Page 1

June 2018

VOL. 40, NO. 5

Control the risks of legal cannabis Time management: It’s about respect, and profitability When landscape design plans change

Oak wilt on the border Latest tree disease threatens, and Canada is not ready


Seville with EliteFinish™ SMOOTHER. FINER. TIGHTER





SRI 29


SEVILLE The new Seville paver with its modern proportions and clean lines combined with EliteFinish™ delivers richer and more vibrant color and a harder wearing, more durable and smoother textured surface. Subtly chamfered edges, random lengths, two widths and reduced joint spacing to comply with wheelchair access specifications, make these 80mm (3.15”) thick linear paving stones suitable for light vehicular and pedestrian usage. With a Matrix washed aggregate finish exposing the natural beauty of granite and quartz, Seville Rectangle is suitable for applications where superior slip and skid resistance is a must.

Durable, aggregate base for a strong foundation | 1.800.709.OAKS (6257) |

Contents EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Lee Ann Knudsen CLM |




Oak wilt on Canada’s doorstep


A devastating disease is about to hit our urban forest, and we are poorly prepared. BY PAT KERR



ACCOUNT MANAGER Greg Sumsion | COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Angela Lindsay | ADVISORY COMMITTEE Gerald Boot CLM, Laura Catalano, Jeremy Feenstra, Mark Fisher, Hank Gelderman CHT, Marty Lamers, Bob Tubby CLM, Nick Winkelmolen, Dave Wright Landscape Trades is published by Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association 7856 Fifth Line South, Milton, ON L9T 2X8 Phone: (905)875-1805 Email: Fax: (905)875-0183 Web site: LANDSCAPE ONTARIO STAFF Darryl Bond, Amy Buchanan, Tony DiGiovanni CHT, Denis Flanagan CLD, J. Alex Gibson, Meghan Greaves, Sally Harvey CLT CLM, Heather MacRae, Kristen McIntyre CHT CEM, Kathy McLean, Linda Nodello, Kathleen Pugliese, John Russell, Ian Service, Lissa Schoot Uiterkamp, Tom Somerville, Myscha Stafford, Martha Walsh, Cassandra Wiesner

Landscape Trades is published nine times a year: January, March, April, May, June, August, September, October and November. Subscription rates: One year – $46.90, two years – $84.74; three years – $118.64, HST included. U.S. and international please add $20.00 per year for postage and handling. Subscribe at Copyright 2018. All rights are reserved. Material may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. Landscape Trades assumes no responsibility for, and does not endorse the contents of, any advertisements herein. All representations or warranties made are those of the advertiser and not the publication. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the association or its members, but are those of the writer concerned.

JUNE 2018 VOL. 40, NO. 5

12 Cannabis: Time to worry

Business owners look at risk mitigation as recreational cannabis use becomes legal.


COLUMNS 16 Management solutions

A way for payment-averse contractors to look at the ultimate cost — and benefit — of equipment.


20 Road to success

Putting proper value on entrepreneurs’ time.


24 Legal matters

Construction accident fallout includes criminal responsibility and jail time for supervisor.


32 Designers notebook

Since post-plan changes are inevitable, pro designers approach change with a strategy.


38 Mentor moment

After decades of teaching, Richard Rogers enjoys the satisfaction of seeing his students lead successful companies.




greenpencil Changing the rules on small business taxes?

Bad for Canada


n all my years as a small businessman, I have never seen our livelihoods attacked as they have been recently. Last fall, proposed changes to federal income tax rules threatened small family businesses across the country. I am a very proud Canadian and had just finished my career running a landscaping company. Over the years, the company grew and reinvested, both inside and outside the company. As you can well imagine, this took a lot of sweat and a lot of risk. In the meantime, we proudly provided a living for many families. My wife and I received a wage, just as other Canadians, and we contributed to By Hank Gelderman CPP and our RRSPs. We also invested outside of the landscaping company, namely in real estate. By doing this we added value to Canada’s economy. We happily retired five years ago and planned to live off proceeds from the sale of the landscaping company, and after that our RRSPs and dividend income from the proceeds of real estate investments. With the dividend income as our safety net, we were able to retire at 60, proud to let a new generation take over, bring the company to a new level and provide income to many families for many years to come. However, we were suddenly faced last fall with a proposed tax rate increase on dividend income; with the new rate, our retirement plans would not work. If we had known dividend tax rates would increase, we would have continued running the company until age 65 — stalling its growth. Last September, I wrote about my concerns to federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau; I received only a form letter in acknowledgment. The government eventually backed down on some of the proposed


rules. However, more restrictive rules affecting income splitting and passive income were put in place, and specifically threaten small companies. If you want to know more about this, an excellent source is the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. I have a theory on why this is happening; I believe huge companies and their lobbyists are trying to force small businesses out of the market. They want to eliminate competition. New regs demand compliance, and compliance is much more difficult for small operators. A certain number go under each time we have a new rule. I see tax rules and new regulations taking away opportunities for young people to start companies. Ever-increasing tax rates kill enterprise. I am all for fair taxes, but fair is fair, and I say a fair tax is to leave things the way they are. I ran my company in good faith, and I don’t agree with changing important rules in mid-stream. Writing to your MP or a federal cabinet minister takes thought and time, and I know family businesspeople are so pressed for time, they cannot even plan properly for their own futures. But I believe we must be more proactive and make our voices heard. Small business makes this country. Small business owners take the risks that create wealth, and wealth creates jobs. I believe restricting opportunity will result in lots of unrest in Canada. If there is no small business, there is no country. LT

Hank Gelderman is retired from Gelderman Landscape Services of Waterdown, Ont., and an Honourary Life Member of Landscape Ontario.

STIHL BR 600 Backpack Blower

BR 600

Landscapers, city and municipal workers, and all professionals who clean the roads, walkways, lawns and parks of leaves and debris deserve our respect. And the best possible blower. The STIHL BR 600 is an impressive example of when power meets comfort. Our top-performing backpack blower delivers powerful performance with optimal handling and comes with a dual-adjustable shoulder strap. It not only features the patented low-emission STIHL 4-MIX™ engine, but also encompasses a simplified starting procedure and produces fewer vibrations. Whether clearing grass cuttings in public parks, leaves from parking lots or refuse from entire stadiums – the STIHL BR 600 allows you to get the job done quickly, efficiently and easily. Others have trouble with their backs. You’ve got the solution on your back. There’s no doubt about it: innovative STIHL quality and trouble-free maintenance make the STIHL BR 600 just as reliable as you are. • • • • • •

Advanced 4-MIX™ engine provides the power of a 2-stroke and less weight than a 4-stroke Simplified starting procedure for maximum productivity Gives you 37% more power and uses 28% less fuel than any other STIHL backpack blower Clean burning for better fuel economy and 80% fewer emissions Industry leading power-to-weight ratio with comfortable harness Easy-grip throttle with cruise control

Displacement Power Output Air Velocity† Weight ‡ Sound Level Air Volume†

64.8 cc 2.8 kW 323 km/h (201 mph) 9.8 kg (21.6 lb) 75 dB(A) 712 cfm (1210 m3/h)

Excluding fuel. †At nozzle end.

PRO-FLEET COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPE PROGRAM STIHL’s Pro-Fleet Commercial Landscape Program is designed to provide commercial landscapers a volume discount on major purchases of 5 or more landscaping power tools. Visit your STIHL Dealer today to find out more and take advantage of the savings!

QUALITY AT WORK FOR OVER 90 YEARS. For over 90 years, STIHL has been a world market leader and innovator in outdoor power equipment. German engineered products featuring the latest pioneering technologies make STIHL the preferred choice for professionals, consistently providing uncompromising quality. STIHL products are only available at independent STIHL Dealers who provide personal advice and expert service. Thank you for the continuous support and for making STIHL the brand you trust.


* “#1 Selling Brand in Canada” is based on an independent market share analysis of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment from 2017. Source: TraQline Canada.






Ready or not!

Oak wilt comes O

Invasive Species Centre, inset William M. Ciesla

ak wilt is now known to be off the shore of Windsor, Ont., and in northern Michigan, creeping closer to the border at Sault Ste. Marie. The condition’s life cycle makes it easily transmittable by unknowing hunters. All oaks and a host of other trees are known to be affected, but most susceptible is the red oak family — a key component of urban forests. Municipalities and homeowners will once again bear the brunt of an invasive.


Experts believe oak wilt is here to stay. The condition is well distributed through the eastern U.S. forest, from Minnesota to New York and south. It was first discovered and treated in New York in 2008, and reappears regularly in that state, including two new locations in 2017. Experts are also factoring in the low level response in Canada. Windsor participated in a citizen science project, and a more controlled search for oak wilt, but across the country there are few

to Canada active searches. Some even suggest oak wilt could be a native disease, and thus not of concern. There is good and bad news on this invasive about to breach our borders. First, the condition has existed in the U.S. since 1942, so research is abundant. The bad news: we have no treatment options and prevention is the only control. There are no known resistant red oaks in the entire U.S. As a highly urban plague, oak wilt will bring business to landscape workers who are prepared.

For decades, oak wilt was known as Ceratocystis fagacerarum. Recently, it was renamed Bretziella fagacearum, as researchers continue to learn more about the fungus. Although transmitted by several insects, human movement of firewood is the biggest long-distance transmission route. Infected red oaks turn colour and lose their leaves in summer. By autumn, when hunters move out into the forest, these standing dead trees are excellent heat sources. Fires are built, the remaining firewood is often carried home and hotspots appear in urban areas the following spring. This makes hunters, and anyone who enjoys the outdoors in autumn, prime markets for “Don’t move firewood” messages. Southern Ontario’s Essex County, at the leading edge of oak wilt’s expected entry to Canada, is already promoting oak wilt awareness and doing surveys. Forester Rob Davies says oak wilt is now a standard part of all hazard tree assessments, and calls from members of the public expressing concern are starting. “Oak is frequently used as a Sapwood staining (left) is symptomatic of oak wilt; fall colouration in May or June indicates it’s all over.


front lawn tree in this region. We have a lot of residential estate type properties. A lot of people relate to the majestic oak, but so far we have found no oak wilt.” Essex has great diversity in its tree canopy; red oak likely comprises 10 per cent. Of greater concern for the region is the highest percent of endangered oak savanna habitat in the province of Ontario, and a species of special concern, Shumard oak (Quercus shumardii). Davies said, “I don’t think we will have a big issue as long as we stay on top of it. We need landowner’s reports. Oak wilt does not spread as fast as EAB (emerald ash borer). There are epicentres, then it moves out.”

Aside from minor detection programs neither Natural Resources Canada nor the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are doing much in terms of Canadian research. Red oak is already failing due to the lack of forest disturbance. Also, although some woodworkers love the deep grain of red oak, it is less durable than white oak. However, red oak is an important wildlife tree. Deer, bear, turkeys, ducks, grouse, quails, pheasants, songbirds, blue jays, titmice, woodpeckers, raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels and more rely on red oak. Because of the timing of white versus red oak mast years, land managers often encourage landowners to interplant the two species, providing a more consistent food supply for wildlife. In many mixed forest areas with lower bear cub survival rates, due to the loss of beech, it is easy to predict further declines to this top predator and other species if red oak losses continue. With the lack of a political response, oak wilt is a problem for landscapers. We know acorns are expensive to store, and with the closure of Ontario’s seed plant, it is unreasonable to expect any private company will perform this service for the eastern forest. No treatments for oak wilt are registered in Canada. Although several are under study in the U.S., so far none are perfect or close to registration in Canada. There is good news. U.S. land managers who have worked with the condition for decades declare it is not another emerald ash borer. They are firm in stating the condition can be managed. Early identification is a central feature. CFIA must be contacted for collection of samples; actual laboratory analysis takes over a week. The fungal mats are not a good method of identification as they occur in only about 20 per cent of affected white oaks, and JUNE 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |


Invasive Species Centre

treating trees within a few hundred feet of an affected tree. Treatment is repeated in two years. A biological control is also under study in the States, an endophytic bacterium isolated from surviving live oaks (Quercus fusiformis). About 20 per cent of samples showed laboratory inhibition of oak wilt. Results suggest hope for injection in stems as a potential control of oak wilt. But these are early studies, and there are currently no real-world applications for this treatment.

Sanitation, prevention and education are the keys to liv-

A stand decimated by oak wilt; insets show leaf discolouration patterns.

D.W. French

sometimes only after death in red oaks. The CFIA web site says, “In the red oak group, symptoms are characterized by a wilting and bronzing of the foliage, starting at the tree top and tips of branches, and spreading rapidly throughout the entire crown. Symptoms develop beginning in May and continue throughout the growing season. Individual leaves turn bronze progressively, from the tip to the base, sometimes leaving a small area of green tissue at the base around the midrib. Leaves in all stages of discolouration, including green leaves, are shed more or less continuously as the disease progresses. Some diffuse staining may be observed in the outermost sapwood, where the fungus has induced the tree to produce gums and tyloses which discolour the wood.” Suspect any oak that shows fall colouring in May or June. Expect some oak survival, especially in the white oak group, but remember Austin, Texas, lost 10,000 oaks in 1990. The University of Texas at Austin supports use of Alamo with the active ingredient propiconazole at 14.3 per cent, but other research suggests this only delays onset by a couple years, and does not stop transmission by root grafts. This is not legal in Canada, but Texas researchers believe they are able to slow the spread by

ing with oak wilt. All dying and dead trees must be removed immediately. All tree materials must be burned, chipped or covered in plastic for 60 days. Root grafts should be broken if possible. Because some oak roots can be deeper than 60 inches, the limit of most cost effective mechanisms, this will have varying levels of success. Soil fumigants are used successfully to kill connecting roots. The above-ground portion of trees is considered infectious for a year, and the below-ground portion for longer. Root trenching with a 60-in. plow is essential, as a thousand oaks can be interconnected. The size of a containment area is a function of soil type, but the primary line must be beyond the radius of all infected trees, including asymptomatic but infected trees. On average across the U.S., it is 15.2 to 18.3 meters ahead of active symptoms. The main concern with this treatment is to avoid destabilizing trees with too many root cuts. Most trees should be cut on only one side, with the trenching around a clump or a forest of trees, not an individual specimen. The biggest issue with oak wilt is to avoid all pruning during the flight season for any of the beetles known to transmit the disease. For southern Ontario, this can be from March right through the end of June, and some literature says into July. When there is storm damage, broken areas should be sprayed with a cheap water-based spray paint as fast as possible, ideally within 15 minutes. Professional pruning can follow at a much later time. Replanting with another oak can be done within two years, but don’t allow suckers to grow from the infected roots, as they will be diseased. What oak wilt will cost Canadians will depend on landscape worker speed at identifying and removing affected trees. It is not going to be easy to motivate clients to act quickly — but it must LT be done.

Pat Kerr is an Ontario-based freelance writer.


Unleash your

CREATIVITY Your clients rely on you to show them what’s possible. UNLEASH YOUR IMAGINATION with Unilock pavers and walls to create brag-worthy, one-of-a-kind outdoor spaces that build your company’s reputation for style and quality.

The stunning driveway and front entrance pictured above features Richcliff ® Dawn Mist, Courtstone ® Basalt and Senzo™ star accent.

Only Unilock offers EnduraColor™ Plus Architectural Finishes. The modern, yet elegant look of Richcliff ® will add a touch of class to any landscaping project. Its realistic embossed surface texture is cast from hundreds of natural stone surface textures to ensure a random natural appearance and is up to four times stronger than ordinary poured concrete, making it an ideal choice for any application. Learn more about how Unilock products can help your projects stand out - Local territory managers in your area are only a phone call away.




Download our 2018 Design Ideas Catalogue UNILOCK.COM

It’s here!

Ahhh... summer. The sun is shining & the birds are chirping. What better time to get control of your landscape management business for good! Ditch the paperwork and use industry leading software to budget, estimate, track & so much more. Looking for a great way to get the ball rolling? We also offer workshops across North America to help you better understand and grow your business!

Find our more & start your Free Trial today! Visit

Cannabis: Time to worry BY SCOTT BARBER


New risks are keeping landscape contractors awake at night This July, the Trudeau government’s cannabis plan takes effect, legalizing recreational use of the drug across Canada for everyone 19 and over. Critics argue the federal legislation will make it easier for children to access cannabis. Others warn of a potential increase in drug impaired driving, adding police forces may have a difficult time detecting and enforcing drug DUIs due to the lack of a breathalyzer equivalent for cannabis. Meanwhile, business owners, including landscape professionals, are left to figure out what the new laws mean for their companies. Tony Lombardi, owner of the Scarborough, Ont.-based design, maintenance and construction company Dr. Landscape, is calling out the “elephant in the room.” He says cannabis use is rampant in the landscape industry.

With recreational cannabis legalization, Lombardi is concerned the problem will get even worse. To mitigate his company’s risks, Lombardi now screens job applicants on whether they are cannabis users, and he has implemented random drug testing for current employees. “I think the day and age of employers ignoring these kinds of issues is long gone,” Lombardi says. “I have seven crews, which means I have seven drivers with seven trucks on the road each day. I have liability and vehicle insurance, but what happens if one of my drivers is stoned, and I don’t know about it, and they cause a collision in a company truck?” Lombardi takes his responsibility as a company owner very seriously. “I couldn’t live with myself if I knew that one of my staff members went out with my truck while impaired, and killed a child on the street,” he says. The issue carries ethical, as well as legal and insurance factors. “If there’s an incident involving an employee intoxicated on drugs, driving a company truck or operating a piece of equipment on a job site, the Ministry of Labour and the police are going to get involved,” Lombardi says. “The first thing that’s going to happen in the case of a DUI, is I’m going to lose my insurance coverage. Not only will my company lose insurance protection, but it will also lose legal representation from the insurer. If the worst-case sce-

nario happened and someone was catastrophically injured or killed, not only would I lose my company, but I could personally go to jail for negligence if it was found that I neglected due diligence to ensure my driver was fit to be on the road.” The impact of legalization, and whether it will lead to a spike in cannabis use, is a hotly debated topic amongst politicians and public policy professionals. For Lombardi, who has worked in the landscape profession some 25 years, cannabis is already far too prevalent. “It’s almost like a plague,” he says. Last season, Lombardi dismissed four employees after one crew member brought cannabis to work. Three members of the crew were let go because they failed to report a member of their team possessed cannabis in a company truck. “I can tell you first hand what drugs do to the company’s bottom line, because I have witnessed it,” Lombardi says. “It is mindboggling how much it can kill productivity and

What makes a good drug policy?

Lawyer Patrick Groom says good drug and alcohol policies should: l Prohibit employees in safety-sensitive positions from working while impaired. l Require employees to disclose information about drug use that may affect safety, including proactive disclosure of drug dependency. l Set out a process to obtain information that respects privacy and encourages compliance. l Define a process for obtaining additional medical information to accommodate medical marijuana users. l Ensure the employee (and union if applicable) participates in the accommodation process. l Identify appropriate restrictions on the use of marijuana, including those that may be needed for medical marijuana. l Identify consequences, such as discipline or termination, in the event of a policy breach.



hurt the overall demeanor of employees while they’re working.” “I have to do everything I can as an employer to ensure the safety of my workplace and my workers, as well as our clients and the general public,” Lombardi says. “Each staff member at Dr. Landscape must sign our drug and alcohol policy.” The policy affirms the company’s right to test employees’ urine for drugs with 24 hours’ notice. Each urine test costs about $10, and only takes a few minutes, Lombardi explains. “The alternative is that we close our doors,” he says. “The risks are that high.”

Patrick Groom, a lawyer with Toronto, Ont.-based Sherrard Kuzz, works with business owners to create drug and alcohol policies, helping them comply with labour and employment laws as well as mitigate risk. Groom explains drug testing is permitted under specific circumstances (see side bar).


Patrick Groom lines out four periods in which employers, in general, may wish to conduct drug tests. Not every stage has gained widespread acceptance across all Canadian jurisdictions, so he recommends consulting an employment lawyer in your area for specific legal advice. Pre-employment and pre-access testing An employer may wish to test an individual before hiring or permitting access to a work site. However, Canadian courts have typically held this type of testing is not permitted, because it neither demonstrates impairment at work nor predicts future impairment. Random testing An employer may seek to implement random testing to deter employees from working while under the influence of drugs. However, due to problems with the reliability of various tests and employee privacy concerns, random testing is only permitted in very rare circumstances. In a non-unionized workplace, Canadian courts have permitted random alcohol testing where: (i) an employee works in a safety-sensitive position in a dangerous workplace; and (ii) there is a general substance abuse problem in that workplace.  Post-incident and reasonable cause testing After a significant workplace accident or “near miss,” an employer suspecting impairment may require post-incident testing. Similarly, if an employee’s actions suggest impairment (e.g., slurred speech and/or the smell of marijuana), an employer may wish to test the employee. This is called reasonable cause testing. Testing in both of these contexts is generally permissible, provided the workplace has appropriate policies in place identifying circumstances in which testing may occur. A clear written policy outlining this procedure is essential to ensure an employer’s ability to conduct and rely on such tests. Return-to-work testing Testing may be appropriate when an employee returns to work following treatment for drug dependency. Such testing is common, and typically part of a return-to-work program or a condition of a last-chance agreement stipulating that a positive test result will result in termination. Ongoing testing for monitoring purposes may be appropriate for employees returning to work from drug dependency treatment.


“Employers must remain vigilant and ensure any employee who is suspected of being impaired is investigated and, if necessary, tested as set out in the employer’s policy, regardless of the substance,” Groom says. “This is particularly important in the landscape industry, where employees routinely use motorized tools, sharp blades, transport heavy loads; any level of impairment can lead to serious injury.” Drug testing, Groom adds, is permitted when its primary purpose “is to indicate the presence and extent of an employee’s impairment on the job.” Historically, courts have taken a cautious approach to workplace drug testing, Groom says, “Primarily because testing methods were not able to measure current impairment due to the long period of time some drugs take to metabolize.” In other words, did the employee fail the drug test because he is impaired right now, or because he may have used the drug at home last weekend and it’s still in his system? Legally, an employee can be dismissed for cause only when proven to have been impaired while on the job. Fortunately, recent court rulings are pointing towards acceptance of oral fluid testing technology. Several police forces across Canada are currently conducting pilot programs to assess the reliability of oral fluid tests for roadside cannabis impairment evaluation, said Groom. Oral testing could become the equivalent of the breathalyzer, currently used by police to gauge blood-alcohol levels in drivers. However, despite advances in testing methods that have improved reliability and minimized privacy concerns, “It remains to be seen whether oral fluid testing will gain widespread acceptance across Canadian jurisdictions in the workplace context,” Groom cautions. In addition to the safety and liability issues associated with drug use, “landscape crews are often the face of the company when working at a customer site,” Groom says. “Clear, written policies concerning the use of medical marijuana and the prohibition of recreational marijuana use at work are important to ensure an employer’s brand and reputation is not tarnished by employees who smell of marijuana or appear to be impaired.”

Lombardi acknowledges that his hard line against cannabis has cost his company employees. In addition to the four staff members dismissed last season, Lombardi says applicants have told him straight out they won’t comply with a drug testing regime. “Just the other day I had a phone interview with someone applying for a horticultural technician foreman position,” Lombardi says. “I explained that Dr. Landscape is a drug- and alcohol-free company, and that in order to run a reputable and responsible company, we have policies in place where every employee is subject to random drug testing. Right away, this individual told me he wouldn’t do it. ‘I smoke marijuana, that’s my personal choice,’ he said.” Some staff members and job applicants have told Lombardi it’s not fair for the company to regulate what they do on their personal time. Lombardi counters that if an employee fails a drug test, how is the company, or a police officer in the event of an incident, or an insurance company, going to be able to tell the difference? “As a business owner I feel like I don’t have a choice,” Lombardi says. “I have a young family. I have employees with mortgages and kids at home. I am not going to lose everything because of pot.” LT

An Easy Day’s Work. No one really wants a hard day’s work. The truth is you want to be productive, but you also want things to be simple. That’s what the all-new John Deere 2025R Compact Utility Tractor offers – easy. Like quick, easy attaching of your mid-mount mower with our industry-exclusive AutoConnect Deck. Plus, it’s easy on you, thanks to added comfort from our new premium seat and full seat suspension. And available LED lights make it even easier to work once the sun sets. So be productive. But be sure to take it easy. Easy like a Sunday morning. Ask your dealer about the 2025R from John Deere.


Improve your equipment spend

Last issue, we covered benchmarking your equipment costs. This included recovering, or budgeting, the cost of ownership so your company is building a sustainable plan to recoup the costs of equipment depreciation each year. In this article, we’ll look at equipment costs from a few different perspectives and focus our attention on how you can make equipment decisions that help improve your company’s bottom line.

EQUIPMENT VS. LABOUR Our industry is facing a labour shortage, bordering on a crisis. It seems harder than ever to find, keep, and motivate good, skilled people for the positions we have available. There are a few ways to solve this problem: l We can keep advertising for our positions, increasing wages, and investing more into HR and recruiting. l We can plan for less growth, and limit our goals, since we just can’t find the people to help us achieve our sales potential. l Or … you can invest in more equipment, to help each person become more productive — and to increase revenues without necessarily increasing people. Years ago, TBG invested in a skid steer for each crew. The goal was not only to reduce sharing (and unnecessary transport) of equipment, but also to improve each crew’s productivity. Let’s take a look at how this works: l Say you’ve got a three-person crew doing residential landscape construction. The industry “average” daily production for a three-person crew is somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000 in revenue, per day — or about $100 in revenue per man, per hour. (Revenue benchmarks include all revenue generated, including materials installed.) l One of the ways we can improve the revenue generated from our existing people is to invest in, and equip them with, the most productive equipment. A skid steer is a great example. Whether it’s unloading a truck, moving materials, or digging, there is something it could be doing to save time almost every day. l Let’s say you lease a new skid steer for $850 per month. It’s a significant cost, sure, but probably not as significant as you might think. I look at it this way: Any hour saved by using the equipment, is an hour we can use to generate revenue on the next job or task. For instance, if having that machine onsite will help Investing in equipment that helps save time, and makes the job easier, improves margins.



us save half a day on a one-week job, we just opened a half day’s worth of time where we can generate revenue somewhere else. l If you can just do that once a month, that skid steer will pay for itself. If we can save a half-day for a three-person crew, that gives us 12 additional man-hours for revenue-generating work — which is about $1,200 worth of opportunity. That alone would cover the entire cost of your skid steer, your maintenance, your fuel, and your insurance for that month. l If a skid steer could help your crew save just two days a month, that represents about $4,000 of additional revenue per month, or about $36,000 per year — without needing to hire any more people!

NEW EQUIPMENT VS. OLD Many contractors struggle with the decision to keep older equipment (with no payments) vs. buying new equipment (and having payments, but fewer repairs). While every company is different in the equipment they buy, how well they maintain it, and how hard they use it, my analysis comes to the same conclusion time and time again. Newer equipment will cost you more in payments, obviously. You will, however, save on repairs, maintenance and fuel. Fewer things are likely to go wrong with new equipment, warranties should cover most major repairs, and newer equipment is likely more fuel efficient. Most of the time, these two numbers (payments vs. fuel + maintenance) are very similar, almost cancelling each other out. The hidden cost of owning older, payment-free equipment is the


THE RIGHT SIZE FOR EVERY BUSINESS. When you have the cargo capacity that  ts your business, there’s no limit to where you can go. Ford Commercial Vehicles have the right one for yours. The full-size Transit offers two wheelbases, three heights and three lengths. The compact and versatile Transit Connect delivers a car-like drive with cargo space to spare. Ford has something more: specialists who can help make choosing and uptting the van you need for your business easy. We’re sure you’ll like the sound of that.




• Max. cargo space 128.6 cu ft‡ • Max. payload 1,630 lbs‡‡ • 2 side door & 2 rear door options • Cargo & passenger congurations

• Max. cargo space 542.2 cu ft* & max. towing 7,500 lbs** • Available 3.5L EcoBoost® & Power Stroke® Diesel engines • 2 wheelbases, 3 heights & 3 lengths • Up to 64 cargo & passenger congurations

Vehicle(s) may be shown with optional equipment. *Maximum cargo volume with front passenger seat removed on Transit Long Extended Wheelbase High Roof Van. **Maximum conventional hitch trailer towing capacity (when properly equipped) for Transit 150 RWB Low Roof Van / 250 RWB Low Roof Van / 150 RWB Medium Roof Van / Transit 250 RWB Medium Roof Van, with 3.2L I5 Diesel engine, 3.73 ratio, and 13,500 lbs GCWR. ‡Maximum cargo volume behind rst row with no 2nd or 3rd row seats on Transit Connect Van. ‡‡When properly equipped. Maximum payload with Transit Connect Van. Cargo and load capacities limited by weight and weight distribution. ©2018 Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited. All rights reserved.

cost of downtime. When a machine breaks down, the most significant cost is often not the repair — it’s the productivity lost doing the job by hand! The cost of lost revenue is far greater than most owners realize. Remember again: the potential revenue of each manhour is $100 per man, per hour. If your crew has to spend a half-day wheelbarrowing materials, that could have taken 30 minutes with a machine, you’ve lost hundreds, and maybe even thousands, in opportunity to generate revenue. In my experience, companies that run newer equipment generate more revenue with fewer people and less overhead. More often than not, this leads to a healthier bottom line, even if their equipment expenses are higher than average.

Helpful benchmark: If your repair and maintenance expenses are more than 1.5 times your fuel expenses, there’s a very good chance your equipment is costing you more in repairs and downtime than you would spend on interest or ownership costs of new equipment. LEASING VS. OWNING EQUIPMENT

been months, even years, ahead, had you leased. Leasing gives you the option to have the equipment with a minimal (or no) down payment. In exchange, you pay an interest or financing fee. However, with today’s interest rates, it can make a lot of sense to pay the lease interest, and keep your capital working for you in other ways to fuel company growth. Your capital can be used for important things like advertising, shop improvements, better terms or pricing for materials, etc., instead of saving you a couple of small percentage points on interest. There are many factors to consider when managing your equipment expenses, but I urge you to keep one thing in mind: Sometimes, the costs you can’t see are more important than the ones you can. Equipment helps your crews’ productivity. The more work they can complete in a day, the more revenue your company will earn, without adding payroll or overhead costs. When making equipment decisions, I strongly urge you to consider both sides of the equation. What it will cost you to invest in equipment... And what’s its costing your revenue not to invest. You LT will likely be surprised at what you come up with.

Many factors can affect whether leasing or buying equipment is the correct decision for your company. In general, I find most contractors like to “own” their equipment — with no payments — because it feels less risky. While there is no problem with the ownership mentality, it could stunt your growth potential or productivity. Many companies wait until tax season, or when they have saved up enough money, to buy equipment needed to improve productivity. But you could have

Mark Bradley is the CEO of TBG Environmental and LMN, based in southern Ontario.






18 | JUNE 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES SIMA_Symposium_LO_7.125x4.875.indd 2

4/27/18 2:30 PM


The value of time management BY ROD McDONALD

I have a friend (we all do) who is continually late. He walks in at the end of meetings looking for a full recap. He misses busses. The habit affects his employment. He is a good fellow who would give you the proverbial shirt off of his back if you needed it. But he would be late doing so. He drives me crazy. My friend and I were having a coffee and I told him that no matter what he is late for, and he is late for most events, he always has an excuse. “I missed the bus. I ran into someone who needed my help. I stopped into this place and it should have only taken five minutes, but they were behind and I was there for 45 minutes instead.” The list goes on and on. I bring this up not to rant, but rather as a way to discuss time management. We all have 24 hours in each day, and how we use that time determines our accomplishments. Smart time management increases productivity, financial success and personal serenity. Some people don’t connect time management and serenity. But

nothing upsets my emotional wellbeing more. There’s nothing more irritating than wasting time in the greenhouse searching for a tool that has been misplaced. We’ve all been there. I explained to my friend I don’t make excuses because, “I am paid for my production, not excuses.” It was harsh, but true. Customers pay for finished work.

YOU CAN’T SELL FROM AN EMPTY CART Still, not everyone understands the concept. There is a fellow in our neighbourhood in Saskatoon who is quite a lovely person. He builds excellent fences and decks, but lacks organizational skills. Our neighbour built a deck for a friend. The project was just four boards short of completion when the contractor ran out of lumber. Instead of finishing the job, he left it, idle, for months, leaving the customer irate, and his business without the paycheque. These kinds of companies rarely stand the test of time. Retailers face the same issue when they fail to order products on time. We don’t make money on products that aren’t in stock. The adage, “You can’t sell from an empty cart,” while over a hundred years old, remains relevant. Some customers return to your store when their item is in stock, but many will shop at a competitor instead. That’s no way to build a client base. Time management is about being ready to produce and sell.

BE READY FOR SPRING One October I walked into Dieter Martin Greenhouses in Saskatoon and saw a staff member putting the finishing touches on cleaning the greenhouse. She had, at most, two hours of work left before everything was “tickity boo.” I joked, “Getting ready for the spring, are you?” And she laughed and said, “I guess I am.” I often share that story with greenhouse operators, especially when I see their place is not tidy or organized in January. I told one operator, last January, “Now is the time to get ready as spring has an annoying habit of exploding upon us.” It is true. Spring never washes against the shore. Rather, it’s an incredibly intense event that leaves garden centre professionals scrambling for their lives and sanity.


Be ready for spring with lots of stock to ensure your customers can get what they come shopping for.


Many years ago I had a sales rep drop by during the busiest part of May, ready to go through his catalogue. He was new to me, and therefore quite surprised when I bluntly explained, “May is for selling not for buying.” Reorders, sure, but new orders aren’t my thing. He and I did not click. He left disappointed and I was irked. He failed to understand time management. Time is precious and I strive to spend it wisely. I like to plan out

Robust Rebloomer TUFF STUFF® Red Hydrangea serrata ‘SMNMAKTSR’ pp#28672, cbraf This hydrangea begins blooming in early summer and continues through autumn, ensuring a showy, abundant display of large, lacecap flowers. Deep pink-red blooms, set off by lustrous, deep green foliage combined with its small, rounded habit make this hardy mountain hydrangea extra versatile in a wide variety of landscape uses.


TUFF STUFF® Red FULL TO PART SUN USDA ZONE 5, AHS 9 2-3' tall and wide


roadtosuccess my day, week, month and year. I try to ask myself, ‘What is the most important thing or tasks that we need to accomplish today?’ Prioritization is critical on the road to success. Randomness creates chaos. Many years ago a young person who worked for me moved to Vancouver. She found employment with a local landscaper, but it only lasted two weeks. She explained that each day began at a local coffee shop around 10 a.m. The business owner would arrive and ask, “What are we doing today?” Never mind the late start, it’s impossible to run a successful business without a daily action plan. We all know someone like that, and they rarely stay in business long.

FIND STRUCTURE THAT WORKS FOR YOU Not everyone is a long-term thinker or strategist. However, structure is a key part of reaching personal and professional goals. In 1978 when I was still in my 20s, Wade Hartwell from Golden Acres in Calgary presented a seminar on strategic planning. He told the group how he had been told to write out a five year business plan at a course he had taken. That sent my young head reeling! How could anyone plan that far ahead? At that point, I was just trying to survive. As difficult as it was, I wrote out a five year plan on where I wanted my company to be and what it would require to get there. Pretty amazing stuff, considering my gross sales were only $50,000 that year. I planned to have a year-round operation with annual sales over $1 million. I wrote out my plan and worried that if anyone read it, they would accuse me of having an opium induced dream. Eventually, I achieved those goals. I often refer to a business plan as being a map, and without it, I would be lost.

ing books. My account manager phoned me and asked about the increase in utilities. I explained the new greenhouse was responsible for the increased gas and electricity charges, and that satisfied his curiosity. To my surprise, and I am tempted to use the word astonishment, on my next bank statement there was a charge of $250 for examining my accounts. I wrote my account manager the following: “Dear Sir: “I read from my bank statement that you have debited my account to the sum of $250 for reviewing my accounts and books. Rest assured, I do not quibble. You devoted time from your day to do this and I, above all others, fully understand the concept of time is money. “As we discussed my account, we also discussed your Credit Union. I informed you of a number of deficiencies that The Credit Union has in their system. I informed you as to how to correct those deficiencies, which would lead to an increased profitability for yourselves and increased customer satisfaction. “My recommendations are of great value to your organization and they required not only my time but also my experience. As we agree that time is money, my fee for that service is $250. Kindly credit my account.” He did. Stay on the road to success and never forget the value of time.

Rod McDonald owned and operated Lakeview Gardens, a successful garden centre/landscape firm in Regina, Sask. For 28 years. He now works full time in the world of fine arts, writing, acting and producing in film, television and stage.

THE BANKER AND THE GARDEN RETAILER I always enjoy telling a somewhat ironic story and I do have one in my repertoire regarding time management. Many years ago, my bank requested my year end books so they could peruse the numbers. Not a problem. I provided the account-

A wide selection of natural stone and precast concrete products • •

Flagstone Aggregates

• •

Masonry products Bulk/bag road Salt

• •

Interlocking Retaining walls

• •

Cultured stone Accessories

• •

In-Lite LED Lights Kichler LED Lights

Your one stop shop for Natural Stone & Cultured Stone Veneers

t: 905-886-5787 or t: 416-222-2424

Main Office & Yard: 8081 Woodbine Ave. (S.E. of 407 Entrance off Miller Ave.) Office & Yard: 125 Langstaff Rd E., SE Corner Yonge/Hwy 7-407 Manufacturing Plant: 12350 Keele St., Maple


Apr 07, 2018


We Deliver!

Follow us on

Follow us on



Back to Back in the Battle Against Weeds

The fast-acting duo for landscape weeds

Lawn Weed Killer For Turf and Lawns

Grass Weed Moss Algae Killer For Hard Surfaces © 2016 Neudorff North America


Case study: Criminal charges upheld BY ROBERT KENNALEY AND JOSH WINTER

“Safety first” has become the mantra for many construction companies. The importance of proper safety training and systems cannot be understated. Not only does it protect the welfare of our employees and their families, but investment in safety training and protocols is an investment in a company’s success. Few things, if any, will shut down a site and halt construction faster than a severe injury or casualty. Long-gone are the days of men eating their lunches on steel beams, without proper fall protection. We as an industry understand this. Most companies have structured their businesses to meet or exceed occupational health and safety obligations, through protective equipment, training, safety meetings, health and safety policies, follow-up policies and employee discipline (where required). The lack of safety training and policies are therefore not always a factor in work-related injuries. Sometimes it is complacency and the

failure to implement the required training in the field. In other words, sometimes the employees simply fail to follow through and comply with OHSA legislation or policies.

that this led him to compromise his duties. The case is yet another tragic reminder of the importance of on-site safety.

In a recent case, six individuals were

that the deaths and injury was the result of criminal negligence of the company’s project manager. The charges were laid under Sections 217.1 and 219 of the Criminal Code, which state: Section 219: “everyone is criminally negligent who . . . in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do, shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons”; and Section 217.1 imposes a duty upon: “everyone who has the authority to direct how another person does work or performs a task” “to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person or any other person arising from that work or task”.

working at heights on a swing stage. The swing stage collapsed and tragically, five of the individuals fell more than 100 feet to the ground. Four died, while the other suffered serious and permanent injuries. Only one of the six individuals was tied off and attached to a lifeline, as required by both provincial law and industry practice. He was the only individual to not fall when the swing stage collapsed. Evidence showed that the project manager was on site and did not take steps to prevent the workers from boarding the swing stage without a lifeline. The evidence also demonstrated that the project manager had a desire to complete the work that day and

The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed

Here, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the Trial Judge’s finding that the supervisor’s: “failure to take any steps to prevent the workers from boarding the swing stage in the above-noted circumstances constituted a breach of his duty under s. 217.1 and showed a wanton and reckless disregard for their lives and safety, thus amounting to criminal negligence…and was a significant contributing cause of the harm that resulted.”

On-site safety is a must for any construction company.


The supervisor was sentenced to threeand-a-half years on each count to be served concurrently. The supervisor had all of the relevant safety training. It was found that he did not act as a reasonable supervisor by allowing the employees to board and operate the

swing stage without being tied-off as required by the suspended access training. The evidence in the case appears to suggest that the swing stage may have failed, however this failure did not exonerate the supervisor.

The precedent of this finding going forward cannot be understated. The case makes it very clear that, regardless of the extent to which the employer has been diligent in initiating and implementing proper safety policies, the risks of not implementing the policies still lays with employees working in the field. Said another way, foreman and supervisors need to understand that when they decide to ignore health and safety policies or regulations, it is not just their employers that may be liable. Rather, they themselves can be held responsible for resulting workplace injuries. Further, the consequence of failing to adhere to safety regulations and training is not simply a matter of fines and (poten-

tially) civil claims. Rather, as this case shows, criminal charges can be laid against those responsible for workplace injuries, resulting in potential jail-time for those who turn a blind eye or wilfully allow work to carry on in an unsafe manner. In the end, this case may assist employers and field personnel to better insist that health and safety policies and procedures be followed, without exception. This is because it allows employers to better emphasize why breaches of safety policy will result in substantial discipline leading to termination. Also, it allows the site supervisor or crew foreman to personalize the potential consequence of a violation. This, because the site supervisor/foreman can emphasize that it is not the employer that is at risk if an accident occurs. Simply put, if site supervisors and foreman understand that they will face potential fines and even criminal charges in the event of workplace injury, they are

more likely to insist, without compromise, that safety policies and regulations be met. From this perspective, site supervisors and foreman should be made aware of what hapLT pened in this case. Robert Kennaley and Josh Winter practice construction law in Toronto and Simcoe, Ont. They speak and write on construction law issues and can be reached for comment at 416-700-4142 or at rjk@ and jwinter@ This material is for information purposes and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers who have concerns about any particular circumstance are encouraged to seek independent legal advice in that regard. 

Atlas Polar QuAlity EdgE

It’s a challenge for some truck-mounted forklifts… for us, it’s just part of the job MoFFett truck-Mounted ForkliFts proven to outperForM and outlast anything on the Market.

Atlas Polar

it’s all a Bout Quality



Find the Moffett Forklift that’s right for your job at JUNE 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES | 25



Every year springtime returns to New Brunswick and P.E.I. Generally the nearer you are to the equator, the earlier it returns. I only say that because northern N.B., as of May Day, may have several metres of snow in places. In the south near the bay and around the island, spring has arrived. The middle of the province is under water. Such is nature. As for Landscape NB/PEI, late April is a time to wrap up the last of the “off season” events, plan for the future both near and far, and reflect. That’s what this is about, reflection. Please gather round close, pour a drink of choice, and have a listen.

Apprenticeship wins What a winter it’s been. Our three blocks of apprenticeship training are completed. All ran

at pretty close to capacity, and it’s so nice to have participation from across the bridge in P.E.I. The island now has two new Red Seal Landscape Horticulturists and N.B. has four, with a rewrite in the works. The skills competition was a big success for us. Jamey Smith from Island Coastal Services Landscape Division brought us a fantastic design for a legacy garden in memory of the three slain

Mounties in Moncton. During the competition our three teams constructed three permanent landscape features. Kevin McLean and Andrew

Skills competition golden boys, Andrew Maker (working) and Kevin McLean (sitting).

905-887-3404 / / 2686 Stouffville Rd., Stouffville, ON L4A 2J4 26 | JUNE 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES














newbrunswickpeiupdate Maker were judged the winners, and will head to Edmonton to carry the flag for N.B. Andrew Stokes Rees and Justin Vickery took silver, and Rebecca Lockhart and Matt MacKay (our first island competitors) received bronze. These guys are my heroes. In fact, all those who competed, judged, volunteered and donated supplies deserve credit for edging the industry upward and onward.

Landscape party time In April, LNB/PEI hosted its 15th annual spring gala and landscape excellence awards in Fredericton. I had a good view as I was facing the room, and everyone seemed to be having a good time. We gave out 11 awards, perhaps the most significant going to Tom Murdock of Allgreen Landscaping in recognition of his life in the industry (thus far). To me, the main event was something we


have never tackled before. Our past president David Milburn of Focal Point Landscape Design and Installation got it in his head that LNB should take the lead in assembling teachers, guidance counselors and education “decision makers” in one room, to talk about what we can do collectively to get our children to “come alive outside.” We called it “seeding the future in N.B.” and as that implies, we have a selfish, ulterior motive. By giving more young people an opportunity to “fall in love with nature,” our industry will reap benefits down the road by having greater ability to steer them into a career in the only truly green industry. It is interesting to note that many schools have some great programs already, so a portion of the day was spent sharing. The

By giving young people an opportunity to “fall in love with nature,” our industry will reap benefits down the road by having greater ability to steer them into a career in the only truly green industry. best part of the day was having participants interact with Adam Bienenstock, the natural playground guru. He had delegates in groups of

Landscape award honourees, left to right, are: Tom Murdock, David Milburn, Ryan Bursey, Kevin Nauss, Bob Osborne, Blake Kelly and Kevin McLean.



Adam Bienenstock, centre, inspired a ballroom of educators to get creative.

six at a dozen or so tables, and asked them to construct mockups of natural playgrounds using wet sand, rocks, sticks and the principles he discussed earlier in the day. Everyone had a fun and meaningful day, with the exception of the hotel staff, who were apprehensive at best. We proved at the end that landscape horticulturalists can clean up a site like no other, so the police and the lawyers were not called in. LNB wants to move forward with this, as we see it is relationship-building and we can enhance what we have already started with National Tree Day and the Vimy Oak Legacy project. Not just with the school system, but with communities. As fate would have it, there was a Green Cities conference going on at the same venue, and we had the opportunity to continue a dialogue with them. It’s worth mentioning that we had a local multicultural association there as well. All these are little pieces of a beautiful green puzzle. LT

DELIVERING SUPERIOR SOD AND QUALITY SERVICE #1 Kentucky Bluegrass • Low Mow • Extreme Fescue • Premium Bentgrass * Custom grown sod available * Large or small rolls


Phone: 877-727-2100 Ellen Ruddick, Don Baxter, Rebecca Lockhart, Alex Brennan,


17525 Jane St. | Kettleby, Ontario | L7B 0J6



industrynews Landscape Ontario to host Snowposium

Grower of the Year nominations open

Landscape Ontario’s Snow and Ice Sector group will host Snowposium 2018 on Sept. 25 in Brampton, Ont. Geared towards snow and ice removal contractors and municipal snow and ice managers, the event will provide targeted learning opportunities, and the chance to check out the latest equipment and technologies in a trade show setting. Full details are available at Register before Sept. 14 for early bird pricing; registration includes lunch.

Recognizing the very best of the best in the horticultural industry, the 10th International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) International Grower of the Year (IGOTY) Awards 2019 is open for entries. The winner will be announced on Jan. 22, 2019, at the IPM fairground in Essen, Germany, alongside IPM Essen 2019.The awards recognize best practices in horticultural production by the top ornamental production nurseries from around the globe. The deadline to submit entry forms is July 13; to enter, visit During the Award’s 10-year history, Canadian growers have been prominent among both nominees and winners.

Snowposium offers attendees a chance to see the latest in snow removal equipment, as well as great networking opportunities.

in 1967, through to his retirement as the last Curator of the Dominion Arboretum in 1995. He was recognized internationally for his work in horticulture and garden writing. He wrote the Canadian bestseller “The Ontario Gardener” and edited many gardening books for publishers including Reader’s Digest and Dorling Kindersley.

Bobcat facility receives LEED certification Doosan Bobcat North America announced that its Acceleration Center, an engineering facility for all

Remembering arboretum curator Trevor Cole Trevor Cole of Kinburn, Ont., passed away peacefully on New Year’s Eve at the age of 83. Cole worked at Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm from the time he immigrated to Canada

Bobcat’s new facility.

Business Opportunity

In Muskoka

HLA’s new Hydraulic Rotary Pick-up Broom is ideal for cleaning up parking lots, construction sites, streets, curbs and gutters as well as parks and recreation areas. • • • •

26” Diameter poly/steel wafers direct drive motor on broom available in 72”, 84”, and 96” chain holds broom when dumping

For more information contact HLA Attachments.

1-866-567-4162 30 | JUNE 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


Contact Ray Jarvis Broker of Record RE/MAX North Country Realty Inc., Brokerage Direct: 705-380-1737

Bobcat compact equipment, is now Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified. Located in Bismarck, N.D., the Acceleration Center is currently one of only a few test lab facilities of its kind in North America to achieve LEED certification — the most widely used green building rating system in the world and a globally recognized symbol of sustainability.

GIF launches performance tool pilot After five years of intensive development, the Green Infrastructure Foundation (GIF) announced the release of the Living Architecture Performance Tool (LAPT) v.1. The LAPT is a rating system and best-practice guide with a goal of certifying that green roofs and walls are planned to achieve measurable and replicable performance benefits. Performance benchmarks will increase the efficacy of living infrastructure and bolster industry-wide credibility, the organization states. Designers, building owners, and maintenance professionals can use the LAPT to optimize the benefits possible from their projects, while policy makers can maximize public benefits and create effective policies for living architecture. Find out more at The Toronto-based foundation is affiliated with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

Monsanto Home Garden, Woodland, Calif.; and Syngenta, Gilroy, Calif. For more information, visit

AAS offers free POP kit All-America Selections, in an effort to provide support to independent garden centre retailers, now has a Point-of-Purchase kit available free of charge to the first 100 requesting retailers. The kit includes an informational poster about AAS Winners, two bench cards and 100 generic AAS Winner tags, all created by MasterTag. Visit for details.

NGB accepting therapeutic garden grant applications The Illinios-based National Garden Bureau and its corporate sponsors are accepting applications for $5,000 in grant money to be split among three therapeutic gardens in North America. The Bureau promotes the health and healing powers of human interaction with plants through a yearly grant program for therapeutic gardens. Visit to view the full criteria and to submit an application form. The deadline is July 1, 2018. LT

NGB announces Summer Vegetable Trials schedule The National Garden Bureau announced the 2018 Summer Vegetable Trials will run August 13-18, 2018. Six vegetable breeding companies dealing in the fresh market and home garden segments will host open houses and field days. Participants include Bejo Seeds, Oceano, Calif.; PanAmerican Seed, Woodland, Calif.; Sakata Seed America, Salinas, Calif. and Woodland, Calif.; Seeds By Design/Terra Organics, Maxwell, Calif. and Willows, Calif.; Seminis/







As designers, we harness our creativity to visualize a landscape that will fit the needs and budget of our clients. However, as much as we can see the design in our mind and on paper, there are often times during the installation process when we think, ‘This is not looking how I envisioned.’ Worse still, the design may not be what the client imagined. Inevitably, we find ourselves tweaking, or even changing direction, during the build. Then there are the unseen obstacles like rock or buried oil tanks discovered during excavation that require new meetings, new ideas, and new solutions. Sometimes, changes are a result of just plain old designer errors or omissions. After the master plan is sold and the crew begins work on site, how often do you adjust or modify designs? CANVASSING THE EXPERTS The wonderful thing about Congress and industry seminars is the chance to meet professionals with a wide range of experience. Over the past six months, I have polled landscape professionals from several companies. When I began, I wondered whether these talented designers were able to consistently produce flawless, no-change designs. That thought was quickly dismissed, as I learned that only


the finished project can be perfect! What we do along the way is helping us get there, including revisions during installation. “More often than not, minor changes are made during the installation of a project,” says Heather Horton of Landscape Effects near Windsor, Ont. “Thankfully, changes that require a complete re-do are very rare.” Many planners at the Congress Landscape Designers’ Conference had similar opinions to share. Further, many contractors didn’t hesitate to admit changes are commonplace. They cited various reasons, including clients, surprises and design errors. As a CLD, I’d have to agree. Designers must understand the business and that errors that cause delays are costly. However, even the best designers need to be ready to tweak plans during installation. Jeff Hubble of Hubble Landscaping in Kawartha Lakes, Ont., has over 20 years’ experience in design/build. “Most changes are by customer request,” he explains. “Gas line and mechanical lines may result in planting locations to be slightly altered (from the plan).”

ROLLING WITH THE PUNCHES Responsible for both the design and build of his projects, Hubble is comfortable with

adjusting plans on the fly. When changes are needed — excepting unforeseen environmental issues — he usually has only himself to hold responsible. Since I was after a bit of drama, I approached some contractors who build for design partners. What do they do when their designer errs? Karla Sousa is in charge of sales at Duralock of Oakville, Ont. “We often use a designer who is very thorough, but when mistakes lead to changes during the installation, I should have caught it,” she says. “I try to go over the design very thoroughly before the crew goes out to make sure it goes smoothly.” A very respectable approach. So… No drama there either!

STAY IN YOUR LANE Well, I experienced an affront from an installer. Did I underquote deck posts? No, I’m good at decks. Did I spec a sugar maple two feet from a house? No, I know trees. I know about slope and drainage and foundations and roots. What I did was side with the client who wanted to keep some of her shrubs, you know, the nicer ones with lots of life left. My design included existing plants. Unfortunately, the installer, also a design-

er, disagreed, insisting the existing shrubs had to go. The result was a very unprofessional confrontation (picture a 50-year-old man having the temper tantrum of a toddler). Now the drama pendulum has swung too far the other way, but there is a point to the story: What if an installer who also knows design is installing for a designer? Do changes in design occur during installation? People are quick to assume it’ll be an ego bout when two designers are working together on a project; that’s the worst case scenario (Doesn’t that just take the soul out of our work?). The clients bought the designer’s plan, not the contractor’s opinion. The landscape designer has likely spent hours with the homeowners, looking at various options, making revisions and sharing laughs. The designer has listened carefully to everything the clients have said. This is what personalizes each design. This is what makes the designer’s ideas a little more suitable than the contractor’s. The exception to the rule, of course, is when the landscape design includes a tangible error. Sousa had a great example. “We

had a situation where an inlay paver was four inches, but the other paver was 2-3/8 inches. The designer spec’d it, but I should have caught that. At the end of the day, it’s the contractor’s job to make sure the design is something we can build. And it’s written right on the design, make sure you’re doing your due diligence and make sure measurements are correct.”

HEADING OFF PROBLEMS Back in Kawartha Lakes, Hubble also installs for architects, and while he has not had creative differences with design partners, he has experienced logistical challenges. That has led to Hubble standing his ground on the need for design changes when his experience told him problems were on the horizon. “Last summer during installation we found we were short one riser in the set of steps we were building,” explained Trevor Twardawa of Niagara Outdoor Landscaping in Beamsville, Ont. And? Did you fire the designer? Yell? Say bad words? Throw things? “Not at all,” Twardawa laughed. It was a lesson learned for everyone.

During my research, I found that politeness and political correctness abounds. Somewhat satisfied with the harmonious replies received from all areas of the industry, I was still on the hunt for something definitive. Enter Rod McDonald of Saskatchewan, regular contributor to Landscape Trades, retired garden centre owner extraordinaire with over 28 years in the biz. As readers, you know he shoots straight from the hip, writing must-read articles every month. Faithfully, he was at the Designers’ Conference. I approached and asked, “How often do you make changes to your plans once the crew is on site?” MacDonald’s wise, knowing eyes twinkled, and he said, “As soon as the shovel LT hits the ground. Every time.”

Audriana VanderWerf is an Ontario-based landscape design pro and a Certified Landscape Designer.

Look for these upcoming special feature issues of Landscape Trades: BOOK SOURCE TRADES LANDSCAPE 2017

Nove m VO ber 20


landsc L. 39, NO 17 apetra . 9 m

20 SourOcKe

Proces empo s mappin g we inspir rs and es te ams Analy ze for pr jobs ofitabil ity Is yo ur an ele company or a m phant, ouse ?


2017 August NO. 6

VOL. 39, etrad landscap

Octo ber VO

N New ew day, owne r






MAY 2017


r LT

NO. 4 book cover




17 9:02:43




te the s naviga Operator challenge recruiting Sp William







LT 201

LT 2017.









LAN g’s T ST ARS 17 2:20:54



dd 1








20 otlig FOCUS garden ht on MANAGEMENT Exclus ICE ce D nt pere ive ro re reta undu ilin edib nnials, p of


New pla g Retail nt preview sea at How Wa son across CAST Zaplat de Hartwell Canada ynsky sees bri moved produ ght ret ct ail fut ure






SNOWleS'S Et!LL got ta BneauINtyG Next in 2017 PL sprin

VOL. 39,


SPEC IAL 20 17

Cont ra draw cts, Underst anding and ings ustry shopp theind why ers ’s green law where shop Canada Impr they sho ov p labo ing fie ld m How on ur ra Improvem tios ent too e succ Labou sour l: essful contract Prw. r benc otecLT hmark compa or craf r at ww Som t yourse Up yo s all yea ny tra ted a e Stay on ur ga ate listing shou clients lf: nsition me at top d upof to-d ld be propeFin CONG rty fired RESS ! liability and Ja n. 9 -1 insura 1 • LO nce cong m

ing, Teambuild e styl Lammers rs Researche e salt fine-tun rates efficiency


lands L. 39, 2017 cape NO. 8 trade

Septem ber 201 VOL 7

landsca . 39, NO. 7 petrade

tegies Simple stra te accumula snow profits for



les co woody annu ming al pl to Ca ants, ro s, nada ses an in 20 d 18







S 2017




:48 PM



7 12:3



August 2018 - SNOW ISSUE September 2018 - RETAIL ISSUE October 2018 - NEW PLANTS November 2018 - BUSINESS ISSUE JUNE 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |


newproducts Plate compactor attachments John Deere introduces three new plate compactors to its lineup of Worksite Pro attachments, designed for trench, slope and excavation compaction applications. The new attachments are compatible with John Deere 26G, 30G, 35, 50G, 60G compact excavators; the 310L, 310L EP, 310SL, 310SL HL, 315SL and 410L backhoes; as well as most competitive models. John Deere

Battery system Dewalt expands its battery lineup with the new dual-voltage 20V/60V Max Flexvolt 12 Ah battery. Dewalt also announced the new 4-Port Fast Charger, which simultaneously charges four Flexvolt 12 Ah batteries in 120 minutes. Dewalt

Permeable paver The new Aqua Roc permeable paver from Belgard is designed to reduce water run-off and for long-lasting durability. Available in dark charcoal, victorian, grey or toscana, the Aqua Roc line can be used for driveways, pool decks, patios or walkways. Belgard

Long-reach hedge trimmer The new HL 91 K long-reach hedge trimmer from Stihl features a 24-inch, fixed angle cutting blade designed for sculpting topiary and ornamental hedges. Powered by a fuel-efficient, low-emission engine, the hedge trimmer provides excellent manoueverability and includes an innovative ergonomic rubberized control handle with Ecospeed throttle control, allowing for variable speed regulation. Stihl

Compact loader ASV introduces the new RT-40 Posi-Track loader as an alternative to walk-behind and stand-on mini skid-steer loaders. The new model is designed for urban snow clearing and landscaping in tight spaces. The RT-40 includes a turbocharged 37.5-horsepower Kubota diesel engine. The 4,175-pound RT-40 features a rated operating capacity of 931 pounds and a tipping load of 2,660 pounds. The loader is 48.3 inches wide and has an 8.4-foot lift height. ASV


Dual speed loader Avant recently introduced the 530 dual speed loader to its lineup. The new loader is designed to be 57 per cent faster than the 528 model with 10 per cent greater torque. Avant

Drip irrigation kit Rain Bird introduces a new, fully assembled, 1.5-inch inline commercial drip control zone kit with a 15-62 gpm flow rate to cover larger drip zones with fewer components. The new kit is engineered to minimize friction loss and preserve water pressure, and the inline configuration enables contractors to install two kits in a single jumbo valve box for lower labour costs and easier maintenance. Rain Bird

LED canopy luminaire LEDtronics introduces a surface-mount addition to its lineup of low-profile LED canopy lights for both indoor and outdoor lighting applications. The compact CNP000-45WF has an extremely low profile, boasting a total height of only 3.5 inches. Consuming less than 45 watts, the luminaire offers an output of 5,085 lumens of pure white (5000K) bright illumination through a frosted flat lens. This translates into luminous efficacy of 115 lumens per watt, according to LEDtronics. LEDtronics

Slab paver Lexington Tile is a new slab paver from Barkman Concrete with varied colours integrated into the mix. Designed for patios and walkways, Lexington Tile is available in flint, sandstone or sterling. Barkman Concrete

Join us at Snowposium 2018! A conference focused on relevant business issues and suppliers with the latest equipment and technology makes this the snow event you don’t want to miss.

SEPTEMBER 25, 2018


Stand-on mower Wright recently added a 42-inch deck option to the Stander I line of stand-on mowers. The new model features the Aero Core deck, which is designed to improve airflow, cut quality and minimize blow out. The deck also tilts side-to-side and front-to-back to follow terrain contours. Wright Commercial Products









cnlanews Dynascape improves CNLA member discount CNLA updated its member program agreement with Dynascape, increasing the discount from 10 to 15 per cent on products and software updates. Dynascape will continue to offer a 20 per cent discount to CLD candidates upgrading from their student versions of DS | Design v6.

Petro-Canada fuel program increases savings per litre As of April, the CNLA-Petro-Canada SuperPass credit card program increased its savings on diesel and gasoline from 2.4 cents per litre to 2.9 cents. Users can also receive 15 per cent off car washes at participating locations. To apply for the program, complete and submit the online SuperPass application form at Current Petro-Canada SuperPass customers can enroll in the program by e-mailing, requesting your account be linked to the CNLA main account. Please include your SuperPass account number in your email request.

Kubota savings program ends Kubota and CNLA mutually agreed to discontinue the member savings program in March. Kubota will continue to offer CNLA members a preferred client discount, administered through local dealerships. CNLA and Kubota will contin-

ue to work together outside of the member savings program, as long-time industry partners.

Michelin partners with CNLA Michelin and the CNLA announce a new program designed to provide CNLA members across Canada with access to special pricing on Michelin Passenger and Light Truck, Truck, Agricultural, Compact Line, Tweel SSL and Earthmover Tires. For more information, or for answers to questions, please contact CNLA Member Services.  Full program details, as well as product and pricing information, will be available soon in the members section of the CNLA website.

Prague hosts IGCA Tour The 2018 International Garden Centre Association Tour is set for Prague, Czech Republic, Sept. 16-21. The event includes stops at more than 12 garden centres, nurseries and retailers as well as tours of a castle, the historical centre of Prague, and a boat cruise dinner. Sign up today at

for the workers involved and can deprive homes and businesses of essential services. Each year, damaged underground infrastructure costs Canadians more than $1 billion. Bill S-229, the Underground Infrastructure Safety Enhancement Act, is set for debate in the House of Commons. CNLA supports this legislation. Landscape and horticulture professionals who support the bill can let their Member of Parliament know by visiting; the website provides a pre-written letter of support. Supporters can spread the message by following @CanadianCGA on Twitter and posting tweets with the hashtag #SupportS229.

CNLA supports cancer charity with Never Alone Rose The Never Alone Foundation was started to help people with cancer know that they are not alone. Lyle Bauer launched the Never Alone Foundation after being diagnosed with throat cancer

Underground infrastructure bill heading to Commons Hundreds of thousands of kilometres of pipes and cables are buried across Canada to provide water, heat, power, cell service and internet services. Damaging a buried utility is dangerous

Never Alone rose.

in 2004. After his experience, he wanted other cancer patients to know that they will never be alone in their fight. CNLA is proud to support this foundation with the Never Alone Rose. LT The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association is the federation of Canada’s provincial horticultural trade associations. Visit for more information.




advertisers where to find it COMPANY

June 16-24, Garden Days, June 19-21, Salon du Vegetal, Nantes, France. June 26-29, SIMA Snow and Ice Symposium, Cleveland, Ohio June 24-26, 2018 GCA Summer Tour, Seattle, Wash. July 14-18, Cultivate '18, Columbus, Ohio August 5-8, ISA International Trade Show and Conference, San Francisco, Calif. August 14-16, Independent Garden Show, Chicago, Ill. August 22-24, Plantarium, Boskoop, Holland.


404 Stone Limited 26

Allstone Quarry Products Inc. 28

Atlas Polar Company Ltd 25

Beaver Valley Stone Limited 22

Best Way Stone Limited 19

CanWest Hort Expo 31

Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd 17

Horst Welding 30

John Deere Limited

15, 39


10, 11

Munger Lawnscape Inc 36

Neudorff North America 23

Oaks Landscape Products 2

Permacon Group Inc 40

PRO Landscapes by Drafix Software 33

Proven Winners ColorChoice 21

Re/Max North Country Realty Inc 30


Stihl Limited 5

Unilock Limited 9

Zander Sod Co Ltd 29

August 22-24, The Far West Show, Portland, Ore. September 10-12, GLEE, Birmingham, U.K. September 25, Snowposium 2018, Milton, Ont. September 26-29, Communities in Bloom Seeds for the Future, Strathcona, Atla. September 26-28, Canwest Hort Show, Abbotsford, B.C.. October 3-4, Canadian Greenhouse Conference, Niagara Falls, Ont. October 16-18, The Green Industry Show and Equipment Expo, Kentucky, KY.

Connect with Canada’s snow pros Promote your product in the Landscape Trades Snow and Ice Management special issue This August is our annual snow focus issue. Landscape Trades has the market’s attention, and August is the time contractors are looking for productivity solutions. Join the landscape industry’s top marketers, and promote your brand in Landscape Trades! Space closes July 3. We CAN increase your marketing reach:

Greg Sumsion

November 14-16, Fihoq Expo, Drummondville, Que.




1-800-265-5656 ext. 377

Steve Moyer

1-800-265-5656 ext. 316




Support one another Richard Rogers is an evangelist for apprenticeship. He is now enjoying retirement, having sold R.J. Rogers Landscaping of North Gower, Ont., to longstanding employee Geoff Pratt. Rogers calls himself the type of leader that gently guides the ship from the bow, rather than manning the rudder, and every other detail, from the stern. How does mentorship work in the landscape industry? Mentorship is not formal in our industry, and often it happens accidentally or informally. I met industry pioneer Horst Dickert only one time, when I happened to sit next to him at a lunch. We got to talking about how to set up operations, and he impressed me very much. Horst mentioned he dated and hole-punched every Richard Rogers single piece of paper that went through his hands. So I adopted his practice. A few years later I was holding a tailgate meeting on a windy, blustery day — I just looked up and thought, ‘Thank you for that, Horst.’ What about formal mentorship? Apprenticeship is a great venue, and I have been a teacher in the program for 30 years. I was asked again to teach this year at Algonquin College. The program is so beneficial, and I just love the questions and the enthusiasm. In working with younger folks, did you ever feel they did not ‘get’ what you had to say? Well, I always took a ‘people’ approach. One person I remember just did not know how to price. So I sat down with her, and I explained how overhead is a cost she must get paid for; that charging only for time on the job is not enough. It took a few hours. She got a better understanding out of it, but the best part was, it gave her confidence.


What does it take to be a great entrepreneur in the green profession? Willingness to take risks, to think outside of the box. Drive. Stamina. Was there a Eureka moment that turned your business around? Not really. When I reflect back, I understand I got a lot from working beside my mother, who ran a store. She was never shy about asking for money. She taught me you have to talk to people, which was so helpful on the sales side. I also learned from having a paper route, and I looked for that type of money-management experience when I hired. Have people you mentored gone on to help others? Yes, many. Geoff Pratt is like that. He is a real builder with his employees; he sees their value. Quite a few of the apprentices I trained are helping others within their own companies — many are running big operations. Ian Stewart of Yards Unlimited Landscaping is up to 40 or 50 employees. I don’t know if “mentor” describes our relationship, but we sure talk a lot. Why did you succeed in business? The number one reason was keeping good people. Geoff Pratt was with me for 25 years, then he bought my company. What made him stay? Well, along the way, he bought a Bobcat, which I rented from him. It helped Geoff feel like an entrepreneur. Later, he got financing to build a garage/shop on his property, and I rented it. When he bought the company, he already had a paid-for shop. One time Geoff told me, “I never feel like I work for you. I work for the customers.” The LT customers love him; it was an easy transition. If you have a question to suggest, or a mentor to recommend, please write to

may be right Spring maySpring be right around thearound corner, theiscorner, but this but this offer right here now.offer is right here now. ZTrak Z915E Zero-Turn Mower TM






520 OFF


$ with GreenFleet™

Get $400 Off 1on a new Z915E mower. Not only is spring in the air but so is a great deal on a new ZTrak Z915E zero-turn mower. Because right now, we’re offering $400 off 1 this incredible ZTrak mower. Better yet, if you’re a GreenFleet Platinum 1 member, you can get an additional $520 off 2 instantly. See your John Deere dealer today for a deal on a new ZTrak zero-turn mower. TM




Keep Mowing


Offer available April 3, 2018 - July 5, 2018. Get $400 off the agreed upon purchase price of a new John Deere ZTrakTM Z915B or Z915E commercial mower in Canada only. Attachments and implements sold separately. Some conditions apply. Prices and models may vary by dealer. See your participating dealer in Canada for details. Offer subject to availability and may be discontinued or modified. Taxes, setup, delivery, freight and preparation charges not included.

2 Get an additional $520 off a new ZTrak Z915E or Z915B commercial mower with your GreenFleet™ membership. Offer ends 10/31/2018 or when your platinum membership expires, whichever comes first. See Terms & Conditions at for details. To be eligible for the offer, purchaser must be or become a GreenFleet member and meet qualifying purchase levels. Amount shown above is based on Platinum level 1 savings. Qualifying levels and savings will vary depending on the quantity and combination of equipment purchased. See complete membership information and discount details at or a participating John Deere dealer.




+ L I G H T E R , E A S I E R , FA S T E R One structural block. One connector. The simple solution for faster installation. To learn more, visit PERMACON.CA

June 2018 Landscape Trades  

Oak wilt: latest tree disease threatens, and Canada is not ready Control the risks of legal cannabis Time management: respect, and profitab...

June 2018 Landscape Trades  

Oak wilt: latest tree disease threatens, and Canada is not ready Control the risks of legal cannabis Time management: respect, and profitab...