the soil and is subject to leaching. Leaching is of greater concern on sandy soils and in areas of high rainfall. VNLA Newsletter

Recommended rates of B fertilization depend on such factors as soil-test levels, plant-tissue concentrations, plant species, weather conditions, soil organic matter, and the method of application.

Availability of Mn to plants is determined by the equilibrium among solution, exchangeable, organic, and mineral forms of soil Mn. Chemical reactions affecting Mn solubility include oxidation reduction and complexation with soil organic matter. “Redox� or oxidationreduction reactions depend on soil moisture, aeration, and microbial activity.

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Chapter 4. Basic Soil Fertility Manganese solubility decreases with increasing soil pH, so Mn deficiencies occur most often on high organic-matter soils and on those soils with neutral-toalkaline pH that are naturally low in Mn. Manganese deficiencies may also result from an antagonism with other nutrients, such as Ca, magnesium, and Fe. Soil moisture also affects Mn availability. Excess moisture in organic soils favors Mn availability because reducing conditions convert Mn4+ to Mn2+, which is plantavailable. Manganese deficiency is often observed on sandy Coastal Plain soils under dry conditions that have previously been wet.

Molybdenum Molybdenum is found in soil minerals as exchangeable Mo on the surfaces of iron/aluminum oxides and bound soil organic matter. Adsorbed and soluble Mo is an anion (MoO4-). Molybdenum becomes more available as soil pH increases, so deficiencies are more likely to occur on acidic soils. Since Mo becomes more available with increasing pH, liming will correct a deficiency if the soil contains enough of the nutrient. Sandy soils are deficient in Mo more often than finer-textured soils are, and soils high in Fe/Al oxides tend to be low in available Mo because Mo is strongly adsorbed to the surfaces of Fe/Al oxides. Heavy P applications increase Mo uptake by plants, while heavy S applications decrease Mo uptake.

Zinc The various forms of soil Zn include soil minerals, organic matter, adsorbed Zn on the surfaces of organic matter and clay, and dissolved Zn in the soil solution. Zinc released from soil minerals during weathering can be adsorbed onto the Cation Exchange Complex, incorporated into soil organic matter, or react with organic

compounds to form soluble complexes. Organically complexed, or chelated, Zn is important for the movement of Zn to plant roots. Soils can contain from a few to several hundred pounds of Zn per acre. Fine-textured soils usually contain more Zn than sandy soils do. Total Zn content of a soil does not indicate how much Zn is available. The following factors determine its availability: • Zinc becomes less available as soil pH increases. Coarse-textured soils limed above a pH of 6.0 are particularly prone to develop Zn deficiency. Soluble Zn concentrations in the soil can decrease three-fold for every pH unit increase between 5.0 and 7.0. • Zinc deficiency may occur in some plant species on soils with very high P availability and marginal Zn concentrations due to Zn/P antagonisms. Soil pH further complicates Zn/P interactions. • Zinc forms stable complexes with soil organic matter. A significant portion of soil Zn may be fixed in the organic fraction of high organic-matter soils. It may also be temporarily immobilized in the bodies of soil microorganisms, especially when animal manures are added to the soil. • At the opposite extreme, much of a mineral soil’s available Zn is associated with organic matter. Low organic-matter levels in mineral soils are frequently indicative of low Zn availability. Zinc availability is affected by the presence of certain soil fungi, called mycorrhizae, which form symbiotic relationships with plant roots. Removal of surface soil in land leveling may remove the beneficial fungi and limit plants’ ability to absorb Zn.

Acknowledgement This chapter is dedicated to the memory of Greg Mullins (1955-2009).

Complete the Quiz on page 43 and get 1 CEU for your Virginia Certified Horticulturist re-certification!


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VNLA Certification Quiz# 67 If you are a Virginia Certified Horticulturist answer the following ticultu33rist, questions from the previous article, mark your answers on the card insert to the left and mail or fax back to the VNLA office towards your recertification CEU’s for your Virginia Certified Horticulturist.

5. Browning or dying of plant tissue may be a nutrient deficiency symptom of:

a. Rhizobia bacteria b. Clorosis c. Meristem d. Necrosis e. All of the above 6. An element that is able to translocate from one part of the plant to another is considered:

a. Mobile b. Inert c. None of the above

Basic Soil Fertility Prepared by: Nanette R. Whitt

1. Which elements are not

obtained from the soil:

a. Cobalt and nitrogen b. Iron and zinc c. Calcium and potassium d. Carbon and oxygen 2. A mineral that is required for normal plant growth and reproduction is considered: a. Essential b. Environmental c. Atmospheric d. Non-essential 3. Nonmineral essential elements are derived from the air and water. a. True b. False 4. The essential element responsible for the regulation of plants’ water usage is: a. Calcium b. Phosphorus c. Potassium d. Carbon VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

7. Most micronutrients are move available in alkaline soils.

a. True b. False 8. A critical management practice for maintaining soil pH at optimal levels for plant growth is:

a. Fertilizing b. Weed control c. Liming d. None of the above 9. Which essential element is subject to more transformation than any other?

a. Oxygen b. Nitrogen c. Calcium d. Potassium 10. The amount of nitrogen added to the soil each year in the form of rain or snow fall is:

a. 0 - 5 pounds per acre b. 5 - 10 pounds per acre c. 5 - 15 pounds per acre d. 5 - 20 pounds per acre

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11. Most phosphorus in soils is unavailable to plants.

a. True b. False 12. The process of moving phosphorus from soil solids to plant roots is called:

a. Leaching b. Saturation c. Up take d. Diffusion 13. Other than nitrogen, this nutrient is absorbed by plants in larger amounts than any other nutrient:

a. Phosphorus b. Potassium c. Calcium d. Magnesium 14. Deficiencies of secondary nutrients do not depress plant growth as much as major plant nutrient deficiencies.

a. True b. False 15. The number of essential elements for plant growth called micronutrients or trace elements is:

a. 5 b. 6 c. 7 d. 8

Take Pride, Be Certified! 43


Take your business to the next levelEncourage your employees to complete an online Masters of Agricultural and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech. Students can study from anywhere with the flexibility and support they need! The Plant Sciences and Pest Management Concentration This concentration will give your employees the comprehensive understanding of the scientific principals underlying plant sciences and managing ornamental and crop pests. They will learn to implement management schemes that maintain and/or increase your production while conserving soil and water resources to preserve the delicate balance in the agroecosystem.

Students learn from topnotch faculty according to their own schedule and needs. We have your business goals in mind with courses that will address your management needs and increase production efficiency. Courses are taught by Virginia Tech faculty who also teach oncampus courses. Each student works with an advisor to tailor the program to their professional ambitions. The Online Masters of Agricultural and Life Sciences program is an excellent opportunity for employers to get employees the training they need with enough flexibility that they can still continue working.

Who should take this program? An online masters is a great choice for Green Industry Professionals looking to enhance their current knowledge and take their career to the next level. Online courses are convenient for working professionals because they allow 24/7 access to course materials, so students can study and complete assignments according to their own schedule.

Contact Information Dr. Holly Scoggins Green Industry Contact Associate Professor Department of Horticulture (540) 231-5783 hollysco@vt.edu http://www.cals.vt.edu/online/

email Holly now

THANKS to these Breakfast Meeting Sponsors! $500 Gold Sponsors

$250 Silver Sponsors Eastern Shore Nursery of VA Griffin Greenhouse & Nursery Supply Grigg Design Ingleside Plantation Nurseries Lilley Farms & Nursery VNLA Newsletter

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VNLA's Distinguished Virginia Professional of the Year

Bob Warhurst, Merrifield Garden Center

Bob Warhurst (l) is presented the Professional of the Year Award by Duane Shumaker, 2010 recipient

Nominated by Kevin Warhurst I would like to nominate my father, Bob Warhurst, for the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association's 2013 Distinguished Virginia Professional of the Year award. As the owner and President of Merrifield Garden Center, the company he founded in 1971, Bob has worked tirelessly to promote our industry and support our local and state associations.

At the age of 75, Bob still works at the nursery seven days a week, helping customers and supporting the industry that he loves. Whether it's teaching or learning, networking or researching, advocating or promoting, Bob has always worked cooperatively with other members of our industry to support horticulture throughout Virginia. 46


Merrifield Garden Center, Gainesville, VA location

Bob has a passion for plants and holds a strong desire to educate people on the proper way to plant and care for their gardens and use water wisely. He has given many lectures over the years and appeared numerous times on the TV show that he started two decades ago. Merrifield's Gardening Advisor known affectionately as "The Plant Whisperer," Bob teaches gardeners how to "listen" to their plants and care for them accordingly. And since educating the public about our industry is so important to Bob, he has also spoken to many garden clubs, civic associations, industry groups and business organizations about the nursery industry and the valuable role that plants play in our environment. And he has spoken to various groups of MBA students at several colleges and universities about the nursery business, environmental issues and entrepreneurship. Bob Warhurst has long been a proponent of recycling and protecting our natural resources. Years ago he began a program to recycle as much soil and brush as possible from landscape jobs. instead of dumping these valuable materials in the landfill. January / February / March 2014

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It is estimated that Merrifield Garden Center now recycles over 20,000 tons of soil and 25,000 cubic yards of brush every year, making us one of the largest recyclers in the county. He then expanded the company's recycling efforts to include crushing concrete and recycling it into a useable base for patios, sidewalks and driveways. Merrifield sells the crushed concrete to retail and wholesale customers for landscaping projects, as well as developers and construction companies for road construction projects. Having a large recycling effort has required a substantial financial investment, but Bob feels it's good for the environment and good for business. Bob continues to travel each year to nursery trade shows, visit growers, meet with equipment manufacturers and keep abreast of events, trends and concerns in the nursery industry. He has spent most of his adult life in horticulture and spends each day either trying to teach others about it or learn more about it himself. He has truly been an ambassador for the nursery and landscaping industry.

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VNLA Newsletter

board of Southern Financial Bank from 1989 to 1999 until its sale to Provident Bank in April of 2004.

Bob's company was proud to host the VNLA annual field day in 2009 at their new Gainesville location, which attracted hundreds of nursery professionals throughout the state for a day of fun, food, fellowship and learning. Bob was pleased to personally show the Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bloxom and all the other guests his new facility, including Merrifield's recycling operation.

In 2005, Bob was the one of the founding directors of Virginia Heritage Bank, headquartered in Tyson's Corner, which is now an $875 million bank with five locations in northern Virginia. But despite all of his various interests and accomplishments, Bob Warhurst's passion and main focus has always been the garden center and supporting the nursery industry that he has always been so proud to be a part of.

Letters of Support I would like to express my support for Bob Warhurst from Merrifield Garden Center for VNLA Professional of the Year. Under Bob’s hands-on direction, Merrifield Garden Center’s three locations are among the premier garden centers in the eastern United States. Their genuine commitment to employ outstanding staff and sell the highest quality plant material is unmatched in the state of Virginia.

Family and Staff (l-r) Andy McVean, Billie Jean Warhurst (wife), Tommy McVean, Bob Warhurst, Rob Warhurst (son), David Watkins, Debbie Capp (daughter) Kevin Warhurst (son)

Bob Warhurst has served the nursery and landscape industry and its professional associations well over all these years. He is a past president of the Northern Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association and a previous recipient of the Byron E. Wates Award, given annually by the NVNLA to an outstanding nursery professional that has served the association and the industry with distinction. As an accomplished entrepreneur and businessman, Bob has been involved in real estate banking and many other commercial enterprises. He served as founding director of Horizon Bank of Virginia, headquartered in Fairfax, from 1989 to 1999 and served on the VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

Bob’s innovation and entrepreneurship not only in garden center design but also in the reuse and recycling of debris and construction materials is unique and admirable. Merrifield is a leader in our industry.

For these reasons I wholeheartedly support Bob Warhurst for VNLA Professional of the Year. Robert Saunders, President, Saunders Brothers Inc

I believe Bob Warhurst would be an extremely worthy recipient to this honor. His vision and achievements in building the Merrifield group is nationally recognized. Few have done as much to promote and advance horticulture to the general public in Northern Virginia.

reputations of their own (and continue to work with Merrifield) speaks volumes. The quality of the outreach programs developed by his stores and staff is well-known (plus their affiliation with the Fairfax Master Gardeners). On our spring field trip, I take my Ornamental Plant Production and Marketing students to the Gainesville store where, if they haven't been there before, their minds are blown. I also personally shop at Merrifield locations whenever in the vicinity (of course!). I'm honored to be part of the selection committee, and very pleased to support this nomination. Best, Holly Scoggins, 2013 recipient (could not be here for the presentation)

2013 Distinguished Professional of the Year. Selection Committee A committee of the previous three recipients of this award, along with the approval of the Executive Director of VNLA, will make the final selection. The winner will be introduced at our Annual Membership Meeting at MANTS in January. This award is given annually by the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association to honor a member of our green industry. The selection criteria are based equally on a candidate who has spent their career promoting and advancing the horticulture industry. This individual is selected on the basis of long term contributions to the local and/or state organizations of Nursery and Landscape Associations. The person must be a VNLA member or work for a firm that is a member of VNLA. A previous recipient of the prestigious award is eligible again after five years. 2014 Selection Committee: Holly Scoggins, Roger Harris, Duane Shumaker

The fact that many of his employees have outstanding gardening/design January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014



     

                                           

                                    

                                     

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Tips - Is Your Green Business Smartphone Ready? This article “Is Your Greenhouse Business Smartphone Ready?” first appeared in the January 2014 issue of e-GROReports by Kristin L Geteter, getterk@msu.edu, reprinted with permission Fifty-six percent of U.S. adults own a smartphone. Here are some reasons why, and how, your retail greenhouse business can connect with smartphone owners. Adult Smartphone Usage in the U.S. According to the Pew Research Center, 56% of U.S. adults owned a smartphone in 2013, which is a significant increase from 35% smartphone ownership in 2011. The key feature of a smartphone compared to other mobile phones is their ability to connect to the internet. Seventy nine percent of smartphone owners use the internet

daily from their smartphone. Twenty five percent use their smart-phones daily to specifically search for local businesses or services and 58% use their smartphone while shopping. The smartphone has become so important in everyday life that 19% would rather give up their TV than their smartphone. After all, many are using their smartphones white watching TV (52% actually) and they can even watch TV on their smart-phone. Smartphone owners have high expectations of the websites they visit on their smartphone. A study com-missioned by Google, called Our Mobile Planet (www.thinkwithgoogle.com/mobilepla net ), found that 70% of smartphone owners expect the websites they visit on their smartphone to be as easy to navigate and access as they are when they visit them on their desktop PC or tablet.

Free and Simple Ways to Connect with Smartphone Users Because there are many ways for your retail greenhouse business to connect with smartphone users and the technology is constantly changing, the most popular ways will be presented here.

**Figure 1. A consumer looking for a greenhouse on their smartphone using google maps.

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The first thing to do that is free and requires little work is to get on Google Places for Business at www.google. corn /business/ places for business. Entering your business information in Google Places ensures that your business can be found on Google maps (maps.google.com; Figure 1) and Google (www.google. corn) for desktop or mobile searches. It has many free features which allow listing of your company name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, photos, and additional details (like a description of your company or where to park). The second easy thing to do is to ask your customers to review your store on a social rating site. There are many such sites and one popular one is Yelp (www.yelp.com), which is a website or mobile phone application that lets customers review your establishment. They can rate your business (on a scale of 1 to 5) and type in information about their experience with your business. According to their website, Yelp had an average of 117 million monthly unique visitors in the third quarter of 2013 and they have over 47 million local reviews. It is free to set up an account with Yelp and to post photos and messages. Facebook (www.facebook. corn) is another medium in which to ask for customer feedback or ask customers to `check-in' on Facebook when they are visiting your store. Opening a Facebook business account is free; visit the Facebook for Business (www. facebook.com/business) page for details on how to do so. The next easiest thing to do is to incorporate two-dimensional (2D) codes into your marketing plan. You are probably very familiar with onedimensional (1 D) codes that are used on retail products for scanning in prices (Figure 2). 2D codes are similar, except they have 2 dimensions (both vertically and horizontally) which al-lows them to store a lot more information than a 1 D code. The most common type of 2D code is 50


the QR code (Figure 3). Smartphones use the phone's camera to scan in the code and the information embedded in that code is displayed back to the smart-phone's screen. QR codes can be placed on signs, tags, pots, etc. The QR information that is returned to the smartphone's screen could be a video or picture (perhaps a link to a YouTube video demonstrating how to use your product), a website (that gives more information on the product or shows the consumer how to use the product), a link to your Facebook page, and many other options. If the QR code redirects the consumer to a web site, it is best to link to a mobileoptimized website (one that has been optimized for small smart-phone screens) so that the viewer has a positive experience. Websites that are viewed on smartphones that are not mobile-optimized have small print and content that runs off the screen, which may frustrate smart-phone consumers. To create a QR code, there are many websites that will create them for free. Simply per-form a web search of "QR creator" to find such sites.

instance, if you have a sign in your retail area with a QR code, but then put a plant in front of the code itself, it makes it difficult for the smartphone owner to scan that code. For printed material, the QR code should be at least 1"x1" and increase by 1" for every foot of distance from which the costumer will be reading it. In addition, if your re-tail area does not have good cell coverage, consider not adopting QR codes or install an industrial signal booster (a device used to improve cell phone signals for multiple users). But, be aware of the Federal Communications Commission's new rules on using such devices http://wireless.fcc.gov/signalboosters/faq.html

**Figure 3. An example QR code, which is a type of two-dimensional (2D) code. This one was used to redirect consumers to a mobile-optimized website. Other Methods that Require More Investment. **Figure 2. An example of a onedimensional (1 D) barcode as seen on a consumer product. When using QR codes, make sure to test them from multiple device types (for example on an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry) to make sure the code can be read accurately and it redirects the phone to the content it was supposed to display. Keep the area around the QR code free of other distractions for ease of scanning. For January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

The more technologically savvy retailers may want to consider going above and beyond these simple and free means of connecting with smartphone consumers. The next logical step is to ensure that your business has a web presence, preferably one that has the ability to optimize the screen layout and size for small smartphone devices. There are three different philosophies in mobile optimized website design.

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

mation as if viewed from a desktop computer, which may lead to slower performance on smartphones because all content is being loaded.

**Figure 4. Responsive Web Design Example. Left: ipf.msu.edu website as seen on a desktop computer. Middle: ipf.msu.edu as seen on a desktop computer with the browser screen scaled down in size after loading of the website (notice how the templates adjust the look and feel of the website automatically). Right: ipf.msu.edu on a smartphone. One such philosophy is called Responsive Web Design which uses flexible templates that adjust the screen layout for a particular device. The web server always sends the same hypertext markup language (HTML) code to all

devices, but templates alter the rendering of it on the fly, even as screen size changes after loading (Figure 4). Advantages to this method are that your website contains the same content regardless of the device being used, so all viewers will have a similar experience regardless of screen size. This method also allows you to have a single web address (a universal resource locator or URL) which makes it easier to share and link to your content. A disadvantage to this method is that the web content itself won't be fully optimized for mobile devices. In other words, all the web pages viewed from a smartphone will contain the same infor-

Another mobile-optimized website design philosophy is to dynamically serve different HTML code on the same URL. In this design, the web server detects device screen size then builds appropriate HTML on the same URL. In this way, a custom page is built as the web server detects the device size (Figure 5). Advantages to this method are that the navigation structure can be customized for the different tasks performed by mobile and desktop viewers and there is less page bloat for the smartphone users (because they are only loading con-tent specific to them) which results in faster load time. Disadvantages to this method are that it requires more web server resources as it must dynamically build the HTML and it also requires device detection which is sometimes unreliable.

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January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014



**Figure 5. Dynamically Serving Different HTML on the Same URL Example. Left: www.cnn.com as viewed on a desktop computer. Middle: www.cnn.com as seen on a desktop computer with the browser screen scaled down in size after loading of the website (notice how the website did not adjust to the new screen size). Right www.cnn.com as seen on a smartphone.

The third mobile-optimized website design philosophy is to build separate mobile URL's from the desktop URL's. In this philosophy, each desk-top URL has an equivalent mobile URL serving mobile optimized content (Figure 6). For example, a desktop designed website with the URL of www.example.com might have a mobile URL of m.example.com. The web browser detects if the viewing device is a smartphone and redirects the viewer to the corresponding separate mobile site. Advantages of this design are that it is easier to make separate changes to the mobile and desktop sites and allows faster load time and easier navigation for smartphone viewers because only mobile content is loaded. Disadvantages include having to maintain multiple URLs for each page (one for the desktop URL and one for the mobile URL). Sharing a web page on social media also may become an issue because mobile users will share the mobile URL with desktop viewers who may click the link and get the mobile version. The redirection from the desktop URL to the mobile URL increases webpage load time and can have implications for your sites search engine optimization (SEO; see http://static.googleusercontent.corn/m 52


edia/www.google.com/en/us/webmas ters/docs/search-engine-optimizationstarter-guide.pdf for more information).

**Figure 6. Separate mobile URL Example. Left: www.dominos.com desktop computer optimized website as seen on a desk top computer. Middle: mobile.dominos.com mobile optimized website as seen on a desktop computer. Notice how a link to their desktop website may be useful here in case desktop viewers accidentally reach the mobile site by accident as is the case here. Right: mobile.dominos.com mobile optimized website as seen on a smartphone.

pop up screens are not enabled for mobile viewers. The pop-up would likely be unreadable due to its small size and may produce unexpected results and uses device memory. When posting videos to your website, be sure they are able to be played back on multiple de-vices. Many video players require Flash or Java software which may not be supported on smartphones, especially older models. If you choose the separate mobile URL design methodology, be sure to use similar URLs between the desktop site

Whena asmartphone smartphone loads When loads upthis thiswebsite… website… up

and mobile site so as not to cause brand confusion. For example, Domino's Pizza uses www.dominos.com for its desktop website and mobile.dominos.com for its mobile optimized website. For separate mobile URLs, faulty redirects are another common mistake. Faulty redirects occur when a smartphone lands on a particular desktop site and is redirected to a non-corresponding site. For instance, if a mobile viewer lands on the desktop URL of www.example.com/ coupons, a mobile redirect should route them to Themobile mobile redirection should The redirection should taketake the the viewer this website…. viewer to thistowebsite….

www.example.com www.example.com

m.example.com m.example.com

www.example.com/coupns www.example.com/coupns

m.example.com/coupons m.example.com/coupons

www.example.com/contactus www.example.com/contactus

m.example.com/contactus m.example.com/contactus

**Table 1. When using mobile dedicated websites, make sure the mobile redirection works in this manner. Blue arrows indicate a correct redirection. Red arrows indicate an incorrect redirection.

Mobile website design tips. In designing any website that may have frequent views from smartphones, there are some design criteria that must be considered. Make sure that January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

m.example.com/coupons. In some instances the redirect may take the mobile user to m.example.com, which is not the specific page the viewer wanted (Table 1). Also, make sure that any links on the mobile site link to other pages on your mobile site (not to pages on the desktop site).

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

Website load speed is more important on a smartphone than on a desktop device. With that in mind, don't use too many images on the mobile site which take time to load and eat up device storage space. Also reconsider all content so that the mobile viewer has a concise version of your website rather than an exact

copy of your entire desktop site. Another tip is to remember the size and limitation of a finger. A 16x16 pixel icon on a computer is no problem for a computer mouse but it is for a finger. Recommendations call for a 44x30 pixel minimum for a finger. **Figure 7. Left: A traditional website designed for viewing from a

computer. Right: That same website

converted to a mobile-version (as seen on a smartphone) using a free web-based conversion software (in this case, www.dudamobile.com). If you have a dedicated mobile website, consider including a link to switch from the mobile version to the desktop version and vice versa. This allows a viewer to manually navigate to the proper site in case they accidentally landed on the wrong one. Other content to consider for a mobile optimized website include tap to call links (an icon or link that when the smartphone owner selects automatically calls your business), tap to email links (an icon or link that when the smartphone owner selects automatically starts an email to your business), and social sharing links (like links to your business Facebook or Twitter pages). And finally, be sure to test the mobile website on multiple types of devices (such as Android, Apple, BlackBerry, etc.) to make sure that the design you had in

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January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014



mind is indeed rendered that way on those devices. Implementing any mobileoptimization to your website may require hiring a professional web developer. How-ever, it is still useful to know about all these different design philosophies so that you can have an informed conversation with the potential developer. In addition, there are web based programs available (for free or a fee) that can create or convert your existing web site into a mobile optimized one. One that I tried was called DudaMobile available at www. dudamobile.com which is an AT&T, Google, and Yahoo partner (Figure 7). Other software includes Mofuse.com, Mobisite, and Conduit. To find other software, simply perform a web-engine search of "mobile website designer" or "mobile web-page converter" for a list of many options. Resources In addition to the links and resources already mentioned, another good resource for considering your companies whole mobile marketing approach is a book titled "The Mobile Marketing Handbook" authored by Kim Dushinski (available on www.amazon. com or similar on-line book sellers). For a more floriculture perspective, the Floral Marketing Research Fund www.floralresearchmarketingfund.or g has a good report covering mobile technologies. You must create a free account and then navigate to their research reports area and select the report titled "A Social Media Guide for Floral Retailers and Wholesalers". There is an entire section in that report dedicated to optimizing for mobile technologies. By Kristin L. Getter, getterk@msu.edu, from eGroReports



Tips - Is it Time to Sell? Is it Smart to Buy?

competition increases, demographics shift, economic prosperity sours and profits shrink, owners may begin to think twice about hanging onto their once-prized companies.

If you seriously are thinking about throwing in the towel or are ready to retire, consider the following steps before seeking a buyer:

Thinking about selling, buying or merging? Invest in upfront planning first. If you are considering selling or buying a business, you will avoid costly mistakes and maximize your value by investing in upfront planning. Sellers want to maximize their return by seeking the highest price for their company. Conversely, buyers want to acquire a business at a fair price to increase the value of their investment. Regardless of which side of the transaction you find yourself, consider these key resources for both parties to navigate the waters of selling or buying a business.

SELL SIDE Bootstrap businesses Most landscape businesses fall under the classification of bootstrap operations, businesses started with little capital. When an owner is bootstrapping a business, he or she is highly dependent on personal credit and savings, as well as operating profits, to fund growth. In years when the economy is expanding and consumers are spending money on outdoor services, landscape companies thrive. Owners feel euphoric when their business is compensating their efforts with financial returns, and they grow optimistic about the future. Eventually, however, the tide of business turns. As January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

1. Get your business in order. A well-organized business is much more attractive to buyers than a chaotic operation. Be sure to have budgets, written procedures and well-defined processes and systems in place for all areas of your operations. Also, consider your team and the key players involved with making your organization successful. Determine whether your negotiations with a future buyer will include a commitment to retain these key employees. 2. Become financially organized. Before becoming marketable, a company must have clean, audited financial statements for the last 3 to 5 years. This means the financial statements must be prepared according to GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and based on accrual—not cash—accounting. In addition, financial statements will help buyers see the potential of the business in future years ahead. 3. Timing matters. Consult with an expert on the timing for selling your business. On average, most businesses take anywhere from 6 to 9 months to sell, if not longer. Depending on the time of the year, the valuation of the company may vary significantly. For example, a company that sells in January will be valued based on the prior year's financial performance. Conversely, a business for sale in May will be valued based on the year-to-date perforVNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

mance and pro forma projections through the remainder of the year. This makes a big difference. 4. Increase the value. A company's value is based on both its historic and projected financial performance. To maximize the valuation of your company, look for opportunities to cut unnecessary expenses, implement efficiencies to reduce operating costs and boost sales by increasing marketing efforts. Companies with higher revenues and profits will demand a higher selling price. 5. Consult with experts. Selling a business takes careful planning to avoid costly mistakes and lost opportunities for a higher valuation. One of the biggest surprises to hit business owners is the key man discount, which is applied to a business that relies on the efforts, reputation or knowledge of a key owner or employee. It is imperative to work with an ex-

pert to create an organizational structure that operates independently from any key employee. Otherwise, the key man discount will cost anywhere from 30 to 50 percent--$300,000 to $500,000 for a million-dollar company. Ouch!

Sellers want to maximize their return by seeking the highest price for their company. Conversely, buyers want to acquire a business at a fair price to increase the value of their investment. BUY SIDE Growth via Acquisition In the United States, 28 percent of the population, or 77 million people, are considered a part of the baby boomer generation. With this wave of people on the horizon of retiring, studies estimate that more than 300,000 boomer-owned, small- and medium-sized

businesses will be coming on the market in the next 5 to 7 years. This surge in supply of businesses for sale is creating opportunities for buyers to acquire companies as part of their growth initiatives. As a result of the sluggish economy in the last few years, businesses are looking to grow by acquiring other companies, rather than through organic means. How does closing an acquisition and merging two companies actually happen? Below is a timeline of events for two landscape businesses that recently went through this process: Acquirer: A landscape maintenance company established in the late 1970s was looking for opportunities to expand its geographical service area. Rather than opening a new branch location and growing it from the ground up, the company decided to acquire an existing business in the desired market.

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1. Target Company identified: A boot strap company was taking in annual revenues of $1 million. After over a decade of dedication, the owner was tired of struggling through the day-to-day operations of the business. The Acquirer learned of the Target Company's desire to sell the business. The owners of both companies met and considered the deal. 2. Initial valuation performed. Before proceeding with an offer, the Acquirer hired a professional to perform a preliminary valuation of the company. They obtained financial statements from the target company and scrutinized the company's financial position 3. A valuation price range was determined: After the initial analysis, a valuation range was given on the Target Company. This range helped the owners of the Target Company determine whether the acquisition was feasible and in sync with their requirements. 4. Parties discussed preliminary price: Contingent upon the results of the due diligence process, the owners of both companies discussed a target price for the acquisition. A letter of intent was drafted and signed by both companies. 5. Due diligence: A professional consultant performed the due dili56


gence of the Target Company's financial statements, assets and liability accounts. This process involves auditing financial statements; gathering documents about the company's structure and practices; taking inventory of all physical assets; reviewing contracts with suppliers, subcontractors, and customers; scrutinizing personnel records; examining the prices of products and services and determining if there are out-

standing or pending claims against the company. These services were performed on site 30 days prior to buying the business. 6. Approval, legal, and closing: After the due diligence was performed and the deal was approved by the board of the Acquirer, the legal documents were finalized. Shortly after, the owners met at the closing and ex-changed titles, legal documents and cash.

Will merging or acquiring a business work for you That’s not an easy question to answer. To reap the advantages, you’ll have to deal with the issues: Acquiring/Merging a Business Advantages Issues Creation of synergies Culture integration Merge the processes and systems Gain established business base of two companies into one Potential to capture market share in Customer retention, loss of key new areas employees Reduction of cash and/or increased Fewer startup costs debt as a result of the purchase Risk of rising costs due to poor Lower expenses through economies of timing and insufficient scale planning/analysis prior to the transaction January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

7. Integration: After the deal closed, the owner of the Target Company remained involved for a couple of months to help with the transition. The Acquirer went through the process of onboarding the employees, switching vehicle decals and transferring over con-tracts to the new entity.

Looking to sell? The right time to tell the team: When planning to sell the business, owners need to decide when the timing is right to talk to the employees. Although there are many options for how and when you get the word out, following are the two most common approaches. Remain transparent: As the saying goes, "Honesty is the best policy." Most experts agree that keeping employees informed of a potential or imminent sale from the beginning is best practice. However, revealing your plans to sell does not mean that everything has to be disclosed. By divulging too much, you give employees an opportunity to leak sensitive information to outsiders that may jeopardize the deal. Furthermore, employees who fear losing their jobs may become less productive. Rather than opening the floodgates of information, consider releasing information step by step as the deal progresses. If you are not comfortable telling the whole staff, consider informing only your most trusted employees. Keep quiet: To avoid disrupting normal business operations or causing a mass exodus among your staff, other business experts contend that keeping things quiet until the sale is finalized is a safer approach. After all, in the preliminary stages of the deal, many contingencies can prevent a buyer from following through with the purchase. Until the deal is finalized, why risk disrupting business operations on a prospect that may never come to fruition? Also, some employees may inform customers of VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

a potential sale, causing them to have concerns about shifts in quality and flee to competitors.

ing to a buyer who will commit to retaining the existing staff, let them know at this time.

However, if word does leak about a sale, don't deny it or cover it up. Call a meeting and provide your employees with the information they need. Discuss candidly the possible outESN-117 Map Ad/4.5x7.25 8/30/04 comes, and if your plan involves sell-

Contributed by Steve Coughran, Reprinted with permission from Colorado Green, published by the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, VOL 30, January/February, 2014. 10:27 AM

Page 1

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January/February/March 2014



Research - 2013 VNLA REPORT for Proposed Research on Prevention and Management of Boxwood Blight Principal Investigator Dr. Kelly Ivors, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Dept. of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center (MHCREC- off campus), Mills River, NC 28759. 828-684-3562 x 143. kelly_ivors@ncsu.edu . Others that helped conduct these trials included Miranda Ganci (MS student), Landis Lacey (Lab Tech), Dreama Milks (Lab Tech), Kaitlin Carnahan (Lab Asst), Chris Holmberg (Field Tech), and Dr. Mike Benson. Our plan was to continue research that we conducted in 2012 involving the search for box blight-tolerant germplasm, as well as evaluating the efficacy of fungicides solo and in combination for managing boxwood blight in container nurseries. This research was conducted at in Mills River at the boxwood blight research container pad at the MHCREC. We started our trials in mid-April this year rather than June as we did in 2012. ONE VERY IMPORTANT THING TO NOTE REGARDING THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS IN 2013: this has been one of the WETTEST years on record for my research station. The graph below explains this quite well. This means we had the perfect weather for heavy box blight disease pressure, which was helpful to our research, but not ideal for growers in the trying to fight off boxwood blight.

Our Research Objectives/Priorities Were: 1. To identify the most effective chemistries, timing and rates of fungicides (preventive and cura58


tive) for managing boxwood blight; 2. To evaluate experimental and commercial Buxus species and cultivars for tolerance to the fungus that causes boxwood blight, Cylindrocladium buxicola; and 3. To investigate the role of microsclerotia in the life cycle of this disease. How long can microsclerotia remain viable in host tissue and in soil? How long does it take for microsclerotia to form in plants?

Fungicide Strategies (preventive and curative approaches) Both of the fungicide trials below were submitted in early Dec 2013 as separate Plant Disease Management Reports (PDMRs). The first trial (trial I 2013) evaluated 22 different preventive treatments for the management of boxwood blight. The second trial (trial II 2013) evaluated and compared the 8 most effective chemistries as preventive vs. curative applications for the management of boxwood blight. The second trial was really interesting; it showed that no curative applications provided acceptable levels of disease control.

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

Trial I, 2013 BOXWOOD, ENGLISH (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) K. L. Ivors, L. W. Lacey, and M. Ganci Boxwood blight; Cylindrocladium buxicola Dept. Plant Pathology, North Carolina State Univ. 455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759

Evaluation of fungicides for the management of boxwood blight, 2013. This trial evaluated the efficacy of several commercially available fungicides for activity against boxwood blight caused by Cylindrocladium buxicola (=Calonectria pseudonaviculata). Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design consisting of four replications of six 1-gal English boxwood plants per treatment on a shaded container pad with overhead irrigation at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Mills River, NC. Plants were stored overwinter at this container pad prior to commencing this experiment and potentially exposed to low levels of pathogen contamination. Treatments were applied as foliar sprays until runoff using a CO2pressurized backpack sprayer equipped with a handheld boom and a VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

Treatment and rate /100 gal

FRAC code*

Percent leaf area diseased (26 Jun geometric midpoint)

Percent leaf area diseased (26 Jun geometric midpoint)

Spectro 90WDG 1.5 lb

M5 + 1

0.01 i**

0.01 i**


0.02 i

0.02 i

Daconil WeatherStik 1.375 pt


0.4 i

0.4 i

Concert II 35.0 fl oz

M5 + 3

0.4 i

0.4 i

Disarm C 11.0 fl oz

M5 + 11

0.4 i

0.4 i

Medallion WDG 4.0 oz


1.4 ghi

1.4 ghi

Tourney 50WDG 4.0 oz


0.7 hi

0.7 hi

Strike Plus 50WDG 9.0 oz

3 + 11

1.4 ghi

1.4 ghi

Compass O 50WDG 2.0 oz


3.5 fghi

3.5 fghi

Pageant 38WG 14.0 oz

7 + 11

4.2 fghi

4.2 fghi

Palladium 6.0 oz

9 + 12

5.7 fghi

5.7 fghi

3336F 16.0 fl oz


6.4 fghi

6.4 fghi

Insignia SC 10.0 oz


7.9 efghi

7.9 efghi

Protect DF 2.0 lb


11.1 efg

11.1 efg

Heritage 50WG 8.0 oz


17.3 d

17.3 d

ProPhyt 4.0 pt


37.3 c

37.3 c

Affirm WDG 0.5 lb


53.4 b

53.4 b

Non-treated inoculated control


75.9 a

75.9 a

ZeroTol 2.0 1.0 gal


75.9 a

75.9 a

Torque 10.0 fl oz

* Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) code indicates fungicide mode of action. VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

single, hollow-cone nozzle (TXVS26) delivering 50-60 psi. Excluding the ZeroTol applications, treatments were applied on a 14-day schedule on 23 May, 6 Jun and 20 Jun. As requested by the manufacturer, the ZeroTol applications were made 24 hr and 48 hr after inoculation (25 and 26 May respectively), then weekly after on 30 May, 6 Jun, 13 Jun, and 20 Jun. Inoculum was prepared by flooding Petri-dishes of activelygrowing PDA cultures (<14 days) of the pathogen. Plants were spray inoculated with a suspension containing 10,000 spores per ml until runoff one day post treatment on 24 May. Disease assessments were conducted on 6, 14 and 26 Jun. The percentage of leaves with disease symptoms was recorded for each treatment block using a modified Horsfall-Barratt scale. AUDPC for percent leaf area diseased across the three assessment dates was calculated. Air temperatures and rainfall during the trial were optimal for infection such that 76% of the leaves per plant had symptoms in the non-treated, inoculated control after 32 days. Average daily high and low temperatures were 71.3 and 50.4째F for May and 80.7 and 60.8째F for Jun; cumulative rainfall was 8.2 inches in May and 11.0 inches in Jun. Spectro, Torque, Daconil WeatherStik, Concert II and Disarm C resulted in less than 0.5% leaf infection by C. buxicola at 32 days when applied one day before inoculation; a number of other products resulted in less than 10% leaf infection. ZeroTol, Affirm, or ProPhyt were least effective at controlling boxwood blight, but applications of Affirm or ProPhyt were more effective than spraying nothing at all (non-treated control). Phytotoxic symptoms were not observed for any of the treatments.

**Means within a column followed by the same letter are not significantly different (P = 0.05) based on the WallerDuncan k-ratio (k = 100) t test. January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014



Trial II, 2013 BOXWOOD, ENGLISH (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) Boxwood blight; Cylindrocladium buxicola K. L. Ivors, D. C. Milks, L. W. Lacey, and M. Ganci; Dept. Plant Pathology, North Carolina State Univ. 455 Research Drive, Mills River, NC 28759

Evaluation of fungicides as preventive vs. curative applications for the management of boxwood blight, 2013. This trial compared the efficacy of eight commercially available fungicides for preventive versus curative activity against boxwood blight, caused by Cylindrocladium buxicola (=Calonectria pseudonaviculata). The eight fungicides were chosen

because they performed the best in a prior boxwood blight trial during the spring of 2013. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design consisting of four replications of six 1-gal English boxwood plants per treatment on a shaded container pad with overhead irrigation at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Mills River, NC. Treatments were applied as foliar sprays until runoff using a CO2pressurized backpack sprayer equipped with a handheld boom and a single, hollow-cone nozzle (TXVS26) delivering 50-60 psi. Preventive treatments were applied on a 14-day schedule on 11 Jul (one day before inoculation), 25 Jul, and 8 Aug. Curative treatments were applied on a 14day schedule on 18 Jul (six days after inoculation), 1 Aug, and 15 Aug. All plants receiving either preventive or curative applications were inoculated on the same day (12 Jul). Inoculum was prepared by rinsing Petri-dishes of actively-growing PDA cultures of

the pathogen. Plants were spray inoculated with a suspension containing 15,000 spores per ml until runoff. Disease assessments were conducted on 19 Jul, 26 Jul, 7 Aug, and 19 Aug. The percentage of leaves with disease symptoms was recorded for each treatment block using a modified Horsfall-Barratt scale. Air temperatures and rainfall during the trial were optimal for high rates of infection. Average daily high and low temperatures were 81.7 and 64.2°F for Jul and 78.9 and 62.3°F for Aug; cumulative rainfall was 16.0 inches in Jul and 8.4 inches in Aug. Phytotoxic symptoms were not observed for any of the treatments. Preventive applications were far more effective at protecting foliage and reducing boxwood blight symptoms in comparison to curative applications of the same product made 6 days after inoculation with the fungus. No curative applications provided acceptable disease control. It is

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January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

negative controls). This data is in addition Treatment and rate /100 gal FRAC code* Curative Preventative to the 23 commercial cultivars tested during Non-inoculated negative conNA 3.6d 3.6de summer of 2012 (detrol tails can be found at: Strike Plus 50WDG 9.0 oz 3 + 11 36.5c .5e http://go.ncsu.edu/box wood_blight_links ). Concert II 35.0 fl oz M5 + 3 36.5c 2.1e Disease assessments Daconil WeatherStik 1.375 pt M5 40.2c .9e were performed based on the percentage of Spectro 90WDG 1.5 lb M5 + 1 40.2c 2.1e diseased leaves in the Torque 10.0 fl oz 3 43.4c 10.6bc canopy of each plant using a modified HorsTourney 50WDG 4.0 oz 3 47.1c 14.4b fall-Barratt scale. The Medallion WDG 4.0 oz 12 62.5b 8.0cd results below are based on the final disease Disarm C 11.0 fl oz M5 + 11 67.4ab 3.6de assessment. Our reNon-treated inoculated control NA 78.6a 78.6a sults indicate a wide range in susceptibility * Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) code indicates fungicide mode of action. of Buxus spp. to the **Means within a column followed by the same lower case letter are not significantly different boxwood blight patho(P = 0.05) based on the Waller-Duncan k-ratio (k = 100) t test. gen; however B. sempervirens types in this trial were AGAIN possible that curative treatments apThe two trials above indicate that more susceptible in general than B. plied on a shorter time interval (<6 there are several chemistries that microphylla and B. sinica var. insudays) post inoculation would have do quite well at preventing boxlaris. Many of the cultivars had minbeen more effective at reducing boxwood blight (Strike Plus, Daconil imal lesion development caused by C. wood blight. The most effective WeatherStik, Concert II Spectro buxicola, even under the heavy distreatments were preventive applicaand Disarm C) when applied before ease pressure we experienced this tions of Strike Plus, Daconil Weaththe plants are exposed to the pathsummer. erStik, Concert II Spectro and Disarm ogen, however, none of those chemPercent leaf area diseased (19 Aug

C. Due to splash dispersal of this fungus, leaf area infection reach 3.6% within the non-inoculated control plots by the end of the trial 38 days after inoculation.

istries provided acceptable levels of disease control when they are applied after initial boxwood blight infection. More work in the future will focus on the length of time between sprays, and fungicide applications based on specific weather conditions and monitoring.

Disease Resistance: Susceptibility of Commercial Boxwood Cultivars to Cylindrocladium buxicola Susceptibility to C. buxicola was evaluated for 27 additional cultivars of boxwood (Buxus spp.) during summer 2013 (the chart below shows 30 cultivars, but B. sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’, B. microphylla var. japonica ‘Green Beauty’, and B. sinica var. insularis ‘Nana’ were repeats from last year’s trial as positive and VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

We would like to take the top 15 to 20 box blight tolerant cultivars identified during the 2012 and 2013 trials and do one last final susceptibility trial (final round; final rep) during the spring of 2014 to validate / have a ‘proof of concept’ regarding these results. We feel quite confident we will have consistent results to report. Pathogen survival / role of Microsclerotia The objective of this study was to determine the survival of Cylindrocladium buxicola in infected leaves over time in various environments (similar to commercial container and field conditions). This experiment was conducted by graduate student Miranda Ganci at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Mills River, NC over the fall, winter, 61


and spring of 2012-2013. Plant material infected with C. buxicola was collected from plants; five leaves were placed into individual mesh bags. Bags were subjected to four different treatments including: Surface of field soil (loam) Subsurface of field soil (5 cm) Surface of soil-less potting media (pine bark)  Subsurface of soil-less potting media (5 cm) with 5 replicate bags per treatment, per sample date.

  

In the beginning of the experiment, C. buxicola was isolated from all subsamples. After eight months (Sept. 2012 to May 2013), only 5% of the leaves on the surface of soilless potting media produced spores of C. buxicola, and NO fungal sporulation was observed on any of the leaves from the surface of field soil. In comparison, 80% of the leaves in the subsurface of soilless potting media (buried 5 cm) and 19% of the leaves found in the subsurface of field soil produced spores of C. buxicola. This data indicates that the fungus has a higher probability of surviving in leaves that are buried below the surface, and that C. buxicola survives much better in debris in containers with soilless potting mix in comparison to field soil. It is possible that other organisms in the soil are contributing to the breakdown of the debris or have some other impact on the ability of this pathogen to overwinter. Towards the end of this trial, leaves were cleared and the presence of microsclerotia was determined using microscopy. Microsclerotia were found in leaf samples in all treatments, although as mentioned earlier, the fungus was not viable/showed reduced viability in leaves exposed to some treatments. This experiment is being continued for the Sept 2013 to May 2014 time frame; we are including 2 additional environmental treatments to explore to impact that shade (partial sun) has on pathogen survival. Samples from all time periods will 62


also be checked for the presence of microsclerotia.

From Kelly Ivors

Results from this study suggest that infected leaves that overwinter on the soil surface under the winter conditions experienced at this location (in the mountains of North Carolina) may pose a reduced risk as a source of inoculum. However, we still recommend that infected leaves be removed from production areas when possible. In the near future, we hope to investigate various cover crops that could be seeded within field rows to help keep contaminated debris in place and less likely to move much distance. Similar studies have been conducted on Cylindrocladium root rot in conifer nurseries (caused by C. floridanum). January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

Research - Weed Management Research Update Through support from the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association and the Virginia Nurserymen's Horticultural Research Foundation, I have been continuing my research on control of liverwort, spurge, phyllanthus, nutsedge, and other troublesome weeds in nursery production. One focus has been evaluating options for broadleaf weed control in container and field production. Another focus has been on evaluating chemicals for selective control of liverwort, a troublesome weed in n propagation and in the production of perennials.

New herbicide evaluation I evaluated herbicides and herbicide combinations for weed control in a variety of nursery crops, including

heuchera, purple coneflower, daylily, black-eyed Susan, shasta daisy, Kurume azalea, variegated Chinese privet, gardenia, butterfly bush, forsythia, hydrangea, tickseed coreopsis, dianthus, verbena, hosta,, Florida leucothoe, mum, and iceplant. The nursery industry has expressed a need for more sprayable as opposed to granular preemergence herbicide formulations. Sprayable formulations require less labor to apply and can be less expensive than granular formulations, so switching to sprayable products can result in a considerable cost savings to growers. I compared the safety and effectiveness of various herbicides that could be sprayed overtop nursery stock. I evaluated sprayable formulation of Marengo (indaziflam), Pendulum EC (pendimethalin), and Tower (dimethenamid), as well as combinations of Gallery (isoxaben) plus Barricade (prodiamine), and prodiamine plus sulfentrazone. These trials were con-

ducted in containers. I also compared granular and sprayed applications of indaziflam in a field trial, as well directed sprays of an experimental combination of flumioxazin plus pyroxasulfone compared to SureGuard (flumioxazin) applied alone. The active ingredient in Marengo, indaziflam, is available for preemergence weed control in woody landscape beds under the name Specticle.

Container trials Marengo injured hydrangea, Blackeyed Susan, Shasta daisy, and butterfly bush when evaluated 12 days after treatment (DAT). By 21 DAT, Marengo caused severe injury to hydrangea, with 12 to 19% injury to purple coneflower, Shasta daisy, and Blackeyed Susan, with 7 to 9% injury in butterfly bush, forsythia, and azalea. At 25 days after the second application, Marengo injured hydrangea, Black-eyed Susan, and Shasta daisy. Marengo injured verbena, mum, hydrangea, and leucothoe 25 DAT, and

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VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014



mum and hydrangea 50 DAT. Little to no injury in these species was also seen with Gallery + Barricade, Pendulum EC, and Tower. Slight (4-18%) injury was seen in Shasta daisy from Gallery + Barricade. Sulfentrazone + prodiamine caused slight injury to iceplant (maximum 16%) 4 and 24 DAT2 and injured mum at 9 DAT although plants outgrew the injury by 29 DAT, with a maximum of 20% injury at the highest rate. It also injured Shasta daisy, causing greater injury after 2 compared to 1 application with a maximum of 35% injury at the highest. Flower counts in iceplant at 14 DAT2 appeared to decrease as the sulfentrazone + prodiamine rate increased. Tower injured iceplant only at above labeled rates. The highest rate of Tower caused slight injury to mum at 29 DAT. Flower rating appeared to decrease as the Tower rate increased, although no reduction compared to the untreated was seen with the use rate of Tower. The highest rate of Tower injured Shasta daisy after 1 or 2 applications. Gallery and Dimension also injured this species. Dimension initially decreased iceplant flower counts after 2 applications but flowering was not affected later. In terms of weed control, Tower has been the most effective sprayable herbicide for spotted (prostrate) spurge control in containers, as well as proving fair to good control of common broadleaf weeds. Tower controls annual grasses and will suppress yellow nutsedge. Gallery plus Barricade gave good to excellent control of spotted (prostrate) spurge, creeping woodsorrel, Virginia copperleaf , sowthistle, eclipta, southern crabgrass, and mulberry weed, fair control of common groundsel, but poor control of longstalked phyllanthus, tassel flower, and chamberbitter. Marengo for some reason has been erratic in my trials, providing very good annual broadleaf and grass 64


control in some trials, with lesser control in others. Marengo gave the numerically best longstalked phyllanthus and chamberbitter control in certain trials.

Field trials Excellent carpetweed control was seen with all indaziflam treatments. Pokeweed and morning glory stand decreased as the indaziflam rate increased. No significant reduction in yellow nutsedge stand seen with indaziflam application. Significant damage and stand reduction in hydrangea was seen following both granular and sprayable application of indaziflam. Significant injury (1544%) but no stand reduction was seen in dogwood and spirea at 62 DAT with this herbicide. Slight injury (<15%) seen in hosta and variegated privet with no injury to Japanese privet seen following indaziflam application. Flumioxazin plus pyroxasulfone gave excellent control of annual grasses, including yellow foxtail, southern and smooth crabgrass, and goosegrass, at 15, 27, and 40 DAT. Yellow nutsedge control increased as the rate for this combination increased, with excellent control seen at the highest rate. Yellow nutsedge shoot counts matched fairly well with the control ratings. Marengo did not control yellow nutsedge and gave poor goosegrass control at 40 DAT. There were emerged weeds at the time of treatment and the Reward application did not control all emerged weeds, especially those growing next to the trees. So lack of complete control of emerged weeds may explain the lower goosegrass control seen with Marengo. Flumioxazin plus pyroxasulfone appeared to cause some injury to sweetgum at 15 DAT, especially at the higher rates. Otherwise, little to no injury was seen in the other species. Some of the trees exhibited stress from transplant shock/hot weather, especially larch. January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

Tower has been the most effective sprayable herbicide in my trials for spotted spurge (Chamaesyce maculata), also referred to as prostrate spurge.

Summary The fit for Marengo will be in woody nursery crop production as it causes unacceptable injury to certain perennials. Even then, certain species, such as hydrangea, cannot be treated with Marengo, either with sprayable or granular formulations. Tower and Gallery plus Barricade can be applied to a range of perennials as well as woody nursery crops. Flumioxazin plus pyroxasulfone looks to be a very promising treatment for annual grass and broadleaf weeds, as well as yellow nutsedge suppression, in field tree production.

Liverwort Control Update An important weed species in plant propagation as well as in production of perennials is liverwort. Liverwort is a primitive moss-like plant that forms leaf-like mats on the soil surface. Liverwort grows best in cool, moist conditions. Propagation in enclosed structures, which prevents herbicide use, makes liverwort control a particular challenge. The major liverwort species that infests nursery stock is Jungermannia polymorpha (syn. Marchantia polymorpha), which is a thallose type. The thallus, a leaf- like structure, does not form stems, leaves, or roots. The plant absorbs water over its entire surface and it lacks a cuticle so it is susceptible to desiccation. The objective of this research was to identify preemergence and postemergence VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

chemicals that effectively control liverwort and thus may benefit the nursery industry. The preemergence study evaluated common granular formulations used in the nursery trade. The most effect herbicide was FreeHand (dimethenamid + pendimethalin), which provided 84 and 89% control 70 DAT at 1.75 and 3.5 lb ai/A, respectively. BroadStar (flumioxazin) at 0.38 lb/A and Rout (oxyfluorfen + oryzalin) at 3.0 lb/A both provided approximately 75% control 70 DAT. Ronstar 2G (oxadiazo)n at 4.0 lb/A gave 50% control. In the postemergence trial, Bryophyter (oregano oil) oil at 2% v/v and Scythe (pelargonic acid) at 5 and 10% v/v caused significant and rapid injury (80% or higher) to liverwort within 30 min of application. Effects from most of the other treatments were apparent 1 day after treatment (DAT). At 1 DAT, oregano oil, pelargonic acid, and Weed Pharm (acetic acid)

(10 and 20%) all provided 75% or greater control of liverwort. By 21 DAT, however, only sprayed applications of SureGuard (flumioxazin) at 0.38 lb/A and Tower (dimethenamid) at 1.5 lb/A gave greater than 85% control as regrowth occurred in the other treatments, with pelargonic acid, acetic acid and the 2% of oregano oil providing 60% or greater control. A second application of all treatments was made at 3 weeks after the initial treatment. At 15 minutes after the second application, oregano oil, Racer (ammonium nonanoate) at 5%, pelargonic acid, flumioxazin, dimethenamid, and acetic acid all gave 75% or greater liverwort control. These treatments all provided 80% or greater control at 8 days after the second application. The 2.5% rate of ammonium nonanoate and both granular and sprayed applications of TerraCyte (sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate) did not provide acceptable control of liverwort. Thorough coverage of liverwort appears to be critical for

all of these treatments since the action seems to be contact for each one. Another trial compared rates of Tower, FreeHand (dimethenamid + pendimethalin), and iron HEDTA. Tower at 1.5 lb/A gave better POST liverwort control than at 1.0 lb/A At 20 days after treatment, the higher rate of Tower gave 95% liverwort control while the higher rate of iron HEDTA (10 gal/1000 sq. ft.) gave 66% control. The granular formulation of dimethenamid + pendimethalin suppressed but did not provide acceptable liverwort control. Since the Tower formulation contains an oil solvent, an experiment was conducted to determine if it was the oil solvent or if it was the herbicide itself that was providing the liverwort control. The formulation blank injured but did not provide significant control. So the liverwort control was due either to the herbicide itself or a synergistic action of the herbicide with the solvent.


VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014



Liverwort control varied in my trials based on chemical applied and irrigation timing

An experiment evaluated the impact of irrigation immediately after treatment on liverwort control. Irrigating immediately after treatment reduced hosta injury but also decreased liverwort control. At 21 DAT, unacceptable injury to hosta was seen with both rates of Avenger (d-limonene) no irrigation, Bryophyter (oregano oil) 2% no irrigation, Racer 6% no irrigation, Scythe 6% no irrigation, and all 4 treatments of SureGuard. Similar results were seen 26 DAT2. Avenger no irrigation, Bryophyter 2% and SureGuard 4 o/Az no irrigation and 12 oz/A + or - irrigation reduced stand of hosta. The best combination of low hosta injury (<20%) and high level of liverwort control (>80%) 38 DAT occurred with Avenger 28% with irrigation, Racer 6% no irrigation, Scythe 3% with or without irrigation, Scythe 6% with irrigation, Tower 21 or 32 fl oz no irrigation, and Weed Pharm 25% no irrigation and 50% with or without irrigation. Non-irrigated treatments of Avenger, Racer, Scythe, and SureGuard caused unacceptable injury to royal fern. Also, the 2% Bryophyter treatment with or without irrigation caused unacceptable injury to royal fern. 66


We have identified treatments that provide acceptable liverwort control, although repeat applications are generally needed for longer term control. Several chemicals, including oregano oil, acetic acid, pelargonic acid, flumioxazin, and dimethenamid, provide acceptable liverwort control We need additional data on the tolerance of nursery species to overtop applications of the most promising candidate, including Bryophyter, Avenger, Racer, and Tower. Since these products can injure nursery crops, one needs to identify rates that provide acceptable control without unacceptable crop damage. Attaining this balancing act may be easier in some nursery crops than in others, and the best chemical choice may differ among nursery species due to differences in crop tolerance to these chemicals. Jeffrey Derr, Virginia Tech, Professor of Weed Science with Virginia Tech and is located at the Hampton Roads Ag. Res. and Ext. Center in Virginia Beach. JDERR@VT.EDU

Support VNLA Member Growers! Online at www.VNLA.org New Native Plant Section! For a print copy call 1-800-4760055 or email info@vnla.org January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

Research - 3 Reasons to Irrigate Plants in the Early to Mid-Morning SCRI Project Update Series I: Recycled Water Quality Dr. Chuan Hong, Virginia Tech HRAREC, Virginia Beach

Plants need large quantities of water for growth. Water typically makes up 80 to 95% of the mass of growing plant tissue. The water content of mature woody plants ranges from 45 to 50%, while that of herbaceous plants ranges from 70 to 95%. Water contributes to rigidity and mechanical stability of non-woody plant tissue, drives turgor pressure within each walled plant cell, and is essential for cell enlargement, gas exchange in the leaves, transport of water and sugars, and many other processes. Water movement in plants is driven by a process known as transpiration, the loss of water from plants in the form of vapor (evaporation). Plants utilize most of the water absorbed from the soil for transpiration. The rate of transpiration is dependent on water availability within the plant (and soil) and on sufficient energy to vaporize water. Most energy supporting transpiration is derived directly from the sun. Sunny, hot weather increases the rate of transpiration and thus the risk for wilting if the water supply is inadequate. This risk is even greater for ornamental crops growing in soilless media because of the limited water holding capacity of these media. To meet crops water need, irrigation may VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

be required once per week to several times a day depending upon the locale, time of year, and length of each irrigation event. The focus of this article is how to time irrigation to meet plant water needs without increasing crop health risks. Plant disease development and outbreak is a result of constant interaction among the plant, pathogens, and the environment. How we grow plants influences these interactions. In the last issue of VNLA Newsletter, we explained the importance that irrigating plants in the early morning has on the performance of chlorine in water treatment. In this article, we present the latest research data on the rhythm of pathogen reproduction and water requirements for the infection process, illustrating additional benefits of the morning irrigation.

Rhythm of Phytophthora and Pythium asexual reproduction

Phytophthora and Pythium are destructive pathogens of ornamental crops and they can spread via irrigation water. These pathogens normally reproduce themselves asexually (without sex) by forming spores called sporangia (singular: sporangium). Mature sporangia may germinate directly or may release zoospores depending upon the environmental conditions. Sporangium and zoospores are dispersal and infective structures but they differ greatly in motility in water and ability to attack plants. Zoospores are initially motile, so they can move freely in a body of water by their own locomotion and by water currents. Unlike zoospores, sporangia are not motile and they are heavier than water. They are only moved by water currents for some distance. Each sporangium typically releases several dozens of zoospores under favorable conditions and individual zoospores can germinate and attack plants. Thus, the pathogen becomes much more a threat to plants by producing zoospores

than sporangia. As zoospores are released from mature sporangia, one of the easiest and most economical ways to reduce disease potential is to time the irrigation event according to the rhythm of sporangium and zoospore production. This was first demonstrated with lettuce and Pythium dissoticum in a hydroponic system at the University of Arizona. The Pythium pathogen spread throughout a recirculating cultural system about seven times faster when plants were irrigated at night compared with irrigations only during the day. In a further study with pepper and Phytophthora capsici, they demonstrated that zoospore are produced mostly at night. Specifically, in a 12-hour light and 12-hour dark photoperiod, the number of sporangia began to increase between hours 8 and 10 of the dark cycle (if sunset is 8 p.m. on a summer day, then this would be between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.) and peaked at hours 10 to 12 of the light cycle (if sunrise is 6 a.m on a summer day, then this would be between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.).

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VNLA Newsletter

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014



Zoospore population began to increase at the start of dark cycle, peaked at hour 4 (midnight) then declined sharply. Generally, the lowest total pathogen load including zoospores and sporangia in water occurred in the first few hours of light cycle (6 a.m. to noon).

Water requirements for pathogen survival and infection process

Once a pathogen zoospore lands on a plant, the first challenge it faces is survival. Without free water, zoospores will dry up quickly and die. There are numerous steps in the infection process, each requiring free water. For example, before attacking plant, zoospores need to germinate, producing germ tube then specialized structures to penetrate into plant tissues. These processes usually take hours and only take place under the environments with free water. Thus, wetness is among the most important factors affecting infection processes and disease development. Because greater infections occur under wet conditions than dry, experienced growers always see disease problems first showing up at the lowest and dampest areas on their properties. Growers can put these research data and field experience into practice and reduce crop health risk by shortening the length of time that water is on foliage. There are three sources of wetness, dew, rain, and irrigation. Irrigation can

be programed to reduce its contribution to the total foliage wetness. Generally, later afternoon irrigation will wet the foliage and also cool the microenvironment to reach dew point earlier, adding greatly to the total wetness and its duration. Early morning irrigation removes the accumulated dew and the remaining water film will evaporate quickly as the day temperature rises.

The take-home point Irrigating plants in the early to mid-morning (6 a.m. to 10 a.m.) has three major benefits: 1. the lowest pathogen load in recycled water occurs in the morning, 2. the best performance of chlorination for water decontamination is achieved in the morning, and

3. early day irrigating results in

the shortest length of time that the foliage is wet. Because of these crop health benefits, it is highly recommended that growers irrigate their crops in the early to mid-morning. Dr. Chuan Hong, Virginia Tech HRAREC, Virginia Beach chhong2@vt.edu

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Winter Board Meeting Minutes Tuesday, January 7, 2014; 1-5 pm Baltimore Convention Center, Room 334 1:15 p.m. - The meeting was called to order by President Matt Sawyer with the following in attendance: Matt Shreckhise, Sonya Westervelt, Steve Grigg, Cheryl Lajoie, Virginia Rockwell, Christopher Brown, Craig Attkisson, Doug Hensel, Bill Gouldin, Jeff Miller (absent: Mike Hildebrand and Tom Thompson).

What are our members’ problems? How is the VNLA going to make them more successful? VNLA Dashboard Metrics Current Membership 494 Membership 1 year ago 510 Peak Membership 632 Current VCH Count VCH Count 1 Year ago

551 549

Total Income YTD Budget Year 2013 Total Income YTD

149,938 392,225 180,582

Total Expenses YTD Budget Year 2013 Total Expenses YTD

250,442 392,100 241,668

** does not include fund interest



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Secretary’s Report - Sonya Westervelt - it was moved to approve the June Board Meeting Minutes as emailed to the Board and distributed at this board meeting, seconded and passed.

Join as a certified landscape designer, associate member, or student member. Visit our website for the application forms & membership requirements: http://www.vsld.org/types.htm

Executive Director’s Report - Jeff Miller (emailed and attached)

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Dashboard Metrics Fund Accounts


to approve the financial reports and the Executive Committee conference 9/30/13 call meeting of 11/21/13 reallocating the VNLA investment portfolios to a uniform objective of capital appreciation over the long term with a moderate risk profile, se669,801 conded and passed.

VNA Horticulture Research Fndtn


VNAHRF Checking



VNAHRF Beautiful Gardens



VNLA Money Market Fund



VNLA Rainy Day Fund





Shoosmith Scholarship Fund



Laird/Gres ham Scholarship Fund



CW Bryant Scholarship Fund



1,480,92 9


VNLA Checking Account

Total Assets MANTS check in the mail

 A motion was made to sponsor the Flora Virginia Project, seconded and passed. (Info about this will be included in the VNLA Newsletter)

Certification - Cheryl Lajoie reported that the committee would be meeting at the MAHSC to discuss programs that could impact and enhance the Certification program such as Bay programs, landscape certification, sustainable landscapes, nutrient planning, and VCH status for life credentials. An agreement is almost finalized

with Dave Close in the VA Tech Horticulture Department, to develop an online review class and make updates to the VCH manual. A motion was made to look at the “Fellows of ASLA” program to establish life credentials for the certification program, seconded and passed. Cheryl will follow up on this and report at the Spring Board Meeting.  A request was made that the IPPS programs be listed on the CEU report form, which was referred to the Certification Committee. Membership - Mike Hildebrand (absent) - Jeff Miller introduced Tom Kegley, Kegley Communications, who had developed a marketing/branding proposal per a request, as a result of the Fall Board Meeting (see attached report). After some discussion, the Board requested Tom to prepare a proposal with specifics and dollar values in the next several weeks for further review by the Executive Committee. 

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Financial Reports - Sonya Westervelt and Jeff Miller reviewed the Balance Sheet and P&L sheet which had been distributed by email and at the meeting to board members. A motion was made VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014



Member signs at MANTS - Christopher Brown brought new VNLA member flag signs and stands to the board meeting to distribute to about 50 VNLA member exhibitors on the MANTS floor and asked board members to divide them up to help with distribution.

Virginia Rockwell noted that the VNLA would have a table at the Virginia Agribusiness Council Appreciation Banquet on Thursday evening in Richmond and will be hosting Sandy Adams, the Acting Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Commerce (VDACS).

LEAN programs - Jim Owen reported that he had a draft program for this summer. It was suggested that the program be tied in with the VNLA Field Day in Blacksburg. A motion was made to provide funding up to $1,000, seconded and passed.

MANTS Update - John Lancaster and Danny Shreckhise, VNLA representatives on the MANTS Board, reported that the current MANTS was sold out, there continues to be a waiting list, and they are signing contracts through 2020 for Baltimore Convention Center. 

There are move-in issues for some exhibitors due to weather conditions to the west and north. They are trying to accommodate these exhibitors, some of whom will be moving in during the trade show on Wednesday and in the evening.

There will show information available on mobile devices this year during the show.

MANTS 2015 will be a week later on January 14-15 due to a switch of dates with the North Carolina Green and Growing Show. The show will revert to the normal schedule in 2016.

A time lapse video is being made during the show to use to promote future events

The VNLA policy for selecting VNLA representatives to the MANTS Board was working well (VNLA representatives will rotate each three years for three year terms and can re-up for up to 6 terms)

Legislative/Regulatory 70




The VNLA was represented at the Virginia Agribusiness Council’s State Policy Meeting in November by Virginia Rockwell, Bill Gouldin and Jeff Miller.  Green Area Ratio (GAR), an environmental sustainability zoning measure that has been proposed for development sites in Washington DC was reviewed by Virginia Rockwell and suggested that the VNLA should contact them about having Virginia Certified Horticulturist listed as qualified professionals for GAR projects. Cheryl Lajoie will follow up.  Plant gift baskets will be distributed to the General Assembly members, the Governor’s office and Cabinet offices on Thursday, February 20 in Richmond. Volunteers are needed to help with deliveries and have an opportunity to see the General Assembly in “action”.  A motion was made to print more of the legislative 1/3-page brochures, seconded and passed.  Bill Gouldin discussed a movement to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour plus inflation factor, the impact of new health care regulations on 30-hour part-time status, and the BPOL tax that has a movement to abolish the tax (in existence since 1812) and to add sales tax to services. Education - CALS Strategic Plan Green Industry Priorities - Steve Grigg reported on the meeting with Dean Alan Grant, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS). The Dean was impressed with the green industry and their parJanuary / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

ticipation. The Dean noted that the Horticulture Department has one of the best advisory boards in the college. The VNLA will provide Student Membership, in the VNLA, to all senior VA Tech Horticulture students and to 2nd year TLM (Landscape Turf Management) students in the 2-year Ag Program. Public Relations - Sonya Westervelt announced that the 2014 VNLA Field Day and Summer Tour would be held at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. She is working with the Dean’s office and the Horticulture Department to coordinate the events.

“Plant Something Campaign” for Spring 2014 will be started and coordinated with the current DCR campaign “Plant More Plants” and a VGIC grant for this program which is being administered by Rick Baker, VDACS Marketing. A retailer committee will be setup to help develop directions for these programs. Communications - Matt Shreckhise reported that the membership survey had been emailed out to over a thousand members and VCH staff and a link was posted on VNLA website. There will be prize drawing for cash gift cards from the participants. So far there have been 181 responses. Virginia Rockwell suggested that we also follow up with analytics from LinkedIn and other social media. Publications - Grower Guide - Craig Attkisson reported that 4,300 Guides had been printed; about 3,000 had been mailed to garden centers, landscape businesses, landscape architects, etc. in Virginia and Mid-Atlantic states to the north of Virginia. They are also being distributed at regional trade shows by Jeff Miller and by VDACS Marketing representatives. The new addition of a native plants section was completed in this addition and a back cover flap was added with ads from the VSLD, Flora Virginia and the Department of Conservation and Recreation on native plants. VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

Environmental Affairs - Tom Thompson (absent) see attached written report.


port of the daylily.

committee with Matt Sawyer as the chair and several past presidents, seconded and passed.

Strategic Planning - Mark Maslow/Steve Grigg - no report

5:08 p.m. - Final thoughts and adjournment - Being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.

Old Business - None

2014 Research Gala/Auction - Matt Sawyer reported that everything was set for the Gala on Wednesday evening at The Center Club and asked to board to help promote ticket sales. They have secured $3,000 from sponsors and have about 40+ auction items and 35 plants. They have made a guarantee of 80 for the dinner.

New Business

Research Grant requests have been received and will be reviewed and awarded by the Research Committee on Wednesday morning.

Nominating Committee for 2014 officers/directors - Steve Grigg reported the following nominations for changes in the Officers for 2014: Matt Shreckhise, President; Sonya Westervelt, Vice President; and Bill Gouldin, Secretary/Treasurer. The current directors would be nominated for another term. The nominations will be officially presented and voted on at the VNLA Membership Meeting, on Thursday, January 9.

Beautiful Gardens (written report) Doug Hensel and Rick Baker discussed the background and reasons for the decision to terminate the active Beautiful Gardens® program. There will be residual income from the VT Spirit® Daylily and Doug noted that the need to continue sup-

Art Parkinson presented a letter to request the Board to establish a transition search committee to begin preparing a search for an executive director so the board will be ready when the current executive director retires in about 5 years. It was moved to establish an executive search

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TASK LIST FOR NEXT MEETING 1. Life time Certification status review - Cheryl Lajoie 2. GAR addition of VCH for Washington DC projects - Cheryl Lajoie 3. Review revised Marketing Proposal from Kegley Communications - Executive Committee 4. Establish a Search Committee Matt Sawyer 5. Establish a “Plant Something” Committee of VNLA members Sonya Westervelt

"Strategy gets you on the playing field, but execution pays the bills." - Gordon Eubanks

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VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014



needed to re-certify at the end of 2013. Certification updates and reminders to submit CEUs are being sent to all other VCH. There was a major data edit in December with JL Systems, cleaning up, correcting and synchronization of records.

What are our members’ problems? How is the VNLA going to make them more successful?

Executive Directors Report for 12/23/13 I would like to propose reviewing the “Dashboard Metrics” that are included at the beginning of each Agenda. The income and expenses are available on the financial reports, and the Membership numbers are most accurate at the end of the year. We need metrics that will measure where we’re at with our goals/strategic plan for the year.



Meetings Attended Virginia Agribusiness Council State Policy Meeting.


CVNLA - November membership meeting Website related -

LinkedIn - The VNLA now has a closed group on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/groups/ Virginia-Nursery-LandscapeAssociation-5034766/about


Facebook - VNLA is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VNLA 1932 with 311 likes, up from 259 “Likes” in October. Most of the posts have had a reach of 30-60. When we listed job opportunities, it jumped to 215 - 260





73 members have activated their online accounts on the VNLA website, up from 54 in June. There are more but having a reporter problem. The Re-Certification Application is now available online for submission and payment as a fillin PDF file. CEU transcripts and re-certification notices were sent out in November to VCH who

The net result is a reduction in total certified individuals, but there is a group that we will still be contacting about getting their VCH status current through CEU submittal, recertification application and membership renewal. The map lookup for members with Virginia Certified Horticulturist on staff is online and linked directly to the association management database. This was formerly on the consumer website www.virginiagardening.com Website upgrades in the works: The Grower Guide online lookup has been updated to have a selection to list all growers who produce native plants and that are listed in the Guide.

Marketing/Branding Makeover -I have reviewed the VNLA proposal with Tom Kegley, Kegley Communications in Riner, VA. http://tomkegley.com/ and he has developed a beginning proposal which is in the reports, and will be at the Board Meeting in Baltimore to discuss and answer questions. Membership - develop a color membership brochure with benefits and association info and then use the application as an insert as it changes in 2014. Ongoing with Mike Hildebrand -


There was an increase in memberships after a 4 year decline.

Guide to Virginia Growers -

5 growers were dropped 2 growers were added 12% increase in listings, adding 481 entries and 7 pages of listings Back page ½-page flap was added with 3 color ads 1 new color full page ad and one new ½-page color ad 38 growers listed 80% list native plants, those that don’t are annual/hybrid/specialty crop growers.

Online Woody Plant Instruction Modules by Alex X. Niemiera are now online and attached is a report for the Newsletter. Members can enter the Woody Plant Modules by going to:

www.hort.vt.edu/Woody/Introduct ion/ Once at this site, then they will

have to enter a username and password. For the username, enter: “hosting.VNLA” For the password, enter: “Woody2013” Beautiful Gardens - Have had monthly conference calls with the Beautiful Gardens Plant Introduction Committee. Working on a contract with the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) in Danville, to terminate our plant introduction ownership and the VNLA will collect all royalties on the patented ‘VT Spirit’ Daylily Newsletter - The Oct/Nov/Dec Newsletter was an extra 16 pages for this issue due to extra content and a longer Certification article. By Jeff Miller, Exec. Dir. VNLA

In the reports are charts and membership history by categories, business type, etc. Note trend in increasing Associate memberships, and non-active memberships and decrease in Active memberships, especially in the retail category. January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

Environmental Affairs Report: 1/8/2014 On December 5th, 2013 I attended the VDACS board meeting at the State Capitol. After a series of town hall meetings all around the state and a period of public comment, the Board was scheduled to vote on the Noxious Weed Law. After reading some of the comments from the public on the VDACS website, I was expecting, at the least, a vocal group of people from Northern Virginia to attend the meeting - I was the only person who was interested in the legislation to show up. Erin Williams, who is in charge of keeping up with the noxious weed program for VDACS presented the summary to the Board and answered their questions. The Board specifically asked about the public comments - more specifically, what those comments were. When told of the plants that the public wanted to add to the list, they asked if any of those plants were going to be included, to which Erin replied -

NONE. When asked why not - and this is extremely important to us, she replied that the suggested plants COULD NOT be added to the list because those plants were already WIDELY DISSEMINATED throughout the state. The phrase “widely disseminated” has caused confusion from the first meeting of the noxious weed committee more than two years ago. If you haven’t read the legislation, what it means is that if an invasive plant is already in the state, no matter how it got here, and is growing all over the place, it CANNOT be included on the noxious weed list because it is impossible or impractical to eradicate. It can, however be included (and most likely already is) on the state list of invasive species which is overseen by the DCR, which is good news for the VNLA. It may seem like the same thing, but the noxious weed list is managed by VDACS which has regulatory authority; DCR’s invasive species list is basically a watchdog list and the only way it can impact us is through public opinion. So - good news for us.

The Board voted unanimously to accept the legislation which passes it up the line to be signed by a governor. After the meeting I spoke with Andy Alvarez (Erin’s boss at VDACS and the chairman of the noxious weed committee) and he assured me that the VNLA does, and will continue to, have a seat on the committee. On November 22nd, 2013, I completed the “train the trainer” course for the Landscapes For Life program. This program is an offshoot of the Sustainable Sites program and is something that Virginia has been talking about including in the VNLA’s Certified Horticulturist courses so that we will be able to market the VNLA’s certification to more people. Tom Thompson, Chair, Environmental Affairs Committee

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VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

Hardy, Northern-Grown



Founded over a century ago, Sherman Nursery continues to offer the finest selection of

Beautiful Gardens® to Phase Out After many years of sincere effort and much recent discussion, the Executive Committee of Beautiful Gardens® has decided to not continue with the program as of December 31, 2013. Unfortunately, in spite of inspiration and involvement from numerous organizations and individuals, Beautiful Gardens® has not been able to generate the interest required to sustain itself in the increasing competitive market of new plant introductions. In 2006, the mission of Beautiful Gardens® was conceived by the Plant Introduction Committee, chaired by Fred Duis, of the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association. Also instrumental in developing the program were Rich Johnson, VNLA President, Butch Gaddy, Chair of the VNLA Research Committee, and Jeff Miller, Executive Director of VNLA. The mission was to expand and strengthen opportunities for the Virginia green industry through coordinated research, evaluation, production and marketing of ornamental plants. Grants from the Virginia Tobacco Commission, generous financial support from the VNLA, grants from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, partnerships with Virginia Tech’s Department of Horticulture, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, the Halifax County Board of Supervisors, J Sargent Reynolds Community College, the Claytor Nature Study Center at Lynchburg College, Norfolk Botanical Garden and the Virginia Master Gardener Association provided the necessary support to initiate and sustain the program to the present .

previously not well known as landscape plants in Virginia. Industry support was established through a network of wholesale nurseries and retail garden centers who participated in the production and sale of plants selected by the Plant Selection Committee of Beautiful Gardens®. In 2012, a new plant, Hemerocallis ‘VT Spirit’, was patented and introduced. It continues to be sold with royalties paid to Beautiful Gardens®. Those of us on the Beautiful Gardens® Executive Committee want to sincerely thank the organizations and numerous individuals who have generously given of their time and support. It is never a negative to have made the effort to improve the growing and selling opportunities for our Virginia horticulture industry. Doug Hensel, Chair and VNLA representative Lisa Lipsey, Executive Director and Virginia Tech representative Fred Duis, Duis Nursery, Founding Chair


Daily when General Assembly is in session, track bills via www.virginia.gov Legislative Information System with the guidance of Virginia Agribusiness Council. In my role as a member of the U.S. Advocacy Committee for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, also track bills via www.Statescape.com in VA, MD and the District of Columbia, monitor legislation that can affect landscape designers and others in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Represented VNLA at these gatherings which can affect Legislation and Regulatory environment for our Members and Virginia Certified Horticulturalists. January 2013

Jeff Miller, Treasurer and VNLA Executive Director

Virginia Agribusiness Council legislative banquet with elected officials, Richmond, VA

Rick Baker, Marketing Director and VDACS representative

February 2013

Linda Pinkham, Chairman of the Plant Selection Committee

Landscape for Life/Sustainable Sites Initiative briefing by U.S. Botanic Garden and UTexas; VNLA authorized to use Landscape for Life curriculum free if charge for Virginia Certified Horticulturalist curriculum update: must be taught in its entirety by teachers who have completed teacher training course. Washington, DC VNLA at the General Assembly to deliver VNLA fact cards and Virginia-grown plants. Richmond, VA Collaborative Summit on Residential Best Practices for Water Quality in Chesapeake Bay, Williamsburg, VA. Represent private sector green industry with state, local, federal government and nongovernmental organizations, universi-

Beautiful Gardens® has evaluated hundreds of plants over the years and promoted many excellent varieties 74

Legislative Updates to VNLA Board & Membership 2013 Summary

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

ties. Two initiatives were outcomes:

News - TREE fund established in Dr. Bonnie Appleton's Memory

Credentialing and identification of conservation landscape professionals to design, install and maintain best management practices (BMP’s) in the 6 states and DC of the Bay’shed, using existing certifications, licenses, as core of the credentials, and Collaborating to Market Virginia Native Plants

In memory of Bonnie Appleton, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of ISA and Trees Virginia have established an account with the TREE Fund http://www.treefund.org/archives/671 8 with the intent to endow a fund honoring Bonnie’s contributions to the arboriculture industry. Contact Contact Janet Bornancin at 630-3698300 x 201 to contribute or learn more or go to http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/20 12/07/073112-calsappletonmemoriam.html

Feb/Mar 2013 Albemarle County Native Plant Marketing Symposium. Locality intends to require Albemarle County native plants ONLY in prospective landscape development plans and soil and water conservation district nonag BMP programs. Audience of 100+ landscape architects, designers, and agencies requested cross-referencing VNLA Guide to Growers with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Native Plants of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed database in order to find native plant materials. May 2013 Virginia Native Plants Marketing Collaboration convened at DEQ, Richmond, VA. Agribusiness Meeting with Sen. Mark Warner regarding Immigration & Labor Reform, Glen Allen, VA. Sen. Warner presented with a First Edition of the new Flora of Virginia by VNLA members. Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS) with Virginia Agribusiness Council and Virginia Forage and Grassland Council - represent VNLA in regard to proposed Noxious Weeds regulations, requesting inter-agency cooperation regarding Noxious Weeds. Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council teleconference. Represent VNLA and APLD in teleconference with ASLA, VSLD, others regarding prospective credentials for conservation landscape professionals VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

Laurie J. Fox, Ph.D., Virginia Tech Hampton Roads AREC, 757-363-3807, ljsmith@exchange.vt.edu

JUNE 2013


Virginia Invasive Species Advisory Council meeting, VDOForestry, Charlottesville. Back Tom Thompson, VNLA Environmental Chair, in requesting noxious vs. invasives definition clarify and regulatory coordination by all Commonwealth government agencies.

Virginia Native Plant Society Annual Tour & Meeting, Albemarle County. Represent VNLA with T. Thompson.

Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council Field Day & Tour, Albemarle County, VA. Represent VNLA along with Tom Thompson, Environmental Chair. AUGUST 2013 Virgina Native Plants Marketing Collaboration Teleconference. Represent VNLA; Grower Guide to be listed as a native plants resource. VDACS Noxious Weeds Regulations Public Comment Period, Lexington. VNLA was ably represented by Katie Frazier of Virginia Agribusiness Council (VAC).

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Chesapeake Bay Field Office. Request and receive permission and access to Native Plants of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed database for crossreferencing new native plants section of 2014 Guide to Virginia Growers Virginia Green Industry Council Strategic Plan, Glen Allen. Represent VNLA. Center for Rural Virginia, Rural Caucus Convened, Richmond. Represent VNLA. Virginia Agribusiness Council Regional Roundtable, Grelen Nursery, Somerset.



NOV 2013 Green Infrastructure Planning at the Landscape Scale, Green Infrastructure Center, UVA/VDOF, Charlottesville. Virginia Agribusiness Council State Policy Meeting, Richmond, VA. Represent VNLA with Bill Gouldin, Jeff Miller. Living Waters Interfaith Summit on Chesapeake Bay, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Represent private sector green industry with 200+ religious institutions and NGO’s. Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council Biennial Symposium, Shepherdstown, WV. Represent VNLA, find author of Maryland Professional Certified Horticulturalist curriculum chapter on conservation landscaping, sell ads for Grower Guide to native plant advocates. Throughout the year, I try to let local/state elected officials know that VNLA represents more than 21,200 Virginians creating more than $1.2 billion to help shape and color Virginia, at the Orange County Fair, Culpeper Soil & Water Conservation District annual Bay Friendly Farm awards banquet, and the State Fair of Virginia. Respectfully Submitted, Virginia R. Rockwell, VSLD, VCH, Legislative & Policy Chair

VNLA - Annual Membership Meeting Minutes Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 7-9 a.m. Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel Mission Statement: To enhance and promote Virginia’s nursery and landscape industry Vision Statement: To be the leader and resource for the Virginia nursery and landscape industry 7 a.m. - Buffet Breakfast 7:25 a.m. Welcome, intros and hopes for the day - Meeting Call to Order by Matt Sawyer, President Secretary’s Report - Sonya Westervelt - A motion was made to approve the minutes of the January 7, 2013 membership meeting as published, seconded and passed. Financial Reports - Sonya Westervelt reviewed the financial reports that were attached to the agenda. She noted that the board had approved a budget item to add $10,000 to the CW Bryant Scholarship Fund to bring the endowment to the $50,000 level and to start funding scholarships in 2014. In 2013, there was also a transfer of $15,000 from the operating account to the Rainy Day Investment Fund. Being no questions, it was moved to accept the report as presented, seconded and passed. President’s Update - Matt Sawyer thanked the generous Breakfast Meeting sponsors. He noted that the VNLA would be focusing on several key areas this year including water and the Bay; nutrient runoff/containment; research; adding a conservation landscaping segment to the Certification program, increase membership and a marketing refresh of VNLA materials.



January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

AmericanHort (formerly the ANLA) Update - Craig Regelbrugge gave a brief update on the change from the ANLA to the AmericanHort as of January 1, 2014. He reviewed the impact on businesses of the new Healthcare regulations. On workforce and immigration issues, he noted that the current Senate bill was good and the House leadership wants to move forward. There is also a movement to reform the tax system and possibly remove “cash accounting” which would impact many green industry businesses. Farm Bill - Joe Bischoff noted that the proposed Farm Bill has components that benefit the green industry, including funding for specialty crop grants, research and pest issues. $1.3 million is directed to Boxwood Blight research of which $120,000 is allocated to research by Kelly Ivors at NCSU. Neonicotinoid insecticides reactions from the European Union are being reviewed by the EPA and AmericanHort is working with the EPA on this issue. He reminded everyone that the AmericanHort Knowledge Center is a good resource for information on issues and the industry. He thanked the VNLA for the close working relationship with AmericanHort and the Lighthouse Legislative Alert program. SNA Update - Danny Summers reported that the SNA Summer Trade Show and State Officers Conference had gone well and the 2014 SNA Show would be on July 22-24 in Atlanta. He thanked the VNLA for their support. He noted that the new BMP Manual for Producing Nursery Crops is available online now and print copies would be available later this month.

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

Certification - Cheryl Lajoie reported that the committee was working on an online manual and review class format in conjunction with Dave Close, VA Tech Horticulture Department. Chesapeake Bay Landscape Certification and pending VDOT requirements for a Certified person to be on job sites is being reviewed, and how to coordinate these with the VNLA Virginia Certified Horticulturist program. Legislative/Regulatory Review Virginia Rockwell noted that legislative and regulatory issues are perennial. The VNLA works closely with the Virginia Agribusiness Council as our watchdog and lobbyist on issues during the year Other issues that the VNLA is monitoring are:  

New stormwater regulations beginning this year District of Columbia GAR pending requirements for certified designers/contractors and the VNLA is working to get the VCH members recognized as qualified professionals for these jobs

Working with the Chesapeake Bay landscape certification

Representing the VNLA at the upcoming Virginia native Plant Marketing Partnership Forum and promoting the use of the VNLA Guide to Virginia Growers for native plants.



Monitoring and attending meetings related to noxious weeds and invasive plants. There are issues on definitions of these plants, no state funds available for control or enforcement and there needs to be a better education program on these issues for the industry and the general public. Virginia General Assembly Plant Gift Basket Distribution will be on 2/20/14 and VNLA volunteers are needed.

Membership - Christopher Brown reported on the distribution of VNLA member signs to VNLA member exhibitors at MANTS and badge ribbons for VNLA Members to help promote membership and VNLA recognition LEAN program - Jim Owen announced that a LEAN Management Program is being planned for this year and may possibly be in conjunction with the VNLA Field Day. Marketing/Branding Sonya Westervelt



Education - Steve Grigg reported that board members have met with Dr. Alan Grant, Dean of the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) to create a better relationship and to support one of their strategic plan focuses on the green industry. The VNLA is now providing free student membership to VA Tech Horticulture seniors and to 2nd year Turf and Landscape Maintenance (TLM) students in the 2-year Ag program. Public Relations - Sonya Westervelt reported that the 2013 Field Day at Brent & Becky’s Bulbs was very successful and the Summer Tour was sold out. The 2014 Field Day and Summer Tour will be at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The new “Plant Something Campaign” for Spring 2014 is being developed to tie into the VNLA website and provide marketing materials to the membership to increase awareness of the consumer on the benefit of plants. Communications - Matt Shreckhise thanked the members who had supplied photos and profile articles for the VNLA Newsletter and asked anyone interested in being featured in a future profile to contact him or the VNLA office. Matt Shreckhise reported that the membership survey had been emailed out to over a thousand members and January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014

VCH staff and a link was posted on VNLA website. There will be prize drawing for cash gift cards from the participants. So far there have been 181 responses Publications - Grower Guide - Craig Attkisson reported that 4,300 Guides had been printed; about 3,000 had been mailed to garden centers, landscape businesses, landscape architects, etc. in Virginia and MidAtlantic states to the north of Virginia. They are also being distributed at regional trade shows by Jeff Miller and by VDACS Marketing representatives. The new addition of a native plants section was completed in this addition and a back cover flap was added with ads from the VSLD, Flora Virginia and the Department of Conservation and Recreation on native plants. Environmental Affairs -Virginia Rockwell reported for Tom Thompson that Tom was the VNLA representative on the VDACS committee reviewing noxious and invasive weeds and insuring that the green industry’s views and concerns were recognized. Tom has completed the “train the trainer” course for the Landscapes For Life program. This program is an offshoot of the Sustainable Sites program and is something that Virginia has been talking about including in the VNLA’s Certified Horticulturist courses so that we will be able to market the VNLA’s certification to more people. Research - 2014 Research Gala/Auction - Matt Sawyer reported that the Research Gala/Auction had raised over $8,000 Wednesday evening to add to the VNA Horticulture Research Foundation. The Research Committee has funded over $25,000 in research grants for 2014. In the last 14 years, since 2000, over $250,000 has been raised to add to the research endowment fund and over $393,000 has been awarded in VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

Research grants over the same period.

Directors - 2 year

Beautiful Gardens - Doug Hensel and Rick Baker discussed the background and reasons for the decision to terminate the active Beautiful Gardens® program. There will be residual income from the VT Spirit® Daylily and Doug noted that the need to continue support of the daylily.

Virginia Rockwell Tom Thompson Doug Hensel

MANTS Update - Danny Shreckhise reported that the current MANTS was sold out, there continues to be a waiting list, and they are signing contracts through 2020 for Baltimore Convention Center. -


There are move-in issues for some exhibitors due to weather conditions to the west and north. They are trying to accommodate these exhibitors, some of whom will be moving in during the trade show on Wednesday and in the evening. MANTS Show information is available on mobile devices this year during the show.

Old Business - Matt Sawyer reminded everyone to review the “2013 VNLA Accomplishments” on the back side of the Agenda

New Business Awards Presentations -

Professional of the Year Award - was presented to Robert Warhurst, Merrifield Garden Center, Fairfax, by Duane Shumaker.

A motion was made to approve the slate of officers and directors as presented, seconded an passed. Final thoughts and adjournment Matt Sawyer was presented a President’s plaque in recognition of his service as the VNLA President in 2013 by Matt Shreckhise. Matt thanked the sponsors of the Breakfast Meeting and all the attendees for their support of the VNLA. 8:30 a.m. Adjourn Board and Award Recipients Photos

"Strategy gets you on the playing field, but execution pays the bills." Gordon Eubanks

Support VNLA Member Growers! Online at www.VNLA.org New Native Plant Section! For a print copy call 1-800-4760055 or email info@vnla.org

Do you need an official seal for your landscape plans? If you are a Virginia Certified Horticulturist, order a Stamper from the VNLA Office for $65.95, includes tax and shipping

Nominating Committee report for the 2014 Officers/Directors:


President - Matt Shreckhise Vice President - Sonya Lepper Westervelt Secretary/Treasurer - Bill Gouldin Past President - Matt Sawyer

Directors - 1 year Cheryl Lajoie Christopher Brown Craig Attkisson

VNLA Newsletter

VNLA Newsletter

January / February / March 2014

January/February/March 2014



VNLA Newsletter Advertising Order Please check the ad size and circle “B&W” or “4-Color” Size

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Premium locations: inside front cover, inside back cover - Add 10% to above rates and  page on back cover - Add 25% to above rates (call for availability) Please check the issue(s) for your ad (10% discount for 4 pre-paid ads for full-year run) Publication Issue Copy Deadlines [__] January/February/March January 15 [__] April/May/June April 15 [__] July/August/September July 15 [__] October/November/December October 15 [__] Run same ad each issue [__] Rotate Ads [__] New Ad each issue

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[__] Check here if you want an invoice for four pre-paid consecutive issues (10% discount). Otherwise, we will send you an electronic invoice after the issue is mailed to members.

Contact Person: _________________________________________________ Company Name: ________________________________________________ Mailing Address: ________________________________________________ City: _____________________________ ST____ Zipcode _________-_____ Phone: _____-______-____________ Fax: _____-______-____________ Email: _________________________________________________________ Date: ____/____/______ For Additional Information, Call, Fax or Email:

Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association

383 Coal Hollow Road, Christiansburg, VA 24073-6721 800-476-0055 or 540-382-0943 ---- Fax: 540-382-2716 Email: info@vnla.org www.vnla.org

VNLA Pender ad half page_VNLA pender half page ad 1/15/14 11:21 AM Page

News – Virginia Agribusiness  Banquet & Town Hall Meeting 

Ad – Pender Nursery


Via Green Industry Council members install plants and flowers 

for the Virginia Agribusiness Council Banquet.   (front) Lorene Blackwood,  (l‐r) Bill Bonwell, Gwynn Hubbard,    Peggy Seay, Cary Gouldin 

James River Nurseries installing plants James River Nurseries installing plans   and sod from Brookmeade Sod Farm and sod from Brookmeade Sod Farm 

Town Hall meeting at Grelen Nurseries, Orange, VA 

VNLA Newsletter

January / February / March 2014


Upcoming Events VNLA Virginia Certified Horticulturist Exam Dates March 1, 2014, Suffolk, Lancaster Farms March 5, 2014, Merrifield Garden Center, Fairfax March 15, 2014, Charlottesville, UVA March 17, 2014, Richmond, Henrico Government Complex April 8, 2014, Lynchburg May 22, 2014, Leesburg, Monroe Technology Center June 11, 2014, Suffolk, Lancaster Farms

June14, 2014, VNLA SUMMER BOARD MEETING, Blacksburg, info@vnla.org June 14, 2014, HAHN GARDEN GALA at Virginia Tech, www.hort.vt.edu/hhg/ 540-231-5970, vtgarden@vt.edu July 22-24, 2014, (SNA) SOUTHERN NURSERY ASSOCIATION TRADE SHOW & PLANT CONFERENCE, Atlanta, www.sna.org mail@sna.org 678-809-9992

Do you need an official seal for your landscape plans? If you are a VA Certified Horticulturist, order a Stamper from the VNLA Office for $65.95, includes tax and shipping

July 30-31 2014, PANTS Trade Show Philadelphia, http://www.pantshow.com/ August 5-7, 2014, IGC EAST Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, MD lisa@IGCshow.com, 203-682-1664 August 6, 2014, VNLA LEAN SEMINAR, Blacksburg, VA info@vnla.org 800-476-0055

March 20, 2014, SHENANDOAH VALLEY PLANT SYMPOSIUM, 8 am - 4 pm Best Western Inn & Conference Center, Waynesboro, VA Sponsored by the Waynesboro Parks & Recreation Dept. and the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association 540-942-6735 parksandrec@ci.waynesboro.va.us www.waynesboro.va.us April 21, 2014, EARTH DAY Contact Mother Nature April 25, 2014, VIRGINIA ARBOR DAY April 26-May 3, 2014 HISTORIC GARDEN WEEK IN VIRGINIA, sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia, http://www.vagardenweek.org/ May 13-16, 2014, 54th ANNUAL SYMPOSIUM of THE AMERICAN BOXWOOD SOCIETY at the Holiday Inn – College Park www.boxwoodsociety.org amboxwoodsociety@gmail.com

82 82

August 7, 2014, VNLA FIELD DAY, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg info@vnla.org 800-476-0055 August 8, 2014, VNLA SUMMER TOUR, Blacksburg & New River Valley area info@vnla.org 800-476-0055 August 28-29, 2014, VIRGINIA CHRISTMAS TREE GROWERS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Winchester, VA



For a Current Calendar of all Green Industry Events, go: http://virginiagreen.org/events.htm

Need Extra CEU’s???

Write an Article for This Newsletter! Earn 1 CEU! Contact: 800-476-0055 Email: info@vnla.org January / February / March2014 2014 January/February/March

Newsletter VNLAVNLA Newsletter

Our plants are featured based on the characteristics for which they are most appreciated. You will find the main feature of each plant listed on the top right corner of its tag.




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exclusively grown by

(800)343-4611 • www.bcnursery.com





Prsrt. Std U.S. Postage PAID Blacksburg, VA Permit No. 107

Your Roots Are In Virginia!

383 Coal Hollow Rd. Christiansburg, VA 24073-6721

Keep growing. One day you may outgrow your current operation. Farm Credit will be there to help you expand. Whether you need to purchase real estate, build new houses, buy more equipment or need a revolving line of credit for plant stock, we have the financing you need. Every business has growing pains. Give us a call and we’ll be sure your financing isn’t one of those.

800-919-FARM Lending support to rural America™


Phone: 434-842-8733 Fax: 434-842-3823 email: info@bremotrees.com www.Bremotrees.com Bremo Bluff, VA

Profile for Jeff Miller

VNLA Jan/Feb/Mar 2014 Newsletter  

Quarterly publication of the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association (VNLA) To Enhance and promote Virginia’s nursery and landscape industr...

VNLA Jan/Feb/Mar 2014 Newsletter  

Quarterly publication of the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association (VNLA) To Enhance and promote Virginia’s nursery and landscape industr...

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