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Insights and Information for Green Industry Professionals

VOLUME 34, NUMBER 2 February 2011

PAGES 48-50

Also in this issue:

MNLA Academy Education Upcoming

Can We Resolve the Wire Basket Debate?

PAGES 28-30


la Gath e p ca rch 54-15 s nd a s 1 La on Mpage ee S



From the Executive Director . . . . . . . . . 11 Government Affairs. . . . . . . . . . . 10-11, 41 DC Update. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-13 Landscape Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14-16 Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Sustainable Environment. . . . . . . . . . . . 18 MDA Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22, 25 Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26-30 Scholarship Winners . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32-33 Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Public Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Landscape Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Landscape Management . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Landscape Contractor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Stormwater management . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Northern Green Expo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Green Industry Careers. . . . . . . . . . . 48-50 Irrigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Garden Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Plant of the Month . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

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ADVERTISER INDEX Albert J. Lauer, Inc. - 37 Anchor Block Company - 2 Ancom Communication & Technical Center - 49 Bailey Nurseries - 27 Belgard Hardscapes-Northfield - 15 Bullis Insurance Agency - 36 BW Insurance Agency - 26 Carlin Horticultural Supplies/ProGreen Plus - 11 Casualty Assurance - 25 Central Landscape Supply - 16 Central Wisconsin Evergreens, Inc. - 21 Cherokee Mfg. - 36 Cook Water Farms - 18 Crow River Greenhouse & Nursery - 54 Crysteel Truck Equipment - 34 Cushman Motor Co., Inc. - 31 D. Hill Nursery Co. - 22 Dayton Bag & Burlap - 26 Dimex LLC - 56 Eagle Bay Farms - 39 Fahey Sales Auctioneers & Appraisers - 35 Farber Bag & Supply Co. - 40 Fireside Hearth & Home - 55 Floral Plant Growers-Natural Beauty - 16 Fred W. Radde & Sons, Inc. - 43

Gardenworld Inc. - 41 Gertens Wholesale - 5 Glacial Ridge Growers - 35 Golden Valley Hardscapes/Xylem. Ltd. - 40 Hal Tiffany Agency - 39 Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supplies - 13 Hoffman & McNamara Nursery and Landscape - 13 J.R. Johnson Supply, Inc. - 43 Jeff Belzer Chevrolet - 7 Klaus Nurseries - 41 Kubota Dealers - 9 L&M Products, Inc. - 16 Maguire Agency - 12 Out Back Nursery - 46 RDO Equipment Co. - 23 Speedway Super America - 22 Stonebrooke Equipment Inc. - 24 TerraDek Lighting, Inc. - 34 The Builders Group - 4 The Tessman Company - 21 Timberwall Landscape Products - 21 Truck Utilities & Mfg. Co. - 12 United Label & Sales - 24 Wolf Motors - 18 Ziegler Cat - 3

Upcoming Events February 12 – Hardscape Design: Paver, Patios, and Retaining Walls. University of Wisconsin, River Falls. For more information, visit 15 – Maintenance for Raingardens and Bioretention Cells. Blaine City Hall. For more information, see page 28 or visit 16 – Picture Perfect Plants & Garden Design. U of M Continuing Education & Conference Center, St. Paul. For more information, see page 28 or visit Sponsored by Anchor Block Company. 16 – JRK Winter Turf and Tree Conference. JRK Turf and Seed, Eagan. For more information, visit 17 – Hands-On Raingarden Installation Training. Hedberg Landscape Supplies, Plymouth. For more information, see page 29 or visit 17 – Rochester Arborist Workshop. Rochester International Event Center. For more information, see 19 – Hardscape Design: Paver, Patios, and Retaining Walls. University of Wisconsin, River Falls. For more information, visit 21-24 – School of Turfgrass Management. Green Bay, WI. For more information and registration details, see 26 – Landscape Irrigation Management. University of Wisconsin, River Falls. For more information, visit

March 2 – MNLA Day on the Hill. Kelly Inn, St. Paul. For more information, see page 10 or 2-4 – MECA Annual Conference. Radisson Hotel and Conference Center, Plymouth. For more information, visit 5 – MNLA Landscape Gala. 317 on Rice Park, St. Paul. For more information, see page 14 or visit 5 – Landscape Irrigation Management. University of Wisconsin, River Falls. For more information, visit 10 – MNLA Certification Exam. Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount. For more information, see page 28 or visit 14-15 – Pesticide Certification Workshop & Exam. University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus. For more information, see page 29 or visit 15-16 – Shade Tree Short Course. Bethel University, Arden Hills. For more information, visit 16 – Landscape Lighting Technology (PLT Relicensure). Dorsey-Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul. For more information, see page 29 or visit Sponsored by Anchor Block Company. 16-17 – Pesticide Certification Workshop & Exam. University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus. For more information, see page 29 or visit 18 – Indoor Basic/Pondless®/Bog Day Seminar. Hedberg Landscape Supplies, Plymouth. For more information, call (763) 392-5920 or visit 22 – NCMA Segmental Retaining Wall Installer Certification. Dorsey-Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul. For more information, see page 30 or visit Sponsored by Anchor Block Company. 24 – Creating Edible Landscapes. Dorsey-Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul. For more information, see page 30 or visit Sponsored by Malmborg’s Garden Center & Greenhouse. 25 – AquaBasin™ & Rain Barrel Day Seminar. Hedberg Landscape Supplies, Plymouth. For more information, call (763) 392-5920 or visit 30 – Introduction to Irrigation. Dorsey-Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul. For more information, see page 30 or visit 30 – Irrigation Installation. Dorsey-Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul. For more information, see page 30 or visit 30 – Landscape Irrigation Design: Design Principles. For more information, see page 30 or visit 30 – Landscape Irrigation Design: Application & Layout. For more information, see page 30 or visit

If interested in exhibiting or sponsoring, please call Betsy Pierre, 763-295-5420 / 6 | FEbRUARy 2011

Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association 1813 Lexington Ave. N. Roseville, MN 55113 651-633-4987, fax 651-633-4986 Outside the metro area, toll free: 888-886-MNLA, fax 888-266-4986 •

MNLA Mission The mission of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association is to help nursery and landscape related companies in Minnesota and the surrounding region operate their businesses more successfully.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Bert Swanson, MNLA-CP, President Swanson’s Nursery Consulting, Inc. 218-732-3579 • Debbie Lonnee, MNLA-CP, Vice President bailey Nurseries, Inc. 651-768-3375 Heidi Heiland, MNLA-CP, Secretary-Treasurer Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens 612-366-7766 • Van Cooley, Past President Malmborg’s, Inc. 763-535-4695 Randy Berg, MNLA-CP berg’s Nursery, Landscape/Garden Center 507-433-2823 Scott Frampton Landscape Renovations 651-769-0010 Tim Malooly, CID, CLIA, CIC Irrigation by Design Inc. 763-559-7771 • Bill Mielke Wilson’s Nursery, Inc. 952-445-3630 Herman Roerick Central Landscape Supply 320-252-1601 Bob Fitch MNLA Executive Director 651-633-4987 • Staff directory and member services directory near the back cover. The Scoop is published 12 times per year by the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association, 1813 Lexington Ave. N., Roseville, MN 55113. Address corrections should be sent to the above address. News and advertising deadlines are the 5th of the month preceding publication.


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YOU are MNLA! Are YOU Telling the Industry’s Story? By Bob Fitch, MNLA Executive Director ow! I was blown away by the crowd that we had at the “Ontario Bans Pesticides – Is Minnesota Next?” seminar at Expo. The Bob Fitch 200 people in attendance was – by far – the largest crowd to ever turn out for a government affairs related event in the past 15 years, probably in all of MNLA’s history. Kudos to members of the MNLA Government Affairs Committee and the Minnesota Turfgrass Government Affairs Committee for their personal efforts to promote this important public policy forum. Attendees at the session heard a scary story from Tony DiGiovanni, executive director of Landscape Ontario. Radical environmentalists succeeded in pushing through a ban on the use of “cosmetic” pesticides in Ontario. Consumers and the green industry lost the ability to use legitimate pest control products on residential and commercial landscapes. The Landscape Ontario organization seemingly did everything right in trying to prevent the loss of pesticides from the integrated pest management toolbox. They created a mandatory IPM accreditation, responded to misinformation, took part in all meetings, preached minimizing pesticide use, supported research for pesticide alternatives, and even supported legislation limiting the use of pesticides to professionals. In the end, they were betrayed despite all their good faith efforts. Logic, research and science were no match for emotion and fear. While Landscape Ontario was ultimately unsuccessful in their effort to


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preserve pest control products for landscape use, the real lesson is that green industry companies need to be on guard and be proactively engaged in the government affairs process at all times to maximize the number of battles we win and minimize the number of battles we lose. Even better, can we avoid battles and create win-win situations when groups want to limit the use of pesticides or water or non-native plants? Perhaps, most importantly, do we have our own house in order? Are you minimizing your pesticide use and following all precautions? Are you designing for minimum water use and including the latest water-reduction technologies? Are you including native plants whenever you can in appropriate sites? The best defense is a good offense. Are you telling the green industry’s story of environmental enhancement? There are many ways to tell the story, most of which have no direct correlation to politics and government affairs: • Take part in the MNLA Foundation Green Industry Careers Awareness Project which aims to teach youth about careers, but will, in turn, provide a venue for educating the next generation of consumers about the important work done by companies like yours. To learn more, see the article on pages 48-50. • Plant a tree at your neighborhood school during the second annual Green for Life Day set for Thursday, Sept. 22. Through the engagement of members this past September, MNLA had its greatest single-day public relations success ever. See page 20 to learn more.

• Take the Green for Life message to adult groups via the soon-to-belaunched Trees for Life informational effort. MNLA will provide to you the PowerPoint and handout resources you need to speak to Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, city councils and park boards, and others to help them understand the unbelievable environmental value of preserving our community forests and residential trees, as well as improving those assets for the future by planting new trees. • Attend the Green Industry Day on the Hill on March 2nd. MNLA needs your help to introduce the association to the many new lawmakers and have our presence felt by all of the committee leaders. A Day on the Hill registration form is included with this issue of The Scoop or email me at and I will send you one. Don’t wait for someone else to tell your story and our industry’s story. MNLA can only tell the story if you tell the story – YOU are MNLA. Do the individual voices and collective voice of MNLA make a difference? You bet they do! If there were no MNLA: • There would likely have been an avalanche of plants taken off sale in the past decade because they would have been labeled “invasive.” • The state’s growers, garden centers and landscape professionals would face greater restrictions on plant movement because of invasive species like gypsy moth and loss of staff for the state’s nursery inspection program. • The state’s Green Acres law would not include nursery and greenhouse operators in the agricultural classification for property taxes. Continued on page 11


GREEN INDUSTRY DAY ON THE HILL Wednesday, March 2, 2011 Kelly Inn / State Capitol, St. Paul All Minnesota green industry professionals are invited to attend this event. MNLA will be coordinating appointments, please contact us no later than Feb. 23rd.

“I’ve never done this before. What can I expect?” • A friendly face-to-face conversation with someone who can make a real impact in your business • To partner with other experienced green industry professionals • To be equipped with the information you need to talk intelligently about the issues

DAY ON THE HILL SUCCESS STORIES • Protection of nursery interests in invasive species discussion. • Green Acres status for nurseries, greenhouses protected. • EAB rapid response money plus tree removal and replacement money. • No new pesticide notification requirements. • No anti-business immigration enforcement measures.

Please RSVP by Feb. 23rd for the Mar. 2nd event. Call Bob Fitch at 651-633-4987 or toll-free 888-886-6652 or e-mail

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Continued from page 8 • Garden centers, nursery growers, landscape maintenance companies and others who sell or use pesticides would face greater paperwork requirements from the state. • Minnesota agricultural and business organizations would not have awakened to the fact that the state government was threatening them with potential crimes just for following federal law on immigrant worker paperwork. • The green industry would not have a seat as the state determines the next round of stormwater guidelines, which have the potential to hurt or help landscape companies and growers. • There would not have been a clear, direct voice for green industry businesses when emerald ash borer hit the state. • Nursery and greenhouse growers would have never regained their right to agricultural sales tax exemptions on certain equipment and product purchases. I repeat: Don’t wait for someone else to tell your story and our industry’s story. Become involved today. q ________________________________ Bob Fitch is executive director of MNLA. He can be reached at


New Lawmakers Give Good First Impressions By Bob Fitch, MNLA Executive Director he 2011 Minnesota Legislature trotted slowly out of the gate in January as all the new legislators, new committee chairs and new agency heads got their bearings. But the new Republican House and Senate, as well as the new DFL governor, made good first impressions from a green industry perspective.


MNLA is pleased with the cabinet appointments made by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. In an editorial on Jan. 12th, the StarTribune said: “It’s telling that largely absent from Dayton’s cabinet list to date are the names of current or recently departed DFL elected officials . . . By and large, the new governor is opting instead for Capitol outsiders who are regarded as experts in their respective fields . . . Dayton’s preference for policy knowledge over party ties is laudable.” Likewise, MNLA applauded the new Republican majority for streamlining the

number of committees which will make it easier for citizens and associations to monitor ongoing legislative action. Accountability should be greater since there will be less “sleight of hand” between numerous committees and subcommittees. The new Agriculture Committee chairs, Rep. Rod Hamilton and Sen. Doug Magnus, are both from southwestern Minnesota and should be fair to MNLA. Newly-elected Sen. John Pederson, vice president of MNLA member Amcon Block, is close to the Senate Environment Committee Chair Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen. Finally, the big coup for the green industry is that Rep. Denny McNamara, a past president of MNLA, is the new chair of the House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Play a role in MNLA’s government affairs success by participating in the Green Industry Day on the Hill on Wednesday, March 2nd. q

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The Scoop | DC UPDATE

How Does the Tax Bill Affect the Green Industry? This article is provided as a service of the Lighthouse program, a partnership of MNLA and the American Nursery & Landscape Association. ow does the compromise tax package negotiated in December by the White House and Senate Republicans affect green industry businesses?


First, what is NOT in the package? Surprisingly, it does NOT include a repeal of the health care Form 1099 requirement, despite considerable bipartisan support for repealing this measure. Apparently, negotiators did not come to an agreement on how to pay for repeal of the 1099 mandate, kicking the can into the next Congress on this issue. The bill also does not include a renewal of the popular Buy American Bond program for infrastructure investment. The bill DOES include an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for all income levels, as well as extension of many expired and expiring credits and deductions. It also temporarily resolves the estate tax issue. Other provisions of interest to green industry small businesses: • Temporarily extend the capital gains and dividend rates. The capital gains and dividend rates for taxpayers below the 25 percent bracket is equal to zero percent for an additional two years. • Two-year AMT patch. Currently, a taxpayer receives an exemption of $33,750 (individuals) and $45,000 (married filing jointly) under the AMT. This tax bill increases the exemption amounts for 2010 to $47,450 (individuals) and $72,450 (married filing jointly) and for 2011 to $48,450 (individuals) and $74,450 (married filing jointly). • Deduction of state and local general sales taxes. The bill extends for two years (through 2011) the election to take an itemized deduction for state and local general sales taxes in lieu of the itemized deduction permitted for State and local income taxes. and Nationwide Agribusiness

• Temporary estate, gift and generation skipping transfer tax relief. There is a two year extension, and it comes with a couple of positive twists. But it is not permanent! • Extension of bonus depreciation. The bill extends and temporarily increases the bonus depreciation provision for investments in new business equipment. • Temporary reduction in employee-paid payroll taxes. The bill provides a payroll/self-employment tax holiday

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during 2011 of two percentage points. This means employees will pay only 4.2 percent on wages and selfemployment individuals will pay only 10.4 percent on self-employment income up to the threshold. • Tax benefits for certain retail improvements. The bill extends for two years (through 2011) the special 15-year cost recovery period for certain leasehold improvements, restaurant buildings and improvements, and retail improvements. • Alternative fuels credit. The bill extends through 2011 the $0.50 per gallon alternative fuel tax credit. • Energy-efficient new homes credit. The bill extends through 2011 the credit for manufacturers of energyefficient residential homes. • Energy-efficient existing homes. The bill extends through 2011 the credit under Section 25C of the Code for energy-efficient improvements to existing homes, reinstating the credit as it existed before passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Standards for property eligible under 25C are updated to reflect improvements in energy efficiency. q

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“And the Winner Is…” By Jon Horsman, MNLA Communications Director innesota’s green industry will gather on March 5th for an evening of celebration and networking. The program includes a presentation to MNLA Landscape Award winners, Friend of the Environment winner, the Committee Member of the Year, Special Service Award winners, and the Todd Bachman Award winner. Though results of some MNLA award programs have been announced already, several winners will not be revealed until the night of the Landscape Gala. Judges Choice Award in Design, Installation, & Management The judging process for the MNLA Landscape Awards can be a grueling one. The judges labor for many hours considering the quality of the design, installation, or management projects. They work from digital photos, a written narrative, and a work performance chart without knowing who built, designed, or


entered the projects they see. At the end of the day, after they’ve seen all entries, they are given an opportunity to choose their favorite project of the year. The conversation is often lively as they talk about the merits of different projects. In the end, they bestow the Judges Choice Award on one project, and the result is kept secret until the Landscape Gala. Midwest Home Landscape Design Awards This brand new awards program honors individual designers rather than specific projects. A feature story on each designer will broadly publicize the winner in the Midwest Home June/July issue, but the identity of the “Designer in Bloom” (15+ years in business) and the “Budding Talent” (7 or fewer years in business) is not revealed until the Landscape Gala. Finalists in each category are rewarded with a free ticket to the festivities, and they must wait along with everyone else until Chris Lee from Midwest Home announces the winners and presents them with a plaque. Plan now to join us on March 5, 2011 at 317 on Rice Park in downtown St. Paul. Details are on page 14. q Media Sponsor

Landscape Awards Program Sponsors Gala Print Sponsor

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Check out Landscape Awards Results on he winning projects for the 2011 Landscape Awards program are ready for viewing on You can find the page under the “Get Inspired” tab and direct from the top-level menu. Projects are featured on our public-focused site so we can inspire consumers to create a beautiful and healthy outdoor living area in their own yard. We also hope our showcase of professional excellence encourages greater awareness of the aesthetic and environmental benefits of landscaping. q


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ATTENTION GARDEN CENTERS! MNLA's Green Industry Recycling Program Returns! Good news! Choice Plastics has provided a commitment to the MNLA recycling program for the 2 0 1 1 s e a s o n . MNLA and Choice Plastics are joining forces again in 2011. Our goal is to continue to run a lean, efficient program – and that will take great cooperation from participating members. The challenges continue to be mixed materials which do not meet cleanliness standards, significant labor expenditures, and lowend market pricing on these low-end materials. Despite the challenges, Choice Plastics continues to be committed to MNLA and the recycling program. The parameters outlined below will help extend this program well into the future without significantly hampering member’s ability to collect and deliver the material to Choice for recycling. For the 2011 season, the program will start April 15th and run thru October 15th. Garden Centers MUST adhere to these parameters in order to participate in the program:

All incoming loads MUST HAVE A DOCK TIME and no material will be dropped outside. Delivery drivers will check in at the Choice offices and receive dumping instructions. A member of the Choice Plastics staff will conduct a visual inspection of each load.

Choice will accept ONE DUMPSTER per day as well as ONE SMALL LOAD from a non-dumpster facility per day. Members will need to be aware that the schedule during the busy months may push them out several days or more when they call for a dock appointment. There will be no exceptions to this schedule. Choice must regulate the inflow of material.

Choice will not accept any types of Ag. Film, Silage Bags, or any other types of greenhouse film or bags. The only acceptable materials will be rigid plastics-pots, trays, flats, and containers. If there is any question about whether a particular material is acceptable, members can call the Choice offices for an answer.

Members must do the best they can to eliminate outside waste, garbage, heavy organic matter, aluminum cans, etc. N o n - c o m p l i a n c e w i t h t h e s e p a r a m e t e r s w i l l r e s u l t i n r e j e c t i o n o f t h e d u m p s t e r a t t h e d o o r . If Choice accepts a dumpster and later finds excessive non-conforming material, pictures will be taken to document the materials and d i s p o s a l f e e s w i l l b e a s s e s s e d t o t h e m e m b e r i n question.

I have read the above parameters and understand that to participate in the MNLA Green Industry Recycling Program I must adhere to them. Failure to meet the parameters will result in exclusion from the program. Signed: _____________________________ _____________________________ ______________________________ Name Company Email

Please contact Dan Mayer or Jon Horsman with any questions. Dan Mayer, Choice Plastics 952-472-3070 5338 Shoreline Drive Mound, MN 55364

Jon Horsman, MNLA 651-633-4987

To sign up for the 2011 Recycling Program, fax this signed form to MNLA at 651-633-4986 or 888-266-4986. FEbRUARy 2011 |



How Sustainable is Your Company? By Heidi Heiland, Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens

ater wise, right plant for the right place, current thoughts and technologies, recycling: All of these are important to be “sustainable” in the green industry, but that is not what I am talking about. In this particular instance sustainable means to me staying in business, surviving the times, making adjustments, i.e., sustaining your company.


Heidi Heiland

This time of year is among my favorites. Although I am so sick of winter by February that I want to run to the Bahamas, I need our “off season” to re-charge and embrace my winter zone. This need seems to become more important the older I get (I turn 50 this summer). I realize how accustomed my psyche and body has become to the ebb and flow of our

seasons. Adjusting, changing gears, strategizing helps me to continue on, to sustain our market share. This exercise also allows me to redefine myself and my job responsibilities to stay fresh. I have found that I must always challenge and redirect my focus to sustain my continuing passion. Whatever segment of our industry you are in, I am confident you must adapt and develop through your seasons to ensure sustainability as well.

"Being in service to your clients will ensure their loyalty and make you happy."

Being in service to others is not why I originally got into this industry but it is what sustains me in this industry, financially but more importantly emotionally. In this fast paced age of technology, our race seems to be lacking true connection. I believe that the connection we create with our co-workers, vendors and clients is as important as the product we present. Being in service to your clients will ensure their loyalty and make you happy. We all are in the service industry, but do we truly live that way? Another question for you to consider this winter might be “What zone are you in”? And I do not mean USDA hardiness zone! In Dan Buettner’s book The Blue Zone, he suggests that the areas of our world where people live the longest have several common denominators. They include putting family first, a belief in a higher power and being in service to your fellow man. Living our lives in community (the Service Zone), will help us to invent our new norm, especially in these economic times. Being in service is sustainable. Blue Zone (either Dan Buettner’s or water conservation), Green Zone (friendly to our planet) or Service Zone; we hold the responsibility to be leaders in our industry, community and world. I trust you may prioritize your sustainable zone at this time of year to ensure that you remain in your best zone and hit the ground running come snow melt. q _________________________________ Heidi Heiland is a member of the MNLA Sustainable Environment Committee and can be reached at

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MDA UPDATE | The Scoop

Biological Control of Spotted Knapweed, Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos, and Pollinators in Minnesota agencies and private landowners work together to identify and map infestations then collect and release the bioagents. potted knapweed is an invasive The Minnesota plant that can Department of Agriculture outcompete coordinates these efforts desirable vegetation for the state. Successful resulting in economic spotted knapweed loss or degradation of biocontrol utilize two types natural areas. It of beetles: the seedhead reproduces quickly and (Larinus minutus and L. chemically inhibits the obtusus) and root growth of other plants, (Cyphocleonus achates) allowing it to form weevils. The seedhead monocultures that span weevil adults lay their eggs on vast acreages. Knapweed Spotted knapweed forms dense infestations (left) that overtake desirable the flowers. The larvae hatch vegetation resulting in economic and ecological harm. However, pollinators infestations reduce plant and consume the developing can utilize spotted knapweed (right) as a source of pollen and nectar. diversity and forage seed. Over time, seedhead quantity and weevil densities can reach levels that quality for limit seed production and reduce cattle and knapweed propagation. In contrast, the wildlife. root weevils can directly kill spotted Infestations knapweed plants. The weevil larvae are associated feed and develop in the knapweed with topsoil taproot then chew a large exit hole in loss and water the root and climb through the soil to quality the surface. The root weevils consume degradation knapweed resources, physically damage resulting from the roots, and expose the roots to plant increased pathogens. This bioagent combination sediment decreases spotted knapweed density, but runoff. The it takes many years before there is a recreational visible knapweed decrease at large quality of infestations. These weevils are very Biological control reduced the knapweed infestation that dominated this knapweed selective and feed exclusively on infested lands site. Reducing the knapweed population then sustaining it at a low level knapweeds. allows an abundance of plant species to thrive. The biological control can decrease. Insects pollinate spotted knapweed insects keep the remaining spotted knapweed (purple flowers in foreground) These and honey bees utilize the nectar for in balance with other species providing valuable habitat for pollinators. detrimental honey production. Some beekeepers in effects of Michigan expressed concern about a spotted knapweed translate to serious lived perennial plant that propagates decrease in spotted knapweed density as economic costs. A study determined that almost exclusively by seed. a result of biological control. However spotted knapweed causes annual losses of Biological control is a highly selective, biological control reduces knapweed $42 million in Montana. density very slowly. As the knapweed cost-effective, and sustainable choice for Spotted knapweed has pinkish-purple medium to large infestations, although it flowers and wooly, grey-green stems and takes many years before an acceptable foliage. Knapweed forms a rosette which level of control is achieved. Many Continued on page 21 sends up flowering stalks during the

By Monika Chandler, Minnesota Department of Agriculture


summer. The rosettes overwinter. In Minnesota, spotted knapweed generally blooms in July and August. It is a short-

FEbRUARy 2011 |


Green for Life 2011: Planting Trees at Schools On September 22, every MNLA company can take an active role in Green for Life. MNLA initiated this public service event in 2010 to cultivate community relationships, educate youth about the environmental benefits of trees, provide green shade cover to local school grounds, and remind everyone that fall is a perfect time to plant a tree. By participating, MNLA members gained higher public visibility and strengthened community relationships.

Join the movement - sign up today at, or fax back the form included with this month’s Scoop!

20 | FEbRUARy 2011

Continued from page 19 population decreases, a diverse population of pollen and nectar producing forbs can replace it naturally, or can be planted. Also, the goal of biological control is not to eradicate knapweed, but bring it down to an acceptable threshold. Thus, some knapweed will continue to be available for pollinators. In Minnesota, spotted knapweed biological control has been implemented for over a decade, and so has co-existed with the beekeeping industry. Adopting practices that foster diverse plant communities to sustain pollinator health and honey production is encouraged. For more information: Honey Bees in Northern Climates (www.extension.umn. edu/bees) by the University of Minnesota Extension. Biological Control of Spotted Knapweed (www.mda.state. by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Pollinator Conservation Resources - Great Lakes Region ( by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation includes regional plant lists conducive to pollinator health. q ________________________________________________ Monica Chandler is the Biological Control Program Coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and can be reached at

The Tessman Company 1300 Sylvan Street, St. Paul, MN 55117 (651) 487-3850 • (800) 882-5704

See us for all your Hardscape needs Alliance Products NDS Products Allan Block NSVI Stone Anchor Products Pond Supplies Andes Collection Rock Belgard Products Rockwood Borgert Products Sawn Boulder Steps Classic Stone Sealers Interlock Products Silver Creek Keystone Timbers London Stone Uni-Lock Products Low Voltage Lighting Valley View Edging Marshall Products Veneer Full & Thin Natural Stone: Steppers, Flagging & Steps


The Tessman Company has been in the green industry since 1950. Serving lawncare, landscape, greenhouse, nursery, and golf industries. We have warehouses in St. Paul, Fargo and Souix Falls.

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FEbRUARy 2011 |



Magic from the Manual: Display Selling and Products By Mark Armstead, Linders Greenhouses, Flowermarts, Garden Center & Landscaping here are various methods of promoting products and services in order to entice potential customers into the parking lot. However, customer dollars are won, or lost, by professional CERTIFIED salespeople and displays, bearing in mind Professional that first impressions are extremely important. One goal of a display is to create buying impulses in the mind of the customer by suggesting purchases the customer did not intend to make. A second goal is to inspire customers to buy more than they expected by linking products which complement each other such as snail bait and bedding plants. These are companion, link, tie-in, or associated products. The correct product must be in the correct place at the correct time. In order to facilitate this, all salespeople must be aware of all aspects of the garden center, nursery, or landscape situation; the products to be sold, and the sales promotions in effect.


22 | FEbRUARy 2011

Impulse Products – All green and dry goods can be classified as either impulse or purpose items. Impulse items are essentially those products purchased which were not intended to be purchased that particular day. Customers may have intended to replace a rose bush with a Mockorange, but only when they saw and smelled the Mockorange in the nursery did they decide to buy it. Other items such as colorful flowering plants provide an even stronger, “instant impulse” reaction. Obviously, if such items are not visible or are not available without a search, there will be no impulse and no purchase. Impulse items should, therefore, be placed in hot spots, areas of high traffic and at the end of view or vista lines. However, in some situations, the impulse to buy, for example, a large patio plant, may need to include some time to browse while deciding which one to choose. In such situations, a clear sight line will be needed to catch the impulse initially, as well as space for browsing. Consequently, some vista lines should end with browsing areas for large items, although they must remain attractive and inviting. Surveys show that over 60% of all nonfood merchandise bought in the U.S.A. is bought on impulse. Impulse items are usually highly decorative or appear to be a good value. It should be mentioned, however, that if customers

are overwhelmed with walls of color and impulse items when they step into the nursery, there is a danger of the higher priced items such as large shrubs, shade trees, and furniture being obscured. If this occurs, the customer will spend less, reducing the dollar sale per customer.

Staple Products – In the supermarket, the staple items are things such as bread, meat, dairy products, produce and breakfast cereals. In the garden center, staple items include chemicals, tools, bedding plants and containers. These items are sought out by customers, but no one wants to shop where there is an obstacle course. To be easily seen and found, such items should be well marked with signs even though not located near the entrance or in a hot spot. By placing staple items at the ends, corners and sides of the sales areas, customer flow is encouraged around a greater portion of the nursery, provided these items are clearly marked and displayed in an attractive manner. Some basic items are very, very price sensitive, wherein the price becomes the main motive for buying. If promotions by the garden center are aimed at creating a price awareness of a certain product line, this line can be used to pull traffic into a quiet or dead spot, but only if the merchandise and its price are very obvious. Impulse items are not nearly as price sensitive. In this respect, color, suggested use of the goods, and the attractiveness of the product, not price, should be the central message in displaying staple items.

shoplifting. Many garden centers increase browse sales by providing seating so that customers can sit and read through books or seed packets.

Companion, Tie-In or Associate Products – Tie-in products complement each other in the customers' minds, or these products are associated if the display suggests that they are associated. Frequently, a link is created between a hard good or non-plant item, and a plant. This necessitates a flexible approach rather than an approach which determines that hard goods are inside and plants are outside. Companion sales are common in other retail businesses and could be used more often by the nursery business. It is simply a way of increasing the dollars spent per customer. Useful companion or tie-in sales include: Trees: tree stakes, ties, fertilizer, mulch. Foliage Plants: leaf shine, fertilizer, containers. Bird Feeders: bird food, bird books. Bedding Plants: fertilizer, labels. q ________________________________ Mark Armstead is a member of the MNLA Certification Committee and can be reached at

Questions: 1. As a retail business, we want to encourage customer flow around a larger portion of the nursery. Which type of Garden Center products could you clearly mark and display at the ends, corners and sides of the sales floor to promote this type of shopping flow? a) Impulse Items b) Staple Products c) Tie-in Products d) Browse Products 2. T F

Seed packets and books can be referred to as “Browse Products.” Because of the high potential for theft, they should be placed near the cash register or hot spots area for security reasons. 3. e most common and effective way to increase the individual sale per customer is by the use of…: a) Browse Products b) Tie-In, Companion, or Associate Products c) Staple Products d) All of the Above

Answers: 1. B, 2. False, 3. b

Browse Products – These are products for which customers do not make a quick decision. Sometimes they need time to read instructions on packets and the supporting literature. These items can be as large as a $1000 set of patio furniture or as small as a 65 cents packet of seeds. Browse products require space, plus, customers will require time in that space. Browse items should never be placed in areas of high traffic flow, narrow or busy areas, hot spots, or near the cash register. Such placement will deter customers from shopping and these goods will not sell very well. For example, seeds placed near the cash register for security reasons will not sell as well as when placed in a browse area, which should still be “open” to deter FEbRUARy 2011 |



Just for FUN!

MNLA Hosts Summit Brewery Tour oin fellow MNLA members for an evening of networking on Thursday, March 31 at our very own hometown, Summit Brewing Company. You will: • Hear the history of Summit • See how Summit brews their beers • Walk through Summit's fermentation cellar and bottling house • Sample beer after the tour • Have time for networking with MNLA members What goes better with beer than pizza? After the tour hang around for networking, eat some pizza and enjoy all Summit has to offer!

Schedule 4:15: Registration 4:30-5:30: Tour & Tasting 5:30 - 6:30: Pizza & Networking ALL MEMBERS ARE WELCOME AND YOUNG PROFESSIONALS ARE ESPECIALLY ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND!


Location Summit Brewing Company 910 Montreal Circle St. Paul, MN 55102 United States Cost $10 per person Register online now at! q

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24 | FEbRUARy 2011


Certification Manual and Exam Changes: Give Yourself Another Chance to Pass By Lance Barthel, Greenleaf Nursery ave you looked into lately? You might be missing out! It gives you a chance to brag about yourself or company. It is a great tool for retailers or customers to locate an expert in their area. It Lance Barthel seems these days, in this fast paced life we live in, that information is readily available at everybody’s fingertips. Computers, smart phones, iPads or tablets allow people to research like never before and with everybody watching their budget, they really are focusing in on the things that catch their eye and stand out above the rest. When you navigate through, there is an area where you can “Locate an Expert” in your choice of area. Consumers can chose between Garden Center/Retail Nursery, Hardscape Contractor, Hardscape Supply Center, Irrigation Contractor, Landscape Contractor, Landscape Designer, Landscape Lighting, Landscape Management, Professional Gardening Services, Snow Plowing or Tree Care Services/Arborists. Once they select their area of interest, it creates a list of companies providing those services requested. Notice anything different between your company and maybe your competition? Are you missing the Certified Professional symbol? Well it’s never to late to become certified! There are two times of year to take the test and become that Certified Professional and make your name stand out above the rest.


The MNLA Certification Committee has been working very hard at creating a better exam and trying to get as many Certified Professionals in the industry as

we can. We as a committee want you to pass and are doing everything we can to provide you with the right information to succeed. When you do pass the exam, you create a true sense of accomplishment and those that have can tell you how good they feel when they do pass. It is a true sense of accomplishment. We have made a lot of changes in the past couple years in order to make the exam flow more smoothly and make the questions read more clearly and educate you, the professional, as best we can. We have even made all the answers now single answers, instead of having multiple possible answers. This allows you to pick the best possible answer and move onto the next question. We have beefed up our training program in order to get you more prepared in taking the exam. We have a printed manual available again, instead of a CD. This will allow you to fully grasp the amount of information available to study and read up on. So if you have taken the exam in the past and have not succeeded, don’t hang your head or beat yourself up, give it another chance. Prepare yourself now and take the next exam. Get together with past colleagues, friends or coworkers who have taken the exam and study together or have them quiz you. Read the Certification Manual more than once and get prepared now. Our next MNLA Certification Exam is March 10th at 8:30 a.m. It will be located at Dakota County Technical College and you can get more information at So get signed up now and earn that recognition that you deserve! q ________________________________ Lance Barthel is the chair of the MNLA Certification Committee and can be reached at

Our goal is to exceed your expectations. or our agency, and Auto-Owners Insurance, 99.9% just isn’t good enough...we want to provide our customers with 100% service! Contact our agency about our “Super Outstanding Service” today—we’ll work hard to exceed your expectations!

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FEbRUARy 2011 |



School of Turfgrass Management Returns About the School The School of Turfgrass Management is February 21-24 and provides nearly 40 hours of intensive indepth training in the biology, ecology and cultural management of turfgrass. Technical information will be presented in both lecture and laboratory settings on the basic applications of turfgrass management, such as golf course management, lawn care, athletic field management and sod production. Demonstrations and hands-on learning will be integral aspects of the learning experience and provide extensive interaction with the wealth of turfgrass expertise at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota. The Goal This school is designed to provide a basic foundation of turfgrass training for individuals with no formal education in turfgrass management or for those who desire a refresher. Who Should Attend Turfgrass professionals of all skill levels will benefit from this school; however, it will be particularly useful for individuals entering the turfgrass industry, as well as professionals who

have been in the turfgrass industry for many years and lack formal training. Registration Registration Fee: $595 Registration fee includes: Lunch on Monday Comprehensive Reference Materials Turf Pest Guides Hand Lens Graduation Banquet and Dinner Refreshment Breaks *Lunches and lodging Tuesday-Thursday are not included in the fee. Registration is limited, so we encourage you to register early via phone (608.845.6536), fax (608.845.8162) or email ( Mail check/money order (payable to University of Wisconsin) to: Wisconsin Turfgrass Association, 2502 Highway M, Verona, WI 53593. You will receive confirmation upon receipt of your registration. Location Brown County UW-Extension Center, 1150 Bellevue Street Green Bay, WI 54302 q

Business Insurance. It’s Not Just About the Bricks, Mortar & Inventory... It’s about the people who rely on the business: the customers ... the employees ... and you! As an Independent Agent we can tailor a program just right for you. Safe.Sound.Secure.® insurance protection from Auto-Owners Insurance Company, The “No Problem” People.®

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245 E. Roselawn Ave., St. Paul, MN 55117

Contact me about the new Worker’s Comp program available to members


Visit us online at 26 | FEbRUARy 2011

Visit us at the Northern Green Expo!


February/March 2011 Classes at the Arboretum esolve to learn something new this year! The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a living, green classroom for learning about plants, food and nature-inspired writing. Here's a look at upcoming classes. To register, call 952-443-1422 or visit


Asexual Reproduction: Cuttings, Layering, and Specialized Structures Saturday, Feb. 5, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $30 member/$40 nonmember, Snyder Building. Dividing your plants is only one way to asexually propagate your favorite plants. Learn how to make cuttings, layering and the role of specialized structures in certain plants. Learn from a horticulturalist how to propagate plants through this fascinating method.

Hardy plants with local roots Now with a fresh new look to drive sales. Instantly wow your customers and drive more sales with Bailey’s new premium look. Great-looking pots, P.O.P. and outstanding plants all combine into a powerful retail display that will stimulate impulse sales and keep customers coming back for more!

Asexual Reproduction: Grafting Saturday, Feb.12, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $30 member/$40 nonmember, Snyder Building. Gain the understanding of the different methods of grafting and why some grafts work and some don't. Much of the class will be spent on practicing and making a number of grafts with various plant materials. Work with a horticulturalist who is expert in plant propagation. Planning a Garden From the Ground Up: Understanding Soils. Saturday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $30 member/$40 nonmember, Snyder Building. Learn the essentials from a soils scientist. Examine how to enhance the qualities of soil with water, compost and mulch. Includes an opportunity to have your soil analyzed. Basic Garden and Landscape Design. Saturday, March 5, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $30 member/$40 nonmember, Snyder Building. Learn the principles and theories of landscape design, including the elements of style, balance, texture and scale. Gain insights that can be applied to your own garden and outdoor setting. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the largest public garden in the Upper Midwest, is part of the University of Minnesota's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. It is located nine miles west of I-494 on Highway 5 in Chanhassen. Open daily except for Thanksgiving & Christmas Day. Adults: $9; free for ages 15 & younger and free for members. Admission is free all day Thursday, November through March. q

(651) 459-9744

FEbRUARy 2011 |


UPCOMING EVENTS MNLA CERTIFICATION EXAM March 10, 2011 | 8:30am—12:30pm | Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount

Interested in sitting for the MNLA Certification Exam? Go online to to purchase your Certification Manual today and start studying to earn your MNLA Certification this winter.

MAINTENANCE FOR RAINGARDENS & BIORETENTION CELLS February 15, 2011 | 8:00am—4:00pm | Blaine City Hall

Over the last half decade there has been an increase in demand for small scale raingardens, curb cut bioretention cells and other large scale bioretention cells throughout the Midwest. These gardens must dependably function for decades. This requires planning for maintenance throughout design, installation and the functional life of the project. Please join us as we share our tenets of design and installation based on the lessons learned from the installation and maintenance of over 100 raingardens and bioretention cells. Published data on performance and maintenance will also be shared.

PICTURE PERFECT PLANTS & GARDEN DESIGN February 16, 2011 | 9:30am—3:00pm | Continuing Education Center, University of MN, St. Paul

Calling all “plant geeks” and landscape designers! Join your colleagues at this exciting education session featuring widely published author, photographer, lecturer and consultant Rick Darke. Darke will be addressing timely industry topics including: ! ! !

Woody Plants for Woodland Gardens Balancing Natives and Exotics in Garden Design; and Digital Photography, Beyond Composition.

Session Sponsor

A more complete schedule is available online at

More details and registration for these and other programs available online at!

Sponsorships are available for these seminars. Call Betsy at 952-903-0505 or e-mail 28 | FEbRUARy 2011

UPCOMING EVENTS HANDS-ON RAINGARDEN INSTALLATION TRAINING February 17, 2011 | Choose 1 Session: 8:00am—11:30am or 12:30pm—4:00pm | Hedberg Landscape Supplies, Plymouth

Small scale raingardens can be attractive perennial beds that effectively absorb stormwater runoff from hard surfaces when sited and constructed properly. Assisting home owners to create these landscape features requires experience assessing site topography, locating stabilized overflows, determining maximum ponding depths and amending soils. This February is an opportunity to spend a ½ day honing these skills as you work with experienced raingarden installers to build a raingarden inside a heated warehouse.

PESTICIDE CERTIFICATION: WORKSHOP & EXAM March 14-15, 2011 | Day One: 7:15am—4:00pm; Day Two: 8am—3:00pm | Location: U of M, St. Paul - or March 16-17, 2011 | Day One: 7:15am—4:00pm; Day Two: 8am—3:00pm | Location: U of M, St. Paul

Looking to obtain a pesticide applicators license for the first time or need to re-take the exam? Prepare for the category A and E pesticide applicator certification exam by attending this 1 ½ day study program. The workshop can also be viewed as a refresher course for those already certified. Topics covered will include: State Laws and Regulations Integrated Pest Management (Insects, Diseases and Weed Control) Pesticide Formulations Health and Safety Issues (Toxicity, Heat Stress, Personal Protective Equipment) Taking the Exam on Day 2 is optional and will require an additional license fee due to the MN Dept. of Agriculture. Note: Attending this study course does not guarantee passing the category A & E exams.

Session Sponsor

LANDSCAPE LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY (PLT RELICENSURE) March 16, 2011 | 8:00am—5:00pm | Dorsey-Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul

This class provides eight hours of Power Limited Training credit orientated specifically towards the landscape lighting specialist. The 8 hour class will contain: Two clock hours of specific National Electrical Code training; and 6 hours of applicable training. Technical training will include: Principals of 12 Volt Outdoor Lighting: Design; Landscape Lighting Installation – Wiring and Circuits; and LED Landscape Lighting - How New Technology is Changing the Landscape Lighting Business. (Note: This course is pending approval by the Dept. of Labor and Industry). More details and registration for these and other programs available online at!

Sponsorships are available for these seminars. Call Betsy at 952-903-0505 or e-mail FEbRUARy 2011 |


UPCOMING EVENTS NCMA SEGMENTAL RETAINING WALL INSTALLER CERTIFICATION March 22, 2011 | 8:00am—5:00pm | Dorsey-Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul

The Segmental Retaining Wall Installer Education Program is a seminar series designed to reinforce national standardized installation and site practices within the SRW installer community. Level I is structured for all employees involved in SRW installation and provides fundamental instruction on minimum installation guidelines, material and system component properties, soils and compaction, site practices and equipment selection. Those successfully completing the classroom seminar and passing a written examination become recognized as a NCMA Level I SRW Installer. Furthermore, your learning doesn’t end when the program is completed! This program includes a wealth of valuable course information and reference material that attendees take back to work for implementation as money-saving and profitmaking ideas! Participants will take the NCMA exam at the end of training. Session Sponsor

CREATING EDIBLE LANDSCAPES March 24, 2011 | 8:30am—11:30am | Dorsey-Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul

Edible landscaping is one of the hottest trends in home gardening. This style of landscaping frees fruits and vegetables from the confines of traditional garden rows, and brings them front and center into the ornamental realm. Plants are chosen for their aesthetic qualities, site suitability and food-producing potential to create visually stunning, highly productive and nutritious landscapes. In this session we’ll go over some of the important considerations of sustainable landscape design when designing with food-producing plants, discuss ornamental and edible plant combinations, and take a look at inspiring examples of edible landscape design. A small-group activity will give participants the opportunity to explore the range of possibilities in edible landscaping. Session Sponsor:

IRRIGATION TRAINING DAY March 30, 2011 | 4 Half Day Sessions | Dorsey-Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul

Join us for one or more of the following half day training sessions focused on irrigation: Introduction to Irrigation Irrigation Installation Landscape Irrigation Design: Design Principles Landscape Irrigation Design: Application & Layout More information on these sessions is available online at More details and registration for these and other programs available online at!

Sponsorships are available for these seminars. Call Betsy at 952-903-0505 or e-mail 30 | FEbRUARy 2011


“Buy Local” Buzz – Get it While it’s Hot! ould a homeowner be more comfortable planting a foundational tree that was grown in their state or community? If you’re a Des Moines, Iowa or Madison, Wisconsin resident and you see a poinsettia with a label indicating it was raised in Minnesota, is that a good thing? Is a home gardener in St. Cloud more likely to buy a started tomato plant with the Minnesota Grown logo on the tag?


We think so. And at Minnesota Grown, we would like you to consider the possibility of marketing the relative “localness” and “hardiness” of your plants and other green industry products. It’s clearly working for foods. Consider that the number of Minnesota farmers’ markets listed in the annual Minnesota Grown Directory has gone from 40, in 2001, to 128 in 2010. Over the same period, the number of listed “Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)” farms increased from 6 to 59, and farm wineries multiplied from 3 to 20.

• Value: buying hardy local products can be a selling point to anybody that has ever lost a plant to winter kill (and who hasn’t), and • Makes them feel good: consumer are looking for authentic products - if you run a small family business, there are lots of

people that would likely feel good about buying your local products. The related concept of “Putting a Farmers Face on the Food” is huge. It likely could be applied to green products to great effect. If you’re interested in applying some local flavor to your marketing, take a look at what Minnesota Grown has to offer. Join by clicking on the Members box at or by calling 651-201-6539. The deadline for growers to be listed in the 2011 MN Grown Directory is March 1, 2011. q

And while we don’t have a lot of hard data to support consumer preference for local green industry products, the question is: What do you have to lose? It stands to reason that many of the same local foods motivations can be parlayed into demand for local green products. Consumers attach value to “local” for many different reasons, including: • Environmental: many consumers trust that local providers are environmentally friendly, and may attach some of the same environmental benefits of “low food miles” to ornamental products, • Economics: helping their neighbor and keeping local dollars circulating locally is important to many, FEbRUARy 2011 |


32 | FEbRUARy 2011

FEbRUARy 2011 |


The Scoop | NURSERY

The Three R’s of Winter By Dave Kleinhuizen, Margolis Company, Inc.

inter is a great time to regenerate, reflect and re-evaluate if you are in this business. That is unless you depend on snow to keep your company busy. So far snow has been plentiful and the relaxation has been minimal and maybe your downtime has not yet begun. But even if you get relaxation from plowing and scraping Dave Kleinhuizen snow and ice, this is a good time to reflect and re-evaluate. I do some of my best planning and evaluating while I drive down the road each morning to the office. It just seems like this is when my mind is the sharpest and the distractions are the least. During the warm season, my daily drive usually consists of creating a to-do list for the day or week. I record it on a small digital voice recorder. I know it’s not really high tech but at my age by the time I get to a keyboard to make the notes, I have already forgotten what I was going to note. I assume some of you know what that’s all about.


One thing that kept coming up in my morning thoughts, as well as in many conversations over the summer, was the industry's differing view point on wire baskets used on B&B plants. Many of you know that for the last year and a half I have worked on an initiative to pull together any and all people and organizations that have any involvement in the tree industry to sit down and discuss this issue. For too long, the green industry has been sending conflicting messages to the consumer on this question. The question is simply this: At the time of planting, should the wire basket be removed or not, and if so, how much should be removed? What research is available that answers this question? What I learned over the last year by asking and researching these questions is that there are many conflicting answers depending on whom I ask. Most of the arborist community will say that the entire basket or at least as much as possible should be removed without jeopardizing the integrity of the root ball. MNDOT specs currently require removal of the top portion including the top two horizontal wires. Many landscape contractors and nurserymen will suggest planting the entire root ball as a package since the upper portion of the basket and tying material will aid in stabilization of root ball and not inhibit root growth for the first growing season. While all of these arguments have merit, the problem becomes this; what message is our industry actually sending to the consuming public? Could Target and Wal-Mart send such conflicting messages regarding their products to the consumer and expect the consumer to understand which retail vendor is telling the true story about the product? Could the USDA and DNR send conflicting messages to our industry about emerald 34 | FEbRUARy 2011

ash borer and let the green industry decide which message was relevant to them? We as an industry have been doing ourselves a disservice for many years in this area and it would profit our industry greatly to come to some consensus on this issue, especially during a rough spot in our economy when our customers have many choices about who they choose to provide services for them.

"The green industry has been sending conflicting messages to the consumer for too long on wire baskets used on B&B plants."

Five years ago, the Illinois Green Industry Association (formerly the Illinois Nurserymen's Association) and related parties reached an agreement on this matter. It took several years of meetings between various entities and companies within the Illinois green industry. Led by Dr. Gary Watson and others, the group trudged ahead and reached a middle ground consensus on the question. The group known then as the Illinois Specification Review Committee reached an agreement that was not too restrictive one way or the other, but an agreement that took all concerns and points of view into account. At the conclusion of their work, a Best Management Practices (BMP) document was published and posted to the IGIA web site. This document sends a unified message to the consumer - a message we in the green industry of Minnesota and surrounding states need to be sending to our consumers. It’s time to set our differences aside and have this conversation. If you agree, contact me and we can begin the process together but please review the BMP first. For review of the BMP it’s available at treespecscommittee.html. Read the narrative on the page then click in the upper left corner on the link “Tree Specification Home” to view the entire BMP. Wire baskets are not the only thing covered in this BMP. There is much more information related to planting depth and plant production that is a very relevant part of the document. The document was meant for public education and is available for our state and region to adopt if we choose. This document could be endorsed by our member companies and organizations and then posted on not only your company’s web site but also the municipality where you live and do business. It would be a great document for our customers to use as a tool while at the same time, it sends out a unified message on this issue. An educated customer is a good customer.

Wholesale native plants in 4” pots. Wholesale perennials that are hardy for Minnesota in 32 count trays. All plants are individually tagged for resale with color photo tags. Also available, certified organic vegetable plants and a large selection of wholesale annual plants. Order early to receive discounts.

So as you regenerate, reflect and reevaluate this winter give some consideration to this question and let me know your thoughts. q ________________________________________________ Dave Kleinhuizen is a member of the MNLA Nursery Committee and can be reached at FEbRUARy 2011 |



Trimming the 2010 Capitol Tree With Bees! By DeAnne Bennett, Bachman's, Inc.

t’s been noted in the 1890’s that Europeans used small Christmas trees about four feet in height, while Americans like their Christmas trees to reach from floor to ceiling. Why would the Americans on the MNLA Public Relations Committee be any different? The tree, donated by Bork Tree Farms, reached 25 feet into the Minnesota State Capitol’s rotunda.

Cathy Schaefer, vice president of the MHBA, was on hand on December 3rd to help decorate the tree and to share with the MNLA Public Relations Committee and the Boys & Girls Club staff the importance of educating youth in the art of beekeeping. The MHBA sponsors a youth beekeeping scholarship to help children understand the value of honeybees to our environment and the food chain. The scholarship has been awarded for 2011, but if you need more information for 2012, please log on to

Since 2008, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities have teamed with us to get this magical tree decorated. When the kids found out we’d asked the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association (MHBA) for help with the “Bees and Books” themed tree, you know the red and green tradition went out the window. The paper chain garland of black, yellow, and white fit in nicely with the stuffed bees, bottles of honey, and wood frames generously donated by the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association.

Many thanks to our friends who donated to make this year’s tree a success. The Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota provided educational booklets on beekeeping and pollinators. The American Beekeeping Federation supplied the honey recipes, educational booklets, and honey promotion, as did the National Honey Board and Dadant & Sons, Inc. The honey was provided by Dave Schroeder, president of the MHBA, the Turnham family, Anne Turnham; Myla Meyer at Mommy’s Sweet Bee Honey, and


• Wire Baskets • Digging Supplies • Landscape Fabrics • AND MORE!

36 | FEbRUARy 2011

Cathy Schaefer’s Apiary. Nicole Kersting is the special events manager for the Boys & Girls Clubs. She and her staff are responsible for getting the books about bees for the tree. Coughlin and Companies made the donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs for the books.

The beautiful poinsettias that adorned the rotunda were provided by Malmborg’s, and the holiday wreathes, decked with bees, were provided by Mickman Brothers. q ______________________ DeAnne Bennett is a member of the MNLA Public Relations Committee and can be reached at

MNLA President Bert Swanson and his wife, Darleen, presented the Capitol Christmas Tree to Gov. Tim Pawlenty on behalf of MNLA members.

FEbRUARy 2011 |



Steadfast and Optimistic for 2011! By David Sonka, MNLA CP, Landscape Design Studios, LLC s many people in the landscape industry spend their time in the “offseason” between hibernation and snowremoval, maybe along with some NFL David Sonka football or NHL hockey, and being amongst family and friends, we all seem to reflect on our careers this time of year. Generally, the past 2-3 years might have required a bit more effort to keep pace with what the previous 2-3 years had offered. Perhaps the added income from snow removal might even be more crucial than it ever has been in the past.


Unfortunately, I personally don’t own a plow-worthy truck with a 7’ Western blade on the front, at least at this point. Maybe I will at some time in the future, but I haven’t gotten one yet. So, I have just been spending time on the hibernation, football, family and friends part, while I most certainly have been spending a great deal of time reflecting on my career. As a landscape design business owner, my impetus during the "off season" is to reflect on the previous year, to refine my skills, to increase my knowledge, and to prepare my business strategies for the coming year, if and when the 30-plus inches of snow on the ground melts and Spring finally arrives. Given the reflection, the research, and the preparations I have made for 2011...I am being steadfast and optimistic! 2011 is going to be a good year! One thing that I always try to research is “the market" in the economy that we are residing in, trying to discover how much home improvement-related work was actually done in 2010, and what is projected for 2011. That can prove to be 38 | FEbRUARy 2011

difficult, as so much research on this subject was done 5 to 10 years ago and is completely outdated. If I see that same “Money Magazine” article again on “increasing your home’s value by ten percent with landscaping” that was done all the way back in 2002, I will instantly light it on fire. Articles like that are faroutdated and irrelevant. While current information is scarce, a couple recent reports say that things are looking, well…decent! I’ll take what I can get. One article written on August 9, 2010 in Senior Housing News (don’t laugh) cites a report by the “Joint Center for Housing Studies” of Harvard University which predicts that spending on home renovations will reach double-digit growth in the first quarter of 2011. Furthermore, it states that “the recovery in home improvement activity appears to be moving beyond simple replacement projects and energy retrofits to broader remodels and upgrades” and that “a wider activity base would help generate the expected growth in the quarters ahead.” As I said, I’ll take what I can get! During the “off-season” I also like to get a sense for the perceived value that landscaping investments have in a costconscious environment. People are inclined to think of any home improvement projects in terms of “return on investment” (ROI). I would consider myself to be one of those people, at least to some degree. Many of the HGTV shows and DIY shows now place a large emphasis on

ROI, and will cost-analyze the proposed investment to the home improvement. They certainly seem to imply that this is equally or more important than the benefit, need, use, and enjoyment that the homeowner will get out of their home improvement. After all, how do you apply a value or a price tag on that? But in many cases, the new use and enjoyment, and even excitement that

people get from their "new and improved" home has an enormous value to their quality of life. The new project gives them a reason to be excited and fall in love with their home again, and enables them to maximize the potential of their home. This is especially true with landscaping. A new landscape can give people the benefit of taking an unused or under-used space on their property and make it one of the most enjoyable places in and around their entire home. (I have had people say that very thing to me.) It can add a virtual square-footage to the home, just like adding a new room and increasing the size of the home's footprint. It also offers them a beautiful view to enjoy from many of the rooms in the house, as a connection to the outdoors. Unlike remodeling a bathroom or bedroom, you can't often

enjoy its new-found appeal through a window when sitting in your family room or at the kitchen table. Your bedroom or bathroom remodel also does not express itself and change throughout the season, or call the birds, butterflies, and wildlife to your window. So, purposeful landscaping is always a bit more intangible when it comes to "value" and ROI. In the slightly more volatile economy and marketplace that was last year, a good article called “Top 10 Home Improvements for Adding Value” was published on December 29, 2009 in the My First Home Blog, which is a site geared toward educating first-time home buyers. It is encouraging, granted that upon further inspection, it appears as though the blog community is centered in the United Kingdom. But like I said, I will take what I can get! The way I look at it, 3 or 4 out of the “Top 10” best improvements (including #1 and #2) involve landscaping!

All of this is encouraging. Yet, while that may be so, the customer is always becoming more educated and knowledgeable. Many are watching the HGTV and DIY shows. (I was on one Curb Appeal episode that aired 4 times and it is surprising to hear all who have seen it.) They are more sensitive to their ROI. They are becoming more of a smart shopper and a careful buyer, demanding high-quality and purposeful design, proven experience, the ability to get a good value and “find a bargain” or “get a deal.” They are becoming more educated in the plants, products, trades, and techniques used in the landscape industry. This is not a discouraging or bad thing, but it demands our respect. Of course, as a landscape design business owner, I have all kinds of opinions and information about that and how to address the needs of the client, or how to help the landscape contractor save money and succeed in business. But I will just offer this, which is something I

learned in Cub Scouts 30 years ago: “Always do your best.” If everyone always does their best, then the client will benefit, the company will benefit, the industry will benefit, and the marketplace will continue to improve with satisfied customers reaping the benefit of their new landscaping. Those are the professionals I respect the most and enjoy working amongst in the landscape industry. To those professionals, I say “thank you.” We should all want Minnesota to have a thriving landscape industry, thriving with good professionals who always do their best. q ________________________________ Dave Sonka is a member of the MNLA Landscape Design Committee and can be reached at

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The Reward at the End of the Day By Thomas Wawra, Bachman's Landscaping his fall my daughter began a teaching job at an environmental school in northern Minnesota. One day she emailed me to ask if I would explain, ‘Why do trees change color in the fall and drop their leaves?” She wanted to explain it to her students. I explained the biology stuff, with a simple explanation of how the production of green chlorophyll is replaced with the carotenoids and anthocyanins, to give the red and yellow colors. Then I told her that timing and quality of these colors can vary every year due to things such as temperatures, rainfall, and day length. I knew she’d want me to know all the facts before telling her. Then she should tell her 6th grade class. I told her, “It’s really a cool mystery of Mother Nature that no one really can explain!” I obviously enjoyed helping out my daughter but I always get pleasure out of my day anytime I’m able to share something I’m interested in with someone else. This is what sets us apart in the ‘green’ industry from others who sell plants. Our greatest assets are the knowledge we are sharing with our customers. People rely on us for our knowledge and the services we all offer about landscaping their homes. Our industry employs people who enjoy sharing information and knowledge that they have with other people, whether it be coworkers or customers. We have employees that don’t simply ask the yes-or-no question, “Can I help you?” but are interested enough to ask, “What can I help you with today?” Without a knowledgeable friendly staff, we are no different than the other ‘big box’ stores selling the same products we have for less! Each and every winter we all have our ‘job list’ of things we want to improve on or change. One of the things we should have on this list each year is to evaluate how well we are set up to offer our customers the service they come to expect from us. Do we have employees that are always interested in learning about new products or methods used in our industry and excited about sharing these ideas with others? Are these the employees who feel rewarded at the end of the day because they helped someone? They might create a unique and beautiful landscape for a customer OR they might create a new selection of annuals for a customer who was bored with the same plants they have been planting in their window box year after year. In closing, let’s not forget that in the business of selling plants, products and services, many other employees are needed to make that happen. There are several other employees behind the scene of each business who make it possible for that one employee to meet our customer. It is our job to place all these employees in positions where they can feel rewarded at the end of the day by what they do. q ________________________________________________ Thomas Wawra is a member of the MNLA Landscape Education Committee and can be reached at


40 | FEbRUARy 2011


Stay United to Keep Pest Control Tools

Let your Spring be a little GREENER with... Field Direct Pricing Selection Quality Satisfaction Service

By Bob Fitch, MNLA Executive Director bout 200 people from a wide swath of green industry segments attended the Public Policy Forum at the Northern Green Expo. The session, entitled “Pesticide Bans in Canada: Is the U.S. Next?”, told the story of the ban on the use of “cosmetic” pesticides in Ontario. Consumers and the green industry there lost the ability to use legitimate pest control products on residential and commercial landscapes in 2009. For background on what the Landscape Ontario association did to try to stop this effort and what you can do now to help prevent this from happening in Minnesota, read the article on page 8. MNLA and MTGF extend their thanks to Bachman's Wholesale Nursery & Hardscapes, Irrigation By Design Inc., Wilson's Nursery, Inc., and Zlimen & McGuiness PLLC for their sponsorship of the forum. Tony DiGiovanni, executive director of Landscape Ontario, said that since the ban has gone into place, business for lawn care companies is down 60 percent. Many companies have changed their business models, adding hand weeding services; selling more aeration, topdressing and overseeding; and using more products like corn gluten, beet juice, and iron chelate. Looking forward, DiGiovanni said professionals in areas like Minnesota must continue to support the reduction of pesticide use based on plant knowledge (cultural practices, preventive measures, integrated pest management). The green industry should support the concept of alternatives and the principle of least toxic product. “We need to simplify the issue when dealing with this in legislative situations,” said DiGiovanni. “When possible, narrow the discussion to exactly the product in question. Is it 2,4D, Roundup or what?” He expressed frustration that the manufacturers were largely missing from the grassroots initiative in Ontario. “They spent millions of dollars paying lawyers to prove that the legislation gave them the right to sell and use pesticides. In the end, the government just changed the legislation.” He believes that manufacturers need to spend more money defending the safety of their products and promoting the benefits of their products. And, furthermore, the manufacturers need to continue to develop safer, less toxic methods of pest control. His final words of advice for Minnesota’s green industry: • Stay united. • Educate and engage customers • Educate activist groups (if you can) • Educate elected officials before the public arena • Always use pesticides responsibly and professionally. • Never base your business model on number of sprays. q



N U R S E R I E S Growers of QUALITY B&B and container evergreen, ornamental and shade trees

17759 Kirby Avenue • Hastings, Minnesota 55033

(651) 437-5017

FEbRUARy 2011 |


The Scoop | SAFETY

Welding: There’s Danger in the Air By Katie Schofield, Loss Control Representative, CSP, ARM, CHST elding is a dangerous activity. Hazards include intense heat, light, and the risk of burns and fire. These are commonly recognized hazards and proper precautions and procedures are usually put into place. However, far fewer people recognize the toxicity and health effects of welding activities and how to protect themselves and their employees. Welding can create a large variety of toxic fumes, depending on the material being fused or cut, paints or coatings on the material, or the method that is being used to make the bonds. Fumes are a particulate that is created when metal is heated to a very high temperature, and then cooled and dispersed into the air. These particles are easily inhaled by both those who are welding, and those who may be working in close proximity to them. Some of the most common materials that cause exposure are listed below.


Stainless steel is made of a combination metals that will create dangerous fumes when welded. One ingredient, nickel, is used extensively in the production of many metal alloys. Another ingredient, chromium and chromates, are used in a wide variety of metal alloys, including zinc chromate, as well as electroplating operations and anti-corrosive paints, primers, and surface coatings. Both nickel and chromium can have severe health effects when heated during welding including potent sensitization of the nose cavities and mucous membranes, asthma causing or aggravating, chemical pneumonia, and pulmonary edema. Nickel and the hexavalent form of chromium are also known human carcinogens and cause nose, pharyngeal, and lung cancers. Hexavalent chromium (Cr 6+) is a hot topic in the health and safety world, and 42 | FEbRUARy 2011

new focus on its effects has created a new OSHA standard. The standard has both an action limit of 2.5 micrograms/meter3 for hex-chrome and a much lower permissible exposure limit of 5 micrograms/meter3. Please see the OSHA standard CFR 1910.1026 for complete details. Galvanized steel is made when a coating of zinc is put over steel to provide protection from rusting and the environment. The zinc coating on the steel has a very low vaporization temperature, so when it is exposed to the heat of welding, it creates a large amount of smoke and fumes. Breathing in these fumes can create a condition known as “metal fume fever.” Employees that are exposed will experience flu-like symptoms, usually starting about 4 hours after exposure, which can be very severe and may last for days after they are exposed. They should be removed from the exposure immediately. Welding rods are commonly composed of metal called manganese, which is also a key ingredient in making steel, and is used in certain aluminum alloys. It also comprises a large percentage of carbon steel. Manganese fumes are created when using the welding rods and these fumes appear to produce toxic effects to the brain and nervous system for those who have overexposures, which can occur anywhere from months to multiple years in the welding industry. These toxic effects are most notably linked to a Parkinson disease-like syndrome and symptoms that include shaking/tremors, leg cramps at night, loss of coordination/balance, slurred speech, short term memory loss, and twitches all over the body. Behavioral and emotional changes are also common. The symptoms are also known as “welding disease” or “welding rod disease”. Welding without proper ventilation was the single most notable risk factor that

was shared by all welders displaying these manganese poisoning symptoms in a Mayo Clinic study. In addition to thinking about the task of welding, think about what is on, in, or what is covering what you are welding on. Make sure all paints, coatings, solvents, and residues are removed from the item you are working on. Examples include: • Lead paint-lead poisoning, kidney and nervous system damage, dust on work cloths exposes family and children • Cadmium (coatings and fillers)kidney problems and cancer • Degreasing solvents-phosgene gas can be produced, causes fluid in the lungs which you may not notice until hours later but can kill you • Rust inhibitors-phosphine gas can be produced, irritate respiratory system, damage kidneys • Carbon monoxide-forms when carbon dioxide is used for shield or in oxyacetylene welding • Ozone-fumes irritate eyes, ears, nose, throat, and can cause lung damage. Proper ventilation is the name of the game when it comes to welding. Use local ventilation hoses to immediately remove fumes at the source. When using a ventilation hood, keep the hood opening between 4 and 6 feet from the source. Ventilation hoods often fail to protect welders because they are poorly designed and located. Ensure that the hood, building, shop, or facility ventilation system is adequate for welding areas. Frequent airflow checks must be done. Use extra ventilation, blowers, or fans when necessary. Remember that welding, or doing any kind of work, in a confined space can quickly affect your fume concentration and create an atmosphere that is

unsuitable or dangerous to be working in. Follow all confined space regulations and requirements, including air monitoring. Know your materials and methods. The health risks and effects are determined by length of exposure, type of welding being done, the work environment, and the protection that is used. Make sure you read all material data safety sheets (MSDS). Understand the hazards of the metals you are working with, along with the information on the electrodes or rods you are welding with. Metal should be clean and free of coatings. There are methods of welding that are safer than others. Stick, flux, and core welding are the biggest offenders. Up to 90% of welding fumes can potentially come from the rod. Using low fume rods or welding guns that extract fumes can reduce exposure. Personal protective equipment is a last resort. All other means of ventilation, material, and equipment controls should be extensively examined before relying on respiratory protection. If respiratory protection is used, all of the OSHA requirements for a respiratory protection program must be in place. A huge variety of respiratory protection is available, depending on the levels and types of fumes employees are exposed to. Depending on the level of protection needed, common options include a filtering face piece respirators (sometimes called a dust mask), half and full face respirators, and powered air purifying respirators (PAPR). Ideally, employee comfort should be a major consideration when selecting respiratory protection, because if it is not comfortable, employees will not wear it. PAPRs are a great option because they are positive pressure respirators, meaning that cool, comfortable air is blown into the headpiece, and the battery pack can be attached as a belt offering maximum mobility. The correct headpiece, when used as a PAPR system, can provide protection for contaminants levels over 1000 times allowed levels, plus headpieces can incorporate welding and grinding eye protection, since welders often need to move from one activity to the other throughout the course of the day.

Recognizing that welding and welding activities produce dangerous fumes and air contaminants is the first step. A workplace evaluation and employee risk assessment should be conducted. Additionally, OSHA Grants can be used for offsetting any costs that come with reducing welding hazards to your employees. Besides just purchasing respiratory protection equipment with the grant, think about redesigning ventilation systems or purchasing ventilation equipment to eliminate the need for protection in the first place! Start out the new year by taking steps to improve workplace and employee health and safety. q ________________________________________________ The Builders Group (TBG) is a self-insured workers’ compensation insurance fund that has been protecting Minnesota’s construction industry for more than 10 years. For more information, go to:

Green Industry Day on the Hill Wednesday, March 2nd Sign up at or call 651-633-4987

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Good Photos and Notes Can Have Many Uses By Jeff Greeney, Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supplies ake it a new policy to have everyone on staff take photos and good notes for your jobs starting with the first visit with the homeowners. This will help with the bidding and design process for the project. You can get busy and not remember what the site looked like because it can take a while before the owner gets back to you and now wants to do some changes to the project and your design. Will you remember if this is possible to do and will your bid be correct if you are going from memory?


The photos and notes will help when you get the job and are ready to start the project. The job sup will be able to get an idea of the existing site conditions and what equipment he will need to do the project. It can show them some things that you may have forgotten to tell them. The more information and photos you can give them the better chance of getting the profit you had bid it for. The job sups should be taking photos and notes of the project as they are installing the product. The installation

44 | FEbRUARy 2011

photos and notes will be a good record of how it was installed and for future references. The future references can be used for the next phase or if questions arise from the owners or general contractor about the installation. The photos and notes can help save you some time and money for either one of them that could come up. The main reason for this article is to help out your company and to get more people to enter the MNLA awards. The photos and notes can be useful information by showing the work that was done by your crews and sales person so they can be rewarded or get any additional training that may be needed so the projects are installed properly and are profitable. Please think about starting the awards application early in the year or in July/August when you have time. This will still give you a second look before you need to turn them in November and eliminate the chances of having to do it again because you ran out of time or forgot to do something. q ________________________________________________ Jeff Greeney is a member of the MNLA Landscape Professional Advancement Committee and can be reached at


Managing Client Expectations for Stormwater Management Success By Sarah Hartung, Landscape Renovations, Inc. anaging client expectations is one of the biggest challenges on most projects. Stormwater management projects such as permeable pavement systems Sarah Hartung (PPS), raingardens, bioretention cells, and vegetated swales, among others, require a bit more attention to detail than a typical installation. These projects typically have somewhat higher maintenance requirements to the finished product, but may provide financial benefits along with the obvious ecological benefits. Whether your client is “all in” on a stormwater management project or needs to be introduced to the concept, a thorough explanation and understanding of the processes, mechanics, and management of the installation is a must. One of the most important and, hopefully, obvious things to consider as a contractor before selling the project is Can you successfully install and manage the project? If the answer is not “Absolutely!” please do not attempt the project until you have had a chance to gain further education and experience in the subject area. Stormwater management project failures seem to make the headlines and the neighborhood gossip sessions much more readily than the successful projects. The importance of installing and promoting successful stormwater management projects can’t be understated. These management practices are not just trendy - they’re crucial for the long term health of our waterways. As with any project, setting and managing client expectations can be complicated. If you’re working with someone who clearly will not be willing to perform or pay for maintenance on


Hedberg To Offer Water Feature Seminars edberg Landscape Supplies will be offering two courses this March focused on water features in the landscape:


• AquaBasin™ & Rain Barrel Day Seminar on March 25 at the Hedberg-Plymouth location (indoors). Cost is $35 per person. • Indoor Basic/Pondless®/Bog Day Seminar on March 18th at the Hedberg Plymouth location (indoors). Cost is $35 per person. To learn more and/or to register for one of these seminars, contact Gail Schaal at Hedberg’s Plymouth office at (763) 392-5920. Registration is also online at

the finished product, consider a different landscape solution. Often times successful designs and installations are tarnished by poor management (or even a complete lack of management) practices after construction has been completed. This is a waste of everyone’s time and money, and could be avoided with clear communication of the requirements of the finished installation. This is especially true of stormwater management projects, where a minimum of annual maintenance is almost certainly required, whether it be a raingarden or a permeable pavement system. The ecological benefits of stormwater management systems are obvious, and statistics can be found everywhere on each individual type of project. Selling these benefits to the client and explaining the mechanics of the successful system can benefit you and your company by creating a walking advertisement. Everyone loves a feel good story, and people love to talk about themselves. Every time they tell their friends, family, and co-workers how great they are for installing their new permeable pavement driveway or 1000 square foot raingarden, they are giving you free advertisingn - but only if the project is a long term success. If you communicate with your client from the outset about the expectations for the process, mechanics, and long term management of the system - then follow through with those items - the long term success of the project is almost guaranteed, and so is the long term success of stormwater management as a whole. q ________________________________ Sarah Hartung is a member of the MNLA Stormwater Management Task Force and can be reached at

FEbRUARy 2011 |


A Deeper Shade of Green Local Genetic Origins


Call for Sites: MNLA Landscape Design Tour – July 2011 o you have a landscape site that you’d like to show your colleagues? The Landscape Design Committee is looking for landscape sites to feature on the 2011 Landscape Design Tour.


Date: e tour will take place in July 2011. Location: Site locations should be in the metro area.

Native Minnesota Woody & Herbaceous

Deadline: All sites will be selected no later than April 1, 2011, so don’t delay!

(651) 438-2771 • Fax (651) 438-3816

Details: Not sure if your site is right for the tour? Have questions? Contact Landscape Design Committee member Mark Madsen, Bachman’s, Inc. to discuss the possibilities at 612-861-9226 or e-mail

Call us first for all your native planting needs

MNLA Awards Prizes

ver the past several weeks, MNLA has had multiple prize drawings in our office, and we thought you might be interested in the winners! Northern Green Expo – 2nd Chance Scratch-Off Card Winners By returning their 2nd chance drawing scratch off cards, the following 3 individuals won a one-night stay at the Hyatt Hotel in Minneapolis! • Doug Daniel, ECO Lawn & Garden • Don Tegg, King Scapes, LLC • Carole Hlavay, Switzers Nursery & Landscaping Landscape Industry Pulse Survey Winner MNLA also gave a away a $100 Holiday gift card to a participant in the Landscape Industry Pulse Survey in December 2010.


All new format now available for members only. List both your full time and seasonal positions – only $35 for 60 days! Enter via your member profile on; jobs display on

46 | FEbRUARy 2011

Membership Directory “Go Green” Drawing Winners Thanks to the following three companies for helping MNLA go “green” by turning in their postcard at the Northern Green Expo and picking up their membership directory (rather than having it mailed)! They will each receive a $100 gas card from Super America or Holiday. • Tim Sveiven, Keenan & Sveiven • Joan Kempeninch, Northern Image Landscaping, LLC • Linda LaFleur, All Organic Garden Care Congratulations to all of these winning individuals! q


Good Vibes at 2011 Northern Green Expo



eminar rooms were more jam-packed than last year, while 80% or more of exhibitors reported that Northern Green Expo attendees included a good number of decision-makers and that the event is a valuable marketing venue. Overall attendance bounced up 15% - the first increase in several years. The Casino Party was once again a huge hit with about 1,000 people in attendance. MNLA and MTGF extends its sincere gratitude to exhibitors for their ongoing support of Expo. “The support of our exhibitors and sponsors is critical as we work to provide a first-class program of education, networking and commerce,� said MNLA Executive Director Bob Fitch.



MNLA Helps You Change the Lives of Students By Jodi Larson, MNLA Foundation, Green Industry Student Outreach Project Coordinator

But creating that landscape calls for qualified, educated and experienced professionals. Though it may look nice at first, would you fill your nursery with Zone 9 plants? Would you decorate a client’s yard with dandelions? Take a moment to think of the skills and knowledge you use each day, and how you have come to acquire them. Where will we be without qualified individuals to fill those shoes?

he Adopt a School program, new at MNLA and financed by the MNLA Foundation, encourages members to schedule visits to local schools and career fairs. The communication that occurs between professionals and students during these visits helps to build awareness of green industry careers and recruit the next generation of professionals.


As green industry professionals, you shape and maintain the world that we look at each day: From the front yard to the back, the view on the drive to work, to the areas outside offices and inside malls, to the outdoor spaces used for recreation. The impact that you have one the outdoor living environment is considerable.

It is important to begin to seek out and train the next generation of green industry professionals. Some negative images still exist about green industry careers. Youth pick careers based on their parents’ opinions, the potential salary, the career’s image, and professions of adults with whom they have had a meaningful connection. By area professionals entering into classrooms and engaging with students, it becomes possible to change those images and help youth to discover the benefits of working in the industry. With this idea in mind, the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA) partnered with a number of other associations across the country to develop, a green industry careers website. The site

disc ver Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors


Central Landscape Supply

Irrigation by Design

S & S Tree Specialists

The Credit Card Dr.

Mickman Brothers, Inc.

Wilson’s Nursery, Inc.

Minnesota State Horticultural Society

Zlimen & McGuiness PLLC

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provides information for high school students and others about the variety of career options that exist within the green industry, as well as links to higher education. After the creation of the website, MNLA staff worked to make the website more visible to students, educators and parents, and broaden awareness of careers in the industry.

the MNLA Careers Task Force. The task force has met over the last year and helped to develop the Adopt a School program and the various new materials that are now available for MNLA members to use, free of charge. Knowing that it can seem intimidating to give a school presentation, the task force came up with a list of free materials that could make it easy for professionals to enter into schools. This includes: curriculum, presentation tools, bookmarks, pens, a career brochure, and a career fair kit.

Last year, the MNLA Foundation expanded this vision with the goal of educating youth in our region about green industry careers. This led to the creation of

Continued on page 50 Angle Cutout

Angle Cutout

There are many career paths to follow once you enter the green While many jobs in this industry are hands-on, technology is a big part of the green industry and there are many occupations to choose from, like construction, retail, arboriculture, landscape

industry - and the jobs are not just seasonal! You can get a certificate or degree from a 2- or 4-year college, work your way up into management or even someday start your own business.

management, and more.

Arboriculture Green industry careers require individuals with a strong Wages may vary by region, but depending on which career path you choose, you could make more than $100,000 a year and even open your own business.

Garden Center

academic foundation of literacy, chemistry, biology, mathematical and analytical skills, not to mention creativity,

Gardening Services

problem solving, coordination, and most importantly, passion! Many positions in the nursery and landscape industry require a


2- or 4-year college degree. And, if you wish to move up into a Consider if you became the head of landscape management at Sea World™, the White House, or the Mall of America™! Or maybe you will design a healing garden offering comfort to cancer patients at the local hospital. Perhaps you will create a treatment that stops pests (such as the Emerald Ash Borer) from

Landscape Design

management position, you will often need an advanced degree to do so.

If you are interested in a skilled trade, employers in the green industry want you now! Many opportunities exist throughout the country, with

A skilled green industry professional can make a good living - and the salary gets even better with experience!

positions available in every state.

Landscape Installation Landscape Management & Lawn Care Nursery & Greenhouse Production

killing hundreds of thousands of trees across the country. Those flowers that line the Miracle Mile in Chicago had to be grown by someone, why not you? Maybe you will care for the sports turf at Fenway Park or Qwest Field. The possibilities are endless.

Working in the green industry can give you tangible results and immediate satisfaction.

You can enter the field with a high school diploma, a 2- or 4-year college degree, or get

Working in this field offers the perfect opportunity to see something that you’ve

on-the-job training by your employer. There are many colleges and universities throughout the

created everyday.

country that offer degrees for the green industry.

FEbRUARy 2011 |


Continued from page 49 These materials can all be accessed through From the main page of, scroll down to the bottom and look for the schoolhouse among the various icons.

The MNLA Schoolhouse showcases the various school outreach efforts in place at the MNLA. These efforts include the Adopt a School program, Green for Life, and the Arbor Day Poster Contest. Once you get to the Adopt a School page, you can sign up to adopt a school and even download or request the materials you’d like to use in your next school visit. Visit the website today and see how you can make an impact by visiting your local school. q

k n a h T You A special thanks to the MNLA Foundation Board of Trustees, the following task force members and additional volunteers for the funding, ideas and eorts they have contributed to help the Adopt a School program succeed. Task Force Members: Scott Frampton, chair Terry Ferriss Jennifer Johnson Mike McNamara John Mickman Dave Nordgaard Suzette Nordstrom Tim Oberg Jay Siedschlaw Additional volunteers: Audrey Schmitt Bob Marzolf Dan Foss Amanda Clark 50 | FEbRUARy 2011


Irrigation License Concept Controversial By Greg McDonald, CIC, Automatic Irrigation, Inc. o I want the government involved in my business more than they currently are? I decided to ask a few of our colleagues, including those who currently practice without insurance or the Technology System Contractor (TSC) company license or the Power Limited Technician (PLT) individual license, what they thought about having a stand-alone license in Minnesota for practicing the art of irrigation.


I asked them what they think the future will bring and how the current laws or codes affect their business practices today and their feeling of how a stand alone or additional license could affect them in the future.

would be a grace or grandfather period like we had with the PLT program. I believe there are a few contractors that feel they were left out in the cold. They had a Power Limited Technician on staff and have had no luck replacing them after they left their company to pursue other work. For those companies that employ a PLT or two, the expense of these employees has made it hard to be competitive in this market. Registering employees who have no intention of pursuing this as a career is a waste of our resources.

"It will be up to us to make policy or live with what they give us."

The overwhelming response to the question is: Who is going to police the process and why would we invite this type of bureaucracy into our lives? Everyone I spoke to had little faith that our state has the time or resources to even approach this issue. They had reservations. Would it be a successful endeavor? Are we drawing undue attention to our industry? Will we be adding more of a burden and expense to all? Will we need inspections and permits for electrical and plumbing and irrigation?

The idea that there are policy makers in our country that will control our water supply in the future and whose decisions on how those resources will be used should make everyone in our industry a little nervous. It is up to us to make sure that the resource we use to apply our trade is used in a manner that will benefit the masses. It is in our best interest to have a seat at the table when the topic is discussed. The Irrigation Association is at the forefront of this debate and other states have already made a stand alone license for irrigators a reality.

Even the contractor who works without a net thinks that some sort of government control is a good idea but wonders if the new license would be in addition to the license they currently purchase to do business in that town or community. Many currently do business in dozens of communities and a license for each at $50 dollars or more would require us to analyze our ability to continue to do work in as many communities we currently serve.

If you ask anyone who at this time complies with the current laws in Minnesota, they will, with some disgust, tell you that the current system administered by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and the State Board of Electricity is a complete failure where compliance is concerned. The low voltage or technology systems requirement has little to do with our industry, however, public safety has been served.

Another frequent question was if there

one from my point of view. However, without some incentives to comply, I have no use for it. I for one am sick of playing by the rules only to have our elected officials create more red tape and hoops for me to jump through with no ramifications for those who do not. Without enforcement there is really no reason for many to adhere to the current system or even talk about a stand-alone license in Minnesota.

Many contractors had good ideas, that if put in place, just might work. I have heard more than once that each community will need to require a permit. The fact is that most currently do. With that, a plan should be required as it is now with a few municipalities. These cities would also need to confirm licensure as well as mandate an inspection process. This would ensure that best case practices were applied, or at least the install was no threat to public safety, a back flow prevention device was properly installed, and a required rain sensor or technology to suspend system operation with adequate moisture. Maybe even require the system to meet certain efficiency requirements. Anyway you look at it, changes are coming. We need to be proactive. It will be up to us to either make policy or live with what they give us. q ________________________________ Greg MacDonald is a member of the MNLA Irrigation Industry Committee and can be reached at

The stand-alone license idea is a good FEbRUARy 2011 |


Increase your plant and hardscape sales with MNLA’s Outdoor Living Catalogs. Titles include Trees & Shrubs, Perennials, and Ideas for Outdoor Living.

52 | FEbRUARy 2011

Volume Discounts on Garden Center Trays Visit or contact Mary at 651-633-4987.

CLASSIFIED FOR SALE 78-acre active tree farm with two unique pole barns. 1,650 feet on St. Croix River across street from Kinnekinick State Park. Four miles north of Prescott, WI. 651-688-0012, evenings. Save 50% Off wholesale bare root trees. Oregon grown, same grade & quality. Check out our web site for weekly hot deals or Call 507-289-3741.

651-633-4987 Executive Director Bob Fitch • Membership Director & Trade Show Manager Mary Dunn, CEM • Education & Industry Advancement Director Cassie Larson, CAE • Communications Director Jon Horsman • Executive Assistant Susan Flynn • Accountant Norman Liston • Receptionist Jessica Pratt • Advertising & Sponsorship Sales Pierre Productions & Promotions 952-903-0505 Betsy Pierre, Advertising Manager, Erica Nelson, Advertising Sales, Government Affairs Consultants Boland & Associates John Boland, Legislative Affairs McGrann, Shea, Carnival, Straughn & Lamb Doug Carnival, Regulatory Affairs Tim Power, Regulatory Affairs


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Over 2,000 industry professionals receive THE SCOOP each month. Put your message in their hands! Display ad as low as $190. Classifieds $3 per word ($30 min). Call Betsy today 952-903-0505 ext 1 or




In addition to association activities, the MNLA staff provides management for:

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Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association 1813 Lexington Ave. N. Roseville MN 55113 651-633-4987, fax 651-633-4986 Outside the metro area, toll free: 888-886-MNLA, fax 888-266-4986

Order forms or links for many of the services listed below can be found at Companies endorsed by MNLA:

BBS – Better Business Solutions Telecom and Credit Card Consulting 651-330-9804 877-272-0741 (Toll Free) Business Legal Services (Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC) 651-331-6500 Business Succession (AgStar) 507-386-4620 Credit Card Processing (Approval Payment Solutions) 763-521-7851 Fuel Discount Card (Speedway/SA/Marathon) 651-454-7776 ext. 208 Fuel Savings (Holiday Stationstores) 952-830-8889 Horticultural Books (MN State Horticultural Society) 651-643-3601 Workers Compensation Insurance (The Builders Group) 651-203-6793 Contact the MNLA office at or 651-633-4987 or toll-free 888-886-6652 for information on the following products or services.

Catalogs/Outdoor Living publication series Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge Fleet Program Educational Programs/MNLA Academy Employee Recruiting/ Greenworks On-Line Job Board Employee Training Manuals (PLANET) Garden Center Plant Posters Garden Center Carryout Trays Irrigation References. (“industry references” at Northern Green Expo Trade Show Booths MNLA Certified Professional manuals, exam Sales Tax Rules / Nursery-GreenhouseLandscape (“industry references” at Spanish Pocket Reference Guide

FEbRUARy 2011 |



MNLA Garden Center Secret Shopper Program Returns! he Garden Center Committee invites you to participate in the 2011 Garden Center Secret Shopper Program!


What is a secret shopper and why should I participate? Secret shoppers pose as normal customers to perform specific tasks—such as purchasing a product, asking questions, registering complaints or behaving in a certain way – and then provide detailed reports or feedback about their experience in survey form. This survey data can then be used to help individual stores improve their customer service and product offerings. The impetus for the creation of a specific Garden Center Secret Shopper Program was to ensure those secret shoppers visiting your location are familiar with the green industry retail shopping experience. The secret shoppers in this program will be either other garden center managers or employees. They will be able to give you

honest, accurate feedback from a green industry perspective! Garden center managers who participated in 2010 reported that a side benefit of the program was the employee development that occurred from doing these shops. When surveyed, they stated that employees came back energized and more aware of providing top notch customer service and had new ideas that helped benefit their store! To be eligible to have your store shopped by a secret shopper, you must agree to do a specific number of shops at other stores. You will identify the number of shops you would like to receive/provide at your location on the Garden Center Secret Shopper Application.

Shoppers can be the manager themselves, or an employee at your store. e manager will ultimately be held responsible for the completion of the shop and completion of the follow-up survey. Shoppers will receive information about the store, location, and preferred time frame of shop as well as a copy of the survey they will be asked to complete after the shop. Surveys will be filled out ONLINE ONLY and data compilation provided to the Garden Center electronically after each shop has occurred. e program will run from April – September 2011. e application deadline to participate is February 25, 2011. For complete details and/or to sign up, see the MNLA Garden Center Secret Shopper Application which can be found online at e application requires a $100 participation fee which will help to cover postage and administration costs for the program. To participate in a corporate secret shopper program is often ten times this expense – so sign on today! q

Gerten’s Pitera Re-Elected GCA VP ino Pitera of Gerten’s in Inver Grove Heights has been re-elected vice president of Garden Centers of America®, a non-profit national trade association of independent garden centers. David Williams of Williams Nursery in Wesfield, N.J., was re-elected president. q


54 | FEbRUARy 2011


Three Flowered Maple Acer triflorum by Dave Kleinhuizen, Margolis Company, Inc. any of us in the plant business are continually on the lookout for new plants of interest that will dependably perform in our hardiness zone.


A native to Manchuria and Korea A. triflorum has proven to be a plant worth strong consideration for at least the southern half of Minnesota. Other hardy trifoliate maples (Acer mandshuricum and Acer griseum) may be worthy as well, however my experience has been with A. triflorum. A.triflorum has a delicate appearance. This plant makes a beautiful single stemmed small tree or for even more interest in the landscape it makes a fantastic multi-stemmed form. When grown in the open, the plant produces a full dense crown, however when grown in the shade it produces a more open upright spreading canopy.

Plant of the Month

to drought. The only pest of concern is leaf hoppers but once out of the nursery and into the landscape leafhoppers are usually not a concern. I can not comment specifically on its potential to be invasive, however, because this plant is not easily propagated and the seed takes two years to germinate I would not expect invasiveness to be a concern as compared to Acer ginnala. However with all new plant introductions into a range other than their native range this question needs to continually be asked. Availability of A. triflorum is somewhat limited but I know of several large grower/propagators who are ramping up their production of this fine plant. q _____________________________________________ Dave Kleinhuizen is a member of the MNLA Nursery Committee and can be reached at

Stems are somewhat slender with very prominent dark brown buds up to 3/16” long. Mature size is reported to be 25-30’ in height with similar width. The plant near my house is reaching 20 feet in height with multi stems close to 4.5” Growth rate is considered medium with some plants in the nursery having grown from ¾” in caliper to 3” in 5 years. The exfoliating bark is outstanding and in my opinion one of the greatest features of this plant. The bark will develop into vertical curls of loose golden to cinnamon brown colored strips on three year stems throughout the plant. While not as golden as Prunus maacki the coloration can vary related to soil and growing conditions. Fall color can tend to vary from a pink salmon color to dark shades of orange with color lasting two or more weeks prior to leaves abscising. The combination of the bark and the fall color are amazing and make a fantastic addition to the fall and winter garden. Flowers are in clusters of three (hence the name) and develop into 1” samaras with somewhat hairy fruits. Like many other maples, it prefers a slightly acid well drained moist soil. Once established, the plant is well adapted

Fireside Hearth & Home 7937 Wedgewood Lane N • Maple Grove, MN 55369 763-425-9656 •

FEbRUARy 2011 |


Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association 1813 Lexington Avenue North Roseville, MN 55113-0003

The Scoop Online – February 2011  

The official publication of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association featuring insights and information for green industry professional...

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