Page 1

“Organic,” “Local” or “Sustainable”?

Also Inside

A Government Affairs Success Story

New Plant Forum Non-Compete Clauses Foundation Corner

employment issues? Finding, training, and retaining the right people can be challenging

Vol: 37 No: 3 Mar 2014 t h e o f f i c i a l p u b l i c at i o n o f t h e M i n n e s o ta N u r s e r y & L a n d s c a p e A s s o c i at i o n


Volume 37 No. 3 Mar 2014

contents 19

38 32

IN THIS ISSUE 8

Events

10 From the President Ready to Spring Forward 12 MDA: Accurate Cold Hardiness Labeling Required

45

15 5 Critical Off-Page SEO Mistakes to Avoid Do you know what’s happening behind your back? 

19 Are You Struggling to Find, Retain and Train People? Scott Frampton writes about the challenges we face — but is there a problem with our own perceptions, too? 

23 New Plant Forum, Part II Highlights from the Northern Green Expo’s New Plant Forum moderated by Debbie Lonnee.    

32 A Little-Known Edible Berry Bush The cold hardiness, health benefits, and taste of newer varieties of this berry bush may mean its time has come.    

45 The Value of Native Species in Designed Landscapes Jim Calkins summarizes recent research reports on native plants.     

65 “Organic,” “Local” or “Sustainable”? What are consumers most interested in? Chengyan Yue’s research has the answer.     Landscape & Hardscape Install & Design  Garden Services & Landscape Management  Garden Centers  Growers: Nursery & Greenhouse  Irrigation & Water Management  Arborists & Tree Services  All

38 Anatomy of a Government Affairs Success Story When MNLA members get involved, your behind-the-scenes grassroots efforts can impact your bottom line. 42 20 Things You Might Not Know about Northern Green Expo Notes from a “recovering Green Expo intern.” 52 Come, Discover, Adopt Bob Mugaas reports on the plans for the new CFANS Discovery Gardens. 57 Non-Compete Agreements in Minnesota Minnesota courts are willing to enforce noncompetes if they are found to be “reasonable.” 60 Networking News 62 Your MNLA Research & Education Foundation Dr. Bert Swanson’s “Foundation Corner” highlights an ever-growing team of people serving the Foundation. The Scoop, March 2014, Issue 3 (USPS # Pending) (ISSN # Pending), is issued monthly, 12 times per year. All original works, articles or formats published in The Scoop are © Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association, 2014, and may not be used without written permission of MNLA, 1813 Lexington Ave N., Roseville MN 55113. Subscription price is $100 for one year, which is included with member dues. Application to mail at Periodical Postage Prices is Pending at St Paul, MN. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Scoop, MNLA, 1813 Lexington Ave N., Roseville MN 55113. Editorial Contributions. You are invited to share your expertise and perspective. Article ideas and manuscripts should, whenever possible, reflect real and specific experiences. Before writing, please contact the publisher at 651-633-4987. MNLA reserves the right to edit all articles.

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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 www.MNLA.biz • www.TheLandLovers.org www.NorthernGreenExpo.org

MNLA Mission: The mission of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association is to help members grow successful businesses.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

heidi heiland, mnla-cp, president Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens 612-366-7766 • heidi@BloomOnMN.com

herman roerick, vice-president

Alliance Designer Products ................................................................................ 4 Anderson Nurseries, Inc. .................................................................................. 59 Anchor Block Company .................................................................................... 27 Arborjet ............................................................................................................ 22 Astleford Equipment Co. .................................................................................. 41 Bullis Insurance Agency .................................................................................... 21 Bridgewater Tree Farms ................................................................................... 17 Carlin Horticultural Supplies/ProGreen Plus ..................................................... 27 Central Landscape Supply ................................................................................ 61 Central Wood Products .................................................................................... 29 Ceres Environmental ........................................................................................ 44 CPD .................................................................................................................. 54

Central Landscape Supply 320-252-1601 • hermanr@centrallandscape.com

Cushman Motor Co. Inc ................................................................................... 35

scott frampton, secretary-treasurer

Dailey Data ....................................................................................................... 51

Landscape Renovations 651-769-0010 • sframpton@landscaperenovations.com

Edney Distributing Co., Inc. ............................................................................. 40

debbie lonnee, mnla-cp, past president

Fahey Sales ....................................................................................................... 67

randy berg, mnla-cp

Gardenworld Inc. .............................................................................................. 54

Bailey Nurseries, Inc. 651-768-3375 • debbie.lonnee@baileynursery.com Berg’s Nursery, Landscape/Garden Center 507-433-2823 • rberg@smig.net

tim malooly, cid, clia, cic

Water in Motion 763-559-7771 • timm@watermotion.com

patrick mcguiness

Zlimen & McGuiness PLLC 651-331-6500 • pmcguiness@zmattorneys.com

mike mcnamara

Hoffman & McNamara Nursery & Landscaping 651-437-9463 • mike.mcnamara@hoffmanandmcnamara.com

jeff pilla, mnla-cp

Bachman’s Inc. 612-861-7600 • jpilla@bachmans.com

cassie larson, cae

MNLA Executive Director 651-633-4987 • cassie@mnla.biz

Staff Directory

executive director:

Cassie Larson, CAE • cassie@mnla.biz

membership director & trade show manager: Mary Dunn, CEM • mary@mnla.biz

communications director: Jon Horsman • jon@mnla.biz education/cert manager: Susan Flynn • susan@mnla.biz government affairs director: Tim Power • tim@mnla.biz administrative assistant: Jessica Pratt • jessica@mnla.biz accountant: Norman Liston • norman@mnla.biz mnla foundation program director: Jodi Larson • jodi@mnla.biz

advertising sales: 952-934-2891 / 763-295-5420

Faith Jensen, Advertising Rep • faith@pierreproductions.com Betsy Pierre, Advertising Mgr • betsy@pierreproductions.com

legislative affairs consultant: Doug Carnival 6

ad list

Volume 37 No. 3 Mar 2014

➾ section title

mnla .biz

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Farber Bag & Supply Co. .................................................................................. 59 Gertens Wholesale ........................................................................................... 31 GM Fleet and Commercial ................................................................................. 3 Great Northern Equipment Distributing, Inc. ................................................... 39 Jeff Belzer Chevrolet .................................................................................. 36–37 Johnson’s Nursery, Inc. ..................................................................................... 21 Kage Innovation ............................................................................................... 51 Klaus Nurseries ................................................................................................. 27 Kubota Dealers ................................................................................................. 58 Novozymes BioAg Inc. ..................................................................................... 13 Out Back Nursery ............................................................................................. 61 Plaisted Companies ............................................................................................ 7 Prairie Restorations, Inc. ................................................................................... 21 Quality Insurance Service ................................................................................. 61 RDO Equipment Co. ........................................................................................ 17 Rock Hard Landscape Supply division of Brian’s Lawn & Landscaping, Inc. .... 13 SRW Products ................................................................................................... 55 The Builders Group .......................................................................................... 39 Titan Machinery .................................................................................................. 2 Tri-State Bobcat, Inc. .................................................................................. 18, 56 Truck Utilities & Mfg. Co. .................................................................................. 21 Unilock .............................................................................................................. 14 Versa-Lok Midwest ........................................................................................... 68 Walters Gardens Inc. ........................................................................................ 11 Yardscapes, Inc. ................................................................................................ 31 Ziegler CAT ......................................................................................... Back Cover


➾ calendar

MNLA Event

MARch 4,11, 18,25 Webinar Spring Lunchtime Webinar Series MNLA.biz March 4 12:30 pm–1:30 pm Limited Liability Status for Small Companies: What it means and how to keep it. Presenter: Bryan Zlimen, Zlimen & McGuiness March 11 12:30 pm–1:30 pm University of Minnesota Top Annual Performers. Presenter: Steve Poppe, West Central Research and Outreach Center March 18 12:00 pm–1:00 pm Turfgrass Selection: Species and variety options for 5 difficult situations. Presenter: Sam Bauer, University of Minnesota Extension March 25 12:30 pm–1:30 pm Shrubs for 5 Difficult Sites. Presenter: Kathy Zuzek, University of Minnesota Extension

Key:

Event Education 8

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MNLA Event

mar5– maY7

2014 Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science z.umn.edu/ greatlakesturfschool Live Wednesday night online sessions from 6–8pm (CST) , 10 internationally renowned turfgrass science faculty from across the Great Lakes Region. 20 hrs of in-depth training on turfgrass science and management. This class is designed as a foundation of turfgrass training for individuals with no background in turf or those who desire a refresher.

mar 18–19 52nd Annual Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course Bethel University, Arden Hills, MN cce.umn.edu/shadetree This two-day course is for everyone involved in urban forestry and arboriculture. Sessions range from introductory to advanced technical to community forestry topics. ISA Certified Arborist CEUs are available for most sessions.

mar 10–11 Landscape Contractor Business Management Workshop Ziegler CAT, 13822 W Freeway Dr, Columbus, MN MNLA.biz Build a better landscape business with MNLA and the Landscape Management Network. Learn how to manage a more efficient, more productive landscape company from actual successful contractors. In two days, you’ll create real systems for your company, ready to use the very next day.

MNLA Event

mar 19–20 PESTICIDE CERTIFICATION WORKSHOP & EXAM TIES Conference Center, St. Paul MNLA.biz Prepare for the category A and E pesticide applicator certification exam by attending this 1½ day study program. Day 2 includes testing, if desired. (Does not qualify for MDA RE-certification.)


2014 MNLA seminars generously supported by John Deere Landscapes

MNLA Event

Versa-Lok Midwest Contractor Training

mar13 24th Annual Hedberg Contractor Education Day Earle Brown Heritage Center For more information call Gail Schaal at 763-392-5920.

MAR26

MAR25

MNLA Event

APR9–10

“Growing” Your Customer Relationships

Irrigation (PLT Relicensure)

sponsor

MNLA Event

MNLA Event

Popular Perennials for Local Landscapes TIES Conference Center, St. Paul MNLA.biz Our local area is blessed with a cadre of experts on perennial plants. Attend this seminar to hear the latest in popular perennials for the local landscape.

West Saint Paul Armory Full day (hands on) seminar for retaining walls and pavers. For more Information call Barb Macdonald (651) 770-3166.

Roseville Skating Center, Roseville MNLA.biz Learn electrical troubleshooting techniques, national electrical code violations, wire types/ sizing, and two-wire systems. The 8 hour class will contain: Two clock hours of specific National Electrical Code training; and 6 hours of technical training.

mar12

Heritage Room, Bachman’s on Lyndale MNLA.biz Attend this educational, humorous half-day session of customer service training. Relationships — like plants — need care and feeding. When it comes to customers, that nurturing is essential to the growth and success of your business. Trainer, Marilou Thibault, has over 25 year’s customer service training experience.

Pesticide Certification Workshop & Exam TIES Conference Center, St. Paul MNLA.biz Prepare for the category A and E pesticide applicator certification exam by attending this 1½ day study program. Day 2 includes testing, if desired. (Does not qualify for MDA RE-certification.) sponsor

mar12

All information on these and other industry events are online at MNLA.biz. march 14

mnla .biz

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➾ from the PRESIDEN T

Ready To Spring Forward I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your faith in me as a servant leader of the MNLA. I am eager to step into my role as the 48th President of our trade association.

Heidi Heiland

Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens

A Government Affairs Success Story “Organic,” “Local” or “Sustainable”?

Also Inside

i fervently believe in our industry’s importance to God’s green earth and intend on building bridges with you, with related groups, with potential customers, and with current and future employees. The original green industry has important work to do and it is my belief that aligning key objectives will benefit the whole…all ships rise. More to come on this in future Scoop articles from yours truly.

As we head into another growing season, are you ready to spring forward? I am, personally, professionally and as your President. Please contact me with comments or concerns you may have as we navigate this pivotal time in our environment. Let us cultivate relationships to effect change! Bloom On! can be reached at: 612.366.7766 or Heidi@BloomOnMN.com.

Heidi Heiland

New Plant Forum Non-Compete Clauses Foundation Corner

emPloymeNt issues? Finding, training, and retaining the right people can be challenging

Vol: 37 No: 3 Mar 2014

t h e o f f i c i a l p u b l i c at i o n o f t h e M i n n e s o ta n u r s e r y & l a n d s c a p e a s s o c i at i o n

on the cover

Scott Frampton, a member of the MNLA Foundation’s Careers Team, writes about the hot topic in our industry right now: finding, training, and retaining professionals in our companies. While there may be tips and tricks to learn and implement now, Frampton believes the long-term answer is to elevate the terms we use and the opportunities we create. See full article, page 19.

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TM

FROM PROVEN GENETICS COMES PROVEN PERFORMANCE. There’s a lot of genetic know-how behind high performance perennials. That’s why Proven Winners® turned to Walters Gardens, Inc. as their perennial experts to bring exclusive, beautiful new varieties that perform reliably for growers, retailers and gardeners alike. Proven Winners® Perennials: Beauty you can see. Performance you can trust.

Sedum ‘Pure Joy’ PPAF

WALTERS GARDENS, INC. Proud supplier of Proven Winners® Perennials P: 888.WALTERS (888.925.8377) // F: 800.752.1879 // E: sales@waltersgardens.com WaltersGardens.com // ProvenWinners.com © 2014 Walters Gardens, Inc.


➾ 2 0 1 4 MDA req uirements

MINNESOTA DEPT OF AG COLD HAR DI N ESS & L AB EL I N G R EQ U I RE M E N T S F O R 2 0 1 4

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is responsible for the administration of the Nursery Law (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 18H ), the purpose of which is to prevent harmful plant pests from being introduced into and disseminated within the state. Along with the focus on possible plant pests, stock offered for sale must be accurately labeled. This includes accurate cold hardiness labeling. “Nonhardy” means a plant that cannot be expected to survive or reliably produce flowers and fruit in average minimum winter temperatures in the sales site in which it is sold. For several years the MDA has documented inaccurate cold hardiness labeling by some suppliers. This has been true particularly at several large retail chains. Many species of ornamental plants, fruit trees, shrubs and perennials have been incorrectly identified as hardy beyond the range supported by available scientific data. At one northern Minnesota location, Winesap apple trees were labeled hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Legislation passed in 2012 requires nursery stock that is not cold hardy in the area in which it is being sold to be labeled “nonhardy.” Generally, if you are in the northern half of Minnesota, you are in zone 3. The southern half of Minnesota is zone 4. Visit the website: planthardiness. ars.usda.gov for accurate zone designation. Before the 2013 growing season started, the MDA notified nursery inspection certificate holders of this new requirement. During inspections, nursery inspectors

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informed clientele of this requirement, placed unlabeled plants off sale pending corrective labeling, but did not issue formal violations due to the timing of the final legislation. In 2014, nonhardy plants found without proper labeling will be cited as in the past and formal Notices of Violation will be issued. There is no limitation on what plant species can be sold in Minnesota — only that labeling is correct. Several suppliers have contacted the MDA with plant listings to ensure the correctness of hardiness so they can be in compliance. The MDA has created hardiness lists on its website located at www.mda.state.mn.us whereby suppliers, garden centers, nurseries and gardeners can access information for a variety of trees, shrubs and perennials. Minnesota and regional nursery growers, along with university and other plant experts regularly review the lists which then are updated as new, credible data is provided. The lists are meant to be a guide and a “work-in-progress” as new plant cultivars come on the market and challenges to hardiness claims are submitted. Another valuable resource exists in northern Minnesota: the only zone 3 hardy cold weather testing site in the continental United States. Each year in August, the North Central Research and Outreach Center, run by the University of Minnesota located in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, celebrates Horticulture Days where gardeners are free to roam the grounds to see what varieties do well in northern Minnesota.


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pUt a

LOCK

on that neXt Job.

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Unilock’s unique line of pavers and walls available at:

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VerSa-lok Contractor Sales Yard Oakdale: 651-773-7444 Burnsville: 952-894-4401 Brooklyn Park: 763-488-1310 versa-lok-midwest.com

Umbriano® (SUmmer Wheat) With belpaSSo® (CaStano) and SerieS 3000® (blaCk Granite) aCCentS.

Recommend Umbriano® as part of your next project bid to stand apart from the competition and lock up the job. For sizes, colors and other details for Umbriano, please visit Unilock.com

UNILOCK.COM

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SEO Series, Part 3 of 3

5 Critical Off-Page SEO Mistakes to Avoid

(or, Do You Know What’s Happening Behind Your Back?) Chris Heiler | Landscape Leadership

This is the last article in a three-part series outlining the most common mistakes we see green industry companies make related to search engine optimization (SEO) and their websites. In last month’s article we talked about the  on-page SEO mistakes companies make. In this final article we’ll cover the off-page mistakes green industry companies make.


➾ seo mistakes

A

s I mentioned in the previous article, you have complete control over the on-page elements on your website, so mistakes can be easy to clean up. Fixing what has been done off site is much more

engines are getting really good at sniffing out purchased links.

difficult because many of your issues may be out of your control.

search engines put a tremendous amount of value on the authority

Have you worked with an SEO firm in the past? Are you currently? If this is the case, many times the mistakes we’re going to cover here were committed by the SEO company you’ve hired. You probably don’t even know these things are happening. Yeah, awesome, right? Let’s dive into five of these common off-page SEO mistakes. Off-Page SEO Mistake #1: Comment Spam

I should list all of the landscape-related companies who spam my blog with their comments. The reason I don’t is because, unfortunately, the sad truth is that most of these companies are completely unaware that this is even happening. They hired some SEO firm who promised top rankings for $300/month and now has an army of cheap labor in India dropping comment spam on industry-related blogs. Here’s the problem with comment spam: it doesn’t fricking work! Leaving comments on other blogs with a link back to your

A couple of things on this: First, Google and the other search That means you’re buying links that carry no value. Second, the and relevancy of the websites that are linking back to your site.

When you buy links, you don’t know where those links are going to be placed. A website selling knock-off Rolex watches or Prada handbags could be linking back to your site. There’s zero value in that. Off-Page SEO Mistake #3: Article Marketing

Article marketing used to be a go-to tactic for SEO gurus. Many will still use it even though it doesn’t work. I’m referring to writing articles for sites like ezinearticles.com and the hundreds of other sites like them. The intent was to get an article placed on one of these high-traffic sites along with a link pointing back to your website. Sounds good, right? It used to be effective...until Google slapped the hell out of these sites a couple years back. Bottom line: Don’t waste your time creating content for someone else’s site when you could be creating original content for your own 

(Disclaimer: unless it is a locally-relevant or industry-relevant site).

website does absolutely nothing for your rankings. All of these

links in comments are considered “no follow” links, meaning the search engines pretty much ignore them and attribute them no value. So why do these shady SEO companies even bother doing this? My guess is that the SEO firm promised you a specific number of links each month and they are counting the “no follow” links left in comments in that total. All you see is a number (Awesome! We got 100 new inbound links last month!). Too bad they carry no value.... Off-Page SEO Mistake #2: Buying Links

There are companies that will actually “sell” you links back to your website. I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% clear on how this works exactly. It’s a shady tactic I’ve never wanted to learn much about. 16

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Off-Page SEO Mistake #4: Directory Submissions

This mistake is similar to the others mentioned already. There are literally thousands of directories online where you can add your business details. You don’t need to be (nor should you be) in all of these directories. Add your business to the directories that are: Most popular. You know, people actually use them. I’m talking about the Yelps, Kudzus, MerchantCircles, etc. You could also use software like Yext to add your business to 40+ popular directories. Locally-relevant. Are you a member of your local chamber of commerce or another local group or organization? By all means, if possible, make sure your business is listed on their website. Industry-relevant. Does one of your suppliers or manufacturers list


their partners on their website? Sure, get your business on that list. Again, if your SEO company is promising you a specific number of links back to your site each month, chances are they’re adding your business to mostly irrelevant (i.e. worthless) directories that have nothing to do with your unique location or industry/ service/product. Off-Page SEO Mistake #5: Unnatural Linking

Be careful with search engine optimized press releases and guest posts with “unnatural linking.” This is probably not something you’re doing personally. Again, it may be a tactic being used by your SEO firm acting on your behalf. Last year Google updated their Webmaster Guidelines’ Link Scheme document which points to Google devaluing unnatural links in off-site content like press releases and guest blog posts. 

Here’s an example from HubSpot’s blog post on this topic illustrating unnatural linking: There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.” That just sounds stupid. Not to mention, it’s an obvious attempt at manipulating the search engines.   Bonus Off-Page SEO Mistake: Off-Site Blog

If you’re blogging and creating awesome content, do it on your own site! Don’t host your blog somewhere else like WordPress or Blogger separate from your main site. Make sure your blog is hosted on your own website.

If your website and blog are separate, you essentially have two different sites you’re managing and trying to optimize. No thanks, one is hard enough! This article was written by Chris Heiler,

president and founder of Landscape Leadership, and originally appeared on the Landscape Leadership “Inbound Marketing for the Green Industry” blog. Call (800) 681-9169 or visit www.LandscapeLeadership.com for more information.

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Are you Struggling to

Find, Retain and Train People? Following the recent Northern Green Expo, I found the single most talked about topic on and off the show floor this season is people; finding, retaining, and training people. Scott Frampton | Landscape Renovations

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➾ workforce

The job boards at the Northern Green Expo overflowed with position postings from all industry segments.

T

he disturbing fact is that businesses large and small are struggling to attract, retain, and train qualified staff at all levels. The most talked about areas of need are for qualified landscape construction, planting, tree care, and maintenance individuals. However, the need extends beyond these sectors through every segment of our industry. One of the issues we in the original green industry must overcome is perception; frankly, many of us still consider our staff doing the work as a commodity often referred to as labor. As with many popular descriptions in our culture, the perception of this label has evolved and become condescending, and it devalues the importance of this extremely valuable ingredient to our ability to provide the services we offer. How many of us would want our friends, children, etc., to be referred to as a “laborer”? As we continue this behavior internally in our organizations, and externally as a profession, it will be challenging to overcome the perception that we are a dirty, back-breaking, slave-driving profession, with little opportunity to advance and make a living. We wonder why we can’t attract people to this wonderfully diverse, interesting, green, profession. Why do we struggle to illustrate the variety of daily opportunity that might interest many young people? It’s simple: we don’t put enough effort into demonstrating the fantastic qualities of work experience and variety our profession has to offer in an organized fashion to the audience we desperately seek to attract and influence. In addition, as an industry we have done a poor job of creating a defined experience level of advancement for our valuable technically experienced service providers. We simply say “I can’t find ________” and continue to watch as other industries attract the people we desire and hire the people we have spent years training to a real or perceived dead end. Instead of laborer could we consider terms such as technician? Should we consider different levels of technicians depending on skill

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development? What we currently refer to as an entry level laborer could be considered a level one technician, and what we currently consider a landscape foreman could have levels that differentiate their skills and experience. This conscious effort toward creating a career path could help change perception and define these positions in a professional way. How many of us have had our trained, experienced young people leave our industry for other trades or professions that have been using a defined approach for decades? We have the good fortune of several two and four year horticulture schools in our area, but they too are struggling to attract students for the positions we hope to fill. Of course there will always be a need for an unskilled seasonal workforce. These are not the positions to which I am referring. The MNLA Foundation hosted a booth for the second year on the Northern Green Expo show floor and attracted many visitors. Please consider volunteering, or providing financial support to help our organization develop a long term sustainable career development strategy for our profession. Scott Frampton, chair of the Green Industry Careers Team, can be reached at: sframpton@landscaperenovations.com.

did you know? MNLA spearheaded a national movement to address workforce development, and it resulted in the creation of theLandLovers.org website and branding. Visit theLandLovers.org today and direct your friends and family there to learn more about professions in horticulture!


Prairie Restorations, Inc.

Designing, Installing & Maintaining Native Landscapes Since 1977! Six Locations in Minnesota 800-837-5986 763-389-4342

prairieresto.com


work

ArBorjet And our SerVice ProViderS

Better together

Schedule Hands On Training Now.

Call Jeff Palmer Today! Upper Midwest Regional Technical Manager and Certified Arborist

651-955-3319 jeffpalmer@arborjet.com

Jeff will provide you with Hands On training using Arborjet’s trunk injection equipment and formulations. Jeff is a certified arborist and holds a Bachelor’s in Forestry. He has over 20 years of experience diagnosing and solving tree care issues in the Midwest.

Visit www.arborjet.com or call 781.935.9070. LEADER IN TREE INJECTION TECHNOLOGY • TREE CARE CONSULTING • INVASIVE PEST MANAGEMENT


Highlights from EXPO 2014’s

New Plant Forum Part II: The New Plant Forum is an educational session developed for the Northern Green Expo to highlight and bring attention to new plant cultivars for landscapes and gardens in the Upper Midwest. The person who presented the plant is listed just prior to the plant name. Some presented multiple plants. *Please note: plants protected by a plant patent or trademark may not be propagated without a license from the originator/introducer.

Alan Craig // Iseli Nursery, Inc. Picea omorika ‘Silberblue’ Silberblue (Silver Blue) Serbian spruce Origin: a seedling selection from Europe USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4 Height and Spread: 20–25' × 12–10' (after 20 years), 50–60' × 20–25' (mature) Availability: Iseli Nursery Propagation method: grafting Picea omorika ‘Silberblue’ is one of the most strikingly colorful of spruce cultivars. The upright branching exposes the bright silver-blue undersides of the needles which contrasts with the rich green of the upper side of the needles. As one walks around the tree, it practically shimmers as the upper and lower sides of the needles are alternately exposed. ‘Silberblue’ has ascending branches which become more horizontal with age, much like balsam fir. The habit is a slender conical form.

Picea pungens ‘Bonny Blue’ Bonny Blue Colorado blue spruce Origin: Discovered as a seedling by Roger Mackaness of Corbett, OR. This plant was formerly known as ‘Mackaness Short Needle’ USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 2 Height and Spread: 15–16' × 7–8' (20 years), 40' × 20' (mature) Availability: Iseli Nursery Propagation method: grafting Picea pungens ‘Bonny Blue’ is a unique selection of Colorado blue spruce. ‘Bonny Blue’ exhibits exceptionally bright silver-blue needles that are shorter than typical Colorado Spruce. This gives this tree a more ‘architectural’, slightly more open, and finely textured appearance. ‘Bonny Blue’ has a formal, conical form with ascending branches. It consistently develops a perfect form. Although it eventually develops into a large tree, ‘Bonny Blue’ is a bit slower growing than most tree form Colorado Spruce.

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➾ new plant forum

Pinus cembra ‘Algonquin Pillar’ Algonquin Pillar Swiss stone pine Origin: a seedling selection from Canada USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 3 Height and Spread: 14–15' × 5–6' (20 years), 30' × 12' (mature) Availability: Iseli Nursery Propagation method: grafting Pinus cembra ‘Algonquin Pillar’ is an outstanding choice for use in the Upper Midwest where a smaller scale evergreen tree is desired. It has a stately, compact narrow form and stays full to the ground. The needles are a beautiful blue-green color and have a bit of a twist, giving the tree a softer texture. Requires very little pruning to maintain a perfect form.

Chris Selin // Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Campsis radicans ‘Stromboli’ First Editions® Atomic Red™ trumpet vine Origin: Minier Nursery, France USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4–9 Height and Spread: 20–30' tall, width varies Availability: Bailey Nurseries, Inc. and many other First Editions network growers Propagation method: root pieces Dark red buds open to orange-red trumpet-like flowers which deepen in color as they mature to an incredibly bold red. Tubular flowers are larger than the species measuring 3–4" long. A vigorous vine, it will climb on stone or woodwork.

Berberis thunbergii ‘BailErin’ PPAF First Editions® Limoncello™ barberry Origin: bred by Don Selinger at Bailey Nurseries, Inc., Newport, MN USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4–7 Height and Spread: 3–4' × 3–4' Availability: Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Propagation method: softwood cuttings Forming a tidy, round mound, this new barberry has striking chartreuse foliage with an unusual red, almost dotted, pattern around the margin. The fall foliage is orange, yellow and red. The chartreuse foliage holds up beautifully in full sun.

Pyrus ‘Tawara Oriental’ First Editions® Tawara Asian pear Origin: discovered by Jeanne and Jim Matsuda of Park Creek Nursery, Colorado. USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4–7 Height and Spread: 15–18' × 8–12' Availability: Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Propagation method: budding A fruiting Asian pear, grown mainly for its edible fruit. Blooms in spring with white flowers, ultimately forming the light brown to yellow fruit which tastes like a cross between an apple and a pear, with a crispy texture. Asian pear cultivars are partially self-fruitful but better crops are set where two or more cultivars are planted together. Use ‘Seckel’ pear in zone 4 for best cross pollination.

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Doug Danielsen // Bachmans Wholesale Nursery, Inc. Hydrangea paniculata ‘SMHPLQF’ PPAF Little Quick Fire™ panicle hydrangea Origin: bred at Spring Meadow Nursery, Grand Haven, Michigan USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–8 Height and Spread: 3–5' × 3–5' Availability: Bachman’s Wholesale Nursery & Hardscapes, many Proven Winner Color Choice shrub growers Propagation method: softwood cuttings Little Quick Fire is a dwarf form of the early blooming, easy-to-sell Quick Fire. Its white flowers turn deep pink in summer and stay attractive into fall.

Pinus strobus ‘Paton’s Silver Splendor’ Paton’s Silver Splendor white pine Origin: Wisconsin USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 3 Height and Spread: 50–80' × 20–40' Availability: Oregon Pride Nursery, Bailey Nurseries Inc Propagation: grafting A fast growing white pine selected for its excellent resistance to white pine blister-rust. It has been tested for many years. The tree has a more silvery appearance than the species. Fast growing, up to 12" of growth per year.

Meghan Bicek // Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Rosa ‘CA 29–2013' PPAF First Editions® Campfire shrub rose Origin: bred at Morden Research Station, Manitoba, Canada and introduced by the CNLA USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 3–7 Height and Spread: 3' × 3' Availability: Bailey Nurseries, Inc., Jeffries Nurseries, and many Canadian firms Propagation method: softwood cuttings An exciting new introduction in the Canadian Artist Rose series, Campfire is being introduced in the United States through the First Editions brand. Hybrid tea like buds with yellow and red tones open to semi-double flowers of yellow, edged in a deep rosy pink. As the season progresses, the pink edging becomes more prominent and produces an incredible blend of yellow and deep pink blooms that continue until frost. Named in honor of famous Canadian painter Tom Thomson and his painting of a campfire.

Rosa ‘BAIypso’ Easy Elegance® Calypso shrub rose Origin: bred by Ping Lim at Bailey Nurseries, Inc. in Yamhill, Oregon USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4–9 Height and Spread: 24"× 24" Availability: Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Propagation method: softwood cuttings This recurrent bloomer has lovely clusters of apricot colored flowers that are large and very showy. A small shrub, excellent for foundation plantings or incorporated in the perennial garden.

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➾ new plant forum

Veronica longifolia ‘Charlotte’ Charlotte veronica Origin: introduced by Rijnbeek and Son, Boskoop, The Netherlands USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4–8 Height and Spread: 24–30" × 15–18" Propagation method: divisions or softwood cuttings Not only does this new veronica have beautiful spikes of white flowers, it has lovely variegated foliage that is green with an edge of white. The combination is striking! Blooms in mid summer, and if faded flowers are cut back, will rebloom again in autumn.

Jeff Wolters // Johnson’s Nursery, Inc. Spiraea fritschiana ‘J.N.Select A’ Pink-a-liscious™ spirea Origin: selected by Mike Yanny at Johnson’s Nursery USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 Height and Spread: 2–3' × 2–3' Availability: Johnson’s Nursery, Inc. Propagation method: softwood cuttings, grower licenses available Pink-a-liscious originated from a selection by Michael Yanny of open pollinated seedlings of Spiraea fritschiana started in 2000 at JNI. It has abundant purplish-pink flat-topped clusters of flowers in June. Fall color can be an outstanding combination of pineapple yellow and watermelon pink to honeydew chartreuse and cantelope orange.

Elizabeth Eubank Prunus ‘Eubank’ PPAF First Editions® Sweet Cherry Pie sour pie cherry Origin: discovered by orchardist Bill Eubank and introduced by Bailey Nurseries, Inc. USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 3–7 Height and Spread: 15' × 15–20' Availability: Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Propagation method: budding The new sour pie cherry has the sweetest tasting cherries ever, enough to pop in your mouth without puckering up! Best used in jams, jellies and pies.

Mark van Hoef // Oregon Pride Nurseries, Inc. Chamaecyparis thyoides ‘Heatherbun’ Heatherbun Atlantic white cedar Origin: native to north America, selected from the species USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 3–4 Height and Spread: 3–4' × 3–4' Availability: Bachman’s Wholesale Nursery & Hardscapes Propagation method: top grafted on Thuja (pyramidalis or ‘Techny’) Grafted as a standard, creating a small tree, excellent for limited space in the landscape. Use for entrance or patio plant. New juvenile growth is a plum purple color, turning to light green for summer, then back to purple in winter. Grafted onto hardy arborvitae root and interstem to provide hardiness and tolerance in Midwest locations. 26

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➾ new plant forum

Picea omorika ‘Nana’ (syn. ‘Gnome’) Dwarf Serbian Spruce Origin: native to northerneastern Europe to Western Siberia USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4 Height and Spread: 4–8' × 4–8', can be kept pruned to 3 × 3 Availability: Bachman’s Wholesale Nursery & Hardscapes, Gerten’s, Wilson Nursery Propagation method: grafted onto Picea abies Dwarf form of Serbian spruce. Growth habit is very tight and dense branching. Early shape is a tight globe, can turn to a more oval shape with multiple leaders, giving it a ‘fat’ conical look. Features include frosted year round color with dark green needles and white undersides.

Pinus sylvestris ‘Moseri Gold’ Moseri Gold dwarf pine Origin: introduced in early 1900’s from France USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 3 Height and Spread: 4–5' × 3–4' Availability: Oregon Pride Nurseries Propagation method: grafted on either Scotch or mugo pine Very slow growing compact pine with younger needles having twisted and witches broom appearance. Light green color turning a bright golden color after early frost. Golden color will often remain late into spring and past new years flush.

Pinus flexilis ‘Northern Blue’ Northern Blue pine Origin: selection from ‘Vanderwolf’ by Ronald Vermeulen and Joe Burke USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4 Height and Spread: 30' × 18–20' Availability: Oregon Pride Nurseries Propagation method: grafted on Pinus strobus This selection was made for hardiness and full upright growth habit. Offers great bluish needles. The only soft needled pine that resists winter burn.

Dr. Neil Anderson // University of Minnesota // Department of Horticulture Canna ‘South Pacific Scarlet’ F1 South Pacific Scarlet canna Origin: hybridized by Takii Seed Co USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual Height and Spread: 2–3' tall Availability: many wholesale distributors of annuals Propagation method: seed A delightful seed-propagated canna from Takii Seed Co. that is semi-dwarf, sporting bright scarlet red flowers that are 4–5" in diameter. This is an All America Selection Winner for 2013. Space them 12–24" apart in the landscape. Great in containers, too! Loves heat, drought. Zea mays ‘On Deck Hybrid’ or ‘Corn in a Pot’.

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➾ new plant forum

Edible sweet corn Origin: hybridized by Burpee Seed Co. USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual Height and Spread: 4–5' tall Availability: Burpee Seed, Ball Horticultural Company Propagation method: seed This is an astounding breakthrough from Burpee Seed — corn for the backyard gardener! The first-ever corn bred for container production of edible ears with only a few plants for pollination! Plant 1–3 seeds per container, all will produce 1 edible ear/stalk.

Jim Stolzenburg // Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Malus × adstringens ‘Durleo’ PP20,167 First Editions® Gladiator™ flowering crabapple Origin: bred by Rick Durand in Manitoba, Canada, from an open pollinated seedling of ‘Royalty’ USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 2–8 Height and Spread: 20' × 9' Availability: Bailey Nurseries, Inc., Jeffries Nursery Propagation method: budding Gladiator is an excellent ornamental tree with a profusion of bright pink flowers followed by small reddish-purple fruit on a stately, upright crown. Glossy bronze-purple leaves look lush all season long.

Betula platyphylla ‘Jefpark’ PPAF First Editions® Parkland Pillar birch Origin: a sport of Dakota Pinnacle® birch discovered at Parkland Nursery in Alberta and introduced by Jeffries Nsy USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 3–7 Height and Spread: 40' × 6–7' Availability: Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Jeffries Nursery Propagation method: tissue culture Parkland Pillar is much more narrow, upright and dense in habit compared to its parent, Dakota Pinnacle. A fast growing variety that is perfectly suited as a garden specimen or for screening or boulevards. Tolerant of heat, drought and alkaline soils. An excellent choice for the urban landscape.

Rosa ‘AC Navy Lady’ PP23,288 Navy Lady shrub rose Origin: bred at the AgCanada Research Station in Seant-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4–8 Height and Spread: 2–3' × 2–4' Availability: Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Propagation method: softwood cuttings A rich, dark velvet red semi-double rose of substance. Bloom is strong in early summer then repeats in several flushes throughout the season. Named in honor of the thousands of Canadian women who served in the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service.

watch for more new plant forum presentations in future issues of the Scoop!

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Bernis Ingvaldson | Honeyberry USA

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A berry bush is rising on the horizon of edible landscaping. Lonicera caerulia L. (blue honeysuckle, a.k.a. honeyberry or haskap) is one of the easiest shrubs to grow. It needs no pampering, growing in wide range of soils, from sandy loam to clay.

Honeyberry blossoms in early spring at The Honeyberry Farm at Bagley, MN.

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➾ edible landscaping

Blue honeysuckle berries turn color three weeks after pollination, but need additional time to sweeten. (Tundra berries at the University of Saskatchewan. Credit: Bernis Ingvaldson)

U

nlike the blueberry, this healthy berry plant does not need acidic soil. It grows in a range of 4.5–7.5 pH. As the bush matures, it is resilient to deer and rabbit pressure. While young plants are susceptible, as they grow, these predators will most likely pass by the woody branches for other, more succulent fodder. Should a bush be grazed to the ground, or girdled by rodents, it will usually recuperate by shooting forth new branches from the root. Blue honeysuckle plants do not sucker, and they do not appear to be overly invasive by seed. They grow in the wild at the edge of boreal forests in North America as well as in Europe and Asia. The native North American varieties are small plants with small berries. Dr. Bob Bors at the University of Saskatchewan and retired professor emeritus Dr. Maxine Thompson of the University of Oregon have been breeding for sweeter and larger berries. Dr. Thompson’s plants are in field trial, while Dr. Bors has released several different cultivars over the past couple of years. Both refer to their plants with the Japanese term, haskap. In selecting appropriate plants for landscaping, one should look for Asian lineage as most of the pure Russian selections drop their leaves early in the season. Height is also another consideration, as sizes vary greatly, from one to six feet in height and breadth. For northern climates, the blue honeysuckle stands at the head of its class. Cold hardy down to -55F or more, there is no fear of winter dieback. It can be transplanted as soon as the ground thaws in the spring until freeze-up in the fall. Gardeners are also growing them in the shade up to zone 8. Shade also benefits the blue honeysuckle in northern zones as the leaves can be susceptible to sun and wind scald, in some varieties more than others. 34

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While young plants appreciate regular watering, older plants are quite drought resistant. They withstand drought better than being exposed to standing water throughout the summer. Pruning of old wood benefits the fruit production, which appears on year-old wood. Blue honeysuckle has probably not gained much popularity until recently for a couple of reasons. The berries taste bitter until fully ripe, about three weeks after they initially turn color from green to dark blue. If left to ripen, the birds and even foxes will devour the berries as soon as they find them, so netting is absolutely necessary. Once you taste a good variety that is fully ripe, you’ll be reaching for more. The fruit is usually tangier than the blueberry, sometimes considered to resemble a combination of blackberry/raspberry/blueberry. Its seeds are unnoticeable and the skin easily dissolves in your mouth. The health benefits exceed many other fruits. The February 2012 publication entitled “Haskap: A New Berry Crop With High Antioxidant Capacity,” submitted by H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe, Ph.D, to the Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, states “The results indicated that haskap berries, especially cv. ‘Borealis’ possessed the highest antioxidant capacities and total phenolic contents, specifically total flavonoid, among the tested fruits and could be used as a promising fruit source of natural dietary antioxidants.” Blue honeysuckle is also known as one of the first fruits of spring. It may leaf out even before the snow melts. Early-blossoming (typically Russian) varieties burst out just prior to the wild bushes (juneberry, chokecherry, plum) and its fruit matures earlier as well, typically prior to the commercial strawberry crop. Japanese varieties may produce up to a month later.


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Cushman Motor Company, Inc. Hobby grower Clayton Wiebe stands beside a naturally dome shaped Borealis blue honeysuckle at his farm near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

All blue honeysuckles require pollination from a companion cultivar that blooms at a similar time. Insects pollinate the flowers, so cold, windy, and wet weather may affect this process, especially for the earlier varieties. Pest pressure has been minimal in North America, but more observation is needed. Tent caterpillars appeared in northern Minnesota in one orchard, and SWD (Spotted Wing Drosophilia) showed up in at least one orchard in Quebec. Considering the growing interest in edible landscaping, the ease of growing blue honeysuckle, and the improved flavor of newer breeds, this is one plant worthy of serious consideration for both private and commercial landscaping.

Bernis and her husband Jim Ingvaldson own HoneyberryUSA, a mail-order and walk-in nursery 25 miles north of the headwaters of the Mississippi River, at Bagley, MN. Email her at info@honeyberryusa.com.

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➾ government affairs

Anatomy of a Government Affairs Success Story In October 2013, John Melichar (Kahnke Bros.) and Duggan Kelly (Kelly Green Irrigation) each contacted the MNLA staff, concerned about a recent change in sales tax liability created by the actions of the 2013 Minnesota legislature. They had each talked with Al Nagle of Central Turf and Irrigation Supply, who alerted them to this potential new tax.

Tim Power

MNLA Government Affairs Director

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according to al, the labor to repair and maintain the business-owned electronic equipment associated with landscape irrigation systems was apparently subject to sales tax, effective July 1, 2013. This created two problems for our irrigation contractors. Not only would they need to begin splitting out repair & maintenance (R&M) labor for electronic equipment for their business clients going forward, but they would also need to do so going back to July 1, 2013, and refile their sales tax returns for that period and pay the required sales taxes. The dollars involved were probably small, but the work involved in splitting out taxable from nontaxable labor would have been significant. I had seen the new sales tax law passed by the legislature in May 2013 and read it as applying to electronic equipment like computers, printers and other office equipment specifically called out in the legislation. In fact, a call to the Minnesota Department of Revenue (DOR) confirmed John’s, Duggan’s, and Al’s suspicion, that DOR had interpreted the law to include R&M labor for ALL business-owned electronic equipment, including things like irrigation controllers. MNLA spent several weeks developing materials and exchanging e-mails, and then MNLA’s legislative consultant, Doug Carnival, set up a meeting with DOR to express our concern about their interpretation of the legislation and to establish which specific electronic equipment was covered. The meeting was set for January 6th, so that we would have answers prior to the Northern Green Expo. march 14

On Friday, January 3, I received notification from DOR that their factsheet explaining the new tax on electronic equipment R&M labor had been significantly revised. The new factsheet included a change to their past interpretation, now stating: “Labor to repair electronic and precision equipment that is attached to real property is construction labor (which is not taxable).” Additionally, the new factsheet

used “Irrigation system at an office building” as a specific example of nontaxable electronic and precision equipment repair and maintenance. Finally, DOR advised the following: “If you collected sales tax from your customers and remitted it to the Department of Revenue on these types of repairs, you can file an amended return to get a refund of all taxes collected. Any tax that is refunded to you must be refunded back to your customer who paid it.” Google “MN Department of Revenue Factsheet 152B” to see the revised factsheet on Labor — Repair and Maintenance for Businesses. The most current version is dated December 2013. Doug Carnival and I met with DOR representatives on January 15th to confirm the good news that our irrigation contractors were out of the woods on this new sales tax, and to ask questions about other aspects of the new business to business sales taxes. They concurred with our understanding of the revised factsheet. This whole episode is a great example of MNLA’s government affairs process working the way it was designed to work. Our members used the staff as a sounding board for their concerns, and we the staff


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➾ government affairs

You can help repeal ALL of the new business to business sales taxes by signing the petition being advanced by the United For Jobs Coalition, a group being spearheaded by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

Inspire your customers with MNLA’s Outdoor Living Catalogs. Trees & Shrubs and Perennials have NEW covers, plus we’re continuing huge discounts on Ideas for Outdoor Living (hardscapes-focused catalog). Visit MNLA.biz or call Jessica at 651-633-4987.

used our connections and MNLA’s political capital to investigate. I don’t know that our contact with DOR was the sole reason for their factsheet revision, but it clearly was a factor in their changed interpretation. MNLA owes a debt of gratitude to John Melichar, Duggan Kelly and Al Nagle for their willingness to contact the MNLA staff with problems they encountered. Thanks! GRASSROOTS GROWS RESULTS! You can help repeal ALL of the new business to business sales taxes by signing the petition being advanced by the United For Jobs Coalition, a group being spearheaded by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. Read the petition and related information at www.unitedforjobsmn.com and sign it at www.unitedforjobsmn.com/petition.

Tim Power is MNLA’s Government Affairs Director and can be reached at tim@mnla.biz.

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20 Things You Might Not Know About the

Northern Green Expo By LeAnn Traffie | A recovering Green Expo intern

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#1 #2

All of the Expo staff is involved one way or another to ensure a successful trade show. The staff uses binders instead of file folders to organize the insurmountable paperwork. Everyone has their own and carries the binders with them throughout the trade show.

#3

Hubbell Tyner (Convention & Trade Show Specialists) setup the booths, carpet, pipe, draping, and so much more. Plus, they are on-site the entire time the show is open.

#4

A private audio visual company is used for all AV needs.

#5

Each break-out session room is designed by Expo staff per the needs of the speaker and attendees.

#6

Each of the break-out session rooms are checked to make sure specifications are met the day before the trade show opens.

#7 #8

Speaking of staff, they work through Christmas!

#13

Once a speaker is contracted, all travel, hotel, and food need to be arranged by Expo staff.

#14

Sometimes speakers cancel at the last minute.

#15

The Expo has insurance to cover the trade show for worst case scenario catastrophes.

#16

Each staff member is a pro at crisis management.

#17

Ambush marketing does take place, and if they get found out, they get escorted off the trade show floor. It’s crazy how some companies think it’s okay to NOT pay for a booth, and want to still take advantage of those companies who DO foot the bill to get their customers all in the same place at the same time.

#18

If you forget something, it can be provided for a price!

#19

Every detail is noted within a daily schedule.

#20

No matter how many signs you post, people still can’t find registration.

Heads are counted in each general session. Kelber Catering is the contractor for all of the food and beverage inside the Convention Center.

#9

Exhibitors cannot bring in their own food or beverage.

#10

The cost of food and beverage is astounding (but still lower than other cities’ exhibition centers!)

#11

#12

Over 400 hotel rooms are reserved for staff, speakers and VIP’s.

save the date! The Northern Green Expo returns to the Minneapolis Convention Center on January 14, 15 and 16 in 2015.

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➾ Research for the R eal World

The Value of Native Species in Designed Landscapes As an outdoor enthusiast and a fan of native plant communities and native species, I was pleased to come across a pair of research papers that may be of interest to growers and landscape design professionals.

Dr. James Calkins

Research Information Director MNLA Foundation

habitat loss is a significant challenge for many of our native fauna and, with a few exceptions, most of the introduced plants used in designed landscapes are of limited value to these species. This certainly doesn’t mean non-native species, so long as they are not invasive, shouldn’t be planted. As a horticulturist who believes providing wildlife habitat should be a design consideration for every landscape, it does seem, however, that a mix of native and introduced species makes good sense and is a worthy goal from both an ecological and horticultural perspective. The search for new and improved plants, native and introduced, is a quest that will likely never end and has always been an exciting aspect of the nursery and landscape industry. The ability to propagate and grow new and improved plant selections easily and efficiently has been and will always be essential to the success of the green industry and nursery and landscape research can help achieve these goals. The first paper, published in the journal HortScience in August of last year (2013), focuses on the propagation of four native species that have characteristics that could be of value in designed landscapes: Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea), Corylus cornuta (beaked hazel), Lonicera canadensis (American fly honeysuckle), and Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum). The authors of the study, Julia Cartabiano and Jessica Lubell of the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture at the University of Connecticut, believe these species could be “revenue generators” for the nursery and landscape industry. All four species are native to the upper Midwest, including Minnesota, and deserve to be used more often in residential, commercial, and public landscapes. Ceanothus americanus (Rhamnaceae, Buckthorn Family; New Jersey tea; also called Mountain sweet, redroot/

red-root/red root, Indian tea, wild snowball, snowbrush, and soapbloom) is typically found on poor, dry, rocky soils and is native to open woods, savannas, and prairies in eastern North America west to Ontario in Canada and Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas in the United States. Plants have a mounded habit, typically reach a height and width of 2–3 feet, and are compact and well-behaved without pruning. The small, white flowers are showy, fragrant, and borne in terminal and axillary clusters (umbel-like panicles) that cover the plant in June, July, and August. The fruit is a black, three-celled, drupe-like capsule that matures in September and October and the seeds are forcibly expelled when the fruits mature. Plants have deep root systems (and, yes, the roots are red) and are able to fix nitrogen and these characteristics contribute to the plant being very adaptable and able to tolerate drought and poor soils. Plants perform best on well-drained soils in full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. The species serves as a larval food source for several species of butterflies and moths and is also a nectar source for butterflies and moths and a nectar and pollen source for bees and a variety of other insects. The seeds are eaten by birds and the plants are browsed by rabbits and deer. Plants are hardy to USDA Cold hardiness Zone 4. The small stature, compact mounded habit, and flower display of New Jersey tea are very attractive characteristics from a landscape perspective. It also makes a nice cut flower and the dried fruiting branches can also be used in arrangements. The authors of the propagation study reported a maximum rooting success of 57% for New Jersey tea cuttings collected in June. The research also indicated treatment with auxin (indole-3-butyric acid; IBA) had no effect on rooting. In contrast, other resources have reported 100% rooting and that rooting march 14

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➾ research for the real world

Figure 1. Many native plants, including New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus), deserve to be planted more often than they currently are; plant breeding, selection, and production research can play an important role in satisfying a growing interest in native plants by landscape designers and the public (Photo Credit: Jim Calkins).

hormones can be beneficial. The species can also be propagated from seeds, following scarification and/or cold stratification for 2–3 months, and from both softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings. Collecting seed too early can result in reduced viability and seedlings are very sensitive to damping off. Ceanothus herbaceous (synonym: Ceanothus ovatus; inland ceanothus; also called redroot/red-root/red root, prairie redroot, smaller redroot, and narrow-leaved New Jersey tea) is a similar species that is also native to eastern North America including Minnesota. It has narrower leaves, mostly terminal flower clusters, and tends to be smaller and compact and to bloom a little earlier. Corylus cornuta (Betulaceae, Birch Family; synonym: Corylus rostrata; beaked hazel; also called beaked hazelnut, eastern beaked hazel, eastern beaked hazelnut, and beaked filbert) is native across much of North America where it is a common understory species in aspen, birch, maple, pine, and other forest communities including mixed conifer-hardwood forests. It is found throughout most of central and southern Canada and the northern and eastern United States and south to California and Colorado in the western United States. There are two subspecies: Corylus cornuta subsp. californica (California hazelnut; native to California) and C. cornuta subsp. cornuta (beaked hazelnut; the dominant North American species 46

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and the species found in Minnesota). Plants of C. cornuta subsp. cornuta typically grow 6–8 feet tall and 4–6 feet wide and sucker to form small thickets. Based on this growth habit, plants are best used for naturalizing. The species is not picky about soils so long as they are well-drained. Plants also grow and fruit best in full sun, but are shade tolerant. Like other members of the birch family, the male flowers are catkins that develop in the fall and expand and bloom the following spring; the female catkins are budlike and pollen is carried from the male flowers to the female flowers by wind (wind pollinated). The fruit is a nut and is enveloped in a pubescent (covered with short, soft hairs), involucral tube (involucre — a cluster of bracts subtending an inflorescence or fruit) that extends beyond the nut to form a beak which dries to form a husk and accounts for the common name. American hazel (Corylus americana; also called American hazelnut and American filbert) is a similar species that is native to east-central North America, including Minnesota, and the two species can hybridize with each other. The involucre that surrounds the fruit being fringe-like and lobed rather than distinctly beaked is the most obvious difference between the two species. The fall color is yellow to bronze-orange. Both species are hardy to at least USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 3. As a group, hazelnuts are one of the most abundant understory species in Minnesota forests; they


Figure 3. A great example of the mounded habit and floriferous nature of New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus) growing in a prairie at the St. Croix Scientific and Natural Area south of Stillwater, MN (Photo Credit: Jim Calkins).

Figure 4. The seeds of New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus) are expelled forcibly when mature; the seeds are eaten by birds and the attractive seedheads provide interest in the winter landscape and work well in dried arrangements (Photo Credit: Jim Calkins).

Figure 2. A close-up of the foliage and the attractive and fragrant flowers of New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus) (Photo Credit: Jim Calkins).

are an important component of native ecosystems and are used extensively by wildlife that feed on the foliage, winter buds, and nuts. The University of Connecticut researchers reported a success rate of 85% for beaked hazel cuttings collected in mid-summer (mid-June through mid-August) and treated with 3000 ppm indole3-butyric acid (IBA) so long as the rooted cuttings were exposed to a cold treatment to overcome dormancy prior to harvesting and transplanting. Percent rooting was not influenced by auxin concentration, but root number and length were improved in response to treatment with 3000 and 8000 ppm IBA. Beaked hazel can also be propagated by seed collected when the involucre just begins to turn brown (August-September), cuttings, and layering; seeds require cold stratification (3–6 months) and are recalcitrant (desiccation sensitive) so they must not be allowed to dry out or viability will be lost. Collecting the fruits before animals get them can be a challenge and outdoor seedbeds should be protected with screens to prevent losses to rodents. Lonicera canadensis (Caprifoliaceae, Honeysuckle Family; American fly honeysuckle; also called Canadian fly honeysuckle, Canada honeysuckle, American honeysuckle, and fly honeysuckle) is native to northeastern North America from Nova Scotia west to Ontario (and perhaps as far west as Saskatchewan) in Canada and from

Maine west to Minnesota and Iowa and south to Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia in the United States. The species is typically found in dry to moist woodlands and along streams and wetlands. Plants have grayish-tan stems (often with a purple tinge on younger stems), typically grow to a height of about 3-4 feet, and are quite shade tolerant, but tend to be denser and have better form in full sun to partial shade. Plants flower from late April through May. The flowers, borne in axillary pairs, are delicate, bell-shaped, fragrant, pendulous, and pale yellow to nearly white in color. The orange-red fruits (berries) are also typically borne in pairs in July and August, and, like the fruit of other honeysuckles, are eaten by a variety of birds and birds that are the primary vector for the distribution of seeds to new areas. Plants are attractive to butterflies and moths, hummingbirds, and bumble bees. The species is hardy to USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 3. Of the four species studied, Lonicera canadensis had the lowest rooting success; 49% for cuttings collected in June. Treatment with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) had no effect on rooting. The seeds of most honeysuckles have dormant embryos and benefit from cold stratification (2 months); some references suggest this may not, however, be the case for American fly honeysuckle, but it can’t hurt. Although propagated from summer-softwood cuttings in the study referenced here, I have personally propagated march 14

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âžž research for the real world

Figure 5. Corylus cornuta spring fruit. (Photo Credit: University of Northern British Columbia)

this species from both summer-softwood and hardwood cuttings collected in northwestern Wisconsin and the resulting plants grew well under container growing conditions. Viburnum acerifolium (Adoxaceae, Moschatel Family, formerly included in the Caprifoliaceae, Honeysuckle Family; mapleleaf/ maple-leaf viburnum; also called dockmackie, mapleleaved arrowwood, possum-haw, squash-berry, and guelder-rose) is native from New Brunswick to Minnesota and south to northern Florida and Texas. Mapleleaf viburnum is a small, rounded shrub that grows to a height and width of 4-6 feet and tolerates a variety of soils so long as they are well-drained. Plants also prefer soils with an acid pH. It tolerates fairly heavy shade and is perhaps the most shade tolerant of the viburnums, but generally performs best in part shade. The leaves are primarily 3-lobed, coarsely toothed, and maple-like, closely resembling the leaves of red maple (Acer rubrum). Hardy to USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 3, the species is best suited for naturalizing as the plants sucker from the roots forming widely-spaced colonies. White flowers are borne in terminal, flat-topped cymes in June, fall color is pinkish to rose-purple, and the fruit is a black drupe. Mapleleaf viburnum is an important understory species in native ecosystems and, like other viburnums, has excellent wildlife value. The foliage and fruits are eaten by a variety of wildlife includ48

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ing various insects, birds, and mammals. Although the authors of the study indicate some growers have had difficulty propagating mapleleaf viburnum, based on the results of their study, it was the easiest of the four species to propagate from cuttings. Nearly 100% rooting was achieved for 2-node cuttings collected in mid-summer (mid-June through mid-August). Treatment with auxin (indole3-butyric acid; IBA) did not improve rooting for 2-node cuttings, but there was a benefit for single-node cuttings where 80% rooting was achieved compared to 53% for untreated (control) cuttings. As for beaked hazel, harvesting rooted cuttings in the fall can result in losses and the authors recommend that rooted cuttings be exposed to a cold treatment to overcome dormancy prior to harvesting and transplanting to improve survival. Other research has also documented the ability to propagate Viburnum acerifolium from cuttings and from seed. Seeds have hard seedcoats and dormant embryos and typically do not begin to germinate until the second year and germination of viable seeds typically occurs over a period of several years, a characteristic that is problematic in production situations. Germination can be hastened by collecting seeds early in the fall and planting immediately and by pretreatment (warm followed by cold stratification). I have also propagated this species from seeds and cuttings; stratifying cleaned seeds under warm conditions until the


Figure 6. Lonicera canadensis (American fly honeysuckle). (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons User: Fungus Guy)

Figure 7. Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum). (Photo Credit: Wikipedia User: Jomegat)

radicles emerge (5–6 months or longer) followed by cold stratification for 3–4 months is an effective method of germinating seeds of mapleleaf viburnum and viburnums in general. Although this isn’t the first research that has focused specifically on the propagation of these four native species, the research and its findings highlight the value of these and other, underused native species and encourages their production. Research focused on the propagation, production, selection, and use of new plants, including native species, benefits growers, landscape designers, and the landscaping public. The second study was published last year (February, 2013) in the journal HortTechnology and evaluated six underused shrubs that are indigenous to Connecticut as possible alternatives to non-native species that are commonly planted, but are considered invasive in Connecticut. The native species evaluated were American filbert (Corylus americana), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), northern bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera), steeplebush (Spiraea tomentosa), sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina), and sweet gale (Myrica gale) and the non-native species used as controls for comparative purposes were Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) and winged euonymus (Euonymus alatus). All six species included in the study are also native to Minnesota and both Japanese barberry and winged euonymus are non-native species that are widely planted in Minnesota landscapes. All six of the native species evaluated are superb plants, but only one of them, northern bush honeysuckle, is commonly planted in Minnesota landscapes. The study was performed in a parking lot environment where the plantings would tend to be exposed to less than ideal growing conditions based on soil and temperature conditions. Of the six native species studied, buttonbush, sweet fern, and sweet gale performed well throughout the study which lasted for three growing seasons. Although American filbert and northern bush honeysuckle

were slower to become established, they also performed well and were similar to the non-native, control species by the end of the second growing season. Steeplebush performed poorly and was the only species out of the six tested that did not perform well and could not be recommended as an alternative to the non-native, control species in environments similar to the conditions of the study. Given that buttonbush and sweet gale, also called bog myrtle because it is a common species in peat bog communities, are typically associated with wet environments in their native habits, the study’s author was surprised that these two species performed so well in a drier, upland environment. Where a plant typically grows in the wild, however, doesn’t always indicate the ideal conditions for growth. Buttonbush has performed well on the St. Paul campus at the University of Minnesota for many years and our native tamarack (Larix laciniata) and speckled alder (Alnus rugosa) are good examples of other species that perform well on upland sites even though they are typically found in wet environments in the wild. In all three cases, these species are primarily limited to wet environments in nature because they can tolerate wet feet and this is where they are able to compete with other species for sunlight. Steeplebush also requires full sun and is also typically found on wet sites in the wild, but it prefers moist, sandy, acidic soils and is less adaptable than the other species in the study; that it did not perform well is, therefore, not particularly surprising. It is still a great native species that should be used where appropriate, but its cousin meadowsweet (Spiraea alba), also a Minnesota native, would probably be a better choice for most designed landscapes. It is also interesting to note that the author expressed a concern that the quality ratings of several of the species was affected by variability among plants as a consequence of them being propagated from seed. Although genetic uniformity has the potential to be problematic from a pest susceptibility perspective, this is not a new concern related to native species march 14

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➾ research for the real world

Breeding and selection efforts focused on the development of improved varieties ... can play an important role in the search for better plants, in general, and, specifically, in satisfying the demand for native plants.

Plants of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden: New Jersey Tea. http://www.friendsofeloisebutler.org/pages/plants/newjerseytea.html

and is a valid consideration from a landscape perspective where uniformity is often desired to achieve a unified aesthetic. The ability to produce superior selections of native species by vegetative means relates to this issue and highlights the need for more research like the first study highlighted in this research update. For a variety of reasons, interest in native plants continues to increase. In some cases this trend is driven by a belief that native plants are inherently superior to non-native species. Unfortunately, however, many native plants are not adapted to the highly disturbed sites landscape designers and homeowners are attempting to vegetate. In addition, some native plants have less than perfect form or get too big for many landscape situations and some are difficult to propagate or grow in a nursery production setting. Still, many native plants have much to offer in designed landscapes and should be used more often. In other cases, superior cultivars and improved production methods may be the answer. Clearly, breeding and selection efforts focused on the development of improved varieties from a landscape perspective — smaller, more compact, enhanced flowering, etc. — can play an important role in the search for better plants, in general, and, specifically, in satisfying the demand for native plants. These two studies are examples of the types of research that can be helpful in this regard.

United States Department of Agriculture/Forest Service: Viburnum acerifolium. http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/vibace/all. html

Citations: Cartabiano, J.A. and J.D. Lubell. 2013. Propagation of Four Underused Native Species from Softwood Cuttings. HortScience 48(8):1018-1020. http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/48/8/1018.abstract (abstract only)

United States Department of Agriculture/Forest Service: Corylus cornuta. http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/corcor/all.html University of Texas at Austin/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Native Plant Database: Lonicera canadensis. http://www.wildflower.org/ plants/result.php?id_plant=LOCA7

Dirr, M.A. and C.W. Heuser, Jr. 1987. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture. Varsity Press, Inc., Athens, Georgia. Young, J.A. and C.G. Young. 1992. Seeds of Woody Plants in North America. Dioscorides Press, Portland, Oregon. A revised edition of USDA Handbook #450 – Seeds of Woody Plants in the United States; 1974). Snyder, L.C. (Revised by R.T. Isaacson). 2000. Trees and Shrubs for Northern Gardens. Andersen Horticultural Library, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen, MN; Original Edition – University of Minnesota Press, 1980. Smith, W.R. 2008. Trees and Shrubs of Minnesota. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Published by University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN. (great pictures) Snyder, L.C. 1991. Native Plants for Northern Gardens. Andersen Horticultural Library, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen, Minnesota.

To comment on this research update, suggest research topics of interest, or pass along a piece of research-based information that might be of interest to your industry colleagues, please email us at Research@ MNLA.biz.

Lubell, J.D. 2013. Evaluating Landscape Performance of Six Native Shrubs as Alternatives to Invasive Exotics. HortTechnology 23(1):119125.http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/23/1/119.abstract (abstract only) For additional information about New Jersey tea, beaked hazel, American fly honeysuckle, and mapleleaf viburnum, see the following selected resources: University of Texas at Austin/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Native Plant Database: Ceanothus americanus. http://www.wildflower.org/ plants/result.php?id_plant=CEAM Prairie Wildflowers of Illinois: New Jersey Tea. http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/prairie/plantx/nj_teax.htm

DID YOU KNOW?

Plants For A Future: Ceanothus americanus L. http://www.pfaf.org/user/ Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ceanothus+americanus

MNLA has plant posters and catalogs to help you introduce your customers to plants that would work well for their home? Visit MNLA.biz or call Jessica at 651-633-4987 to order now!

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Committee and can be reached at seth@naturalcreationsmn.com.

J

ust ask Van why he chose CounterPoint and Dailey Data as his POS solution providers for Malmborg’s Garden Centers:

“CounterPoint and Dailey Data have helped us become more profitable by improving our purchasing with detailed historical sales information, as well as controlling our margins by identifying return items and limiting inventory losses with controlled receiving procedures. “I highly recommend Dailey Data and CounterPoint to others in our industry because they have the hands-on experience to understand the specific needs of the Nursery, Greenhouse, and Garden Center businesses.” ~ Van Cooley Malmborg’s Garden Centers

Want to know more? Call or email for a no-obligation survey and ROI analysis for your company. 12

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âžž discovery gardens

Come, Discover, Adopt New Discovery Gardens planned for University of Minnesota’s Rosemount Research and Outreach Center. Bob Mugaas | University of Minnesota, Rosemount Research and Outreach Center

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Picture 1. Proposed concept plan for new CFANS Discovery Gardens. Illustration used with permission from the Kestrel Design Group – lead designers for the project.

T

he University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center (RROC) have embarked on the design and implementation phases for a new teaching, research and outreach garden and landscape facility to be known as the CFANS Discovery Gardens. The RROC has contracted with the locally-based Kestrel Design Group to develop the landscape and garden concept plans for the Discovery Gardens. Implementation of initial garden development phases are planned for 2014 with an anticipated opening of the CFANS Discovery Gardens in summer 2015. The CFANS Discovery Gardens will be a regional destination where visitors are engaged in horticulture education that fosters a “Come — Discover — Adopt” philosophy about horticulture in Minnesota. • Come is an invitation for people to visit the CFANS Discovery Gardens to engage and interact with U of MN plant research and view a wide variety of educational gardens and exhibits first-hand and up-close. • Discover is viewed as three distinct, yet interrelated components: First is the discovery of the gardens themselves and all of the learning opportunities that exist within each of them. Second is discovery of the U of MN plant research

involved in the development of hardy, well-adapted food and landscape plants for Minnesota, as well as protecting and conserving our natural resources. Third is the individual discovery related to research and cultural practices that can be applied in their own yards and gardens. • Adopt will be the encouragement and inspiration for visitors to confidently take action by bringing their newly discovered knowledge home and adopt it in their own gardens and landscapes. The CFANS Discovery Gardens area is anticipated to be about eight to ten acres in size with two to three of those acres devoted to a “Garden Core” of more intensive educational and outreach garden projects and activities. (See Picture 1.) The CFANS Discovery Gardens will be located on the northern edge of the new Dakota County Whitetail Woods Regional Park in the Vermillion Highlands Wildlife Management Area. Vermillion Highlands is a 2,822-acre research, recreation and wildlife management area jointly managed by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in conjunction with Dakota County and Empire Township. Access to the CFANS Discovery Gardens will be off of Dakota County’s new park road leading to the White Tail Woods Regional Park. march 14

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➾ discovery gardens

Key Design Elements

The garden spaces and overall landscape will include perennial and annual garden spaces for both passive and active learning experiences. Priority design elements of the Discovery Gardens’ landscape, garden and natural areas will focus on facilitating learning experiences in the areas of: • University of Minnesota landscape and food plant introductions and evaluation • applied food and landscape plant research • sustainable gardens and landscapes

Partnerships and collaborations with various businesses and organizations within Minnesota’s green industry will also be sought out and encouraged to highlight the latest advancements in horticultural technology and practices. The University of Minnesota is excited and enthusiastic about this new facility and looks forward to the many research, educational and outreach opportunities that will be conducted at this site. With the ever expanding development around the RROC, this facility will play an important role in helping to extend sustainable and environmentally responsible horticultural knowledge and practices to the surrounding community and beyond.

• environment and natural resources • heirloom plants related to both agriculture and horticulture • local history of the site Family (community) participation will be an important consideration of the design. Significant connections and collaborations will be encouraged with CFANS programs, staff and faculty; U of MN Extension programs, staff, faculty and volunteers; MN Department of Natural Resources and the Dakota County Parks Department.

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If you would like someone from the RROC to make a presentation about this project to your business or organization, please contact the RROC at 651-423-2455.

Bob Mugaas,

Horticulturist & CFANS Discovery Gardens Director at the U of MN Rosemount Research and Outreach Center, can be reached at reached mugaa001@umn.edu.


➾ legal issues

Non-Compete Agreements in Minnesota Cases come in waves. One month we will get a bunch of requests for assistance collecting on unpaid projects (and why shouldn’t we, Bryan Zlimen is a collections expert!). The next month we will get a handful of employee handbook drafting requests. Well, this month I have had a large number of clients contact me about non-compete agreements. So I have decided to devote this column to how non-compete agreements function in Minnesota. Patrick McGuiness

Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC

generally, minnesota courts do not like noncompete agreements. They are seen as a restriction on the ability of people to work and a constraint on the free movement of workers. However, there is a place for non-compete agreements and courts recognize that. Given the confidential nature of information many employees have access to, and how that could harm a business if the employee went to a competitor, Minnesota courts are willing to enforce non-competes if they are found to be “reasonable.” Well, “reasonable” seems like a simple enough standard to meet, but what is reasonable to one party may not be reasonable to the other party. Ultimately, Minnesota courts have looked at the facts of many cases to determine what is reasonable in a given situation. There are two factors to look at in figuring out what is reasonable. First, is the duration of the agreement reasonable; and second, is the scope of the agreement reasonable? Reasonable Duration

As a very general rule, non-compete agreements shouldn’t last for longer than two years following a person’s employment. However, the specific facts of each situation will dictate how a court rules. Non-compete agreements have been reduced down to six months, or even eliminated in some cases. Vague or non-specific language in a non-compete can also cause enforcement problems. Reasonable Scope of Limitations

The scope of a non-compete agreement can be broken down into two sub-factors: geographic scope, and scope

of limitations. Speaking broadly, if a company only has one location in Minnesota, then their non-compete agreement will be unenforceable if it prevents work anywhere in the State of Minnesota. Non-compete agreements should be limited to the geographic area in which a company does business. A company cannot prevent an employee from performing any type of work for other companies in the future. The scope of limitations must also be reasonable, and be limited to the type of work in which the company is engaged. For example, a landscape installation company cannot restrict an employee’s future employment in the restaurant industry. Instead, a reasonable restriction may be to limit the employee’s ability to work in landscape design, sales, and installation. Adequate Consideration

If you decide that it makes business sense to have a non-compete agreement in place for some of your employees, there are additional requirements beyond simply being ‘reasonable.’ There must also be adequate ‘consideration’ for the employee to sign the agreement. This means there must be some sort of incentive or value for the employee in signing the agreement. At the beginning of employment, the offer of employment is usually good enough consideration. If you want existing employees to sign a non-compete agreement, there must be additional consideration above and beyond continued employment. Usually additional consideration takes the form of a one-time payment to the employee. The amount of the payment must again be ‘reasonable’ in relation to the rights the employee is giving up. march 14

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➾ legal issues

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Going to Court Isn’t Cheap for Anyone.

Even if you have a non-compete agreement in place, employees may still violate that agreement. You will have to decide if the cost of enforcing the agreement is worth it to you. Are the losses, or potential losses, great enough to justify incurring significant legal fees? Flipping the situation around, if you are an employee who signed a non-compete agreement, the employer can still take you to court even if your ‘competition’ falls in a grey area. Do you want to risk the possible expenses of litigation so that you can work for another business?

Renew onlineconifers by Juneand 8 todeciduous be enteredtrees in a Field direct Container grown shrubs drawing for 2 Expo registrations and a hotel Successful grower since 1976 stay; or watch for your renewal by mail soon. 4

www.MNLA.biz | february 2012

Get Help.

There are many facts involved in determining whether a non-compete agreement is reasonable in a given situation. If you use, or are considering using a non-compete, speak to a qualified attorney to get advice on how your specific facts will play into the situation.

This article provides general information on employment law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. A qualified attorney must analyze all relevant facts and apply the applicable law to any matter before legal advice can be given. If you would like more information regarding employment law or other legal matters, please contact Patrick McGuiness at Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC at 651-206-3203 or pmcguiness@zmattorneys.com

DID YOU KNOW? MNLA members receive a reduced rate at Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC.

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➾ networking

networking news A number of the networking groups met during Expo 2014. The format was generally a “meet and greet” type of meeting and discussion centered on what topics to discuss at future meetings. Professional Gardening Networking Group date & time: 2/6 – 10:00 AM location: Sage Landscape Design Office,

Minneapolis

Top Takeaways • We had 20 people at today’s meeting. 8 of those were first time participants. Topics covered included techniques for starting new garden beds, tool maintenance and plant protection from animals. The biggest discussion of the day revolved around pesticide use and the use of natives and companion plantings to attract desirable insects and discourage undesirable pests. • And, of course, we all talked about searching for employees for the upcoming season.  (Someone suggested that we have a job fair to get the word out that there are jobs to be had!)  • One complaint about the MNLA job board — When a company puts an ad on the board, they would like to be notified when someone responds to their ad. Apparently, one company discovered that there were numerous responses to their ad but they only found out about it when they checked their ad weeks later. A real time notification would make the process better. 

Landscape Design date & time: 2/6 – 10:30 AM location: Stafford Library, Woodbury

Top Takeaways • The group shared ideas on potential landscape design oriented speakers for next year’s Expo and other education events. • The group discussed the landscape design awards and expressed interest in helping to guide future awards efforts. • The group shared ideas on a possible landscape tour this year.

Get involved in an MNLA networking group in 2014! Visit MNLA.Biz for a list of upcoming MNLA networking group meetings/events. Outside of the Twin Cities? Watch for new regional green industry networking opportunities in your area.

marketing space available at state fair! for M N L A M embers

What if you could promote your business to 1,731,162 people this summer? Well, you can! Beginning in 2014, you can utilize the MNLA Garden at the State Fair to promote your company to the many potential customers passing by this beautiful landscape. How? Pay to sign your company up for a shift to staff the garden during the 12 days of the Fair (your choice of day and time — as available). You’ll be able to wear your company clothing, pass out business cards and brochures, plus engage with garden visitors as a representative of your company. Each company will also need to donate four hours of labor per three-hour time slot. Your involvement will cost you money and time, but the return on your investment will be a smart addition to your company’s marketing mix, will help support MNLA, and will aid in promotion

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of the careers available in the green industry. Free State Fair tickets and one free parking pass will be provided to each company purchasing a time period.

BONUS OPPORTUNITY for those companies that sign up for a time slot: You’ll have the opportunity to provide a 20-minute presentation on the State Fair’s “Dirt Stage.” Availability of speaking times will be dependent on the Fair’s scheduling, but every effort will be made to schedule it during the time your company is staffing the garden. Visit MNLA.biz for more information on this MNLA member opportunity at the MNLA Garden at the State Fair.


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Your MNLA

Research & Education Foundation “The future belongs to those who see possibilities, before they become obvious.” John Sculley

Bert T. Swanson, II, Ph.D. | Chair, MNLA Foundation & President, Swanson’s Nursery Consulting, Inc.


I

f you are to grow plants and/or develop a business, plant the seed and establish the base through the accomplishments of the MNLA Foundation. The Foundation balance sheet is strong thanks to the dedicated and continuous fundraising activities of the Board of Trustees and the positive response to these activities by many MNLA Members. The MNLA Foundation publishes “Research for the Real World” in the Scoop, on MNLA.biz, in MNLA E-News and on Facebook and Twitter. Dr Jim Calkins, as Research Information Director, searches the research literature world-wide and presents it to you in a concise and usable format. This significantly enhances and leverages all research dollars expended by the Foundation. In addition, the door remains open to direct and/or fund any specific research that any MNLA Member or the Foundation Board of Trustees deems necessary or beneficial for MNLA Members. To this end, the Board has just established a Foundation Research Advisory Panel to broaden, expand and facilitate the Board’s direction and action involving research activities. The Panel will communicate with, as well as facilitate the activities of the Research Information Director. The Panel shall also determine, direct and recommend funding for any North Central Region Environmental, Horticultural and Landscape research that is specific, applicable and beneficial to MNLA Members. The Research Advisory Panel consists of Active Members and Resource Members. Dr. Terry Ferris, Horticulture Department, UWRF shall serve as Chair of the Panel. The Active Members include: Dr. Jim Calkins; Dean Engelmann, Tangletown Gardens; Dr. Terry Ferris; David Kleinhuizen, Margolis Company, Inc.; Dr. Mary Meyer, Horticultural Science, UM; Eric Nordlie, Bachman’s Inc.; Vickie Pondell, Bailey Nurseries; Rod Saline, Engwall Greenhouse; and Dr. Bert Swanson, Swanson’s Nursery Consulting, Inc. Resource Members include: Dr. Neil Anderson, Horticultural

Science, UM; Leaf Knecht, Knecht Nurseries & Landscaping, Inc.; Dr. Angela Orshinsky, Plant Pathology, Steve Poppe, Horticulture, UM, Morris; UM; Jayne Roberts, Jayne Roberts Horticultural Sales and Service, Inc.; Dr. Carl Rosen, Soils, UM; Laura Wagner, Wagner’s Greenhouse; Dr. Todd West, Plant Science, NDSU, and Mike Yanny, Johnson’s Nursery, Inc., Menomonee Falls, WI. If you are aware of research that needs to be initiated, or of current research in need of support, please advise Dr. Terry Ferris, Chair of the Research Advisory Panel. The MNLA Foundation has also established a Green Industry Careers Team (GICT) whose mission is to: “Establish connective and operational assets for, and links between, the green industry and educational institutions and agencies to promote and enhance the awareness of, and participation in, career opportunities within the green industry.” Many key issues shall be addressed by this Team including the establishment and approval of a “Career Development and Engagement Marketing Plan” which is a key agenda item at this time. In addition, Jodi Larson, MNLA, Dr. Terry Ferris, UWRF, and Scott Frampton, Landscape Renovations, have been working to establish a relationship with Minneapolis Schools and the MN Agricultural Educators Association. The GICT core members include: Scott Frampton, Chair; Dr. Jim Calkins; Amanda Clark, The Mustard Seed; Dr. Terry Ferris; Karen Filloon, Southview Design; Kim Gaida-Wagner, Dundee Nursery & Landscape Co.; Dr. Mary Meyer; John Mickman, Mickman Bros, Inc.; Bill Mielke, Waconia Tree Farms; Colleen Moran, South View Design; Stacy Noble, LandSculpt, Inc.; Kurt Schrader, Twin Lakes Landscape; Dr. Bert Swanson, and Jodi Larson. In addition, a larger GICT Resource Team has also been established that includes several professors, instructors, counselors and advisors of several educational institutions throughout MN and the march 14

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➾ mnla fo undation

if rson a L i od act J rested in t n o r C inte nt fo e e r d a u st you ng a i r o ation s spon t an educ choice. a r $500 on of you uti instit

midwest. They shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Core Team. Any input you may have relative to this career development effort is encouraged and appreciated. The Foundation Scholarship Program remains strong as the Foundation provides matching funds for over 20 Individual Industry initiated $1,000 scholarships for top-ranking green industry oriented students. The Scholarship Task Team of Jay Siedschlaw, Mary Meyer, Mike McNamara and Dennis Ullom. are now investigating further ways to enhance this program. Contact Jodi Larson if you are interested in sponsoring a student for $500 at an education institution of your choice. The Board of Trustees recently assured the long term sustainability of the Foundation via approval of an Endowment Fund that will be used for growing our investment and provide protection from operational expenditures. This shall be managed as the fourth focus area. Thus, your contribution can now be designated to be applied to: Research, education and career development, scholarships and the sustaining endowment. The fundraising events scheduled throughout the year are also individually designated in support of these four focus areas. To better manage the Foundation fundraising activities, a quarterly report has been established which will set goals for all Fundraising projects and allow closer tracking and monitoring of each of these activities. This report also identifies the Trustee and Adjunct Trustee leadership roles for which they have accepted responsibility. One of these responsibilities is that each Trustee has set a personal touch goal to get friends involved in the Foundation by encouraging their contribution to the Foundation. The overall goal of the personal touch effort is for each Trustee to get many people involved so that contributions do not have to be burdensome to anyone. Please respond to an e-mail or a phone call from your Trustee. In addition to each Trustee working hard on the fundraising activities, several key MNLA members are also working with some of these activities. These members are designated as “Adjunct Trustees” and they play a major role in the success of each event and in achieving the education and research results that benefit all MNLA 64

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Members. To date, these Adjunct Trustees include: Dr. Jim Calkins, Van Cooley, Malmborg’s; Barb and Laverne Dunsmore, Countryside Gardens, Inc.; Katie Feckers, Nelson Nursery, Inc.; Dr. Terry Ferris; Jeff Greeney, Hedberg Landscape and Masonry Supplies; Mark Laberee, Lan-De-Con, Inc.; Matt Mallas, Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supplies; Robin Ostrander, Gertens Wholesale, and Andy Petersen, Spectrum Sales, Inc. If you are interested in assisting in any of the Foundation activities, please contact any of the Trustees. A significant recognition and tribute is also due to a major element of the Foundation’s Fundraising efforts: The Research and Education Partners. These original prominent Partners are: Bailey Nurseries, BFG Supply, Cross Nursery, and Wilson’s Nursery. In 2012 and 2013, we were pleased and honored to have Bachman’s, Gertens Wholesale, and Central Landscape Supply join this prestigious group of partners. All of these Research and Education Partner companies request that each of their customers provide ¼ of 1% of their purchases from that company as a contribution to the Foundation. Here again, “many hands make light work,” so let’s all get involved. With a $1,000 purchase from these Suppliers, your contribution is only $2.50. Please respond to your supplier’s request for support of the MNLA Foundation. A hearty “thank you” is extended to each of these Partners for their continuous support of the Foundation. As their terms come to a close, the Board of Trustees and staff extend a sincere thank you to Van Cooley of Malmborg’s and to John Mickman of Mickman Brothers for their extensive work and time committed to the Foundation over the past several years. Their dedicated work has been greatly appreciated. Going forward, Dale Bachman, Jay Siedschlaw and Dennis Ullom continue their existing terms on the Board. Dean Engelmann, Mike McNamara, Mary Meyer and Bert Swanson have each been re-elected and ratified for another two-year term. For new members, the Board is very pleased and honored to welcome Susie Johnson of Gertens Wholesale and Debbie Lonnie of Bailey Nurseries as new Trustees of the Foundation. Thanks to all of you for accepting the commitment and challenge of serving on the Foundation Board of Trustees. This MNLA Foundation Board of Trustees is a very experienced and dedicated group of professionals that covers all aspects of research, education, career development and financial sustainability. Evidence of this dedication by the Board and the staff is the recent approval of an aggressive Plan of Work for 2014 and 2015. It includes 20 pages chock full of hard work, professional standards. and high goals. It will be a busy two years and beyond. As Chair of the Foundation and knowing that MNLA is extremely fortunate to have this level of expertise serving the Foundation and all MNLA members, I wish to express my sincere thanks to all the Trustees, Adjunct Trustees, staff and all MNLA members that have contributed to the success of this Foundation. I pray that all MNLA Members will seize the opportunity to enhance their profession and industry by making a contribution to the Foundation. Just call your personal friend on the Board and offer your contribution. Thank You. Bert T. Swanson, II, Ph.D. is chair of the MNLA Foundation, and president of Swanson’s Nursery Consulting, Inc.


Are Consumers More Interested in

Organic, Local or Sustainable Plants? Organically-grown and locally-grown food products have become increasingly popular in recent years. There is a belief that the demand for organic and sustainable floral products is increasing in the United States due to an emerging consumer segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living, and social justice. However, no study has formally investigated consumer preferences for local, organic and sustainable plants. Chengyan Yue | University of Minnesota

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➾ su stainable plants

A

Study I undertook with Jennifer H. Dennis, Bridget K . Behe, Charles R. Hall, Benjamin L. Campbell, and Robert G. Lopes aimed to fill the knowledge gap. The research focused on answering the following questions: 1) Are some consumers more interested in ornamentals, vegetable transplants, and herbs produced in sustainable ways than conventionally-grown plants?, and 2) Do some consumers have different levels of interest in local plants, organic plants and plants grown with different sustainable production methods? The Method and Findings

A survey was administered through the internet accessing a sample of 834 consumers from Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Texas, whose average demographic characteristics were representative of the population at large in those states. Survey results show that except for plants grown with organic fertilizers, participants’ interests in other types of plants were all significantly different from their interest in conventional plants. Participants’ interest in organic plants was significantly lower than their interest in conventional plants, while their interests in other types of sustainable plants were all higher than their interest in conventional plants (see Figure 1). Specifically, participants were most interested in locally-grown plants and plants grown in biodegradable pots. They were also interested in plants grown in compostable pots and recyclable pots. They were relatively less interested in sustainably-grown plants and plants grown with organic fertilizers. They were least interested in organically-grown plants. Participants’ socio-demographic backgrounds affect their preferences for local, organic, and sustainable plants. Specifically: • Female participants were more interested in local and sustainable plants. • Participants with children under 12 years of age at home and those with smaller household size were more interested in organic plants. • Participants with a single-family dwelling were more interested in plants grown in compostable pots. 66

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0.80

Consumer Interest

0.60

0.40

0.20

0.00

-0.20

-0.40

Figure 1. Participants’ relative interest in different types of plants compared to conventional plants (For simplification, the interest level in conventional plants is set to be zero for comparison).

• Participants who live in urban or suburban areas were less interested in all the types of sustainable plants in the study than those people who live in rural areas. Takeaways

Consumers in this study were not as enthusiastic about plants or their fertilizers being “organic.” This may be due to health concerns (pesticide residues, nutritional value and food safety) associated with food products not being as big an issue for non-edible plants. However, at least some consumers were more interested in plants’ being locally produced, similar to the public’s ever-increasing interest in local food products. One of the main reasons consumers purchase local products is to support the local economy and local farmers. In this sense, both local food products and local plants can achieve the same objective. Therefore, we see consumers’ high interest in buying


locally-grown plants corollary to their interest in buying local food products. For many participants in our survey, “sustainability” means “eco- or environmentally friendly” or “energy saving or energy-efficient or energy conserving.” With the increasing emphasis on “eco-friendly” and “renewable energy” in the U.S. and around the world, more consumers are becoming aware of the importance of consuming products that are sustainable, which is also true for plants. Among the sustainable production practices, consumers are most concerned about the plants’ pots. Instead of being interested in making plants themselves more sustainable, consumers are more interested in making the pots more sustainable. Among the different types of pots, biodegradable and compostable pots are more desirable than recyclable pots. The results have important marketing implications for the green industry in developing profitable niche markets. Among the sustainable practices, the nursery and floricultural industry should focus on promoting locally-grown plants and plants grown in biodegradable and compostable pots. Marketing plants as “sustainable” or “grown in energy-efficient greenhouses” have the second best potential. Unlike food products, organic plants do not trigger high and prevailing interest among consumers as hypothesized by some earlier studies.

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Chengyan Yue is Associate Professor at the Department of Horticultural Science and Department of Applied Economics, as well as the Bachman Endowed Chair in Horticultural Marketing at the University of Minnesota and can be contacted at yuechy@umn.edu.

DID YOU KNOW? MNLA can help you save money on cardboard carry-out trays? Call Mary at 651-633-4987 to start saving now.

Each poster includes many beautiful color photos of plant species found in the northern landscape. Thirteen titles of woody & herbaceous plants. Visit the MNLA.biz Store or call Jessica at 651-633-4987.

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➾ MNLA N ews

Strategic alliance HRI and AmericanH ort ™ Form Strategic A lliance to A dvance I nd u stry Research

WASHINGTON and COLUMBUS, OH – January 14, 2014 — The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) and AmericanHort have announced the formation of a strategic alliance to support and promote research benefiting all horticulture industries. The collaboration will accelerate research efforts in the areas of industry survival issues, sustainability, marketing, and technology.

“The partnership with AmericanHort is an important component of HRI’s strategic vision,” says Bob Couch, Dayton Bag & Burlap (Dayton, OH), 2013 HRI President. “This collaboration positions HRI to continue as the premier horticultural research and development institute for our industry.” The new alliance brings together HRI’s 52-year history as the horticulture industry’s leading green industry research and educational foundation and AmericanHort’s vision to unite, promote, and advance the profession. AmericanHort was launched January 1 through the consolidation of the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) and OFA — The Association of Horticulture Professionals. “Advancing the mutual success of all horticulture industry sectors is part of AmericanHort’s strategic vision,” states Michael V. Geary, AmericanHort President & CEO. “Partnering with HRI ticks all the boxes in our mission statement: unite, promote, and advance our industry through advocacy, collaboration, connectivity, education, market development, and research.”

One of the first benefits for the horticulture community is having a single entity provide advocacy, education, and collaboration on research issues that matter most: pest and disease management, water management, production, and emerging challenges and opportunities. “This is natural progression for HRI. Over its history, HRI-funded research has really represented all of the plant industry, funding projects benefiting growers, retailers, landscapers, distributors, and consumers,” states Harvey Cotten, Huntsville Botanical Garden (Huntsville, AL), 2014 HRI President. “The formal alliance with AmericanHort allows us to fully leverage what HRI has provided to the greater horticultural community all along: relevant research directed by the industry, for the industry.” The Horticultural Research Institute’s mission is to direct, fund, promote, and communicate horticulture research. The strategic alliance with AmericanHort is another example of how HRI collaborates to build prosperous businesses, advance the green industry, and fulfill its core vision.

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), founded in 1962, has provided more than $6.5 million in funds to research projects covering a broad range of production, environmental, and business issues important to the green industry. Nearly $11 million is committed to the endowment by individuals, corporations, and associations. For more information about HRI, its grant-funded research, or programming, visit www.hriresearch.org or contact Jennifer Gray at 614.884.1155.

mnla welcomes members new

All Seasons Tree & Landscape: Golden Valley, MN Dave Morneau, 952-393-0822

Burnham Companies: Monticello, MN Keith Burnham, 763-295-2082

Country Homes & Landscaping: Spicer, MN Brady Panitzke, 612-751-9436

Ron Beining Associates & Garden Division LLC: St. Paul, MN Ron Beining, 612-418-0772

Egle Landscaping Inc.: Custer, WI Mary Egle, 715-592-4284

Urban Oasis LLC: Minneapolis, MN Stephen Kung, 612-799-3934

Grass Roots: Ottertail, MN Tom Meinhover, 218-367-2503

JLM Landscape: Edina, MN Rob Roos , 952-941-9818

Jagusch Lawn Care: North Branch, MN Dustin Jagusch, 651-983-8520

Yardcreations, LLC: Brainerd, MN Adam Dewey, 218-820-7095

JK Landscape Construction: Clearwater, MN Jerry Konz, 320-980-2710

Pro Care Companies, Inc.: Forest Lake, MN Ben Plautz, 651-308-9325

Millennium Landscapes Inc.: Cologne, MN Nate Weis, 952-239-9929

Outdoor Images, Inc.: Eagan, MN Matt Swaney, 612-363-2656

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➾ last word

a great friend to mnla nancy fish

Bob Fitch

husband, Jerry Payne. Back then (and for many years afterward), we were probably Bywords’ biggest account. Of course, maybe every one of their accounts felt like they were “the biggest account” because Nancy had a great way of making every client feel like their projects were the most important ones. She would work late into the evening and often into the early morning hours to get the job done for MNLA.

Cain Consulting Group, Inc.

Many of you may not even realize you had interaction with Nancy. She volunteered at the MNLA Convention / Northern Green Expo for over 20 years. She helped at the information desk, took tickets at the Awards Luncheon, shot photos, and was a general jack-of-alltrades filling in wherever we needed her. And, yes, she really volunteered — we never paid her a dime. She did it because she thought it was fun, she loved MNLA people, and because she wanted to help out a valued client.

one of mnla’s greatest friends from outside the green industry recently passed away. Nancy Fish, 65, co-owner of Bywords Printing in South St. Paul, died on Feb. 6 after a battle with lung cancer.

Between 1981 and 2012, Nancy and her staff designed more than 350 issues of MNLA’s monthly magazine, known originally as North Central Nurseryman, then MNLA News, and now The Scoop. She also spent countless hours on the MNLA Membership Directory over the years and many other projects. When I became MNLA executive director in 1996, the one face-to-face meeting that Jim and Gen McCarthy made sure to host for me was with Nancy and her

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Nancy was deeply devoted to a number of community organizations, especially going out of her way for the children of the South St. Paul area. Several years ago, she was the River Heights Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, and in the past was honored as the grand marshal of both St. Paul’s Grand Old Days and South St. Paul’s Kaposia Days — I’m guessing not too many others can claim those dual honors. During my time at MNLA, I only ever asked to present one award — and that was the MNLA Special Service Award given to Nancy and Jerry in 2006. Nancy Fish is a person that MNLA staff members, past and present, truly loved. was MNLA executive director from 1996–2012. He can be reached at fitchccg@gmail.com.

Bob Fitch


MNLA FOUNDATION Improving the Environment by Investing in Research and Education

1813 LEXINGTON AVE. N | ROSEVILLE, MN 55113 | 651-633-4987 | FAX 651-633-4986 | MNLA@MNLA.BIZ | WWW.MNLAFOUNDATION.COM

PARTNERS FUND

You are encouraged to participate in the Research & Education Partners Fund at one of the participating suppliers recognized below. Your voluntary donation of Âź of 1% (0.25%) on purchases of plants and other nursery, greenhouse and landscape products at these suppliers is used by the MNLA Foundation to grow a brighter future for the industry. On an invoice totaling $1,000 at one of these suppliers, your contribution will be only $2.50. Your individual contribution is small, but collectively these small contributions will add up to make a real difference!

Research for the Real World

Career Development & Promotion

Scholarships


The Scoop Online – March 2014  

The March 2014 issue of the official publication of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association is packed with insights and information fo...