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October/November 2016 Volume 34 • Number 5 • $12.50

Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association

ADOPTING WISELY Tech Upgrades 6 Produce Possible Drone Uses for Nurseries Videos Promote 9 Staff Expertise & Customer Loyalty Dormant Season Solutions 11 for Pest & Disease Management FLSA White Collar 14 Exemption Rules Announced

Our Mission To create opportunities for horticultural and associated industry professionals to collaboratively grow their businesses through fellowship, education, advocacy and certification.

In This Issue 3

Cover Photo Courtesy of Bailey Nurseries (Tracy Walsh)

Message from the Board: New Technology – How do you keep up?


Member Profiles: Bailey Nurseries Humalfa LLC

13 Funding Research & Education: Ideas for Successful Internships

6 9

Tech Upgrades Produce Possible Drone Uses for Nurseries

14 Financial Affairs: FLSA White Collar Exemption Rules

16 CSU Research Update:

Videos Promote Staff Expertise & Customer Loyalty

2016 Superior Annuals from the CSU Trials

18 Safety Corner: Improve Ergonomics to Reduce Worker Injuries

11 Dormant Season Solutions for Pest & Disease Management

19 Calendar, New Members, Classified Ads, & Advertisers List

Board Of Directors Jesse Eastman, CCNP President Fort Collins Nursery 970.482.1984 Dan Wise, CCNP President-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery 970.484.1289 Levi Heidrich, Officer-At-Large Heidrich’s Colorado Tree Farm Nursery, LLC 719.598.8733


Ex-Officio Members

Bill Kluth Tagawa Greenhouse Enterprises, LLC 303.659.1260 x205

Kirby Thompson, CCNP, CGG Britton Nursery, Inc. 719.495.3676

Stan Brown, CCNP Alameda Wholesale Nursery, Inc. 303.761.6131

Kerri Dantino Little Valley Wholesale Nursery 303.659.6708

Sarada Krishnan, Ph.D. Denver Botanic Gardens 720.865.3601

Beth Gulley Gulley Greenhouses 970.223.4769



Contributing Writers

Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association 959 S. Kipling Pkwy., Ste. 200 Lakewood, Colo. 80226 303.758.6672 Fax: 303.758.6805

Allison Gault, MBA, CAE Executive Director Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association 303.758.6672

Mindy Carrothers Dr. Jim Klett Michael Schleining



Jim Klett, Ph.D. CSU Dept. of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture 970.491.7179 Allison Gault, MBA, CAE Executive Director Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association 303.758.6672

Jesse Eastman, CCNP Derek Malmgren Dan Staley

Tanya Ishikawa Ben Northcutt Dan Wise, CCNP

The LooseLeaf feature writer and editor is Tanya Ishikawa of Buffalo Trails Multimedia Communications at 303.819.7784 and The LooseLeaf is published six times a year with issues scheduled for February/March, April/May, June/July, August/September, October/November, and December/January. Visit for classified advertisements, plant publications, upcoming events, a member directory, and much more!

Colorado Community Media 9137 Ridgeline Blvd., Ste. 210 Highlands Ranch, Colo. 80129

Display Advertising Ben Northcutt, CNGA 303.758.6672


Allison Gault, MBA, CAE

Ben Northcutt

Chris Tolbertson

Executive Director

Membership Manager

Administrative Coordinator




LooseLeaf October/November 2016

New Technology... How do you keep up? With the ever-accelerating pace of technological development, it can be a challenge deciding what new tech will help your business, and what will be a distraction. In 1995, Newsweek published an article titled, “The Internet? Bah!” in which author Cliff Stoll writes: We’re promised instant catalog shopping – just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obsolete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Just over 20 years later, Stoll’s cynicism has become prophecy – we do just point and click for great deals. My local mall is struggling to remain relevant. Companies that successfully adopted internet early are giants today (think eBay, Google, Amazon), while those that did not or could not adapt have died on the vine. (Does anyone remember Borders Books?) So how do we adapt to this rapidly changing world without risking our livelihoods? There’s no crystal ball to tell us which horse to bet on. For the sake of longterm success, we can’t jump in feet first with every new innovation. Instead, consider a measured and cautious approach that allows you to enthusiastically dabble in the new and exciting without risking too much. First consider what your risk tolerance is. New technology should complement what you already do well. If you are looking to new tech to literally save your business from failure, just stop. Figure out what got you into this mess, do repairs, clean house, and get back to basics. Tech shouldn’t be a silver bullet for all that ails you, and if you bet the farm on a new tech that isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, you’ve got nothing left. Alternatively, if you’re a stable business


looking for new ways to expand your customer base, you might be able to shake off a failed attempt at tech adoption and live to fight another day. Next, explore what the new tech brings to the table. Does it solve a problem you’ve long struggled with? For my business, social media offered a way to have a constant low-level relationship with my customers. We maintain top-of-mind awareness by sharing stories and photos that are interesting and relevant to customers, something that was extremely difficult with a periodic newsletter. Would we be fine without it? Of course, but our business is much more vibrant because of it.

By Jesse Eastman, CCNP CNGA Board President

“New technology should

Also keep in mind that just because something is good for the business next door doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for you. We have often considered adding a potting machine for our 1-gallon perennial production, but would it actually add to our business? While the machine might pay for itself in pure efficiency, we don’t sell the volume of plants needed to keep a potting machine running for very long, so it would spend a good part of the year sitting idle. Additionally, our production crew does facilities maintenance once potting season is over. We can hire better help when we can offer a longer-term seasonal job, and good help is worth its weight in gold.


Finally, choose a way to measure success and stay flexible. As you prepare to institute new technology, write down measurable signs of success. Come back to this often, as it can be a guide to help you know when to pull the plug or double down on your investment. However, don’t assume that success as you defined it at the start of your endeavor will stay constant. Keep an open mind and you may find that an unintended consequence is more desirable than the solution you set out to find. Don’t be afraid to move the finish line if you are nearing the end of the race and realize you are running on the wrong path.


what you already do well. If you are looking to new tech to literally save your business from failure, just



Quality Plants Grown on 5,000 Acres in 4 states Interview with Alec Charais, Marketing and Communications Manager

What’s important about Bailey’s history? Bailey Nurseries 1325 Bailey Road St. Paul, Minn. 55119 tel 800.829.8898 fax 800.829.8894 kent.broome@

First and foremost, we’re a family-owned business with a Bailey legacy that dates back five generations to 1896. We’ve always taken great pride in bringing the best plants to the marketplace and maintaining the highest quality while nurturing solid relationships – these are values that the Bailey family has instilled in each generation and all the great people that work for us. As a result we’ve been successful – we operate on more than 5,000 acres in Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and Illinois with over 4,500 customers worldwide.

What are your primary markets? Bailey Nurseries offers a very diverse product line that we distribute among two primary markets. One is the independent garden center market where we supply finished, ready-tosell products. The other is the grower market where we supply a large variety of small plants, cuttings and liner products like JumpStarts™ used for propagation.

How have big box retailers impacted Bailey? We will continue to see growth in the big box store model of selling plants, but I believe their growth has actually helped make our independent retailers stronger. Our retailers have been forced to fine tune their operations and business models, leading to a more diversified product line and even services such as landscaping or design. Plus, they’re elevating customer service and product quality to levels that the big box stores can’t match. Overall, I think there are plenty of opportunities for our retailers to thrive.

How do you deal with inventory shortages? At Bailey Nurseries, and throughout our industry, this is a challenge that


we face every year. We’re evolving our strategies to examine our production schedules much more frequently so we can quickly bridge any supply gap. We have an important advantage in this regard since we have multiple facilities in several states. As a result, we can leverage our indoor and outdoor growing spaces to maintain a diverse supply of substitute plants should the market create shortages.

What trends are affecting your business? First, there’s the labor problem – it’s huge and it’s a constant challenge. We’ve found some success by tapping into the Karen community, an incredible refugee population from Burma. A second trend we’re seeing is a delay in home ownership. That has implications for our tree and shrub production, which are common elements of home ownership landscaping. Finally, we’re seeing a growing demand for shade-tolerant plants as designers and planners are utilizing these more in mature landscapes and for city greening projects.

What role does CNGA play for Bailey? We see great value in the education that CNGA provides to horticulture professionals. That keeps very knowledgeable people on the front lines where they can intelligently represent our plants to customers. We always appreciate the hard work that CNGA puts into various legislative issues and know they have our best interests in mind. Perhaps the best big-picture role that CNGA plays for us is generating awareness of the value of plants in the urban landscape and where to find them. It’s that steady public awareness effort that helps us and all players in this industry.

LooseLeaf October/November 2016

Organic Fertilizer for All Soils & Growing Mediums Interview with Farrel Crowder, Owner

How did you get started with Humalfa? I’ve been involved with the cattle business for most of my working life. About 10 years ago, I became acquainted with Lyn Boomer who started this business 35 years ago in Oklahoma. I was looking for a new angle on the cattle business, and I grew more interested in the possibilities of using feed yard manure to make an organic fertilizer product. Six years ago, I bought the business.

What is your primary market? The focus of our business is serving the agriculture industry, which uses well over 100,000 tons of our product a year. Half of our customers grow commercial crops and we are witnessing a steady increase in demand by the organic producers as their organic crop production increases. Our product is a perfect fit for their needs and Humalfa is registered as an organic fertilizer with the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Our market covers southeastern Wyoming, western Nebraska and the northeast quarter of Colorado. Another key market is turf grass. We currently supply more than 50 golf courses and numerous municipal applications along with many reclamation projects. We provided the product for the new high school in Laramie, Wyoming, to reclaim the grounds and for their athletic fields. Our third market segment is the retail market. This product is supplemented with alfalfa, a natural growth stimulant and bagged for horticultural use. The bagged product is received very well and horticulture customers rave about it.

What challenges does the business face? Right now our biggest challenge is getting a solid foothold in the retail market with the

bagged product. We need to educate the customer about the quality of our product – that it’s perfectly safe to use around pets and kids, and it works on any type of soil or growing medium. There are several large garden centers that have been using our product for more than 20 years, and the Oklahoma Rose Society fully supports it. We believe in this product so much that any CNGA member is welcome to a free sample. A CNGA endorsement would be a valuable step toward educating customers about the benefits of using Humalfa.


Humalfa LLC 26874 County Road 65 Iliff, Colorado 80736 tel 970.522.0758 Farrel cell 970.520.7715 Candace Talbert (sales) cell 970.554.1626 fax 970.522.2250

How is technology helping your company? At our scale of production, we’re always looking for new equipment that can increase our efficiency and save on fuel costs. This past January, we bought a state-of-the art compost turning machine. It is fully automated, which saves on labor, and it gets more work done using less fuel – that’s a beautiful result of today’s new technology!

What do you enjoy most about CNGA? We haven’t been as active with CNGA as much as we’d like to be. We know there are many programs that are useful to members and we’re making a stronger commitment to get more involved. We are pleased to be a sponsor of the member BBQs and plan to participate in this year’s Owners & Managers Leadership Retreat. We’re ready to tap into the CNGA network and learn as much as we can from our fellow members. In return we can help them with their product lines, too.



By Dan Staley, Analemma Resources LLC

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones as they are more commonly known, may soon be used effectively in several ways in the nursery industry. Software algorithms to identify or count objects are becoming better and more common by the month. Such algorithms can be used in drones to do counts or even eventually to measure and calculate plant growth in the nursery industry. UAS development is being driven by the concepts of “big data” and the “internet of things” (the interconnectivity of machines through cloud computing). Both concepts are possible because of the collapse in the costs of computing power – there is more computing power in your smartphone today than all the computing power used to send a man to the moon in the 1960s. Big data is the real engine of growth in the UAS industry and is being applied to problems across a wide spectrum of human activities. As soon as someone in the UAS industry starts looking at the scope of problems to solve in the nursery industry, things will move quickly. Here in Colorado the high-tech and UAS industries are strong, so the state has an opportunity to push nursery growing forward if the right people start looking.

Dan Staley is principal of Analemma Resources LLC, a green infrastructure consulting firm in Aurora, Colorado. He studied environmental horticulture and urban forestry at the University of California-Davis and environmental planning concentrating on urban ecology at the University of Washington. He and his daughter fly their drones together at every opportunity.


LooseLeaf October/November 2016


USES FOR NURSERIES The nursery industry could apply a UAS use from the precision agriculture industry and use multispectral sensors to collect data to determine Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). A measure of plant reflectance that is used to gauge plant health over time, NDVI can be calculated from cheap, fast drone surveys of fields of plants. This process is already beginning to transform agriculture, making it possible to only apply fertilizer where needed, quickly calculate storm damage for insurance, forecast yields, conserve water with real-time surveys, and the list goes on. The same tasks can be applied to the nursery industry, and are just beginning to be studied. Though trials a few years ago reported issues with consistent image captures including overlapping and random artifacts in images, several universities are working on algorithms for commercial purposes that are solving these issues. This market is very young and surely more models will be out by press time. Orchards and vineyards show the most promise because of their straight, predictable rows – a similarity that nurseries have as well, so watch the market news for developments in the nursery business.

Photos courtesy of Analemma Resources

For monitoring and general maintenance, any recent drone that is in the prosumer category (professional + consumer) is sufficient; professional camera drones are not necessary. The aircraft made by DJI (Phantom series), 3D Robotics (3DR – the Solo series), Yuneec (Typhoon H or Q500 series) and a few similar models by less well-known manufacturers are all just fine for optical, infrared, or multispectral missions. Any drone by these manufacturers costs from $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the package and how many extra batteries and spare parts are included. Infrared sensors are almost always sold separately and cost between $1,500 and $2,500 for a good model, depending on resolution. Multispectral sensors are still a specialty item and cost about $6,500 to $8,000 for a good 4- or 5-band model. While several used drone models (less than two years old) offer less expensive alternatives and can still do the job, it’s best to go with the latest and greatest technology – not used – when it comes to sensors. When deciding whether to buy a drone or hire a drone service, it depends upon how much risk you want to take for crashing a drone, losing that investment and having to buy new equipment. To fly safely and have sufficient experience, a good rule of thumb is to have 30 to 60 hours of flight time; it’s probably OK to have less for production nursery operations flying at 150 feet. If you don’t have the time to learn or the stomach for risk, you may want to hire a pilot – especially if you are a nursery operation looking at your stock just a few times a year. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

Don’t miss Dan Staley at 2017 ProGreen Expo. His session titled “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Landscape, Greenhouse and Nursery Operation: Where to Begin” will be on Thursday, Feb. 9 from 3 to 4 p.m.



Regardless of whether you purchase or hire, if you are collecting any other sort of data besides optical images, you will need a data company to analyze that mission’s data. Many data companies today also fly UAS missions, so it is likely the same company can handle both the drone operation and your data. The Federal Aviation Administration, which is responsible for the nation’s airspace, has a helpful online guide at http:// The agency also created a useful smartphone app called B4UFLY, available for free download in the App Store for iOS and Google Play store for Android, that uses GPS to tell you whether you are in restricted airspace (e.g. within five miles of certain airports). Local jurisdictions can place additional restrictions on flight within their borders (“no drone zones”) to protect sensitive infrastructure, buildings, or privacy. There is a new rule for commercial operations that went into effect August 2016, called “Part 107” for short (full code name: Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 107 - 14 CFR Part 107) that details the rules for commercial flight (e.g. nursery operations). In general, for aircraft flying commercially and under 55 pounds, drone pilots must be certified under Part 107 rules and fly only in daylight, no higher than 400 feet above ground level, no farther than visual line of sight, not over crowds, and not within X miles of Y class airspace (differs by tower type), plus some other rules less important for nursery operations. The FAA can assess civil penalties up to $27,500 but rarely does so. As far as private property operations, you can fly up to 400 feet. There is some interpretation of a SCOTUS ruling that the airspace above 83 feet above the ground is public airspace and you can fly anywhere between 84 and 400 feet, but that is a long discussion best left for a separate column (as is privacy).


“Here in Colorado the high-tech and Unmanned Aircraft Systems industries are strong, so the state has an opportunity to push nursery growing forward.” – Dan Staley Principal, Analemma Resources LLC

FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS On the policy side, a number of insiders in the drone industry indicate a key rule for agriculture and other industries requiring long-distance flight – Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS or sometimes BLOS) – is intended to be enacted in the not too distant future - in 2017 or 2018 at the latest. There is much pressure to enact these laws to allow such flight in the United States. BVLOS is especially important for inspection and monitoring of railroads, pipelines, and electric transmission corridors, also search and rescue, wildland fire response, large agriculture operations, and wildlife monitoring (think sharks near beaches, bird migrations and airports, fishing). But agriculture is expected to benefit the most and provide the most revenue and innovation. On the technology side, battery technology and fuel developments will make drone use easier and safer. Batteries continue to get more powerful, and prototype aircraft powered by alternative fuels such as hydrogen are in the testing phase that promise flight times measured in hours, rather than minutes as we do today. Technology likely won’t make operations more difficult for nurseries, but a factor may be how the privacy issue plays out and how local authorities treat drone flight. Overall, the trend is to make things better for businesses using drones. I hope that continues – and expect it will.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Fact Sheet – Small Unmanned Aircraft Regulations (Part 107): fact_sheets/news_story. cfm?newsId=20516 New Part 107 test preparation: http:// Updates on laws and legislation: Out-of-the box views written just before Part 107 rules were released: read/is-flying-a-drone-illegal-acomprehensive-guide-to-americasdrone-laws Drone operation: Three_Drone_Commandments Denver-area Meetup (meets once a month for presentations and networking, informally for fly-ins): RockyMountainUnmanned/ Nonprofit business league for Colorado’s Unmanned Aviation Industry: Online community for personal UAV users (none listed in New Mexico): heres-the-page-for-local-diy LooseLeaf October/November 2016




A still from a video on dividing irises and daylilies by Tagawa Gardens.

Online videos can be a great way for garden centers to connect to customers. Whether a company chooses to create simple, inexpensive videos or spend more time on higher quality productions, customers will appreciate having another way to get ideas and information about gardening. “We probably don’t utilize video to its fullest extent, but just having people interested to watch at all seems to be a good start. We hope to improve and expand our use of video promotion and education,” explained Jennifer Timms Hobson, the co-owner at Jericho Nursery in Albuquerque, N.M. For Tagawa Gardens in Centennial, Colorado, creating “how to” videos is part of a commitment to education, according to Manager Beth Zwinak. “Our mission statement includes providing education to our community. These videos tie in with classes, webinars, blogs, offsite seminars and other educational opportunities that we provide. It takes a commitment in labor and dollars to do this effectively,” she said. “Using videos for promotion or advertising is a great way to showcase products and for folks to see our store and entice them to come visit,” Zwinak

added. “The best return is that online videos help us reinforce that we are experts and can help our guests and community at any time, even before they come visit our store when they are at home or in their gardens.” Here are some pointers on making effective videos, based on the experiences at Jericho Nursery and Tagawa Gardens. CONTENT Videos should feature subjects that bring customers into your store, such as new items in stock, gift ideas near holidays, major sales, specialty items like bonsai, and seasonal plant and decorating ideas. “How to” videos for garden and plant-related topics are useful for customers and attract new customers, as well as showing off your staff expertise. You can also make videos to use as ads for TV, YouTube, social media and other online advertising options. The most popular videos are often not the ones you expect, so make and post a variety of videos. At Jericho, a musical holiday open house video that is about a fun event and doesn’t directly promote or educate is the most viewed video. A Tagawa Gardens video about pruning

clematis has more than 50,000 views, and videos of staff doing transplants in the spring have been viewed more than expected. Other popular topics have been fairy gardens, succulents, and how to grow garlic, vegetables in pots, orchids, and African violets, as well as the activities of the garden center’s cats. LENGTH The length of videos depends on their purpose and content, but generally the shorter, the better. Breaking a longer video into a series of short videos is best for uploading to the internet and for attracting viewers. Ads are generally 15 or 30 seconds in length. Informational and promotional videos are two to five minutes on average, with more in-depth topics reaching a maximum of seven to 10 minutes. CAMERA TYPE Many options are available from smartphones to DSLR cameras with video options and consumer or professional video cameras. Most newer models of any video capturing device can be used effectively with the right understanding of its capabilities, careful production and some post-production, editing skills. CONTINUED ON PAGE 10



“It’s fun to hear customers make comments on the videos which we hear in-store and on Facebook.” – Jennifer Timms Hobson, Co-owner, Jericho Nursery Jericho Nursery Co-owner Rick Hobson is featured in online videos at the garden center.

VIDEO TEAM Best results are achieved when someone trained on video equipment and computer software, such as a website or information technology staff person or a videographer, is behind the camera and in charge of editing and posting. In front of the camera, pick out the biggest “ham” on your staff (often they will selfselect) who will most likely already have experience on the radio, TV or stage. That main talent can share the screen with other staff members, interacting through interviews and directing, to help them feel more comfortable on camera. PRODUCTION TIME Videos can happen spontaneously with little to no planning when a great subject or a slow moment in the store presents itself. When planning a video, the preparation, products and set up often take longer than anticipated, so padding the schedule with a little more time can help avoid time conflicts or incomplete projects. While a spontaneous video shoot on a smartphone can be produced and posted in less than an hour, a two to five-minute video with a defined purpose can take 12 to 15 hours for preparation, filming and post production. POSTING OPTIONS The most inexpensive way to post videos online is by using an internet video portal like YouTube or Vimeo. Posting directly to your website can cost


more in site design and server space. A channel for your garden center’s videos can be created, so all your videos are in one collection on those video sites. They also provide html code that allows you to embed (place) the video right on your own website pages. Having a video on your home page is a great way to grab a website visitor’s attention, and videos that relate to specific pages on your site can be posted on each of those. Most recent, most popular or other groups of videos can be posted on a videos page easily found from a link on your website menu. Videos can also be transferred to DVDs to be played in your store, especially during classes. COST The price tag for producing videos ranges widely depending on the project, from less than $100 to much more than $500. Producing videos can cost next to nothing when produced by in-house staff with available equipment. When using an outside professional, costs can be kept down if the video is part of a larger marketing contract. Videographers rates vary greatly based on a variety of factors

including experience, company size and equipment. ROI It’s difficult to evaluate the financial return from videos, but easy to measure the viewership and popularity. Video views are tracked by Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook and other website analytical tools, and can help garden centers understand which videos are attracting the most eyes and attention for their business. On some websites, other viewer actions such as shares and click throughs are tracked to provide more information on the effectiveness of the videos. Many customers mention seeing garden center videos when they are shopping, and staff can take note of each comment to gather more information about video effectiveness. Because viewers can also comment on videos and ask questions on YouTube, social media and via email, a staff member will need to monitor those accounts so they can respond as appropriate – another opportunity to demonstrate your excellent customer service and know-how.

RESOURCES View some videos produced by Jericho Nursery and Tagawa Gardens online at: LooseLeaf October/November 2016

Dormant Season Solutions for Pest & Disease Management

“IPM allows us to target specific pest and disease issues only when they arise, rather than doing preventative controls on large blocks of plants based on a calendar schedule.” – Dan Wise, CCNP, Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery

By Dan Wise, CCNP Owner, Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery

Performing some key plant care procedures during the dormant season every year helps prevent pest and disease problems. A portion of the plant production staff at Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery works through the off-season months of December through February to ensure these operations are done on schedule, so they can be effective.

Our head growers are very knowledgeable in all the technical aspects of nursery production, and they instruct and supervise their staffs on how to execute our various pest and disease management programs. Also, our head growers are certified pesticide applicators, and in order to hold that license, they are required to complete continuing education in which they are updated on the latest technology as well as emerging pests and diseases. We use integrated pest management (IPM), a holistic strategy and tools to identify and treat all biotic and abiotic plant issues. IPM allows us to target specific pest and disease issues only when they arise, rather than doing preventative controls on large blocks of plants based on a calendar schedule. With IPM, the grower considers dozens of options based on economic factors, environmental impacts, and the season and stage of growth of the plants. Our plant care procedures in the dormant season involve pruning practices and some tillage and sanitation operations, which do not require applying any pesticides. We wait until early spring to use pre-emergent herbicides in our growing blocks before plants are put out. This helps keep production areas free of weeds that can harbor pests or diseases. We no longer use dormant oils in our production though we used them in the distant past. We found that their effectiveness did not meet our needs for container and field production, since dormant oil is used in more widespread, preventative applications. CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

Photo courtesy of Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery



MORE ON DORMANT OILS If fruit, shade and ornamental trees have experienced an insect infestation, dormant oil can be applied in late winter and early spring to avoid a recurrence. Dormant oils work to choke off insects where they over-winter inside trees. Some oils poison the pest insects, but leave many beneficial insects alone. Dormant oils, which are typically made from organic material, are safe to use on most plants and around areas frequented by children or pets. Some oil-sensitive plants like junipers, cedar and maple cannot tolerate dormant oil.

Pruning and the timing of pruning on some species is key in preventing some diseases. Some plants in the apple family (crabapple, mountain ash, etc.), which are major ornamental tree species for northern Colorado, are susceptible to fireblight. If plants are showing early signs of fireblight, infected wood can be pruned off while taking care to sanitize pruning tools between cuts or between plants, and removing any infected branches and disposing of them. If trees become more heavily infected with fireblight, the trees are removed and destroyed to prevent further spread of the disease.

Photo courtesy of Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery

Find more information about dormant oils by visiting the CSU Extension website at insects/, clicking on the “Publications” link in the middle of the page (not at the top), scrolling down to find the section on “General Insect Control” and clicking on “Insect Control: Horticultural Oils (12/13)”.

As far as our tillage and sanitation operations in the dormant season, our fields are cultivated after leaf drop to minimize decaying foliage, which can harbor disease and pest organisms. Also, during the winter, we perform a dormant prune on many of our container plants. The trimmings are collected and disposed of for the same reasons. Any plants that are weak or diseased are also removed from the growing blocks and disposed of as well. Our goal at Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery is to produce and sell the finest landscape plants available. Dormant season plant health care is a key component in our overall IPM strategy, and helps up prepare for the busy spring season before it arrives.


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LooseLeaf October/November 2016

Ideas for Successful Internships This summer, I had the opportunity to join an amazing team and learn hands-on, practical skills that I can take with me in my career. After completing my internship with Arbor Valley Nursery, I have compiled some ideas that I experienced that made my internship successful and could be duplicated for success at other companies. 1.

I was very impressed with the balance between work that was mostly labor and tasks that required a bit more thinking. With a fresh education and awareness of recent research, trials and studies, an intern can really add to important discussions about production and other issues. In this industry, interns expect some labor – any internship applicant understands that. However, I really benefited in my internship because labor was always combined with the question: “Why?” Then, from start to finish, the different processes and reasons why we were doing certain things was discussed. It took hours to prune an entire row of honey locusts, but learning the different pruning techniques as well as understanding why and when they were pruned in certain ways was priceless knowledge. I recommend this way of training: use every task as a teaching opportunity.

2. My internship had great structure. I sat down with nursery owner Matt Edmundson on my first day and we talked about my goals and dreams in life and as a student. With that, we put together a weekly schedule of where I would be and what I would be doing. I was bounced around the nursery and was able to experience all facets of the business. Because of this, I never felt lost or like I was wandering without anything to do. A structured internship really helps students understand what they are getting into and keeps you from having to keep them by

your side. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to send them on a delivery or have them answer phones during a meeting. Whenever this happened, I felt that I was really needed and the independence was nice. 3. There were no areas that were off limits. I was able to ask questions about anything that I saw in the nursery – even when I was criticizing things being done. I also attended meetings, some of which were financial. It really helped me gain perspective on the business side of things, and gave me insight on how a meeting is run. Be open with your interns – they are there to learn and it will make them feel welcome and part of the team. 4. Towards the end of the internship, I had the opportunity to put together a weed management plan for different areas of the property and take soil samples of the tree production field. These projects made me feel valued and useful as an intern, and gave me the chance to create something I could be proud of and see through to the end. Projects or solo tasks around the nursery are a great way to put a student’s education to use as well as to gauge their solo work ethic and how they fit into your business. At the end of the internship, I was able to sit down with the leadership team and reflect on how I thought the internship went and if there was anything I had observed or experienced that could change. I think the biggest part of why I had such a great stay at Arbor Valley was the fact that I felt so welcomed and involved in the nursery. There was never a point where I felt that I was just extra baggage or left behind. I hope these ideas help you shape your internship program so that all of us – both new and seasoned staff – can together create a great future in the green industry.


By Michael Schleining CHREF Scholarship Recipient

“A structured internship really helps students understand what they are getting into and keeps you from having to keep them by your side.”

knowledge experience &



Eric Celmer: 208.863.9732 - Carla Carter: 208.863.2350 -

25455 Lansing Lane • Middleton, ID 83644 • Fax - 208.585.5797

...we grow plants to age gracefully




By Derek Malmgren Colorado Territory Manager Heartland Payment Systems

“What the new rules mean for employers is that millions of employees will either need to be reclassified as non-exempt or have their salaries raise to the new threshold.”

FLSA White Collar Exemption Rules Announced The U.S. Department of Labor announced the new salary threshold for certain employees to qualify as exempt from minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) White Collar Exemptions. Effective December 1, 2016, the new minimum salary level will be $47,476 per year ($913 per week). Up to 10 percent of this income may come in the form of non-discretionary bonuses, incentive pay, or commissions, as long as that portion of the compensation is paid at least quarterly. In the event that an employee does not earn enough in bonuses and commissions to meet the full minimum salary requirement, a catch-up payment can be made by the employer once a quarter. The minimum salary requirement applies to all white collar workers who are classified as exempt executive or administrative employees, and to many who are classified as exempt professional employees. As anticipated, the duties tests for the White Collar Exemptions have not changed. Under the new rules, this salary threshold will increase every three years. It will be set at the 40th percentile of weekly earnings among full-time

salaried (not necessarily exempt) employees in the country’s lowest income region – currently the South. It is expected that the next change, which will be effective January 1, 2020, will increase the minimum salary to approximately $51,168. The new rule also increases the minimum salary threshold for the Highly Compensated Employee (HCE) exemption from $100,000 per year to $134,004 per year. This exemption can be used when an employee carries out a limited number of executive, administrative or professional duties, but is very well-compensated. The new rule sets the HCE threshold at the 90th percentile of all full-time salaried workers nationally. This number will also increase every three years, and is expected to rise to approximately $147,524 on January 1, 2020. Some state laws create different minimum salary levels. When state laws differ from the FLSA, an employer must comply with the standard most beneficial to employees. Come December 1, the federal minimum salary level will be higher than any state-mandated minimum, and therefore must be followed.

Cultivating Love & Life

A family-owned wholesale perennial grower since 1979, Britton Nursery is Cultivating Love and Life in order to produce both healthy and beautiful plants as well as joyful and vibrant people. Our secret is that we are Rooted and Established in Love! (Ephesians 3:17) We invite you to come see what a difference love makes!

Britton Nursery, Inc.

7075 Wyoming Lane Colorado Springs, CO 80923 Office: 719.495.3676 Fax: 719.495.3749 . Proud Member


Licensed Propagator

Licensed Grower

LooseLeaf October/November 2016

Four steps that businesses can take now to prepare include: identifying which employees may be effected, considering appropriate compensation strategies, determining the hours worked by effected employees, and looking at the big picture to refine your policies as needed. What this means for employers is that millions of employees will either need to be reclassified as non-exempt or have their salaries raise to the new threshold. Employers who fail to do so may face claims for back pay, interest and other penalties. EXEMPTIONS Some employees are exempt from the overtime pay provisions, some from both the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions and some from the child labor provisions of the FLSA. Exemptions are narrowly construed against the employer asserting them. Consequently, employers and employees should always closely check the exact terms and conditions of an exemption in light of the employee’s actual duties before assuming that the exemption might apply to the employee. The ultimate burden of supporting the actual application

of an exemption rests on the employer. Exemptions are typically applied on an individual workweek basis. Employees performing exempt and non-exempt duties in the same workweek are normally not exempt in that workweek. For more information on exemptions, please refer to the United States Department of Labor web page: flsa/screen75.asp HEARTLAND SUPPORT In preparation for the new rule, Heartland Payroll and Human Resources created the following materials, all of which can be found in the online HR Support Center for our clients: • FLSA Changes: Decision Making Guide • FLSA Changes: Implementation Guide • Two-minute HR trainings on the new rule, the salaried non-exempt classification, and the executive, administrative and professional exemptions • A memo requesting that employees track their hours for planning purposes • A letter to employees regarding their classification change • A guide to calculating overtime for

non-exempt employees who receive non-discretionary bonuses or commissions LEGAL DISCLAIMER This document is intended for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal information or advice. This information and all HR Support Center materials are provided in consultation with federal and state statutes and do not encompass other regulations that may exist, such as local ordinances. Transmission of documents or information through the HR Support Center does not create an attorneyclient relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney. ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Heartland Payroll and Human Resources provides web-based tools and services to help businesses manage payroll and human resources and ensure compliance, timeliness and accuracy with taxes, HR and employee pay. Derek Malmgren is the territory manager at Heartland Payment Systems and specializes in payroll and human resource management services. He can be reached at derek. or 720.234.7378.


WE HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE & PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS Your Full Line Distributor for: plant containers • shade cloth ground covers • greenhouse structures greenhouse equipment & coverings organic and traditional fertilizers biological and traditional pesticides planting media • hydroponic supplies winter protection fabric


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By James E. Klett, Ph.D. Professor & Landscape Horticultural Specialist Colorado State University

2016 Superior Annuals from the CSU Trials The Colorado State University Annual Flower Trials continued during the 2016 growing season with more than 1,000 entries from 24 different companies worldwide. The garden is planted and maintained by the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture with guidance from a committee of growers, flower seed and plant companies, and public garden horticulturists. Initial evaluations were held on August 2, 2016, with more than 150 industry and advanced Master Gardeners participating. A few of the preliminary top vote getters from the first evaluation date in August include:

For a complete listing of all the final 2016 Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Pomegranate Punch’ from Proven Winners Flowers were abundant with unique shades of red that made this variety “pop” with flower power. It had a very vigorous growth habit, which did not open in the center. Plants had a good foliage color and showed no chlorosis throughout the season.

Annual “BEST OF’s” from the Colorado State University Trials go to www.flowertrials.

Argyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ from Proven Winners The outstanding yellow flowers were so abundant that they covered the plant and virtually obscured the foliage. The plant was the image of perfection with a very uniform habit and continual flowering throughout the season without any deadheading.


Canna ‘Toucan Scarlet’ from Proven Winners The taller growth habit (4 to 5 feet) with dark red foliage and brilliant scarlet flowers made this variety a real standout in the trials. The brilliant scarlet flowers seemed to be on fire on the top of the plant. This canna is an exceptional background plant, which could be used any place in the garden where height is needed. LooseLeaf October/November 2016

Celosia ‘Dracula’ from PanAmerican Seed This celosia is a great novelty plant due to its large flower against the dark red foliage. The larger flower would tower over smaller, more delicate flowers. Flowers also could be dried and used in floral designs.

Geranium ‘Brocade Cherry Night’ from Dummen Orange The bright cherry red flowers make a dramatic combination against the dark zonation on the foliage. The plants had great vigor and a very uniform growth habit. It was also a 2016 All American Selection Winner.

Mercardonia ‘Garden Freckles’ from Danzinger This low growing annual creates a carpet like growth habit with bright green foliage and abundant yellow flowers. Visually it looks like many yellow freckles against a carpet of green. It definitely has more of a ground cover growth habit.

Petunia ‘Crazytunia Blackberry Cheesecake’ from Westhoff The flower color on this variety is very unique with shades of purple mixed with yellow and white. The flowers have a blackberry cheesecake color. Flowering was abundant and plant vigor was excellent with good overall growth habit.

Cold-hardy specimen trees. Shade, flowering and evergreen.



888-777-8199 Emmett, Idaho |

     17


Improve Ergonomics to Reduce Worker Strain Injuries Office ergonomics affect workers in industries as diverse as construction, health care, manufacturing, retail and the public sector. It comes into play whenever soft-tissue strain results from improper or repetitive body movements, as well as lack of motion.

From Pinnacol Assurance

WHAT TO DO Working over long periods of time in awkward postures without taking breaks can greatly increase your employees’ risks for musculoskeletal injuries. Proper workstation setup and layout, good fit with a quality task chair and posture changes throughout the day are the most effective ways to reduce the risk of overuse injuries. Reorganizing work so employees can stand and walk every 30 to 45 minutes, for example, is a no-cost approach to reduce the effects of sitting in a static posture. WHAT NOT TO DO Look for these common awkward postures at your employees’ workstations and inform workers of these risk factors for injury: • Working in a seated, static position for more than 30 minutes without standing or walking.



G R E E N™

• Sitting so far forward in a chair that the back is unsupported, or worse, slouching forward over the keyboard. • Working with elbows extended in front of the body, which creates muscle tension in the upper back. • Cradling the phone for long periods while performing keyboard or mouse work. • Entering data from a document that is face down on the desk, requiring awkward neck flexion or twisting. • Placing contact stress on soft tissues, such as resting wrists on a hard, sharp desktop edge while using a computer mouse. PINNACOL RESOURCES

Visit Pinnacol’s Resource webpage to view our interactive office ergonomics video. A host of additional downloads – FAQs, guidelines for choosing an ergonomic chair and workstation setup, a stretching and warm-up exercise handout, and equipment procurement and use checklists – can help prevent musculoskeletal strains and injuries to your workers. You can order a computer DVD copy of the program from Pinnacol’s Order Materials webpage under the DVD Training & Resources section. Your organization can make copies of the DVD and distribute them to employees or even copy the files to your organization’s intranet. You can also contact Pinnacol’s Safety On Call hotline at 303.361.4700 or 888.501.4752.

ver gO o d win Gro olora ed C end 50 m s! om Rec rietie Va

Tim Flood: 800.236.4242 Cary Hall: 303.702.1063




P.O. Box 185, 750 South Monroe Street, Waterloo, WI 53594

800-236-4242 ▪ Fax: 920-478-3615 ▪


Shade, Ornamental, and Fruit Trees B&B and Containers Located in Southwest Idaho 208.482.6600 LooseLeaf October/November 2016

CNGA calendar To get more information about CNGA programs and events, go to and click on the Events tab to view the calendar, or contact the office by phone: 303.758.6672, fax: 303.758.6805, or email: Fall Workshop: Pest Management Practices for Nurseries & Greenhouses Wheat Ridge Recreation Center, Wheat Ridge, Colo. Thursday, Oct. 27 Commercial Pesticide Applicators Exam Prep Seminars CNGA Offices, Lakewood, Colo. • General Seminar Part I – Tuesday, Oct. 11 • General Seminar Part II – Thursday, Oct. 13 • Ornamental Seminar – Tuesday, Oct. 18 • Turf Seminar – Thursday, Oct. 20 All seminars are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Colorado Certified Nursery Professional (CCNP) Seminars and Exam Denver Metro Area, Colo.; Tuesdays • Perennials – Echter’s Greenhouses, Arvada – Nov. 1, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. • Trees – The Tree Farm, Brighton – Nov. 8, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. • Shrubs – Alameda Wholesale Nursery, Englewood – Nov. 15, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. • Landscape Design – CNGA, Lakewood – Dec. 6, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. • Exam – CNGA, Lakewood – Jan. 10, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

classified ADS

• Exam – ProGreen EXPO, Colorado Convention Center, Denver – Feb. 7, 1–5 p.m. Owners and Managers Leadership Retreat The Lodge at Vail, Vail, Colo. Friday & Saturday, Nov. 4 & 5 ProGreen EXPO Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colo. Tue.–Fri., Feb. 7-10, 2017

For plants that feel perfectly at home, look for...

CNGA offers free posts of online classified ads to members, including items for sale or lease and job openings. For more details about the classified listings below and to see other current postings, visit, click on the Resources tab and click on Classifieds.

Professional Gardeners and Farm Interns Gardening By Tess, 1669 Hoyt St., Lakewood, Colo. 80215 Horticulturists/Gardeners, Landscape Architect/Estimator, & Tree Farm Position Steve Koon Landscape & Design, Inc., 2301 W. Oxford Ave., Englewood, Colo. 80110 Assistant Nursery Manager, Nursery Sales, Landscape/ Maintenance Technicians, Design Assistants, Supervisors and Managers in Summit, Eagle and Grand Counties Neils Lunceford, Inc., P.O. Box 2130, Silverthorne, Colo. 80498 Outside Sales PlantRight LLC, 30050 W. 135th St., Olathe, Kan. 66061

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



Argyranthemum ‘Butterfly’ from Proven Winners

Calibrachoa ‘Superbells Pomegranate Punch’ from Proven Winners

Canna ‘Toucan Scarlet’ from Proven Winners

Petunia ‘Crazytunia Blackberry Cheesecake’ from Westhoff

Celosia ‘Dracula’ from PanAmerican Seed

LooseLeaf October/November 2016  
LooseLeaf October/November 2016