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Official Publication of the Nevada Landscape Association |

Don’t Murder Trees

JULY 2012

Page 10

2012 Landscape Trophy Awards Page 4 CALL FOR ENTRIES

Tree Root & Soil Volume

Page 5


P.O. Box 7431 Reno, NV 89510

Nevada Landscape Assoc.




Earn Your Certificate In One or All Five Designations

(1) Softscape Installation

(4) Turfgrass Maintenance

(2) Hardscape Installation (5) Ornamental Maintenance (3) Irrigation

Next Test: August 17 & 18, 2012 Landscape Industry Certified Technician - Exterior (formerly known as CLT-E)


 




ertification enhances your professionalism!

enefits to you may include: enefits to you may include:

For test application and more information, visit the NLA website

& click on the “Certification” tab. Or call Jim Stanhouse at A sense of personal achievement.  775-673-0404 or email Increased respect and recognition in the industry or profession.  See test application on page 9 Increased professional credibility among customers and  prospects.  Increased marketing advantages for your firm by having Increased marketing advantages for your firm by having  certified individuals on staff. 


Landscape Nevada

JULY 2012

PUBLISHER Landscape Nevada is published by: Kathy Hess, Just Imagine Marketing and Design 775.746.4138;

A Letter from the President

NEVADA LANDSCAPE BOARD OF DIRECTORS Matt Melarkey, President, Crop Production Services 775.358.6166 Jeff Hurlbert, Secretary, Sierra Nevada Landscapes 775.853.4445 Heidi Kratsch, Director, UNCE 775.336.0251

My Fellow Members,

Rodney Bruns, Director, Pyramid Landscape 775.425.2445

am currently writing this letter from somewhere in central Nevada, where the winds have finally deposited me. I now know how Dorothy felt on her trip to Oz, except that I think I am closer to Gabbs, and the two places seem vastly different… Obviously, we all have to deal with a myriad of unforeseen elements throughout the year and this year’s winds have been no different. There are so many aspects of the landscaper’s life that revolve around calm days; from spraying and fertilizing to mowing and blowing. We are at the weather’s mercy unfortunately, and after a tough winter nothing spells relief like a couple of months of healthy wind. The NLA has been ticking along at what I would call a “Slightly better than brisk” pace. We actually have a number of issues on the docket that we are trying to find resolutions for and invite you to join us at our August meeting if you would like to help solve those issues. We sponsored the 2012 Water and Rails tour that supports ALS of Nevada, and hope that we can continue to take part in events that support both landscapers and charities in our neck of the woods. Have a good one and keep everything well tied down!

Jason Perry, Director, Western Turf 775.356.8873


Matt Melarkey


Tim Laskowski, Director, Signature Landscapes 775.544.6874 David Grillo, Director, Nitro Green 775.828.2900 Dan George, Director, Century Landscapes 775.358.5222 Dave Dabner, Past President, Reno Green Landscaping 775.852.8952 LANDSCAPE NEVADA is the official publication of the Nevada Landscape Association, P.O. Box 7431, Reno, Nevada, 89510, phone 775.673.0404 or 800.645.9794, fax 775.673.5828, website:, email: QUESTIONS, COMMENTS & SUBMISSIONS Write to Landscape Nevada at the address above or email the editor at or phone 775.746.4138. MISSION STATEMENT The Nevada Landscape Association provides leadership by promoting professionalism and integrity within the Green Industry through education, high standards and community involvement. We guide policy and uphold responsible resource management for the beautification and enhancement of our community.

Integrated Pest Management is a decision-based strategy that relies on a range of pest management tools, selection of which is dependent on the pest, the needs of the site and pre-set thresholds. Practitioners of IPM look at the whole landscape as an integrated system, and evaluate the health of the system to assure appropriate checks and balances exist to keep pests under control. Prevention is emphasized in IPM. Read more on page 4.



Call For Entries

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE POSTMARKED BY AUGUST 19TH, 2012 Awards to be presented at NLA Awards Banquet, November 9, 2012 Reno Ballroom, 401 N. Center St. Reno Trophy Awards encourage interest in landscaping; recognize craftsmen who produce outstanding landscapes; create pride in superior workmanship and bestow public recognition on companies for their interest in building pride in the Green Industry and keeping Nevada beautiful. The awards represent the pride these individuals and companies have in their work, and their dedication to excellence and professionalism within the Green Industry. TO ENTER Please type or print all information requested in detail. Fill out a separate entry form for each entry and return the form, along with the required entry fee to: Nevada Landscape Association, P.O. Box 7431, Reno, NV 89510-7431

4. Each entry is judged without knowledge of who entered the project, the contractor is anonymous. 5. Judges reserve the right to change the category in which an entry is designated for consideration. Entrants will be notified. 6. Type, size and cost of projects are not considered criteria for judging, only for the appropriate category. 7. Each entry is judged independently on site by the judges using separate judging sheets. Judges must then reach a consensus to decide award winners of each category. 8. Committee members cannot be judges. 9. Awards will be presented to the top entrants, regardless of the category.

ENTRY FEE The fee is $65 per entry for members see note under entry rules. (Note: $65 per entry into each category. Example: Enter one property into three categories, fee is $195. Separate forms must be used for each category or categories.)

A. 1. 2. 3.

ENTRY DEADLINE/LATE FEES Entry deadline is August 26th, 2012. A $35 late fee will be charged for each entry received after August 19th. All entries must include a completely filled out entry form, entry fee, signed project owner’s consent, photographs and plans if needed. (Send in three photographs showing the property at its best. You may also put photos on a disc or e-mail them.) If you have before pictures, send them – it helps judges understand the work that was done.) Incomplete entries will be returned. JUDGING DATES September 1st – 23rd, 2012 (There will be no judging over the Labor Day holiday weekend.) ENTRY RULES The Trophy Awards Committee reserves the right to interpret all questions and conditions in regard to these awards without recourse of any kind. Any questions not covered in these rules shall be decided by the Trophy Award’s Committee. Their decision will be final. • Limit of 2 entries per category per company. • Entry deadlines cannot be extended. • Forms must be completely filled out. • Awards competition is open to members in good standing or entries, who pay the entry fee and a discounted membership fee, with exception of special awards. • Please add comments, it helps judges to understand the complexity of the job. • Installation projects cannot be more than two years old and must be completed before judging. • Maintenance projects must have begun by 4/1/12. • Projects that did not win the previous year, may be re-entered. • Judges must be allowed access to the project with owner’s consent. (See entry form) • Three photographs are required – if you have before photographs – send them. You can send in actual photographs, a disc or e-mail pictures. • As built plans are preferred for construction and custom-built entries. • All entrants must have all required licenses for submitted work. • Violation of any of the above rules may result in disqualification and forfeiture of fees. • Special awards are by nomination only – no fee is required. • Please attach map and specific directions to project site.

Judging the Entries JUDGING PROCEDURES 1. Judges will apply NLA standards. 2. Judges are selected on the basis of their knowledge, integrity and objectivity. 3. Entries are not judged against one another; rather each entry is judged on its own merit.


Landscape Nevada

INSTALLATION/RENOVATION ENTRIES Grading and drainage (subsurface/surface) Quality of plant installation (tree staking, mulch, elevation, selection and placement) Design/plant palette (the quality/appropriateness of the plant material and the harmony of design within the surroundings) 4. Quality of lawn and edging 5. Irrigation design and water management (meets industry standards) 6. Hardscape (as part of Installation or Renovation) 7. Water feature (as part of Installation or Renovation) B. MAINTENANCE ENTRIES 1. General appearance 2. Trees (staking, pruning, tree wells, pest free) Shrubs (shearing versus proper pruning, natural form, pest free) Groundcover (within bounds, density, color) 3. Lawn (color, mowing height, pest free) 4. Edging (vertical versus tapered) 5. Annuals/perennials (color, harmony, density, species for area, mulch and surface treatment of planting beds) 6. Irrigation (water management, coverage, scheduling, meets industry standards) 7. Water feature (as part of regular maintenance) C. WATER FEATURE ENTRIES 1. Artistic design 2. Setting and grading 3. Form and function 4. Blending in with landscaping 5. Water clarity, circulation, filtration, skimming 6. Planting and management of aquatic plants and perimeter landscape plants 7. Flow of water or fountain (sound, size, effect) D. HARDSCAPE ENTRIES 1. Creative use 2. Structural integrity 3. Blending in with surroundings 4. Quality of material 5. Attention to detail 6. Drainage 7. Form and function E. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

LANDSCAPE LIGHTING (JUDGED AFTER DUSK) Design and placement Fixture use and quality Installation (wire and transformer) Blending with landscape Creativity and dramatic effect Safety and security Controls

» Tree Roots & Soil Volume Quick Facts • Infrastructure damage caused by tree roots costs millions of dollars per year to repair. • Without sufficient soil space for roots to grow, trees will be stunted, decline, die and/or eventually cause damage to hardscaping. • Landscape designers, architects and contractors need to be proactive to provide enough soil volume for mature tree growth and development.


Tree roots have estimated to cost $70.7 million annually in California to repair infrastructure damage (McPherson 2000). This does not include lawsuits involving injury or contractor defect. The average life span of a street tree growing in New York City is estimated at 3 to 15 years (Bassuk and Trowbridge). Street trees are exposed to increased air temperatures (+20 degrees Fahrenheit) and 30% less humidity than a comparable measurement taken in a sheltered park site (Cornell University). This causes street trees to transpire about 1.5 to 2 times as much as a forest tree (Kopinga) therefore requiring more water to survive. Trees planted in narrow strips, small planters or “tree coffins” are an all too familiar problem for arborists and landscapers. When too little space is allocated for root systems to develop naturally, damage to surrounding hardscaping can be expected. The limited root growth also correlates to canopy growth and therefore tree health. It can be a serious problem when trees with shallow/invasive roots are planted in these spaces. Small planting areas with compacted soil limit water and oxygen and therefore inhibit root growth. These small open beds concentrate salt, oil and other contaminates that eventually drain into them creating a toxic environment for roots. A properly selected tree for the location will save money and labor for years to come.

Root Growth of Trees

Studies show that tree roots grow within the top 18” of soil and are capable of growing two to ten times the area beneath the canopy (Matheny and Clark 1998) and can spread more than twice the width of the canopy (Casey Trees 2008) or one and a half times the height of the tree out radial from the trunk. A trees’ ability to develop a healthy root system is dependent on soil volume. Without sufficient space for root growth trees will lack vigor, exhibit stunted growth, become susceptible to insects, disease, and drought and therefore short lived. In the absence of adequate soil space, roots will exploit available air pockets within the soil. Roots grow where there is adequate water and oxygen. If a tree is confined to a finite space or soil volume it is expected

By Brian S. Dean Consulting Arborist

that the canopy spread will only grow proportionately as the roots are allowed. The tree will stop growing, decline and/ or eventually die. While the tree is alive the roots will exploit pore space and possibly cause damage to surrounding infrastructure. According to McPherson and Peper “Tree roots are opportunists, utilizing structural faults in infrastructure to capture essential resources”. Kopinga states “Even small diameter roots are able to facilitate pavement damage”. Soil characteristics such as texture, moisture content, structure and percent organic matter also play a role in how and where roots will grow. A good source to find trees with high potential for root damage is the “Urban Forest ecosystems Institute” (UFEI) web site. The “SelecTree” guide located at the UFEI web site rates trees that are high, moderate and low in root damage potential. Below are just a few trees listed as high to moderate damage potential that grow in northern and southern Nevada.

Trees with High Root Damage Potential

High Potential

Moderate Potential

Acacia species Albizia Arizona Ash Aleppo Pine Aspen Scotch Pine Black Locust Austrian Pine Camphor tree Birch Cottonwood Boxelder Elm species Catalpa European Beech Date Palm Ficus species Fir species Hackberry Fruiting Olive London Plane Green Ash Mimosa tree Honeylocust Mulberry Incense Cedar Norway Maple Italian Cypress Norway Spruce Magnolia Poplar Mondell Pine Silver Maple Oak species Sweetgum Ponderosa Pine White Ash Raywood Ash Willow Red Maple Sugar Maple Sycamore Thuja species


Soil Volume Recommendations

There are many sources for soil volume recommendations and formulas in the literature that produce varied results. Some formulas use “crown projection” or square foot of canopy area projected on the ground. Others use measurements of canopy volume or the diameter of the trunk to establish soil volume. All formulas have merit however the direct relationship of canopy volume, trunk diameter or crown projection to root volume can be argued. A commonly used formula is providing 2 cubic feet for every square foot of mature canopy or “crown projection” of a tree (Lindsey and Bassuk 1991). For example; a mature Silver Maple will spread to a width of greater than 60 feet. Sixty feet x sixty feet = 3,600 square feet x .7854 = 2,827 square feet x 2 cubic feet = 5,654 cubic feet. This formula does not work if the tree has a columnar growth habit such as Lombardy Poplar or Italian Cypress. Another formula by Perry (1982) uses the diameter of the trunk to estimate soil volume. This calculation states that for every 1” of trunk caliper measured at 4.5 feet above grade or diameter at breast height (DBH) needs 27 ft3 of soil volume. James Urban (2008) uses a combination of projected canopy and DBH based on the potential ultimate size of a tree (see table 1).

Table 1. Tree size to soil volume relationships (Urban 2008).

“Landscape designers, architects

Crown Spread Sq Ft

and contractors need to be



proactive regarding the needs







they require prior to design and






of tree roots and the space

Ultimate Tree Size

DBH Inches








Soil Volume Required (cubic feet)


Example: A 16 inch diameter tree requires 1000 cubic feet of soil. It should be noted that it is assumed drainage is adequate at the bottom of the soil column.

Root Barriers

Installation of root barriers has often been used as a solution to prevent infrastructure damage. With over 25 years of research their effectiveness has shown that the roots eventually grow out the bottom of the barriers and return in reduced numbers and size to the surface where they naturally would grow. Harris, Clark and Matheny (2004) note that “root-control devises appear to be least effective where most needed, that is, where poor soil aeration or compaction encourages shallow rooting”. Other observations indicate structural stability may also be compromised especially in trees with dense canopies (Pittenger 2001). However, research by Smiley, Key and Greico (2000) growing Green ash showed more force was used to pull over trees in barriers as opposed to no barriers.

Conclusion Landscape designers, architects and contractors need to be proactive regarding the needs of tree roots and the space they require prior to design and planting. The consequences will mean increased maintenance costs, create infrastructure damage, poor tree health, reduce the aesthetics of a landscape and possible liability.


Landscape Nevada




PLANTSCAPE INDUSTRY EXPO August 14–16, 2012 South Point Hotel, Las Vegas, NV


NEVADA LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND TRADESHOW February 15, 2013 Reno Sparks Convention Center, Reno, NV Details to come

LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY CERTIFIED EXAM August 17 & 18, 2012 TMCC Dandini Campus, Reno, NV For Test Application and more information visit click on “Certification” or call 775-674-0404 40TH ANNUAL FAR WEST TRADESHOW: OREGON ASSOCIATION OF NURSERIES (OAN) August 23–25, 2012 Portland, OR; 503-682-5089

2012 HARDSCAPE NORTH AMERICA October 24–26, 2012 Louisville, KY GIE-EXPO (GREEN INDUSTRY & EQUIPMENT) October 24–26, 2012 Louisville, KY

2012 ANNUAL NLA GOLF TOURNAMENT The tournament will be in August or September and will be a four person scramble. The venue and time is yet to be decided. Please visit out website as the event approaches for more information.

We know you work hard. Let us work harder.

Lean on us for some of your business demands - we know we can work harder for you. This is why we’ve implemented the Partners Program and Business Solutions, and the Px3 Maintenance Package. Px3 helps you with the planning process by providing customized bids for each project. We can accurately estimate the square footage of any property. Customers who join our Partners Program earn points on every John Deere Landscapes purchase and redeem those points at an online store, for various industry events, or for cash on account. Program members are also eligible for our Business Solutions, which can help reduce your day-to-day business expenses. Please contact your local branch to learn more about these opportunities. We are eager to help you with as many of your business challenges as possible!



Green Industry Members in Reno-Carson City Area Have Increased Their Use of Integrated Pest Management Practices By Heidi Kratsch, Horticulture Specialist, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension


team at University of Nevada Cooperative Extension performed a survey to assess the use of integrated pest management practices (IPM) by green industry members in the Reno-Carson City area. The survey was funded by a grant through USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordination and Support Program. The survey was part of a larger survey of the general homeowner population in our area, the results of which will help us develop effective messages and tools to increase understanding and use of IPM principles in home landscapes. Results of the green industry survey indicated that western Nevada green industry members have a pretty good understanding of most IPM principles and use them in their practice. Two-thirds of survey respondents use regular scouting for pests to determine when and if pest management is necessary. Scouting, or monitoring, for pests in a landscape is one of the first and primary tools an IPM practitioner has for determining whether management is needed in a given situation. Almost 40 percent of survey respondents reported using pre-determined pest thresholds for deciding when to treat. A pest threshold refers to the point at which the population of a pest (insect, weed, etc.) becomes an economic or plant health threat in a given landscape. This threshold is necessarily subjective, but it forces a professional and/or the homeowner to make decisions ahead of time about what will be tolerated. One or a few insects in a landscape can likely be handled by natural enemies, such as beneficial insects or birds, and damage that is only aesthetic may be tolerated as long as the health of a plant is not at risk. Although only 20 percent of survey respondents reported educating their clients about IPM principles, almost half tailor their approach to the needs of a specific site. This is a recommended approach because each site or landscape is unique, and the pest thresholds and management strategies will depend upon many factors, including the primary site use and type of pest. For example, weed management strategies depend on identification of the weed species, its life cycle and its status as either a noxious or nuisance weed. Integrated pest management is a decision-based strategy that relies on a range of pest management tools, selection of which is dependent on the pest, the needs of the site and pre-set thresholds. Over 80 percent of local green industry survey respondents knew that. Practitioners of IPM look at the whole landscape as an integrated system, and evaluate the health of the system to assure appropriate checks and balances exist to keep pests under control. Prevention is emphasized in IPM. Only when the system goes out of balance is control implemented, and then a strategy that disrupts the system least is chosen as a first line of defense. Soft chemicals and/or targeted controls (such as Bt pesticides) are used primarily. Broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides is a last resort, although in some cases, these may be the only effective control strategy for some pests. An interesting finding from this survey is that over half of local green industry survey respondents are using IPM techniques more frequently than they did five years ago, and public attitudes about use of pesticides may be driving that change. However, almost half of survey respondents reported that client preferences are the greatest barrier to use of IPM techniques, so it appears that we will need to work together over the next few years to better educate the public about IPM and its benefit to our landscapes and the environment. We invite your comments and suggestions as we move forward to develop an educational strategy to that end. Contact us at 775-784-4848 or


Landscape Nevada

Test Application

August 17 & 18, 2012

Applicant/Personal Information

Test Fees

Name __________________________________________________

Home Address Street/PO Box


City/State/Zip __________________________________________ Phone






Work Address Company Name __________________________________________ Street/PO Box

TMCC, Reno, Nevada

NLA or PLANET member............................................$225 per test Pay for four tests and receive the fifth test FREE! Non-members...........................................................$300 per test

Retest Fees

Member retest fees are $70 plus $10 per problem. Example: Retest + one problem............................................... $80 Non-member retest fees are $85 plus $10 per problem. Example: Retest + one problem............................................... $95

Training Manuals: Highly recommended to assist you in preparation for the test. Member $99 Non-member $125 Installation




City/State/Zip __________________________________________

Cancellation Policy:





Cancellations received prior to the deadline date will be refunded the registration fee minus a $25 administration fee and $25 for the test book. Cancellations received after the deadline date receive no refund.




Release results to: Signature




Please register me for the following designation: (Check one only) Softscape Installation Hardscape Installation Turfgrass Maintenance Ornamental Maintenance Irrigation

Application/Payment Information:

Please return application with check made payable to the Nevada Landscape Association, or provide credit card information below, to: NEVADA LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 7431 Reno, NV 89510-7431 Fax (775) 673-5828

Credit card information: Please charge my:


Check if you would like the test book in Spanish. Check if you require special testing accommodations. Check if you are retaking this test.

Retest Problems __________________________________________ Year you entered the Green Industry

(To become Landscape Industry Certified, PLANET recommends that you have a minimum of 2,000 hours work experience. Please check your work experience.) 1 year (2,000 hour minimum) 5–10 years

Application must be postmarked or faxed by Aug. 3, 2012.

2–5 years 10+ years



Credit Card #


Expiration Date

_______________ 3 digit security code _________

Total Amount Authorized


Name on Card





Contact Jim Stanhouse, Test Administrator Phone: (775) 673-0404 Email:


Don’t Murder Trees! By Holly Bromley, B.S. Horticultural Consultant and ISA Certified Arborist (#WE-5339)


urder? OK, it might be a strong word, and a bit dramatic when talking about trees, but at least I’ve got your attention. As a consulting arborist, I am most frequently called to a property when trees are looking sick or starting to die. Usually, the trees that present the most problems are young trees that are less than six or seven years in the ground. The most common cause of failure of young trees is that they were planted too deeply. Instead of the root flare and the major structural roots planted at or just below soil level, I find that they are buried three, four, and even an incredibly deep eight to ten inches below grade! As I dig out the root flare and discover just how deep a tree has been planted, I always explain to the client exactly why trees fail to thrive and eventually die when they are planted too deep. When tree roots are too far below grade, they are deprived of the oxygen which is vital to root metabolism and development. Additionally, the trunk tissue that is exposed to constant moisture in the soil eventually rots, thus destroying the underlying cambium—the vascular system of the tree. The second most common cause of young tree failure is the This tree was planted by a professional destruction of the tender young bark due to string trimmer and lawn landscape company. It is planted 7 inches mower damage. Again, when I encounter this problem, a lesson in too deep in clay soil and died three years tree physiology follows. When a client is educated in the “why” of a after planting. problem, they are then not likely to repeat the same mistake. This makes for an enlightened client when they are the ones responsible for the poor planting and maintenance issues that lead to a tree’s decline or death. Sadly, I all too often find that the client is NOT the one responsible for these issues. Instead of having a now educated client who knows not to repeat the same mistakes, I’m now dealing with a This tree was planted 6 inches too deep, frustrated and angry client who is asking me why “Company X” didn’t improperly staked and then girdled from string do the job that they were hired to do properly! The client now realizes trimmer damage—all by the same, well known that they’ve lost valuable time and money on a tree that was either landscape company. doomed to fail at planting, or was being systematically killed each time a lawn mower or weed trimmer string took a little bit more bark off the tree—and sometimes it’s the same company that installed the tree and had the maintenance contract! If you are the owner or manager of a landscape company, please don’t assume that your company would “never” do such poor work. All too often Company X is a big name, well-known company in the industry. They were hired on their reputation or the merits of their fancy advertising because they were trusted to do quality work. Now the client is realizing that the trees are past the warranty period and they are stuck having to pay to have the work done again. Company X has now lost a client, and is getting very negative publicity amongst all of the client’s friends and co-workers, thus ensuring the loss of future clients as well. And Company X may never really know why they’ve lost the business. As much as I hate to say it, there are several Company Xs who are guilty of the poor work I’ve just described. The quality of your company and your company’s reputation is only as good as the quality of your personnel. In this economy, every contract counts! If you are not educating and re-educating your personnel yearly and if you are not regularly and carefully inspecting your employee’s work, you may be that Company X. If you are not investing time and energy in keeping quality standards high, there are several other landscape companies that will be more than happy to pick up any clients that you lose.

Alert! Spider mite season is here! 3 3 3 3 10

Landscape Nevada

Spider mites love the hot, dry, dusty conditions of summer. Classic symptoms of spider mite infestation are bronzing and dusty looking foliage with injury to the leaves. Spider mites are most commonly found on junipers, Alberta spruce and other evergreens. A great non-chemical control method is to spray the affected plants down with water in the morning or late afternoon at least once a week. Soap solutions are also a ‘least toxic method’ and work well.

For All Your Specialty Turf and Ornamental Needs. Matt Melarkey | Christina Volsko | Nate Weber 855 East Greg, Sparks, NV


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The Edge You Need

Advertise Your Business in Landscape Nevada

• • •

Next issue is Fall 2012 Available online with links to all advertiser’s websites Mailing to over 800 potential customers

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO RESERVE SPACE: Call Kathy Hess 775.746.4138 office |

Proud publisher of Landscape Nevada

2012 July Landscape Nevada  

Nevada Landscape Association official newsletter