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Insights and Information for Green Industry Professionals

VOLUME 34, 32, NUMBER 5 6 June May 2009 2011

Arbor Day Poster Contest Winners PAGES 34

r ne ouOnli Y w nershipge 32 e R be pa m See e M


From the President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Landscape Management . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Landscape Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Stormwater Management . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17-19 Business Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Garden Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26-27 Greenhouse & Herbaceous Growers . 28 Membership Renewal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Public Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34, 36 Recycling Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Legislative Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Government Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38-40 MNLA Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41-45 Careers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Plant of the Month . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

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ADVERTISER INDEX Alliance - 24-25 Ancom Communication & Technical Center - 17 Beberg Landscape Supply - 33 Belgard Hardscapes-Northfield - 21 Borgert Products, Inc. - 15 Bourdeaux Enterprises, Inc. -10 Bullis Insurance Agency - 14 Carlin Horticultural Supplies/ProGreen Plus - 37 Casualty Assurance - 36 Central Landscape Supply - 32 Central Wisconsin Evergreens, Inc. - 40 Cherokee Mfg. - 28 County Materials Corporation - 9 Crysteel Truck Equipment - 9 Cushman Motor Co., Inc. - 12 D. Hill Nursery Co. - 10 Evergreen Nursery Co., Inc. - 19 Floral Plant Growers-Natural Beauty - 28 Fury Motors - 27 Gardenworld Inc. - 47

Great Northern Equipment Distributing, Inc. - 34 Haag Companies, Inc. - 7 Hal Tiffany Agency - 31 Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supplies - 13 Jeff Belzer Chevrolet - 5 Johnson’s Nursery, Inc. - 31 Kubota Dealers - 2 Maguire Agency - 32 MN Equipment Solutions, Inc. - 14 Out Back Nursery - 27 Plaisted Companies - 16 RDO Equipment Co. - 36 Rock Hard Landscape Supply - 4 The Mulch Store - 23 Truck Utilities & Mfg. Co. - 11 Vermeer Sales & Service - 29 Wheeler Landscape Supply - 39 Ziegler Cat - 3


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Upcoming Events June 22-25 – 14th Annual Snow and Ice Symposium. Schaumburg, Illinois. For more information, see

July 9-12 – Ohio Shortcourse. Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio. For more information, see 19-21 – Perennial Plant Symposium. Hyatt Regency Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, see 26 – 21st Annual Widmer Golf Tournament. University of Minnesota Golf Course, Roseville. For more information, see page 41 or 28 – Landscape Design Tour. St. Paul and Minneapolis. For more information, see page 26 or Sponsored by Anchor Block Company. 28 – Horticulture Night. University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris, Minnesota. For information, call 320-589-1711 or email

August 4 – Garden Center Tour. Minneapolis, Minn. For more information, see page 26 or 18 – MNLA Woodland Hill Winery Event. For more information visit 25-Sept. 5 – MNLA Garden at the Minnesota State Fair. For more information, visit

September 21 – MNLA Foundation Sporting Clays Tournament. For more information, see page 41 or 22 – Green for Life – an MNLA Public Service Event. For more information, see page 48 or visit

October 5 – MNLA Snow Day. Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul. More information coming soon at

January 3 – Super Tuesday. Minneapolis Convention Center. More information coming soon! 4-6 – Northern Green Expo. Minneapolis Convention Center. Exhibit contracts available online at or call 651-633-4987.




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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 •

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

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Bert Swanson, MNLA-CP, President Swanson’s Nursery Consulting, Inc. 218-732-3579 • Debbie Lonnee, MNLA-CP, Vice President Bailey Nurseries, Inc. 651-768-3375 Heidi Heiland, MNLA-CP, Secretary-Treasurer Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens 612-366-7766 • Van Cooley, Past President Malmborg’s, Inc. 763-535-4695 Randy Berg, MNLA-CP Berg’s Nursery, Landscape/Garden Center 507-433-2823 Scott Frampton Landscape Renovations 651-769-0010 Tim Malooly, CID, CLIA, CIC Irrigation By Design Inc. 763-559-7771 • Bill Mielke Wilson’s Nursery, Inc. 952-445-3630 Herman Roerick Central Landscape Supply 320-252-1601 Bob Fitch MNLA Executive Director 651-633-4987 •



January 4-6, 2012 6 | MAy 2011 or call 651-633-4987

Staff directory and member services directory near the back cover. The Scoop is published 12 times per year by the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association, 1813 Lexington Ave. N., Roseville, MN 55113. Address corrections should be sent to the above address. News and advertising deadlines are the 5th of the month preceding publication.

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Baby Boomers + Generation X + Generation Y = ? By Bert Swanson, MNLA President n January, I had the privilege of attending the Northern Green Expo post-show exhibitor feedback meeting which was combined with an Expo Trade Bert Swanson Show Committee meeting. The Trade Show Committee received several highly deserved kudos for their outstanding performance in managing the move-in and move-out process for exhibitors at the Expo. Thanks to committee chair, Bill Mielke, Wilson’s Nursery Inc., and to all the hard working MNLA and MTGF members of the Trade Show Committee that make this huge task happen so smoothly and professionally.


Several additional great ideas and suggestions were provided by the exhibitors that attended this meeting. The only down-side was that not many exhibitors were in attendance. We can take that as a compliment, wherein exhibitors must have overall satisfaction with their experience at the Northern Green Expo. In Green Expo discussions and planning throughout the year by several MNLA committees and the allied associations of MTGF, many great minds put forth traditional and new thoughts, ideas and programs for the next Expo. At the base of all this planning is "How do we attract, satisfy and involve everyone?" The true answer probably is that "We never will," but that does not mean that we will not keep trying! One of the changes for the 2012 Expo will be the addition an event specifically targeted at MNLA member CEOs and senior managers. A top-ranking business outlook speaker will provide an appropriate presentation. 8 | MAy 2011

However, we also realize that there are many young owners and company leaders who also need and want to become engaged. This need became very apparent during the post-Expo feedback meeting. Based on this information, and the suggestions and willingness of some MNLA members to address this agenda, I will commit to work closely with this group to establish a task force or committee to pursue a visible presence and working entity for "Generation Next" within MNLA. Hence, the title of this article and the subsequent discussion. The green industry employs people across all generations. Is this a dilemma? Yes and no. Although generational outlooks, paths and directions will differ, the wisdom and experience of seniors is a great advantage, while the energy, technological knowledge and passions of the younger generations must be implemented. Both have their attributes and challenges, but with proper management, the "best of two worlds" can be accomplished. Proper generational management within a company or within MNLA requires a definition of "Who's Who." Karl J. Ahlrichs of Gregory and Appel, is a business consultant and a member of the Society for Human Resources Management ( and has described the generational entities in the Indiana Nursery and Landscape News [71(1):18-21]. Dr. John Lawyer, owner of Lawyer Nursery, Inc. in Plains, MT ( has also provided definitions of the generations. Maria Zampini, President, of Lake City New Plants, LLC, has also described the generations in the American Nurseryman [210(10):24-25] ( These definitions are as follows:

Baby Boomers Ahlrichs: Ages 47 to 64 in 2010, tend to be competitive, moralistic, optimistic and self-focused on career advancement. Lawyer: Raised with the notion that hard work, education, sound business practices and a good product are the keys to success. Zampini: Do not want to move, want to spend more on yard renovation so they have an area for the grandchildren. In the thick of their careers, they were away all the time, but now they are spending more time at home. Generation X'ers Ahlrichs: Ages 32 to 46, define success by creating the life they want, and view themselves as free agents not indefinitely tied to any organization. Lawyer: Born in the later years of the Vietnam era through the 1980s. They tend to ignore leaders, including their parents. They are better educated, and are a diverse population in aspects such as race, class, gender, religion and ethnicity. With respect to the nursery and landscape industry, they may still have a passion for plants, but will act on it in other ways. They are more interested in landscape design as a creative endeavor, rather than growing plants in a nursery Zampini: There are 11 million fewer Generation X'ers than there are Baby Boomers. Generation Y'ers / Millennials Ahlrichs: Workers ages 31 and under, love freedom and responsibility, expect consistent and positive feedback, bond closely with their peers through technology, and want to learn as much and as quickly as possible on the job. Lawyer: Born from the 1980s through the 1990s and out-number the Baby Boomers. They grew up with

technology and would rather communicate through email and text messaging than face-to-face communication. They prefer webinars and online technology to traditional lectures. Armed with Blackberry's, laptops, cell phones and other gadgets, they are plugged in 24/7. They are also family oriented, working less with better work/life balance; achievement oriented, but with high expectations; team oriented seeking frequent praise and reassurance from team members more than from the coach. Their interest in gardening is less than that of their parents, and their leisure time is spent in other ways. Zampini: Y'ers represent a marketing opportunity, and we need to show them how our products can save them money, give them food, save on energy and more. It will take 10 to 15 years for Generation Y to come of age, but once they do their numbers will be much greater than those of the Baby Boomers. Generation Z'ers Lawyer: Just coming online. These are the most recent young people born from the late 1980's through the 2000's. They are, almost without exception, totally connected and have earned such nicknames as the "Net Generation" and "Digital Natives." They are more individualistic than Y'ers and more self directed. They would rather go to school online than sit in a classroom, and view their parents as

advisors rather than mentors. Thus far, they seem to have little if any interest in gardening, careers in landscaping or nursery, and are more concerned with their friends than possessing material wealth. So now we know who and what we are dealing with and what we must manage. But how do we deal, lead and manage in this new transitional culture? Unfortunately, the article has become too lengthy, so I will have to continue this in the future. In the meantime and as soon as possible, I would really like to hear from you if you are interested in the development of "Young Executives," Young Leaders" or "Young Whatever" activities within MNLA. Please call me at 218-732-3579 or email me at, or call MNLA Associate Director, Cassie Larson at 651-633-4987 or email at any time with your thoughts, ideas and interests for bringing these activities to reality. I really want to hear from you, so please spread the word so we can get a program started for the "Next Generations." I certainly hope and pray that all of you, of all generations, are having a great spring! q ________________________________________________ Bert Swanson is the president of MNLA and can be reached at

MAy 2011 |



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This Winter’s Lessons By a Contractor By Steve Hoogenakker, Concierge Landscape

esides the Metrodome collapse, surely a ploy to get a new stadium, contractors have found this winter to be one they won’t soon forget. So what really happened behind the scenes? What can we learn from it and what does the future hold?


Steve Hoogenakker

This was a strange winter. With the first snowfall around mid-November, there were contractors not ready for the snow. After Halloween in 1991, there was no excuse to be unprepared this late into the season. The turf wasn’t frozen yet and a lot of sites weren’t staked yet. I saw plenty of sod rolled up at the end of finger streets that will have to be fixed this spring. We had a high number of regular snowfalls up until the “Snonami” of 17 inches on December 10th. The fifth heaviest snowfall in Minnesota history! Many customers did not get the service they expected. There were some obscure reasons why this was the case. We’ll talk about the idea of expectations later in the article. Our main focus here is on town home associations, although many of the principles apply universally. 1. Client sites have been built to maximize use of the land. This means crowded drives, tight sidewalks with shrubs alongside. After the earlier snows, there was already minimal room to pile the snow, and 1 ½ feet of snow on a 20 x 40’ driveway means 1200 cubic feet of snow. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is not enough room next to each drive for that much snow. 2. A good contractor might have equal numbers of skid loaders and pickup trucks. A plow blade on a truck is 29” high. When lifted, the blade gets to about 45”. When the plow trucks got out to the sites after the skid loaders had been through once, there was already 5-6 feet of compacted, icy snow. A truck trying to push more snow into these piles was running into an unmovable object and couldn’t find a place to put the snow. From a practical viewpoint and a surprise to some contractors, their plow trucks were now useless. Half of the equipment was not going to help for the next month until payloaders and tractor snow blowers were brought in to make more room. 3. The night of the big snowfall, temperatures had fallen drastically and winds had picked up making for very dangerous conditions for crews. The DOT and local counties had pulled their equipment for the remainder of the night. Many contracts have a clause that extends

10 | MAy 2011

deadlines by the number of hours that the DOT is off the road. A bit of a surprising effect was getting shovelers to the sites. Why? Because they couldn’t get out of their own complexes and because they couldn’t get through on the highways. Only a fraction actually made it in. The guys doing the walks were actually pretty amazing, working for 12-20 hours sometimes. A few shovelers got in serious accidents trying to get to the office or to the site.

"Find a good client you like to work with and be fair. Life is too short to work with clients you don't like or can't trust."

4. “The Fog of War” After the second day of the big storm, confusing reports were coming in hot and heavy. A resident would contact a board member. The board member would contact the property manager not actually seeing the residents' problem. The property manager would do the same with the contractor's office. The production manager would blindly communicate the same to the operator and by the time the operator got out there, the situation was different than what was told to him by the boss. Nobody saw anything and you know who really paid that price? The property manager, the office staff at the management company and the office staff at the contractors, none of whom could actually perform the work that needed to be done. Absolutely helpless to improve the situation except to take the phone calls, the heat and pass messages on.

2. The best snow contracts say “Contract hauling available at these rates…” Make sure the contract has language in it for “any snowfall exceeding 12”; ALL services will be billed at T and M, even on the monthly contracts.

3. This winter was a wake up call for clients. If they live in an association cramped for space, they know it now. Consult with them and develop a plan for the next time this happens. I will add that communication was key and that more than ever, real time communications was necessary. I am amazed at the heroics and dedication of some property managers who stuck up for their contractors. I was amazed by the hard work and 20 hour shifts that many people worked. Find a good client you like to work with and be fair. Life is too short to work with clients you don’t like or can’t trust. This simple principle can take stressful situations and make them pleasant and rewarding again. q ________________________________________________ Steve Hoogenakker is a member of the MNLA Landscape Professional Advancement Committee and can be reached at

5. Subs & Temps. Because of the problems listed above, contractors had to use more subcontractors who weren’t familiar with the site and temp workers for shovelers. I had a very nice interview with David Schultz of New Concepts Management. He had some ideas of how things should’ve been handled and lessons for the future. Remember earlier I said that the idea of expectations was the key? Well, it’s true. David and I agreed that managing expectations of the homeowners was of singular importance. Educating the homeowners about expectations and understanding how it all works together makes for a happier association, board and property manager. What happens when all parties aren’t thoughtful and considerate of all sides when a contract comes up? I think the contractors who only think of their side will continually struggle with customer satisfaction and getting paid and I think the property managers who don’t manage expectations and don’t have some cushion to protect all parties will continue to be disappointed with contractors and should plan on being in the middle of many future fights between contractors and homeowners. Some of David’s recommendations for a better snow season: 1. Educate homeowners about the possible changes in response time and extra costs for hauling of snow. MAy 2011 |



The Satisfaction that Comes with Giving More By Diana Gagnon, Northland Landscape Nursery

s the green industry roars into spring with hopes heard from all directions for a better year than the last, I find myself looking at things through a new lens. Prior to these harder times, I would have burned the midnight oil making attempts to crank out as many landscape designs, bids, and orders as possible to achieve the maximum amount of business opportunities (a.k.a. $$) as humanly possible. While this diligence about my work still rings true, I find that there just aren’t as many chances for me to be swamped to the point of forced procrastination. Maybe others of you are feeling this way, too.


There is no doubt in my mind that the donation dollars and frivolous

12 | MAy 2011

business spending from days past are decreasing or gone at many of our workplaces. There is a need to advertise to create a presence and remind customers to shop with us, but with a smaller budget, how can we all work together to create a thriving business situation within our companies? I think the answer is to give more of your time and of your talents in order to preserve the wealth that you have earned during the good times. Rather than giving up or becoming discouraged, I challenge you to fill the dog days of summer by fostering hopes and dreams of something more for local establishments or events in your community. Some ideas that have been fun are to try creating an outdoor classroom design (and charge little or no cost) for your child’s school, or teach a

houseplant or container garden care class at a senior home or church. Try talking to your local M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Preschoolers) group about organic gardening…you’ll find a lot of questions and reach more potential customers. All of these groups love help and often don’t have the time or funding set aside to ask for our services. Imagine how beneficial your own personal knowledge could be if you volunteered to reach out through community education opportunities by teaching a class, or took time to embrace informational presentation opportunities for your local Master Gardener’s Club. I have personally done all of these things, and I’m proud to say that it feels very good. I have noticed a very positive boost in the quality of my personal relationships with customers, the amount of quality referrals I’ve received, and the positive talk around town about the influence my donation of time and talents has had on various groups and organizations. After all, you don’t leave your vehicle running in the driveway if you have no place to go! Even if you have more down time then in past years, why would you waste your professional fuel sitting idle when there are destinations that are waiting for your arrival? q ________________________________ Diana Gagnon is a member of the MNLA Landscape Design Committee and can be reached at


Getting the Show on the Road – Stormwater Management Education Gets Legs By Nick Tamble, Lawn & Landscape Gardens, Ltd. he Permeable Paver System (PPS) Subcommittee to the MNLA Stormwater Task Team has been making hay while we experienced our fifth snowiest winter on record. The hay being a PPS Brochure that will be used to help shed light on the effectiveness of PPS as a best management practice (BMP) for stormwater Nick Tamble management. It is no secret how important a topic stormwater management has become in recent years. Since this topic affects most all of our green industry businesses, the membership of MNLA is taking a proactive role to become a source of education for stormwater management BMP’s including: PPS, raingardens, trees (vertical raingardens), holding ponds, bioswales, green roofs, and more.


14 | MAy 2011

The mission of the MNLA Stormwater Task Team is: “to help MNLA members operate their businesses more successfully by identifying, promoting, and providing education on environmentally-responsible stormwater management solutions offered by green industry companies.” Stormwater related topics are taking center stage in our industry as numerous organizations are working towards positive solutions that positively impact runoff, water quality, and treatment to name a few. Members of MNLA have identified stormwater management as an integral part of the way we do business. In some shape or form, this topic affects ALL of our businesses and we stand to benefit from the decisions made at various levels that dictate BMP’s and how stormwater is managed. MNLA is represented at these organizations including the Minimum Impact Design Standards (MIDS) Work Group that works under the Minnesota Stormwater Steering Committee. Ultimately,

decisions made from these groups ends up as policy that is enforced by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). To learn more about how these organizations work together, visit The PPS Brochure is the first educational piece to be developed by the Stormwater Task Team, intended to help promote MNLA member’s services. There is plenty of buzz about PPS, and it is now being decided how these systems play a part with respect to BMP’s, especially at the municipal level. While some system failures have given this movement somewhat of a black eye, we know that if installed correctly, PPS offer many benefits. Water moving through a PPS is not running off directly into stormwater sewers, saving municipalities on maintenance and treatment costs. Permeable paver systems can benefit homeowners who are in need of hard cover credits to accommodate other structures on their property. Also, water quality is improved as the aggregate base treats and cools water while removing toxins such as nitrates and phosphorous prior to entering groundwater, streams, and lakes.

Our goal is to present stormwater BMP’s in a way that they are well received and become a primary option when planning outdoor spaces. Projects related to stormwater management in many cases attract grant money assistance. While the benefits of stormwater BMP’s have a broad environmental impact, funding has been made available at the state level through organizations such as watershed districts. Furthermore, the organization Blue Thumb ( is a great resource to learn more about life’s most precious resource and additional grand funding sources. If we are to be good stewards to the environment, then we owe it to our communities to be conscious of stormwater related efforts and be educated enough to answer questions that validate our efforts. As always, take the initiative to become more involved by contacting the MNLA office at 651-633-4987 – the positive impact of volunteer efforts grows exponentially in numbers! q ________________________________________________ Nick Tamble is a member of the MNLA Stormwater Management Task Team and can be reached at

To support the PPS brochure, the Stormwater Task Team is currently developing a presentation to include PowerPoint slides and video, as well as current talking points depending on our designated audience, be it municipalities, architecture and engineer firms, watershed districts, or homeowner associations.


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Green and Growing By Susan Jacobson, MNLA-CP, Horticulture Instructor, University of Minnesota, Crookston

hat is Green? I am. Some say I have a green thumb. My granddaughter says “green is a color, but yellow is prettier.” Okay. My students say that “green” means “sustainable.” Green means being conscious of our environment and doing what we can to preserve it for future generations. They would also say “Green means Go!” Speaking of young people, “green” also means inexperienced.


As a horticulturalist, green means alive. “Green” is good when you’re talking about plants. Plants that are green are healthy, less susceptible to disease, less tasty to pests, and are better able to carry on photosynthesis and other

16 | MAy 2011

plant functions. Plants should be “green and growing.” If not, they rot. What does “green” mean to you and CERTIFIED your business? Does Professional green mean growing and healthy? Do employees enjoy their job and do it well? Are they able to satisfy customers’ requests and needs? Are they proud of what they do and how they serve the customers? It’s important for employees to feel good about themselves and what they do. Do they have the knowledge to draw on for all of those questions that come up every day? Have you equipped them with the tools to be successful? How about those landscape crews? They are the ones directly dealing with your

customers. Are they good representatives of your business and our industry? Education is a gift that cannot be taken away. It is something you can use over and over again and it never gets smaller, only bigger and better. The MNLA Certification Committee has invested themselves and their time to give you the opportunity to be educated. The Certification Manual is now offered in a printed version. Studying the manual is a great way to get “Green and Growing.” Even if you never intend to take the exam, reading the manual will expand your knowledge and make you a better employer or employee in the green industry. Why not copy a chapter from the manual for your employees each week. After they have read it, talk about it around the break table. Take an extra 15 minutes once a week to sit down and

talk about the chapter and how the information can be used in your business. Most employees will appreciate the chance to learn more and will be more confident in dealing with customers. Many times an apathetic employee or one with ATTITUDE is that way only because he/she is uncomfortable being put in the position of giving advice in which they have no confidence. My first year in the garden center, the advice that I gave was based solely on what I had learned as a homeowner and gardener for all of four years. I knew that plants grow better with fertilizer and that cows and deer are not good for your garden. Oh, and I knew that nasturtiums were edible and broccoli always had green worms all over in it. I was grateful that my employer gave me a chance to learn by letting me take home books to read and by answering my millions of questions. We also had the first edition of the Certification Manual on the shelf and I began going through some of the chapters to learn what I could. You may

find that some of your employees will want to take the exam to become a Certified Professional. It’s something to be proud of and you can publicize the fact that your business has Certified Professionals to help your customers. Those Certified Professionals can also tutor others in your company or lead study sessions for others that are preparing to take the exam. The MNLA Certification Committee also offers a training day for people planning to take the exam. This training is not effective unless candidates have previously spent time studying the manual. It is not training on what is in the manual. It is training on how the exam is set up and how to take the exam. The purpose is to eliminate some of the test anxiety by running through a practice written test and familiarizing test candidates with the identification section. It is valuable for folks to have prepared by studying the manual.

even better asset? Do they know about the Certified Professional program? There are three areas for them to specialize in: Grower, Landscaper, or Garden Center. They may specialize in all three if they want to. You can take the general exam and one specialty on one test date. You may do the other two specialties on future exam dates. So! Is your business “Green and Growing?” At the University, we hope that our graduates are prepared to be lifelong learners when they graduate. We want them to always remain “Green and Growing.” I hope your business is “Green and Growing.” If you’re not, you rot. q ________________________________ Susan Jacobson is a member of the MNLA Certification Committee and can be reached at

Think about the key people in your company. Are some of them capable of learning much more and becoming an

MAy 2011 |



Magic from the Manual: Herbaceous Perennial Basics By Laurie Robinson, Bailey Nurseries, Inc. perennial can be broadly defined as an herbaceous plant that lives for more than three years. Perennial plants die CERTIFIED back to the ground Professional at the end of the season and reemerge the following year. The life expectancy of each perennial varies. Some will last for only a few years, however, peonies can live for many decades. Comparatively, an annual completes its life cycle in one growing season. Perennials have some disadvantages. Initially, the plant cost is higher than annuals, but if pro-rated over the years, the actual cost can be less expensive than annuals. Site preparation should be more thorough than for annuals since any remaining perennial weeds will eventually create major maintenance problems. The actual planting operation is likely to be more labor intensive, but occurs only once. Some plants will need dividing every three to five years. Perennials need to be divided or renovated every six to eight years.


Propagation of Perennials Perennials can be propagated by either sexual propagation from seed, or by asexual propagation from divisions, rooted cuttings, or tissue culture. Although many perennials can be commercially started from seed, named cultivars will not propagate true from seed. Starting plants from seed is slow and, therefore, not practical for most homeowners. Species perennials and some named varieties such as Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ produce seed, which produces plants similar to the parent. Perennial seed is generally available 18 | MAy 2011

through wholesale seed houses in North America and Europe. Most perennials seeds require scarification and/or stratification for optimum germination. Some seeds also require light to germinate. Seeds should be buried to a depth of two to three times the diameter of an individual seed. Commercially, sophisticated seeding machines place the correct number of seeds per planting cell and at the proper depth. Seedlings are grown to a specific size, and then transplanted into large plugs or pots, and grown on to salable sizes. Asexual or vegetative propagation creates a plant that is identical to the parent plant. Tip cuttings from growing stems should be treated with a rooting hormone and stuck in a rooting medium that is kept moist throughout the rooting process. Rooting time will vary with the type of plant being propagated. Some perennials such as Papever have roots that produce new plants when cut into sections and planted in a growing medium. Many perennials form large clumps such as Hosta and Hemerocallis, which can be divided into many plants. This is known as crown division. Entire clumps are dug with as many roots as possible and are cut into several divisions. If buds or “eyes” are present in the clump, each division should contain a minimum of two to three “eyes.” North America and the Netherlands specialize in selling bare root divisions.

receives. Full sun is generally considered six to eight hours of direct sunlight. Part sun/part shade is four to six hours of direct sunlight a day, while shade is considered less than four hours of direct sunlight. The time of day the garden receives light is critical as well; typically, afternoon light is the most intense during the summer months. Care should be taken when selecting plants so that the colors, size, texture, fragrance, and form pleasantly relate to one another and to permanent landscape features. Many perennials are grown specifically for their beautiful foliage with great color and texture. Some flowering perennials have good looking foliage all season long. Others, such as Liatris and Lilies, have foliage that dies down rather early in the season.

Plant Selection In a large perennial garden, plants should be planted in groups. The large, tall plants should be in groups of three or more, medium sized plants in groups of at least three to five, and the smaller plants, five or more.

Planting The soil should be free of perennial weeds prior to planting. Perennial weeds should be killed with systemic herbicides. A deep sandy loam is the ideal soil for perennials. If the soil is sandy or clay, generous quantities of organic matter should be incorporated into the soil prior to planting. The topsoil should be 15-18 inches deep, and the soil should be spaded to a depth of eight to ten inches. Adding phosphate prior to tilling is often beneficial since it does not readily move through the soil profile and it is required for root development. Fertilizer should be added based on a soil test. If this is not practical, two to three lbs. of 18-18-8 fertilizer per 100 square feet will be beneficial. This fertilizer is 50 percent slow release so it should last the entire season. The easiest way to fertilize an entire garden is to broadcast the fertilizer using a rotary spreader.

Learn the height and spread of different varieties so they can be spaced properly. Choose plants for each site, based on the amount of light the garden

Culture Spring care for perennials normally consists of removal of dead plant tops and winter mulches. Perennials need

regular, thorough watering throughout the growing season, unless all varieties planted are adapted to dry conditions. Many native perennials are suitable for drier landscapes. Check the soil two to three inches deep to determine the need for irrigation. For most perennials, one inch of water per week, applied at one time, is usually adequate. Organic mulch is advantageous for perennials, as it will keep the soil cooler and more evenly moist. Mulches inhibit weeds and keep soil from splashing on the leaves of the perennials, thereby preventing some foliar disease problems. Install organic mulches, such as wood chips, bark mulch, or cocoa bean mulch, in spring as soon as the ground warms up to about 60째 F. Do not place mulch up against the growing stems or crowns, as that can smother them or cause disease problems. Wood mulches will break down with time, so additional mulch can be added periodically. Perennials will benefit from regular fertilization, although perennials do not need high fertility. Top dress with a soluble 10-10-10 or a 50 percent slow release 18-18-8 granular fertilizer. Watersoluble fertilizers such as Miracle-Gro or Peters 20-20-20 can also be used, but they are more expensive and do not last as long as a slow release product. Fertilization is best done in the spring and early summer months. Reduce fertilization in late summer and early fall, unless the plants are nutrient deficient. When top dressing, do not allow

fertilizer granules to stay on the foliage or rest in the axils of the leaves. Weeds can compete with perennials for moisture and nutrients and can harbor diseases and insects. Weeds can be prevented with the use of a pre-emergent herbicide, or they can be removed mechanically or by hand. Post-emergent herbicides should only be used with great care and applied with the wipe method, rather than a spray. Deadheading or removing spent blossoms from perennials will keep them looking clean and may help force some new growth that will bloom again later in the season. It also keeps perennials from going to seed, which can inhibit vegetative growth. Fall care normally consists of the removal of diseased foliage. For winter protection, the tops of healthy plants should be left to help catch leaves and snow which provides additional winter protection. If the perennials are marginally hardy, apply winter mulch of marsh hay or straw after the ground is frozen and stays frozen. Remove the mulch as soon as it warms For most perennials, the control of pests and diseases is similar to that for annuals. Since perennial plants stay in the same place for years, disease inoculum can accumulate to levels requiring control. This can occur with peonies, lilies and iris. Provide good air circulation and irrigate early in the day to prevent having wet foliage during the night. Some insect

control may be necessary especially if the perennials are susceptible to viruses carried by leafhoppers or thrips, or if only a few varieties of perennials are used. Most disease problems must be addressed early in the season and preventative measures taken throughout the season. All pest problems should be attended to when first noticed. Please refer to Chapter 18 for lists of perennial varieties for different cultural and ornamental qualities. q _______________________________ Laurie Robinson is a member of the MNLA Certification Committee and can be reached at

Questions 1. T F The time of day the garden receives light is critical; typically, afternoon light is the most intense during the summer months. 2. T

F Fertilize herbaceous perennials until late fall, even if the plants are not nutrient deficient.

3. T

F The majority of named, perennial cultivars are propagated asexually from divisions, rooted cuttings, or tissue culture.

Answers: 1. True; 2. False, 3. True

MAy 2011 |



One Picture = 1,000 Words OR a Lawsuit By Patrick McGuiness, Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC

s the old saying goes, a picture is worth one thousand words. Pictures are great, they show potential customers what we can build for them and give Patrick McGuiness them ideas about what is possible. They are an effective way to communicate an idea without the need for endless words trying to explain something. Pictures can also cause problems.


The internet has made pictures of everything available to anyone with a quick image search. This is great for getting ideas for projects, and quickly accessing images for all kinds of projects. However, keep in mind that simply because an image is available for viewing online, that does not mean that you can copy and save the image for your business use. In the past few years I have had a few clients that have received letters from various stock photo companies demanding licensing fees and payment for images which a client had used on their website. Demands for payment can exceed $1000 per image and can be even more, depending on the type of image and how it was used. Bottom line is, if you don’t know where an image came from, and don’t know if you have permission to use it, don’t use the image. Another important item to take note of is the fact that even if your business hired someone else to design your website, your business can still be held liable for using an image without permission. A good way to avoid having this happen to you is to make sure any contract you have with a web designer is specific regarding where images will be coming from. Also make sure that the 20 | MAy 2011

contract provides that the designer will be responsible for defending any lawsuits relating to content which they provide for your website. Hopefully, you are now thinking about the best way to get some great images on your own that you can use for your website or marketing materials. One of the best things you can do is take some great pictures of various projects you have completed which showcase the various types of work your company does. This way your prospective clients can see an accurate portrayal of the projects your company works on.

the construction of the project. Should a homeowner object to the promotional use clause, you can always agree to remove it from the contract. If you do remove this clause, make sure you do not still use pictures of the project for promotional purposes.

"Do you have permission to use the pictures? Cover your bases and make sure you aren't exposing your company to unnecessary problems."

When gathering pictures of your projects, you still need to get the permission of the property owner. It doesn’t matter that your business did the work, or that you are the one taking the pictures. A property owner can still object to the use of images of their property for your business benefit. One of the best ways to obtain property owners permission for pictures is to have a “promotional use” clause in your sales proposals and contracts. It can be a small paragraph that grants your business the right to take pictures, make video and record written accounts of the construction and completed project. This clause is also the place to have the property owner grant your business the right to place a yard sign advertising the work on the property for a certain number of days before, during and after

While pictures are a great way to show what your company can build, they can also be the source of problems. In the end, it all centers around permission. Do you have permission to use pictures you found on the internet or elsewhere? Do you have the property owner’s permission to take pictures of construction and of the completed project? Cover your bases and make sure you aren’t exposing your company to unnecessary problems. q ________________________________ This article provides general information on business matters 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 contract law or other legal matters, please contact Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC at 651-206-3203 or Patrick McGuiness is one of the founding partners of Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC. His law practice focuses on assisting contractors & other small business owners. He is also part owner of One Call Property Care, LLC a Minneapolis landscaping & property management company.


Establish the Right Mindset By Jeff Pilla, Bachman's Floral, Gift & Garden Center urrah! Spring has finally come after a winter that seemed as though it would never end. After the past couple of years, we are due for a little good fortune. Is good Jeff Pilla fortune what keeps the P&L healthy or will the planning and preparation each of us did this winter be rewarding and profitable? I believe the greatest determining factor on the P&L statement for a business is the personnel; after all, it only takes one employee to have an adverse effect on customers, which will certainly influence profit.


According to Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, getting the right people on the bus separates companies that are mediocre from those that excel. In the current economic environment, excelling could very likely be the deciding factor for surviving the recession within our industry. Transforming a company from mediocrity requires the leadership team to define the company’s passion and commitment to being the best within the market; whether it is the best quality product, selection, ambiance, service, price, etc. they must find a niche and fill the need within their market by standing out from the rest. This process requires the team to establish a mindset consisting of persistence, patience, selfdiscipline, courage and a willingness to take a risk and must also seek employees that possess the values required to

succeed in being distinct within the market. I believe there are four essential values retail employees must possess: honesty, positive attitude, friendliness and respectfulness; notice I did not include product knowledge. Product knowledge does add value to employees, although I prefer to train product knowledge and situate my four essential values as a requirement for employment. After all, I find it practically impossible to teach an individual honesty, positive attitude, friendliness, and respectfulness. If you are interested in learning more on this topic I encourage you to read the book Water The Bamboo by Greg Bell. Here’s to a prosperous May, cheers! q ________________________________ Jeff Pilla is a member of the MNLA Garden Center Committee and can be reached at

MAy 2011 |


The Scoop | SAFETY

MN OSHA Continues to Pay TBG Members For Safety By Wayne Peterson, CSP – TBG Loss Control Representative ave you ever heard the statement, Safety Pays? In this case it literally does through the MN OSHA Safety Grant Program and continues to, by reducing serious injury exposures. A real win-win situation for TBG members.


Following are examples of safety equipment received, and or being requested, by TBG Members with funds from the MN OSHA Safety Grant Program: • Fall control equipment: harnesses, self retracting life line, anchor systems, tripod and winch • Confined space air sample equipment • Auto trapping system for a truck trailer • Arc flash and fire resistant clothing • Arc flash protective equipment • Arc suppression blankets • Lockout/tagout equipment • Trench protective devices Here’s how it works: The Safety Grant Program, administered by Minnesota OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC), awards funds up to $10,000 to

qualifying employers for projects designed to reduce the risk of injury or illness to their workers. To qualify, an employer must meet the following conditions: • The employer must have workers' compensation insurance; • The employer must come under the jurisdiction of Minnesota OSHA; • A qualified safety professional must have conducted an onsite inspection and there must be a written report with recommendations based on the inspection; • The project must be consistent with the recommendations of the safety inspection and must reduce the risk of injury or disease to employees; • The employer must have the knowledge and experience to complete the project, and must be committed to its implementation; • The employer must be able to match the grant money awarded and all estimated project costs must be covered; and • The project must be supported by all public entities involved and comply with federal, state and local regulations where applicable.

landscapers, contractors, garden centers Need information on environmental topics? Check out the Sustainable Environment Resources on! Titles include Rain Barrels, Permaculture, Business Energy Efficiency, Low Input Lawns, Native Plants, and more resources are coming soon! Content reviewed by MNLA Sustainable Environment Committee

22 | MAy 2011

How do you get this grant money? You will need two items. (1) A safety assessment and recommendation from one of the TBG loss control consultants and (2) A completed MN OSHA application form. The form has these sections: • Company information • Details of what you want to purchase • Technical verification • Implementation schedule • Participants • Current situation • Location • Benefits • Economic feasibility • Items and costs • Impact • OSHA 300 Log Summary • Additional company and insurance information TBG loss control representatives have experience in completing this process and are interested in helping you. If you’re interested in making your dollars stretch further and significantly improving your level of safety in your business, contact your TBG Loss Control Representative or Sandy Wilson at TBG, 651-389-1047 or q ________________________________ The Builders Group (TBG) is a self-insured workers’ compensation insurance fund that has been protecting Minnesota’s construction industry for more than 10 years. For more information, go to:

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2011 LANDSCAPE DESIGN TOUR July 28, 2011 | 8:00am—5:00pm | Southeast Twin Cities Metro Area

Looking for design inspiration? Join your colleagues to tour eight design sites in the southeast metro area. The stops are sure to inspire and the event will provide great networking opportunities. Bring back ideas to implement in your own designs and share your ideas with your peers! Tour stops will include (in no particular order): ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Olson Residence, Hudson, Wisconsin—Designed by Village Green Landscapes, Inc. Bailey’s Arbor, Woodbury—Designed by Savanna Designs, Inc. Simons Residence, South St. Paul—Designed by Simons Landscaping Bailey Display Gardens, Cottage Grove—Designed by Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Thomas Residence, St. Paul—Designed by Thomas Landscape of Minnesota Limited Berg Residence, Mendota Heights—Designed by Landscape Renovations Swanson Residence, Inver Grove Heights—Designed by Landscape Renovations Bohannon Residence, Inver Grove Heights—Designed by Landscape Design Studios

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2011 GARDEN CENTER TOUR August 4, 2011 | 9:00am—3:00pm | Minneapolis

Join your colleagues to tour several urban garden centers in Minneapolis including Bachman’s, Inc., Tangletown Gardens, Sunnyside Gardens, Mother Earth Gardens, and Wagner’s Greenhouses, Inc. The stops are sure to excite horticultural enthusiasts and the event will provide great networking opportunities. Bring back ideas to implement at your own garden center and share your ideas with your peers! New this year! National speaker, Judy Sharpton, will start the day off with a short seminar on “Inventory Control as it Impacts Store Design” at Bachman’s, Inc.

LOW VOLTAGE IRRIGATION: TWO-WIRE SYSTEMS (PLT RELICENSURE) August 17, 2011 | 8:00am—5:00pm | Roseville Skating Oval, Roseville

This class provides 8 hours of continuing education credits toward the Power Limited Technician (PLT) license, with material specifically oriented toward the irrigation specialist. The 8 hour class will contain 2 clock hours of specific National Electrical Code (NEC) training; and 6 hours of technical training. The 6 hours of technical training will include: Components of a Two– Wire System; Wire Connections and Grounding; Controllers and Operating Systems; System Troubleshooting; Component and Accessory Troubleshooting; and Locating Equipment. Visit for registration and details for these and other programs! Questions? Call 651.633.4987.

Sponsorships are available for these seminars. Call Betsy at 952-903-0505 or e-mail 26 | MAy 2011


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his class is sponsored by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. Enrollment is limited, and preregistration is required. To register, call 651-643-3601 or 800-676-6747, ext 211.


Container Gardening Trends from White Flower Farm Tuesday, May 3, 6:30 to 8 p.m. $15 members, $25 non-members. Location: MSHS Classroom, 2705 Lincoln Drive, Roseville. New varieties, new designs and the latest in edible container gardening. See top performers from White Flower Farm's growing trials and get tips for keeping annuals, vegetables, and herbs lush and healthy in pots. Upcoming trends and favorite combinations for sun and shade. Instructor: Barbara Pierson has been Nursery Manager at White Flower Farm for 12 years. Ms. Pierson graduated from Cornell University with a degree in floriculture and ornamental horticulture, and developed her passion for plants while working at her parents' nursery. A nationally recognized expert, Ms. Pierson is a frequent guest on national and local TV and radio shows, and is often featured in national publications, including The New York Times and Martha Stewart Living. q

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MAy 2011 |



Wetting Agents Help Meet Expectations By Sam Drahn, Bailey Nurseries, Inc. ow, did daylight savings come early this year or what? My morning commute again occurs in the dark, but the sunshine that pours in my west windows and spills onto our table at dinner time feels nothing short of magnificent. The icy, snowy mess is disappearing; I can even see some south facing curbs in Saint Paul. It may be a while before two cars can drive Sam Drahn down a residential avenue without yielding to one another, but springtime is in the air. More importantly, springtime is in the greenhouses.


When establishing plugs in large containers, growers rely on media to hydrate quickly and evenly while maintaining a good balance of moisture and air space before drying down to encourage rapid root development. Media that maintains little air space and drains poorly can impede root development and slow growth. One desirable characteristic of a media for the end consumer, once containers are full grown, is a high water and nutrient holding capacity that doesn’t dry down too

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quickly. It is important as growers to deliver a product to our customers that meets or exceeds their expectations. Applying a wetting agent to a crop before it is shipped can help reduce the amount of water a consumer needs to maintain their plants during the summer. The hydrophobic properties of commonly used media components can be overcome with wetting agents. These nonionic surfactants work by reducing the surface tension of water, allowing penetration into dry and water repellant areas and linking together water-repellent soil and water. They are designed to help uniformly wet and drain all types of growing media. Without their use, water can travel though the media unevenly and wet pockets and channels of water can appear. Picture two baskets cut in half; one where a wetting agent has been used, the other without. One could expect to see rivers of water streaking through pockets of dry media when a wetting agent was not used while a more uniformly saturated root zone occurs where a wetting agent was used. Their application improves uniformity, quality and efficiency of a growing media during crop production and beyond. However, wetting agents do break down, and over time media components will assume

their hydrophobic tendencies. Longevities are based on the products themselves, irrigation frequency, and the rates at which they are applied. Do not expect a wetting agent that is relied upon during your production cycles to persist throughout the season on the end consumers’ porch. It is important to reintroduce a wetting agent to the media at a sufficient rate and a time that will allow water to penetrate and saturate the root zone during the summer. A myriad of products are available to the commercial grower. They come in granular, liquid and tablet form. Each has their benefits and drawbacks so deciding what’s right for you and your customers is best. Treating with liquids is approximately one third the cost of applying granular products, and can be drenched into the media through an injector or as a finished solution. Label rates of 500 PPM to 1000 PPM are reported to give approximately 5-6 months of efficacy. Here in Minnesota an application around mid April through May should provide the end consumer with plants ready to soak up all the water

they are given through Labor Day. One should experiment before any large scale applications are made. Exercise any applications with caution. All of the different labels caution against applying their products over open flowers as spotting can occur on the petals. Jeff Dobbs, Director of Technical Service for OHP (marketer of Suffusion wetting agent), wrote to me, “It is advised to prespray a small selection of plants if local experience is unavailable and observe for 3-5 days for sensitivity. Be extra cautious of applying to open blooms as spotting may be seen on petals.” The last thing you want is to grow a picture perfect plant and then mar its appearance with a phytotoxic application at shipping time. With the diversity of crops most of us now grow it is next to impossible to safeguard against all possible hiccups and trial all of the items in our lines. Risk of damaging flowers can be mitigated by waiting until just before bloom, at the end of your production cycles, to apply a liquid wetting agent. Helping people become successful gardeners is one of the best ways to

ensure they will enjoy the products we produce. Relationships with customers may begin with beautiful plants but they shouldn’t end when they are purchased. Growers have a vested interest in their customers succeeding with the plants they bring home. Things we can do to improve our product, even unbeknownst to our customers, such as using controlled release fertilizer to provide lasting fertility, post harvest PGR drenches to keep blooms above the foliage and curtail unruly growth, and by applying wetting agents before shipping to improve the water holding capacity of containers can be the difference in how our products perform. Anything we can do to extend the enjoyment that beautiful plants can bring to our customers, and their customers, will increase the likelihood that they remain just that, customers. Happy Growing! q ________________________________ Sam Drahn is the chair of the MNLA Greenhouse & Herbaceous Growers Committee and can be reached at

MAy 2011 |



Summit Brewery Tour: A Huge Hit! hanks to over 100 MNLA members who joined us at the MNLA Summit Brewery Tour for an evening of networking on Thursday, March 31. We heard the history of Summit, took a tour, sampled beer, ate pizza, and enjoyed each other’s company.


Please join us at the next MNLA networking event! q

Tour guide Deb describes the brewing process while giving a tour of the brewery to MNLA members. Members enjoy networking while sampling Summit offerings.

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Several MNLA past presidents were in attendance. From left to right: Cliff Otten, Otten Bros. Nursery & Landscaping; Bob Fitch, MNLA Executive Director; John Mickman, Mickman Brothers, Inc.; Van Cooley, Malmborg’s, Inc.; Tim Power, MNLA Regulatory Consultant and MNLA Past President ; Bert Swanson, Swanson’s Nursery Consulting and MNLA current President; and Paul Morlock, Law’s Nursery.

Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC have over 20 years combined experience as small business owners in construction and landscaping. They understand what green industry business owners face on a regular basis: Contracts, Construction Law, Mechanics Liens, Business Formation, Collections, and Employment Law. MNLA members receive a discounted rate.


Race to the End at State Legislature epublican legislative leaders and Gov. Dayton’s office are racing to bridge their differences in hopes of avoiding a special session. It’s an awfully wide chasm. MNLA-supported legislation to close the DNR State Forest Nurseries is included in the Senate Environment Omnibus Finance bill. It’s ultimate fate is still uncertain. Other legislation supported by MNLA to fix an unemployment compensation snafu and maintain nursery/greenhouse provisions in Green Acres property tax legislation have been signed into law. Finally, MNLA is working with the Minnesota Business Immigration Coalition to oppose anti-business measures related to immigration, which should be properly addressed at the federal level. Watch for the May 5th edition of Grassroots eNews for the most up-todate information.



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Great Incentives for Online MNLA Membership Renewal Here’s how...Renew your membership online by June 1st to take advantage of 3 great incentives: (1) receive a free 60 day job posting on ($35 value). (2) you will be entered into a drawing to win $100 gas card at Holiday Station Stores. (3) Request a workers’ compensation insurance quote from MNLA partner TBG to receive a 10% discount off your membership dues (email for a quote form). Join your fellow MNLA members who are logging into their company profile and utilizing the tools now available to members

via, which includes renewing your membership. It is now easier than ever to renew your membership online! Go to, click your login information in the upper right corner. Never signed on before? Simply hit ‘Forgot your password” and it will step you through the process. you will need to enter the email address you have provided MNLA. If you do not have an email address on file with MNLA, please contact us at 651-633-4987 and we will get you all signed up. 11/6/06

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Enhanced Listings Coming Soon on! very MNLA member already receives a free listing in the MNLA online directory. It includes basic business information and shows which licenses and certifications your company has. All our public relation efforts and marketing points consumers to, where the directory is promoted on each and every page.


This year you’ll have a new opportunity to bolster your online presence and take advantage of the power of the GardenMinnesota brand. The new enhanced listing will be available at an introductory offer of $40, and includes these upgrades: • • • • • •

Colored background Full company description Listing floats to the top of searches Larger type for company name Logo or photo upload Graphics for map, contact, and website

Your first opportunity to purchase the enhanced listing will be when you renew your membership online. Just login to, click “Membership Renewal” in the left column, then look for “Enhanced Directory Option” during your renewal process. q

MAy 2011 |



Lino Lakes' Fifth-Grader Selected as Minnesota's Arbor Day Poster Contest Winner By Sue Flynn, MNLA Executive Assistant renna Lindblad, a fifthgrade student at Rice Lake Elementary School in Lino Lakes is the Minnesota winner of the 2011 Arbor Day Poster Contest. Her poster is featured on the cover of this month's Scoop. This is the ninth year that MNLA has been the state coordinator for the Arbor Day Poster Contest. To celebrate Brenna's winning poster, an official tree planting ceremony will be conducted at Rice Lake Elementary School this spring. Every September, all Minnesota's elementary schools are provided with a tree activities guide and information about the poster contest for Minnesota fifth-graders. They are invited to create posters reflecting a particular theme. This year's theme was "Trees are Terrific in All Shapes and Sizes." This theme teaches the students about the importance of tree diversity to the environment. Over 400 fifth-grade students throughout Minnesota participated in the 2011 competition. Jenna Fitzpatrick,


34 | MAy 2011

Crucifixion School in LaCrescent, received second place. The third place winner was Brooke Feyereisen, St. John the Baptist Catholic School, in Savage. Watch for the top three posters to be on display at the MNLA Garden at the 2011 Minnesota State Fair! q

MAy 2011 |



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Media Toolkit Online Now Real help in promoting your company now obtainable on By Jon Horsman, MNLA Communications Director

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NLA members have a new exclusive benefit – a web page filled with tips, tricks and resources all geared to helping you gain media attention. You’ll find lists of contacts for TV, radio, newspapers and magazines, sample press releases and media advisories, case studies, game plans and articles for those who’d like to dig deeper into the mind of the media.


For instance, a foundational principle is to assume that members of the media are very busy people with a short attention span. Therefore, the best approach when offering your story is to make their job as easy as possible. Their

job is to run stories that will interest a large percentage of their audience. You cannot assume they will be as excited about your latest landscaping project as you are. You have to find an angle that is unique, timely, and visually interesting. As this is a member-only perk, you have to login to to see the Media Toolkit. On the left “Bookmarks” menu, click on “Member Only Pages.” q


Minnesota Legislature Passes Green Acres/Rural Preserves Modifications By Tim Power, MNLA Regulatory Consultant Minnesota House-Senate Conference Committee passed a Green Acres modification bill (HF12/SF222) after reconciling several differences between Senate and House versions. Gov. Dayton has signed the changes into law. The following excerpt from the Legislature’s “Session Daily” report from April 7, 2011 (bold added for emphasis) explains the most significant change: “In 2008, legislators created a dual tax classification system for productive (Class 2a) and non- productive (Class 2b) agricultural land, and provided that in the future nonproductive (2b) agricultural land would no longer be allowed in the Green Acres program. In 2009, the legislature created a new program called Rural Preserves for non-productive (2b) land with tax benefits similar to Green Acres. In order for land to be enrolled in Rural Preserves, a farmer was required to develop a conservation plan for the land, and sign a covenant that the land would not be developed or farmed for a period of years. As amended, HF12/ SF222 would no longer require farmers to develop a conservation plan or sign a covenant agreement to enroll in Rural Preserves. It would also grant farmers who removed land from the Green Acres program as a result of 2008 and 2009 changes a chance to reapply for either program. ey would have until Aug. 1, 2011, to apply with their respective counties if they want to enroll this year. After that, the annual enrollment deadline would return to May 1. Conferees said that gives them time to re-pass the bill and counties time to explain the program changes to the farmers.


Sponsored by Rep. Mike LeMieur (R-Little Falls) and Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona), the bill includes a recommendation by Rep. Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) to remove a 10-acre minimum requirement to enroll in rural preserve (class 2b), which is non-tillable farmland. It was replaced with a requirement that the property, of any size acreage, be contiguous to property enrolled in Green Acres (class 2a) and under the same ownership. Sen. Rod Skoe (DFL-Clearbrook) called the change a reasonable tightening of the program.” Another significant change was the striking of the House bill’s 5-year payback language for new applicants to both the Green Acres and Rural Preserves programs, so that all old and new Green Acres/Rural Preserves program participants will now have a 3-year payback of the difference between Green Acres value and market value when affected land is removed from the program. Also, a requirement was added for a current aerial photo or satellite imagery of land being enrolled in the Rural Preserves program, so that it would be obvious what the condition of the land was at time of enrollment. Finally, the conference committee bill required another study of alternative methods for determining the taxable value of tillable and nontillable land enrolled in the Green Acres and Rural Preserves programs, due to the Legislature next winter. The modifications listed above may affect MNLA members who had land enrolled in Green Acres when the 2008 and 2009 changes occurred. This chance to reapply for Green Acres and/or Rural Preserves will be a one-time opportunity for affected landowners. Members can read the full text of the Green Acres and Rural Preserve laws by Googling Minnesota Statutes 273.111 and 273.114, respectively. q

MAy 2011 |



MDA’s Noxious Weed Advisory Committee to Review Japanese Barberry By Tim Power, MNLA Regulatory Consultant o you remember where you were on the morning of 9/11/2001? I was at a meeting of MNLA’s Plant & Pest Issues Committee (since Tim Power merged into the Nursery, Sustainable Environment and Government Affairs Committees). We met that day to hear from Minnesota DNR’s Jay Rendall about their new publication, Minnesota Invasive NonNative Terrestrial Plants: An Identification Guide for Natural Resource Managers, which identifies a number of popular landscape plants as invasive. The publication lists Amur maple, Norway maple, Japanese barberry, Russian olive, exotic honeysuckles, buckthorn, Siberian peashrub and black locust, among others. We were hot under the collar that day because DNR had listed OUR plants as invasive. I remember Jay leaning toward me during the discussion and whispering “Do you mean to tell me that you guys don’t believe these plants are invasive?” I had to say yes to Jay because, at that point, MNLA as an organization was not tuned in to the problems DNR and the natural resources community had seen and documented with these plants.


MNLA has been involved in the noxious weeds issue for many years. Up until 1985, state-designated noxious weeds were agricultural weeds only and included plants like Canada thistle and field bindweed. When regulation was proposed in Minnesota for purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) in 1985, we were faced with the demonstrated invasiveness of one of our horticultural plants for the first time. As an industry, 38 | MAy 2011

we proposed a voluntary moratorium on production of Lythrum salicaria and its cultivars. We were concerned about the anecdotal nature of the evidence of invasiveness and the emotional rather than scientific approach that seemed to prevail in public discussions and the designation process. Eventually, purple loosestrife was placed on Minnesota’s noxious weed list.

Definitions Underlying the noxious weeds issue is the broader issue of invasive plants. For the purposes of this article, I am using the following definitions, which I will then hedge on in the discussion: • Invasive plant – A plant that is nonnative to the affected ecosystem and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental health or harm to human health. • Noxious weed – An invasive plant that is so difficult to control or injurious to public health and/or the environment that it is regulated on public and private lands.

History The invasive plants issue came to the forefront in the Green Industry nationally just as it did in Minnesota when President Clinton issued an Executive Order on Invasive Species in 1999. In 2001, the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) participated in a landmark conference at the Missouri Botanical Garden entitled “Linking Ecology and Horticulture to Prevent Plant Invasions”. One result of this conference was the so-called St. Louis Declaration ( invasives/invasives.asp), which included Voluntary Codes of Conduct for Government, Nursery Professionals, the

Gardening Public, Landscape Architects and Botanic Gardens and Arboreta. The MNLA Board endorsed the Voluntary Codes in 2002. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture developed a new advisory board called the Noxious Weed Potential Evaluation Committee (NWPEC) in 2001, whose purpose was “to provide expert guidance and assistance to the Commissioner in the designation of injurious plants as noxious weeds.” NWPEC membership included “publicly financed research institutions; industry, conservation, environmental organizations; a farmer organization; a county agricultural inspector; and the MDA.” NWPEC’s most significant contribution over the next year and a half was development of a Plant Risk Assessment & Management Protocol for Minnesota, which outlined an “objective process for reviewing non-native plants and genotypes based on their potential to escape cultivation….”, along with plans to begin those reviews. MNLA participated in NWPEC and endorsed the protocol, because it met many of the objections we had in 1985 decrying the lack of a systematic, sciencebased approach to noxious weed designation. The protocol also recognized that 1) even some native plants can have invasive tendencies and 2) some plants with invasive tendencies have significant economic value that must be considered in reviewing plants. MDA budget cuts in 2002 made it impossible for NWPEC to move forward, and the noxious weeds issue sat dormant for several years. In response to a legislative request, MDA convened a Noxious Weeds Task Force in 2007, and MNLA again participated. This task force recommended revisions to Minnesota’s Noxious Weed Law,

including formation of the Noxious Weed Advisory Committee (NWAC), with membership similar to that of NWPEC, but broader in scope. The task force’s recommended revisions were passed by the 2009 legislature. See a description of the revisions at publications/pestsplants/badplants/weedlaw.pdf. NWAC spent 2010 getting organized and adopting guidelines. John Daniels, of Bachman’s Wholesale, was appointed as MNLA’s representative to NWAC. Dr. Jim Calkins, who chaired NWPEC, was elected chair of NWAC. NWPEC’s Plant Risk Assessment & Management Protocol for Minnesota was updated for NWAC and new categories were developed to better regulate plants on the noxious weed lists. Among the changes was the new category “Specially Regulated Plants,” established for plants that “may be native or have demonstrated economic value, but also have the potential to cause harm in non-controlled environments.” MDA would be required to produce plant-specific management plans for each species listed as specially regulated. Finally in 2010, NWAC reviewed plants already on the noxious weed lists and recommended several changes. Among the recommended changes, hemp and perennial sowthistle would be de-listed, poison ivy would move to the “Specially Regulated” category and the emerging weed Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) would be listed as “Prohibited:Eradicate.” These recommended changes were

approved by a Commissioner’s Order effective in March 2011. NWAC’s risk assessment protocol, category descriptions, the recent Commissioner’s Order and minutes of meetings to date are available at Now in its second year, NWAC is developing procedures for nomination of plants to be reviewed through its Risk Assessment Protocol. Nominations may come from a variety of agency, professional and public sources, but NWAC will decide early each year on a short list of plants it will review during that annual cycle. Reviews will be conducted by NWAC’s listing subcommittee and presented to the full NWAC for discussion and possible recommendation to the Commissioner. Any Commissioner’s Order resulting from NWAC’s proceedings each year should be completed early enough that County Agricultural Inspectors have time to assess changes in the noxious weed lists and be prepared to educate/enforce the new lists during the upcoming growing season. NWAC has chosen 13 plants to be reviewed through its Risk Assessment Protocol during summer 2011, for possible listing in 2012: • • • •

Japanese hops, Humulus japonicas Narrowleaf bittercress, Cardamime impatiens Dalmatian toadflax, Linnaria dalmatica Common teasel, Dipsacus fullonum

MAy 2011 |


• • • • • • • • •

Cut-leaved teasel, Dipsacus laciniatus Giant knotweed, Polygonum sachalinense Japanese knotweed, Polygonum cuspidatum Multiflora rose, Rosa multiflora Daphne, Paradise plant, Daphne mezereum Vipers bugloss, Echium vulgare Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii British yellowhead, Inula brittanica Giant hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianium

Japanese Barberry Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is considered invasive in many states in the eastern U.S. and is on the prohibited list in Massachusetts. In 2010, the Connecticut Nursery & Landscape Association (CNLA) instituted a voluntary threeyear phase-out of the 25 varieties of Japanese barberry with the highest seed production and viability, according to research done at the University of Connecticut. CNLA’s phase-out will leave 18 barberry varieties that they consider acceptable for continued sale. See pdf/GreenIndustryBarberryVolBan.pdf for details. Connecticut researchers also noted an interesting relationship between woodlands highly invaded by Japanese barberry and a higher incidence of Lyme disease, linked to high deer/rodent/tick populations.

The Wisconsin DNR lists Japanese barberry as “very invasive and widespread in states further east. Infestations in Wisconsin are more localized.” The Minnesota DNR lists the ecological threat of Japanese barberry as follows: “It invades oak woodlands and oak savannas and prefers well-drained soils. Once established, its prolific spreading shades out native plants. Japanese barberry was introduced to North America as ornamental as a living fence and for wildlife and erosion control.” The USDA-NRCS Plants Database currently reports naturalized populations of Japanese barberry in seven eastern Minnesota counties. On the plus side, Japanese barberry has been a staple in the Minnesota nursery and landscape industry for decades and has been successfully established and maintained in many landscapes. It is hardy, colorful and adaptable to a wide variety of well-drained sites. Its thorny, wide-spreading nature makes it deer-resistant and an excellent choice for hedges and natural barriers. Sales of this excellent landscape plant have been significant over the years, and producers have lots of plants to sell.

Where We are Today It has been almost 10 years since that terrible morning of 9/11. World events aside, there has been a lot of activity on the invasive species/noxious weeds issue since that time, but no additional regulation of current horticultural plants in Minnesota. However, we are in a different situation today: • The systematic, science-based approach to noxious weed nomination and designation that we sought in 1985 is now in place in the form of NWAC’s Plant Risk Assessment and Management Protocol for MN, which MNLA helped to develop. • NWAC’s membership (available on the wikispaces site above) includes several individuals who are knowledgeable and supportive of horticulture. MNLA will be represented both on NWAC and on its Listing Subcommittee. • It seems likely to me that many of the horticultural plants listed in DNR’s Terrestrial Invasive Plants list and that of the Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Council (MISAC) ( pestmanagement/misac/profiles. aspx) will be nominated and reviewed in the next few years. • It also seems likely to me that NWAC will recommend a few of those horticultural plants for Noxious Weed listing and will recommend others to be not listed, and that some may end up on the Specially Regulated list because of their horticultural value. q ________________________________________________ Tim Power is the MNLA Regulatory Consultant and can be reached at

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scholarship program.

MAy 2011 |



2010-2011 Scholorship Winner Profiles Joanna Kusilek School: University of Wisconsin - River Falls Major: Horticulture Expected Date of Graduation: December 2011 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? Growing up, summers were spent working on the family farm. My mom has always been an avid gardener and I enjoyed helping her, starting my horticulture hobby. It was more fun working in the garden and arranging cut flowers, than milking cows or sitting in the tractor. As a member of 4-H I enjoyed exhibiting cut and potted flowers at the county fair and still enjoy helping younger members with their projects. It took me a year after graduating from high school to decide on pursuing a degree in horticulture. After beginning my Horticulture degree my passion for plants and horticulture has only increased. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? I would like to work in the greenhouse management field as a grower or in production of bedding plants. After gaining experience working in the field I would some day like to start my own greenhouse business.

Heather Lee School: University of Wisconsin - River Falls Major: Horticulture-Professional Option Expected Date of Graduation: May 2011 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Gertens Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? Since I was a kid growing up on a farm, I have loved to be outside enjoying nature and the plants within it. Because I grew up on a farm, it inspired me to want to continue working in the agricultural field through college. When I first entered college I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to major in. At UWRF I have taken introductory courses to horticulture. Taking part in the labs that correspond to the classes I learned that horticulture was the field that I wanted to major in. I love to learn in the laboratory setting. I learn best by working hands on, so lab settings are my favorite way to learn. Watching the plants grow, measuring and collecting data helps me understand what we are experimenting. With the horticulture program on campus I have been taking classes to help me understand the scientific and the art aspects of horticulture. My first horticultural class was a floral design class which inspired me the most to 42 | MAy 2011

continue working in the horticultural field. I love to be creative and use my imagination with colors and textures of plants. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? My future goals include becoming part of the professional floral industry and greenhouse industry. I would like to work for a floral shop or work for a greenhouse wholesaler.

Lindsay Heggemeyer School: University of Wisconsin - River Falls Major: Horticulture Expected Date of Graduation: Fall 2012 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Robin D. Linder Memorial Scholarship Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? My parents play a big role into how I became interested in the green industry because they are both into landscaping and designing gardens. I would go with them to customer’s houses and assist them with landscape maintenance and help with the installation of the landscape, until one day when I realized that I wanted to be a landscape designer. I wanted the opportunity to come up with my own ideas to satisfy customers with an outstanding landscape and now I am going to school for Horticulture. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? My future plans consist of either owning my own landscape design/garden center or possibly working for the Minnesota DNR as a landscape architect or working for the Department of Agriculture with a job related to Horticulture.

Brita Thompson School: University of Wisconsin - River Falls Major: Horticulture Expected Date of Graduation: May 2011 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Mickman Brothers, Inc. Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? My interest in the green industry began as a child and has increased in the time since. In fact, many of my most valuable life lessons were received while interacting with plants. I first discovered the joy of pursuing challenge over comfort when I disregarded all fears and climbed a tree to a height that was exhilarating rather than safe. e pleasure of learning through investigation took root in my life while I systematically cracked the branches of several unfortunate bushes to investigate their healing abilities. Perhaps most importantly, the

values of patience, diligence and generosity were firmly planted in my heart while gardening with my grandmother; with her help I saw my labors multiplied into a bounteous harvest and then experienced the joy of sharing it with others. It was only natural then, that I should pursue a career that allows me to share some of these same lessons with others and therefore contribute to making the world a better place. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? My immediate plan is to complete a Master's degree in Public Horticulture, concentrating on the educational mission of public gardens. After that I have hopes to secure a position in a public garden where I can put what I have learned into action, developing and perfecting educational programs that can effectively impact communities and individuals.

Justin Schiroo School: University of Minnesota - St. Paul Major: Environmental Horticulture Expected Date of Graduation: Spring 2012 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Robin D. Linder Memorial Scholarship Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? Every since I was young my family had always grown vegetable and flower gardens. I found enjoyment going out to the gardens to see how the plants had grown. I was amazed how they changed and grew, and how rewarding it was to plant a seed and see it grow into a flower or vegetable. It is this feeling of accomplishment that caused me to get interested in a green industry area of study where I could learn how to grow plants and turn it into a career. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? After graduating from the University of Minnesota in the Spring of 2012 I hope to work in plant production at a nursery or greenhouse. After a few years I might look to start a new business with my experiences. I hope to eventually be active within the MNLA, and to help better the organization.

Jared Cutting School: University of Minnesota - St. Paul Major: Environmental Horticulture Expected Date of Graduation: May 2011 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? I have been interested in horticulture, landscaping, and nurseries in particular, for several years. My grandfather and great-grandfather owned and operated a retail nursery in southern Minnesota for more than eighty years. My father also worked at the nursery for many years. My grandfather, who was a member of the Minnesota Nurseryman’s Association, and my father often talked about their experiences at the nursery. As a senior in high school I took a horticulture class that covered a variety of topics and it really peaked my interest. One of my first summer jobs while I

was in high school was working as a landscaper at a nursery in Rochester. I really enjoyed the work, and I gained a lot of satisfaction when we completed each project. During that first summer I realized that I wanted to do that type of work as a career. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? Upon graduation, it is my goal to find employment working in nursery management somewhere in the upper Midwest. My desire would be to be involved in all aspects of nursery management. It would be most satisfying and fulfilling to be able to work in plant production, landscape design, retail service, personnel management, and all facets of nursery operations. I would enjoy the challenge of solving customer concerns, creating attractive designs for commercial and residential applications, and working with others who also enjoy working in horticulture. At some time in the future I would like to venture into starting my own nursery.

Stacey Noble School: University of Minnesota - St. Paul Major: Horticulture with a Biology minor Expected Date of Graduation: May 2011 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Grove Nursery, Inc. Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? I grew up in a small town on a dairy farm. I have always loved being outside and enjoy gardening and flowers as a hobby. My mother and grandmothers have influenced me greatly in moving into a career of horticulture. I have always been interested in flowers and would want nothing more than to be able to work outside and thoroughly enjoy what I do when I get into my career. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? After graduation, there are numerous options that I have looked into. After working at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum the past two summers, I have found that Botanical Gardening and Arboretums are something I am very interested in. is said, an internship on the east coast or abroad may be an option. If that does not work I can see myself working in the floriculture industry for a larger floral wholesaler or a breeding company. I find the floriculture industry to be extremely intriguing and enjoyable so that is where I see myself eventually getting a job if I got that route after graduation.

Jack Meyers School: University of Minnesota - St. Paul Major: Horticultural Science Expected Date of Graduation: May 2011 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Wilson’s Nursery, Inc. Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? e last few years I have pushed to be more organized in my scheduling, whether it is school, athletics or hobbies. Although I feel like I have no time for anything else, I realized my whole childhood growing up this is what I worked for and have shown the most MAy 2011 |


interest in. at is why it sticks. My schoolwork constantly revolves around golf course and horticultural studies. While I am trying to process the knowledge, I am also trying to make sense of certain object’s uses and the reasons as to why. Outside of school I play on the men’s volleyball team at Minnesota. We keep a busy travel schedule, playing both club and NCAA teams and being gone just about every other weekend. Although, without preseason starting yet I have had a lot of time to focus on school and other hobbies like basketball and golf. As of late, I also have started practicing with the women’s volleyball team here, helping them with certain things and trying to help out with what I can. I played basketball, golf, and volleyball in high school and have found it tough to let them go. erefore, I use them to keep me in shape and to continue to do thing things that make me happy. Growing up surrounded by sports really sparked an interest in this field, and the golf course industry. I feel golf allows fans and players to truly see and appreciate how beautiful a landscape can be, and what a group of individuals can accomplish at ends meet. is is the reason as to why I am solely intrigued in golf course maintenance, versus up keeping something like a soccer field or arena or baseball diamond. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? College is an intricate path that serves as a turning point in anyone attending's life. For me it has served as a reminder of what I find important to my future, something I can enjoy and take pride in. Something this special and interesting entailed me to look further down the road, looking into a career in becoming a golf course superintendant. With such a goal in mind, career goals must be set. I expect out of myself that I take as much away, asking questions and getting involved, from each opportunity working on a golf course. In doing this I wish to climb the totem pole and push to try and work for some of the best courses in the country where I will learn what very few have the chance to.

Michaela Ostertag School: University of Minnesota - St. Paul Major: Environmental HorticultureLandscape Design Expected Date of Graduation: December 20, 2010 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Tangletown Gardens LLC Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? I have always been interested in the outdoors and ultimately knew that I would end up working in a career that let me do so. is is particularly because I grew up hunting, fishing, camping and hiking with my family. I became interested in landscape design when I was fifteen when I decided to build my first pond. I enjoy taking a worn down landscape and turning it into a place that people love to hang out and gather. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? After I graduate, I plan on taking the MNLA exam and getting a job or internship in the industry. Later in life, I hope to open my own restaurant in northern Wisconsin 44 | MAy 2011

or Minnesota that would be very community oriented while at the same time landscaping for residential home and cabin owners. My hopes are to reduce the amount of invasive plants used in a landscape, to create spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also loved by those who use them, and to get children excited about the outdoors.

Justin Thomas Meier School: University of Minnesota - St. Paul Major: Forest Resources BS Urban Forestry Expected Date of Graduation: May 2011 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Rochester Arborist Workshop Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? I was first introduced to the arboriculture industry in 2009 when I took an arboricultute class taught by Gary Johnson at the University of Minnesota. I applied for and recieved an internship with the International Society of Arboriculture that summer. During the internship, I was introduced to the industry and attended the ISA's international conference in Providence, RI. While at the conference, I met many professionals from the industry and have pursued education for an eventual career in the industry ever since. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? After graduation, my plans are to get my feet wet by working as an arborist in the industry where I would eventually aspire to become a sales arborist. Also, I still haven't ruled out going back to school for a masters degree in some aspect of the green industry, such as green roof technology. I believe that green roofs are a realistic alternative to the milllions of bare rooftops that currently comprise America's cities. Becoming a leader in promotiong green roof applications could help our cities become more environmentally sound by reducing stormwater runoff, reducing heat loss in the winter, and helping to keep buildings cool in the summer.

Ryland Sorensen School: Rochester Community & Technical College Major: Horticulture/Floriculture Expected Date of Graduation: May 12, 2011 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Rochester Arborist Workshop Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? I became interested in growing vegetables since I was in elementary school. My best friend's dad owns a farm in Rochester called Sleepers Produce and since we were in elementary we would help out with all the vegetable production. Like seeding trays with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and melons. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? I would like to further my education in organic horticulture and sustainable food gardens in urban areas or places where, healthy, good quality, natural and affordable produce is hard to find. I would like to experience many

different areas of organic horticulture and sustainable agriculture but mostly I just want to help people. After I have more experience and knowledge and believe there's not much else left for me to experience, I would like to become a teacher.

Kara Przybilla School: Hennepin Technical College Major: Landscape Design Expected Date of Graduation: May 2012 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Malmborg's, Inc. Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? I’ve always been passionate about protecting our natural resources and in 2002 I received a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife. Shortly after I realized that it wasn't quite the perfect fit for me. en in 2005, after I bought my first house I discovered I loved gardening and wanted to spend every waking minute working in my yard! I've always had a little bit of a creative side as well so I thought long and hard about my career plans and I decided to try my hand at Landscape Design. So far I'm loving the program and feel that I made the right decision! What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? I hope to get a job designing landscapes for homeowners in particular. I would like to stick with my passion regarding natural resources and try to maintain an equal balance of beauty and nature while doing my work. I would like to encourage the use of native plants and environmentally friendly products and practices wherever possible.

Jennifer Nguyen School: Hennepin Technical College Major: Horticulture/Urban Forestry Expected Date of Graduation: Spring 2011 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Countryside Gardens, Inc. Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? I have always enjoyed gardening with my mother since I was a kid. As a child, plants mainly existed in the form of exotic vegetables, the crab tree, a shrub rose outside our home and Kaplans Woods in our backyard. Plants and gardening has always been a hobby in my life. And I have always loved being outdoors. It wasn't until last fall, as I was sitting at my cubicle at my office job did I realize I needed a career change. I decided I'd rather get carpal tunnel from digging in the dirt than from a keyboard. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? I am currently working on a two year degree which will eventually transform to a four year degree. My passion lies in the production and growing of plants. erefore, I see myself in a nursery or greenhouse. I have the work ethic it takes to be an excellent grower: attention to detail, patience, a keen eye. What I lack for the moment is the knowledge and education. e scholarship awarded to me will help me immensely in this area. ere are no words to express how truly thankful I am for this gift.

Brianne Vanderwal School: Hennepin Technical College Major: Landscape Design and Construction Expected Date of Graduation: Spring 2012 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Heidi's Lifestyle Gardens Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? I have always loved nature as a child. My family always had a garden, so I spent most of my summers outside watching things grow. While working for several nurseries I discovered that I have a passion for plants, and that a career in the green industry is perfect for me. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? At this point; I am not entirely sure. Right now I am focusing on the design side of the industry, but I would also like to be more involved with the horticultural side.

Nancy Mason School: Hennepin Technical College Major: Landscape/Greenhouse Tech Expected Date of Graduation: 2012 MNLA Member Scholarship CoSponsor: Wilson’s Nursery, Inc. Please explain how you got interested in a green industry area of study? I have been in the landscape industry for many year but wanted to expand my knowledge through secondary education. What are your future plans in the green industry after graduation? I am going to use my education to help educate the public on the importance of plant health care and creating a more sustainable landscape.

More scholarship winners will be featured in the June Scoop! q

MAy 2011 |


The Scoop | CAREERS

FFA Includes Premier Leaders By Jodi Larson, MNLA Foundation Green Industry Careers Project Coordinator he Minnesota State FFA Convention is taking place May 1-3 this year on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul Campus. The FFA, known to many as the Future Farmers of America, prides itself in the breadth and depth of its members, “the Future Biologists, Future Chemists, Future Veterinarians, Future Engineers and Future Entrepreneurs of America, too.” MNLA has assembled a great team that will represent our industry through workshops, demonstrations and a career fair exhibit. The MNLA Foundation has also sponsored an award in the Nursery Operations proficiency area and will attend a luncheon with the award recipient.


ambitious. It’s no wonder, given the organization’s mission of being “dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.” These are the type of students you’d want to employ. The knowledge, passion and

46 | MAy 2011

-Call your local school and see if they have an agricultural education program. If they do, talk to the instructors and find out how you can help to support their efforts. Visit the Schoolhouse portion of by clicking on the schoolhouse logo at the bottom of the page. There you can check out the listing of schools that are looking for volunteers. Or email to find out more.

All of this is a part of the MNLA Foundation’s vision to reach more students, educating them about the many career opportunities available creating and caring for the outdoor living environment. The FFA and agricultural education as a whole are a vital part of this outreach. If you’ve ever attended an FFA event, you know that these aren’t your average high school youth. Students involved in FFA seem so much more inspired, competent, and

-Visit and get familiar with the website. When you run across young people that would be a good fit for the industry, point them back to the website so they can explore their options.

You can help us build the future of our industry one classroom at a time. q

dedication they bring with them will benefit our industry greatly. There are a number of ways that you can be involved in this effort:


First Editions® Little Devil™ Ninebark By Vickie Pondell, Bailey Nurseries Inc.

inebarks, native to eastern and central North America, are remarkably durable. In Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs, Dr. Michael Dirr writes, “The species is adaptable to all conditions probably even nuclear attacks, and once established, requires a bulldozer for removal.” This statement accurately describes the large, easy to grow ninebarks.


First Editions® Little Devil™ Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolis ‘Donna May’) is an innovative 2011 introduction that possesses a compact habit and is hardy like the species. This cross with Diabolo® and Dwarf Ninebark in the parentage was bred by Dr. David Zlesak, a professor of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. One of the greatest attributes of Little Devil is that is attains a height and spread of 3-4’ compared to Common Ninebark that grows from 6-10’. The compact size requires little to no pruning and lends itself to be utilized as a specimen plant or a hedge. Little Devil is especially advantageous for smaller gardens and close spaces in the landscape.

Plant of the Month

varying soils. Once established, the deep root system allows this variety to be drought tolerant. This tough plant does not need to be in a protected location. Little Devil is also virtually free from pest and disease issues. Little Devil is attracting positive reviews throughout the nursery industry. In late January, it won Best New Plant Introduction for 2011 at the ANLA Garden Idol live event. Little Devil’s compact habit, attractive foliage, hardiness, and low maintenance qualities make it a new star for the garden. q ___________________________________ Vickie Pondell is a member of the MNLA Nursery Committee and can be reached at

Not only is the habit of Little Devil petite, so are the lobed leaves. The foliage is a bright, glossy burgundy hue, and the stems are red. The dark vegetation emphasizes the light pinkish white flowers that emerge in the spring and attract butterflies. Little Devil’s color flourishes in full sun and contrasts well with green and golden varieties. The plant may be pruned to display the exfoliating bark that is pronounced during the winter. Little Devil is able to grow in a wide range of conditions just like Common Ninebark. It is hardy in zones 3-7 and grows in MAy 2011 |


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

The Scoop Online – May 2011  

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

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