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Insights and Information for Green Industry Professionals

VOLUME 34, NUMBER 11 November 2011

January 3, 2012 | Minneapolis Convention Center

A full day of education added to your Expo experience PAGE 24 & INSERTS What’s on the Horizon for La ndsc Lighting? (PLT Relicensure) ape

Calling All Customers: Retail Communication Strategies

Weeds, Trees & Turf Diseases

Permeable Paver Systems

A Simple “Thanks” Equals Smart Business

A Platform for Professional Promotion

Trees Provide Stormwater Benefits




A NL sium M o w Ne Symp 27 ge O CE pa


From the President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Commercial Arborists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 State Fair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Public Relations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14, 47 Green for Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Landscape Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16-20 Certification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21-22 Super Tuesday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Northern Green Expo . . . . . . . . . . . . 25-31 Careers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 MNLA Shoot Out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33-34 MNLA Foundation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36, 38 Government Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37, 43 MDA Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Stormwater Management . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Business Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Plant of the Month . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

ADVERTISER INDEX Baker Lake Nursery .........................20

JRK Seed and Turf Supply.................46

Belgard Hardscapes - Northfield ......19

Kage Innovation .............................46

Bullis Insurance Agency...................28

Kubota Dealers ...............................23

Carlin Horticultural Supplies/ProGreen Plus ...........................................41

Natural Industries ...........................33

Casualty Assurance..........................22 Central Landscape Supply................39 Cherokee Mfg..................................32 Cushman Motor Co. Inc ....................43

North Country Ford .........................20 Out Back Nursery ............................18 Plaisted Companies.........................37 Quality Insurance Service ..................4

Custom Truck Accessories .................18

RDO Integrated Controls ..................13

Evergreen Nursery Co., Inc. ..............44

Titan Machinery ........................11, 48

Fury Motors ....................................29

Truck Utilities & Mfg. Co.....................4

Gardenworld Inc..............................28

University of Minnesota Continuing Education.....................................9

Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supplies .....................................21 Jeff Belzer Chevrolet .........................5

Vermeer Sales & Service ..................17 Ziegler Cat........................................3


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Upcoming Events November 3-5 – TCI Expo. Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT. To learn more, or register, please visit 3-8 – Irrigation Show and Innovations in Irrigation Conference. San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, Calif. To learn more, visit 18 – MNLA/MTGF Pesticide Recertification. University of Minnesota Continuing Education & Conference Center, St. Paul. For more information, see page 38 or

MNLA Mission

12 – Lunch ‘n Learn: PGRs on Woody Plants. MNLA Office, Roseville. For more information, see page 38 or visit

January 3 – Super Tuesday. Minneapolis Convention Center. For more information, see page 24 or! 3 – MNLA CEO Symposium. Hyatt Regency Hotel, Minneapolis. For more information, see page 27 or 4-6 – Northern Green Expo. Minneapolis Convention Center. Registration now open at 18-20 – Mid-Am Trade Show. Navy Pier, Chicago. More information available online at 20 – MNLA Certification Exam. Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park. For more information, see page 38 or visit




If interested in sponsoring, please call Betsy Pierre, 763-295-5420 /


GR EN E Reserve Booth Space Now! or call 651-633-4987

January 4-6, 2012 | NOvEMBER 2011

651-633-4987, fax 651-633-4986 Outside the metro area, toll free: 888-886-MNLA, fax 888-266-4986 •



Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association 1813 Lexington Ave. N. Roseville, MN 55113

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 • 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.

• Pay exactly what you owe with monthly self-audited billing • Competitive up-front rates • All profits and investment income are returned to the members

Save 15-65% on Telecom and Merchant Services

Rebates range from $1,000 − $6,000 on your choice of Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler vehicles. Available to all MNLA members! Contact Mary at the MNLA office for more information 651-633-4987.

Save 5¢ on every gallon purchased at SuperAmerica. Save 5¢ on every gallon purchased at Holiday Stationstores. Monitor your mileage, gas usage, and vehicle maintenance more effectively. No annual fee!

Contact Dan Bauman, The Credit Card Dr. Office: (877) 272-0741 | Direct: (651) 207 6867

NOvEMBER 2011 |



Leadership is Action, NOT Position By Bert T. Swanson, Swanson's Nursery Consulting

7. Invite open discussions.

ow often do we look at people in our companies, and in our local towns, cities counties and the nation for leadership answers and solutions just because they are in a particular position to provide that result? Most likely, far too often. In my opinion, position does not equate to, or guarantee much of anything. For constructive activities success, it takes leadership and action at all levels of leadership and all positions in any organization.

8. Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate.


9. Stay open to continued suggestions. 10. Develop presentation toolkits.

Bert Swanson

One key factor in success is to establish a core of community within the organization to facilitate all leaders. For organizational or company communities to be successful, Seth Kahan, author of Getting Change Right (2010) (, indicates that these company communities must have three dimensions: 1. Business Benefits: Improved operations performance, innovation, and increased engagement. 2. Community or Common Concerns: Common cause and shared motivation that drives people to collaborate leading to a field of expertise. 3. Participant Payoffs: Clear, inspiring and compelling notification of each person to show up and give his or her best. Remember our Keynote Speaker at Green Expo 2011 wherein Steve Keating discussed “360 Degree Leadership”: you can take action and make a difference by your actions both up and down the chain of command. Your expertise is needed in both directions. Good community performance, up and down the ladder within your organization provides the opportunity to influence leadership and to access resources, while simultaneously the participant payoff includes proximity to power and professional visibility. To build performance communities, leaders need to enable colleagues and cultivate relationships built on trust and healthy growth. According to Kahan, the following are some actions leaders can take to promote good leadership and build communities: 1. Share the idea with everyone who has a stake in success. 2. Interact with potential members. 3. Identify a social architect. 4. Identify resident experts. 5. Invite people to participate. 6. Make it easy for members to contact each other. 8 | NOvEMBER 2011

Once a successful community has been established and is working, it creates value, but this value must be maintained, fed, promoted and increased relative to the dimensions listed above. This is why some leaders in the company community must be in constant touch with participants by engaging in conversation, opening up the door to new ideas and to new ways of generating business and individual value, and to harvesting unique experiences for all members. A successful company community facilitates the possibility of successfully engaging in the renewal of your business. The current economic status may make this renewal more difficult, but it may also make it mandatory. To accomplish this, I would recommend a book by Leo Hopf and William Welter, titled: Re-Think, Re-Invent and Re-Position, 2010, published by Adams business, Avon, MA. Early section titles state: “Renewing a Business is not the same as Running it,” and “No Business Grows Forever, but there are always Growth Businesses.” While some leaders successfully renew their businesses, and others try and fail, most leaders never even make the attempt: No Action! Renewal is seldom easy and carries more risk of outright failure in the near-term than riding the business through maturity and into decline. However, renewal does offer the possibility of meaningful reward. The authors state that: “Businesses that successfully renew, enjoy the levels of growth and margins that restore them to a valued position in the company’s overall portfolio.” Knowing when it is time to renew a business is dictated by seven indicator categories as follows: 1. Senior Leadership. 2. Business Metrics. 3. Customer Base. 4. Industry and Competition. 5. Workforce. 6. Leadership. 7. Gut Feeling. All of these categories are important, but action by the Senior Leaders is first and most important. Hopf and Welter now provide 12 Strategies to achieve the needed renewal. These are presented in detail for which I will refer you to the book.

However, whether you are in the maturity stage of your business, or are getting close to, or are past the renewal stage, action is required by business leaders. Every business leader, no matter the type or size of business they lead, is faced with six very basic responsibilities. Hopf and Welter state these responsibilities as follows: 1. Understand and communicate the vision, values and goals of the organization. 2. Sense the signals of tomorrow. 3. Make sense of these signals in light of the business’s vision, values and goals. 4. Decide on a course of action in a timely manner. 5. Act on the decision. 6. Be prepared to do it all over again. To accomplish all of this, the authors provide excellent guidelines via two types of organizations which operate in different dynamic environments, but are consistently capable of renewal. They are: The U.S. Military and Professional Service Firms. The information provided on these two types of businesses offers some great insight into business renewal. The authors state: “Renewal Takes More Than Brains.” Regardless of your business type, the renewal responsibilities (Action) of all leaders are straightforward and easy to explain: “Leaders have to learn how to sense, to make sense, to decide, and to act; all in the context of your vision, values and goals.” Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. Merry Christmas to all of you and your families. May we all enjoy and celebrate these special events for their true meaning, and for which we are so fortunate. q ___________________________________ Bert Swanson is president of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association. He can be reached at

NOvEMBER 2011 | 555

9 555



Experience, The Measure of Value from left to right - Steve Thomson, WCCO; Steve Sylvester, S & S Tree; Steve Hedberg, Hedberg Landscape Supplies; Dave Swanson, S & S Tree

By Steve Sylvester, S&S Tree Specialists

he more passionate you are about something, the more you want to know about it. The more knowledge and experience you accumulate, the more you want to share. We feel that way about outdoor living. We want to help people get the most out of beautiful Minnesota no matter the season. To share that passion and experience, we took to the airwaves and started The S&S Tree Specialists Yard and Garden Show on WCCO radio AM 830 each Saturday at Steve Sylvester noon. We’ve spent the last two summers educating and entertaining our listeners with tips, tricks and experiences from the green industry. The results are in and, we’re happy to say people like us! We’re third in our time slot ahead of most major radio stations. We have been asked by WCCO to expand our show from a seasonal to year-round. If you listen to our show, you will hear many MNLA member firms who advertise on the program! We couldn’t have achieved this level of success without the support from the MNLA and its members. This season has been a fruitful partnership. Jon Horsman, MNLA Communications Director, has been particularly helpful in providing weekly content through the Green Industry Update and scheduling interesting guests. With his help our show has become an avenue to promote professionalism within the green industry, specifically MNLA member companies. We’ve used this as a


10 | NOvEMBER 2011

platform to push people to to educate and ignite their passion for outdoor living. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the MNLA for their contributions to our show for the past two seasons. We’re looking forward to a continued partnership. We’ve partnered with the MNLA because they share the same passion for the outdoors as we do. Their experience has been invaluable to our company as we’ve grown from a tree care company to a full service outdoor living company. Unlike a national organization, they’re local. They understand what it’s like to love, and sometimes hate, all things Minnesota. They’re also advocates for all things local. They teach, inspire and grow (pun intended) with our businesses. Their mission is to help our businesses run more effectively. Mission accomplished. If you’re interested in being a guest on the S&S Tree Specialists Yard and Garden Show, email with your name and topic idea. q _______________________________________________ Steve Sylvester is a member of the MNLA Commercial Arborists Committee and can be reached at

The Scoop | STATE FAIR

2011 MNLA State Fair Garden Display t was another successful year for the Minnesota State fair with record breaking attendance on Sunday of Labor Day weekend. The weather was hot and dry - perfect for attending the Fair and visiting the MNLA garden display.


Many fairgoers make the garden a regular stop during their day at the Fair. They love to see "what's new in the garden." This year our handouts were so popular, we ran out! Fair visitors took away copies of the 2011 GardenMinnesota yearbook, full-color maps of the garden and the very popular "flower on a stick" fans. This incredible garden was created and is maintained entirely by MNLA volunteers. There are many hours that go into making the garden ready for the opening day of the Fair. We were very short on volunteers for the work days this year. Please think about getting your company involved in this project in 2012 - "Many hands make light work!"

Subcommittee for their vision for the garden, and dedication of time and energy to this project. • To Jim Calkins and Heidi Heiland for providing daily demonstrations on the "Dirt" stage in the Ag-Hort Bldg. • To the MNLA members who staffed the garden during the Fair. • To the MNLA members who supplied plants and materials for the garden. • To the MNLA members who worked in the garden digging, weeding, planting in the hot days prior to the Fair. Special Thanks… To Bill Mielke of Wilson's Nursery. The MNLA staff is continually amazed at Bill's leadership, management, and attention to detail. The garden display could not come together every year without his tireless efforts.

Thank you… • To the horticulture students from Hennepin Technical College who helped again this year with spring clean up and soil preparation. • To Amanda Podoll and members of the State Fair

THANK YOU to these companies who donated time and materials to the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA) garden this year: Bachman's, Inc. Bailey Nurseries Dakota County Technical College Gardeneer, Inc. Gertens Green Valley Greenhouse Greenleaf Nursery Company Grove Nursery, Inc. Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supply Hennepin County Technical College Illumiscapes Irrigation by Design Landworks Design Group 12 | NOvEMBER 2011

e Lawn Ranger Malmborg's Garden Center & Greenhouse Mickman Brothers Natureview Landscaping, Inc. One Call Property Care LLC Rum River Tree Farm and Nursery S & S Tree Specialists, Inc. SP Hanily Construction Sylva Corporation, Inc. Timberwall Landscape & Masonry Products, Inc. Twin Orchards Nursery Wild Ways to Garden Wilson's Nursery, Inc.


Saying “Thanks” Minnesota Nice or Smart Business? By Nissa Tupper, Field Outdoor Spaces is the holiday season when many of us will gather with family and friends to say “thanks” for the good things in life. Perhaps you’re thankful for health, the addition of a new family member, or a Nissa Tupper roof over your head. In addition to the good things in your personal life, what about the good things related to the business you’re part of?


Whether you’re a business owner, manager or employee, there are many things related to the business you’re part of that are important to be thankful for; the most critical being the people. At first glance, one may first notice how people-customers, employees, and vendors/business partners-make the business “machine” run smoothly. Sure, that’s something to be thankful for.

happy employees. What makes a happy employee? Many things, one of which is feeling appreciated. Research has shown that more employees leave their jobs due to lack of appreciation than lack of compensation. Wow, the power that a simple “thanks” can have! So remember to also show gratitude to your employees and fellow co-workers for the effort they contribute. An appreciated employee is more likely a passionate employee, which benefits everyone. Say thanks in a way that’s meaningful for your individual employees and co-workers - perhaps it’s a verbal “thanks,” a happy hour, or a day off - you know them best. Saying “thanks” doesn’t stop with customers and employees. Another critical piece to a successful business

involves our vendors and business partners. We don’t just pay them to complete an order, we depend on them to help us deliver the best products and services, and do so on time. A “thanks” for helping us run the best business we can is certainly in order here. The message is clear. During this season of gratitude, don’t underestimate the power of an old-time courtesy. Remember to say “thanks” this season to all of the people who matter. It’s not just “Minnesota Nice” - your business reputation, and success, depends on it. q ________________________________ Nissa Tupper is a member of the MNLA Public Relations Committee and can be reached at

But in addition to making the business run, these groups of people also create the business reputation...and a solid business reputation is one of the most important components for a successful business. So let’s not forget to say “thanks” this season to the people who matter to our business. We might immediately go to thanking customers - after all, they “pay the bills,” right? They buy services and goods from us, hopefully give us positive ratings on Angie’s List and recommend our business to others. So send them a simple card, an e-mail or thank them in person. Without happy customers, we wouldn’t be in business. Done, right? Well, not so fast. Let’s look back in the process - how do we get happy customers? In addition to delivering on what was promised, happy customers are developed in part by NOvEMBER 2011 |


line Deadline Approaching on d a e D ber m e Deadline Approaching v No 2012 MNLA Landscape Awards



on 2012 MNLA Landscape Awards

Application Deadline: Wednesday, November 16 at 5 p.m. in the MNLA office. Note: Applications sent by mail that do not arrive prior to 5 p.m. on November 16 will not be considered regardless of their postmarked date. Purpose and Objective: e purpose of the MNLA Landscape Awards Program is to bring recognition to outstanding examples of landscape design, landscape installation, and landscape management. e objective of the program is to promote professional excellence and to encourage greater public awareness of the aesthetic and environmental benefits of landscaping. Eligibility: MNLA business members may submit one contracted project per designer or project manager per year. Nonmembers are not eligible to submit entries. Applications: A complete Landscape Awards Application can be found online at Questions?: e Landscape Awards Committee is available to answer questions about your entry. Check your Member Directory for their contact info, or visit the Landscape Awards display at Northern Green Expo 2012 on Wednesday, January 4 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. or on ursday, Janurary 5 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Landscape Awards Program Sponsors:

14 | NOvEMBER 2011

September 22, 2011 was “Green for Life Day” in Minnesota, the second year MNLA has set aside a day for members to build community by giving back to and enriching their local community. Over 50

Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA) member-companies all across Minnesota planted trees at schools in their local communities. Students from Winona to Park Rapids, Woodbury to Delano, Chanhassen to Duluth, North Minneapolis to South St. Paul witnessed a tree planting and learned about the environmental work trees do for our

environment. For the second year, MNLA also received a gubernatorial proclamation of our "Green for Life Day" in Minnesota. As with last year’s event, many members reported very meaningful times of interacting with the students. Green for Life 2012 helped to remind everyone that fall is a great time to plant a tree, and provided an outdoor learning opportunity for students. Though we didn’t acheive similar coverage to last year, television stations and newspapers around the state picked up the story again. For a full report and links to Green for Life stories in the media, go to

Thank you to the 2012 Green for Life participants! A Top Notch Equipment Amity Creek Landscaping Andreas Garden Services Inc. Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Berg’s Nursery Bloomington Garden Center & Landscape Co. C.G.T. Ltd. Central Landscape Supply CurbSide Landscape and Irrigation Dolan’s Landscape Center, Inc. Emerald Companies, Inc. Field Outdoor Spaces, Inc. Flying W Gardens LLP Funfar Landscaping, LLC Gertens Green Lake Nursery, Inc. Greenwood Nursery. Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens, Inc. Irrigation By Design, Inc.

Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden Center, Inc. Johnson Creek, Inc. Kelley & Kelley, Inc. Klaus Nurseries Landscape Renovations, Inc. LandSculpt, Inc. Malmborg’s Inc. Mickman Brothers, Inc. Midwest Landscapes Minnesota State Horticultural Society Northway Irrigation, Inc. Oak View Nursery One Call Property Care LLC Otten Bros. Nursery & Landscaping, Inc. Outdoor Decor LLC Outdoor Lab PRO Landscape Maintenance Rainbow Treecare S. K. Landscapes

Sarah’s Cottage Creations Schulte’s Greenhouse & Nursery Sculptured Earth, Inc. Sequoia Landscape Company, LLC Southview Design St. Croix Tree Service St. Croix Valley Landscaping Stars & Stripes Lawn & Landscape Stonepocket, Inc. Swanson’s Nursery Consulting, Inc. Terra Forma Design LLC The Lawn Ranger Inc. The Mustard Seed Landscaping and Garden Center Trio Landscaping Van Buren Landscape Village Green Landscapes, Inc. Willow River Tree Farm and Landscaping Winona Nursery NOvEMBER 2011 |



Outdoor Kitchens: Some Considerations By Eric Baldus, TerraVista Landscape Design LLC

Photo courtesy of TerraVista Landscape Design LLC

s more people are looking to have outdoor rooms added to their homes, one of the big requests has been “outdoor kitchens.” These “kitchens” can be as simple as just some extra landing space for the grill or as elaborate as having a wood-fired oven and a sink. I am going to discuss a few design considerations and some different options when contemplating creating one of these for your clients.


First off, there are a number of companies offering prefabricated units that you can “drop-in” vs. a custom fabrication. The options range from a product line that has a few different models to some that are modular and rather configurable. Most often these units already have a veneer of pavers on the outside. If you are not looking to use a paver application on the outside and want to use either a stucco or stone veneer, then there is yet another prefab style product. These are basically the frame and the skin that you would use to house the appliances and cabinets. These will bolt together and then you veneer what ever product you want onto the outside of the unit. We have been fabricating our kitchens in house, utilizing welded steel and dura-rock to form the housings. We have found this to be very cost effective and ultimately customizable. When discussing an outdoor cooking space with your client, it is important to find out what they are planning on doing with the space. Do they need just some extra space to use as a bar top for entertaining or do they plan on doing a lot of cooking outside? Are they just grilling or are they thinking about preparing meals outside during the nice months? If they are thinking about cooking, it will be best to add an auxiliary burner, maybe even two. You can cook a wide variety of meals from two burners and a grill. If the thought is to do more meals outside, it is good to plan for having a few drawers outside for miscellaneous items so that they do not have to go in and out of the house for various utensils. I like to have a large cabinet drawer set to be able to store a couple of pots and maybe some dishes for use outside. Large cabinets are also nice for charcoal if they are utilizing a charcoal grill. They are also nice for storing a couple of blankets for cooler nights. I have a cabinet with a stand up mixer lift (we do a lot of baking outside with a wood-fired oven). This takes a

16 | NOvEMBER 2011

Photo courtesy of TerraVista Landscape Design LLC

Photo courtesy of County Materials Corporation

lot of work out of moving that inside when we are not using it. One of the items that I like to incorporate into most kitchens is a cooler drawer. Many people think that they would like a refrigerator for outside. The costs are typically very high and a standard fridge is not made to be used outside. These units fill with ice in order to keep perishable items cool for a weekend of cooking or beverages chilled for an evening of entertaining. The surfaces are also a big consideration when planning an outdoor space. Stainless steel is by far the most popular option for drawers and doors. This offers a long lasting professional look, but requires a lot of cleaning. We have found a couple of manufacturers that make exterior cabinets using HDPE (high density Polyurethane) that have a very nice traditional look to them without the maintenance issues.

make a polished countertop look dirty. Concrete is another option, although I would be wary of using it if the space is not covered. Also, be careful of the colors that you choose for the top because if it is not covered, the sun will heat up dark surfaces enough that you may not need a grill to cook your food. All said, there are a lot of considerations when designing an outdoor kitchen space. These are just a few of them. Planning is everything, and like all design, a poorly designed space is an unused space. q ________________________________________________ Eric Baldus is a member of the MNLA Landscape Design Committee and can be reached at

The countertop is also a very important consideration when putting a kitchen together. Make sure that you have plenty of space on either side of the grill and any other accessory. This landing space determines the functional ability of an outdoor kitchen. The most common countertop is Indiana limestone due to the low cost and availability. This needs to be at least 2� thick in order to be able to last. Granite and soapstone are a couple of other good options, I prefer a honed surface verses a polished one. Being outside they will always be having something blow in on to the surface and even raindrops will

NOvEMBER 2011 |



"Yard Crashers” Points to the Importance of Professional Landscape Design and Installation By David Sonka, MNLA CP. Landscape Design Studios, LLC. his might make me sound like a broken record if you’ve ever talked with me for more than five minutes about the landscape design profession, or if you David Sonka have happened to read an article that I have contributed to the Scoop in the past. But I will underscore this again: we landscape designers (collectively) are invaluable to this industry, serving as a vital link between the ever-diverse needs


of our clients with the growers, manufacturers, suppliers, garden centers, and contractors of Minnesota. Landscape designers employ many levels of knowledge and abilities in our services. It is important for us to uphold high professional standards and to recognize the value in the services we provide, so that the consumer will recognize the value in the services we provide for them. Don’t ever let yourselves be undervalued! With that said… There is a program on the DIY network that I have really enjoyed watching on Sunday afternoons (while designing something) called "Yard

A Deeper Shade of Green Local Genetic Origins


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Crashers." What a great show, and what a truly great premise for a show! The fact that it is on the DIY network (the "Do-It-Yourself network") and has a premise where people who are quite possibly fledgling away at their own landscape improvement projects might benefit significantly from the aid of a true team of professionals, is an awesome thing to see. The "client prospects" are found drifting through their local supply stores, with the look of bewilderment as they try to piece together their own landscape projects. They often have very lofty ambitions and are maybe even off to a respectable start, but they just seem to have gotten into a rut or have more

than they might be able to handle as a "weekend warrior." These people are stalked and accosted by the host, Ahmed Hassan, who is a great character as he amusingly trails these people and practically begs them for his help. Whether these people are "in-tune" with the actual premise of the show or not, I am not sure. From my experience with "Curb Appeal" on HGTV back in 2007, there might be just a hint of premeditated (or postscripted) story built into it. But it seems like “the real deal,� where these people finally succumb to the idea that they need help and invite him (and the camera crew) over for a look. Upon arrival, he gets the tour of the floundering landscape project and clues them in that he has an arsenal of talent and production crew ready to full-on attack their project with aggressive landscaping, at no expense to them. At which, these people are surprised and are "like... okay, go for it!" with a lot of amusing banter from the host. Ahmed really does a nice job with this role and

is a seemingly knowledgeable and engaging character with these client subjects, and does have some spot-on information that he provides them with as they look over the project and what could lie ahead for them. So, the premise then starts to merge into the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" scenario where a large team of designers, contractors, installers, vendors, etc. show up the next day (or what is supposed to be the next day) and brings them out of the house bright and early to overwhelm them with the great design ideas, and a load of talent and workforce in store for them on their project. The designs seem utilitarian but do contain a lot of creativity, and are seemingly largely embellished versions of what the homeowners had set out to do but were in the process of miserable failure. Again, it is a great premise that can often echo what goes on in the "real world" and does seem to be a very genuine conversation and presentation for the client.

The team gets ready and the project commences, with skid loaders and shovels flying everywhere, much like Extreme Home Makeover. However, Ahmed, the host, constantly walks sideby-side with the clients, and sets them up with all sorts of "tasks" to do throughout the project. The clients are digging holes, installing base, splitting block, screeding sand, running a table saw or chop saw, screwing fasteners into a pergola, or whatever it takes to help the production team, while the host acts as their "personal trainer" through the process. He is almost like a trainer at the gym setting them up to do their third set of bench press, or is a lead chef running a cooking class, coaching them with a little frustration at times, and does a very nice job with it. Then, as they proceed to their get bulk materials delivered to them (for free) from Unilock Pavers, the local appliance store, or from a lumber yard, he builds incentives into the situation for them, like "well, if you help out with Continued on next page

NOvEMBER 2011 |


continued from page 19 the installation of these pavers, then we will give you the new stainless steel grill that goes on top of it, which is in this box right here.� He continues to push and motivate the client into getting the project done in a short amount of time. Whether it truly is "two days" or not remains to be realistic, but it does seem to happen in a short duration of time. Again, it is a really good premise for a show, and does show the "DIY" landscaper or "weekend warrior" an important lesson – that if you do get the assistance of a professional designer and professional installation team, then you will get way more than you ever could imagine, or way more than you could possibly manage to complete yourself. It shows that landscaping has all kinds of technical aspects to it which could/should best be put in professional hands. And best of all, in the end, you

will be enormously much happier with the results once they are completed. It might just be one of my favorite home improvement shows and fits in very nicely as a Sunday afternoon lead-in to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (if it does still air at that time). In my opinion, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is still such a great show for a

is a show that hopefully will stand the test of time and carry on for years to come. Anyway, one key quote from Ahmed Hassan that I took from a recent episode of "Yard Crashers" is this: "There is only one rule when it comes to landscaping in the rain... Don't Do it!" Very sound advice, my friend. I have tried to explain this to several impatient clients in the past, but not so effectively. There is such a thing as "collateral damage" in landscaping, where you make more of a mess than what you actually improve. That is the hidden beast in this profession. Unfortunately, Mother Nature always has her own plans in spite of that upcoming graduation party or family reunion. And unfortunately, those aren't ever going to be postponed. q ________________________________ David Sonka is a member of the MNLA Landscape Design Committee and can be reached at

"There is such a thing as collateral damage in landscaping."

20 | NOvEMBER 2011

family to sit down and watch (while I am designing something). I love the philanthropic side to that show, the community support, the generosity of the builders and vendors who participate, and the hero that is inside of the people who are seeing their problems abated by a new home, with some of their wildest dreams becoming a reality in the form of amazing design ideas. It

Become a MNLA Certified Professional in 2012! Purchase a Manual and Begin Preparing to Take the Certification Exam • e detailed study manual is a cooperative effort between MNLA and the University of Minnesota Extension Service. Topics include: Minnesota laws and regulations, biology, plant materials, nomenclature and classification, plant production and culture, pest management, business operations, and landscape design. Attend MNLA Certification Exam Training on January 6, 2012 at the Northern Green Expo • e Seminar Includes: • Training on Exam structure • Training on Plant identification • Training on taking the Basic Exam • Separate break out training sessions for the specialty exams - Landscape, Grower and Garden Center • "Mini Exam" will be given, with time following for review and questions • A Plant Material Study Area Take the Exam in January or March • January 20, 2012 - Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park Campus • March 9, 2012 - Dakota County Technical College For information on the MNLA Certification Program and to order a Certification Manual visit “Like” Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Professionals Certified Professionals on Facebook!

CERTIFIED Professional NOvEMBER 2011 |



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We have coverage for growing stock!

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Proactive Discipline: Who is Tending To Your Garden? By Tom Haugo, Bachman's Inc. reating a positive learning environment with few discipline problems is a goal of any teacher. We all want to give our young learners Tom Haugo the best opportunity to succeed, but sometimes we forget that building this type of environment, much like tending to a garden, takes planning, effort, consistency and a fair amount of time and patience. Any missed step can lead to a reactive environment, or a garden full of weeds.


Studying and learning as one prepares for the MNLA Certification test is a journey. We recommend you find a Certified Professional to become your mentor. Passing the MNLA Certification test requires effort, patience, and persistence. The recommended approach is to read the entire Certification Manual. Highlight the portions that need your additional studying. Then read those portions again. Use the learning objectives for each chapter to create questions with answers from that chapter. If you understand the learning objectives, you will be on the road to success as you prepare for the exam. The plant ID portion will require you to review all of the plant pictures on the MNLA plant ID CD. The exam will have photos from the plant CD and live plants (perennials, evergreens, shrubs, and trees). Work with a certified professional to identify plants around your home or office. This is more difficult, but it will help you learn plant material in both the growing season and in dormancy.

We also recommend you attend the MNLA sponsored training to be held at the Northern Green Expo on January 6, 2012. Attending these classes will not guarantee one to pass the Certification Exam, but it will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses as you continue to prepare for the winter exam on January 20, 2012. e MNLA Certified Professionals Facebook page is up and running! We will be posting general certification program information. The certification committee can post anything that might be helpful to those preparing for the exam and for those thinking about it – tips, sample questions, etc. We’re hoping to get a dialogue going between current CPs and those who are preparing for the exam. Ask your co-workers to “like” our page. The more friends we can get before the CP training at the Green Expo, the better! Here’s the link to our page: #!/pages/Minnesota-Nursery-andLandscape-Professionals-Certified-Prof essionals/231294523582838 Good luck. q ________________________________ Tom Haugo is a member of the MNLA Certification Committee and can be reached at

24 | NOvEMBER 2011







NOvEMBER 2011 |








Presentations and Demonstrations All sessions to be held at the Education-on-the-Go Stage on the trade show floor unless otherwise indicated. Wednesday, January 4 7:30 am - 9:30 am

Tips for Submitting an MNLA Landscape Awards Entry MNLA Landscape Awards Committee Members (Lobby E)

10:45 am – 11:15 am

Pruning Trees in the Nursery, Mark Laberee

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Tree Climbing Demo, MSA

11:45 am – 12:15 pm

Mock DOT Vehicle Inspection, The Builders Group

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Pruning Trees and Shrubs in the Garden Center, Mike Bender

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Tree Climbing Demo, MSA

4:45 pm – 5:15 pm

Tips for Troubleshooting Small Engine Problems in the Field, Paul Ocheltree

Thursday, January 5 19:30 am – 10:00 am

Pruning Trees & Shrubs in the Landscape, Craig Pinkalla

10:30 am - 11:30 am

Tips for Submitting an MNLA Landscape Awards Entry MNLA Landscape Awards Committee Members (Lobby E)

10:45 am - 11:15 am

Irrigation Scheduling in Relation to Soil Type Todd Cradit

11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Mock DOT Vehicle Inspection, The Builders Group

11:30 am - 1:30 pm 12:15 pm - 12:45 pm

Tree Climbing Demo, MSA Helping Cities Understand the Role of Permeable Pavers in Stormwater Management, Tim Oberg

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Mock DOT Vehicle Inspection, The Builders Group

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Tree Climbing Demo, MSA

Friday, January 6 11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Mock DOT Vehicle Inspection, The Builders Group

NOvEMBER 2011 |




e Northern Green Expo will once again afford you the opportunity to maintain many common green industry GR EN E certifications and licensures. If you’re looking to stay current, be sure to attend one of the following programs: THE OR R


1. Increase your chances of passing the MNLA Certified Professional exam by attending a training program on Friday at Expo. Running from 7:30am – 10:30am and 1:00pm – 3:30pm, the hands-on, in-depth training will help prepare you for either the January or March 2012 exams. Be sure to read the manual ahead of time! 2. Need Aquatics Recertification (category F)? ere will once again be a 2 hour aquatics recertification program available on ursday from 2:00pm – 3:50pm. In addition to this course, you must also attend the pesticide applicator recertification track on Friday to obtain recertification credit. 3. As always, CEUs to maintain your pesticide applicator license will be available between 7:30am – 3:35pm on Friday. In addition to these opportunities, many programs during Expo will qualify for CEUs. Check with the governing body of your certification to determine criteria for CEU applicability. Some that may qualify include: • • • • • • •

International Society of Arboriculture ASLA-MN Irrigation Association MNLA-CP MGCSA MN Tree Inspector Recertification National Concrete Masonry Association

Visit to learn more! 28 | NOvEMBER 2011



January 4-6, 2012 | Minneapolis Convention Center THE OR R



Book Your Hotel Rooms NOW for Green Expo! 651-633-4987

e hotel blocks at the Northern Green Expo hotels often sell out early, so don’t be left out in the cold. Book your hotel rooms now! e Hyatt Regency Hotel Minneapolis is the Northern Green Expo’s headquarters hotel. e Hyatt is home to Spike’s, Oceanaire, and the Regency Health Club and Spa. Discounted Room Rates Available! Room Rate: $97. Discounted rooms are limited, so make your reservations now by calling toll free 888-4211442. e Millennium Hotel is connected by skyway to the Hyatt Regency and the Minneapolis Convention Center. Discounted Room Rates Available! Room Rate: $97. Discounted rooms are limited so make your reservations now by calling toll free 866-866-8086.

Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch? W

NEW! FREE LUNCH on the trade show floor on Thursday, Jan. 5! Some restrictions apply. See

Fury Motors

NOvEMBER 2011 |


The Tinkers Shuffle: Returning Vitality to Service & Sales By Carr Hagerman, Top Performer unning a small business can burden our senses and, over time, pull our peripheral vision out of focus. We may still do great work, take care of our customers, and keep the enterprise thriving, but it’s not unusual for those of us running things to lose sight of things in the background or off in the distance, to miss the lighter details of the world around us. It can lead to burn out. The truth is most of us don’t spend enough time thinking, reflecting or standing still. We may feel that if we slow down, or stop, our business will atrophy, our competitors will catch us, or somehow things will go wrong. Our minds are always racing around the track of projects, speeding towards the next thing we have to do, and rarely taking the necessary pit stops to not only stay healthy, but to keep our sense keen and clear.

Working with students, I’ve come up with a few simple ideas that any business owner can apply in their daily life to help calm the urge to surge.

more information and deals. Even if we happen not to be available we have voice mail, email messages and texts that collect like storm water runoff drowning us in a deluge of distraction. If we are to remain competitive and to sustain our vitality, we have to pull ourselves out of the mud of clutter, and open up time to wander, think, tinker and shuffle. It is in those moments when we have room to breath, that new ideas emerge, solutions to current problem seem clearer, and life just seems to have more possibilities.

1.) Claim e Calm - Set aside several hours every week where nothing is required of you. Avoid the television and other distractions and just think. 2.) Mine Your inking - What thoughts you have in these meditative moments can be recorded in a journal. Keep track of your thinking, sketch out your ideas, write down your insights, map your wandering. 3.) Build Silence - Try taking one full day without any electronic media, emails, cell phones or distractions. If you build this habit, you send a signal to the world and to yourself, that your energy, ideas and your thinking are more vital and important.

“What fools call ‘Wasting Time’ is most often the best investment”

I’m writing in favor of taking time to waste some time, to encourage the art of doing nothing or nothing but thinking. With all the tools we have to communicate, the world is always poking us, “friending” us and seducing us with 30 | NOvEMBER 2011



that my life and creativity are waiting to ground me if only I would stop and listen, and quit my doing, doing, done, doing.


I’ve been a performer and professional creative my entire life. As a part of my work, I’ve committed to mentoring and working with several hundred young performers, teaching them to learn not only the art of inventing, writing and performing, but also how to manicure their ability to see beyond the whirling in front of their eyes. It’s too easy to be seduced by the shiny objects of distraction and to forget that creating requires spaciousness, time to think and consider, and an ample helping of reflection. The downfall of many performers is they never cease doing in favor of being.





4.) Talk and walks - Try scheduling times when you take walks with co-workers, friends and family. It is remarkable how much conversation happens when there are no distractions. Oh, and leave your phone in the car when you walk!

Nassim Nicholas Taleb When I work as a performer, I’ve learned to listen to the background, to see into the distance and watch for what is coming over the horizon. Even when I’m working in the midst of thousands of people, I often take moments to peer into the sky, pausing to notice the passing of migrating waterfowl, the shape of clouds, or the buzzing sounds of cicadas, crickets or frogs. During my time between performances, I schedule time out of my day to rest, think, and write in my journal. When I do these things and cultivate a life of thinking and consideration, I’m rewarded with a kind of momentary resolve, a sense of calm

5.) Do Something Different - Go to the museums, the arboretums, attractions of any kind. Take time to consider new points of view and thoughts. q ________________________________ Come and hear Carr Hagerman present the keynote on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at the Northern Green Expo.


Green Expo Leaps into The World of Apps e Northern Green Expo introduces a revolutionary way to collect and exchange information at the show. Download a FREE app to enhance your experience! e Living Tradeshow Mobile App (LTSMobile) works on any iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows7 smartphones and tablets…and it’s FREE to download! Follow these easy steps to use the Northern Green Expo mobile app: • Download the app. Downloading the LTSMobile app is easy! For iPhone, iPad and Android devices, search for LTSMobile in your app store or market. For Windows Mobile 7 and Blackberry 6.0 devices, direct your browser to • Register New User. After downloading the app, select “Register New User.” Enter required fields, such as name and company, and you are ready to attend Expo.

• Enter the Show code. When you arrive at the show, you will receive the “show code.” Simply enter the code on-site to gain access to valuable show and contact information. • Read the ‘how to use’ instructions on the Green Expo main page and you are ready to go. Easy-to-use interactive capabilities to enhance your Northern Green Expo experience include: • Home page that contains quick links to important show information • View the Schedule-at-a-Glance • Trade show map • Trade show hours • Seminar information • View exhibitor listings and collect valuable information with the tap of a button. Exhibitor ‘albums’ contain show-specific marketing information, such as: catalogs, specials, videos, company information, and instant contact links. Even take notes about your exhibitor interaction using the app.


• Share your business contact information with exhibitors and other attendees with a simple tap of a button. • Connect with colleagues and new business opportunities. After Expo, you can continue to access all the valuable exhibitor and attendee information you collected. Continue to view information from your smartphone or log in at on your desktop to view and/or to export your collected information. Your private account of information from the Green Expo will be available for months after the show, containing catalogs, videos, specials, contact information, and more!

NOvEMBER 2011 |


The Scoop | CAREERS

Higher Education Highlight By Jodi Larson, MNLA Foundation Program Director ave you hit a plateau in your professional life? If you’re thinking about heading back to school to refresh your skills or add some new ones, here are some local programs to consider:


University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Undergraduate Programs: • Landscape Design and Planning • Horticulture • Floriculture & Nursery Production • Organic Horticulture & Local Food • Plant Breeding & Genetics • Restoring Landscapes • Plant Biotechnology • Turfgrass Science Graduate Programs: • Master of Professional Studies in Horticulture • Applied Plant Sciences

• Plant Biological Sciences • Conservation Biology • Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Hennepin Technical College • Arboriculture (Occupational Cert.) • Greenhouse Management Technician (A.A.S.) • Greenhouse Technician (Diploma) • Landscape Construction (Advanced Technical Cert.) • Landscape Design and Construction (A.A.S.) • Landscape Design and Construction (Diploma) • Landscape/Horticulture (Diploma) • Landscape/ Horticulture (A.A.S.) • Urban Forestry Technician (A.A.S.) • Floral Designer (Occupational Cert.) • Professional Florist (Diploma) Look for information on the following schools in future issues: • University of Minnesota - Crookston • Anoka Technical College • Central Lakes College • Century College • Dakota County Technical College • Rochester Community and Technical College • WI - University of Wisconsin - River Falls • WI – Chippewa Valley Technical College • IA – Iowa State University • ND – North Dakota State University • SD – South Dakota State University You can also check out to find more information and links to scholarships to help you further your education!

• Wreath Rings • Specialty Rings • Wire Baskets • AND MORE!

32 | NOvEMBER 2011

If you want to take that next step in your career but going back to school is not right for you, consider becoming an MNLA Certified Professional. The next test is in January 2012 with a training session on Friday, January 6 at the Northern Green Expo. Check out or contact to find out more.

Green Industry


SHOOTOUT! Over 80 industry professionals and friends gathered together for the 4th annual MNLA Shootout. Each shooter enjoyed lunch, 50 rounds of sporting clays, steak dinner, beverages and a chance to win great prizes (top raffle prize given was a $400 gift card to Joe’s Sporting Goods). Over $5,000 was raised for scholarships! More on next page.


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NOvEMBER 2011 |


THE WINNING TEAM pictured at left: Brent Bixby, Dan Shackleton, Dan Brown of Esch Construction Supply, Inc., Mark Ollig, Dennis Seigler. Front: James Nelson, Esch Construction Supply, Inc.


! T U O SHOSHOOT OTOUT! Championship Prize

Sponsored by


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Shooting Station Sponsors ★ BioSafe Systems ★ Dow AgroSciences ★ Fafard ★ Liquid Fence ★ OHP, Inc. ★ Swanson's Nursery Consulting ★ T.O. Plastics ★ St. Croix Tree Service ★ Summit Plastic

Beverages Sponsored by

Event Carabiner Give-Away Sponsored by


Commercial Arborists: Greg Krogstad, Dennis Ullom, Dustin Breiwick, Shawn Bernick, Dave Norgaard, Steve Sylvester.

Door Prize Donations ★ Alta Falls & Pond Supplies ★ AdWear Specialties ★ Bailey Nurseries ★ Dosatron International ★ Faribault Growers ★ Morlock Photography ★ Prescription Landscape ★ South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club ★ Spectrum Sales ★ TBG ★ Waldoch Farm Steve Jones, BFG Supply Company

Utility Cart Sponsored by Signs

Sponsored by | NOvEMBER 2011

Left to right, Robin Ostrander, Gertens, Bob Fitch and Mary Dunn, MNLA, Andy Petersen, Fafard.

NOvEMBER 2011 |



Nov. & Dec. Classes at MSHS lasses are sponsored by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, but are held at various locations, as noted. Enrollment is limited, and pre-registration is requested. To register, call 651-6433601 or 800-676-6747, ext 211.


Create a Centerpiece at Will Last rough the Holidays Tuesday, November 8, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Location: MSHS Classroom, 2705 Lincoln Drive, Roseville. $10 members, $15 nonmembers Create a lovely centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table or mantel. Then, with a few easy changes, it will work perfectly for a Christmas piece! In this demonstration class, Diane will show you how to make 4 different designs that you can recreate at home. She will show you how to transition your piece into a lovely Christmas centerpiece with red berries, a beautiful bow, and a hint of glitz to pull out all the stops for your Christmas holiday. From the "leftover" greens she will show you how to make a quick and easy welcome spray for your front door. Limited to 20. Instructor: Diane Lee is the owner of Creative Ease (event planning, artistic coordinating, seasonal decorating, and environment design). She was the Artistic Director at Mickman Brothers. Her most recent endeavors include decorating for North Oaks Christmas Home Tour and designing outdoor spaces for Holidays on Grow with KARE with Belinda and Bobbie Jensen.

36 | NOvEMBER 2011

Create an Evergreen Container for Winter Color Tuesday, November 15, 6:30 to 8 p.m. $35 members, $40 nonmembers Location: Wagner's Greenhouses, 6024 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis. Simple and attractive container arrangements will add beauty and color throughout winter. After a presentation on how to create an eye-catching winter container, you will be guided through the process and create your own container to take home. You can also purchase fun items at Wagner’s to enhance your creation. For directions, see and click on "Store Info." Instructors: Wagner's design staff. Gardening Gals Get Together ursday, December 1, 5 to 8 p.m. Registration deadline: Tuesday, Nov 22 or ursday, December 8, 5 to 8 p.m. Registration deadline: Tuesday, Nov 30 $30 members, $35 nonmembers Take a break from the hectic hustle and bustle of the holidays, grab a couple friends, and enjoy a relaxed, fun night out! Enjoy wine sampling with The Cellars Wines and Spirits, hors d'oeuvres, and hourly drawings for gifts from our store. December 1: Decorate a wreath to take home with Ardith Beveridge from Koehler and Dramm Institute of Floristry. Mark Armstead with Linders Garden Center will show a variety of holiday plants available to dress up your home for the season.

December 8: Create a small kissing ball with evergreens for your home with Mary Beth Gullickson of Cedar Brook. Holiday Frazzle or Dazzle: stress busting tips and natural solutions to put your best face forward during the holidays with Sheila Sigecan of Recapture Skin Care at Shea's Salon. Wreath Decorating in Duluth Saturday, December 3, 10 to 11:30 a.m. $25 members, $30 nonmembers Location: Edelweiss Nursery, 5175 Washburn Road, Duluth. Directions: Join us for a fun filled morning as Edelweiss Nursery opens it doors for this special evergreen wreath decorating class with Jean Bruno. Starting with a 25" balsam wreath, you will decorate with holiday embellishments, from natural dried plant material to some glitzy bling. This will be a creative, fun project for every taste in decor. Edelweiss will provide seasonal treats as you create your own unique wreath for your front door. Registration deadline: November 18. Instructor: Jean Bruno is a St. Louis County Master Gardener.


MNLA Leaders Lobby Congress on Labor Issues

Congressman Tim Walz (standing) visits with MNLA President Bert Swanson and Joe Bailey of Bailey Nurseries, as well as Lizzy Glidden, Walz’s deputy chief of sta.

Congressman Chip Cravaack (second from right) welcomed MNLA Executive Director Bob Fitch and President Bert Swanson, Swanson's Nursery Consulting, and Joe Bailey, Bailey Nurseries human resources director. MNLA's contingent expressed concern to Minnesota's Congressional delegation about what e-verify would mean to agricultural operations like nurseries and greenhouses.

NOvEMBER 2011 |


November 18, 2011 | 9:00am—3:45pm | Continuing Education Center, University of MN, St. Paul

MNLA and the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation (MTGF) are excited to again present this Pesticide Recertification session. The session will be applicable to those seeking to gain recertification credit for category A (general) and E (turf and ornamentals). There will be two tracks available at this session, one for those interested in turf related topics and one for those interested in woody plant topics as they pertain to pesticides. A more complete schedule is available online at

December 12, 2011 | 12:00pm—2:00pm | MNLA Office, Roseville

Learn while you eat. And it’s FREE! Lunch: Please bring your bagged/boxed lunch and join us for this seminar/discussion (lunch is not included with the event). Growers and garden center professionals are invited to attend. This will be a short presentation and informal discussion led by Dr. John Erwin from the University of Minnesota and Tzanko Matov from Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Ideas will be exchanged on the use, application, and results of using plant growth regulators on woody plant material.

January 20, 2012 | 8:30am—12:30pm | Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park - or March 9, 2012 | 8:30am—12:30pm | Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount

Interested in sitting for the MNLA Certification Exam? You will have two opportunities this winter—one in January and one in March. Go online to to purchase your Certification Manual today and start studying to earn your MNLA Certification.

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 38 | NOvEMBER 2011

MDA UPDATE | The Scoop

2011 Nursery Inspection Summary By Steven Shimek, Nursery Program Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Agriculture he number of acres of certified nursery stock in Minnesota dropped by 18% from 7,221 in 2010 to 5,963 acres in 2011. All Minnesota nursery stock grown for sale is inspected annually to certify that it is free from injurious pests and facilitate sale of trees, shrubs and perennials within the state, interstate and Steven Shimek internationally. A total of 301 nursery stock growers (314 in 2010) and 2,141 nursery stock dealers (2,274 in 2010) were certified in 2011. This represents a 4.3% reduction in the number of growers and a 6.2% reduction in the number of dealers. Along with growers, retail nursery operations are also inspected to audit certification documents for stock originating outside of Minnesota and assure that stock offered for sale is free of plant pests. When injurious plant pests are detected, stock is removed from sale pending successful treatment and control. In cases where no effective treatment is available, stock may be ordered destroyed or returned to the shipper.


are, and not sure who would. And I have never heard of a blackberry that really does well in Minnesota.” Further investigation found that this plant fruits on 2nd year canes and because it would likely die back to the ground if it did survive, it would not bear fruit in Minnesota. Shortly after this investigation came a report that Southern high-bush blueberry was being sold at another retail location. The plants were originally labeled zone 7-10 with a sticky label covering declaring zone 4-10. The two varieties were ‘Misty and ‘Sharpblue,’ both developed at the University of Florida. This breeding program focuses on minimum chilling hours for fruit production for tropical Florida weather. The grower in Michigan claims the plants are hardy to -22° F. A proposed change to Minnesota statute would require any plant that is not hardy in the area it is being offered for sale to be labeled “Not Hardy in This Area.” This proposal has been endorsed by the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Regulatory Advisory Committee and will likely be presented this next legislative session. Continued on next page

Cool wet weather throughout the spring and hot/humid summer weather conditions resulted in increased levels of foliar disease. Anthracnose on maple, oak and others was severe in some sites. Crab-apple varieties with poor resistance to apple scab were severely defoliated. Extreme heat caused scorching of leaves. Problems with dormant packaged plants determined to be non-viable continued to demand attention but at a greatly reduced rate. Some sites kept plants in unheated areas, greatly increasing their shelf life. Plants in packaging designed to allow some growth were properly watered and exposed to enough sunlight to maintain viability. However, inspectors found plants not properly stored with etiolated growth, desiccation and/or rot and resulted in plants being removed from sale and ordered destroyed. In Minnesota, cold hardiness is an important limiting factor to the selection of plants suitable for planting. Some retail chain stores continue to ship and sell trees and shrubs that have little chance to survive winter weather in Minnesota. Beginning in March when the planting season was still several weeks away, a complaint was received that a store in north central Minnesota was selling ‘Arapahoe’ thornless blackberry. This particular variety was developed at the University of Arkansas. According to the John Clark, the researcher responsible for the plants introduction, “I am confident zone 3 or 4 is NOT for Arkansas blackberries, I have never stated they NOvEMBER 2011 |


Nursery Inspections continued from page 39 Japanese beetles Effective June 1, 2010 the State of Minnesota changed from Category 2 – Uninfested or Partially Infested/Regulated NonQuarantine Pest state to a Category 3 – Partially or Generally Infested/No Regulatory Significance as defined by the U.S. Domestic Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan. This change acknowledged the significant increase in Japanese beetle (JB) populations across the state. Though some areas have not seen significant populations, defoliation has been heavy in parts of the Twin Cities and other communities. Linden trees were stripped bare in western Washington County. This pest targets turf managed with high nitrogen and irrigation to lay its eggs. The larvae can cause significant damage to turf. The adults feed above ground on a variety of landscape foliage and fruit. Lindens, grape vines, elm and birch are among their favorite hosts. Because of this change in regulatory status, Japanese beetle is considered a “treat as needed” pest and is no longer regulated within the state. However, for certification of stock being shipped to other states that maintain their Category 2 status, stock must be certified free from JB through negative results of trapping or soil survey. IMPORTANT: If you grow stock for sale and sell to category 2 states including: Iowa, North and South Dakota and states west, stock must be accompanied by a Japanese Beetle Certificate issued after an official survey. If you sell to a company that may ship your stock to these areas, they may require that you also meet this requirement. Locust Knot Honey locust trees were found exhibiting woody stem galls consistent with what has been referred to as locust knot. Believed to be caused by a Pseudomonas bacterium, this disease is not completely understood. This is the first known occurrence of this disorder found in a Minnesota nursery. Plants were ordered destroyed. A sample was sent to the University of Minnesota for further analysis. Galls on Spruce Spruce gall adelgid is an insect that causes tiny pineappleshaped galls on spruce. Populations of this pest have increased at some sites. Correct timing of treatments is critical for successful control. Similar damage to spruce has been caused by the spruce gall midge. In some cases both insects have occurred on the same tree. Infested trees are restricted from sale pending control. Contact the University of Minnesota for treatment recommendations. Noxious weeds Fine Line Buckthorn, Rhamnus frangula was found being offered for sale at two locations. This cultivar is a selection of R. frangula which along with R. cathartica has been prohibited from sale in Minnesota since it was declared a restricted noxious weed in 1999. 40 | NOvEMBER 2011

Japanese Blood Grass, Imperata cylindrica was found being offered for sale at two locations and is listed as a federal noxious weed. USDA, APHIS officials were alerted to this and conducted and investigation. Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum is also a federal noxious weed and was reported growing in a landscape planting of a perennial grower. The owner acknowledged that it was the non-native, Giant Hogweed and not the native Cow Parsnip, Heracleum maximum. However upon further investigation the plant was determined to be the more diminutive cow parsnip though it towered over 6 feet in height. Giant hogweed can cause severe dermatitis similar to poison ivy when plant sap on skin is exposed to sunlight. Cow parsnip contains the same compound, though apparently less concentrated. Other Problems Encountered Virus symptoms were found on Clematis beginning in 2009. Infected plants were also found infected in 2011. Varieties of Clematis removed from sale included: ‘Heneryii’, ‘Nelly Moser’ and ‘Elsa Spath’. Plants submitted to the University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic confirmed the presence of an unknown virus in some samples. However, samples of ‘Clair De Lune’ clematis plants removed from sale with virus symptoms were sent to the University of Minnesota and were found to be virus free. Symptomatic plants are removed from sale pending negative results of lab testing. Or plants may be destroyed. The number of Hosta plants found infected with hosta virus complex (HVX) continued to decline from previous years. Tobacco rattle virus (TRV) and impatiens necrotic ring spot virus (INSV) have also been commonly associated with virus symptoms in hosta. Because TRV has a wide host range and is nematode vectored it has the potential to be very destructive. Tabbacco rattle virus was also found in Bleeding Heart, Dicentra sp. Inspection staff continued to find retailers operating without the required dealer certificate. Most operators were cooperative and provided application and payment on the spot thereby allowing the inspector to release stock for sale without interrupting sales. The inspection team worked together to assure all required inspections were completed in a timely manner. Inspectors also conducted export inspections and issued USDA federal phytosanitary certificates for logs, lumber and seed along with plant material. Staff also conducted soil surveys and trapping to certify nursery sites free from Japanese beetle Popillia japonica as well as soil sampling for soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines. These surveys are conducted to meet the import requirements of other states or countries. q


Clean Water Summit By Tim Power, MNLA Regulatory Consultant NLA participated as a cosponsor at the Clean Water Summit at the Arboretum on September 8th. Entitled “Green Infrastructure for Clean Tim Powers Water: Trees, Roots, and Their Role in Stormwater Management,” the summit brought together stormwater professionals from the region to hear presentations from national experts and to discuss current research, challenges and solutions.


A few of the things I took away from the conference: Dave Nowak, USFS Northern Research Station, Syracuse, NY was an excellent keynote speaker. He and Greg McPherson (primary author of the Midwest Community Tree Guide) came out of the same graduate program and have had interesting and parallel careers. Dave Nowak is one of the primary researchers and instigators of the USFS iTree software suite, though his expertise

and research is largely in the air pollution mitigation area. He knows the i-Tree software well and what the plans are for future modules. There is exciting stuff happening with i-Tree, and it will only get better as time goes on. One of the highlights for me was understanding that you can now model the energy, stormwater and air pollution savings for an individual tree planted in specific locations in your yard, using the i-Tree Design beta module and based on GoogleMaps imagery. This functionality is available now, though it is brand new and still being tested and verified. See the I-Tree Design beta version showing the English Oak right outside my front window in Afton on the next page. Try it yourself at, using either an actual tree like mine or a simulated tree to project savings. The picture shows the energy savings only, but the “Overall Benefit” page you will see if you model a tree yourself will show, in dollar terms, savings from stormwater mitigation, energy savings, air pollution mitigation and CO2 sequestration and avoidance.

We have tried for several years to convince the Minnesota legislature to allow the strategic planting of trees in residential settings to qualify for energy savings credits with respect to the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP), which is a required program for all utilities in the state. I think the i-Tree Design module will have implications for CIP down the road, if we can demonstrate that there is now a generallyaccepted methodology for verifying the growing energy savings from a strategically-planted tree. Though it would require the utility to look at earlieryear plantings via an i-Tree/GoogleMaps periodic review, the utilities could claim continuing and increasing actual savings from current- and past-years program trees. I would anticipate that cities like Elk River that ran CIP tree programs for many years and kept records, might receive significant credits to help them meet their 1.5%/year energy savings goals. The i-Tree Hydro beta module may help the MIDS Tree Trench team in its attempts to quantify stormwater mitigation benefits from trees. At

Continued on next page

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Clean Water Summit, continued from page 41

present, the Hydro beta module is based on a watershed-wide scale and is being vetted by comparing sequential monitoring data at watershed outlets, then noting any land cover alterations on GoogleMaps during the sequence. If recorded meteorological data for the watershed is geographically centered on the watershed so the data is accurate, Hydro can accurately attribute changes in stream-outlet volume and rate at a monitoring station to the changed land cover (trees) being monitored. This does not translate into a specific volume reduction per tree, which might lend itself to a hardcover credit, but it is a step in the right direction of quantifying volume and rate control. Randy Neprash, the Bonestroo engineer who presented to our Stormwater Task Team on trees as green infrastructure, was very positive about the progress i-Tree is making. Randy serves on our MIDS Tree Trench subcommittee and will no doubt be coming up with some ideas on how we can move forward with credits for trees relating not just to the porosity and volume of a tree trench’s growing medium, but also to the treebased interception and evapotranspiration reductions in volume expected or actually seen in the trench. While Dave Nowak was largely talking about a top-down (satellite imagery)

approach to modeling and verifying, Gary Johnson (University of MN urban forestry professor) spent his keynote time describing a bottom-up (healthy roots) approach to tree management. His focus was energy, meaning energy within the tree that translates to tree health and therefore stormwater mitigation. In describing healthy root systems and notso-healthy ones, he decried growing “trees in buckets” (container-grown trees) and instead pushed bare-root trees and especially trees with root systems finished in gravel beds. His pictures of circling root systems and stem-girdling roots on poorly-grown or poorly-planted trees were pretty graphic and brought lots of comments. Apparently, Barr Engineering was looking for gravel-bed trees to install in this summer’s Maplewood Mall parking lot renovation and was unable to find any. I suggested to one of Barr’s LA’s that they and other specifiers should provide exacting specifications to Bailey’s and a few others before the growing season starts on projects they need trees for and ask for bids for contract-produced gravel-bed trees. I think this issue is going to keep coming up as long as Gary Johnson and Jeff Gillman are pushing the system. My personal experience with gravel beds indicates that it is a great way to improve tree root systems and allow planting of the finished plants throughout late summer and into autumn. Jeff Gillman led a tour of the UofM’s gravel

beds at the MTGF Field Day on September 15th and had positive comments on the system. The afternoon included concurrent technical and policy and planning tracks. Sessions included “Maintaining Trees as Part of the Stormwater System”, “Tree Preservation and Protection through Ordinances”, and a Tree City Panel that answered specific tree questions about panel members’ municipalities. The conference report is now available at the Arboretum’s website ( aandconferences.aspx). Click on the September 8, 2011 Clean Water Summit, then on “Conference Report” to access PowerPoints of most of the day's presentations. Note that conference reports are available for the Sep. 2010 and 2009 Clean Water conferences as well. I stayed for the evening NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) Presentation and Tree City USA awards, run by John Bilotta, UofM Water Resources Extension Educator, and DNR’s Ken Holman. The most significant item I found at the NEMO meeting was a new fact sheet that would be a great folder item if MNLA ever produces aTrees as Green Infrastructure brochure. uep/products/11/800TreeCityUSABulleti n_55.pdf . The final highlight of the Clean Water Summit for me was that MNLA members Itasca Greenhouse and North Central Reforestation provided Black Hills spruce seedlings to each conference participant on the way out the door. Engineers, hydrologists, educators and watershed district staff heard my end-of-the-day MNLA pitch, received a tree to plant at their homes and heard my assurance that private nurseries can meet the tree needs of Green Infrastructure for the long term. Thanks again to Itasca Greenhouse and North Central Reforestation for making this possible. q ________________________________ Tim Power can be reached at

42 | NOvEMBER 2011


BACK ROOMS and GOOD OL’ BOYS? By Jennifer Wilson, Wilson's Nursery, Inc. hat do you think of PACS? No I’m not talking about the boots most of us wear about five months of the year, starting about now. The other definition of PAC seems to have a bad rep with many. You know the stereotype – fat cats smoking cigars in some secretive, smoky backroom, playing “kingmaker” in election after election.


But that really isn’t what a PAC (Political Action Committee) is about. For you, the member of the MNLA, a PAC is an advocate for your business. The Minnesota Green Industry Political Action Committee (MGIPAC) was established this year to increase our sphere of influence on issues that shape our businesses and our futures.

based upon their record of support for issues of importance to MNLA and the green industry. For non-incumbents, their connections to the green industry and responses to our issues will be considered. Any support for candidates will be based ONLY on issues germane to the green industry. MGIPAC’s mission? Simply put, it is to promote public policy that helps nursery and landscape companies operate their businesses more successfully.

Mick McGuire of McGuire Landscaping is the Chair, and Jennifer Wilson of Wilson’s Nursery is the Treasurer. Look for more information in the following months, as the 2012 election cycle ramps up. Financial contributions to the fund are welcome anytime. If you have questions, please contact us! q _______________________________ Jennifer Wilson is a member of the MNLA Government Affairs Committee and can be reached at

MGIPAC is a completely separate entity from the MNLA. It is not run by MNLA staff, but by volunteers. For its inaugural session,

As an organization, the MNLA has been influencing our representatives for years, thanks to you, the members. From your calls to your legislators, to your attendance at the annual Day on the Hill (scheduled for March 7th 2012, by the way), we as an association have effected legislation that benefits our members. Just this last year, you helped to reform unemployment compensation for adult children of business owners, and to phase out the DNR nurseries that are competing against our own familyowned nurseries, among other issues. So now here we are with the newly formed MGIPAC. As an over $2 billion per year industry, we are in a position to influence for the greater good of our businesses. The intent is to endorse candidates for state and national office, NOvEMBER 2011 |



Federal & State Governments to Cooperate on Independent Contractor Issues By Patrick McGuiness, Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC

n September 19th, 2011 the U.S. Department of Labor entered into a cooperative alliance with the Internal Revenue Service with the goal of ending the business practice of misclassifying workers in order to avoid giving them the protections afforded employees. The agencies taking part in this initiative Patrick McGuiness will be looking for worker classification practices which are out of compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. These practices largely consist of misclassifying workers as “independent contractors” or “subcontractors” when they should be classified as employees. The purpose of misclassifying workers is generally to avoid paying overtime, workers compensation premiums, and various taxes associated with employment. With the IRS is involved, there is no question that this partnership will not only give misclassified workers the protections they deserve, but it will also serve as a source of additional revenue for the federal government. Not only are these two Federal agencies cooperating on this initiative, but some state governments are involved as well. Minnesota is among eleven states that have agreed to take part in this initiative in some form. This means that state and federal officials will be sharing information about businesses and workers to coordinate the law enforcement effort. This partnership is a part of Vice President Biden’s Misclassification Initiative. IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman


44 | NOvEMBER 2011

stated "In this new phase of our relationship, we will work together more efficiently to address worker misclassification issues, and better serve the needs of small businesses and employees." The goal of the collaboration is to use data from multiple sources to find companies that are in violation of federal regulations. The effect on the Green Industry will be twofold. First, employers that are not in compliance with labor laws and regulations will face increased scrutiny and many will be forced to come into compliance. The result of this scrutiny and the second effect of the initiative will be a more level playing field for those companies that are already in compliance. If you are concerned about your worker classification practices, there are many resources available on the internet, specifically at This article provides general information on employment law 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 employment law or other legal matters, please contact Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC at 651-206-3203 or q ________________________________________________ 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. He can be reached at


If you have an email address on record with MNLA, but do not receive the ballot electronically by Dec. 5th, please contact MNLA Executive Director Bob Fitch at or 651-633-4987 or toll-free 888-886-6652. If your company does not have an email address on record at MNLA and you wish to vote in the election, please mail or fax a request for an official ballot by Dec. 5, 2011, to: MNLA Election 1813 Lexington Ave N Roseville MN 55113 or fax 651-633-4986 or toll-free 888-266-4986. Results of the election will be announced at the MNLA Annual Membership Meeting to be held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, at the Millennium Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

STOP THE PRESSES! MNLA eNews Enhancements On the Way in January Beginning in January, MNLA will cease sending one broadcast monthly eNews to all members and subscribers. Instead, we’ll begin publishing five targeted versions of the association’s monthly electronic newsletter. “We have members with a broad array of interests and we want to do better than one-size-fits-all in our communication efforts,” said MNLA Executive Director Bob Fitch.

• • • • •

Design-Build Environmental Issues and Water Management Garden and Landscape Management Plants and Plant Care Business Management

In the November and December eNews, watch for the notice to sign-up for the one or more editions of the newsletter that fits your interest area. If you or any of your employees do not receive eNews, sign-up by clicking on the button in the lower left corner on any page of

Executive Director Bob Fitch • Associate Director Cassie Larson, CAE • Membership Director & Trade Show Manager Mary Dunn, CEM • Communications Director Jon Horsman • Executive Assistant Susan Flynn • Accountant Norman Liston • Receptionist Jessica Pratt • Advertising & Sponsorship Sales Pierre Productions & Promotions 952-903-0505 Betsy Pierre, Advertising Manager, Erica Nelson, Advertising Sales, Government Affairs Consultants Doug Carnival, Legislative Affairs Tim Power, Regulatory Affairs In addition to association activities, the MNLA staff provides management for: THE OR R


Each edition will have a customized set of information on events and education, research, member services, industry news, regulatory and legislative affairs, and videos for the various interest areas of MNLA members. e different editions of MNLA eNews will be:



e 2012 Board of Directors election will be conducted via an electronic ballot again this year. e primary contact of record which each member has provided to MNLA will receive access to the ballot via a notice which will be emailed between December 1-5, 2011.



Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association 1813 Lexington Ave. N. Roseville MN 55113 651-633-4987, fax 651-633-4986 Outside the metro area, toll free: 888-886-MNLA, fax 888-266-4986 NOvEMBER 2011 |


The Scoop | SAFETY

Safety During the Winter Months By John Primozich CSP, ARM – The Builders Group - Loss Control Manager ith the change in the season brings a change in what contractors can expect for hazards in the workplace. Contractors often take time to plan safety into their work for the day. This has proven to be an effective tool to help reduce the likelihood of an accident. With winter right around the corner, contractors have to be aware of, and be prepared to address/plan for, the unique hazards that can arise because of changes in the weather. Below is a list of some items you can plan to think about this coming winter:


46 | NOvEMBER 2011

• Driving accidents due to slippery roadways • Carbon monoxide exposure s • Slips and falls due to slippery walkways and work surfaces • Hypothermia and frostbite due to the cold weather exposure • Being struck by falling objects such as ice, tree limbs, and utility poles • Electrocution due to downed power lines or downed objects in contact with power lines • Falls from heights (e.g. falls from roof while removing snow) • Collapse under weight of snow • Burns from fires caused by energized line contact or equipment failure

• Dehydration • Back injuries or heart attack while removing snow Don’t forget to plan ahead for these hazards unique during the winter months. 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:



akota Pinnacle Birch (Betula platyphylla 'Fargo') is a newer introduction that is steadily gaining in popularity. This specimen tree is very versatile allowing for many different applications.


Dakota Pinnacle is a North Dakota State University introduction chosen for its columnar growth habit. This birch has hardiness range of zone 3-zone 7 and a mature height of 30' and a mature width of 7-8'. Dakota Pinnacle is heat and drought tolerant and adaptable to a variety of soils.

Plant of the Month

white bark make it a very attractive specimen tree. This tree has a very airy yet tight canopy along with good resistance to bronze birch borer. All this would make it a great choice for a deciduous tree that would be in a foundation planting, and a wonderful addition to any landscape. q _________________________________ Brandon Kalland is a member of the MNLA Nursery Committee and can be reached at

The golden fall color and its yellowish

NOvEMBER 2011 |


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


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The Scoop Online – November 2011  

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

The Scoop Online – November 2011  

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