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March 2014 VOL. 36, NO. 2

Losing jobs? The problem might be unit pricing Native nursery builds a niche Quality business profile attracts quality customers




Product innovations drive productivity and sales PM40013519

RIALTO A subtle texture adds beauty to this durable architectural slab. With its palette of warm earth-tones, creamy natural whites and marbled greys, RIALTO is the perfect choice for beautiful pool decks, patios, walkways and rooftop terraces.

Rialto Introducing Rialto 1.800.709.OAKS (6257)

Contents PUBLISHER Lee Ann Knudsen CLP | Editorial Director Sarah Willis | Art Director Kim Burton | Editor Allan Dennis | Web editor Robert Ellidge | Graphic Designer Mike Wasilewski | Accountant Joe Sabatino | Sales Manager, PUBLICATIONS Steve Moyer | INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS REPRESENTATIVE Greg Sumsion | COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Angela Lindsay | Advisory Committee Gerald Boot CLP, Laura Catalano, Hank Gelderman CHT, Marty Lamers, Jan Laurin, Warren Patterson, Gregg Salivan, Bob Tubby CLP

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 Shawna Barrett, Darryl Bond, Rachel Cerelli, Tony DiGiovanni CHT, Denis Flanagan CLD, Sally Harvey CLT CLP, Jane Leworthy, Heather MacRae, Allie McInnes, Kristen McIntyre CHT, Kathy McLean, Linda Nodello, Kathleen Pugliese, Paul Ronan, Ian Service, Tom Somerville, Martha Walsh

Landscape Trades is published nine times a year: January, March, April, May, June, July/August, September, October and November/December. 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 2014. 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.

MARCH 2014 VOL. 36, NO. 2


New Products for 2014 6 Improve productivity and enhance creativity with this year’s new products for the landscape trades.


32 SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPING Local genetics offer a marketing edge BY SEAN JAMES

34 ROAD TO SUCCESS Build yourself a blue chip clientele BY ROD McDONALD

36 LEGAL MATTERS Manage driving risk for your fleets BY robert kennaley


Green Pencil CNLA News Industry News Coming Events Classifieds Where to Find it

4 38 40 44 44 46

ON THE COVER: Turfgrabber traction bindings for work boots by 32north MARCH MARCH 2014 2014 || LANDSCAPE LANDSCAPE TRADES TRADES ||



Inspiring teamwork, on and off the ice

Leadership cares s a trainer on my daughter’s hockey team, I was beyond horrified when the young ladies on both sides erupted into a bench-clearing brawl, yielding multiple suspensions. Once all the players had been safely corralled in the dressing room, I expected the coach, a former NHL player, to ream them out about their lack of discipline and bad behaviour. He stunned me by starting his lecture with, “Now that’s what a team does — it sticks together.” I learned a lesson about the culture of teamwork that year. While this coach recognized and developed his top talent, he stressed that a team doesn’t blame mistakes on any one person. Rather, players work together to fix errors in play that have occurred. Nobody gets left behind on a well-coached team. The Olympic winter games are currently dominating the airways, By Sarah Willis providing many examples of the rewards of teamwork. Even the individual competitors benefit from a support team, including coaches, trainers, sports psychologists, physiotherapists, nutritionists, partners, parents and community. Throughout their youth, all my children played team sports, so they are well-versed in team values — which has made them respected employees at the jobs they have held so far. They were spared exposure to management jargon, but they learned to understand the culture of care through


sports. There is a reason great coaches have written so many management books. The principles of great leadership are the same everywhere. Moving from the sports arena to the workplace, how do you create a successful team atmosphere on the jobsite, where every minute counts — and costs? It starts with the coach setting the trust, tone and expectations, and builds from there. There are many books and essays that set this out in detail, but a particularly relevant one for the Canadian green industry is by Peter van Stralen of The Grounds Guys, based in Orangeville, Ont. His book C.A.R.E. Leadership reads like a casual conversation with this industry leader. Who doesn’t want to build a team at work where people strive to help each other for the best outcome of the whole? Van Stralen recounts stories and gives examples that we can all appreciate and relate to. Better yet, his coaching principles can be implemented with a bit of consistency and communication. One of the faults that I will own up to is that I always read the end of any book first — I guess I don’t like surprises. The last chapter of van Stralen’s book is filled with charming stories from his associates relating the lessons they have learned through his culture of care. Reading real-life examples of the results of team work was a great way for me to start this book. And, while I don’t condone the on-ice underage drinking and cigar-smoking antics of the Canadian women’s hockey team in Vancouver in 2010, I understand they were celebrating their gold medal win as a team, and hope that by the time LT you read this, they have been able to do it again.

Discover the Rosemount™ Paver the newest product in the Navascape family.

clay red

New for 2014

Electronic fuel injection mowers Grasshopper’s new 327EFI and 727TEFI mowers feature second-generation, closed-loop EFI engines that continuously monitor internal and external conditions to optimize fuel economy, improve engine performance and minimize emission rates. Model 727T EFI can be equipped with 52-, 61- or 72-inch cutting decks, and 61- or 72-inch decks are available for Model 327 EFI. Both models accept PowerVac collection systems, while a range of time- and labour-saving implements for the 727T EFI improve productivity in any season.

The Grasshopper Company

Hedge trimmer Shindaiwa says its new DH232 is the lightest, most full-featured double-sided hedge trimmer available. The 180 degree rotating handle increases its versatility. The unit comes with premium nickel plated, double reciprocating blades. The DH232 comes equipped with a 21.2 cc professional grade engine and features a reduced effort starter, premium spring anti-vibration system , forward facing exhaust bar plus a debris shield for easy clean up. The new HT232 is single-sided with the same features.


Cab enclosure for Gator models Curtis Industries has a new commercial grade Cab System for John Deere Gator XUV and HPX models. This all-steel enclosure fits 2013 and prior year models and provides all-season protection. Priced less than all-glass cabs, the Curtis Cab has proven tight seal doors that won’t shatter and can be removed in less than a minute. Ventilation comes from wide, dual sliding windows in both the doors and rear panel.

Curtis Industries


Solar terrarium Unique and beautiful, Allsop Products’ solar terrarium is made from stunning hand blown glass and is powered by the sun. The efficient solar panel embedded into the glass ensures that the treasurers inside the terrarium will be awash in light by night. Each glass vessel is adorned by hand with bits of jewel-toned glass. Jute twine hanging cord included.

Allsop Products

Electric pruners Felco’s new electric and battery operated pruners F801 and F820 set new benchmarks by offering high cutting capacity (up to two inches), speed, ergonomics and comfort for a full day of intensive pruning. Made in Switzerland, these two high quality products will save time and effort.

Pygar Sales

Backpack sprayer This commercial duty backpack sprayer by Chapin features a dual displacement pump that integrates both diaphragm and piston technologies to produce increased PSI and eliminate piston leaking. The six-in. opening at the top of the sprayer allows for easy filling. An in-tank 3D removable filter is self-cleaning, thanks to JetClean design. Viton seals are used in all vital areas for maximum chemical resistance.


Dump trailer

Interlocking pavers Town Hall by Unilock is cast from original brick street pavers and offers a distressed, time-worn appearance. New heritage colours contribute to this aesthetic. Town Hall has been designed to satisfy both traditional and permeable installation methods. Ultra-realistic textures cast from natural stone, brick and historic cobblestones.

Miska Trailers’ 6-Ton Dump has an innovative design with the new two-way spring assisted ramp and barn door combination. It converts from doors to ramps in seconds. Its easy, one person operation has an engineered spring assist to eliminate user strain.

Miska Trailers




NEW PRODUCTS for 2014 Snowplow The Boss Snowplow introduces new, 8 ft. 2 in. and 9 ft. 2 in. poly, steel and stainless steel DXT plows featuring a dual-trip design, delivering enhanced plow protection when hidden obstacles are struck. The base angle trips independently, significantly reducing impacts when low obstacles, such as manhole covers, are hit. The Boss full moldboard trip protects against taller obstructions of six inches or more, such as frozen snow banks, when in vee, scoop and angled positions.

The Boss

Ride-on seeder Bannerman’s new ride-on seeder makes for accurate seeding in a small package. The technology affords a well-proven seeding method for better germination. Unwanted tire marks are non-existent due to the tire-less unit. Delivers seeding output of up to 5,000 sq. m per hour.


Generator Honda Power Equipment’s new 2000 watt portable generator is equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter. The new EB2000i offers inverter power with a maximum output of 2,000 watts with Honda’s fuel-efficient Eco-Throttle. the EB2000i can operate from four to nine hours without the need for refueling, and offers a 120V/20A GFCI receptacle, which provides greater flexibility for most work site applications. By eliminating the standard alternator, the Honda inverter models weigh 50 percent less and are one-third smaller in size than traditional generators.

Concrete plank Techo-Bloc’s new Borealis is an innovative wood plank concrete slab. The modular 5-in. wide plank is being called trompe-l’oeil by industry professionals; it will have you guessing whether it’s hardwood or concrete. Borealis is offered in Sauvignon Oak and Hazelnut Brandy, both light honey-coloured woods, as well as the deep and rich coloured Smoked Pine; great for adding drama or to break up the honey-toned colours through creative bandings and designs.


Honda Power Equipment

Compact utility tractor John Deere introduces the 3E and 3R Series compact utility tractors for landscape contractors who need to do more than mow grass. Five models (3032E, 3038E, 3033R, 3039R and 3046R) provide professionals with a variety of options, including four-wheel drive, independent PTO and three-point hitch, a well as loaders, and backhoe options. An optional cab provides year-round comfort. 3R models feature integrated hydrostatic transmission controls on a single panel, so operators can select engine speeds based on load.

John Deere 8 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Power and performance that pros like you need. STIHL’s complete family of dependable and fuel-efficient backpack blowers were developed for astute professionals. The BR 430 and BR 600 MAGNUM® include revolutionary and innovative technologies, making them ideal for long work days. The combination of comfort, performance and low-emissions are ideal features that make these blowers a solid investment. Solutions that are as reliable as you are.

STIHL BR 430 & 600 MAGNUM ® STIHL’S BR 430


• Innovative 2-stroke stratified scavenging engine - powerful and efficient • Outstanding performance and plenty of power • 20% reduction in fuel consumption and up to 70% fewer exhaust emmisions • Automatic starting position and automatic choke reset • Low-vibrations make for comfortable operation • Reliable and user-friendly

• Advanced 4-MIXTM engine provides power and performance of a 4-stroke engine • Gives you 37% more power and uses 28% less fuel • Industry leading power-to-weight ratio with comfortable harness • Easy-grip throttle with cruise control • Clean burning for better fuel economy and 80% fewer emissions • Simplified starting procedure for maximum productivity

Displacement 63.3 cc

Weight 10.1 kg (22.3 lb)

Power Output 2.9 kW

Sound Level 76 dB(A)

Air Velocity 295 km/h (183 mph) Air Volume 500 cfm (850 m /h) †

Displacement 64.8 cc

Weight 9.8 kg (21.6 lb)

Power Output 3.0 kW

Sound Level 75 dB(A)

Air Velocity 323 km/h (201 mph) Air Volume† 712 cfm (1210 m3/h) †


At nozzle end

QUALITY AT WORK. For 88 years, STIHL has been a world-class innovator in outdoor power equipment. German engineered products featuring the latest pioneering technologies make STIHL the market leader. STIHL products are only available at independent STIHL Dealers who provide expert advice and on-site service. Thank you for supporting the leading team and for making STIHL the Number 1 Selling Brand in Canada.


* #1 Selling Brand in Canada is based on an independent market share analysis of imported gasoline powered handheld outdoor power equipment for the year 2013.


JOIN THE CLUB that everyone is talking about!

NEW PRODUCTS for 2014 Traction bindings for work boots From landscaping professionals and golf groundskeepers to park maintenance crews, the Turfgrabber dramatically improves traction and therefore reduces the risk of slips and falls on wet, hilly and uneven terrain. An aggressive replaceable cleat and tread combination gives the user secure footing for safer walk-behind operations. Lightweight, tension-fit bindings are made from dual density thermoplastic elastomer. The bindings fit securely to sneakers, shoes and work boots. Stabilicers are also available, for traction in winter conditions.


Paving stone New Trevista by Best Way Stone is a large format paver that provides grand elegance to any environment. At 80mm in thickness the Trevista is perfect for any application. The naturallyinspired textured surface comes alive in low light.

Best Way Stone

Post driver Deer Fence Canada claims its Redi-Driver is the effortless way to install T-posts, sign posts, and ground rods. Long handles make it simple to reach the top of a tall post with both feet safely on the ground. Turn the handles around and no bending down is required to drive in low silt fence posts. Powered by a four-stroke Honda engine.

Deer Fence Canada

Programmable locks Strattec Security Corporation’s Bolt Locks are now available for the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Patented technology adds security and convenience; only the truck’s ignition key is needed to protect tools, gear and trailers. Bolt locks feature One-Key Lock Technology, which permanently programs the lock to a vehicle’s ignition key. When owners insert their ignition key into the Bolt Lock cylinder, spring-loaded plate tumblers move up and down to uniquely code the cylinder to that specific key.

Strattec Security Corporation 10 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Rubber mulch This new durable rubber mulch made from 100 per cent recycled tire rubber coated with non-toxic UV stable pigments. Rubber mulch is a wood mulch substitute that will not compact or decay, will not absorb water and retains its beauty for many years.

Rubber Venture Corporation

North Pole


You can never be too rich or too thin. Tall, narrow North Pole™ arborvitae will help you test that theory. Staying less than 5 feet wide, it’s ideal for landscaping and also has great container presentation at retail. And if this winter has you thinking about cold-hardiness, consider that wind-resistant North Pole arborvitae was selected by Art Boe of Faribault, Minnesota. Available from Proven Winners® ColorChoice® growers.

NEW PRODUCTS for 2014 Portable screener

Garden sculptures Garden stake sculptures, from H & K Recycled Metal Art, are hand-crafted metal art pieces made from recycled steel and copper by European artisans. Styles are available to accent any garden setting. Preserving old world craftsmanship, each piece is individually bent, cut, welded and brushed, resulting in an original, affordable work of art.

H&K Recycled Metal Art

The new DeSite SLG-78 portable vibratory topsoil/ rock screener gives customers the ability to screen and recycle soil and rock products both onsite and back at the shop. The screener is designed for use with skid steers and bucket tractors with up to 78-in. buckets, and can screen and recycle wet or dry materials contaminated with large and small debris. Woven screen mesh from 1/8- to 4 in. can be fitted to the SLG-78 for screening topsoil, sand, rock, compost, wood products and much more.

OMH ProScreen

Skid steer loaders Caterpillar’s new D Series line features six skid steer loaders ranging in rated operating capacity from 1,800 lbs. (816 kg) to 3,700 lbs. (1,678 kg). The D-series features a completely redesigned cab, new lift arm design for improved sight lines, and improved engine performance. Also new is an electronic dial-type throttle that permits precise rpm settings. The Cat Intelligent Leveling system provides dual self-leveling, electronic snubbing, return-to-dig and work tool positioning.


Decorative garden gate This stunning Peacock and Ivy gate by Molnar Metal Art Designs will define the entrance to your client’s garden in style. Exquisitely detailed, the stainless steel gates are powder coat paint finished for years of enjoyment. Custom-designed hardware is functional and practical, allowing for left or right swing. The heavy duty latch is takes a padlock for added security. Winner of the People’s Choice New Product Award at Congress 2014.

Molnar metal art


Tree collar The smart tree collar is a premium device for securing trees and preventing blow over. It was developed by tree growers who needed to find a way to eliminate wind damage and reduce costs. There are two styles, the tree farm model, used to support a number of plants in a row and the landscape model used to anchor trees planted in the landscape. Tree collar is made of durable polypropylene webbing with four steel D-rings. The collar fastens with both a Velcro and latch that will not slip.

Root Bags


• Renowned performance & reliability

• Designed & built by Kubota

NEW • 2 Year Standard Warranty

• Competitive finance plans

• Full Canadian support

• Top resale value

• True Eco-Mode (fuel savings while maintaining productivity)

• Over 40 excavator models

NEW PRODUCTS for 2014 Gasless landscape equipment Core’s Power Lok landscaping system couples a unique GasLess power drive unit with quick swapping interchangeable attachments. The drive unit with an electronic controller, recognizes the attachment and activates the appropriate program with no loss of power. Power Lok unit attachments include hedge trimmer, blower and string trimmer, and require a Core power cell to run.

Power Source Canada

Front mount mower Kubota Canada introduces its new F90 Series: The F2690E, F2690 and F3990 front-mount commercial diesel mowers. The F90-Series offers multiple innovations for comfort, power, traction and versatility with cleaner emissions standards and enhanced fuel efficiency. The F3990 is the top-of-the-line, four-wheel-drive model with the highestever horsepower among all Kubota front-mount mowers, featuring 39 hp at 2500 rpm.


Solar gate system Cartell is pleased to introduce the solar-friendly GateMate (CP-3) self-contained Free Exit System. To conserve solar battery power, Cartell’s engineers have managed to keep the standby current draw on the GateMate as low as is scientifically possible. While most probe detectors demand at least 1.5 milliamps in standby, the GateMate requires a mere 150 microamps. According to Cartell, that’s 85-90 per cent lower than its nearest competitor.

Hanging pot water indicator The Water Bungee prevents plants from being killed by over or under watering; users can see from a distance if a plant needs water. Hang the Water Bungee on a secure hook and then hang the basket from the bottom of the Bungee. When the indicator shows green, the plant does not require watering. When the green disappears, the plant is thirsty.

Water Bungee


Living wall art LivePicture is a lightweight “living art” system that hangs on your wall just like a painting. Available in two sizes, RemPlant holds two framed cassettes and VanGrow holds one. Each interchangeable cassette holds nine four-in. plants and snaps in and out of the frame for easy maintenance or rotation. The water reservoir concealed behind the frame holds a 4 to 6 week supply of water and incorporates a wicking system.

Suite Plants 14 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

no other



like Unilock


UniqUe prodUcts for yoUr creative design expression rivercrest™ Wall



richcliff ®


Unilock oUtdoor idea center Having the Unilock Outdoor Idea Center at your disposal during and after hours gives you the unique opportunity to bring your client down to see, touch and experience the huge array of Unilock products and outdoor design options. | 1-800-Unilock


NEW PRODUCTS for 2014 Brushcutter Stihl’s FS 94 R two-stroke Brushcutter weighs just over 10 lbs. and is great for maneuvering around hills, landscaping stones and other terrain. Its innovative control handle features an ecospeed throttle set wheel, allowing operators to power down around delicate plants. It also comes with a high-powered, low emission engine and antivibration system.

Herbicide Bioprotec Lawn Herbicide targets clover and other common lawn weeds such as oxalis, bird’s foot trefoil, black medick and wood sorrel. The active ingredients, citric acid and lactic acid, act quickly to damage cells of targeted weeds. It is available in a ready-to-use formulation where no dilution is necessary. As well, it is approved for organic agriculture. Developed in Canada.

AEF Global


Flexible water hose Flexzilla premium watering hose will remain flexible to a temperature of -40 degrees Celsius. It has a working pressure of 200 psi and a burst pressure of 600 psi. The hose is sold in 100-, 150-, and 250-ft. lengths. Male and female fittings are sold separately and are easily attached in a three-stop process. The fittings can also be reused if necessary.


Stand-on mower Featuring a spacious coil suspension stand-on platform delivering a smooth ride reducing operator fatigue, the new Scag V-Ride stand-on mower has a multi-position adjustable operator cushion providing hours of operator comfort. Operator platform lifts up and out of the way to save trailer space. Its floating deck mounting system requires no tools, allowing for quick cutting height adjustments. Available in multiple deck sizes from 36to 61-in. and various Kawasaki engine options.

G.C. Duke Equipment

Paving stone Pot handler ProLine Swingin’ Grabber is an attachment to efficiently move trees out of tightly spaced nursery rows. Swingin’ Grabber easily helps move trees in larger pot sizes - above 45 gallon containers.The Swingin’ Grabber is an attachment that swings to the side to pick up (or set down) the pot, then swings back in front of the operator to travel down the row.

Proline Equipment 16 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Permacon's new Melville Slabs are modern and contemporary, with a smooth texture and straight edges. They are available in two colours, can be installed in modular or linear patterns, and matches perfectly with Melville pavers.




Need extra reach for your excavator? The only clamp-compatible extendable arm in the industry gives you more than a fighting chance. Get power and lifting performance when it’s retracted or additional dig depth and reach - without the need for repositioning when it’s extended. Add a clamp and monster jobs can never escape your grip. To see it work visit

Authorized Bobcat Dealers

Bobcat of Barrie Barrie

Bobcat of London, Ltd. London

Bobcat of the Tri-Cities, Ltd. Kitchener

Bobcat of Brantford, Inc. Brantford

Bobcat of Ottawa Ottawa

Can-Am Tractor, Ltd. Chatham



519-579-9100 • 866-214-3939

519-752-7900 • 866-337-3306

613-745-5775 • 877-660-9086

Bobcat of Cornwall Cornwall

Bobcat of Owen Sound Owen Sound

Carrier Centers Sarnia

Bobcat of Durham East, Ltd. Courtice

Bobcat of Parry Sound Nobel

Carrier Centers Windsor



519-372-0937 • 888-865-5782





Bobcat of Hamilton, Ltd. Stoney Creek

Bobcat of Toronto Toronto

Casselman Farm Equipment, Ltd. Casselman



613-932-2034 • 877-244-5593 Bobcat ® and the Bobcat logo are registered trademarks of Bobcat Company in the United States and various other countries. ©2014 Bobcat Company. All Rights Reserved. | 1213989

John’s Equip Sales & Service, Ltd. Frankford

613-398-6522 • 888-803-9244

McDowell Brothers Industries, Inc. Sudbury 705-566-8190

McGavin Farm Equipment, Ltd. Walton 519-887-6365 • 888-699-1022

Stratford Farm Equipment Stratford 519-393-6162

NEW PRODUCTS for 2014 Driveway gate This elegant wrought iron driveway gate provides added privacy and security for the homeowner. Hot dipped galvanization and powder coating system makes this steel gate virtually maintenance free. All gates and automatic gate openers have been designed for a seamless installation complete with on-line support videos. Matching garden gates and fence panels are available.

Amazing Gates of Canada

Snow blower

20% OFF


DISCOUNTED FLEET PRICING * March 21 – April 19, 2014

Loftness introduces its I Series snow blowers, including four models of industrial-duty, tractormounted units. They are available in 9- and 10-ft. widths for efficiently moving large amounts of snow. Engineered for large tractors with tall tires, all models in the I Series offer a two-stage design with 16-in.-diameter augers and extra-large, 36 in.-diameter fans. Both 9- and 10-ft. blowers are available with either two or three augers. Models with two augers measure 48 in. high, while those with three augers measure 66 in. high.






F F O 0 $ 7 SAVE R E M M I R T 2 T24

* Valid between March 21 to April 19, 2014 on Shindaiwa units only. Accessories and spare parts do not qualify for discount. At participating dealers only.

Green wall planter The new modular design of Woolly Pocket’s Living Wall Planter features a hard vented shell, a sturdy shape and is equipped with a self-watering tank — all designed to make planting easier. Designed to make living walls and vertical gardens accessible to everyone, the Living Wall Planter can hold two six-in. plants and one eight-in. plant. The modular design allows for a wide variety of uses. Can be fitted with drip emitters.

Woolly Pockets 18 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


NEW PRODUCTS for 2014 Snow plow Ace Torwel announces its new and improved Heavy-Duty Sno Pushers from 8- through 18-ft. widths. Upgrades include durable steel skid/wear shoes made of AR400 hardened steel, heavy-duty 8- x 1½-in. continuous rubber cutting edge that allows smoother quieter operation and greater contouring to the plowing surface, which will yield better surface material removal. Rugged 3/8-in. side plate design adds strength to the Sno Pusher by maximizing the support of the reinforcement corners. Ace Torwel’s Snow Pushers feature heavy-duty all steel construction and have no moving parts for durability and low-cost maintenance.

Ace Torwel

Retail pricing guide Retail pricing is not a guessing game. Perceived dollar value is the name of the game and mass merchandisers with targeted selection, superior merchandising and lower prices appear to be winning that retail game. Seeds for Change is a 200-page book by a green industry veteran J.P. Lamarche that takes the guesswork out of retail pricing.

Root pruning bag High Caliper’s Root Control Bag is a fabric container that automatically root prunes a plant’s root structure. Trees and shrubs are planted into the Root Control Bag. As the roots of the plant grow in the Root Control Bag, they hit the fuzzy inside fabric of the bag. Roots do not circle on the fabric, but are caught by the fuzzy inner surface of the material. The root penetrates the fabric but is girdled by the fabric and later branching occurs inside the bag. Harvesting is quick and easy.

Root Bags


Compact wheel loader The TW40 compact wheel loader by Takeuchi US has an operating weight of 7,275 lbs., a wheelbase of only 5 ft. 7.5 in., and a universal hydraulic SSL quick-attach. The TW40 features a compact, turf-friendly footprint that allows for greater maneuverability in tight spaces on turf and dirt. It is also ideal for material hauling and other applications on hard surfaces and pavement, with less wear and tear on components than a tracked machine.

Takeuchi US

Backpack sprayer With an empty weight of 13 pounds, TurfEx’s new TL40D backpack sprayer includes a 4.3-gallon tank with a unique cone-shaped bottom that ensures all liquid flows to the manually pressurized diaphragm pump. The sealed, dual-stage pump is centrally located at the bottom of the tank, allowing consistent spraying pressure and flow. Once pressurized, the unit provides long spraying times in-between pump strokes, with a maximum spraying distance of 25 feet and pressure up to 70 psi. It includes adjustable padded shoulder straps and a waist belt for operator comfort.


Spilled Wine



It must be a great party. Rosy pink spring blooms are just the start of a great time. The dark, intoxicating foliage is attractive all season long, and Spilled Wine weigela’s low growing habit makes it the perfect size for foundation plantings and container designs. Available from Proven Winners® ColorChoice® growers.

NEW PRODUCTS for 2014 Retaining wall system M Con introduces a large engineered retaining wall system, capable of gravity wall heights in excess of 20 ft. and MSE walls nearly 50 ft. With the ability to install up to 24 square feet per block, Stone Strong saves time and labour costs. Also, no geogrid is needed in most soils with walls 12 to 15 feet high, so costly over-excavation is also eliminated.

M Con Pipe & Products

Truck inserts Buyers Products introduces a redesigned polymer version of its DumperDogg dump inserts that turn pickup trucks into dump trucks. The new polymer inserts, for 8-ft. truck beds, were redesigned with integrated side walls designed for a standard sheet of plywood to lie flat. The poly material provides a long service life and will never rust. DumperDogg inserts are also available in 12-gauge steel and 304 stainless steel, for both 6- and 8-ft. truck beds.

Absorbent mats

Buyers Products

Rotary brooms SweepEx introduces three walk-behind rotary brooms for a variety of cleanup applications. SWB-320 offers a compact 32-inch working width, one-speed transmission and highly maneuverable design. Model SWB-400 has a 40-in. working width, a threespeed transmission with reverse, locking differential, multi-step brush speed and variable down pressure. Model SWB-480 includes all functionality of the SWB-400, but is 48 in. wide. Brush kits are available to accommodate special applications, such as snow, tough dirt and sensitive surfaces.

WaterDots are made from a proprietary capillary irrigation mat that absorbs 10 times its weight in water. The irrigation mat was initially developed for use in green roof systems, but has been repurposed to also increase the moisture holding capacity for containers. WaterDots are available in several sizes to accommodate containers, hanging baskets window boxes and raised beds.

Water Dots


Snow melt system Meitav-Tec has launched Pyro X, a staggered zone snow-melt control system that provides more melting with less power. Offering easy install with more contemporary features and configuration options, the backlit controller is easy to program, self-diagnostic, and fits into a 2 x 4-in. wall box. The entire system is now plug-and-play with intuitive configuration of set-points, delays, or manual mode. Easy to use with only two buttons and dip switches.

Meitav-Tec 22 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES




*Off suggested promo price.

In this business, downtime is not an option. That’s why every piece of Toro® landscape contractor equipment is engineered to be extraordinarily tough. We’re talking heavy-duty welded 7-gauge steel decks, high-strength spindles and blades, commercial-grade engines and torture-tested components — all built to stand up to the harshest job conditions. Let’s face it: When you can’t be out making money, you’re losing it. Choose the mowers that show up to work season after season.


NEW PRODUCTS for 2014 Chain saw The latest additions to Echo’s chain saw line-up are the CS-370F and CS-400F. Both of these saws feature the new FasTension Tool-less Chain Tensioning System that makes quick and easy chain tension adjustments or bar and chain replacements without a wrench or tightening tool. A rotating lever takes the place of locking nuts and a tensioning wheel replaces an adjustment screw. Adjustments can be made anywhere in four simple steps.


Natural wall stone Exclusive to the Banas Stones collection, the Wall Stone Series is a new addition in 2014. This contemporary natural stone is durable in the North American climate for dry-lay applications. Offered in a variety of different sizes, the Silver Grey wall stone mixed with contrasting colours will compliment any home’s beauty.

Banas Stones

All-in-one flower seed mix Miracle-Gro Flower Magic is a revolutionary all-in-one flower seed mix that grows a flower garden in six weeks. Just shake, water and grow. Flower Magic features proprietary growing technology that keeps an array of flowers blooming at different times throughout the season. Available in two colourful varieties: multicolour mix features up to 29 different flower seed species, and pink and white mix features up to 16 flower seed species.

Miracle-Gro Correction The correct web link for Rescue Products' OrnamenTrap for Yellowjackets and Flies that was featured in the November issue new product column is 24 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES



8821 Weston Road Woodbridge, ON, L4L 1A6


63 Anderson Boulevard Uxbridge, ON, L9P 0C7

NEW PRODUCTS for 2014 Loppers Felco’s new lever-action loppers are powerful, light, easy to use and efficient. F220 loppers have a by-pass cutting head, while F230 and F231 models have anvil cutting heads with straight, easier access or curved, pulling effect anvils. Made in Switzerland, these loppers will save time and effort when pruning large branches with diameters up to two inches.

Pygar Sales

Mini spreader Ace Torwel’s new Economizer Mini pickup truck and utility vehicle spreaders are ideal for small narrow spaces, like sidewalks. Performance advancements target more efficient, reliable snow and ice control in 1/3 cubic yard models. The rugged Economizer Mini V-box spreaders are lightweight; hoppers are made of 50/52 series aluminum and frames are constructed of 304 stainless steel. Economizer Mini spreaders feature a quiet, durable 5.5 hp Honda gas engine with built-in overload protection.

Ace Torwel

Truck cap A.R.E is now offering its popular LSII Series tonneau cover and Z Series truck cap for the 2014 Toyota Tundra. A.R.E.’s LSII tonneaus come equipped with fabric headliner. Optional equipment includes a battery-operated LED dome and prop light, a sport wing, a sport wing with brake light, remote keyless entry, 12-volt power strip and an interior clothes rod. The company’s Z Series cap comes standard with a front picture window, screen-vent side window, glass rear door, fabric headliner, and a variety of options.


Commercial mower Sod cutter

Watering wands Rain Cane watering wands are specially designed and constructed to deliver a thin wall of water to plants or seedlings without damaging their stems or foliage. The wands are available in five models ranging from 24 to 67 inches in overall length; watering lengths range from 5 to 18 inches. The wide selection of wands ensures there is one suited to your particular application; watering hanging baskets to flats and everything in between.

Rittenhouse 26 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Billy Goat’s new 18-in. Hydro Sod Cutter is an easy to operate and comfortable to use sod cutter. With variable forward and reverse ground speeds and intuitive controls, this versatile machine is a perfect workhorse for the seasoned pro. Coupled to 5.5 hp Honda power, Billy Goat’s 18-in. Hydro Sod Cutter operates and handles like a dream, meeting every user’s unique project with reliability, simplicity and precise cut performance.

Pro Power Canada

A two-speed transmission on the new mower from YBravo provides increased productivity. Ergonomic handles with oversized handle tubes allow cables to run through these tubes, reducing the chance of snagging outside objects and offering superior cable protection. A large-capacity catcher with high tip speed provides additional bagging volume in wet and dry conditions. With no cables in the way, the catcher can be quickly and easily be removed.

G.C. Duke Equipment


Unit pricing, good intentions and poor results BY MARK BRADLEY

I believe

most contractors understand that unit pricing should be avoided wherever possible. It’s not consistently profitable. It lowers the bar in our industry. Occasionally, we’re all forced into a scenario where unit pricing is required such as a tender or working for an architect, but it should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. But, although many contractors have grasped this concept, unit pricing is still very much alive and well. For reasons that might include speed (needed this estimate yesterday!), lack of a proven alternative, or simply avoiding change, a large percentage of landscape contractors stick to pricing work by the size of the area or the cost of the materials, instead of using a pricing system based on the true costs of completing the job.

Why change? If you’re happy where you are, and your profitability is good, perhaps you don’t need to change. But if you’re struggling with people, profits, growing into larger jobs, or selling work, let’s look at a few real-world examples of why you must change. One of the oldest pricing methods in the book is the square foot method. You might use this method to quote lawn maintenance, snow and ice control work, or installing decks or pavers. But let’s take a look at some real-world examples of how this method falls apart. Job A: The Jones Back Patio. Mrs. Jones would like a patio off their back door in a backyard with poor access. The total size of the patio is 180 sq. ft. The Joneses are very budget conscious and want a budget-friendly solution. The fictional Acme Patio Co. has done Brussels Block patios dozens of times before, and prices the work by their old stan28 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

dard: $16 per sq. ft. installed x 180 sq. ft . = $2,880 total price. Job B: The Peterson Driveway. As Acme Patio commences work at the Jones house, the Petersons approach them about their driveway. They’d like to rip out their existing asphalt and install a new 1,000 sq. ft. driveway from garage to street. They request a quote, and the Acme Patio estimator looks at the job with the following adjustments: l The bigger square footage and easier access will result in improved efficiency. He estimates improving 20 per cent for speed and productivity l The deeper base will increase excavation and base installation. He increases the costs by 20 per cent. l The Petersons want a slightly more expensive paver called Avante. It’s 25 per cent more expensive than the Brussels Block, so that he ‘estimates’ he needs another 10 per cent added to the job’s price. l With a final price of $17.60 per sq. ft., he figures the job will cost $17,600.

Although these jobs seem similar, nothing could be further from the truth. There are many costs are that not going to change proportionately based on square footage: l Mobilization/de-mobilization of the job and the equipment, setting up the site, delivering materials l Excavation; true, it’s somewhat based on size, but access and equipment availability swing excavation time from a few hours to a few days. l Base installation; only materials here are determined by square footage. Here, you could dump a tandem of base right into the excavated drive, whereas the back patio’s gravel gets dumped in the drive, then carried to the back one wheelbarrow at a time. l Avante pavers come in pre-assembled clustered stones to achieve their random pattern. Each Brussels Block is individual. Installation time of the Avante paver takes half the time or less to achieve a random pattern. continued on page 28


A three-person crew for two days

Equipment A crew truck and tool trailer

$50 per manhour


$125 per day



180 sq. ft. pavers at $3 per sq. ft.




Base aggregates, sand etc., plus cost to pick up at local supply yard




Edge restraint, jointing sand and other materials




Disposal: two runs with a dump trailer



Total cost


Cost per square foot at 180 sq. ft.

$27.72 per sq. ft.

Acme Patio quoted price

$16.00 per sq. ft.

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managementsolutions THE PETERSON DRIVEWAY

l The Jones patio has a curve on one side

requiring careful measurements and cuts to be made. The Peterson drive is straight, with few cuts.


These two jobs aren’t just a little bit different per square foot, they are miles apart. A random 20 per cent “difficulty” factor isn’t going to save either job. The per square foot price is more than double the difference. Even if Acme Patio’s estimator got a little more aggressive with the driveway pricing and even if he added a 25 per cent increase to the back patio’s price for its difficult access, Acme is still destined to lose money on the one hand and lose a job on the other. If Acme Patio’s bid runs up against a competitor who looks at each job’s labour, equipment, materials and subcontracting costs to calculate its price, Acme Patio is in a world of trouble. They’re going to win every one of the Jones backyard jobs, but they’re not making a penny. And, vice versa, they’re going to lose a lot of profitable driveways and larger jobs to their smarter, more accurate competitor. And the most ironic part about it? Acme’s wondering how their competitor bid that driveway so cheaply, and yet drives around in new trucks and trailers. There are a few simple steps to help ensure all your jobs have a realistic chance to

Two-person crew for one day plus a three-person crew for two days

Equipment A crew truck and tool trailer, mini-excavator and/or skid steer

$50 per manhour


$250 per day



1,000 sq. ft. pavers at $4 per sq. ft.




Base aggregates, sand etc. delivered by tandem dump




Edge restraint, jointing sand and other materials




Disposal of 20 yd. bins

$300 each


Total cost


Cost per square foot at 1,000 sq. ft

$13.65 per sq. ft

Acme Patio quoted price

$17.60 per sq. ft

make a healthy profit. Use equipment, material selections, and material delivery/disposal methods that reduce labour and time to complete Price jobs using labour, equipment, material and subcontracting costs and know your overhead markups Train your crews on the most efficient methods to complete the work, concentrating especially on layout, staging and order of operations Keep score. Motivate your staff with expected hours on every job, then track their progress. The good news? There’s still a whole

bunch of Acme Patios out there in our industry. Grab 2014 by the horns and make LT every job a profitable job.

Mark Bradley is president of TBG Landscape and the Landscape Management Network (LMN), both based in Ontario.


Moving to MAY!


Canada's exclusive product and service directory is changing its publication schedule.


Source B OOK


New date, same complete reference info.

Canada green indus’s try

Watch your mailbox this May


OCTOBER 2013 VOL. 35, NO. 8


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Exmark’s groundbreaking Rear Discharge technology delivers increased clipping control, superior cut quality and reduced horsepower requirements, all while leaving competitive manufacturers wondering what we can possibly bring to market next. Truth is, it’s only the beginning of other game-changing innovations to come!

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Local genetics present business opportunity


Times are changing.

It wasn’t that long ago that there wasn’t enough demand for plant stock grown from local seed to make it more than a boutique business. Nowadays, nurseries are being established that cater, successfully, to demand for conservation initiatives and, at long last, residential installations. If you are faced with a difficult site, native plants may be your best option, especially if grown from local seed. Why? Native plants are adapted to our local soils, climates and even pests. Each region has its specific challenges, such as Calgary’s chinook winds and southern Ontario’s wet winters and humid summers. How local is local? At VanDusen Gardens in Vancouver, a planting of Mexican white pine had random dieback one winter — a tree here and there. When the botanical garden in Mexico, the source of the seed, was contacted, it came to light that some seed was collected from the top of a mountain and some seed from a lower altitude on the mountain. The genetic differentiation was that specific; different adaptations from the same mountain. Growers of natives run a complex business, drawing seed from many sources and em-


ploying a variety of growing techniques. I recently had a chance to tour St. Williams Nursery and Ecological Centre in St. Williams, Ont., and asked my tour guide Dave Turnbull about the challenges and benefits of running a specialty nursery, growing plants from local seed stock. According to Dave, “Collecting, storing and maintaining seed and plants across a range of seed zones within a large territory is a logistical challenge. Locating seed source (donor) plants and monitoring for health and being assured of trueness to the species,” is also an important factor since some different species in a genus can be very similar. Other species cross naturally in the wild making it an even bigger challenge. Turnbull adds, “The number of seed donor sites will vary by species to ensure adequate genetic variation to support the biodiversity of each community/location and the broader the genetic diversity of the seed collected, the more stable the genetic foundation for the ecosystem into which it is going. Multiple visits to seed donors help ensure one doesn’t select from only the early- or late-maturing species, thus missing important genetics contributing to adaptability to withstand changing climates, envi-

ronmental conditions and invasive species.” It’s a very complex business if you’re going to do it right and, since this is the UN Decade of Biodiversity, doing it right is important! He points out, “Weather is another challenge. Some seeds, such as sugar maple, can dry out on the tree, whereas a wet year can adversely affect pollinators, causing poor seed set. Even “other” collectors competing for the seed — squirrels, chipmunks, etc. – can be very effective and timely too.” Many species don’t even set seed every year, with some being on a five- to seven-year cycle. Storing and cataloguing the seed is important, and each species has its own recipe for storage/germination. Some plants are rare in the trade since they’re notoriously difficult to propagate, such as maple-leafed viburnum. Others, such as white oak, must be collected and planted immediately after they fall lest they lose their viability. At St. Williams, field rows of seed stock have been planted as a solution to ease the seed collection of many species. “These stock rows are generally replaced after a few years to ensure genetic variability.” Dave explains. St. Williams has been creating stock areas with great success — an idea which was not

viable before the demand was there. The company is also having great results directseeding and letting nature determine and aid in germination. The vision at St. Williams is “Biodiversity Conservation - it’s at our core!” It believes strongly in the need to protect, enhance and restore the natural beauty and biodiversity of landscapes. Belief in the interdependence of ecological, cultural and economic health is the inspiration for creating a business based on the value of biodiversity. Established native plants grow well and require little care when grown on proper soil and under the right environmental conditions; they also provide food and shelter for wildlife. St. Williams Nursery even offers outreach to schools and plant-related groups and promotes biodiversity through its ecology centre. Opportunities exist to move beyond the traditional customer base. Turnbull explains, “Nature Conservancy of Canada has contracted with SWNEC for many years, to seed thousands of acres of farmland in Norfolk County in a very broad array of

Natives like this Solidago patula, rough-leaved goldenrod, are grown for restoration projects but can make great garden plants as well. Awareness of issues such as pollinator protection are increasing demand for many local varieties.

native wildflowers, grasses, trees and conifers. Visiting these fields at any time during the growing season is truly a delight to all one’s senses – a myriad of colours of plants inhabited by a diverse variety of common and rare fauna.”

In our world where staying in business and making a profit is sometimes a challenge, it’s great to realize there are new, non-traditional customers out there. Demand is growing for naturalization along highways, in conservation projects, wetland creation and there’s a newly emerging demand for plants that tolerate temporary submersion, for use in bioretention cells and rain gardens. If we continue being creative and look to the future, making a profit is possible, even while doing the right thing for the planet. If you’re interested in learning more, consider reading Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy, and think about getting involved in local biodiversity and wildflower groups. Believe me, the exposure is also LT good for your business! Sean James is owner of an Ontario-based environmentally-conscious landscape design/build/maintenance company. In addition, he is an eco-consultant and a popular speaker.

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Find the HIAB Crane that’s right for MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES | 33 your job at


Build a blue chip clientele


In 1980, I had a customer who was most enjoyable to chat with. He was a Chartered Accountant for a national accounting firm and he had worked with many businesses, of all sizes. I asked him, if there was one piece of advice that he would offer to any and all, what would that advice be? Without hesitation his response was: “The first rule of business is: Know who you are doing business with.” His advice was a simple, well-known adage. Those who do not appreciate the implications of that simplicity are headed for trouble. By the mid-‘90s, I was quite well established. A young man requested a meeting with my greenhouse manager and me. He showed us the blueprint for a new greenhouse he was planning to build, south of town. We asked about his financing and he assured us he had all of that secured. His mission that day was to sell us bedding plants for the next spring. Fair enough. He offered us a price that was thirty per cent below the norm. We asked how his price could be that low. He offered us some insights into his business plan and his math was greatly flawed. We tried to explain his mistakes and suggested he needed to adjust his price upwards, if he wanted to stay in the trade. We were trying to help a new and inexperienced person to find his way, nothing more. Arrogance is the most costly of any attribute that we can possess and he was not the exception. He did not want advice from us, only a signed agreement to purchase bedding plants. When both of us hesitated, he let us know that we did not have long to decide as one of our competitors had already booked ten thousand flats! He thought that statement would get us to move quickly. He was surprised, perhaps even shocked, when the greenhouse manager said, “Sure, you can sell plants to him but how do plan to get paid?” 34 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

A wave of confusion came over his face. I joined in, explaining that his potential customer rarely paid his bills and that there were many suppliers who would not ship to this man any longer. It was true. And the first rule of business is to know who you are doing business with. He was about to learn that number one rule to a depth that he would remember for the rest of his life. Know who you are doing business with applies not only to suppliers, subcontractors and bankers, but also to customers. Not all customers are created equal. There are some who will never allow you to make a profit, not even a nickel, off of any sale. You do not want those people as your customers. As a young man, starting out in this trade of ours in the late 1970s, I truly believed that all customers were created equal. I would accept every request for a landscaping estimate and I would always provide estimates to those who called first. I never gave any caller priority over another. I was young and still in my egalitarian phase. After a few years of this equality, I grew weary. I realized that there were neighbourhoods where I would have to prepare a hundred estimates before I got even one sale, and then there were other neighbourhoods where I sold eight of ten estimates. The math slowly sunk in and I became a percentage operator. I suspect the second rule of business might be (with apologies to the Dilbert cartoon character): Learn to work smarter not harder. I started giving priority for estimates to past customers, their neighbours, friends and relatives. I also gave greater priority to those neighbourhoods where I had had my greatest success. I learned the importance of screening potential estimates and the longer I stayed in the business, the better I got at carrying out that task.

My best advice I can offer anyone as to screening estimates is to choose your words carefully. You never want to sound as if you are running an inquisition. My standard response to a request was to say, “I am always curious as to how people have heard of my company so that I can better spend my advertising dollars. How did you hear of us?” They would volunteer their answer, and if it was, “I was just going through the Yellow Pages and calling everyone,” know the priority position that response received. I would often test out a caller by listening to what he wanted carried out and then give him a rough range of the cost. This rough cost would either confirm or deny if we were on the same page. Those expecting something for nothing quickly revealed their hand. If you operate a quality greenhouse, garden centre or any other walk-in retail operation, there are certain things you must do in order to build a blue chip customer list. First, your operation must give the appearance of being a good place to do business. Dirty, unkempt businesses that are held together with duct tape and binder twine are not apt to be gathering places for customers who qualify as blue chip. Quality customers enjoy shopping in clean, organized places with lovely displays. Bargain hunters do not care and are driven by one thing: low prices. There was a well-known law firm that had a waiting room with mahogany panels, oak floors and receptionists who brought you a cappuccino. They had spared no expense in decorating the area. Their thinking was they wanted to prepare their customers (they call them clients) for the bill they would be receiving. The same should apply to you. Your entrance will define who you are as a retailer. It should be readily apparent that this is a place

where customers shop for excellent products and service, not two-for-one specials. Heather Lowe worked with me for many years. This summer she visited a garden centre with her sister. She told me, “you had to walk through two inches of water to get in the front door. There was no way to avoid the puddle, it was that large. That greeting told me right away what I was about to experience inside their store, and my suspicions proved true.” Cleanliness is not next to Godliness, it is Godliness and you had better enforce that concept in all areas of your operations. Most customers will never say anything to you about how clean your place is, but let it get a little bit dirty and they will speak up. If you allow the bargain hunters a foothold into your store by giving them special discounts, they will be back and this time with friends, all demanding discounts. You have now trained a group of people to haggle with you over price. You cannot afford to do that both in time and in dollars. Your price should be your price, end of conversation. Building a blue chip clientele requires that you serve that group of people to the point where they don’t want to shop anywhere else. Simple things such as timed deliveries (no “we will be there sometime tomorrow”) or even free delivery on large orders. Learn their names and what they like to grow. When you get in a new peony, give

those peony growers on your list a phone call or text. Let them know. They will appreciate being on your call list. Everyone, even you and I, enjoy being made to feel special. Last Saturday evening, I took my wife on a date, to our favourite lounge at The Hotel Saskatchewan. Even at our age, it’s important to go on a date (or at least I tell myself it is). We hadn’t been there for nearly a year. Our favourite bartender saw us enter. We had just been seated and there was a tall ginger ale on the table in front of me and a glass of white wine for Maureen. That is how you make someone feel special. Service is so diminished, so wanting these days, that anything that you can offer that qualifies, will be noticed and appreciated. When it comes to an internal service motto, the one I developed was: There is nothing that you should not be willing to do for a good customer. There is nothing that you can do that is good enough for a bad one. You build a blue chip clientele, one customer at a time. That is how it is done. They reward you not only by becoming regular shoppers, but by bringing a friend, every time they shop. I would often hear a regular customer explain to her friend how the garden centre was laid out and where everything was. The customer often knew the place as well as I did. That was a goal I enjoyed achieving.

There was a garden centre in Regina, years ago when I first began my career. They occupied the number one position. They are no longer in business, having died a slow and painful demise. The owner saw the writing on the wall but never reacted to it. He told me in 1984, “Customers are no longer loyal. You have to train a whole new group every four or five years.” This was his lame excuse for having lost a blue chip clientele. They had abandoned him for two reasons. First, his place was dirty and messy to the point that one customer called it a “hillbilly garden center.” Second, his service was nonexistent to the point that he refused to assist little old ladies by carrying out their peat moss. That is how you destroy your business. A solid customer base, one that appreciates your operation, will pay dividends again and again. That is how you stay on the road LT to success.

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.

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Manage driving risk simply and effectively By Robert Kennaley

As a young man

working in construction, in what seems like a lifetime ago, I was being trained to drive the loaded down company five-ton, with loaded down floattrailer in tow. My boss, the owner of the company, was concerned that I did not fully understand how long it would take to stop the ensemble. Accordingly, in the middle of an otherwise empty stretch of back road, he instructed me to lock up the brakes and stop as quickly as I could. It was quite the learning experience. I have been extremely careful since then to assess what it means to ‘follow too closely,’ based on both the conditions and on what I am driving. Years later, I sat on a panel with Cam Woolley, addressing health, safety and insurance issues during Landscape Ontario’s Congress. At that time, Cam was with the Ontario Provincial Police; now he reports on traffic and safety for CP24 in Toronto. Cam made the point that, when it comes to traffic mishaps, the word “accident” should be stricken from our vocabulary. This, Cam rightly explained, was because accidents are unforeseeable events that are beyond our immediate control. Traffic mishaps, he

pointed out, are almost always preventable. They do not happen by accident: they happen because of poor (but intentional) decisions, or the failure to take proper care while on the road. Why, you might ask, would we take the time to discuss traffic mishaps in this column? Surely we could find a more important area to focus on? The answer might surprise you. Strategies to reduce premiums The risk management committee of the Canadian Nursery and Landscape Association (CNLA) is, among other things, working with CNLA’s insurance broker and insurer in an effort to reduce the insurance premiums which CNLA members pay. We have been looking at volume pricing and assessment through HortProtect, at education and training, at enhanced relationships with other interested stake-holders and at the ways we manage and process actual claims. In this regard, we have been looking at some obvious and serious risks: slip-and-fall risks faced by winter-maintenance contractors; workplace injuries; liabilities associated with design errors and defects; operation of

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tools, equipment and machinery; and consequences of improper workmanship. Yet we are told that vehicle-related claims represent by far the single most significant factor in determining insurance premiums for industry members. These claims, we are told, represent the largest claim category and the largest category of insurance pay-outs. These claims are almost entirely manageable and preventable through proper driver training and better oversight of employees who drive company vehicles. The direct costs associated with these claims will typically include vehicle, property, or cargo damages, towing costs, personal injuries and their associated emergency services and medical costs, worker’s compensation costs, insurance deductibles and surcharges and legal fees. To these must be added indirect costs which can include productivity loss of the vehicle(s), employee down time incurred due to injury or in preparing for litigation, additional staffing costs incurred in that regard, retraining costs and even damage to reputation or loss of customers or sales attributable to the interruption to your business.

Most CNLA members are sufficiently aware and respectful of workplace safety requirements to ensure that employees who use potentially dangerous equipment, such as skid steers, chain saws or diamond blades, are properly trained and use best practices in that regard. Many CNLA members also have procedures in place to ensure that the training is updated and that the best practices are actually followed in the field. Yet the most often used, and most dangerous, pieces of equipment in the business arsenal is generally the trucks put on the road. For some reason, many employers simply presume that if the employee has the requisite licence, training is complete and oversight is not required. This is an inaccurate assumption which costs CNLA members money in both the short and long run — and increases the premiums paid by CNLA members right across the board. Human error cause of most collisions We are told that the average cost of a collision in Ontario in 2004 was an incredible $77,000, and that human error is the cause of 90 per cent of traffic accidents, and that driver attitude accounts for 90 per cent of these mistakes. Rear-end collisions are the most common highway collision, and most collisions occur during good weather. This column is focused on risk management in the landscape construction and horticulture industries. In this regard, we can’t stress enough that where CNLA members have employees driving employer vehicles (or driving on company time), sound risk management should include driver education programs as well as policies and procedures directed at ensuring that good driving practices are implemented. This is particularly true where employees will be driving trucks that may be loaded down with cargo or pulling trailers. CNLA’s broker of record, Marsh Canada, offers structured training programs through the HortProtect program. These are geared towards informing and reinforcing safe driving practices, creating awareness of consequences, and influencing correct driving decisions. An online training platform has been developed — a comprehensive system which provides flexible reporting and simple administration and program management designed to allow the employer to monitor the courses which have been MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |


taken, along with individual results. Marsh Canada’s online training platform are available to all green industry companies in Canada; CNLA members receive preferential pricing. For more information contact Luke Pallister of Marsh, at luke.pallister@ One way or another, however, safe driving education, policies and procedures should become a part of your business — wherever your business involves employLT ees on the road.

Robert Kennaley has a construction background and practises construction law in Toronto and Simcoe, Ont. He can be reached at 416-368-2522, at, or on LinkedIn. This material is for information purposes and is not intended to provide legal advice in relation to any particular situation. Readers who have concerns about any particular circumstance are encouraged to seek independent legal advice in that regard.





cnlanews National Awards of Landscape Excellence Winners of the National Awards of Landscape Excellence were announced at the 11th annual gala ceremony in St. John’s, Nfld., on Jan. 29. Seven awards that showcased excellence in the landscape, retail and nursery sectors were given out to members across the country. Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador hosted the event in conjunction with its provincial Awards of Landscape Excellence. It was a fun evening with members, staff, volunteers and other distinguished guests gathered to celebrate the best in the industry. Competition was fierce in the landscape category, with 41 entries coming in from across Canada. CNLA wishes to congratulate all of the companies who submitted their projects, with each displaying a high level of expertise. The National Awards of Landscape Excellence were presented to the following companies: Year Round Landscaping of Alberta received the Caterpillar Award for Commercial Construction/Installation Edengrove Landscapes, Ontario, won the Caterpillar Award for Residential Construction/Installation Betz Pools of Ontario received the Dynascape Award for Landscape Design Boot’s Landscaping & Maintenance, Ontario, received the John Deere Award for Commercial Maintenance Shades of Summer Landscaping & Maintenance in Ontario won the John Deere Award for Residential Maintenance

Delegates from across the country gather to celebrate the 11th Annual National Awards of Landscape Excellence in St. John’s, Nfld.

Since its inception in 2003, the national awards have expanded to include three other awards of excellence. This year, Sheridan Nurseries in Toronto, Ont., won the Garden Centre of the Year Award for its commitment to growing teams, gardens, sales, environment, gardeners, technology and connections within the retail sector. CD’s Trees in Newfoundland and Phoenix Perennials in B.C. also received honourable mentions in the garden centre category. Winkelmolen Nurseries from Lynden, Ont., won the prestigious Grower of the Year Award. The winning entry will be submitted to the International Grower of the Year Award competition, hosted by the International Association of Horticulture Producers in Qingdao, China, later this year. The final award of the evening was presented to the Veterans Memorial Parkway Community Program (VMPCP) in London, Ont., for its commitment to the betterment of a public green space. Barry Sandler, executive director of VMPCP, and Grant Harrison, president, accepted the Green for Life Community Award. This program has seen to the planting of 800 large-caliper trees along the parkway, with hopes to double that number by Canada’s sesquicentennial in 2017. This is the second Green for Life Award to be presented at the national awards. The National Awards of Landscape Excellence are a way for Canada to recognize those companies that have actively participated in significantly raising the level of professionalism in the landscape industry. Congratulations to all of the winners who truly represent the high caliber of work and expertise the public has come to expect from this industry.

Virus-free inventory changes The Veterans Memorial Parkway Community Project (VMPCP) was awarded the Green for Life Community Award. L-r: Bill Hardy, CNLA PR Chair, Grant Harrison, VMPCP President, Barry Sandler, VMPCP Executive Director.


The CFIA has maintained a collection of virustested plants at the CFIA’s Centre for Plant Health (CPH) in Sidney, B.C. for the last 40 years. This collection provides virus-free propa-

gative material for the horticultural sector, in support of the CFIA’s export certification program. Upon review, the Agency has identified a number of public varieties that lack sponsors to pay the applicable cost recovery fees, and are proposing to remove these varieties by March 2015, unless otherwise supported through cost recovery. Visit for a complete list of unsponsored plants.

Garden centre advice for 2014 Renowned garden centre consultant, Eve Tigwell, will be returning to Canada in June to perform garden centre inspections. After her consultation, a complete report is provided, including a photo library, detailed assessment of every aspect of the store and a to-do list that your team can work on to enhance the store’s image, reputation and bottom line. Do not miss out on this fantastic business improvement resource. Book by March 14 to have Tigwell visit your store in June.

Early training opportunities Get a head start on training in 2014. Whether you develop your own training program, or sign up for what is offered through your provincial association, trained staff will make your season run more smoothly. Not sure where to start? Consider CNLA’s OnSites Training manual, Landscape Industry Certified training manuals, or online options through LS Training or new member program Employers First to get you started. CNLA members receive discounts. Visit the CNLA website for more information. LT

The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association is the federation of Canada’s provincial horticultural trade associations. Visit for more information.

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industrynews AIPH applauds Canadian breeders rights bill On Dec. 9, 2013, the Government of Canada introduced a new bill that will stimulate investment and innovation in Canada’s agricultural and horticultural sectors and give Canadian farmers, breeders and growers more tools to compete and thrive in world markets and at home. The Agricultural Growth Act will increase farmers and growers’ access to new crop varieties, enhance trade opportunities and the safety of agricultural products, reduce red tape and contribute to Canada’s overall economic growth. Among the key changes being proposed in this bill are amendments to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act to align with the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV Convention 1991) which would update Canada’s legislation from the now outdated framework of the UPOV Convention 1978. AIPH, the International Association for Horticultural Producers, representing horticultural producers’ organizations all over the world, applauds Canada’s introduction of the Agricultural Growth Act. AIPH believes that strengthening intellectual property rights for plant breeding in Canada will encourage investment in Canadian research and development. This will give Canadian breeders, farmers and growers more access to new and innovative plant varieties, which could enhance crop yield, improve disease and drought resistance, and meet global trade demands. Canadian groups actively involved in AIPH include the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance (COHA), Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), Flowers Canada Growers (FCG) and la fédération interdisciplinaire de l’horticulture ornementale du Québec (FIHOQ).

Media get sneak peek at Canada Blooms Canada Blooms, Canada’s largest flower and garden festival, will Go Wild at Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre from March 14-23. The partnership between architecture and nature will inspire the artists and designers who will create the popular feature gardens and floral displays at the festival’s 18th annual edition. 40 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

A media preview event held on Jan. 28 unveiled feature garden concepts by Anna van Maris, Ryan Heath, Adam Bienenstock, Janet Ennamorato, Paul Zammit, Louis Tolfo and Town of Goderich Deputy Mayor John Grace. Adding to the fun, a bouquet challenge took place among top floral designers Bruno Duarte, Sabine Calame, Giancarlo Cianciotta and Canada Blooms, the largest home and garden event in the country, will be held Jennifer Harvey. March 14-23, 2014 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto, Ont. Canada Blooms is an annual garden festival that connects people to the joys Systems, Edmonton, Alta.; Sophie Lacroixand benefits of nature through experiences with Nissan, Morrison Hershfield, Burlington, Ont.; gardens and flowers, by promoting, educating, Marilyn Lake, The Ideal Environment, Toronto, inspiring and celebrating all aspects of horti- Ont.; Tom Lew, Terraplan Landscape Architects, culture. It is also a not-for-profit organization Toronto, Ont.; Michael Molaro, The North Horti, that gives back to the community throughout Saskatoon, Sask.; Meredith Plant, Seferian Dethe year by funding community garden projects sign Group, Burlington, Ont.; Erika Richmond, around Ontario. Canada Blooms is dedicated Scott Torrance Landscape Architect, Toronto, to providing the community with horticulture Ont.; Trevor Ross, Grasschopper Landscaping, expertise, education and resources on an ongo- Edmonton, Alta.; Laureen Snook, Crosby Hanna ing basis. & Associates, Regina, Sask.; and Patrizio Stasi, Canada Blooms was founded by Landscape NDG Roofing, Montreal, Que. Ontario and The Garden Club of Toronto. Each year it is supported by a committed group of Harsh weather doesn’t partners, sponsors and volunteers. Tickets for dampen spirits at Congress Canada Blooms, part of the largest home and Despite dealing with frigid -24°C temperatures, garden event in North America, are available at snow and the continued aftermath of a ber ice storm, Landscape Ontario’s 41st annual Congress, held at the Toronto Congress Centre Green Roof Pro Class of 2013 Jan 7-9, was a success. Because of weather Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) congrat- that kept many contractors and landscapulates the 88 North American industry leaders ers busy clearing roads and parking lots and who became accredited Green Roof Profes- cleaning up damaged trees from the Decemsionals (GRPs) in 2013. GRP accreditation is the industry standard for excellence in design, installation and maintenance of green roof systems. The GRP class of 2013 is a diverse group of professionals including landscape architects, architects, roofing consultants, roofing contractors, landscape contractors, engineers, and product manufacturers. Congratulations to the following Canadians who achieved their GRP designation: Sasha Aguilera, Xeroflor Canada, Toronto, Ont.; Shaman Ferraro, Gingko Sustainability, Toronto, Ont.; Gloria Iglesias Montes, Richmond Hill, Congress 2014 provided great networking opportunities Ont.; Supreet Kapur, Mid-City Roofing & Wall for attendees.

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industrynews ber ice storm, attendance at the show started soft during its opening on Tuesday, but it picked up Wednesday and Thursday as the weather cleared. Attendee and exhibitor enthusiasm was high. “It is the best show in North America for networking and landscaping in general,” says Mike Riehm of EnviroBond. Spread over eight acres, Congress put the spotlight on more than 600 vendors from the equipment, lawn and landscape industry. An estimated 10,000 green industry professionals from around the world made their way across a show floor, featuring the latest and greatest in heavy machinery, landscaping implements, nursery products and innovative services that help landscape contractors create professionally designed or natural landscape for their clients. The Congress Conference, Get Green, featured a dynamic speaker line-up composed of industry leaders and successful entrepreneurs who offered an interesting variety of practical sessions, owner-only workshops and popular

Life Lessons at Lunch Several exhibitors have already renewed their spots to return to Congress in January 6-8, 2015.

SIMA announces Advanced Snow Management program To aid in preparing the companies and individuals who remove snow and ice from parking lots, parking garages and sidewalks, the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) has launched a comprehensive online training system, called the Advanced Snow Management (ASM) Training program. In conjunction with this launch, SIMA has unveiled a new industry designation, the Advanced Snow Manager. “The ASM training program focuses on delivering better training, stronger people, and safer operations,” says Phill Sexton, SIMA’s Director of Education and Outreach. “This program is ideal for anyone who operates snow removal equipment, manages a snow removal operation, or owns a snow removal business.”

The ASM program includes four online certificate courses: Core Principles covers standardized basic safety for snow, interpreting a site map, instruction on the variables of winter weather, and standards for onsite documentation of service. Plowing Operations focuses on training for plowing, hauling, and blowing, including preparation and maintenance of equipment, safe operation of snow plowing equipment, and more. Ice Management trains on complex ice management techniques, including calibrating spreading equipment, understanding deicing chemical properties, and applying deicing solids and liquids safely and efficiently. Sidewalks Operations relates essential skills and techniques for managing snow and ice on sidewalks, including identifying pedestrian areas, proper shoveling techniques, proper deicing application techniques, and more. For information, visit

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Martha Stewart stars at IGC Chicaco IGC Show announces that Martha Stewart is its star keynote its eighth annual event, August 19-21, 2014 at Chicago’s Navy Pier. IGC Show Founder Jeff Morey will interview Stewart on the IGC Grand Ballroom stage about the gardening and consumer lifestyle trends that matter most to the success of independent garden centre owners and operators, now and in the years to come.

IGCA Congress gathers in Ireland this summer Garden centre owners around the world will converge on Ireland this summer, as the International Garden Centre Association hosts its annual meeting and tours from Aug. 10-15, 2014. This is an unparalleled opportunity to see some of the finest gardens and retail operations in Ireland, while networking with industry peers. All of the details are available at www.

AmericanHort: A fresh new association On Dec. 31, 2013, consolidation of the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA)

and The Association of Horticulture Professionals (OFA) was completed, and AmericanHort was born on Jan. 1, 2014. With this change comes one premier U.S. association to serve the all-encompassing, global industry. The new association will proudly serve thousands of businesses that belong to AmericanHort. Built on the strength of 220 years of combined OFA and ANLA history, AmericanHort is a community, a resource, and a source of inspiration for horticulture professionals. Visit for more information.

Ed Beaulieu receives waterscaper honour In its November 2013 issue, Irrigation & Green Industry News magazine awarded its first-ever Waterscaper of the Year award to Ed Beaulieu, director of contractor development, field research, and sustainability for Aquascape. For more than a decade, Ed has successfully installed hundreds of custom-designed water features, from small backyard ponds to large lakes and commercial water features. He holds a B.S. in Zoology, with an emphasis in Limnology, and concentrated his master’s studies in Marine Biology.  His work has been featured

on the cover of Architectural Digest, in addition to having his water garden designs featured in the pages of Better Homes & Gardens special interest publications, Nature’s Garden, and more. Ed was also a contributing author for The Pond Builder’s Bible, Pond Building for Hobbyists, and Succeeding and Prospering with Water Features II.

Techo-Bloc announces Contractor Showcase Techo-Bloc will kick of its 2014 Canadian Contractor Showcases on March 11 in Kitchener, Ont. “What began in 2006 as four shows has evolved into a huge contractor following. Increased demand has led to more venues and an increase in showcase partners,” explained Alec Veilleux, Vice President of Marketing. Attendees will receive four ICPI and NCMA credits, complete sales and marketing kits, as well as the chance to win prizes. A 53-ft. tractor trailer designed as a mobile showroom will be on display and showcase Techo-Bloc’s newest assortment of products. The showcases continue in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and New Brunswick; register at LT

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comingevents March 14-23, Canada Blooms, Direct Energy Centre, Toronto, Ont. April 5-10, California Spring Trials,

July 12-15, OFA Short Course, Greater

Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio. July 29-August 1, Turfgrass Producers International Summer Convention and Field Days, Philadelphia, Penn.

April 25-May 11, Arbor Week,

August 2-6, ISA Annual Conference and Trade Show, Milwaukee, Wisc. www.isa-arbor.

June 18, Fifth annual Canadian Water Summit, Toronto, Ont.


June 18-21, 15th Annual Snow and Ice Symposium, Columbus, Ohio.

August 5-7, IGC Show East, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Md.

June 23-26, Garden Centres of America Summer Tours, San Francisco, Calif.

August 6-7, Penn Atlantic Nursery Trades Show (PANTS), Pennsylvania Convention Cen-

ter, Philadelphia, Penn.

August 10-13, Toronto Fall Gift Show, International Centre and Congress Centre, Toronto, Ont. August 10-15, IGCA Congress, Ireland. August 17-20, Fall Alberta Gift Show, Northlands, Edmonton EXPO Centre, Edmonton, Alta. August 17-20, Canadian Fertilizer Institute 69th Annual Conference, Ottawa, Ont. August 19-21, Independent Garden Center Show Chicago, Navy Pier, Chicago, Ill.





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THRIVING GARDEN CENTRE FOR SALE Well established, turnkey opportunity, serving area for 30 years. Located midway between Toronto and Kingston. High repeat clientele. Visit website below for details and contact information. 33107002.htm

Macuto Nurseries Experienced farm workers required to perform manual work. Hand cultivating, digging and tree planting. Hourly rate $10.25. Also required: Driver - Class A licence, Z Certificate and Mobile Crane Operator 0-8. Driver hourly rate $17.50. Seasonal employment starting April 1, 2014 to Nov 30, 2014. Job site Keswick, Ontario. Fax resume 905-898-0360 or call 905-898-6856


All classified ads must be pre-paid by credit card. Rates: $62.15 (includes HST) per column inch (approx. 25 words). Deadline: 10th day of the month prior to issue date. Space is limited to a first-come, firstserved basis. To advertise: E-mail your name, phone number and ad to Robert at Online classified rates are $67.80 HST included for Landscape association members and $90.40 (HST included) for non-members. Online ads are posted for 31 days. View ads online at 44 | MARCH 2014 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


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Connections Our events provide the tools for your business to grow and prosper

• Increase brand recognition • Discover new customers • Capitalize on new markets • Source new suppliers

Canada’s Premier Green Industry Trade Show and Conference January 6-8, 2015 Toronto Congress Centre Toronto, Ontario

Canada’s Garden Festival March 14-23, 2014 Direct Energy Centre Toronto, Ontario

GreenTrade Expo Eastern Ontario’s Green Trade Show February 11, 2015 Capital Exhibition Centre Ottawa, Ontario 2013

For exhibitor or visitor information please call: 1-800-265-5656 x353

Canada’s fall show for the floral and garden industry October 22-23, 2014 Toronto Congress Centre North Building, Toronto, Ontario



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March 2014 Landscape Trades  

Canada's premier horticultural trade publication. What's new for 2014, product innovations that drive productivity and sales, Native nursery...

March 2014 Landscape Trades  

Canada's premier horticultural trade publication. What's new for 2014, product innovations that drive productivity and sales, Native nursery...