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March 2018 VOL. 40, NO. 2

landscapetrades.com

Systems to improve attraction and retention Liens applied to maintenance Mosher works to set fair rates, inspire staff

Supplies, equipment, products, solutions...

NEW for

2018

PM40013519


everything. fits. together. DECASTON® & MOLINA® The new DECASTON® & MOLINA® lines from Oaks enables holistic design concepts for your project. With their large format, smooth surface, clean edges and reduced joint spacing, Decaston & Molina are ideal for creating inviting spaces. At 80mm (3.15”) thick, these paver are suitable for light traffic, pedestrian use and meets wheelchair access specifications. Combine them together for even more design options! DECASTON, CATHEDRAL WITH MOLINA, CLOUDBURST

OAKSpavers.com | 1.800.709.OAKS (6257)

DECASTON, MEADOW WITH MOLINA, TWILIGHT

DECASTON, MORAINE WITH MOLINA, FENNEL


Contents EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Lee Ann Knudsen CLM | lak@landscapeontario.com

ASSISTANT EDITOR Scott Barber | sbarber@landscapeontario.com ART DIRECTOR Kim Burton | kburton@landscapeontario.com LANDSCAPE ONTARIO MAGAZINE EDITOR Robert Ellidge | rob@landscapeontario.com MULTIMEDIA DESIGNER Mike Wasilewski | mikew@landscapeontario.com ACCOUNTANT Joe Sabatino | joesabatino@landscapeontario.com SALES MANAGER, PUBLICATIONS Steve Moyer | stevemoyer@landscapeontario.com ACCOUNT MANAGER Greg Sumsion | gsumsion@landscapeontario.com

MARCH 2018 VOL. 40, NO. 2

Introducing new products ... just in time for 2018 pre-season planning Page 6

COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR Angela Lindsay | alindsay@landscapeontario.com ADVISORY COMMITTEE Gerald Boot CLM, Laura Catalano, Mark Fisher, Hank Gelderman CHT, Marty Lamers, Jan Laurin, 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: comments@landscapetrades.com Fax: (905)875-0183 Web site: www.landscapetrades.com LANDSCAPE ONTARIO STAFF Darryl Bond, Amy Buchanan, Tony DiGiovanni CHT, Denis Flanagan CLD, J. Alex Gibson, Meghan Greaves, Heather MacRae, Kristen McIntyre CHT CEM, Kathy McLean, Linda Nodello, Kathleen Pugliese, John Russell, Ian Service, 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 www.landscapetrades.com 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.

ISSN 0225-6398 PUBLICATIONS MAIL SALES AGREEMENT 40013519 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT LANDSCAPE TRADES MAGAZINE 7856 FIFTH LINE SOUTH, MILTON, ON L9T 2X8 CANADA

COLUMNS 38 ROAD TO SUCCESS

A produce manager has something to say to garden centre retailers.

BY ROD McDONALD

42 MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

Implementing systems can also boost profits in the daunting world of hiring and firing.

BY MARK BRADLEY

46 LEGAL MATTERS

Are maintenance services lienable? The line may be changing.

BY ROB KENNALEY AND JOSH WINTER

58 MENTOR MOMENT

Jim Mosher cares about his employees’ standard of living.

DEPARTMENTS INDUSTRY NEWS 50 CNLA NEWS 54 ADVERTISERS 56 CLASSIFIEDS 56 EVENTS 56

ON THE COVER: The new Airlift by Pave Tech. PHOTO: Mike Schram

MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |

3


greenpencil Leading and mentoring the next generation

Love: The next killer app To owners, managers, supervisors and crew leaders: We need to understand the importance of developing and mentoring the next generation. We need to make our workplaces into educational institutions. We must share information and collaborate to make our places of work not just more productive, but more value-driven and purposeful. Studies show when people feel purpose and love within an organization, retention rates increase by 80 per cent. I don’t think we have an industry problem, I think we have a loving and caring issue — from the top down.  Some books and research on spiritual wellbeing refer to engagement paths as The Five Love Languages; Words of Affirmation, QualBy Brent Ayles ity Time, Acts of Service, Gifts and Physical Touch. The first two almost always win.              Are my words kind? Am I spending quality time teaching and listening? Through my travel around much of North America, the most common challenge I see is sustaining a good workforce. We should be looking in the mirror every day and asking, “Would I work for you?”  We need to accept and support the fact that many present and future industry professionals will be more suited for apprenticeship programs and industry certification; education focused on teaching trade skills. More one-on-one learning.  Our mindset must change from hiring qualified individuals, to “Let’s lead them to be qualified individuals.” Let’s face the facts: Many young adults are choosing lives outside of attending universities. We need to market to the ones that want to spend the next 30-50 years building the best landscapes our country has seen. I believe there is a trend we are missing. I believe that the generation today — the Millennial generation — has the opportunity to perform work similar to that of two, maybe three generations before us. Building a country, engaged by working with their hands in the outdoors — like the

4 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Industrial Revolution. Skilled workmen and -women looking to add tremendous value. We must learn to keep things positive and active. We must learn to ASK what inspires them. Some are thinking, “This guy is a quack.” I’m telling you, when we love those we lead, they become engaged, focused, and in the end, the customer will keep coming back, making our companies more profitable than ever.  Let’s set the bar high. Let’s make them feel welcomed. Let’s challenge all people to ASK questions! Let your words be kind!  Show we care and that we truly love them, not as just as colleagues or friends but like a family member.  Our future is based upon our ability to connect and engage and expand our influence. Start with those closest to you. Making our workplaces safe and fulfilling with love will be the deciding factor in grow-

The New Brunswick Landscape Horticulture Apprenticeship program. Eight members of our team pursued Block One this winter and four others are engaged in the Certified Landscape Technician program.

ing profitable businesses. We are the people that are responsible for the growth of our team — The Next Generation. Those that learn to love will be the ones that survive and prosper in these ever-changing times.  Lead. Love. Learn.

Brent Ayles operates Ayles Natural Landscaping in Riverdale, N.B.

LT


STIHL FS 91 R BRUSHCUTTER

FS 91 R Landscapers will find that getting the job done is that much more efficient with the performance and reliability that the FS 91 R brushcutter has to offer. It is effective on the job, as it assists with all trimming demands. With the larger fuel tank of the FS 91 R, it is able to run 30% longer than its predecessor. When you’re out in the field all day, you require a starting system that is dependable and ready to go. Well look no further...the 3-2-1 starting procedure and the stop switch with “standby” mode of the FS 91 R has got you covered. It also features an improved air filtration system that allows an extended service life. The FS 91 R is exceptionally reliable, outstandingly easy to maintain and built with uncompromising STIHL quality. • • • • • •

Engine is always ready to start – Engage Choke, Pull, Open Throttle and Go! Stop switch with “standby” mode – Always ready to go Large 710 mL fuel tank enables longer running times Efficient filtration system that delivers an extended service life Improved loop handle design to offer extra comfort with fewer vibrations Redesigned guard to reduce weight

28.4 cc 0.95 kW 5.5 kg (12.1 lb)

Displacement Power Output Weight †

Excluding fuel, cutting attachment or deflector.

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.

THE

CLUB EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT

STIHLCanada

AU

CLUB DONT TOUT LE MONDE PARLE

www.stihl.ca


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018

NEW

PRODUCTS 2018

From sleek, modern pavers, emission-free maintenance equipment, and powerful, yet efficient machines, to innovative growing solutions and substrates, the 2018 Landscape Trades new product round-up has something to pique the interest of every person in the diverse green professions. Whether it’s simply time to upgrade your tools or fleet, or you’re ready to take the next steps to grow your business, this special section is sure to spark your imagination and help you find the best solutions to fit your needs.

Compact wheel loaders

Built for construction contractors, landscapers and rental centre operators, the new John Deere 204L and 304L compact wheel loaders deliver higher productivity, increased uptime and lower daily operating costs. The L-series models are built for tasks that require peak productivity in small spaces and over rough terrain. John Deere www.deere.ca

6 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Wall system

Tandem Next: The Evolution of a Revolution wall system by Permacon uses one block and one universal plastic connector, making it easy and quick to install. The wall system is compatible with all of Permacon’s 180-millimetre veneers such as the Melville, Lexa and Lafitt collections. It can be used for retaining walls, corner construction and doublesided walls. Permacon www.permacon.ca


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Expanding garden hose

The Stanley Fatmax Duraflex Expanding Garden Hose utilizes two-ply construction and is reinforced with rubber to eliminate any risk of rupture, while its outer layer is protected by an elastic nylon sleeve. The lightweight hose features the patented Jobsite Repairable Quick Couplings, which may be reattached after disposing the damaged end. Stanley Tools www.stanleytools.com

Paver

The new Decaston line from Oaks Landscape Products are large format pavers with a smooth surface, clean edges and reduced joint spacing. At 80-millimetres (3.15-inches) thick, this paver is manufactured with ColorBold, EliteFinish and CarbonCure technologies, and is suitable for light traffic, pedestrian use and meets wheelchair access specifications. Oaks Landscape Products www.oakspavers.com

Propagation system

Launched at Landscape Ontario Congress 2018, RootSmart by A.M.A. is an evidencebased propagation system that promotes an ideal root structure by preventing root girdling at the propagation stage. RootSmart was developed in partnership between Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and A.M.A. A.M.A. www.amaplas.com

Zero-turn mower

The 2018 Lazer Z Diesel from Exmark is available with a new 96-inch UltraCut Flex Wing cutting deck and RED Technology-equipped Yanmar liquid-cooled diesel engines. The new machine is designed to reduce operator exposure to bumps and vibrations with its motion control system and isolation mounts under the seat base and footrest. The Lazer Z is also available with 60- or 72-inch cutting decks. Exmark www.exmark.com

Debris loader

Harper Turf Equipment launched the ML32 MultiLoader at Landscape Ontario Congress 2018. This new truck loader features a belt-driven impeller and coned inlet to maximize debris reduction and cut clean up time. The ML32 contains four, 20-inch serrated impeller blades providing 7300-CFMs for extreme shredding and decreased particle size. Harper Turf Equipment www.harperturfequipment.com MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES | 7


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Zero-turn mower

The new Ferris 400S zero-turn mower features an independent, large rear progressive coil-overshock suspension, a 48-inch mower deck, 20-inch drive tires and 10-inch caster tires. The mower also features a solid rod cable-less drive mechanism and one-inch aluminum spindles with greaseable commercial over sized double-row bearings. Ferris www.ferrismowers.com

Electric brushcutter

The new Stihl FSA 130 R professional battery-powered brushcutter is lightweight, quiet and cordless. The speed is adjustable to three settings to ensure longer runtimes. Stihl www.stihl.ca

Modern slab paver

The new Avari 50-millimetre slab combines a large modern finish with a refined surface. Produced with Best Way Stone’s DesignLoc surface refinement technology, the Avari slab provides a highly-detailed, richly-coloured smooth-touch surface. The Avari is also coated with the Best Way Stone ChromaTec protective surface enhancer to add an additional vibrancy to the colours and help resist potential stains from foreign elements. Best Way Stone www.bestwaystone.com

Compact aerator

The new Exmark 24-inch Stand-On Aerator features a compact design that significantly increases the productivity and efficiency of lawn care professionals aerating smaller properties. Designed to easily fit through 36-inch gates, the machine features an efficient hydro drive system with infinite speed control up to 6.8 m.p.h. Exmark www.exmark.com

8 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Roll-out bucket

John Deere continues to grow its lineup of Worksite Pro Attachments with the introduction of new roll-out bucket offerings. The RB72, RB84 and RB96 models are designed to best match the attachment to the machine. Optimized for G-Series Compact Track Loaders and K-Series Compact Wheel Loaders (RB84 and RB96 only), these buckets provide an additional 34-inches of dump reach when fully extended. John Deere www.deere.ca


MULTI-FACE WALL SYSTEM

SURE TRACK STANDARD BACKER

SURE TRACK LARGE BACKER 6 x 7 x 12" 15 x 17.5 x 30cm

19 x 14 x 2" 48.2 x 35.5 x 5.5cm

STANDARD FASCIA HALF PANEL (Pitched & Smooth)

CLOSED-END FASCIA PANEL (Pitched & Smooth)

STANDARD FASCIA PANEL (Pitched & Smooth)

6 x 8 x 6" 15 x 20 x 15cm

6 x 91/4 x 23/8" 15 x 23.3 x 6cm

6 x 21 x 23/8" 15 x 53 x 6cm

UNIVERSAL BASE UNIT

6 x 181/2 x 23/8" 15 x 46.6 x 6cm

SURE TRACK CORNER INSERT L = 2" 5cm

UNIVERSAL COPING

19 x 14 x 23/4" 48.2 x 35.5 x 7cm

CORNER BUNDLE

U-CARA™ is the most dynamic, revolutionary innovation to hit landscape walls in decades. U-CARA is a simple two-component system - Sure Track™ backer blocks and U-CARA fascia panels that provide incredible design options. Mix and match a vast number of colors, patterns and textures to achieve a variety of combinations not possible with other systems. Learn more about how Unilock products can help your projects stand out - Local territory managers in your area are only a phone call away.

UNILOCK.COM

|

1-800-UNILOCK

| Lightweight | Easy-to-learn system | Dimensionally accurate | Coordinates with Unilock pavers | Construct one or two-sided walls | Engineering support for high walls | More design options than any other wall


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 LED lights

SiteOne Landscape Supply announced the launch and exclusive distribution of ProTrade Lighting products, a line of professional-grade LED lamps and lighting solutions for landscape contractors. The LED lamps are rated for enclosed fixtures and damp locations and are available in bronze or black. SiteOne Landscape Supply – Pro-Trade Lighting www.siteone.com

Smooth paver

The new Molina line from Oaks Landscape Products has a smooth surface, clean edges and reduced joint spacing. Molina pavers are 80-millimetres thick and are manufactured with ColorBold, EliteFinish and CarbonCure technologies. Oaks Landscape Products www.oakspavers.com

Handheld blower

The new PB2520 Echo blower boasts an enhanced engine and fan/volute design producing performance ratings in excess of 20 per cent versus comparable competitive models and 27 per cent higher than the popular PB250LN. New double-grid technology reduces intake clogging, delivering superior air flow and consistent unit performance. Echo Power Equipment www.echo.ca

Cordless grass shear

The 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Grass Shear from Makita is a compact and cordless solution for grass trimming and cutting. The grass shear has dual blade action and a wide 6-5/16 inch cutting width, and delivers faster blade speed (2,500 strokes per minute/SPM) than the previous model. Makita www.makita.ca

Stand on aerator

Toro recently introduced the all-new 24-inch stand on aerator. Built for the productivity demands of the busiest landscape contractor, the new model fits through a standard 36-inch gate and can reach ground speeds of up to 6.5 m.p.h.The new aerator optimizes power and hydraulics to ensure consistent core depths regardless of terrain and features a hydraulic valve to adjust operator weight and electronic depth control to maximize power. Toro www.toro.com

10 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


THE WORLD’S BEST-SELLING GARDEN HYDRANGEA. BOOM. (Or should we say bloom.)


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Minimalist style paver

Unilock has expanded its Artline product line with a new colour: Georgian Sunset Fusion. Artline’s long, clean lines are ideal for achieving a minimalist, modern outdoor design. With various sizes and now even more colors to choose from, various combinations can be created for greater graphic interest. Unilock www.unilock.com

Extreme terrain mower

The new Ferris SRS Z3X mower is built to handle high mowing speeds in wide open areas on extreme terrain, while offering productivity-enhancing agility. The soft ride stand-on Z3X’s lightweight design ensures faster starting and stopping, and has a centralized weight for quicker turning around tight corners.The SRS mower includes a standard-locking four-position speed control to help landscapers achieve a superior cut in a wide range of conditions, with either a 61-inch or 72-inch mower deck. Ferris www.ferrismowers.com

Power broom attachment

Stone cap module

The new Riviera Cap by Best Way Stone provides a smooth, contemporary surface complemented by a travertine finish. The 24-inch cap is bullnosed along one edge, making it ideal for poolside applications. Best Way Stone www.bestwaystone.com

Toro has released a new power broom attachment for its GrandStand Multiforce stand-on mower. The power broom is designed for clearing snow off sidewalks and driveways, as well as clearing debris or dethatching grass. The 55-inch power broom is designed for clearing snow down to the pavement, especially for properties that require zero snow accumulation. Toro www.toro.com

Decorative stone

The new one-inch decorative stone from Upper Canada Stone comes in chocolate and mocha marble, and can be used in garden beds, as a substitute for mulch or in pathway and driveway designs.  Upper Canada Stone www.uppercanadastone.com

12 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Lighter power broom

According to Shindaiwa, the new PowerBroom PS262 is the only unit on the market with an integrated gear case and a 40:1 gear ratio, providing fast switch-outs of the optional broom attachments. Magnesium powerhead construction makes this unit durable and 1.4-lbs. lighter than the PS344. Shindaiwa www.shindaiwa.ca

Seed and feed mix

Nutrite’s 10-2-5 Revive Complete Seed and Feed Mix provides three components in one bag to use as part of a regular fertility program to create a healthy environment for optimal turf growth. Nutrite www.nutrite.com

Diesel zero-turn mowers

Toro introduces the Z Master 7500-D Series diesel-powered commercial zero-turn mowers. This new series features side and rear discharge commercial cutting decks ranging from 60 to 96-inches for maximum productivity. Powered by a four-cylinder, 1.6 litre, 37-h.p. Yanmar engine, the new mowers can reach ground speeds of up to 12.5 m.p.h. Toro www.toro.com

Vacuum setter Slip resistant paver

The new Seville paver from Oaks Landscape Products has a modern style and subtly chamfered edges. Seville pavers are 80-millimetre thick and designed for moderate vehicular and pedestrian use. With a matrix washed aggregate finish exposing the natural beauty of granite, quartz and limestone, Seville Rectangle is suitable for applications where superior slip and skid resistance is a must. Oaks Landscape Products www.oakspavers.com 14 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

The Airlift from Pave Tech is a compact, lightweight backpack vacuum with five different interchangeable plates for slab and paver lifting. No compressor is needed for this easy to use, adjustable one or two man vacuum setter. Pave Tech/Probst www.pavetech.com


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Multi-attachment trimmer

The new Makita 18 Volt x2 (36 Volt) Cordless Multi attachment line trimmer power head is designed for versatility with a wide range of attachments for many lawn and garden applications that would normally require separate machines. There are currently 12 attachments available with more coming in the future. Makita www.makita.ca

Fire table

The Donoma Fire Table by Bosman Home Front is designed for balconies and smaller spaces, where traditional fires cannot be enjoyed. The propane tank is easily housed and stored underneath the table, or the fire table can be hooked-up to a natural gas line. Bosman Home Front www.bosman.ca

16 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Architectural slab

With a subtle texture and a palette of earth tones, creamy whites and marbled greys, the 80-mm Rialto architectural slab from Oaks Landscape Products is suitable for almost any outdoor living space including pool decks, patios, walkways and rooftop terraces. Available in three sizes, with a high solar reflectance to meet LEED requirements, and CarbonCure technology for sustainability, Rialto offers versatility in pattern design.  Oaks Landscape Products www.oakspavers.com

Loop sealant

BD-LG2 is a new, two-component polyurethane detector loop sealant from BD Loops that cures in both warm and freezing temperatures. It is designed for use on both asphalt and concrete pavement to provide a weather and chemical resistant waterproof seal. BD-LG2 effectively seals out moisture and provides a tough, durable seal. BD Loops www.bdloops.com


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Solar power system

Smartflower is a fully integrated, all-in-one solar power system that can produce 4,000-kWh per year for a home or business. NU-NRG Group www.nu-nrg.ca

Mowing deck

The Steiner Flex Deck FD800 quick attach mower for the Steiner 450 Articulated 4WD Tractor was designed by Lastec. According to Steiner, the mowing deck design ensures a smooth, professional cut on all types of uneven terrain. Steiner www.steinerturf.com

Wheeled blower

The new Billy Goat Force F10 wheeled blower is designed for medium-size maintenance contractors and large property owners. The 305-cc engine is self-propelled and its housing is smooth and round to eliminate air voids for a smooth, quiet, powerful flow. Billy Goat www.billygoat.com

Power wheel barrow

Low profile step system

The new Nueva Step from Oaks Landscape Products is the next generation of sleek design in a low-profile, modular step system. Designed for elegant transitions between elevations, Nueva Step is modular and compliant with accessibility requirements, and is manufactured with CarbonCure technology for sustainability. Oaks Landscape Products www.oakspavers.com

18 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Stinger’s new Go Barrow 9000 features a Honda engine and a smooth hydro transmission to increase hauling capacity, while reducing operator fatigue. The barrow’s wide single wheel design offers easy maneuverability in tight areas and load stability. Stinger Equipment www.stingerequipment.com


> The MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® TURF Airless Radial Tire. Exclusively for new and existing ZTrak™ 900 Series B, E, M and R zero-turn mowers.* Say goodbye to downtime, flats and patch kits. The MICHELIN X TWEEL TURF never needs air and keeps going, no matter what it runs across. With its unique construction, this revolutionary airless tire provides a smoother ride and a uniform cut. Plus it has a wear life that’s up to three times that of a pneumatic. See your John Deere dealer for a set of MICHELIN X TWEEL TURF tires for your ZTrak 900 Series mower.

Now available as an option with new QuikTrakª R Series models.

Keep Mowing *Approved for John Deere ZTrak™ Z900 B, E, M, or R Series gas powered zero-turn mowers equipped with 54”, 60” or 72” decks. Not recommended for use with Material Collection Systems. John Deere’s green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer symbol, and JOHN DEERE are trademarks of Deere & Company.MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® is a registered trademark, and MICHELIN® X® TWEEL® TURF Airless Radial Tire is a trademark, owned by Michelin North America, Inc. Johns Deere’s green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer symbol, and JOHN DEERE are trademarks of Deere & Company.

fr.JohnDeere.ca/Tweel JohnDeere.ca/TWEEL 72371


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Zero turn mower

Bob-Cat announced the addition of the XRZ Pro zero-turn mower to its RS series. Three models are available for the 2018 mowing season, featuring Kawasaki FX Series engines and a choice of 48, 52 or 61-inch mower decks.  The BobCat TufDeck Pro 10-gauge fabricated, welded and reinforced steel mower deck includes patented Double Wave baffle system for maximum vacuum and lift. Bob-Cat Mowers www.bobcatturf.com

Curved sectional

This new corner sectional from Bosman Home Front’s Deep Seating line maximizes space while creating an intimate and relaxed conversation setting. Bosman Home Front www.bosman.ca

Concrete barbeque

Designed for outdoor use, the unique, outdoor concrete barbeque from Ed’s Concrete Products features a stainless steel insert for charcoal grilling. Ed’s Concrete Products www.edsconcrete.com

Sod cutter

The Next Gen 18-inch Hydro-Drive Sod Cutter from Billy Goat is easy to operate and comfortable to use with variable ground speeds and intuitive controls. All new from the ground up, this unit is built with a newly-designed superstructure frame featuring 50 more pounds of steel and supports a robust new drive and cut system. Billy Goat www.billygoat.com

20 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

20 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


Form Follows Function Spilled Wine® Weigela florida ‘Bokraspiwi’ • pp#23,781, cbr#4655

A designer’s delight, Spilled Wine® weigela is a perfect ground covering - low growing, stays where you plant it, and requires little to no maintenance. With beautiful dark purple foliage that provides season-long color and a flock of hot pink, spring blooms, Spilled Wine® weigela proves that functional can also be beautiful. DEER-RESISTANT | ATTRACTS HUMMINGBIRDS | TOLERATES CLAY SOILS | PRUNE TO SHAPE AFTER SPRING FLOWERING 5’

SPILLED WINE® FULL TO PART SUN USDA ZONE 4, AHS 8 2-3' tall and wide

www.provenwinners-shrubs.com


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Inverter generator

The DP3500 is a new 3,500-watt gas-powered portable – 45 kilograms – inverter generator from Duradrive. The generator has a digital display meter and a recoil system, a 10-L gas tank as well as a dual voltage system and inverter. Duradrive www.duradrive.com

Debris loader

Billy Goat’s new DL3700V is the first 37 gross horsepower electronic fuel injection truck loader on the market, according to the company. The debris loader is driven by a Vanguard closedloop EFI Big Block, offering fuel savings of up to 25 per cent over carbureted equivalents, plus no choke, automotive-style starting, reduced emissions and improved cold weather starting. Billy Goat www.billygoat.com

Power wheel barrow

The new Makita Dual 18 Volt Power Assisted Wheelbarrow is a convenient solution for material transport on job sites. Makita brushless motors provide power for transporting up to 275 pounds of material, and have two speed settings, with a maximum speed of 2.5 m.p.h. on a 12-degree incline. Makita www.makita.ca

Turf colourant

Turf Mask is a non-toxic, water-based, permanent, and extremely concentrated colourant used to safely restore the appearance of natural grass. Ideal for home owners, landscapers, athletic directors, ground maintenance crews, real estate agents, pet owners, photographers and party planners. Available in original green and custom green colours including Southwest. The Mask Corporation www.themaskcorporation.com

Hot restarting trimmer

Shindaiwa’s new 25.4-cc M262 trimmer delivers 1.35-h.p.and has a durable chrome plated cylinder, two-ring piston design. Engine enhancements have delivered industry best hot restarting plus extended run times of up 26 per cent longer due to a larger fuel tank, according to the manufacturer. Shindaiwa www.shindaiwa.ca

22 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Cap module

Best Way Stone’s new Montana Cap provides a highly-detailed natural slate surface, finished on all four sides. The cap is offered in a 21-inch long wall unit and a 24 by 24-inch column unit. Best Way Stone www.bestwaystone.com


A

C B D

“BEAST OF A MOWER.”

FIG. 1

Beefed-Up Front End

PAUL LETHERMON Faith Lawn

A

2" x 3" pivoting front axle

C

5" steel hubs

B

ISO mounts

D

1/2" thick steel front yokes

(standard on the PRO Z 700 & 900 Series)

HEAVIEST DUTY. From frame to front yoke, every part of the PRO Z Series is designed to handle serious rigors. The thickness of the triple-7-gauge cutting deck establishes a new industry standard, while an all-around heavy-duty construction ensures this zero-turn will last for the long haul.

cubcadet.ca/pro


Those warm rays are almost here.


Be prepared. With spring right around the corner, now’s the time to get control of your landscape management business for good. Ditch the paperwork and use industry leading tools 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 golmn.com


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Battery-powered chainsaw

The new Makita 18V x2 16-inch cordless chainsaw has zero emissions, lower noise, and requires less maintenance than gas powered equipment. Powered by two 18V LXT batteries (sold separately) for maximum power, speed and run-time, the chainsaw utilizes the Makita outer rotor brushless motor with direct drive system. Makita www.makita.ca

Soil re-mineralizer

Iron Earth is a natural conditioner containing up to 76 organically earth bound elements to rejuvenate mineral deficient soil. Iron Earth www.ironearthcanada.com

Endless look paver

The Rinox Proma 3XL oversized paver – 32 by 48-inches – is ideal for driveway applications and creates an “endless” look. The new paver is available in nine different colour styles. Rinox www.rinox.ca

Power seeder

Stinger’s SuperSeeder 2400 features counterrotating blades to cut through the toughest of soil conditions, hydrostatic drive and a Honda GX390 engine. Stinger Equipment www.stingerequipment.com

Pallet fork frame

Bobcat Company introduces a new pallet fork frame, designed for handling materials of all shapes and sizes. The fork frame features an integrated walk-through design for easier operator entry and exit to and from the loader cab. In addition, the new design provides compact equipment operators enhanced visibility for picking and placing materials. Bobcat www.bobcat.com

26 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

26 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Irrigation/cable plow Blower rack

The BPS Xtreme Pro Series blower rack prevents theft with a patented steel securing bar. The rack is also built with 100 per cent steel for security and durability. Green Touch Industries www.trailerracks.com

DELIVERING SUPERIOR SOD AND QUALITY SERVICE

The SPX25 by Vermeer is designed for cable/fiber and irrigation contractors. The plow is operated with a fullfunction remote control that provides greater maneuverability in congested and tight jobsites. A 25-h.p. Kohler gas engine provides ample power for both plowing small pipes and cables at depths of 12-inches (30.5 cm) or less and boring underneath driveways and sidewalks. Vermeer www.vermeer.com

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Cooling jacket

REAL GRASS IS BETTER! HEALTHIER!

A new cordless cooling fan jacket has been introduced by Makita to provide a constant flow of air to improve sweat evaporation and maintain ideal body temperatures. The jacket features three air flow settings (low, medium and high) plus a turbo mode with LED indication. The turbo mode operates at maximum speed for about one minute when rapid cooling is desired. Makita www.makita.ca

Phone: 877-727-2100 17525 Jane St. | Kettleby, Ontario | L7B 0J6

28 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

www.zandersod.com 28 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Concrete levels

Milwaukee Tool recently introduced Redstick Concrete Levels. Built for concrete, the new levels offer a three-in-one solution for a variety of screeding and smoothing applications with a magnesium base and overall design that is easy to clean after the messiest concrete jobs. Milwaukee Tool www.milwaukeetool.com

Modern wall system

Manufactured with Best Way Stone’s DesignLoc surface refinement technology, the new Soho wall provides a smooth and detailed surface with vibrant and strategic colouring techniques. Offered in four different lengths, the Soho provides a modern vertical to hardscape designs. A corner unit is also available for columns and 90 degree turns. Best Way Stone www.bestwaystone.com

30 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Compact wheel loader

The new John Deere 344L compact wheel loader offers a faster travel speed with smooth auto shift technology up to 25 m.p.h. The machine also features the Articulation Plus steering system, which allows operators to lift more during turns. John Deere www.deere.ca

Compact excavator

The Takeuchi-US TB235 compact excavator has a four pump hydraulic system that delivers smooth multifunction operation without sacrificing performance. A spacious operator’s station with a deluxe high back suspension seat provides greater comfort, and a tilt-up operator’s platform enhances serviceability. Takeuchi-US www.takeuchi-us.com

Chiseled finish wall system

With a chiseled finish reminiscent of natural stone, Permacon’s Lamina Tandem Next wall works with the company’s Lamina masonry. The “Z” shaped veneer with invisible joints is available in three sizes. The new wall has the advantages of dry concrete, which means the colours will stay rich over time and the wall will maintain perfect dimensional stability, Permacon says. Permacon www.permacon.ca

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NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Wall system

Thew new U-CARA multi-face wall system from Unilock is comprised of Sure-Track backer blocks and fascia panels, which can be placed anywhere along the backer blocks, allowing for a variety of pattern and texture combinations. U-CARA fascia panels are available in a variety of sizes and textures – Umbriano finish, pitched face and smooth face. Unilock www.unilock.com

32 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Lightweight chainsaw

Echo’s new CS2511T top handle chainsaw is the lightest in North America (5.2 pounds) and 20 per cent smaller than the competition, according to the manufacturer. The clutch-driven oiler system comes equipped with a top-mounted adjustor. This design innovation not only avoids the clogging of dirt and debris but allows for precise oil flow depending on the job. Echo www.echo.ca


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Comfortable mower seat

The Walker Comfort Seat is custom-designed with increased seat area and added thigh support. It has improved seat bolstering and back profile for increased posture and support. The base cushion features Elastometric Vibration Control which increases comfort during operation. Walker www.walker.com

Wood-style porcelain

The Kronos Ceramiche Wood Side collection combines the natural irregularities of wood with the high performance of porcelain stoneware, offering a durable and versatile product. Kronos Ceramiche – Cercan Tile www.cercantile.com

MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |

33


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Suspended platform mower

Exmark now offers a suspended platform-equipped version of its Radius S- Series zero-turn riding mower. The suspended platform uses three coil-over dampers to isolate the cast aluminum operator platform from the mower chassis atop three inches of vertical travel. Available with a choice of 48-, 52- or 60-inch UltraCut Series cutting decks, or a 60-inch UltraCut Rear Discharge cutting deck, the machines are powered by an air-cooled 708-cc Exmark twin-cylinder engine with a heavy-duty canister air filtration system. Exmark www.exmark.com

Low cab forward truck

The new Isuzu Class 6 FTR truck utilizes a 4HK1-TC diesel engine and an Allison RDS 6-speed automatic transmission, and its eight wheelbases accommodate a multitude of body choices from 14-30 feet. Isuzu www.isuzutruck.ca

Oversized Paver

The Proma Quadra slab’s oversized dimension of 32 by 32-inches has been replicated as a 90-mm paver. Ideal for driveway applications, this large-sized, modern paver is available in eight colour styles. Rinox www.rinox.ca

34 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

34 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Inverter generator

Caterpillar recently introduced a portable inverter generator. Caterpillar engineers designed the Cat INV2000 with usability features, like an easy start switch, along with professional performance and safety features making it a versatile generator for contractors. Caterpillar will also offer a parallel kit, enabling users to connect two INV2000 units together to double power output. Caterpillar www.cat.com

Expanded paver colour

Unilock has added another colour to its Richcliff product line: Smoke Shale. Manufactured with EnduraColor Plus, Unilock’s exclusive enhanced colour process, Richcliff provides a colourfast and wear-proof finish. The paver line also features a realistic embossed surface that is cast from hundreds of natural stone surface textures to ensure a random natural appearance. Unilock www.unilock.com

CANADIAN SOLDIERS LIVE FOREVER CANADIANSOLDIERS SOLDIERSLIVE LIVEFOREVER FOREVER CANADIAN

Join us in planting 2 million trees along the 401 Highway of Heroes, a tribute to the men and women Join planting 2 million trees along the 401 Highway Heroes, awho tribute the men and women Join usus in in planting 2 million trees along 401 Highway ofof Heroes, a tribute toto the men and women who fought for Canada in our wars and athe living memorial to the 117,000 died for freedom. who fought Canada our wars and a living memorial the 117,000 who died freedom. who fought forfor Canada in in our wars and a living memorial toto the 117,000 who died forfor freedom. You can participate in honouring our military, protecting the environment and beautifying You can participate honouring our military, protecting the environment and beautifying North You can participate in in honouring our military, protecting the and beautifying North North America’s most travelled highway. Visit hohtribute.ca orenvironment call 905-875-0021 to get involved. America’s most travelled highway. Visit hohtribute.ca call 905-875-0021 get involved. America’s most travelled highway. Visit hohtribute.ca oror call 905-875-0021 toto get involved.

Illustration by Rick Jacobson Illustration by Rick Jacobson Illustration by Rick Jacobson

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NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 New paver colour

Unilock has added another colour to its Series 3000 product line: Golden Sand. The wide array of Series 3000 colour options are manufactured with EnduraColor Plus. Series 3000 pavers have a high-performance surface made from a combination of granite and quartz aggregates. Unilock www.unilock.com

Battery backpack blower

The new Stihl AR 1000 backpack blower uses lithium-ion batteries with large capacity for longer running times. The blower has sturdy housing with base and charge level indicator, a comfortable and ergonomic harness, and comes with a rain protection cover. Stihl www.stihl.ca

Mulch colourant

Mulch Mask is a non-toxic, waterbased, permanent and extremely concentrated colourant that safely restores the appearance of mulch landscape cover.  It can also be used to convert organic cedar mulch to a popular colour of your choice.  Available in black, red, brown. The Mask Corporation www.themaskcorporation.com

36 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

36 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


NEW PRODUCTS for 2018 Vehicle storage rack

The new Dewalt ToughSystem Van Racking Solution is a crash test-rated, space saving system design to efficiently transport ToughSystem cases from the workshop to jobsites. Dewalt www.dewalt.com

Beach style outdoor furniture

Bosman Home Front has added several new colour varieties to its lineup of outdoor furnishing. Weatherwood, grey-on-white and white-on-white are each designed to bring a fresh, clean and beachy feel to outdoor spaces. Bosman Home Front www.bosman.ca

Trimmer head

Load trimmer wire more efficiently with Easy Load Tap-N-Go trimmer heads, which do not require any disassembly. The heads can be retrofitted on existing grass trimmers. Deer Fence Canada www.deerfencecanada.ca

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Date:

Oct 16, 2017

37


roadtosuccess

Distinguish yourself I am always fascinated by different approaches to business. From the independent greenhouse operator who preaches — from the mountain top — that his plants are the best, yet leaves dead-pot mums on his bench for a month, to the clothing retailer who ensures all his shirt stock is meticulously organized. I am fascinated to the point that I speak with people in stores and shops all the time. I talk to owners, staff members, delivery people and customers. I love hearing their stories, their viewpoints and seeing if what they say correlates with what I see. There are five large grocery stores in my part of town. I was in one recently, picking out produce. The store manager was in produce as well, tidying up. I told him I thought his produce section was the best of the five stores. We got into a discussion on finding your market niche. He said, “I cannot compete on canned soup except with price. My Campbell’s mushroom soup is no different than anyone else’s. But I can distinguish our store from others by having a produce section that impresses people.” He was absolutely right. I select each of my tomatoes and oranges with the same care that I exercise when picking out impatiens. Our conversation made me think about our trade. How do we distinguish ourselves from the others? Our 3.8 cubic foot bale of peat moss is not any different than a box store’s bale. However, with hard goods, the box stores are anxious to compete on price only, driving quality down as they race to the bottom. Items such as weed cloth, are such poor quality at box stores as to be almost useless for the consumer. Our well being is predicated on being shameless hucksters, promoting the betterquality weed cloth we sell. In our ads, over the phone and in person, we need to show people our weed cloth will last 20 to 30 years. We need to have a sample of the poor quality weed cloth adjacent to our superior product, so people can inspect. Too often, we have al38 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

lowed our market share to slip away because we did not educate the consumer. We gave up because we could not price-match, when there is a market share that does not want the cheap stuff. I am fully cognizant we will never convince all consumers of our better quality, and thus higher price, but if we try hard enough, we can convince a profitable portion. We have to, as that is where our hope and our market share lie. Mercedes-Benz did not give up because there are cheaper cars all over the market place. When I shop for a new car I do not go looking for a cheap one. My student days are long past me and I want something nicer and, more importantly, I am willing to pay for that something nicer. Our plant benches need to be the grocery store equivalent of the produce section. This is where we get to shine and set ourselves apart. After all is said and written about quality, varieties and price, if we cannot make the people who enter our greenhouses say “wow!” in a very loud voice, then we have failed. I realize you already know the importance of the wow factor. That you are a reader tells me you have already been doing many things right, since you are still with us, when so many others have failed. I am writing only as a reminder, that the upscale approach is the right path. Let Walmart sell their $9.99 hanging baskets that were planted last week. They know their customer base, and their $9.99 price tag trumps the visual presentation. And while that visual presentation of a really bad hanging basket is repugnant to us, Walmart does sell them. Again, they know their customer base. Our local high-end clothing store has always sold only the best merchandise, with the attached higher price tag. Concerned over the cheaper shirts that were being offered elsewhere, they ordered some to sell on their own shelves. After a couple of months they removed them from the store. Why? No one

BY ROD McDONALD

was buying them. Their customer base was coming to them for the good stuff, not the cheap stuff. There was also a risk of alienating current customers with the lower-quality product. A customer could be led to believe that the store, the one they were loyal to and enjoyed shopping at, was changing its focus. That business of customers coming to us for the good stuff bit me in the butt many years ago. A garden centre operator was passing through our city, on his way home to Winnipeg from a holiday. He asked if he could drop by for a visit. No problem. Always glad to visit with other operators. I told him to come over to the garden centre around supper time, and we would order in Chinese food and watch the Rider game on television. Regina hospitality, right? When he walked into my place, he noticed I had gathered up 20 of my potted spruce, the “dogs,” and signed them for half price. He was surprised. I asked him what he did with his less-than-prime stock and he told me yes, he did sell them for a reduced price, but at the back of the garden centre rather than the front. “People are coming to us for the good stuff and here you are showing off your worst stock.” I wasn’t pleased with his observation and implied criticism, but then again, when we learn a valuable lesson or experience — a teaching moment as they are often called — we are challenged. Once my bruised ego had healed, I changed that display and never again placed discounted stock up front. Old dogs do learn new tricks. At conferences, we often discuss the importance of service. As a consumer in the marketplace, most of us of a certain age are astounded by the lack of personnel on the floor. And when we do find someone with a name tag, do they know anything about the product we are seeking? How many times have we heard, “I just started here two days ago” or “I don’t think we carry that,” only to find the product they said was not in stock only 20 feet away? The days are long gone of


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roadtosuccess walking into a department store and finding someone who can assist you knowledgably. I often tell the story of when I purchased my first house. It was early 1973. I needed a pot and pan set for my kitchen. I visited the kitchen department of a downtown department store and was greeted by a mature woman. I laugh at that description, mature, as I was 21 and she would have been in her 50s. The laughter emanates as I cash

my pension cheque. She asked me all of the right questions, how much I cooked, what I cooked and so on. She dissuaded me from purchasing a more expensive set and sold me the set best suited to my needs at that time. That was service then. She was a lifer at that department store and sold kitchenware to generations of families. Those levels of service, those sales people, are very difficult to find in today’s retail experience.

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We, the independent green trade, are one of the last vestiges of good service. We need to be promoting that old-school service we offer in a proud and loud manner. We need to advertise our people, our staff, who have been the backbone of our businesses for years. My friend, who is one of the owners of our local, independent electronics store, understands that only too well. Recently Audio Warehouse has had a video circulating on social media sites. It has been shared many times. It is not an in-your-face commercial. Rather, it is a video featuring all of their long time employees who have been with them for 20 to 40 years. On camera, they talk about coming to work at the store when they were just out of high school and staying for the rest of their lives. They do not talk about products, but about service and how they are selling to multiple generations and to extended families. It is a commercial for Audio Warehouse without the appearance of being a commercial. I watched it and found it fascinating. It is a story of great service in a time when service is rare. That is a model we need to emulate. That is the story we need to tell as we sell service. Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes and the other box stores don’t advertise service, as service costs money. They sell one thing and that is price. Let them have the price market. We will take the quality, service and selection part — but we have to sell it. Too often, we have sat back, almost resting on our laurels, assuming that each person entering our place already knows how wonderful we are. Not true. We have to distinguish ourselves in the marketplace. Each person has to be sold again and again. Distinguish yourself on the LT road 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.

40 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

40 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


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managementsolutions

Hiring better in 2018 Things have been good in our industry over the past few years, and many of us have carried last year’s success into 2018. Many contractors I’ve spoken to have already secured weeks, even months, worth of work, which is a great sign. However, the influx of work and opportunities also brings challenges — and for most contractors, the challenge will be finding and keeping the best possible people. We’re not just talking about field staff. More opportunity creates the need for help at almost every stage, including sales/design, operations management, fleet maintenance, as well as field crews and people who lead them. Many of us are experiencing the same struggles to attract and keep long-term, good talent. This spring, not only will that struggle continue, but it will likely get worse. Contractors are growing, and the labour pool seems to be shrinking. This year’s greatest battle against your competitors may not be about who lands the most, or the best, jobs. It may very well be who secures the best talent. With that in mind, here are a few ways you can help find and keep the best available candidates.

HIRE EARLIER A simple tip for hiring better this year is to start earlier. Sure, we all want to save money on payroll, and bring people on right when we need them, but think of the consequences. First, all your competitors are doing the same thing. You have less chance to win the best people when you are fighting for hires at the same time. And second, if your hires don’t turn out as well as you hoped, you are really stuck. Now you’re knee-deep in the busy season — all the good hires have been picked through and secured — and you’re too scared to change from your bad hire decision because there is no one decent left looking for work. All this and you have jobs starting, promises made and a schedule to keep! 42 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Consider putting a full-court press on hiring two to four weeks before you really need your staff. You can spend some time training (wouldn’t it be nice to have the time!) or even giving the new hires small jobs around the shop. Organizing the shop, trailers, or building systems around the yard will improve your efficiency for the rest of the season. Consider the extra payroll costs just like a head-hunting fee — you get what you pay for. A few weeks’ pay is worth locking up a productive, responsible employee.

SET UP A SKILLS TEST If you follow the advice above, you will have a week or more in the spring with more people on payroll than available work. So, set up a skills test for your new hires at your shop and yard. For maintenance hires, this could be a truck and trailer test on parking, connecting, inspecting and loading; a skills test (trimming, mowing, mower equipment knowledge); or even a find-the-problem-in-thispicture photo test. For install hires, set them up with a small project. Have them build something around the shop or yard, maybe a set of steps or a storage closet. Give them a design and see how they make out independently. For bonus points, insert some glitches into your design to see which candidates spot the problems, and how they react.

PRE-INTERVIEW CANDIDATES Consider the pre-interview: A tool that will likely save hours of time wasted in bad interviews, and a great way to filter out candidates who lack any serious interest or commitment. Create a pre-interview questionnaire and email it in response to every resume you receive, along with a deadline. Say, four days. Don’t worry about trying to analyze a person’s personality with tricky questions.

BY MARK BRADLEY

The objective is not to unlock deep secrets of the applicant’s likelihood of success or failure. Keep it real. Most companies would be happy finding an employee who: l Shows up for the interview. l Shows up to work for more than the first three days. l And is a good team player, puts in a fair day’s work, and thinks about how their daily work could be organized or performed better, faster or cheaper. A good, simple pre-interview can help you do just that. You are likely to find that many applicants won’t even respond. Perfect. Those are the same people who won’t

Company owners have to make this an industry in which people want to work.

show up for the interview. Or, they are the people who show up for the interview, get hired, then don’t show up for the second day of work. You just got rid of a bunch of headaches you don’t need. For those looking for a more thorough pre-interview, especially for office or management positions, consider tools like Sparkhire. com. You can set up online pre-interviews, allowing candidates to film answers using their smartphone or webcam. This way, you can do


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managementsolutions virtual pre-interviews of multiple candidates, and you can watch their video answers, helping you get a better sense of their personalities and communication skills. The best part is, you set up the interview once, and you can run multiple candidates through the same virtual interview. Hack the standard interview process and jump straight to the candidates that strike you as the most likely to succeed, while reducing your time interviewing by 50 to 90 per cent.

CONSIDER OFFERING MORE Most landscape contractors I know feel the emerging labour problem is the single biggest crisis facing our industry today. There is tons of work out there, but there are not enough reliable people ready and willing to perform the work. When creating your compensation package, consider the following: l Most jobs in landscape are seasonal with somewhat unreliable, fluctuating hours l Traditionally, landscaping has been one of the lowest-paying trades. l Most companies offer few (if any) benefits to help cover costs of health care, dental, or even retirement planning. l Most companies do not spend enough time and effort on training or building a culture where people enjoy what they do, and who they work with. l Most companies do not even treat their own positions as careers,

and then wonder why they can’t keep long-term employees. If you don’t onboard new staff properly, work with staff to map out and develop careers, offer continuing education and objective performance feedback — good staff are not going to stick around. If, as individual businesses and as a profession, we want to start attracting better talent to work in our field, then it is up to us to make this an industry in which people want to work. We are blessed to work in a trade that people actually love doing — gardening is one of the Top Ten hobbies in Canada. Plumbing and HVAC will never take that title from us! But landscaping has struggled to convert that interest and passion into reliable and rewarding careers. Take a long, hard pause and consider what your company can do this year to attract the best and brightest talents from this tight labour pool. It will likely cost you more in wages, but good hires will pay for themselves ten times over with: l Better and faster execution. l More responsibility and higher accountability. l Better care of equipment and client property. l Better training and mentoring of the workers they manage. l Years of loyalty, stability, consistency — and best of all — years of knowledge and experience embracing your company’s culture, values and experience. This most important deliverable will allow you to, one day, step back gracefully from day-to-day operations, while it continues to reward you for the years of dedication, risk and hard work you put in while you built the business.

HAVE A LITTLE FUN Company barbecues are a good step, but maybe it is time to inject something more as well. Maybe a field trip to an event, like a sports game or axe throwing. Take lots of pictures. Add pictures of your people and your company culture to your website; your site should reflect a place where people want to work. It will help your sales, too. People want to do business with great people and great companies. Give more information, more responsibility, and more timely feedback. There is a lot of information circulating about Millennials and how to manage them. Our industry can take some simple lessons away: l People want more creativity and autonomy. Give them clear goals and the responsibility to achieve them. l People want more transparency and information. Turn jobs into a game. If staff know the expectations and know exactly where they stand at all times, work turns into a bit of game to beat the goals. When you’re beating your goals, you feel more fulfilled LT at your job.

Mark Bradley is CEO of LMN, based in Ontario.

44 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

44 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


legalmatters

The potential lien for maintenance work in Ontario — and beyond BY ROB KENNALEY AND JOSH WINTER

Landscape contractors and subcontractors in Canada have grappled, for many years, with whether or not they have lien rights for the services and materials they provide. Historically in this regard, Canadian Courts have generally found services such as snow removal and grass-cutting do not amount to an “improvement” and do not give rise to lien rights, although there is not as much clarity in the law as we might like. Construction lawyers, in addressing the issues, have generally drawn a distinction between actual construction (which is considered lienable) and maintenance (which is not). Conventional wisdom, we would say, is that you will have lien rights if you lay sod or install pavers but would not have lien rights if you merely cut the grass or plow the snow. The distinction is not as clear as it could be,

however, and there are a litany of other services that have been the topic of debate. Recently in Ontario, in US Steel Canada Inc., Re, 2016, the Court considered a case where US Steel Canada entered into a landscape contract with a contractor whereby the contractor would provide landscape services to the site three days a week. A dispute in relation to payment arose and the contractor subsequently registered a lien against the land and commenced an action. A question arose as to whether the work done or materials supplied amounted to an “improvement” under the Act. The Court found the following supply of goods and services gave rise to lien rights: (a) the adding of soil and the supply of 15 flower plants; (b) spraying for weeds where

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46 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

the contractor provided their own material; and (c) removing weeds, spreading dirt and gravel, and installing filter cloth. The Court went one step further and even suggested “grounds keeping” would give rise to lien rights. This because, strictly speaking, grounds keeping amounts to an alteration or repair of the land under the applicable definition of “improvement” under Ontario’s Construction Lien Act. The case has opened the door for landscape maintenance contractors in Ontario to argue that their services should be considered lienable. The case might also be used to support similar arguments in other jurisdictions. The decision might also lead to confusion. Should the addition of top soil or mulch, as part of regular maintenance, be considered an addition, alteration, or repair to the land? Further confusion might arise if we look beyond the landscape trades. Take, for instance, the contractor who installs a pool. Clearly, the installation of the pool will give rise to rights, and filling the pool with water and chlorine, etc., before it is turned over would be part of that work. It is not so clear, however, that the pool company who returns to open the pool in the spring should have lien rights for adding water and chemicals, even though it is arguable it has altered the land. This type of work is generally viewed to be maintenance work which does not give rise to lien rights. In Ontario, the legislature has decided to address the confusion as part of the Construction Lien Act Amendment Act, 2017 which was passed into law on December 12, 2017. When its substantial changes come into force, Ontario’s Construction Lien Act will become the “Construction Act.” One of these will be to change the definition of improvement to 46 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


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legalmatters include a “capital repair,” and to further exclude from the definition work performed in order to prevent the normal deterioration of the land, building, structure or works or to maintain the land, building, structure or works in a normal, functional state. The change to the definition of improvement goes to the heart of the matter. Under the new legislation, it appears general grounds keeping, including grass cutting, weeding, spraying and snow removal, for example, will not give rise to lien rights in Ontario because it is performed to prevent the normal deterioration of the land or is done to maintain the land in a functional state. The changes will not be implemented until they are proclaimed into force at a later date. Even then, they will be transitioned into effect over time. In the meantime, maintenance contractors in Ontario can point to the case to support a claim for maintenance lien rights. Although maintenance contractors may

prefer the result of the Ontario case, the legislative change is consistent with the industry’s general understanding of the difference between maintenance and improvement. Additionally, we must not underestimate the seriousness of the lien. A lien ties up an individual’s land and places obligations and burdens in relation to the flow of funds. From this perspective, the clarity provided by the legislation makes some sense. Still, in jurisdictions outside Ontario, maintenance contractors may want to consider the extent to which the arguments made in the Ontario case might be made to establish lien rights in relation to maintenance activities. We should also comment, in a more general way, on the forthcoming changes to Ontario’s lien legislation. As we have written elsewhere, these will most likely have a greater impact on the construction industry in Ontario than anything else that has occurred since the Second World War. Most

significant will be the prompt payment requirements and adjudication procedures set out in the new Construction Act. These are designed to help trades and contractors get paid in a timely fashion and at substantially reduced expense. Other significant changes include new lien procedures, more flexible lien limitation periods and enhanced trust obligations. Ontario’s CNLA members are certainly encouraged to put systems in place to manage, and take advantage of, the changes. While the legislation will provide better and more efficient ways to get paid, the procedures themselves contain strict and short timeframes that must be adhered to. In addition, the scheme of the changes will require trades and contractors to prepare for disputes before they happen. We will be writing and speaking on these topics extensively in the following months and Ontario’s members are encouraged to learn more through these, or other, sources. In addition, CNLA members across the country should be aware the Ontario changes are being, and will be, looked at nation-wide. Certainly, the potential for prompt payment and adjudication procedures in other jurisdictions is LT worthy of discussion.

Rob Kennaley and Josh Winter are lawyers with Kennaley Construction Law, a construction law firm with offices in Simcoe, Toronto and Barrie, Ont. Members of the firm speak and write regularly on construction law and contract issues. For comment, or for more information, please see the firm’s website and blog, at kennaley.ca. This material is for information purposes and is not intended to provide legal advice in relation to any particular fact situation. Readers who have concerns about any particular circumstance are encouraged to seek independent legal advice in that regard.

48 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

48 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES


industrynews Van Belle Nursery nets two international awards Van Belle Nursery won the Gold medal in Young Plants and Silver in Finished Plants categories at the 2018 International Grower of the Year (IGOTY) Awards, hosted by The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) in Essen, Germany. The annual ceremony takes place during IPM Essen, touted as the world’s leading trade fair for horticulture. The stage has recognized exceptional achievement in the horticultural industry since 2009 and Van Belle Nursery is the first company to win multiple categories in a single year. The Abbotsford, B.C.-based wholesale grower and propagator of ornamental plants became eligible for IGOTY when they were named Canadian Grower of the Year in 2016.

More interaction and excitement than ever at Congress ’18 Landscape Ontario’s Congress once again saw strong attendance numbers, with nearly 14,000 landscape professionals visiting Canada’s

Van Belle Nursery was awarded International Grower of the Year for 2018 in two categories.

premier green industry trade show and conference Jan. 9-11 at the Toronto Congress Centre. The 45th edition of the show featured over 600 exhibitors across each sector of the profession, marking a sold-out show floor.

“The attendee experience at Congress just gets better and better every year, as exhibitors create interesting and imaginative ways to engage visitors to their booths,” said show manager Heather MacRae. “Whether it was through

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Congress ’18 offered attendees an imaginative and interactive experience.

virtual reality and technological experiences, or creative games, this was an exciting Congress to be at.” Congress ’18 was highlighted by the Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence ceremony, held on Jan. 9. Toronto, Ont.-based Landscape Plus Limited received the Dunington-Grubb Award for the highest overall score in the construction categories; Roger Wills Contracting won the Casey van Maris Award, given to the project awarded the highest marks for execution of unique and innovative design in landscaping; and Urban Garden won the Don Salivan Award, which recognizes top marks in the maintenance categories. The event also featured live events on the show floor including: Drive Live! with police officers outlining vehicle and trailer safety regulations; Hardscape Live! with new presenter Frank Bourque; and the new Green Live!, a partnership between LO and the International Society of Aboriculture Ontario (ISAO), which demonstrated professional tree planting and maintenance techniques. Next year’s Congress will take place Jan. 8-10, 2019, at the Toronto Congress Centre.

Silver screen theme at Canada Blooms 2018 The silver screen will serve as inspiration for landscape professionals at Canada Blooms, Toronto’s flower and garden festival, March 9-18, 2018 at the Enercare Centre. Canada Blooms was founded in 1996 by the Garden Club of Toronto and Landscape Ontario. Today, it is the largest flower and garden festival in the country, celebrating the very best in Canadian gardening and floral design. Co-located with the National Home Show, the festival sees some 200,000 visitors each year. For 2018, there are several new elements that will receive increased attention, explains Terry Caddo, the festival’s general manager. “We are very excited to highlight balcony gardens at the festival this spring, as well as the Plants of the Year program in collaboration with Proven Winners.” Caddo says the festival generates over $7.5 million in promotional media for the landscape profession each year, while visitors of the festival are expected to spend a combined $785 million on their home and yard in the 12 months following their visit. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.canadablooms.com. MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |

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THE BEST OUALITY

MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |

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industrynews specific pest and disease notes. Currently, trees hardy as far north as USDA Zone two and as far south as Zone 6 have been included.

This first-of-its-kind project creates a highly accurate tool for breeders looking to provide new solutions to the industry in Impatiens. “Genome sequencing and assembly not only provides a more efficient approach to breeding and plant trait identification, but it provides a deeper understanding of our products and their ultimate potential in the marketplace,” says Matt Mouw, Chief Technology Officer for

Ball and KeyGene uncover impatiens genome sequence Chicago, Ill.-based Ball Horticultural Company and KeyGene announced the successful sequencing and assembly of the Impatiens walleriana genome.

Vineland’s newest online tool to help growers and green industry professionals.

Online tool promotes tree success Poor soil content, improper management practices and incorrect tree species selection are chronic problems. Tree replacement is costly, reducing the social and ecological benefits of a greener landscape. Vineland Research and Innovation Centre of Vineland, Ont., has launched greeningcanadianlandscape.ca, featuring a soil remediation calculator and tree species selector. The soil remediation calculator is user-friendly, offering access to instantly generated reports. The tree species selector draws on a broad species database, generating optimal tree selection recommendation based on user criteria. Although tree selections are currently suited to eastern Canada, with Ontario-specific pest and disease notes, efforts are under way to customize the website for central Canada with Alberta-

Garden honours educator John Higgins

Atlantic Association of Landscape Designers, and was instrumental in developing landscape designer certification. A cooperative design effort by AALD members, as well as volunteer and student participation and sponsorship contributions made the tribute garden a reality. The Truro, N.S., garden was dedicated in October. — Jackalyn Darling

A new garden at Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus, formerly Nova Scotia Agricultural College, honours the memory of John Higgins, longstanding professor in the Landscape Horticulture Technology Program. Higgins inspired students from 1978-1998, was a founding member of the

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Hybrid varieties, which feature unique flower forms and plant habits. The Moss Landing, Calif. -based Golden State Bulb Growers has bred begonias for over 100 years and has achieved breakthroughs culminating in unique, free flowering, multi-branched plants, with some of the largest blooms on the market today.

PanAmerica is now the owner of the On Top begonia lines.

Ball. The project has already led Ball’s breeding teams to better utilize significant key plant genes, specifically, genes that confer high resistance to Impatiens Downy Mildew (IDM).

Excel industries name new CEO Excel Industries, a manufacturer of commercial and residential turf equipment sold under the Hustler and BigDog Mower brand names, announced the retirement of president and chief executive officer Paul Mullet. Joseph C. Wright joined Excel Industries as CEO on February 12, 2018. Mullet’s decision to retire comes after 45 years with Excel Industries, serving as president and CEO since 1991. He will remain actively engaged through March, assisting with Wright’s transition. Mullet also will continue to serve on the company’s Board of Directors, a role he has held since 1983. Founded in 1960 and based in Hesston, Kan., Excel Industries is a leading manufacturer of premium commercial and residential turf equipment. Excel introduced the world’s first zero-turn mower under the Hustler brand in 1964. Excel Industries and its affiliates have a global distribution network of more than 2,500 U.S. retailers and 25 distributors worldwide.

Nutrite to offer Anuvia Plant Nutrients products in Canada Guelph, Ont.-based Nutrite is partnering with Anuvia Plant Nutrients to add GreenTRX Turf Nutrient to its product portfolio. The company describes GreenTRX as “an enhanced-efficiency, multi-nutrient, slow-release specialty fertilizer that delivers fast deep greening to turf.” Nutrite adds, “[the product] delivers plant nutrition when plants need it most – releasing 65 per cent of its nutrients in the first two to three weeks and the balance providing feeding for up to eight weeks.” Anuvia Plant Nutrients, headquartered in Zellwood, Fla., manufactures enhanced efficiency fertilizers (EEF) for the turf and agricultural industries.

Star Roses launches Kordes website Star Roses and Plants, the exclusive agent in the U.S. and Canada for Kordes garden roses, has recently launched a new website, kordes.

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PanAmerican Seed acquires new begonia lines Chicago, Ill.-based PanAmerican Seed has purchased the begonia product lines from Golden State Bulb Growers, one of the oldest growers and breeders of tuberous begonias in North America. The acquisition includes genetics of released varieties, breeding rights and seed bank, intellectual property, and marketing assets for the commercial AmeriHybrid and On Top begonia product lines. “The begonia class continues to grow in popularity among consumer and landscape markets. This investment to build on our PanAmerican Seed begonia offering will widen our reach in this important segment of the industry,” said Anne Leventry, president of PanAmerican Seed. There are currently more than 50 Ameri-

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The new website, kordes.us, will showcase an extensive collection of roses.

us to showcase “the most beautiful roses in the world.” The website features Kordes varieties and collections including Kolorscape, Eleganza, and Veranda. “Kordes has a complete portfolio of genetics covering all rose categories and we realized the need to be able to share them in one location with our licensees, growers, and retailers,” says Jacques Ferare, Rose Program and License Department Director. LT MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES |

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cnlanews Retail Horticulturist training moves online

CNLA to manage COPF royalty collections

Garden Centres Canada is thrilled to announce Landscape Industry Certified Retail Horticulturist training will be moving to an online format in 2018. The program is comprised of 13 modules that contain core readings, videos, and presentations to give participants comprehensive knowledge of the profession. The modules can be taken at one’s own pace and in any order desired. Once a module is completed, a short online quiz shows immediate results, allowing the student to improve on any questions that may have caused trouble. After all modules have been completed, candidates can schedule a written test, followed by a performance evaluation. When ready, the online course will be available from anywhere, at any time. Hopefully this new program will increase the level of knowledge and performance for all team members. The program is currently in testing, and will be piloted in a few provinces before being released to the rest of the country.

The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) and the Canadian Ornamental Plant Foundation (COPF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that would transfer management of COPF’s royalty collection and disbursement functions to CNLA, effective early in 2018. This agreement replaces the announcement made by COPF in January 2017, that the Foundation intended to cease business operations. According to CNLA Research Committee chair Vic Krahn, “We believe we can structure a business model that would generate funds to be allocated to the sector’s research priorities. In turn, those funds would be leveraged to obtain additional government funding.” CNLA and COPF encourage their members to prepare questions and then contact them so all concerns can be addressed. Comments from CNLA members should be addressed to Rita Weerdenburg, rita@cnla-acpp.ca.

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The Canadian Garden Council has announced Garden Days 2018 will start on June 16, National Garden Day, and run until June 24. What better way to celebrate the beauty of gardening, then by celebrating it with all provinces across the country? Garden Days is all about promoting the benefits of Canadian gardens, and incorporating gardening activities as integral components of the community. It’s never too early to register your activity or promotion on gardendays.ca and it’s free. Registrants receive the Garden Days Official Activity logo immediately, which can be used in promotions.

Company accreditation program Congratulations to four companies that have achieved the Landscape Industry Accredited Company designation since the program was launched last year: Thornbusch Landscaping, Ontario Para Space Landscaping, British Columbia Hank Deenen Landscaping, Ontario Price Landscaping Services, New Brunswick

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Garden Days promotes the benefits of incorporating gardening activities in communities. Visit gardendays.ca for more information.

We expect many more companies to take advantage of this great program to set themselves apart as leaders in the profession. Accredited companies focus on Landscape Industry Certification as a cornerstone of their business practices, conduct their business affairs responsibly, value community and customer relations, and maintain high standards of workmanship and environmental stewardship in residential and commercial settings. In recognition of their commitment to ex-

cellence, the Landscape Industry Accredited Company “Seal of Approval” is awarded to successful applicants who meet superior industry standards (which are verified during the application process), agree to the Pledge of Excellence, and submit to a customer reference verification. The seal requires reaccreditation every three years.  Paul Doornbos CLT CLM, president and CEO of Thornbusch Landscaping, said, “Company accreditation is simply the culmination and vali-

dation of the emphasis we have put on training, development and overall professionalism of our company. It is recognition from the profession that what we believe in, and the way in which we conduct our business, is to be aspired to. For our clients, it is one of the reasons they have retained our services. It now has a name within our profession and it means that we have another item to promote and differentiate ourselves when presenting to clients. We have always believed we want to stand out and not blend in; being an accredited company enables us to do that.” For more information, please visit cnla.ca/ training/landscape-industry-accreditation/ or contact Jason Young at 1-888-446-3499 ext. 8620, or email jason@cnla-acpp.ca. LT

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

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advertisers where to find it COMPANY

PAGE WEBSITE

A.M.A. Plastics Ltd 16, 44 Allstone Quarry Products Inc. 51 Atlas Polar Company Ltd 31 Bailey Nurseries 11 Banas Stones Inc 13 Beaver Valley Stone Limited 37 Best Way Stone Limited 27 Bobcat Company 15 Coivic Specimen Trees 54 Cub Cadet Pro 23 Exmark Manufacturing Co Inc 41 Ferris Industries 47 Gateway Chevrolet Buick GMC 17 Gravely 29 Gro-Bark (Ontario) Ltd 30 Hino Motors Canada 45 Horst Welding 53 Isuzu Commercial Trucks of Canada Inc 50 John Deere Limited 19 LMN 24, 25 Miska Trailers 59 National Leasing 40 Neudorff North America 39 Oaks Landscape Products 2 Pave Tech 20, 26, 34 Permacon Group Inc 60 PRO Landscape by Drafix Software 48 Proven Winners ColorChoice 21 Rinox Inc 49 Stihl Limited 5 Techniseal 43 Thames Valley Brick & Building Products Ltd 55 Timm Enterprises Ltd 46 Turf-Shark Fertilizer Inc. 54 Unilock Limited 9 Winkelmolen Nursery Ltd 36 WPE Equipment (Windmill) 32, 33 Zander Sod Co Ltd 28

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CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING: All ads must be pre-paid by credit card. Rates: $62.15 (HST included) per column inch (approx. 25 words). Min. charge $62.15. Deadline: 10th day of the month prior to issue date. Space is limited to a first-come, first-served basis. To advertise: E-mail your ad to Robert at classifieds@ landscapeontario.com. Website ads: $67.80 for association members and $90.40 HST for non-members.

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events March 6-9 The Work Truck Show, Indianapolis, Ind. www.worktruckshow.com March 9-18 Canada Blooms, Toronto, Ont. www.canadablooms.com April 14-19 California Spring Trials, www.springtrialsregistration.com April 27- May 6 Arbor Week June 16-24 Garden Days www.gardendays.ca June 19-21 Salon du Vegetal, Nantes, France. www.salonduvegetal.com/pro/en/ June 26-29 SIMA Snow and Ice Symposium, Cleveland, Ohio www.sima.org June 24-26 2018 GCA Summer Tour, Seattle, Wash. www.gardencentersofamerica.com July 14-18 Cultivate ‘18, Columbus, Ohio www.cultivate18.com August 5-8 ISA International Trade Show and Conference, San Francisco, Calif. www.isa-arbor.com August 14-16 Independent Garden Show, Chicago, Ill. www.igcshow.com August 22-24 Plantarium, Boskoop, Holland. www.plantarium.nl August 22-24 The Far West Show, Portland, Ore. www.farwestshow.com

LT


Congress ’18

Where the green profession met 13,944

44%

attendees!

38%

34%

of attendees look for advice and education

33%

of attendees stated that visiting exhibits influences purchase items

save the date! Congress ’19

2019 9,10 11

42% attended for education

of all attendees look for new products

attended for networking events

56%

will purchase from a vendor within 6 months

#LOcongress is our event hashtag!

JANUARY

@GrandRiverStone

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TORONTO CONGRESS CENTRE, TORONTO, ONTARIO

Well, we all had a blast at the 2018 Landscape Ontario Congress! It was chock full of new products, friendly faces, and impressive booths.

Thank you #LOCongress for another great year! Make sure to review the business solutions available to your business this year. #LinkGreen #b2b #solutions @LOevents

FEATURING GARDEN EXPO AND FENCECRAFT

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Canada’s Premier Green Industry Trade Show and Conference

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mentormoment

Price for prosperity Jim Mosher launched Landscape Plus of Toronto in 1984, with a passion for design, professional workmanship and natural, often reclaimed, materials. He has grown the business into a sought-after and recognized company. At the Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence ceremony in January, Jim and his team won the Dunington-Grubb Award, for the construction project with the highest overall score. Jim and Landscape Plus are enthusiastic community supporters, involved in several charities, including the Fight to End Cancer. What sets a landscape company apart? One thing we have at LP now is sort of Simon Sinek stuff, a really strong sense of “why” we do what we do. I’ve worked really hard to develop that with myself and also with our people. So we get to take Jim Mosher properties that people already love, but perhaps sense something is missing. And we get the opportunity to make the spaces even better, and it’s really satisfying; it’s fun, it’s a buzz, we get to be the problem-solvers and the creators — and it’s exciting. I think that excitement is really palpable to clients; they can feel it and see it. What have been your most significant career challenges? You start into the business to make some money and because it’s what you know — it’s sort of like the summer job that never ended. And there was this assumption, at least by me, that because you know all about the tasks, that you know something about the business, and no one will be able to understand or get inside the business if they don’t know the tasks. I learned that thinking is fundamentally wrong. Whether it be clients or employees, everyone sees the world differently and makes decisions in different ways. And if I’m going to have any point of contact, trust or understanding of these people, I need to adapt my behaviour and present information in a way they can digest and understand. That took a lot of work, because I would often dismiss people or ideas as flat-out wrong. However, if you’re going to manage and inspire people, or if you’re going to sell, you had better look at yourself first.

58 | MARCH 2018 | LANDSCAPE TRADES

Why is the numbers side of the business so important? As a business owner, I can’t stress the importance of understanding true costs enough. Our goal is to create inspired, beautiful work. We also need to create a platform that can sustain our staff with living wages in one of the most expensive cities in the country, while providing opportunities for their growth, as well as the company’s. We also want to use the business as a platform for doing good things in our community, because if we’re waiting for government to solve all our problems, we will wait a long time. None of these things can happen, unless we are on top of the numbers. So understanding that you have your hourly rates and your office overhead, the material costs and your insurance, and so on and so forth, then applying margins and having the confidence to go out and sell — numbers are critical. It’s your responsibility. If you’re going to create a business, put people on your team and have them buy in, you need to know those basic fundamentals or you’re doing those people a disservice. Often in our industry, I can’t help but think that people aren’t good at math. The line between costs and revenues will one day meet, and then you’re done, and all your people are done. Our industry needs to learn how to cost. The disparity between quotes coming in for jobs is just unbelievable sometimes. I think the mistake is that people start at what they think the price should be, and work backwards. You have to start at the base, and then work up to establish price. Don’t establish a price and then squeeze everything else down, including your employees, to maintain what you believe the market will tolerate. If you work the right way, you start at the building blocks of wages and salaries, and all your costs, and work your way up to arrive at a number that is real for your business. Now, you have the basis for a business with inspired staff and quality work, and at the end is a sales problem or challenge. That’s what you need to focus on, not squeezing the low guy, but figuring out how to present your business and your LT work in such a way that you can achieve sales.

Do you have a favourite mentor to recommend, or a question to suggest? Please write to editor@landscapetrades.com.


TA N D E M NEXT

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March 2018 Landscape Trades  

New products and services for green professionals in 2018

March 2018 Landscape Trades  

New products and services for green professionals in 2018