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Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association

Adapt Adapting to Thrive 9 Adapting to Trends requires Flexibility & Leadership 13 ProGreen Offers Valuable Results 16 Thriving with Tree Production Adaptations 23 Member Profile: Green Spot Inc.

Volume 29 • Number 1 • January/February 2011

Growers of Ornamental Grasses and Perennials Bringing the highest grade of product and selections to the horticulture industry. Ornamental Grasses and Perennials are our specialty, but our focus is to our customers! Contact us at 866-948-2014 Southwest Farms Inc. 214 39th Lane • Pueblo, CO 81006

Our Mission Professionals growing for a better tomorrow... your growing resource. Cover Photo Credit: Trees of Corrales, N.M.

In This Issue 5 2011 Calendar & Classified Ads


7 Message from the Board

8 CNGA – A Member-Driven Organization: Improved Magazine, Website, & Certification

How Growers have adapted Tree Propogation


CSU Update: Multi-Site Woody Plant Trials

Adapting to Trends requires Flexibility & Leadership


Northern Colorado Tree Growers Tour



25th Think Trees Conference in Albuquerque

Keys to Adapting to Trends


New CNGA Members



Safety Corner: Safety Cuts Don’t Save

Trends in the Green Industry


Member Profile: Green Spot Inc.


2011 Trees for Education



Take Advantage of the Networking and Training at ProGreen

Board Of Directors Kent Broome, President Bailey Nurseries, Inc. 303.823.5093 Dan Gerace, Vice President Welby Gardens 303.288.3398 Bill Kluth, Secretary/Treasurer Tagawa Greenhouse Enterprises, LLC 303.659.1260 x205 Les Ratekin, Past President Ratekin Enterprises 303.670.1499

Stan Brown Alameda Wholesale Nursery 303.761.6131

Monica Phelan Phelan Gardens 719.574.8058

Matt Edmundson Arbor Valley Nursery 303.654.1682

Davey Rock Picadilly Nursery 303.659.2382

Tom Halverstadt Country Lane Wholesale Nursery 303.688.2442

Terry Shaw Harding’s Nursery, Inc. 719.596.6281

Bob Heath RRH, Inc. 303.904.3330

Dr. James Klett, Ex-Officio Member CSU Dept. of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture 970.491.7179

Warren Jordan Jordan’s Greenhouse 970.482.4471 Bob Lefevre James Nursery Company 303.288.2424

Publishing Info Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association 959 S. Kipling Pkwy., Ste 200 Lakewood, CO 80226 303.758.6672 or 888.758.6672 Fax: 303.758.6805 The LooseLeaf is produced by CNGA and Millbrook Printing Company 3540 West Jefferson Hwy Grand Ledge, MI 48837-9750 Fax: 517.627.4201 www.colorado

Sharon R. Harris, Executive Director Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association 303.758.6672



Sharon R. Harris Executive Director Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association 303.758.6672

Kent Broome

Sharon R. Harris

Marty Ida

Tanya Ishikawa

Marion Jones

Dr. Jim Klett

Gene Pielin

Laura Pottorff

Les Ratekin

Amy Statkevicus

The LooseLeaf is edited by Tanya Ishikawa of Buffalo Trails Multimedia Communications Visit for classified advertisements, plant publications, upcoming events, a member directory, and much more!

Bryan Suhr

advertising info Rick Haverdink 3540 West Jefferson Hwy Grand Ledge, MI 48837-9750 Fax: 517.627.4201


The market has changed...our trees haven’t Flowering Shrubs • Junipers Ornamental Grasses • Vines • Perennials Container-Grown Shade & Fruit Trees since 1957

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162 Glendale Road • Bellevue, Idaho 83313 • Find us at the 2011 ProGreen Expo, Booth # 1724


LooseLeaf January/February 2011


calendar CNGA Annual Banquet

ProGreen Expo Tuesday-Friday, February 8-11

Thursday, February 10, 5 to 9 p.m.

Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colo.

Katie Mullen’s Irish Restaurant and Bar, Denver, Colo.

Attend this important annual event to experience, learn, and network in one location with 650+ vendor booths, 6,000 buyers, and 123 seminars. The Early Bird Registration Deadline for discounted pricing on exhibitor booths and seminars is January 15. Find detailed information and register online at To have your questions answered, contact the following: General — info@, 800-397-6665; Seminars — 720-748-4872, fax: 303-474-6656; Exhibitors — 303-756-1079, fax: 303-341-0282. (See related article on pages 13–15.)

We’ll be celebrating in the Irish way with fantastic fare and libations! Enjoy your choice from Katie Mullen’s inventive mix of Irish and American dishes with this full course meal, including appetizers. Soak up the classy, modern Irish pub atmosphere during happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. with a cash bar. Thank you to our sponsors, Alameda Wholesale Nursery, Pinnacol Assurance, and Tagawa Greenhouse Enterprises! Foundation Bowling Fundraiser Friday, February 25, 5 to 7 p.m. Brunswick Bowling, Lakewood, Colo. You are encouraged to attend two hours of unlimited bowling for $25 per person including shoes, pizza, and soda. Your participation supports scholarships and research in the horticultural industry. Bring your employees, family, and friends. Sign up today!

classified ADS JOB OPENINGS:

Nursery Manager

Nursery Sales Associate Silver Sage Garden Centers is looking for a full-time Sales Associate for the 2011 season. At least two years of previous sales experience is required. We are a fast-growing, full service, retail/wholesale garden center located in Littleton, Colo. Please e-mail resume to Grounds/ Wholesale Foreman Nursery & Garden Center in Parker, Colo. looking for a Grounds/ Wholesale Foreman. Must have previous nursery experience. Bilingual a plus! Please send resume to or call Angie @ 303-841-3009.

Nursery Manager with good experience will train an assistant manager. Nursery is a wholesale, retail, garden center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Send resume to 1521 W. Cucharras, Colorado Springs, CO 80904; attention Don; or call 719-633-8218 in the evening. Leave a message if no answer. Grower Are you proactive, analytical, fast paced, and detail oriented? Arbor Valley Nursery is a 30-year-old company looking to add talent to continue growth above and beyond industry and economic standards. For more information on the position, see the 9-16-2010 posting online at To apply, go to



Growing Facilities And Office Building For Lease

Alpha One, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 American Clay Works & Supply Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Baxter Wholesale Nursery, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

CNGA offers free posts and searches of our online classified ads, including items for sale or lease and job openings. For more information and to see current postings, visit the Industry Professional side of and click on Classifieds under the Resources tab.


Bron & Sons Nursery Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Carlton Plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Circle D Farm Sales, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Offered by Boxelder Creek Nurseries, LLC, including offices, shop, 138 hoophouses, 4 greenhouses, 21 irrigated acres for B&B, and 12-acre container area; plus employee housing, loading dock, irrigation injection system, potting facility, sprinkler system, covered storage areas, and high speed internet access (T-1) available. Located five miles east of I-76 in Lochbuie, Colo. Call Mike J. at 303-503-5898. To see details including square footage, photos, and a map, go to the 10-22-2010 posting at classifieds-sale-and-jobs.

Clayton Tree Farm LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Clifty View Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Hash Tree Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Jayker Wholesale Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 McKay Nursery Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Ratekin Enterprises/Hollandia Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Richard, Seeley & Schaefer, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Southwest Farms, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Webb Nursery & Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 www.colorado

CORRECTIONS: While the CNGA staff and editors make every effort to ensure the LooseLeaf content is complete and correct, we are committed to informing readers of previously published information requiring clarification or correction when necessary.We apologize for the inconvenience of these errors, and thank you for taking note of the corrections provided below. In the November-December 2010 issue, in the article titled “Extending your Season with Bare Root Plants” on page 7, a photo credit should have acknowledged CNGA member J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. for supplying the photos. Also in the November-December issue, in the article titled “The New Front Range Tree Recommendation List” on page 16,Tim Buchanan is the proper spelling of the name of the forester for the City of Fort Collins, who is on the tree recommendation committee.


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Insurance by Greenhouse Specialists WestminsteR, coloRado

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LooseLeaf January/February 2011

Adapting to Thrive


by Gene Pielin CNGA Board Member

Be afraid, run scared, and be ready for every possible scenario. I remember a marketing class that pointed out how railroads were narrowly positioned, and weren’t ready when the interstate highways were built and trucks took over carrying most of their freight. We must look for new opportunities, not once in a while, or only when the economy adversely affects your business, but during the best of times, too. As competition or oversupply drive margins down, are you looking at new markets and better ways to serve your customers and ways to keep your business healthy? Have you reduced inventory, pared labor, and tried to understand your customers’ real needs? We will come out of this recession, but our landscape has changed significantly. Banks will loan money again and the housing industry and commercial real estate will recover, but we can’t just sit, wait, and expect to go back to “business as usual.” Wired magazine recently reported that the Internet is dead. I thought how can that be, hundreds of thousands are surfing the web every day.Their premise: smart phones and apps are making the web unnecessary and potentially irrelevant. Soon we’ll be carrying smart phones that will scan, tap the web, access data from servers based on the web, and they’ll be portable databases relieving us from being tethered to desktop computers. Google just announced 10 percent wage increases for their employees because they’re expanding, developing new products, and breaking new ground.This recession hasn’t stopped them. There will be many companies that will weather this economy and prosper into the future. Get to know them. Learn how they positioned themselves to survive the recession and their plans to thrive in the months ahead. What can we learn from the big box stores? How are they merchandising their lawn and garden products? What are customers apt to buy there, and why do they come to the independent store? The winners will take the time to find out. They are active members of CNGA or ANLA.They pick up the phone and talk to friends they’ve made across the country.


Make strategic decisions that will help you survive and prosper. Arm yourself with a good plan, surround yourself with competent employees, and serve your customers like they were your last. Develop a plan for 2011 with your sales people. Determine what you will change and how to make your business plan more attractive to your banker. Give of what time you have; it will generate profits beyond your investment.

CNGA Board President Kent Broome

Be a part of your industry. We need you. If you need help, call us. Do you want a mentor? We’ll find one. Do you have an idea we need to know? Pass it on; we’ll spread the word. 2011 is here. We need you to thrive.

Postscript from CNGA Board President Kent Broome: Thanks, Gene, for your thoughts and service on the CNGA Board. It is important that we make the decision to thrive in these economic times. We all will say, ‘Yes, we want to make it,’ but do we demonstrate that decision to our employees. A memorable and telling quote was heard at a 2010 BBQ. A past member attended to reconnect and meet some old industry friends. The economy and what each business was doing to thrive was the topic of the moment. The past member mentioned that when he was in business the big box stores had begun to show up. Inflation was on the rise, etc. He thought about it and decided he either had to survive and thrive or die. He proudly said he ‘decided not to change but to die,’ and sure enough, a few years after that he had to close.

Be afraid, run scared, and be ready for every possible scenario.

CNGA has decided to thrive. Even though the association has challenges like its members, you will see big changes in 2011. The improved LooseLeaf is just the start. The staff is working harder than ever to deliver programs and opportunities to help grow your business. Call the office today; see what they have for you. It is why they are there, and they look forward to hearing from you.


CNGA — A Member-Driven Organization

Member Needs Addressed with Improved Magazine, Website & Certification Options CNGA started 2011 with a bang! A collective group of volunteers, board, and staff worked diligently in 2010, to implement improvements in three key areas that we hope most, if not all, members will enjoy and benefit from.

by Sharon R. Harris CNGA Executive Director

The first obviously is the new look of the LooseLeaf. We are very pleased to have this full-color magazine to showcase what CNGA and its members are all about. Having an attractive magazine is the first step, but the content improvements definitely complete the new look. A very engaged Communications Committee and a creative editor have filled the beautiful pages with timely, relevant, and well-written text. The

committee identified the themes and associated information for the year in September 2010, and I think they did a great job. I hope you will agree. As things change and there are stories or information you would like to see covered, please let us know. We’ll work hard to include it in the magazine or put it on the website. I should say a bit about the greatly improved website.This project also began in 2010, but has reached its current state just as the year was ending. If you haven’t visited the site yet, I want to encourage you to do so.The two target audiences for CNGA members, the industry and the public, are the focus of the information provided. Each audience has their own side of the site, so the messages and information can be personalized to their specific interests.The industry section provides two levels of detail: information for the industry at large and a password-protected members-only area. Again, we would love to hear your thoughts on the site and what additions or changes would make it more valuable to you and your customers. One of the longest standing programs of the nursery segment of our association is the Colorado Certified Nursery Professional Program (CCNP). The most recent addition to certification is the Certified Greenhouse Grower (CGG), which was implemented in 2003. We heard from several members that the program could be more valuable if it focused on the current types of members we serve: greenhouse growers, wholesale nurseries, and retail.To that end, revision of the certification program began through the collective efforts of members of the CCNP and CGG committees. In addition, a New Mexico certification program is being developed. What is the common thread of these three member benefits? You, the members, are.The collaboration between the members and the staff continues to ensure that CNGA is an organization that you can be proud to be a member of, where you find excellent value for your money, and the staff strives to bring your ideas and goals to completion.


LooseLeaf January/February 2011

Adapting to Trends requires


Flexibility Leadership

“You need to be

taking cautious, aggressive steps to grow. Hunkering down and being defensive over time, you will lose any momentum you had. Adapting to thrive is real,” — business expert Karl Ahlrichs By Tanya Ishikawa LooseLeaf Editor



To satisfy retailers’ current buying preference of smaller, more frequent orders, Trees of Corrales in New Mexico trucks plants to some customers every two weeks. Photo Credit: (for above and previous page) Trees of Corrales.

To adapt, companies must be adaptable. Realizing how the marketplace is changing and how to respond to developing trends requires strong leadership, flexibility, and discipline.

obsolete by then,”Ahrichs said.“Instead of best practices, we need to be focused on next practices, where you figure out what no one else has done and do it first.”

“The economic downturn was a major impact that sped up the development of the marketplace. It’s like the changing of the seasons sped up quickly. A lot of pruning was happening, and a lot of barely viable organizations found themselves dead.Yet, at the same time, like an earthquake, it opened up new ground that no one has seen before,” explained Karl Ahlrichs, a human resources, sales, and marketing expert and speaker at national conferences including the 2010 Owners and Managers Meeting and 2011 ProGreen.“It’s a very disruptive time, and it’s tough to both be defensive enough to survive, but be aggressive enough to take advantage at the same time.That’s where good leadership comes in, and walking the line of being fiscally conservative and marketing in an aggressive way.”

Mike Jeffries, the founder of Rivers of Revenue LLC and a ProGreen speaker this year, has consulted with hundreds of companies and assisted them with millions of dollars in increased sales through marketing and lead generation improvements.

Ahlrichs points out that there are no silver-bullet answers to how to address change and people shouldn’t cling to the common myths when it comes to how to react to trends. Change can be controlled. False. Actually, change can ONLY be accepted. Technology alone will save us. False. It takes a more diverse approach. If we just work harder, it will all make sense. False. If we all work harder, we will all burn out. “We have never been shown how to adapt. It’s not a skill taught in school,” he said. “Changes come in different ways, you can look at what successfully got you to change in the past and do it selectively, but what you don’t want to happen is people hunkering down and waiting for change to pass, and then they go back to the way things were. Because, the way things were probably isn’t coming back,”Ahlrichs said. He cautions against the instinct to retreat to a purely defensive position that allows companies to survive but not to move on to their next steps. “You need to be taking cautious, aggressive steps to grow. Hunkering down and being defensive over time, you will lose any momentum you had. Adapting to thrive is real,” he concluded. And, momentum is important these days.You need to act quickly and accurately to ensure future success.This requires a nimble management and staff, prepared to react to what customers are saying to deliver the product and price they want, as much as possible. “Focusing on best practices nowadays is dangerous, because by the time you look at someone else’s best practice, adapt it, and get it up and running, you’re looking at 12 to 18 months. It’s


“The really smart companies are paying attention and looking at trends,” Jeffries said.“Spotting trends earlier and seeing a decrease in sales is important, so they can adjust along the way.” “I think our really smart clients always market.They keep the lead flow going, whether or not they can handle it or not,” he said.“In good times, it lets you be more selective. In lean times, you don’t have to scramble.” “A critical skill we teach people today is you need to adapt your product or service to what the customer can afford or has in their budget,” he explained.“Everybody is trying to adapt.The mindset needs to be:‘We want to get you in here, even if you are not buying as much.’The key is to be able to adjust the size or scope of the project without affecting quality.” Jeffries advises clients to focus on the buyers’ perspectives. Instead of being sold a product, buyers want to have their needs and wants met. Once salespeople begin responding more to what customers want, the next step is to separate yourself from the competition. “The question if you are a seller is how do you go out and recapture the people from your weaker competition and gain market share,” he said.“Does it matter to prospects and clients. Does it separate you from your competition?” Sellers are encouraged to change their focus from trying to sell something to finding a way to meet customer needs.This difference in communication style requires the ability to listen and adapt.

Fostering a Culture of Adaptability Having buy-in from management and employees is critical for success in adapting to change. Everyone should have a mindset that they know its time to change and want to make it happen. Employees can be trained to listen better and adapt, but Jeffries said,“It’s got to come from the owner. We’ve worked with organizations where the owner was on board, but that didn’t translate down to a clear message to the employees.They were thinking,‘I don’t know if the boss is really on board with this; therefore, I can decide if I am on board with this.’ If you have people in sales positions, you have to walk the talk. Otherwise, they are never going to do it.The owner and/or supervisor has to be on board, consistent, and hold people accountable.The best way to get people to change is demonstrate that yourself.”

LooseLeaf January/February 2011

The business leaders should be good listeners, and encourage constructive criticism and ideas for improvement. If the business owners and managers challenge staff to be better, they develop a habit of always questioning and looking for better ways. In this environment, Ahlrichs said,“You should recognize and reward failures. Realizing,‘We tried it. It didn’t work. We’re proud of that effort.’ As opposed to,‘It didn’t work and we’re mad.’ It takes wisdom.” He described the ideal company owner as one who assumes ownership of the changes, is tolerant of errors, because they are inevitable, keeps their sense of humor, and focuses on the present and the future, not on the present and the past. “First, I think we need to recognize that as we get older, and all of us are, we find comfort in patterns.We like to have the restaurants we knew as a child always stay there. We get irritated when the grocery store rearranges the shelves. Simply put, we just get set in our ways. It’s just a human condition.Therefore, at all levels, just as we need to constantly promote physical wellness, we have to promote behaving flexibly. And, organizations that have a leader that exhibits flexible behavior are going to have a greater competitive advantage,”Ahlrichs said.

Keys to Adapting to Trends Observe what customers, vendors, and employees are saying and doing. • Go beyond selling products, taking orders, and responding to customers. Ask questions, listen, watch, and remember what every person in the supply chain, from customer to coworker and vendor are telling you about what is wanted and needed. • Take the extra time it takes to really pay attention, inquire more deeply, get involved in conversations, analyze landscaper bids, and gather information from relevant sources. • Create an environment that encourages open communication and suggestions from everyone. • Set up the tools to monitor the key indicators in your business to know where the customers are coming from and their frequency of buying. Track what you sell to whom and how those people found you. Know your return on investment for various business activities. • Do market research, as simple as going out as a shopper yourself or as organized as creating focus groups of your customers. Learn from customers, peers, training opportunities, and publications. • Attend industry seminars, workshops, tours, and other events for networking and training. • Read a variety of publications about the industry and business.

When trying to determine where to maintain continuity versus where to change,“one of the key skills for being a leader these days is to ask that very question of the people around you and listen very carefully to the answer.You may be very surprised; there may be some things you see as healthy traditions, that others are irritated with but just never chose to bring up.”

• Collect gardening and growing brochures and books in a handy library accessible to all employees.

One way to tell whether an organization is change resistant or adaptable is to look at the employee policies and manuals. In change-resistant companies, everything is forbidden except that which is specifically permitted. In adaptable companies, everything is permitted except that which is expressly forbidden.

• Plan your own outings to visit competitors and partners to see what they’re up to.

An adaptable employee is not someone who has to work by the clock or on a set schedule.They should take pride in being jacks (and jills) of all trades, and wearing many hats. Even if individuals are less flexible, the combined workforce can be adaptable when it is made up of diverse employees with a variety of backgrounds, skills, personalities, and ages. With these human resources, a company can communicate with various customer styles and come up with diverse product and marketing solutions.

• Use the information from your observations and education to alter your product and service mix to better meet customers’ current wants and needs.

The typical traits of people who are not good at change are: hyper-organized, pessimistic or cynical, defensive when challenged, and very habit oriented, explained Ahlrichs. Some ways to embrace change are: • avoid the feeling that you need to have all the answers; • don’t brace yourself to resist the change, loosen up, and go with the flow; • don’t second guess the reason for change; • don’t judge those with you for how they act, because they’ll be handling change differently; and • have a plan. If these are people who love planning, use that as a tool, and plan to change. “To really focus on personal behavioral flexibility, there’s one thing you can do: keep building personal change into your life, because it’s healthy. Intentionally do things a little different because it is positive,” said Ahlrichs.“Do you always mow the lawn the same way, always drive to work the same way, always listen to the same radio station in the car? Don’t. Learn Spanish on your drive to work. Do something different.” www.colorado

• Develop employee training programs at your business such as preopening classes or after-hours discussion groups. • Create improvement teams or committees among your employees to help improve specific areas of your business such as street appeal, communications, or maintenance.

• Get outside of the industry for a wider view and to learn how a parallel industry or feeder industry is doing things. Adjust your product and service offerings to meet changing demands.

• Find ways to both increase sales to current customers and expand your customer base. • Balance your need to adjust with carefully calculated ordering. • Realize there are some changes that are not logistically possible due to limitations such as property size, zoning laws, water, and proximity to new suppliers or products. • Consider what services, such as landscape design and maintenance services or winter preparation and spring cleanup, that your staff can do to stay working and increase income during slow sales times. Market with a strategic brand, displays, communications, and events. • Develop a strong internal and external brand from your advertising to your customer service style that draws people to you. • To go beyond competing on price point, become known for your staff’s expertise and the quality of your product. • Utilize customer classes for marketing your products, staff knowledge, etc. • Make visually appealing displays that are interesting and informative, such as displaying vignettes that give customers ideas on how to arrange plants. • Ensure complementary products are displayed and promoted together. • Organize events, such as customer appreciation parties, ladies nights, easter egg hunts, and pumpkin weigh-offs, that bring in new customers and draw back current customers when they normally wouldn’t come in. • Generate goodwill and customer loyalty through donations to community organizations and schools, as well as offering freebies to valued customers.


Jared’s Nursery and Garden Center in Littleton, Colo., has added packaged, local food items to its product mix. Photo Credit: Jared’s Nursery and Garden Center.

Trend in Green Industry toward Less Risk, More Service, and Variety Customer trends in the green industry have changed over the past three or four years ago.You have to work harder to gain their trust, and really focus on their needs. People are much more cautious, and taking longer to decide what they want to spend money on. Customers still want quality, but with smaller budgets, they need to buy smaller sizes or less. On the wholesale side, Andrew Lisignoli, the vice president of Trees of Corrales in New Mexico, said customers are asking for smaller but more frequent orders. Wholesalers are making deliveries multiple times in a season, and placing less restrictions on minimum order sizes to meet the demand. Lisignoli explained that retailers have less risk tolerance for large orders of slow selling products.They are also adjusting for the demand for floor space for more product variety. Growers are keeping stock longer through the season, due to not shipping larger orders and so retailers need less storage space. The New Mexico grower has seen a need to plan for more diversity in plants, due to the rapidly changing demands of landscapers and retailers. Being prepared with more diverse trees and shrubs is more of a necessity than in the past. For the coming year, he forecasts less overall plant stock as a result of the more cautious growing habits of wholesalers of the past couple years. Some wholesalers may not have the stock to keep up with increasing demand. “I really feel that in 2011, freight is going to become extremely onerous. It’s really going to affect nurseries that don’t have good freight links developed, and delivery distance is going to end up being a critical factor,” Lisignoli predicted, due to rising crude oil prices and a reviving economy. “There’s not as many trucks available on the road or drivers. That will change, but won’t catch up in 2011, not as much as four or five years ago,” he said.“And the demand for products across the country, not just for nurseries but for all types of industries will be up, and nurseries are going to be vying with shippers of washers and dryers and other products to get wheels under their load.” Lisignoli said retailers are looking more to local suppliers due to the lower shipping costs of deliveries, resulting in lower product prices for customers.The mutual support between local vendors and retailers helps both sides thrive, added Arla Ayers, CCNP, the greenhouse manager at Jared’s Nursery, Gift and Garden Center in Littleton, Colo.


Ayers said the trend for retailers is increased service in a variety of ways. Jared’s offers community garden space on its property, and uses greenhouse space to store plants for customers, landscapers, vendors, and others in the winter. Her coworkers are more than ever sharing their expertise and providing information to customers on plant disease and pest diagnosis as well as best growing practices from how to deal with high altitude conditions to how to do more of the yard and garden work without professional services.The garden center has developed more of a boutique feel, with a variety of attractive seasonal displays, like 18 Christmas trees this holiday season, including one decorated with pet toys. Below are a few recent trends in product sales, shared by Ayers.


Product Sales

smaller budgets

lower priced items

more budget conscious

a big increase in coupon use

smaller, closer homes

more vines for screening

smaller outdoor spaces

more earth boxes

smaller budgets, less construction

less shrubs and trees

less concern about drought conditions less xeric plants people going out less, spending more more statuary, pottery, time at home fountains, etc. saving money on groceries, health concerns

more vegetable and fruit plants

desire for local and fresh foods

farmers markets and chili sales

desire for local and fresh foods

packaged local food products like salsa, honey, apple cider, and jams

warm fall weather in 2010

more flower bulbs and fertilizer

customers moving to the edge of urban areas

wildlife deterrents to protect gardens

desire for convenience


changing growing habits, interest in new technology

more hydroponics

tendency toward impulse buys, convenience

gardening related gifts and greeting cards

tendency toward impulse buys, convenience

pet toys and treats

LooseLeaf January/February 2011

Take Advantage of the Networking and Training at ProGreen

REGISTRATION & INFORMATION: To find out more details about the expo or register online, visit You can also contact the ProGreen Expo staff at the numbers below. General Inquiries 800-397-6665 7315 E. 5th Avenue Parkway, Denver, CO 80230 Exhibitors Tel: 303-756-1079 Fax: 303-341-0282 Seminars Tel: 720-748-4872 Fax: 303-474-6656

www.colorado 13

By Tanya Ishikawa LooseLeaf Editor

by Line Might Go Here

LooseLeaf January/February 2011 13

Annual Expo and Seminars offer Valuable Results Meeting new customers and getting to know current customers better is a great way for a company to strengthen its position anytime, but especially in these changing times.Your business strength also depends on preparing yourself and your co-workers with the right knowledge, skills, and tools to address present and future buying trends.The annual ProGreen Expo offers abundant opportunities for this necessary customer contact and professional development at a great value to Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association members. Getting an inside lead on what both customers and your industry peers are thinking and saying is the best reason to attend the 2011 ProGreen Expo,Tuesday to Friday, February 8 to 11, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo. As an organizer of this annual trade show, featuring more than 650 exhibitors, 6,500 buyers, and 141 seminars, CNGA offers members registration fees at half off non-member prices and even less for multiple employees of member companies.

Other expo organizers are the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, Colorado Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects, Garden Centers of Colorado, Rocky Mountain Chapter International Society of Arboriculture, and Colorado State University Extension. With these top green industry organizations behind the event, the interaction with vendors, buyers, and colleagues from across the region is unparalleled. The most valuable part of ProGreen for Brian Yantorno, vice president of Center Greenhouse, Inc., Denver, Colo., is “the networking with customers and peers. All of the major players that we sell to are there,” he said. Yantorno has attended the expo “for as many years as it’s been around! I’ve lost count,” he admitted.“There are some good seminars that we try to get our production and growing personnel to take advantage of.” His advice for new ProGreen attendees is,“If they’re on the fence about attending a seminar, they should attend it, because it might be the one that they get the most out of.” The 2011 ProGreen theme is: In Uncertain Times… Knowledge is Power, Relationships are Critical, Resilience is Key! So… Power Up Your Business with ProGreen EXPO! Seminars will offer a renewed focus on diversifying to keep your business alive, cutting-edge research on new plant material and water use, design for sustainability, sharpening management and supervisory skills, and much more. The seminars begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and run until 4:30 p.m.They are offered again from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, with a shorter day on Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Each hour of each seminar day provides the opportunity to pick one of nearly 10 educational topics, ranging from medical marijuana business impacts and marketing tools to pesticide use and irrigation methods.The trade show is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and goes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.


The 2010 show experienced a slight increase in attendance, bucking the national trend of downturns in green industry shows.This year looks just as promising. By October, more than 60 percent of the 2011 exhibit space had already been renewed by 2010 exhibitors. While company decision makers such as owners and general managers have accounted for 43 percent of ProGreen attendees in past years, the remaining attendance is split between foreman and crew supervisors, field personnel, and office and sales staff. Toby Kane, the wholesale sales representative for Harmony Gardens in Brighton, Colo., will be attending ProGreen for his eighth year. He agreed that interaction with industry peers and professionals, representing both the local and national industries, makes the annual expo a valuable business experience. “The educational opportunities are abundant for novices and professionals. Some of these courses are offered in Spanish,” he said.“With such a large, diverse gathering comes a wealth of experience and knowledge. It is a tremendous value.”

LooseLeaf January/February 2011

To make the most out of each day at ProGreen, Kane advised attendees to “obtain a copy of the ProGreen brochure or reference the website and review the seminars, classes, and certification testing schedule in advance.There are a lot of things offered, and it it is easy to miss out if you are not prepared. Certification courses and a few others require you to preregister.” “Spend as much time as possible on the exhibit hall floor. It is a good chance to meet and explore all of the demonstrations and booths.There are usually a lot of exhibitors so plan on spending at least an entire day walking the exhibit hall,” he added.“Attending the Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association’s annual awards banquet is a great way to stay abreast of local industries happenings, but also a chance for you to be a part of a special gathering of extremely dedicated people sharing knowledge, ideas, and experience.”

The CNGA Annual Banquet is 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 10, at Katie Mullen’s Irish Restaurant in Denver. Other social events during the ProGreen week include the VIP Industry Breakfast on Wednesday, February 9, at the Denver Athletic Club.This year’s breakfast speaker is Bill Doeckel, the general manager of Ball Innovations, a new division of Ball Horticultural Co., and will present “Trends that will Transform Your Life and Business: Get Ready!” focusing on new businesses for gardening, utilizing sustainable products, and practices.

ProGreen seminar speakers: (left) Karl Ahlrichs, Managing and Motivating Multiple Generations; (middle) Chris Beytes, The No-New Plants New Plant Session; and (right) Suzanne WainwrightEvans, Getting Started with Greenhouse Biological Control and Conserve Beneficial Insects in the Landscape.

Recommended Seminars CNGA helped organize the following seminars based on member input, and recommends these speakers and topics for addressing needs discovered through various association events and communications. Check the program schedule for seminar dates and times. Marketing the Green: Know Our Value of Proposition for the Future. You will gain the tools to better position and promote your company through educating your customers on both the obvious and not-so-recognized benefits that landscapes provide. Unpaving Paradise: Bringing Life to the City. Green businesses can help city dwellers invest in the revitalization of soil and reduce paved surfaces to bring back beauty, nature, and a healthier environment. Profit from Your Most Important Brand – Yourself. You will walk away from this session knowing how to set your company apart from the competition and position yourself as the go-to expert… all on a very small budget! The No-New Plants New Plant Session. The presenter and a panel of your local peers will discuss how they strategically and tactically approach new plants in their business. Woody Form and Feature Plants Suited for Unique Planting Situations. This animated session will leave you with a new perspective on the use of woody plants in unusual ways.


Managing and Motivating Multiple Generations. Learn why updating your knowledge on the “newest generation” can help you bridge those uncomfortable disconnects that may be causing your company problems. Understanding Cultural Differences in the Workplace. Participants will take part in an interactive session to develop effective strategies for working with and understanding the Hispanic culture at work. Social Media: What’s All the Buzz About? This class can help you sort out what social media is all about and how you can use it to promote your business. Following this program, a panel of your peers will discuss the benefits, difficulties and value they have found by using social media. Be a Productive Leader in Reactive Times: What Weeds Teach Us about Managing People. This seminar examines the surprising business management lessons that can be learned from the field of invasive weed ecology. Make positive changes to benefit your team and your bottom line. Green and Growing, or Brown and Barren? The future success of nursery and landscape industry businesses may hinge on re-characterizing ourselves as no longer “ornamental,” but rather “essential.” This session will discuss the roadmap to redefining who we are and what we do.


Pot-in-pot trees. Photo Credit: Clayton Tree Farm.

How Growers have adapted Tree Propagation By Tanya Ishikawa LooseLeaf Editor

Change and adaptation are natural in the business of growing and selling plants. Seasons change, and the weather changes daily, if not, by the minute. Plants change from one day to the next. You adapt.


Growing plants for the market is a trade going back centuries, with many growers from families who have been involved in the business for generations.This business is based on time-tested traditions, and besides the day-to-day and season-to-season adjustments, major changes in production don’t happen rapidly or frequently. Trees are grown and brought to market generally in five different ways: balled and burlapped (B&B), bare root, containerized, in grow bags, and pot-in-pot. All methods can be found in use somewhere by CNGA members today. Growers pick the method that produces the best results to match their customers’ needs for quality and price, and each grower continues to adjust the actual practice of their production method to respond to new demands and trends. “We don’t just grow trees to grow trees. We grow them for people to buy. We have to grow what is wanted,” said Cary G. Hall, the 1995 CNGA Hall of Fame award recipient and a former director of the Nurserymen’s Association. Besides responding to the shifting popularity of different tree types from year to year, growers pay attention to customer demands related to tree sizes, their preferences for how to display and plant them, and which customers are buying more: individuals or contractors. Each customer type has different needs, and some production methods can meet those differing needs better than others.

Hall of Longmont-based Columbine Horticultural Enterprises LLC represents Alta Nursery in California, Arrowhead Ornamentals in Oregon, and McKay Nursery Company in Wisconsin. Each grower uses a different combination of the production methods. B&B trees are grown in the ground, and dug out by a machine with a tree spade. The ball of roots and earth are wrapped in burlap, for transport to and storage at a re-wholesaler or retailer.The trend has gone away from B&B trees for the individual gardener market, because containers are easier to care for and plant for the average person and for the garden center staff, Hall said. At Clayton Tree Farm in Idaho, B&B trees are “the backbone of our company,” according to their website. Clayton has also been growing pot-in-pot trees for more than a dozen years. “With B&B trees, you have an opportunity as a grower to have better structure in the tree, and more years to strengthen it,” said farm owner Bill Clayton.“Though the balling process can be stressful for bigger trees, we use this method only for the smaller caliper trees so the trees are young and can quickly recover.” B&B trees have less stress while growing, as the roots in the ground are more protected from climate changes. They are less expensive to plant than containerized trees, due to not needing LooseLeaf January/February 2011

the extra materials and labor at the beginning, but B&B trees are more expensive to harvest and transport.They can only be harvested in the fall and spring, unlike trees in containers that can be moved during any season. When growers began producing trees in containers, they were grown in pots above ground.These trees could be moved to market quicker and throughout the summer, and are smaller and easier to handle for retailers and homeowners.The disadvantage of this method is that the trees can sustain damage and stress from being knocked over or being more susceptible to weather and climate changes. Clayton said, his farm and a few others came up with the idea of placing the containers in the ground, to combine the advantages of a tree grown right in the soil with the ease of containerized tree harvesting. Later, the process was improved by placing the pot with the tree planted in it in another pot already in the ground. This relatively new production method became known as pot-in-pot tree farming. While this method works well for the smaller caliper trees, it hasn’t been adapted for larger trees, he said. Since Clayton sells mostly to landscapers and re-wholesalers that need larger trees for their projects and customers, the B&B trees are still their mainstay. “I’m getting demands for more inch-andthree-quarter to two-inch containers. At the same time, there is a strong trend and need for B&B,” explained Clayton.“We’ve been testing a different method for about eight or ten years. Basically, we’re putting in a large liner and growing the tree for one to two years, and then transferring it to a 25-gallon container.”

manager, Greg Elwell, said he has seen a stronger interest in bare root trees recently, though the propagation method itself is not new. “Growers are able to grow a good top, and in the past, the root system was neglected. For the past decade, we’ve been paying attention to growing root systems that don’t have girdling roots,” Elwell said. He points out that the actual implementation of bare root production has been changing in recent years, due to an International Society of Arboriculture study that found an optimal planting depth is necessary for the best tree health. The disadvantage of bare roots is their vulnerability to drying out and damage from varying temperatures.They need to be carefully stored, or transplanted quickly. Another production method that modifies root growth involves planting trees in fabric bags in the ground.“Grow Bags,” as one brand has been trademarked, are readily available but not commonly used in Colorado. Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery uses them only “on hard to transplant items like oaks and big-tooth maple,” said Co-owner Gary Epstein.“They recover when transplanted, and have 30 to 50 percent more leaf surface in the first year.The leaves make the food for the tree to grow, and in some instances, there is a foot or more of growth in the first year.” Trees grown in bags are harvested with a U blade.The bag is removed and replaced with burlap.

Bingham Hill Farms, also in Fort Collins, started out in 2000, planting in fabric bags. The next year, they switched completely to pot-in-pot production and have been refining it year after year. “Pot-in-pot is a lot more labor efficient than other growing methods. It’s very costly to put the system in place, but once in, it is very, very labor efficient,” said Bingham Hill Owner Sheryl Pope. The grower plants both bare root and small container trees.The pots containing the trees are placed into permanent pots in the ground, on top of bricks placed at the bottom of the permanent pot. “Even though the pots are designed to fit in one another, the bottom of the pot containing the tree gets rounded due to the weight of the soil and water.The bricks keep the bottom flat so the container will stand up when it is placed on a flat surface,” Pope said. The pot-in-pot system naturally air prunes the roots, but some manual root trimming is necessary from time to time. “You would think that roots will not just grow into space, but I guarantee you some will. We turn the pots containing the largest trees a quarter turn every six months, in order to make sure that none of the roots escape. Without this step, the roots will find the drainage holes in the pots and will grow into the ground, which creates a huge problem,” Pope said. In addition to having a better root system, pot-in-pot trees can be grown closer together, and can be selectively and easily harvested by one or two workers, she commented, explaining that production for the whole farm with 10,000 trees on approximately six acres is handled efficiently by two employees.

The farm’s new container method is somewhat similar to upshifting, when growers take a small tree or shrub from a smaller pot and move it to a larger pot to grow further.This way, Clayton can produce larger trees, combining the convenience of pot-in-pot and the strength of the tree structure of B&B.

“As the tree grows, the roots penetrate the bag but are restricted, so a kind of a nodule is formed and there’s a swelling in the root system on either side of the bag. Those nodules have high concentrations of carbohydrates. When we remove the bag, the nodule on the inside of the bag is left. Because carbohydrates are where the plant gets energy to grow from, the roots initiate much quicker than the traditional manner when just cut,” described Epstein.

Clayton also sells bare root trees, which have been harvested from the ground, but instead of balling and burlapping the roots, the soil is removed from around the root systems, leaving them bare.The advantage of bare root trees is their ability to develop extensive root systems, not restricted by containers.They are lighter, so are cheaper to ship and easier to handle.

His nursery converted its entire production to this method in the mid-1980s, but after discovering issues with them, returned to container and B&B for everything but the oaks and big-tooth maples. For most other trees, the fabric bag method slowed down the production time, but did not significantly improve the transplant recovery time

To keep the farm full, as a tree is harvested from a hole, another tree is filled in.

J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. in Oregon also grows a mix of B&B, container, and bare root trees.The Oregon grower’s sales

“Many potential buyers in our market were turned off by this method of growing and would not buy them,” he added.

Editor’s note: To see photos of the different tree production methods, go online to


Another advantage is that landscapers order in the early spring, tag their trees, and keep them here until later in the spring or summer when they need them for a job.This absolutely insures that the tree is healthy when it arrives at the job site, Pope said.

“We used to just plant in the spring. Now, we plant throughout the growing season.The less open holes you have, the more trees you can turn over and make more sales,” she concluded.


Clayton Tree Farm Specimen Trees for Color and Comfort

Shade and Ornamental B&B and Container Trees Growing Grounds Nampa and Wilder, Idaho Office 208.482.6600


LooseLeaf January/February 2011

Multi-Site Woody Plant Trials tracking Five Species The multi-site woody plant evaluation program at Colorado State University was started in 2002, at five different research and nursery sites throughout Colorado. Since then, we have done seven different plantings, evaluating 50 different taxa. Growth and performance data are recorded for a minimum of five years on each of these taxa. Robert MacDonald, a master of science graduate student in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, has taken growth and cultural data from the spring 2002 planting for five years. Five plant species were planted in the spring of 2002, and data was collected until the end of the 2009 growing season. Ten replications of all plant species were planted in the spring of 2002, at the five locations.The plant species included: Fraxinus americana ‘Jeffnor’ (Northern Blaze American Ash); Fraxinus x ‘Northern Gem’ (Northern Gem Ash); Cupressus arizonica ‘Cook’s Peak’ (Cook’s Peak Arizona Cypress); Tilia mongolica ‘Harvest Gold’ (Harvest Gold Mongolian Linden); and Cotoneaster ignavus ‘Szechuan Fire’ (Szechuan Fire Cotoneaster). Five test locations were located throughout Colorado at Fort Collins, Calhan, Hudson, Brighton, and Grand Junction. Survival data was taken yearly, and at the end of the 2006 growing season, no losses were recorded for Fraxinum americana ‘Jeffnor’, only few losses (three plants) for Fraxinus x ‘Northern Gem’ and few losses for Cotoneaster ignavus ‘Szechuan Fire’. Concerning Tilia mongolica ‘Harvest Gold’, by 2006, we lost 15 plants out of the original 50 planted.The greatest losses were recorded at the Calhan site. With Cupressus arizonica ‘Cook’s Peak’, some losses (15 plants) were observed by the end of the 2006 growing season also, with the greatest losses at the Calhan site.

CSU Update

At all sites, Fraxinus americana ‘Jeffnor’ showed continual growth and good change in caliper growth.The leaves were a good deep green in the summer followed by yellow-orange fall color. Cotoneaster ignavus ‘Szechuan Fire’ showed a great ability to adapt to varying environments and cultural practices. Plants maintained good green leaf color throughout the season, and all developed an open arching growth habit with abundant fruit.This plant was relatively pest free and adapted to various climates and soil conditions throughout Colorado.

By Dr. James E. Klett Professor and Extension Landscape Horticulture Specialist Colorado State University

Fraxinus x ‘Northern Gem’ resulted in vigorous growth at all sites with large increments of caliper growth. However, lilac-ash borer damage was observed at several sites, and was more prevalent on this species versus the Fraxinum americana ‘Jeffnor’. Overall, even the trees with some borer damage maintained vigorous growth with good yellow fall foliage color. Growth on Cupressus arizonica ‘Cook’s Peak’ was greatest at the Grand Junction site from the beginning of the study until the end. Some mortality was observed at the other test sites due to the extreme cold temperatures during the 2005-2006 winter.This taxa showed the greatest variability due to different locations. From the above discussion, you can observe some differences from the first planting (spring 2002) in our ongoing multi-site woody plant trials. In future Looseleaf issues, we will report on other taxa performance after five years of growth.

The Grand Junction Site of the CSU Multi-Site Woody Plant Trials. Credit: CSU.

Yearly height data showed the greatest increases in the fourth and fifth growing seasons for all species tested.The Grand Junction site often resulted in the greatest overall growth in all species. Temperature data recorded from all five sites showed the coldest temperatures were recorded at the Calhan site (-3 degrees Celsius), and the warmest temperatures were recorded at the Grand Junction site. Tilia mongolica ‘Harvest Gold’ was generally pest free during the five-year trial period, with good leaf color, fragrant flowers, less leaf scorch, and no trunk cracking from cold winter temperatures. www.colorado


NoCo Tree Growers Tour focuses on Unique, Hardy, Locally Grown Trees By Marion Jones, CCNP, Certified Arborist Green Dreams Gardening, LLC

Exceptional trees, a great information exchange, and excellent food, along with some splendid fall weather carried the day at the Annual Northern Colorado Tree Growers Tour. A group of 20 owners, managers, growers, and sales reps started the tour at Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery (FCWN). Our tour guide, Field Manager Louis Linn, highlighted several FCWN gems including, Bigtooth Maple, Gambel and Wavyleaf Oak, Bur and Chinkapin Oak, and multi-stemmed Hotwing Maples in their glorious fall foliage. Nomina Nurseries Field Manager Fred Lehman awaited us with a large tractor-pulled trailer, and treated the group to a ride through his immaculate fields. Along the way, we stopped to appreciate some larger caliper Hackberry, first-rate Triumph Elm, and three varieties of Honeylocust. Next stop was the “home place” at Windsor Tree Farm for a look at a mature crop of

Participants of the NoCo Tree Growers Tour in front of the original ‘Tawara’ pear at Park Creek Wholesale Nursery. Photo by Marion Jones.

conifers, all field-grown by owner Mark George. Mark’s use of supplemental overhead irrigation consistently turns out stately Colorado Blue Spruce, beautiful Concolor Firs, and 6-foot to 8-foot Pinyon Pine. Chris DeBaun contributed his superbly grilled lamb and tri-tip beef to the lunch menu of Mexican food specialties, served up by Jim and Jeanne Matsuda of Park Creek Wholesale Nursery. After lunch, we admired Jim’s Colorado Spruce, grafted Baby Blue and Fat Albert Spruce, and silvery-blue needled Bacheri Spruce. At Boxelder Tree Farm, Chris exchanged his chef’s hat for his grower’s cap, and joined Owner Rod Bryner and Assistant Brad Meyer on a tour that included some outstanding 2.5-inch Sensation Boxelder Maples, Accolade Elms, and surprisingly hardy Crimson Cloud Hawthorn. Every one of them survived the sustained deep freeze of the 2009 October storm. Situated on the east facing slope of Bingham Hill along the Dakota Hogback Ridge is a little slice of heaven known as Bingham Hill Farms. Owner Sheryl Pope led us through her unique pot-in-pot nursery, where she grows 60 varieties of trees and shrubs including Bigtooth Maples, Bur and Gambel Oak, multi-stemmed Cockspur Hawthorns, and 6-foot Diablo Ninebark. Owner Tom Throgmorton wrapped up the tour at Cool Conifers with a look at his Colorado propagated and grown Fat Albert and Fastigiate Spruce.Tom is also growing some handsome Fastigiate Austrian Pine stock plants. We welcome anyone in Colorado who buys field-grown trees to join this annual tour, and see for themselves the effort that goes into producing these exceptional trees and shrubs. Current economic conditions provide all of us in the industry with an opportunity to unite and support the local economy and promote the use of acclimated, hardy plants.


LooseLeaf January/February 2011

2011 Think Trees Conference:

CHAPTER NEWS new mexico

‘A Tree Owner’s Guide’ The 25th annual Think Trees Conference, “A Tree Owner’s Guide,” is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, February 3 and 4, at the Hilton Albuquerque, 1901 University Blvd., Albuquerque, N.M. Professionals who care for and sell trees are invited for an opportunity to meet, partner, and learn from some of the best in modern arboriculture. “Think Trees is an annual event that gives people in the industry the opportunity to learn advanced techniques that are current in the field.You learn something new every time, and after the two-day event, you bring a lot of knowledge back to your organization,” said Mike Erickson, vice president of Plant World, Inc. in Albuquerque, N.M. The overall theme of the 2011 conference is sustainable landscape management, with a focus on proactive tree maintenance practices.The theme will follow the new, national version of the Tree Owner’s Manual for the tree and landscape care

professional. Conservation of resources is a major part of designing, building, and maintaining a sustainable landscape, and tree and grounds care professionals can learn how to help promote healthy landscapes. The scheduled speakers include Dr. John Ball, Dr. Larry Costello, Dr. Ed Gilman, Dr. Gary Johnson, Randal Miller, and others. Topics include planting, pruning, trees and turf, developing a proactive maintenance plan, irrigation systems, and tree/plant health care strategies. Participants can learn more about the new nursery/ landscape professional certifications soon to be offered in New Mexico, and the changes to the national ANSI standards. There will be an ISA Certification exam on Friday, February 4 at the conference hotel. Think Trees New Mexico is a nonprofit organization that promotes the education, training, and appreciation of arboriculture and horticulture.Think Trees New Mexico

provides support to professionals in the Green Industry of New Mexico and its surrounding regions. For more information, watch for conference updates on the Think Trees NM webpage:

NEW CNGA MEMBERS La Garita Mountain Nursery 45030 Cty Rd. L Center, CO 81125 Tel: 719.754.3630 Peg & Phil Varoz, Owners Founded in 1998 Rick Schubert 7415 Templeton Gap Rd. Colorado Springs, CO 80923 Tel: 719.233.6750


Growers of Quality Specimen Conifers Selected Seed Sources of Pine, Fir & Spruce

877--875 875--8733 877 1199 Bear Creek Road Princeton, ID 83857

Fax: E-Mail: Web: www.colorado


“A Growing Family” (208) 267-1016 A quality conifer wholesale nursery Stephen Acker 208-946-7801 21


Cutting Back on Safety Doesn’t Save

From Pinnacol Assurance

Let’s face it, today’s economic climate is hard. And naturally, businesses are looking for ways to lower expenses. But there’s one area where no business can afford to cut costs, especially now: safety. “We’re seeing policyholders cutting their safety budgets, including eliminating safety manager positions and other safety staff,” said Jim McMillen, director of risk management at Pinnacol Assurance.“What they don’t realize is that spending money on safety isn’t an ‘overhead’ expense; it’s an investment that delivers real financial returns.”

three industrial hygienists, three construction specialists, and an ergonomic specialist — is available to policyholders at no extra cost. No matter what business you’re in or whether you have two employees or 2,000, we can help you. · Injury Trend Analysis — Our consultants can help you determine why your employees are getting injured on the job, and help you develop reasonable, cost-effective ways to reduce these injuries and the costs associated with them — making a positive impact on your financial performance.

· Training — We make safety training easy with online resources and policyholder seminars. · Safety Materials — As a Pinnacol policyholder, you have access to an unmatched selection of free safety materials, including CDs, brochures, and posters, covering a wide range of safety issues and industries. For more information, CNGA’s nursery members can call Gail Brodsack with Wells Fargo Insurance Services at 800-332-9256. Greenhouse members can call Ernie Schaefer with Richards, Seeley and Schaefer at 303-429-3561.

There’s plenty of business research and evidence showing a direct correlation between a company’s safety performance and its financial performance. Here are just two examples: · OSHA’s Office of Regulatory Analysis stated that companies that implement effective safety and health measures can “…expect reductions of 20 percent or greater in their injury and illness rates and a return of $4 to $6 for every $1 invested …” · A 2007 report released by Goldman Sachs JBWere concluded that companies that didn’t adequately manage workplace safety and health performed worse financially than those that did. In these economic times, you just can’t afford to cut safety.The good news is that Pinnacol Assurance has a wealth of free safety resources to support your safety programs that can actually add to your company’s bottom line.These include: · Safety consultants — Our team of 27 safety professionals — including


LooseLeaf January/February 2011

Green Spot Inc. —


Thriving on Old School Values Don Ida started Green Spot Inc. in 1958, after graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in horticulture. In 1959, he opened a garden shop at 5660 S. Broadway in south Denver, and eventually moved south of Denver to 2788 W. Belleview in 1961. In 1963, he added a 20-acre sod farm near where Englewood Golf Course now stands. All of this was wiped out during the South Platte River Flood of 1965. With the encouragement of family and friends, he bought the Cottonwood Garden Shop, located about a mile and a half away at 4849 S. Santa Fe Dr., from George Kelly. In 1966, Ida along with Lew Hammer were among the first to use mechanical tree spades in the Denver area. Frustrated by the inability to find quality B&B trees and with his experience with mechanical tree spades, he began to search for ground to start his own tree farm. In 1971, the dream was launched with the purchase of 80 acres of farm land in Longmont, Colo. Don Weaver was hired to run the operation, which was originally named Rangeview Nurseries, Ltd.The first harvest was in 1974, with Valleycrest Landscape being one of the first customers.

How do you adapt to poor economic conditions? We probably have made the same changes everyone else has made. We watch our inventory and our labor cost more closely. Keep in mind that Green Spot has been around a long time, and seen several downturns.You just learn to watch costs. You also have to pay more attention to your customers. We have very loyal customers, and we try to provide them with the best service possible. Have you implemented just in time ordering? In this day, you do not want to carry a huge inventory.This requires good communications with your suppliers to get short plant material in as quickly as possible.We are usually working at least two to three trucks a week during the busy season, so getting what we need is not a big problem. What new methods or practices have you implemented to adapt to trends? We are pretty old school. We carry a base inventory of what seems to sell year in and year out. We also try to focus on what is hot, or what is going to be short, based on what we hear through industry contacts, and adjust our buying.

An additional 80 acres was purchased in 1977, more trees were planted, and a wholesale-retail nursery was added on three acres.The business has since consolidated from that 160 acres down to its current 80 total acres.Today, the property consists of approximately 68 acres of specimen B&B tree production and a 12-acre nursery.

Why did you become a CNGA member?

In 1983, Ida was killed in a ballooning accident in Germany. Since that time, his nephews, Robert and Marty Ida, have continued to run the company with the loyal support of employees, customers, and suppliers. Weaver is now retired, but available for advice.

What value do you get from the ProGreen Expo?

What is the reason your longtime customers tell you for why they keep buying from you? Service, selection, quality, and because we have such longtime employees that customers get dealt with efficiently and quickly, even when there are problems.


At first, it was a way to support and mix with the green industry. Now, there are so many other advantages to being a member, from educational seminars to professional publications to group discounts and much more.

Green Spot Inc. is a full line provider of nursery stock, including perennials, shrubs, small and large caliper trees, and evergreens. Credit: Green Spot Inc.

Green Spot Inc. 8776 N. 107th St. Longmont, CO 80504 Tel: 303.772.5530 Fax: 303.772.5552

We have attended ProGreen every year. More than anything else it is a good time to find out what is happening with our customers for the coming year. The Green Spot Inc. staff: Jim Jones (field production), Daren Yookoji (landscape), Dee Jones (office), Robert Ida (owner), Mike Pelis (nursery), and Marty Ida (owner). A combined 100-plus years of employment with the company. Credit: Green Spot Inc.



Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association 959 S. Kipling Pky, #200 Lakewood, CO 80226

Trees For Education 2011 A few years ago my friend and fellow CNGA board member Bob Heath came up with a new idea for funding the Colorado Nursery Research and Education Foundation. CNREF grants money to Colorado State University for research projects, and gives scholarships to deserving horticulture students at Colorado State University and Front Range Community College.We raise money through various events such as our annual golf tournament, the Bowling Fundraiser, and private donations.Thanks to many generous individuals and organizations, to date, the foundation has provided $132,939 for research and $134,650 for scholarships. Bob’s fundraising idea turned into Trees For Education in 2007, and since then, the annual event has partnered CNGA member tree growers and several Colorado nurseries and garden centers. Our tree growing partners donate a tree to one or more of our participating nurseries or garden centers, who sell the tree to one of their customers, and donate the money from the tree sale to CNREF. Last year, the foundation received $5,675 through the cooperation of our partners in the Trees For Education program. If you are a tree grower with a passion for education, or a nursery or garden center interested in making a difference, please consider participating in this year’s CNREF Trees For Education fundraiser.We hope to have partnerships established this winter or by early spring, so trees can be delivered in the spring and sold by July.To get more information or become a Trees for Education partner, please contact CNGA at 303-758-6672, 888-758-6672, or Thanks, Les Ratekin, CNGA Past President, Ratekin Enterprises

JAN FEB 2011  

The theme of the January/February 2011 issue of the LooseLeaf is Adapt: Adapting to Thrive. This month’s features include advice from busine...