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Where Should You Focus Your Marketing?

Also Inside

Garden Center Survey Results

Networking News Award Winners SEO Mistakes

we love plants

We explore top performing annuals, new plants, & caring for trees

Vol: 37 No: 2 Feb 2014 t h e o f f i c i a l p u b l i c at i o n o f t h e M i n n e s o ta N u r s e r y & L a n d s c a p e A s s o c i at i o n


Volume 37 No. 2 Feb 2014

contents 22

32

53

56 IN THIS ISSUE

15 So You Want to Own a Tree Company? Jim Walsh educates about the myriad of differing city requirements for tree care companies. 

22 Top Ten Performing Annuals Over 500 cultivars were evaluated at University of Minnesota Morris, and these ten earned the highest ratings.    

32 Preserving Trees During Construction Faith Appelquist and Luke Midura explain why and how existing trees on a jobsite must be safeguarded.   

47 Garden Center Survey Results Identifying demographics and purchasing patterns of customers for this MNLA member-only survey.  

53 Where Should You Focus Your Marketing Efforts? A Research for the Real World synopsis of a study on which types of promotion and advertising produce the best ROI. 

61 Exciting New Plants Highlights from the Northern Green Expo’s New Plant Forum moderated by Debbie Lonnee.      Landscape & Hardscape Install & Design  Garden Services & Landscape Management  Garden Centers  Growers: Nursery & Greenhouse  Irrigation & Water Management  Arborists & Tree Services  All

8

Events

10 From the Executive Director Strategic Trends 12 Introduction to Weed Eradication 29 Get Paid for Your Work! Brian Zlimen notes that having a contract gives you many options to help you collect. 30 Networking News Top Takeaways plus an exciting upcoming meeting for the Nursery Networking Group. 36 2014 MNLA Award Winners Dale Bachman, Mike Heger, Mark Stennes, and Dennis Ullom were all honored by MNLA this year. 41 Noxious Weed Advisory Committee Report 56 5 SEO Mistakes to Avoid What content on your pages could be limiting search engines from serving up your site in their search results? 73 MNLA News Marketing Opportunity at State Fair, Classifieds, and New Members 74 New Officers and Directors for MNLA’s Board

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

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

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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

herman roerick, vice-president

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

scott frampton, secretary-treasurer

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

debbie lonnee, mnla-cp, past president

Bailey Nurseries, Inc. 651-768-3375 • debbie.lonnee@baileynursery.com

randy berg, mnla-cp

Berg’s Nursery, Landscape/Garden Center 507-433-2823 • rberg@smig.net

tim malooly, cid, clia, cic

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

patrick mcguiness

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

mike mcnamara

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

jeff pilla, mnla-cp

ad list

Volume 37 No. 2 Feb 2014

➾ section title

Albert J. Lauer, Inc. ........................................................................................... 54 Alliance Designer Products ................................................................................ 4 Anchor Block Company .................................................................................... 45 Ancom Communication & Technical Center .................................................... 58 Anderson Nurseries, Inc. .................................................................................. 65 Arborjet ............................................................................................................ 18 Aspen Equipment ............................................................................................. 11 Astleford Equipment Co. .................................................................................. 46 Bridgewater Tree Farms ................................................................................... 55 Carlin Horticultural Supplies/ProGreen Plus ..................................................... 21 Central Landscape Supply ................................................................................ 71 Ceres Environmental ........................................................................................ 28 COWSMO, INC. ............................................................................................... 21 Cushman Motor Co. Inc ................................................................................... 58 D. Hill Nursery Co. ............................................................................................ 67 Edney Distributing Co., Inc. ............................................................................. 34 Evergreen Nursery Co., Inc. ............................................................................. 21 Fahey Sales Agency, Inc. .................................................................................. 31 Frontier Ag & Turf ............................................................................................. 45 Frost Services ................................................................................................... 65 Fury Motors ...................................................................................................... 17 Gardenworld Inc. .............................................................................................. 67 Gertens Wholesale ........................................................................................... 11 Glacial Ridge Growers ...................................................................................... 71 GM Fleet and Commercial ................................................................................. 3 Great Northern Equipment Distributing, Inc. ................................................... 72 Jeff Belzer Chevrolet .................................................................................. 38–39 Klaus Nurseries ................................................................................................. 59 Kubota Dealers ................................................................................................. 52 Maguire Agency ............................................................................................... 59

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

McKay Nursery Co. ........................................................................................... 59

cassie larson, cae

Out Back Nursery ............................................................................................. 67

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

Staff Directory

executive director:

Cassie Larson, CAE • cassie@mnla.biz

Novozymes BioAg Inc. ..................................................................................... 17 Plaisted Companies ............................................................................................ 7 RDO Equipment Co. ........................................................................................ 55 RDO Equipment Co. — Vermeer ..................................................................... 27 Reliable Property Services ................................................................................ 34

membership director & trade show manager:

The Builders Group .......................................................................................... 27

Mary Dunn, CEM • mary@mnla.biz

Titan Machinery ................................................................................................. 2

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

Tri-State Bobcat, Inc. .................................................................................. 14, 69

Jodi Larson • jodi@mnla.biz

Truck Utilities & Mfg. Co. .................................................................................. 65 United Label & Sales ........................................................................................ 21 Versa-Lok Midwest ........................................................................................... 60 Wolf Motors ...................................................................................................... 71 Ziegler CAT ......................................................................................... Back Cover

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

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

legislative affairs consultant: Doug Carnival 6

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All original works, articles or formats published in The Scoop are © Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association, 2014, and may not be used without written permission of MNLA. The Scoop is published 12 times per year by MNLA, 1813 Lexington Ave N., Roseville MN 55113. Address corrections should be sent to the above address.


➾ calendar

MNLA Event

FEB25

MNLA Event

FEB12

MNLA Event

FEB18

Webinar The 10 Plants that Changed Minnesota

Summer Turf Maintenance

TIES Conference Center, St. Paul MNLA.biz The Segmental Retaining Wall Installer Education Program is a seminar series designed to reinforce national standardized installation and site practices within the SRW installer community. Level I is structured for all employees involved in SRW installation.

sponsor

sponsor

City Hall, City of St. Anthony MNLA.biz This training offers information about best practices for managing turfgrass (mowing, seeding, fertilizer and pesticide application). Optional test offered to earn MPCA Level 1 Certification in Turfgrass Maintenance Best Practices.

1:00 pm Presented by Mary Meyer, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Join Mary Meyer for this webinar and learn about the 10 plants that changed Minnesota. The initiative began with public submissions for nominations and ended with hundreds of people nominating over 100 plants!

mar 18–19

MNLA Event

mar12 Popular Perennials for Local Landscapes

Key:

Event Education

8

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

National Concrete Masonry Assoc. (NCMA) Training and Certification

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


2014 MNLA seminars generously supported by John Deere Landscapes

MNLA Event

MNLA Event

mar5 Green Industry Day on the Hill State Capitol, St. Paul MNLA.biz This annual government affairs event is an opportunity to make personal connections with legislators that will provide greater political strength to MNLA as an organization and, thus, ultimately to your business.

MNLA Event

mar7

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

MNLA Certification Exam Dakota County Technical College MNLA.biz Sit for the exam to become an MNLA Certified Professional.

MNLA Event

MAR25

PESTICIDE CERTIFICATION WORKSHOP & EXAM TIES Conference Center, St. Paul MNLA.biz Prepare for the category A and E pesticide applicator certification exam by attending this 1½ day study program. Day 2 includes testing, if desired.

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

APR9–10 ➾

Pesticide Certification Workshop & Exam TIES Conference Center, St. Paul MNLA.biz Prepare for the category A and E pesticide applicator certification exam by attending this 1½ day study program. Day 2 includes testing, if desired. sponsor

mar 19–20

MNLA Event

Irrigation (PLT Relicensure)

sponsor

MNLA Event

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

mnla .biz

9


➾ from the executi ve director

Strategic Trends I recently attended a seminar presented by the CEO of the American Society of Association Executives, John Graham. The topic he addressed was “Association Governance.” He contended that there are three major shifts affecting the association world and volunteer organizations. i believe his message also had great strategic takeaways for the green industry business world. I challenge you to Cassie Larson think about how these three trends could affect and/or MNLA Executive Director help your business move forward.

Garden Center Survey Results

Where Should You Focus Your Marketing?

Also Inside

1. Demographic Shifts: By now, I assume we have all heard about the generational shift that is currently happening in the workforce. Baby boomers are exiting the work place en masse, and there are not enough Gen Xers to take their place, especially in leadership roles. So, the millennial generation is going to be taking on leadership at an earlier age than ever before. We need to be prepared to educate, train, and get them up to speed rapidly so they are ready for the challenge. Do you have a plan in place?

Networking News Award Winners SEO Mistakes

2. Technology: Mobile technology is a game changer. It allows people to get information

WE lOvE plANtS

We explore top performing annuals, new plants, & caring for trees

In addition, a shift will be happening in the diversity of our population. Graham specifically referenced the Hispanic population which currently makes up 1 in 7 workers; within the next 10–15 years that number will be 1 in 3. What does this mean for your business — both your workforce and your customers — moving forward?

Vol: 37 No: 2 Feb 2014

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

when they want it, where they want it, and how they want it. Is your company on board? Have you outlined how you’ll be a part of this movement to “anytime, anywhere” access? 3. Buying for a Cause: Graham also referenced a movement toward “Public Sector Benefit Companies” which, at a very basic level, are for-profit companies who have committed to giving a certain amount of their revenue back to public or social causes. The future consumer, especially the millennial generation, is very interested in social causes and how they can give back. If they have a choice between buying a plant from a company who gives a percentage of proceeds to charity vs. one who doesn’t, it may sway their purchasing decision. Have you considered marketing for “a cause”? It just may help you sell that plant, landscape or irrigation job moving forward. I challenge you to think strategically about these trends and how they could benefit your business in the future. Start addressing them now. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Even a small change now could lead to something big later!

on the cover

This issue brings a focus to the annuals that performed best in 2013 in the trial gardens of University of Minnesota Morris, the (first set of) entries in the New Plant Forum at the 2014 Northern Green Expo, and a trio of articles about caring for trees properly. Obtaining the proper license and insurance coverage for your business and pruning at the appropriate time are baseline competencies for all tree care companies. However, safeguarding mature trees on a job site is important for every landscape business as well. The cost to protect a tree is usually far less than its appraised value, and homes with mature trees sell faster, and for more money. It’s almost always in your company’s and your client’s best interest to preserve trees whenever possible. See full article, page 32. 10

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ScoopAd_AspenEQ.indd 1

7/12/13 12:57 PM


➾ W E E D ERADICATION

INTRODUCTION TO WEED ERADICATION FROM M DA’ S WEED ER AD I C ATI O N CO O RD I N AT O R Emilie Justen

Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Japanese Hop. Photo courtesy of Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org

When I tell friends and family my job title,

most who aren’t familiar with plant science give me a blank look, chuckle nervously, and ask me what it means. As the Noxious Weed Eradication Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Plant Protection Division, I have a long title that I still sometimes have trouble saying out loud without tripping over my tongue. Those of my friends and family who have plant science background often exclaim, “That is the BEST job title ever!” and ask what weeds I work on. Some think I am a weed eradication superhero, receiving notifications similar to a bat signal that I then investigate in the field to confirm and execute the eradication plan. While it’s true that there are elements of my job that remind me of a top secret super hero, the reality of plant biology and how plants can become invasive weeds means we rely more on science than heroics for weed eradication.

Cutleaf Teasel. Photo courtesy of Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org

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What is “weed eradication”? The MDA is the regulatory agency for controlling noxious and invasive weeds for the state. Noxious weeds, according to the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law (MN Statutes 18.75–18.91) are defined as “as an annual, biennial, or perennial plant that the Commissioner of Agriculture designates to be injurious to public health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock, or other property.” Minnesota currently has 26 plants on the noxious weed list, 11 of which are on the prohibited eradicate list, 10 on the prohibited control list, four on the restricted noxious weed list, and one on the specially regulated plant list. In contrast, invasive weeds are defined as “plant species that are not listed


Dalmatian Toadflax. Photo courtesy of Utah State University Archive, Utah State University, Bugwood.org as statewide noxious weeds and have great potential to spread if not managed immediately.” MDA has a list of targeted weeds on the eradication list. Targeted weeds for eradication typically exist in small areas and are not widespread throughout the state. Eradication of targeted noxious weeds means that all the above and below ground plant parts must be destroyed, as required by law. Additionally, no transportation, propagation, or sale of these plants is allowed. Measures must also be taken to prevent and exclude these species from being introduced into Minnesota. If that sounds like a huge undertaking, it is! Many of these noxious weeds are tenacious, and “noxious” for a reason: their biology allows them to outcompete our native plants and quite often insects and diseases that might keep them in check in their native habitats do not exist here. The lack of competition and ideal growing conditions means these noxious weeds can grow and spread, and disrupt our native ecosystems, often to the detriment of valuable forest and farmland. So how do we eradicate those weeds on the MDA prohibited eradicate list? Minnesota is a large state with very diverse landscapes and ecosystems. Tackling a list of weeds to eradicate requires cooperation from many groups of people to ensure timely removal, control, and continual monitoring of infested sites. Jointly, MDA, University of Minnesota Extension and Conservation Corps Minnesota (CCM) received funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund for outreach, survey and control of five eradicate list species: Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental Bittersweet), Digitalis lanata (Grecian Foxglove), Humulus japonicus (Japanese Hops), Linaria dalmatica (Dalmatian Toadflax), and Dipsacus laciniatus (Cut-leaved Teasel). These species are being systematically detected, surveyed, and entered into a mapping database. MDA and collaborators use the Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (www.eddmaps.

Oriental Bittersweet. Photo courtesy of James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org org) to report noxious weeds. Volunteer crews through CCM, using the survey maps, can then begin the eradication process on the infested sites. Landowners will monitor treated areas and report to MDA for three years following the initial control. People who are interested in helping with Oriental bittersweet management can become First Detectors. The Forest Pest First Detector program is jointly produced by MDA, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and University of Minnesota Extension. Training workshops teach volunteers to identify insect and plant pests, the survey methods used, and how to report sightings of pests. First Detectors often provide the crucial early data needed to determine sites infested by noxious weeds so that eradication can proceed. Landowners or property managers who identify a potential eradication target weed on their property can also report the sighting to EddMapS or contact Arrest the Pest 888-545-6684 (voicemail) or Arrest.The. Pest@state.mn.us. We encourage all green industry professionals to take action by contacting MDA when they identify a noxious weed and learn the eradication procedure for the species identified. Noxious and invasive weeds threaten our natural habitats and ecosystems, in addition to cultivated farmland and landscapes. The earlier we can detect, identify, and eradicate those species on the target invasive species list, the better the chances are that we can contain and control destructive plant species.

is the Noxious Weed Eradication Coordinator for the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture (MDA) Plant Protection Division and can be reached at arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us.

Emilie Justen

february 14

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So you want to

own a tree company? If you do, make sure to get your company licensed. Jim Walsh | Vineland Tree Care


➾ tree licensure

A Sample of Twin Cities Metro Area City License Requirements Insurance

Proof of Bodily Property General List City MDA ISA Current Sticker Fee MN List of Damage Liability as Add’l Bond Injury Arborist License per Add’l Sales Federal Tree Care vehicles & Vehicle* Tax ID Tax ID Registry** equipment $1,000’s $1,000’s $1,000’s Insured $1,000’s Certification Note Fee

City Burnsville

$40

$0

Crystal

$100

yes

Deephaven

$50

yes

Eagan

$25

Falcon Heights

$35

Mendota Heights

$50

Minneapolis

$98

North Oaks North St Paul

$34

yes yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes yes

$100

yes

yes

$50

yes

yes

Roseville

$89 $90

$10

yes

St Paul

$178

$72

Wayzata

$67

yes

yes

2,000

2,000

yes 2.5

500/500

100

100/300

200

300/500

100

100/300

100

1, 2, 3 4, 5

6

yes

4

yes

300/1,000 100/300

yes yes

yes yes

$50 $1,022

yes

2,000

yes

yes

St Louis Park

Woodland

yes

2,000

2,000

100/300

100/100

yes

1,000

yes

100

100

yes

300/100

50/50

500/500

100

yes

yes

7

yes

2, 3

yes 1,000

5

3, 8 1, 6, 9

$116

* If $ are in column, city requires all service vehicles must have a sticker ** State Law Requires all tree companies register with the state — $25 annual fee All cities requiring licenses require Worker’s Compensation Insurance and allow opting out for sole proprietors Notes 1. If applying pesticides, requires proof of MDA Pesticide Applicators License 2. Requires reporting # of employees 3. Attest to complying with ANSI Standards 4. Report other city licenses held by company 5. List 6 customer references and summarize work experience 6. List names of employees performing work 7. In lieu of ISA Certification, applicant can attend a one hour City Forester Workshop 8. One time truck inspection required for all service trucks proving, among other things, a current DOT Inspection Sticker 9. Acknowledgement that Tree Removal Permits are Required Some of the other cities that require a License: Fridley, Coon Rapids, Apple Valley Cities with no license requirement: Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Minnetonka ( If proof of liability and/or workman’s compensation insurance & ISA Certification is submitted, they will post your company on their website.), Plymouth, Richfield, Woodbury, Maplewood

T

he licensing rules vary by city from no license at all to some that are quite involved. You could work in some cities with no license but the State of Minnesota requires all tree services to register through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Tree Care Registry for an annual fee of $25. The cost of a single city tree service license is not great. Forty dollars for a license in Burnsville is on the low end, but as usual, the cost is in the details — the Burnsville insurance requirements are among the highest in the metro. Increasing our insurance limits costs our company $800 or so per year. The time to maintain a license in any one city is not too much. For example, the City of St. Paul sends out a renewal invoice so there are fewer boxes to fill in. There are varying requirements among the cities and the different forms — it’s a lot of busy work. I wonder if any of the cities with a license requirement make enough money off the license fees to justify the time it takes them to license? I asked some of my friends about their company’s licensing requirements.

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Heidi Heiland of Heidi’s Lifestyle Garden’s: “The only requirement

is a shovel and pick-up truck.” Jason Rathe of Field Outdoor Spaces: “We are not required to have any licenses, unless you count MDA’s — Nurseryman’s License and Pesticide Applicator License.” Tim Malooly of Irrigation by Design: (whom I paraphrase) “There are as many as three separate statewide licenses related to irrigation work.” I wonder why the need to license tree companies in each city arose in the first place? Why not gardening services, landscape contractors or irrigation providers? Above is a chart showing some of the Twin Cities municipalities and a broad outline of their requirements and difference between the requirements. It seems the only thing the cities agree on is registering with the Minnesota Department of Revenue and paying sales taxes. jim walsh of Vineland Tree Care is an ISA Certified Arborist and can be contacted at jim@vinelandtree.com.


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

651-955-3319 jeffpalmer@arborjet.com

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

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


when is the

best time to PRUNE? Although trees are quite resilient and may be pruned anytime, there are both practical as well as biological reasons to prune or not prune during certain times of the year. Faith Appelquist | Tree Quality

february 14

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➾ tree pruning

Some trees ooze sap from pruning wounds made in late winter or early spring. This usually is not harmful to the tree.

Pruning is easier when the branch structure is visible and not obstructed with leaves.

I

f it is between opening up a wound to heat or opening to the cold, opening the wound to the cold is best. Optimally, the perfect window would be past February and into March. The chance of frostbite on the sensitive cambium is less, and the sap is not rising. When certain species are trimmed during the growing season, such as American Elms or Oaks, pheromones (scents) are given off at the wound, attracting insects that can carry fungus on their bodies that can infect these trees. These trees are best pruned in the fall or early spring. Deadwood should be pruned anytime because it is a health and safety issue. Deadwood is food for decay organisms and the quicker it is removed from a tree the sooner it can start closing the wound and preventing the spread of decay. If the tree was planted for its spring flowers, such as magnolia, dogwood, crabapple, you will want to wait until after it has flowered to prune. Otherwise you prune flower buds off and reduce the abundance of flowers that spring. For certain species such as maples and birches, I would trim these in the summer to minimize sap oozing or ‘bleeding’. Pruning during full leaf is fine, but dormant season is probably still best for tree health. Faith Appelquist can

Pruning an oak in the fall. 20

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be contacted at faith@treequality.com.


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➾ top annuals

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

top ten PERFORMIN

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Steven R. Poppe and Esther Jordan | University of Minnesota West Central Research and Center, Morris, Minnesota

ORMING annuals

Each year at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, hundreds of new cultivars are trialed at the Horticulture Display Garden. In 2013, over 500 cultivars from plant breeding companies around the world were evaluated based on unique characteristics, exceptional performance, color and vigor under regional conditions. Only the highest rating cultivars earn the distinction of a Top Ten Performing Annual.

> Thunbergia ‘Lemon A-Peel®’ is a fast growing vine that is heat tolerant and grows easily in full sun without the need to deadhead. Lemon A-Peel offers a superior ground cover, or makes an impressive showing on a trellising system. The plant can grow up to 10–12 feet, has numerous yellow flowers with black eyes.

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➾ top annuals

I

n addition to the annual flower trials, the Horticulture Display Garden is also an All-America Selections® (AAS) trial and display garden. An AAS Display Garden features proven superior garden performers in North America. An AAS Trial Ground is where AAS entries are planted next to comparisons and are observed and evaluated by an AAS Trial Judge applying several criteria. Only the best performers become AAS winners. The flower trials conducted at the garden provide valuable information for consumers and plant breeding companies, landscaping businesses and flower nurseries. The annual flower trials contribute to an impressive floriculture display, offering education on growing tips, research and demonstration for sustainable gardening practices, and an abundance of inspiring ideas. The Horticulture Display Garden is open throughout the growing season from dawn until dusk and is free of charge; thousands of visitors come to the garden throughout the year. For a complete list of results on the annual flower trial, please refer to wcroc.cfans.umn.edu. 24

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 Scaevola ‘Paper Doll Top Model’ (top) is compact, provides numerous blue violet flowers all summer long, and performs exceptionally well in the heat. Paper Doll Top Model exhibits a mounded trailing habit, making it an excellent choice as an accent in mixed containers or alone in large hanging baskets.  Fuseables® ‘Burgundy Starlight’ (above) is one of the new dazzling varieties of fuseables, taking the guesswork out of component selection. Burgundy Starlight is made up of Petunia Dreams Burgundy and Petunia Easy Wave® Burgundy Star for a bright burgundy and white combination. Burgundy Starlight produced numerous flowers at the beginning of the season, and continued with eye-catching color and tremendous growth throughout summer.


 Bacopa Big Falls™ ‘Dark Blue’ is a new color in the Big Fall series with large flowers and a bold blue color, making it a go-to variety for combination plantings. The Bacopa Big Falls series is known for its superb branching and short crop time, as well as its saturated colors. Big Falls performs best in full sun baskets or containers. > Verbena Temari® ‘Cherry Red’ is a compact vigorous trailing variety ideal for all types of patio containers, hanging baskets, landscapes and combinations. This cherry red with white eye flower offers continuous flowering from spring to late fall, making it a knockout for any garden. Plant height is 4–10" with a plant spread of up to 48". Pruning or pinching is not necessary as these plants are self-cleaning.  Geranium Interspecific Boldly™ ‘Dark Red’ has very attractive dark red flowers. The plant has a mounded habit, exceptional heat tolerance and a perfect choice for mono containers or in combination with other medium vigor varieties. This is an interspecific cross between zonal and ivy geraniums, and Boldly™ has more zonal traits than ivy traits. This variety will reach 10–12" in height and will spread to 12–14" in full sun.

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➾ top annuals

 Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz™ Sunset’ features an abundance of fiery red-orange, bell-shaped blooms which cover this trailing plant from late spring until frost. The well branched Santa Cruz Sunset looks full and lush in a pot or hanging basket and is an outstanding choice for any climate. The leaves are large, arrow-shaped, and neatly serrated, with pronounced uniform veins.

 Vinca ‘Cora Cascade Strawberry’ is a hybrid series of trailing vinca that produces early bicolor pink blooms with a rosy center until frost. Hybrid vigor translates to large flowers with thick glossy foliage. The Cora Cascade Strawberry variety is well-branching, creating a nice mounded, trailing habit, and produces flowers with overlapping petals. Cora Cascade Strawberry also exhibits a very high tolerance to aerial Phytopthera disease. < Coleus ‘Mastermind’ has large yellow-green tipped leaves making this hybrid an eye-catching coleus. Mastermind is tolerant of varying light conditions, easy to grow, has incredible growth and is very uniform.  Portulaca Purslane ‘Soleil Yellow’ offers large, vibrant flowers all summer long, without deadheading. Soleil Yellow is heat, humidity and drought tolerant making it an excellent variety for the care-free gardener. Plant grows about 6" tall with a trailing habit. Performs well in pots, window boxes and baskets, as well as an outstanding selection for a ground cover.

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➾ legal issues

Get Paid for Your Work! As a Green Industry contractor, you overcome bad weather, supply shortages, and jobsite risks on a daily basis. After getting through all of that, the last thing that you should have to worry about is getting paid for the work you’ve done. Unfortunately, that is a problem that landscapers and other contractors are facing more frequently today than ever before.

Bryan Zlimen

Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC

when you have a client that has not paid for your work, you have several options for collecting the funds you’re owed. Regardless of which path you take, however, having a written contract for the job and records of bills and payments is going to be the key to recovering the money. Demand Letter: If you have sent one bill that was not paid, promptly send a second bill with a letter stating the unpaid balance and requiring it be paid by a set date. If the amount owed is not paid by that date, often a demand letter from an attorney will show the other party that you are serious about your rights and that it would be in their best interest to pay the funds that are owed. Mechanic’s Lien: If the demand letter does not persuade the homeowner to pay, you may be able to get a Mechanic’s Lien on the property. A Mechanic’s Lien is a powerful remedy that gives you an ownership interest in the homeowner’s property and will prevent the homeowner from selling or refinancing while the lien is active. Once you obtain a lien, you may also be able to force a sale of the property to pay off the amount owed. A lien is usually only available to you if you provide the proper pre-lien notice to the homeowner and follow other statutory procedures. You should be sure to have your contracts and procedures reviewed by an attorney to make sure that you aren’t giving up your lien rights. Conciliation Court: For recovering payments of $10,000 or less, Conciliation Court (also called Small Court) can be an option. Conciliation Court involves both parties telling their side of the dispute to a court-

appointed referee. Based on that information, the referee makes a ruling that can be turned into a judgment. Consulting with an attorney before bringing such an action can help you strategize and organize your case to give you a better chance of recovering what you’re owed. District Court: You may be able to pursue the amount owed in a District Court hearing. This is a more formal remedy, with no limit on the amount you can recover. It can be more costly than Conciliation Court, but automatically gives the winning party an enforceable judgment. Regardless of the collection method you choose, it is critical that you do not delay. Your chances for recovering the money you are owed is significantly greater 15 days after a job than 90. Additionally, many of the methods above have strict time limits applied to them. If you do not act within the allowed time, you can lose your collections rights. This article provides general information on business and collections 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. is one of the founding partners of Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC. His law practice focuses on assisting contractors & other small business owners. He has 12 years of experience working in residential construction and landscaping. He can be reached at bzlimen@zmattorneys.com or 651-331-6500.

Bryan Zlimen

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➾ networking

networking news In 2013 MNLA members attended 27 separate networking meetings/events. MNLA networking groups are based around establishing relationships with people who can help you advance your career and business in many ways. Through these informal meetings, MNLA members have met someone new, learned something new, and were able to get just in time answers to nagging industry questions.

Nursery Networking Group date & time: 12/4 – 3:00 PM location: University of Minnesota Urban

Forestry Outreach, Research and Extension Nursery

Top Takeaways • Good group yesterday, but small due to the snow.  • Chad Giblin described the elm program he has developed and talked about the new American elm cultivars being considered locally. Very interesting stuff. As I think of the “nativar” idea I have discussed with invasive species folks, Chad’s program can provide us with possible new cultivars of many native species. He is well connected with Bailey’s.  • Sean Peterson talked about the University end of the Tree Inspector program a bit.  • Valerie Price then talked a bit about a program they have developed involving citizen Tree Care Advisors and Citizen Pruners. Gary summarized and emphasized that these trained volunteer pruners were doing scout work for their towns’ arborists like pruning ground and trunk sprouts below 6.5', so the arborists could concentrate on what they do well up higher. This is a great idea for cities.  • Finally, Gary Johnson and a French exchange scientist summarized what’s happening in the gravel bed program. 

Top Takeaways

Garden Center Networking Group

• 8 people (5 firms) attended.

date & time: 12/13 – 9:00 AM

• Companies are reducing sku’s as the season goes along and most are now thinking it’s okay to have fewer varieties as the season goes on.

location: Otten Bros. topic: Process to Stock Store

• Had a discussion on Hydrangeas and most companies are considering reducing varieties to start the season. There are a dozen or so plant categories that are just getting too large and the repetition needs to be reduced. • One company was getting perennials on consignment for a perennial of the week. Every week the grower would deliver a new variety and take back what didn’t sell.

Professional Gardening Services Networking Group date & time: 12/12 – 3:00 PM location: Davanni’s, Richfield topic: Share Experiences from 2013

and Plans for 2014

Top Takeaways • 8 people attended. Generally, companies had a good year and are exploring ways to expand and improve efficiencies. We discussed: • Working 10 hours over 4 days. • Creating additional staging sites to allow crews to avoid traffic when picking up or dumping materials. • Only taking new clients that fit a specific geographical area to minimize windshield time. • Hiring the right staff to free up the owner’s time. • Also discussed was the closing of Linder’s Garden Center. Alternative sources for plant material were shared among the group.

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

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UPPER MIDWEST Upcoming Event 

Nursery Networking Group date & time: 2/11 – 9:30 AM location: Bailey Nurseries’ headquarters

1325 Bailey Rd., St. Paul We will meet in the Gordon Bailey Training Room in the HR building, which is across the parking lot to the east of Bailey’s main office. Parking is available in front of and to the east of the HR Building. Schedule will be as follows: 9:30

Meet in the Training Room at Bailey’s for Coffee and the networking meeting.  

Tim Power: Barberry Update – Noxious Weed Advisory Committee

Kevin Johnston: Changes to large caliper bareroot tree production in our 4 year fields.

Update on how this growing season affected harvest.

Open discussion: Including discussion of what people would like to hear in these networking meetings.

Debbie Lonnee: chair of MNLA’s Education committee, would love to hear potential topics and speakers for upcoming educational events and for the 2015 Green Expo.

10:45 Tour (C Cooler) — See Grading and Rose/Evergreen storage. 11:00 Drive down to main Coolers (Behlen) for a 45 minute tour. Please dress for mud and cold. To sign up, please go to the events section at www.mnla.biz and scroll to February 11th to find this event. Brenda Wickenhauser will be our networking host. The meeting will provide great discussion, and the tours will show us Bailey’s latest and greatest products in their coolers. Thanks to Brenda and to Bailey’s for hosting this event!

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DOWNLOAD sales tax sheets Minnesota Revenue published updates to two key sales tax fact sheets in 2012. Nursery and Greenhouse Production: Sales Tax Fact Sheet 174 Nursery and greenhouse production farms that grow trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, potted plants and other plants for sale ultimately at retail qualify for the agricultural production and farm machinery exemptions. (The definitions of farm machinery and agricultural production are located on page two.) Nursery and greenhouse operations that store plant stock waiting to be sold at retail or house inventory for landscapers do not qualify for the agricultural production and farm machinery exemptions. Please download the latest version of Sales Tax Fact Sheet 174 (last updated in May 2012) from http://www.revenue.state. mn.us/businesses/sut/factsheets/FS174.pdf. Farm Machinery: Sales Tax Fact Sheet 106 New and used farm machinery is exempt from sales tax. To qualify for the exemption, the machinery must meet the definition of “farm machinery” and must be used directly and principally in “agricultural production.” The definitions of farm machinery and agricultural production are in the fact sheet. Please download the latest version of Sales Tax Fact Sheet 106 (last updated in December 2012) from http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/businesses/sut/ factsheets/FS106.pdf.

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Preserving Trees during Construction: It’s about Time “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.” William Blake (1757–1827). Faith Appelquist and Luke Midura | Tree Quality and Natural Creations, Inc.

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A

bout two years ago, I was asked to prepare a Tree Protection Plan for a 50-foot high silver maple, located in harmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s way to where a new three car garage was to be built. Brad, the homeowner, loved the tree. It shaded the house and driveway, provided a play area for the kids, blocked the view of the neighbors and was the only mature tree on the property. With a Tree Protection Plan in place, Brad constructed the garage with minimal impacts to the tree. Today the tree is healthy and is an asset to his property. This turned out well for the tree and for Brad. Unfortunately, the conflict between land development and tree protection often seems to be a losing battleâ&#x20AC;Śfor the tree. As land becomes more valuable, trees are fighting for the same high end real-estate. Trees need space, both above and below ground, like a tiger needs a 7-mile hunting range. I have been called to many sites with mature dying trees that were damaged by the repeated passes of a bobcat vehicle over the root system or the building of a retaining wall years ago. When tree damage occurs it cannot be corrected but in most cases easily prevented. Homeowners lose property value, infrastructure value, ecosystem value and, in many neighborhoods, a sense of place. A frequently raised argument against tree preservation is that it costs too much. I would respond that the cost to protect a tree are usually far less than its appraised value. In addition, any increased cost associated with tree preservation is typically recovered in higher prices and faster sales of the developed land. Oftentimes, a building site is chosen because of the presence of mature trees. Lots where trees are preserved can be sold more

REAL AND IMAGINARY ROOT SYSTEMS: Only in textbooks do tree roots stop at the drip line (left). You may kill up to half of the real root system (right) if you start digging there.

quickly and at higher prices. Research has shown that mature trees increase the worth of a property up to 12 percent. Home builders such as C.P.Morgan in Indiana and D. Yost in Oklahoma have found that wooded loots sell for 20 percent more than un-wooded lots. Developers who understand these values realize that it is in their best interest to encourage the preservation of trees. How do trees become damaged during construction?

Small, apparently insignificant events add up over the length of the project and can result in a dying or stressed tree. The overall effect february 14

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of the impacts and injuries that result from demolition, clearing, grading, and construction is cumulative. The problem is aggravated by the reality that the participants in the development process change over time, as the work of each individual member is completed. Few people appreciate that an impact resulting from their activity is but one of a number that accumulate over time. Typical negative impacts that may occur during construction include: • Mechanical injury to roots, trunk or branches • Compaction of the surrounding soil • Severing and removal of roots by excavation • Poisoning from spillage or storage of fuel, oil, chemicals, etc.  • Changes in soil levels around trees. • Installation of impermeable surfaces. • Alteration of the water table — either raising or lowering. • Microclimate change, exposing sheltered trees to sun or wind. • Sterile soil conditions, associated with stripping off topsoil. Out of all these, soil compaction is the most damaging. Once compacted, it is almost impossible to reverse. Soil compaction destroys pore space and removes air and water, all of which physically prevents tree roots from penetrating. Good for buildings and roads, perhaps, but bad for trees (and, ultimately, the city dwellers who enjoy them). Where are tree roots?

Tree roots develop and survive where there is adequate oxygen and moisture. Most 34

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active tree roots are in the top 3 feet of soil; the majority are in the top 12 inches. The more compacted or poorly drained the soil, the closer the roots are to the soil surface. Roots normally grow outward to about three times the branch spread. Only 50 percent of the tree’s root system occurs between the trunk and the dripline. Roots on one side of the tree normally supply the foliage on the same side of the tree. When the roots on one side of the tree are injured the branches on that side of the tree may die. Steps to protect existing trees from construction:

• Hire a consultant to prepare a Tree Protection Plan. This should be in place before construction begins. It is intended to guide a project from beginning to end to insure that appropriate practices will be implemented in the field to eliminate undesirable consequences that may result from uninformed or careless acts. I use the term ‘consultant’ to describe the person preparing a Tree Protection Plan. Professionals offering these services may be consulting arborists, forestry consultants, foresters, urban foresters or in some cases landscape architects. • Never sever a root that is 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Besides being bad for the tree’s health, this could cause the tree to topple over. Some best practices allow cutting, on one side, at a distance of 3 to 6 times the trunk diameter.

• Set up construction fences around trees that are large enough to protect the roots as well as the trunk of the tree. • Allow no digging, trenching or construction materials to be stored on the tree roots. • Plan only one access route on and off the property. • Clearly define for all contractors where they can park and drive. • Set up storage sites for construction equipment, material, and excess soil. I have learned over the years that even saving trees, whether marginal in structure or species or position in relationship to excavation, can save something much more important than the tree itself. You save the soil profile. I will often be very frank about this with clients. Often, they are willing to go along, within budget, to save a marginal tree for a while. It could take ten years for the tree to die from construction damage or it might take many more. If it declines they have retained healthy soil for a new tree to get started. That is better than planting in homogenous post-construction soils with poor structure. In the meantime they can enjoy a tree that is of a scale that they could not replace in a single lifetime. Because it takes 100 years to get a 100 year old tree. Tree preservation: it’s about time. are members of the MNLA Communications + Technology Committee. Faith’s email is faith@treequality. com and Luke’s is luke@naturalcreationsmn.com.

Faith and Luke

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➾ MNLA news

2014

Congratulations! Congratulations to the following individuals who were honored with MNLA Awards at the 2014 Awards Gala on January 9, 2014 at the Millennium Hotel.

Bachman Enters MNLA Hall of Fame

Heger Receives MNLA Special Service Award

Dale Bachman of Bachman’s, Inc. in Minneapolis, was inducted into the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association Hall of Fame during the MNLA Awards Gala held on Jan. 9.

Michael L. Heger was honored with a Special Service Award during the MNLA Awards Gala on Jan. 9. Heger recently retired as the owner of Ambergate Gardens, a nursery business focusing on distinctive perennials in Chaska, Minn.

The MNLA Hall of Fame honors leaders who have given long-time service to the association and the industry. The commitment and sacrifice made by these leaders will have dramatically improved the activities, stature or services of the association. “Bachman is a consummate professional whose firm is respected throughout the industry,” said then MNLA President Debbie Lonnee, Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Under Dale Bachman’s guidance, Bachman’s, Inc., founded in 1885, currently operates 29 retail stores in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud, including six Floral, Home and Garden Centers, as well as twenty-three retail Floral Stores. Bachman’s also operates indoor and outdoor landscaping divisions, a nursery wholesale and hardscapes division, ten acres of greenhouses, and a 670-acre growing range near Lakeville, Minn., which produces many of the plants, flowers, and landscaping products sold at Bachman’s locations. Bachman has served as the president of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association as well as the American Nursery & Landscape Association. In addition, he is a Trustee of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association Foundation, a Trustee-Emeritus of the University of Minnesota Foundation and an Honorary Member of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Board of Trustees. In 2005, Bachman was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. Bachman has donated countless hours to ensuring that the future of the green industry in Minnesota and nationally remains strong through volunteerism and advocacy. He received a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science from the University of Minnesota in 1972 and immediately began employment at Bachman’s, Inc. He became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in August of 2008. Bachman resides in Eden Prairie, Minn., with wife, Ruth.

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MNLA’s Special Service Award honors MNLA members or industry friends who have, over a long period of time, given of themselves personally and/or professionally to make the nursery and landscape business a better industry. For the last 28 years, Heger has focused on growing distinctive plant material and helping to educate his customers about their proper placement. Before opening the nursery in 1985, he spent 15 years in public horticulture at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Heger is widely known for his perennial expertise and industry and consumer educational endeavors. Heger is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and over the course of his career he has held volunteer leadership positions with the Perennial Plant Association, Minnesota State Horticultural Society, and the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association. In addition, he has been awarded a Quill & Trowel Communication Award from the Garden Writers Association as well as the Distinguished Service Award and the Award of Merit from the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. Heger spent many years on the MNLA Publications committee where he focused on keeping the Perennials catalog fresh and new as a sales tool for member businesses. His tireless efforts did not go unnoticed. According to MNLA Past President Debbie Lonnee and former chair of the MNLA Publications Committee, “Heger is the foremost leading expert on perennials in Minnesota.  His thoughtful study of varieties has led him to be an expert on perennials that perform for gardeners in this state.  He is a prolific author, renowned speaker and has been a top notch volunteer for the MNLA, specifically helping create and edit the popular Perennials catalog.” 


Stennes Receives MNLA Special Service Award

Ullom Named MNLA Volunteer of the Year

Mark Stennes was honored with a Special Service Award during the MNLA Awards Gala on Jan. 9, 2014. Stennes recently retired as the Director of Plant Pathology for S & S Tree Specialists Service where he had been employed since 2005.

Dennis Ullom was named Volunteer of the Year during the MNLA Awards Gala held Jan. 9. In 1974, Ullom founded St. Croix Tree Service a commercial arboriculture firm located in Roberts, Wisc. that serves the western Twin Cities metro area.

MNLA’s Special Service Award honors MNLA members or industry friends who have, over a long period of time, given of themselves personally and/or professionally to make the nursery and landscape business a better industry.

Ullom is an active member of the MNLA Foundation Board of Trustees and a former member of the MNLA Commercial Arborists Committee. In addition, he currently leads the newly created CEO Networking Group for MNLA where he fosters CEO interaction and relationships.

Stennes has devoted 32 years to the study and health care of trees in the state of Minnesota. He has researched and documented the effectiveness and safety of treatment programs, including empirical studies of the efficacy of systemic fungicides used for the control of vascular wilt diseases of shade trees. He is an internationally recognized authority on the practical management of Dutch elm disease and oak wilt, and is a determined and nationally solicited speaker/educator on arboricultural topics.

Ullom was honored this year because of his work in 2013 to raise awareness of green industry careers among students, educators and parents as well as his role to foster industry camaraderie through the CEO Networking Group.

Stennes discovered, in Afton, Minn., the ‘St. Croix’ American elm, a naturally occurring cultivar that has been proven tolerant of the Dutch elm disease pathogen by the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota. Bailey Nurseries, Inc. is working on increasing the number of trees available for distribution starting in 2015. Stennes is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and over the course of his career has held volunteer leadership positions with the American National Standards Institute, Minnesota Society of Arboriculture, Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation, Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Committee, and the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association. During the Awards ceremony then MNLA President Debbie Lonnee said, “Stennes has led the charge to ensure that Minnesota trees are happy and healthy and can be enjoyed by generations to come. His leadership and passion for advancing tree research and education is second to none.” Stennes resides with his family in New Brighton, Minn.

One of the key focus areas of the MNLA Foundation is to inform and educate about careers in the green industry. Ullom plays a key role in advancing the knowledge of students about careers in the green industry as a whole, and specifically arboriculture. He has helped to organize a program at Hennepin Technical College and helps to raise awareness and money for the Foundation’s scholarship program. According to outgoing MNLA President Debbie Lonnee, “Dennis enthusiastically makes it his cause to educate students, teachers, and parents about the opportunities for a career path in this industry. Being that the future of the green industry workforce is a continuing concern, his efforts will help the future of all green industry companies moving forward.” In addition to this outreach, Ullom has helped foster relationships among MNLA members, specifically industry CEOs and top management. He organizes and facilitates the MNLA CEO Networking Group that gathers quarterly to discuss issues of concern and to learn from one another. Ullom serves on his local Lions Club, sits on the advisory board for Hennepin Technical College, the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Accreditation Council and the Hudson Urban Forestry Board in addition to his volunteer roles with MNLA.

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➾ mnla awards gala

GALA

Bob Wallace, Becca Bastyr, Jim Sweeney, and Heather Grossmann, all of Mom’s Landscaping and Design, pose with their three Landscape Awards and their peeking photographer, Steve Silverman.

Bob Palmer from Landscape Renovations chats with Minnesota State Representative Dennis McNamara.

The evening of Thursday, January 9 marked the return of the MNLA Awards Gala. We celebrated the Volunteer of the Year, two Special Service Award winners, a Hall of Fame inductee, plus 21 Landscape Award-winning projects and the people behind them.

New MNLA board member Patrick McGuinness with Jodi and Chris Axel of Axel Landscape.

MNLA Communications Director Jon Horsman congratulates Jeff McCabe, Pat Weiss, and Nathan Anderson of Ground One Enterprises on their two Landscape Awards.

Alyson Landmark of Bachman’s Landscaping with Karen Filloon of Southview Design.

Jeff Norman, Mindy Zittel, and Steve Leuer, all of Designing Nature Inc. stand in front of their project poster.

Thanks to these volunteers who worked to bring the Awards Gala and the Landscape Awards program back to MNLA this year: Recognizing Excellence Task Team: Jason Rathe, Field Outdoor Spaces Randy Schmitz, Scenic Specialties Landscape Center Colleen Moran, Southview Design Anne-Marie Moseman, Mickman Brothers Jim Saybolt, biota | Landscape Design + Build biota | A Landscape Design + Build Firm took home three Landscape Awards. Tom Kobayashi, Kristi Koziolek, Eric Alward, Michael Zetah, Chad Folstad and Mike Mead accept the awards from MNLA Past President Debbie Lonnee.

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS:

Landscape Awards Task Team: David Sonka, Landscape Design Studios Colleen Moran, Southview Design Eric Baldus, TerraVista Landscape and Design Julie King, Sage Landscape Design Patrick Warden, Bachman’s Landscaping Look for short profiles of winning projects from the 2014 MNLA Landscape Awards in upcoming issues of The Scoop.

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➾ gov ernment affairs

Noxious Weed Advisory Committee Makes 2013 Recommendations Minnesota’s Noxious Weed Advisory Committee (NWAC), representing MNLA and up to 17 other stakeholder organizations, advises the commissioner of agriculture concerning recommended additions, deletions and changes to Minnesota’s noxious weed lists.

Tim Power

MNLA Government Affairs Director

nwac works in an annual cycle to nominate, discuss and finally to vote on plants for potential action regarding the lists. A subcommittee of NWAC produces risk assessments for each of the nominated species and then presents those risk assessments to the full NWAC. After several weeks to consult with their individual constituencies, NWAC members vote on recommended actions for nominated species at their final meeting of the year. NWAC’s 2013 voting meeting was held on December 18th. See mnnoxiousweeds.wikispaces.com for details. 2013 was a review year for NWAC, meaning that our efforts were spent reviewing or completing risk assessments either completed or begun in previous years. The risk assessments for Japanese barberry and the knotweeds were begun in 2011. In 2012, NWAC voted to recommend listing Japanese knotweed and giant knotweed as Specially Regulated Plants. However, the noxious weed category definitions were not yet in statute, so MNLA, other NWAC members and MDA lobbied the 2013 legislature and successfully amended the noxious weed law to include category definitions. NWAC voted in December 2013 to accept the recommendation made by the Listing Subcommittee in their Japanese barberry risk assessment, recommending to the commissioner to designate Japanese barberry as a Specially Regulated Plant, with a management plan to phase out and then ban the seediest 25 Japanese barberry cultivars.  This is the same recommended “ban” list that the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association developed as a result of several years of barberry fecundity research at the University of Connecticut. Left undecided by NWAC’s barberry vote was the fate of other cultivars not tested among the original 45 and the species by Dr. Mark Brand at UCONN.  The other Japanese barberry recommendation made by NWAC was that the literature

should be reviewed by the Listing Subcommittee every year going forward unless and until a better metric than “seeds/plant” can be found and tested for determining a “ban/ok to plant” threshold for new cultivars.  The table on the following pages lists each 2013 reviewed plant’s current status, the recommendations made by NWAC’s Listing Subcommittee in their risk assessments, and finally the voted recommendations of the full NWAC. In cases of plants where NWAC voted to approve something other than the recommendations in the risk assessments, the changes are shown in bold. In particular, purple loosestrife and leafy spurge will remain on the ProhibitedControl list, and wild parsnip’s management plan will be worded slightly differently, if the commissioner endorses NWAC’s recommendations. The commissioner may or may not follow NWAC’s recommendation to move Canada thistle from the Prohibited-Control list to the Restricted list, because there are political considerations beyond the science of the risk assessment. The votes were close on all the thistles, and there may be some kickback from NWAC’s recommendation to remove plumeless and musk thistle from the Restricted list. The rationale for their removal is that both plants show up as a result of human disturbance or overgrazing, each of which can be mitigated.  The idea is that we should not regulate bad behavior; rather we should regulate only bad plants.  NWAC’s administrator forwarded NWAC’s voted recommendations to MDA Commissioner Frederickson in late December. The commissioner will make a decision about what regulation will occur for Japanese barberry and the other species within 45 days thereafter.  We should have a finalized commissioner’s declaration by about mid-February, so that MDA’s weed scientists can train county agricultural inspectors in the newly revised noxious weed lists. february 14

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➾ gov ernment affairs 2013 REVIEWED PLANTS 2013 Risk Assessment/ Management Plan

Plant

Current Status

Japanese Barberry

None – Risk assessment ongoing since 2011

Specially Regulated Plant/ Phase Out Seediest Varieties

Specially Regulated Plant/Phase Out Seediest Varieties

Japanese Knotweed

None – Risk assessment ongoing since 2011

Specially Regulated Plant 2012/ Advise not to plant in floodplain and male clones prohibited

No action. 2013 legislature added category definitions to statute, allowing designation

Giant Knotweed

None – Risk assessment ongoing since 2011

Specially Regulated Plant 2012 / Advise not to plant in floodplain

No action. 2013 legislature added category definitions to statute, allowing designation

European/Common Buckthorn

Restricted Noxious Weed

Restricted Noxious Weed

No Change

Glossy Buckthorn and Cultivars

Restricted Noxious Weed

Restricted Noxious Weed

No Change

Common Tansy

Prohibited – Control List

Prohibited – Control

No Change

Spotted Knapweed

Prohibited – Control List

Prohibited – Control

No Change

Poison Ivy

Specially Regulated Plant

Specially Regulated Plant

No Change

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2013 NWAC/ Management Plan


2013 REVIEWED PLANTS 2013 NWAC/ Management Plan

Plant

Current Status

Wild Parsnip

Prohibited – Control List

Specially Regulated Plant/ Allow cultivated varieties and prohibit wild-type and escapes

2013 NWAC/ Management Plan Specially Regulated Plant/ Prohibit all but cultivated varieties in cultivation

Garlic Mustard

Prohibited – Control List

Restricted Noxious Weed

Restricted Noxious Weed

Purple Loosestrife

Prohibited – Control List

Restricted Noxious Weed

Prohibited-Control List

Canada Thistle

Prohibited – Control List

Restricted Noxious Weed

Restricted Noxious Weed

Musk Thistle

Prohibited – Control List

Remove from noxious weed list

Remove from noxious weed list

Plumeless Thistle

Prohibited – Control List

Remove from noxious weed list

Remove from noxious weed list

Leafy Spurge

Prohibited – Control List

Restricted Noxious Weed

Prohibited-Control List

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➾ Northen green expo

2014

Northern Green Expo 2014 – A Sensational Success!

Seminar rooms were jam-packed as booth sales and overall attendance both increased over last year’s totals.

Trade show traffic was terrific, especially on Thursday, and the keynote address on Wednesday provided an energetic boost to attendees and exhibitors.

MNLA and MTGF extends its sincere gratitude to exhibitors for their ongoing support of Expo. “The support of our exhibitors and sponsors is vital as we work to provide a first-class program of education, networking and commerce,” said MNLA Executive Director Cassie Larson. The job boards were well-used once again.

Next year’s Expo will return to the Minneapolis Convention Center on Jan. 14–16. MNLA and MTGF staff and volunteers are already hard at work on developing the education program.

Northern Green Expo 2014 Generously Supported By:

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1/22/2014 12:18:42 PM


Scoop_Rinn Padio 14_Feb-2014_OL.indd 1

12/19/13 2:34 PM


MNLA GARDEN CENTER SURVEY RESULTS The survey of garden center customers was conducted by the Minnesota Department of Agricultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Minnesota Grown Program working jointly with the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) and in cooperation with garden centers across the region. The objective was to identify demographic and purchasing patterns of current customers. Paul Hugunin & Greta Diers | Minnesota Grown

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➾ su rv ey results

G

arden centers were contacted through the Minnesota Grown Member Update e-newsletter and through MNLA newsletters. Additionally, MNLA offered the opportunity to sign-up at the 2013 Northern Green Expo. A total of 38 garden centers participated, four of which were located in Wisconsin or Iowa. For participating, each contributing garden center received a confidential copy of their individual results to compare to aggregate data. Each garden center received a postcard unique to their business with a shortened link and QR code for the customer to take the survey online. Paper surveys and return envelopes were provided as a secondary resource for those without computer access or preference. A total of 1,915 responses were collected between May 17 and August 20, 2013. As incentive to complete the survey, participants were given the option to include their name and email to be entered to win a fifty dollar gift certificate to the garden center they visited.

Results 1. HOW OFTEN DO YOU SHOP AT THIS GARDEN CENTER?

PERCENT

This is my first time at this garden center

10%

I shop at this garden center 1–2 times each year

20%

I shop at this garden center 3–4 times each year

24%

I shop at this garden center 5–6 times each year

18%

I shop at this garden center 7–8 times each year

10%

I shop at this garden center 9–10 times each year

6%

I shop at this garden center 11–12 times each year

3%

I shop at this garden center more than 12 times each year

8%

2. How many years have you shopped at this garden center?

Percent

This is my first year

13%

2 years

7%

3 years

9%

4 years

7%

5 years

11%

6–10 years

22%

More than 10 years

31%

3. Compared to previous years, are you shopping at this garden center more or less frequently?

This garden center:

Other garden centers:

36%

11%

Less frequently

8%

41%

About the same

54%

46%

More frequently

4. When choosing between this garden center and other centers, how important are the following factors in your decision?

48

Importance Scale 0–not important 4–very important

Quality

3.77

Variety

3.64

Knowledge/Expertise of staff

3.57

Courteousness/Friendliness of staff

3.41

Price

3.28

Availability of specific products

3.19

Ambiance/Atmosphere of the garden center

2.84

Availability of Minnesota Grown plants

2.57

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# of Responses

Importance Scale 0–not important 4–very important

Price

1765

2.75

Recommendation of garden center staff

1437

2.44

Attractiveness of display

1624

2.28

Advertisement from this garden center

1386

1.57

Seeing the plant in someone else’s landscape/garden (e.g. a friend/neighbor’s garden, public garden)

1325

1.56

Article of photo in magazine or newspaper

1091

0.83

Photo from Pinterest or other social media

1005

0.65

Program viewed on HGTV or other television station

969

0.64

5. If you purchased plants on this visit to this garden center, how important were the following factors in your decision to select the specific plants you purchased?

6. How much money did you spend at this garden center during this visit?

Percent

$1–50

40%

$51–100

32%

$101–200

19%

$201–300

4%

More than $300

4%

Average amount spent per customer on this visit: $84.19 7. How much money do you spend at this garden center during a TYPICAL growing season?

Percent

$100 or less

28%

$101–200

33%

$201–300

19%

$301–500

13%

$501–800

4%

More than $800

2%

Average amount spent per customer during a typical season: $208.23 8. In addition to this garden center, where else do you shop for plants and gardening or landscaping supplies?

Percent

Other garden center(s)

64%

“Big Box” stores (e.g. Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards)

56%

Farmers market

29%

Mail order

13%

Supermarket (e.g. Cub, Rainbow, HyVee)

13%

Superstore (e.g. Target, Walmart, Shopko, Pamida)

19%

Wholesale buying club (e.g. Sam’s Club, Costco

9%

Hardware store

10%

Seasonal garden center outlet (typically found in grocery store parking lots)

33%

Community plant sale/special event not at any of the above locations

18%

9. Including all locations where you shop, how much money do you spend on your garden and landscape during a typical year?

Percent

$100 or less

8%

$101–200

23%

$201–300

25%

$301–500

22%

$501–800

14%

More than $800

8%

Average amount spent per year at all locations per customer: $341.43

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➾ su rv ey results 10. In which of the following product categories did you make purchases on this visit to this garden center? (Mark all that apply)

Percent

Annuals

67%

Perennials

44%

Vegetables

30%

Evergreens

2%

Shrubs

10%

Trees

5%

Soils & mulches

17%

Garden/landscaping tools (e.g. spade, shovel, rake)

6%

Hard goods (e.g. pavers, concrete blocks, fountains)

3%

Seeds & bulbs

6%

Gift shop items (e.g. wind chimes, candles and other items not directly related to gardening or landscaping)

10%

11. Did someone come with you to shop at the garden center today? (Mark all that apply)

Percent

No, I came by myself

51%

Child/Children

14%

Spouse/Partner

30%

Other relative

7%

Friend(s)

4%

Question 12 asked “How does this garden center compare to other garden centers you have shopped at in terms of: variety, quality, price, ambiance/atmosphere, customer service, parking and location.” These results were useful to participating garden centers that could compare their ranking to the group as a whole. 13. Which of the following influenced your decision to shop at this garden center? (Mark all that apply) E-newsletter from this garden center

14%

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media

3%

Billboard

1%

Business signs visible from road/street

14%

Flyer/Mailing

11%

TV ad

1%

Radio ad

2%

Newspaper ad

8%

TV or radio story (not an advertisement)

<1%

Newspaper/Magazine article (not an advertisement)

1%

Recommendation from friend/family

23%

Minnesota Grown Directory

2%

This garden center’s website

9%

Online search engine like Google or Bing

1%

This garden center’s frequent shopping program or rewards program

15%

In store demonstration or educational event

2%

14. How far is this garden center from your home?

15. Do you own a smartphone?

Average distance traveled: 8.04 miles. 10% of customers drove more than 21 miles Percent

Yes

59%

No

41%

16. How often do you use the following social media platforms?

50

Percent

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56% of participants use Facebook at least one time per week 20% of participants use Pinterest at least one time per week 19% of participants use YouTube at least one time per week 6% of participants use Twitter at least one time per week


17. Which category best describes your gender?

Percent

Male

13%

Female

86%

18. If you have children at home, which category best describes their age(s)? (Mark all that apply)

Percent

I do not have children living at home

60%

0–5 years

8%

6–10 years

10%

11–14 years

9%

15–17 years

9%

18 years or older

15%

19. Which category describes your age? Younger than 18

Percent Less than 1%

18–29

3%

30–39

11%

40–49

19%

50–59

33%

60–69

24%

70 and over

8%

Average customer age: 53 20. Which of the following best describes your living arrangements?

Percent

Own home

90%

Own condominium or townhome

4%

Rent home

2%

Rent apartment/room

2%

21. Which category best describes your annual household annual income?

Percent

Less than $25,000

11%

$25,000 to $49,999

9%

$50,000 to $99,999

17%

$100,000 to $199,999

22%

$200,000 or more

5%

Prefer not to answer

27%

22. Please indicate the highest level of education you have completed? Some high school

Percent Less than 1%

High school diploma/GED

10%

Some college

20%

Associate’s degree

12%

Bachelor’s degree

32%

Graduate or professional degree

23%

23. Which of the following statements in most accurate?

Percent

I plan to return to this garden center

44%

I plan to return to this garden center and I will encourage others to shop here

54%

I do not plan to return to this garden center

Less than 1%

I do not plan to return to this garden center and will discourage others from shopping here

Less than 1%

Undecided

1%

* Please note all percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole percent. To obtain complete raw data or with any additional questions please contact Paul or Greta at the MDA: Paul Hugunin: paul.hugunin@state.mn.us – 651-201-6510 or Greta Diers: greta.diers@state.mn.us – 651-201-6469.

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➾ Research for the R eal World

Where Should You Focus Your Marketing Efforts? Increased sales and profitability are important to the success of all nursery and landscape firms and are especially critical in an increasingly competitive nursery and landscape business environment.

Dr. James Calkins

Research Information Director MNLA Foundation

research partially funded by the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) and recently published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture focuses on the effectiveness of promotional and advertising efforts relative to their potential to increase sales. The article begins by summarizing the results of a fairly significant body of research focused on the effectiveness of cooperative, generic promotional efforts designed to advance sales of a number of important commodities including flowers, apples, and milk and the considerably smaller body of research focused on the benefits of advertising employed by individual green industry firms. The objective of the research was to measure the effectiveness of green industry promotional and advertising expenditures on sales by answering three primary questions: 1) Does promotion and advertising increase sales?, 2) What types of promotion and advertising result in the highest return on investment?, and 3) Do the benefits of promotion and advertising vary depending on the size of the firm? To answer these questions, the researchers developed a model to calculate the increase in sales and the associated benefit cost ratio that resulted from promotional activities. For the purposes of the study, green industry firms were categorized as small, medium, large, and very large based on annual sales and sales ranges of $10,000– $250.000, $250.000–$1 million, $1–$5 million, and $5 million or more, respectively. In addition to firm size, the model also attempted to account for a variety of other factors including total annual sales, years in operation, technology use (an index based on the number of computerized operations), number of trade shows attended, published discounts, and region. The types of advertising and promotional expenditures that were compared included the internet, printed materials

(yellow pages, gardening publications, catalogs, trade journals, and newsletters), and mass media (radio, television, billboards, and tradeshows). A survey was sent to over 17,000 firms from all 50 states, of which 3,044 responded, to provide the data inputs for the model. Primary findings:

• The calculated return on investment associated with advertising and promotional expenditures varied depending on the type of media used (internet, printed materials, and mass media) and firm size and ranged from being non-significant to having a benefit cost ratio-based return on investment of $7.50 for every dollar spent on advertising and promotion. • There was a relationship between the number of years of operation and the use of computer technology and an increase in sales, but the increase in sales was not consistent for all sizes of firms; small firms benefited most followed by medium firms while larger firms did not benefit at all; these results were expected and are consistent with other research findings. • It was expected that increased technology use would generally result in increased sales, but the actual effect varied depending on firm size with medium sized firms benefiting while small and large firms did not; interestingly, increased technology use was detrimental based on sales generated for very large firms. • Trade show attendance also had a variable effect on sales based on firm size; attending trade shows increased sales for medium and very large firms, but small and large firms did not benefit by attending more trade shows based on sales numbers. february 14

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â&#x17E;ž research for the real world

Figure 1. In an increasingly competitive environment, maximizing the returns on marketing expenditures is a vital business objective; research indicates the effectiveness of promotional and advertising efforts relative to increased sales varies depending on firm size and the marketing methods used; activities focused on building relationships with consumers (the internet and printed materials) tend to benefit smaller firms the most while mass media activities are most likely to benefit larger firms (Photo Credit: Jim Calkins).

â&#x20AC;˘ All three of the forms of promotional and advertising activities studied (internet, printed materials, and mass media) increased sales for small and medium firms, but only printed materials benefited large firms and only mass media expenditures benefited very large firms; internet promotion did not result in an increase in sales for large and very large firms. â&#x20AC;˘ Based on benefit cost ratios, small firms benefited the most from all three of the types of promotion compared and internet promotions had the highest potential for the largest returns for both small and medium firms while sales for large and very large firms benefited most from mass media expenditures. â&#x20AC;˘ Smaller firms appear to benefit from advertising and promotional efforts that focus on building relationships with consumers (the internet and printed material) while mass media tends to be most cost effective for larger firms. 54

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Smaller firms appear to benefit from advertising and promotional efforts that focus on building relationships with consumers (the internet and printed material) while mass media tends to be most cost effective for larger firms. This research should be of interest to nursery and landscape professionals looking to increase sales, guarantee the most efficient use of promotional and advertising expenditures, and maximize the returns of their marketing efforts. Additional and more detailed analyses of the findings are included in the “Results and Discussion” section of the journal article. The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), an affiliate of the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA), was established over 50 years ago to help facilitate scientific research that benefits the nursery and landscape industry. The efforts of the Horticultural Research Institute, including publication of the Journal of Environmental Horticulture and scholarships for students committed to pursuing careers in horticulture, are made possible by financial contributions from individuals and nursery and landscape firms interested in enhancing the success and profitability of the nursery and landscape industry.

Citation: Palma, M.A., C.R. Hall, B. Campbell, H. Khachatryan, B. Behe, and S. Barton. Measuring the Effects of Firm Promotion Expenditures on Green Industry Sales. 2012. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 30(2):83–88. http://www.hriresearch.org/docs/HRI/JEH%20 30(2)%2083-88.pdf Additional information about the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) can be found at: http://www.hriresearch.org/index. cfm?page=Content&categoryID=154

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

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➾ section title

SEO Series, Part 2 of 3

5 Critical SEO Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website Chris Heiler | Landscape Leadership

The next tw o articles in o the most common m ur series will outline ista industry co mpanies m kes we see green ake relate engine op d to searc timization h (S E O) and the In this artic ir websites le we’ll co . ver the  on mistakes c -page  SEO ompanies m ake and in article we’l l cover the  off-page m the final istakes.

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This screenshot of the bottom of one company’s website shows an SEO mistake: links to 15 “doorway pages” (identical pages created not for screenshot, p57.indd 1 1/18/2014 4:12:51 PM people, but for search engines).

Y

ou have complete control over the on-page elements on your website so any mistakes you’ve made on your site should be fairly painless to clean up. Fixing what has been done off site is much more difficult because much is out of your control. Because of this, let’s start with the on-page elements. Keep in mind, your website needs to be designed up front with SEO being a top priority, but you have to balance that with creating a site that is truly user-friendly. This can be a difficult balance to strike and where many mistakes are made. With that said, let’s tackle the five most common SEO mistakes we see on green industry websites and offer a more effective solution for each. On-Page SEO Mistake #1: Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is an old-school SEO tactic that will not help you one bit. Today search engines like Google better understand the context and relevancy of a web page and site. While keyword density may have been a strong signal in the past it no longer carries much weight compared to other signals and ranking factors like quality of inbound links and social shares. That said, you still want to use best practices to optimize your pages for a primary keyword phrase, but you don’t need to worry about using the keyword phrase an unnatural number of times throughout your content. The more natural your content reads, the better. Google is not going to serve up your web page in their search results if it is unreadable by humans (10 years ago, yes, but not today). On-Page SEO Mistake #2: Not properly optimizing images

Did you realize you can optimize your images for the search engines just like you would a blog post or web page? It’s true, yet often overlooked.  What we’ve noticed is that many companies will pass on photos to an outside “webmaster” who will upload them to the website without considering how to optimize them. This is a huge mistake. You either need to provide your webmaster with the necessary information for each image so he/she can optimize them or you need to be uploading and optimizing the images yourself. Take the necessary time to optimize your images for your important keywords and local search terms. Here are the simple steps involved: 1. Rename the image file to include your keywords before you upload the image to your website. Ex: outdoor-kitchendesign-construction-stamford-connecticut.jpg 2. Use these same keywords in the image title and image alt tags. 3. Work these same keywords into the photo’s caption and  description.

If you use a CMS like Wordpress or HubSpot this is extremely easy to do. The screenshot to the right shows an example from Wordpress’ editor tool. On-Page SEO Mistake #3: Not properly optimizing meta data

Each page or blog post on your website has what is called meta data that essentially tells search engines what a particular page is about. Each page on your website should have unique, descriptive meta data. We’ve found many green industry websites that use the same meta data on all of their pages or use language that is very generic. That’s a big mistake. You have to make it easy for search engines like Google to interpret what your content is about. Meta data includes: • The title tag for each page (very important) • Meta keywords (choose one or two primary keywords to target for each page) • Meta description Your title tag and meta description should both include your primary keyword phrase, as should your page’s URL. If you work in Wordpress we highly recommend the Wordpress SEO plugin by Yoast for updating your pages’ meta data. On-Page SEO Mistake #4: Doorway pages with duplicate content

According to Google’s webmaster policies, “Doorway pages are typically large sets of poor-quality pages where each page is optimized for a specific keyword or phrase.” They go on to say, “Google frowns on practices that are designed to manipulate search engines and deceive users by directing them to sites that provide content solely for the benefit of search engines. Google may take action on doorway sites who use these deceptive practices, including removing these sites from Google’s index.” The bottom line is this: If you’re creating pages on your site solely for the search engines — instead of users — Google is gonna slap you. Unfortunately we see doorway pages being used on many green industry websites. Typically this is a tactic used by a company’s SEO firm or website designer or host and, many times, the company has no clue that this strategy is going to ultimately hurt them. The problem with these doorway pages is that they are considered duplicate content, meaning the majority of the content on each page is exactly the same except for the keyword phrases being optimized for. The screenshot above shows an example of this and is typical of what we see on green industry websites. In the screenshot (taken from the footer of the site’s home page) you’ll notice they have 15 total doorway pages optimized in combination february 14

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➾ sE O

WE WERE THERE When you needed to give your crew direction.

for five local search terms (Chesterfield, Ladue, Albans, Wildwood, St. Louis) and three keyword phrases (lawn care, lawncare maintenance, landscape maintenance). Those pages were obviously created solely for the search engines. So what’s an alternative to these doorway pages? In this case, here’s what we would suggest: 1. Remove the five pages associated with the keyword phrase “lawncare maintenance” (it’s redundant, thus unnecessary).

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2. Keep the other 10 pages but update the content so each page is truly unique. They could do this by including unique images, different testimonials on each page and a short case study on each page. Doing this would make the pages much more valuable to actual visitors of the site. And, ultimately, that’s what Google wants. On-Page SEO Mistake #5: Link exchanges

Link exchanges are another old school, black hat SEO tactic that will get you slapped. Unfortunately, like doorway pages, we still see green industry websites using this tactic. From Google: “Any links intended to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.” Also according to Google, “Excessive link exchanges (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.” These link exchanges are created to manipulate the search engines. Please don’t tell me it is for the benefit of your site visitors :-) Remember, you need to strike a balance on your site between SEO and user experience. Google can see this. They know when they are being manipulated. Your site may not get penalized today but what about six months from now? It’s not worth the risk. This article was written by Chris Heiler, president and founder of Landscape Leadership, and originally appeared on the Landscape Leadership “Inbound Marketing for the Green Industry” blog. Call (800) 681-9169 or visit www.LandscapeLeadership.com for more information.


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Highlights from EXPO 2014’s

New Plant Forum Editor’s Note: During the course of this year, The Scoop will feature information and photos from the New Plant Forum held at the 2014 Northern Green Expo. Thanks to MNLA Past President Debbie Lonnee, Bailey Nurseries, Inc. for organizing this session with presenters from around the world. The New Plant Forum is an educational session that was developed for the Northern Green Expo to highlight and bring to attention new plant cultivars for landscapes and gardens in the Upper Midwest. The person who presented the plant is listed just prior to the plant name. Some presented multiple plants. *Please note: plants protected by a plant patent or trademark may not be propagated without a license from the originator/introducer.

Alec Charais // Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘PIIHM-II’ PPAF Endless Summer® BloomStruck™ bigleaf hydrangea Origin: bred by Dr. Michael Dirr, Plant Introductions, Inc., Athens, Georgia USDA Cold Hardiness Zone: 4–9 Height and Spread: 3–4' × 4–5' Availability: Bailey Nurseries, and 30 licensed network growers across North America Propagation method: softwood cuttings This reblooming mophead flowers on both old and new wood and has perfectly rounded flowers averaging 3 to 3.5" across. The intense rose-pink, violet or blue flower heads are held upright on striking reddish purple stems. Flowers are violet-blue to blue in acid soil, pink in alkaline soils. Glossy dark green leaves with red petioles and red veins add to this plant’s retail presence and make it a standout before flowers ever open.

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Renhy’ PP20,670 First Editions® Vanilla Strawberry™ panicle hydrangea, tree form Origin: bred by Mr. Jean Renault in France USDA Cold Hardiness Zone: 4–8, trial in zone 3 Height and Spread: 6–7' × 4–5' Availability: Bailey Nurseries, and any First Editions network grower Propagation method: softwood cuttings While first introduced as a shrub, Vanilla Strawberry is now available pruned into a tree form. With a single stem trunk, as a small tree it blooms mid late summer with luscious flowers emerging white and slowly changing to pink and strawberry red. Great for small spaces, the perfect tree when some vertical height is needed in the garden.

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➾ new plant forum

Rosa ‘BAIeels’ Easy Elegance® Head over Heels shrub rose Origin: bred by Ping Lim of Bailey Nurseries in Yamhill, Oregon USDA Cold Hardiness Zone: 4–9 Height and Spread: 36 × 30" Availability: Bailey Nurseries Propagation method: softwood cuttings An upright, slightly rounded rose, with dark, glossy green foliage, this recurrent bloomer has clusters of light pink flowers throughout the summer. In cooler temperatures, the flowers take on a lavender shade. Excellent for a low, informal hedge or designed into foundation plantings and perennial gardens.

Ron Newble // EuroAmerican Propagators Calibrachoa Superbells® ‘Pomegranate Punch’ Superbells Pomegranate Punch million bells Origin: Proven Winners USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual (9–11) Height and Spread: 10–14" × 14–18" Availability: EuroAmerican Propagators, Four Star Greenhouse, Pleasant View Propagation method: vegetative This unique new Calibrachoa has a two toned flower that is rose-red with a prominent black-red center. Great color, heat tolerance, disease resistance, and large blooms makes this series a star performer. Endless possibilities in the landscape and containers. These quick finishing plants are self-cleaning and produce hundreds of blooms from planting until frost.

Gomphrena Pink Zazzle™ Pink Zazzle globe amaranth Origin: Proven Winners USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual (8–11) Height and Spread: 12–16" × 12–16" Availability: EuroAmerican Propagators, Four Star Greenhouse, Pleasant View Propagation method: vegetative This one of a kind Gomphrena catches your eye with its large, bright vibrant pink flowers that burst out of bright green foliage covered in soft glowing halo like fireworks. The flower’s stiff petals hold their shape and are durable and long-lasting. As they age, they fade to a softer pink and then end up with creamy white tips. This reblooming plant is very heat tolerant and can be sold as a garden plant, indoor pot crop and is even great for cut-flower arrangements.

Petunia Supertunia® ‘Orchid Charm’ Orchid Charm petunia Origin: Proven Winners USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual (10–11) Height and Spread: 8–12" × 18–30" Availability: EuroAmerican Propagators, Four Star Greenhouse, Pleasant View Propagation method: vegetative The Supertunia Charm series is sure to please consumers who are looking for the exceptional performance, easy maintenance and the vibrant color of Supertunia in a smaller form. Just like Vista, they have extended summer performance and heat tolerance. Charm varieties have a mounding/spreading habit and work well early in 4.5" pots; however, as they begin to mature they become more vigorous and later in the season do better in baskets and mixed containers as well as the landscape.

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Jesse Anderson // Gardenworld, Inc. Dahlia ‘Go Go Peach’ Massive series dahlia Origin: Netherlands USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual Height and Spread: 12" Availability: Gardenworld, Inc. Propagation method: division/tubers Dahlias bloom summer until frost, providing late summer color when most perennials are past their prime. The Massive series have large 4–5" flowers, require no pinching and only 75 days grow time. Beautiful in 10" or larger patio containers.

Lilium ‘Belonica’ Rose Lily™ Belonica Oriental lily Origin: bred by De Looff Lily Innovation, The Netherlands USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4–9 Height and Spread: 36–40" Availability: Gardenworld, Inc. Propagation method: division/bulbs Rose lilies are a great addition to lily markets. Their anthers have been replaced with petals. This creates double flowers with three times as many petals as traditional Oriental lilies. They have nice fragrance and a long bloom time.

Campanula glomerata ‘Genti Twisterbell’ PPAF Genti Twisterbell clustered bellflower Origin: bred by Rene van Gaalen, The Netherlands USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 3–8 Height and Spread: 22" Availability: Gardenworld, Inc. Propagation method: division or softwood cuttings This bellflower has unique blue and white bicolor flowers. It is a profuse bloomer from late spring into summer. The plant forms a dense mound of dark green foliage.

Dr. Todd West // Dept of Horticulture // North Dakota State University Picea abies ‘Noel’ Royal Splendor® Norway spruce Origin: seedling selection, North Dakota State University USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 3–7 Height and Spread: 40' × 25' Availability: Iseli Nursery, Oregon Pride Nurseries, Inc. (limited availability), Sester Farms, Inc. (2015) Propagation method: side grafting Royal Splendor ® is an outstanding ornamental selection of Norway spruce with brighter green foliage and perfect narrowly-pyramidal growth habit. Recommended as a landscape specimen tree in more open areas or as a nice upright screening tree. It maintains a narrowly-pyramidal form which is not typical of the species which normally develops drooping pendulous tertiary branchlets when mature. This is not a Norway spruce to hide in a windbreak. Resistant to Stigmina needle cast disease. Resistant to deer browsing.

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➾ new plant forum

Ulmus americana ‘Lewis & Clark’ Prairie Expedition® American elm Origin: seedling selection, North Dakota State University USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 2b-9 Height and Spread: 55' × 60' Availability: Apple Creek Propagators, Bailey Nurseries, J. Frank Schmidt & Son, Jeffries Nurseries, Sester Farms, Swedberg Nursery Propagation method: grafting or chip budding A NDSU selection of American elm with a high level of resistance to Dutch elm disease (DED). This selection is a lone survivor among American elm trees that died from DED along the Wild Rice River southwest of Fargo, ND. It has the classic American elm umbrella habit with high quality dark green foliage. It is an outstanding elm selection, even for colder zones (2b). Use in shelterbelts, as shade or boulevard trees. It was released in 2004 in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Bob Cashman // Ball Horticultural Verbena × hybrida ‘Balendurp’ PPAF Enduro series Origin: Ball Floraplant, Arroyo Grande, CA USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual (zone 7) Height and Spread: will spread to 3' Availability: many greenhouse bedding plant suppliers Propagation method: softwood cuttings A continuous blooming verbena that buries most of the old dead flowers. Does not cycle in and out like other verbena. Takes the heat and tolerates powdery mildew. Vigorous growth habit ideal for large containers and groundcover.

Impatiens × hybrida Sunpatiens® series Origin: Sakata Seed America, Inc. USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual (zone 8) Height and Spread: three different habits within the series with variable height and spread Availability: many greenhouse bedding plant suppliers Propagation method: softwood cuttings While Sunpatiens® are not new, this vegetatively propagated series of plants is proving its importance with the onslaught of downy mildew on Impatiens walleriana. Introduced initially as a sun tolerant product, recent studies have proven that Sunpatiens® have excellent shade tolerance. Many colors and habits to choose from. Sunpatiens® are not susceptible to powdery mildew and should be used in landscape plantings as a substitute for Impatiens walleriana.

Brenda Wickenhauser // Bailey Nurseries, Inc. Exochorda × macrantha ‘Bailmoon’ First Editions® Lotus Moon™ pearlbush Origin: bred by Don Selinger at Bailey Nurseries, Inc. USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4–7 Height and Spread: 4–5' × 3–4' Availability: Bailey Nurseries and other First Editions network growers Propagation method: softwood cuttings White, round flower buds open to 5 petaled flowers, about 1½" across. The flowers are borne in 7–12 flowered racemes at the ends of short lateral stems from branches of previous years growth. These racemes look like a string of pearls, thus the common name pearlbush.

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➾ new plant forum

Symphoricarpos x doorenbosii ‘Kolmgala’ PP20,912 First Editions® Galaxy™ snowberry Origin: bred by Peter Kolster, Boskoop, The Netherlands USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4–9 Height and Spread: 30–36" × 30–36" Availability: Bailey Nurseries and other First Editions network growers Propagation method: softwood cuttings Grown for its beautiful show of glistening white berries, Galaxy™ is a real showstopper from late summer into autumn. The plum, large berries weigh down the branches, creating an arching effect to the stems; add a bit of snowfall in winter and it is a real show! This compact grower is great for small space gardens and foundation plantings.

Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Jefam’ PP23,177 First Editions® Amber Jubilee™ ninebark Origin: bred at Jeffries Nurseries, Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 2–7 Height and Spread: 5–6' × 4' Availability: Bailey Nurseries, Jeffries Nursery and other First Editions network growers Propagation method: softwood cuttings Amber Jubilee™ was selected for its striking foliage in glowing tones of orange, peach and yellow. Rounded and dense in habit. Delicate white blooms are produced in spring and fall foliage is highlighted with tones of red and purple. Truly striking in the spring when the foliage is emerging, it takes pruning well and subsequent flushes will produce new bursts of colorful foliage.

Troy Lee // Greenleaf Nursery Co. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Grenan’ Nantucket Blue™ hydrangea Origin: discovered by Greenleaf Nursery, Park Hill, OK USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4–8 Height and Spread: 4–6' × 4–6' Availability: Greenleaf Nursery Co Propagation method: softwood cuttings A repeat blooming selection of the renowned hydrangeas that adorn Nantucket Island. In the Garden Debut® series, Nantucket Blue™ was selected for its prolific bloom, vibrant flower color and compact growth habit. Blooms with large, rounded flowers (blue in acid soil, pink in alkaline soil) through the summer.

Malus ‘EUB 3727–4' PP21,511 Blushing Delight™ Urban Apple® Origin: hybridized by Dr. Jaroslav Tupy, Czech Republic USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4 Height and Spread: 8–10' × 2' Availability: Greenleaf Nursery Co Propagation method: budding Grows straight up, creating an elegant columnar tree for small landscapes and patios. Blushing Delight™ has blush red to yellow apples and fruits in the first year planted. Part of the Garden Debut® collection.

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A Deeper Shade of Green Local Genetic Origins

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➾ new plant forum

Juniperus virginiana ‘Greguard’ Grey Guardian™ juniper Origin: discovered by Greenleaf Nursery, Park Hill, OK USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4 Height and Spread: 2–3' × 3–5' Availability: Greenleaf Nursery Co Propagation method: cuttings This beautiful blue-grey low spreading juniper is a sport of ‘Grey Owl’, with a tighter growth habit and more vivid color. Perfect as a foundation plant, with beautiful fine textured foliage.

Dr. David Zlesak // University of Wisconsin-River Falls Rosa hybrida ‘ZleCharlie’ PP23,456 Oso Happy™ Smoothie rose Origin: hybridized over multiple generations by Dr. David Zlesak USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 4–9 Height and Spread: 3 × 3' Availability: many wholesale growers who grow PWCC shrubs Propagation method: softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings Bred over ten years ago, using the U.S. native Rosa setigera crossed with polyanthas. The compact mounded plants have a prolific display of single creamy white blooms edged in magenta. Stems are nearly thornless. Fall hips are an attractive orange color. Excellent disease resistance.

Ageratum x ‘C43' Monarch Mediano™ Pink ageratum Origin: bred by Dr. David Zlesak in St. Paul, MN USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual Height and Spread: 10 × 12" Availability: Plantpedler, Cresco, Iowa Propagation method: stem cuttings The mounded, slightly spreading plants have a prolific display of mauve-pink flower heads held nicely above glossy green foliage. Hugely appealing to butterflies in the garden.

Ageratum x ‘John Eustice’ Monarch Grande™ Blue ageratum Origin: bred by Dr David Zlesak from a breeding program originated by Zlesak and John Eustice USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: annual Height and Spread: 20 × 16" Availability: Plantpeddler, Cresco, Iowa Propagation method: stem cuttings A beautiful interspecific cross of Ageratum with a mounded, slightly spread habit and a display of lavender-blue flower heads that are held nicely above the foliage. Exceptionally well branched, floriferous, and has strong plant architecture. The leaves are somewhat glossy and the flowers have great butterfly appeal.

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

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â&#x17E;ž mnla news

PAID IN FULL! In December of 2013, MNLA paid off the building mortgage. The Board of Directors invited association leaders to attend a reception in honor of the occasion. Thanks to past board members and leaders who had the foresight to make the dream become reality.

Nick Tamble and Tim Malooly converse about government affairs.

Board members and volunteers enjoy snacks and discussion.

Congratulations MNLA on paying off the building mortgage.

Many of these past presidents and some not pictured were instrumental in the building purchase.

Past President Roger Landsburg and Roger Hintze enjoy conversation.

President Lonnee pours champagne for a toast.

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


Objectives for students:

MNLA has launched the “Green Industry Leadership Institute” aimed at the up-and-coming next leaders within your company. This unique program is grounded in leadership development best practices and aims for students to leave the class taking ownership of their company’s mission and bottom line, having greater confidence in decision making, and acquiring new skills in identifying and facilitating solutions within your company. In addition, they will develop a network of peer advisors to engage with as they grow and advance in their career. Created by the MNLA Networking Committee and a Task Team formed exclusively for this Institute, this program takes into account the seasonality and special conditions that exist for operating within our industry. This is a course developed BY the green industry, FOR the green industry. Program candidates for this year-long intensive cohort-based learning experience have been chosen and the first session is on February 19.

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Our Facilitators: Steve & Terri Wilcox

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➾ MNLA N ews

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

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

scoop classifieds project manager wanted Hebron Brick & Block, Fargo ND is one of the leading landscaping companies in the Eastern North Dakota and Western Minnesota region. We are a complete design / build landscape contractor that specializes in residential landscape construction with a focus on hardscape installations. We are seeking a Project Manager with a minimum of 10 years of experience in contract management, field management, leadership and team building. Compensation: Hebron Brick & Block offers above average salary with benefits that include a fully vested 401(k) program and paid holidays. Qualified candidates please contact: Hebron Brick & Block-2300 Main Ave, Fargo, ND 58103, Rich Lahren Landscape Division Manager, 701-232-0781 or email: richl@hebronbrick.com Searching for your next great employee? Looking for a buyer? Place a Scoop Classified ad. Contact Betsy Pierre at 763-295-5420 or betsy@pierreproductions.com.

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

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

on this MNLA member opportunity at the MNLA Garden at the State Fair.

Visit MNLA.biz for more information

mnla welcomes members new

Backyard Paradise Landscaping, LLC; Somerset, WI; Bill Webber, 877-672-2259. Selfscapes, Inc.; Woodbury, MN; John Putzier, 651-777-6414 Renegade Gardener; Excelsior, MN; Don Engebretson, 612-290-5775 Williston Companies; Blaine, MN; Mat Ripienski, 763-286-9781 Can-Am Sports Installations; Woodbury, MN; James Marks. 55125. 612-867-7024 Danckwart Landscaping & Excavating; Kellogg, MN; Travis Danckwart, 507-767-4946 LandSight, Inc.; St. Paul, MN; Jeff Weber, 651-755-5785

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➾ MNLA Board of directors

mnla board of directors H eidi H eila n d Ne w Preside n t o f M N L A

Heidi Heiland, owner of Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens, was elected president of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association at the Northern Green Expo on Jan. 8th. She has been active on several MNLA committees is an MNLA Certified Professional, a Professional Master Gardener; graduate of Constance Spry Flower School of London; and has been recognized for excellence by a number of professional and civic organizations.

Herman Roerick, owner of Central Landscape Supply Inc., was elected as the new vice president of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association. A 1984 graduate of the University of Minnesota-Crookston, Roerick is an active volunteer within MNLA, as well as St. Cloud area business and outdoor groups.

Scott Frampton, co-owner of Landscape Renovations, is MNLA’s new secretary-treasurer. Frampton received a degree in landscape technology from Anoka-Hennepin Technical College in 1989 and has been active in many of MNLA’s committees over the years.

Mike McNamara, owner and president of Hoffman and McNamara Nursery & Landscape, was re-elected to the MNLA Board of Directors. A graduate of the University of St. Thomas, McNamara is a member of the MNLA Foundation Board of Trustees and has been a member of several association committees and task teams.

Newly elected to the Board of Directors was Patrick McGuiness, a partner with Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC in St. Paul, Minn. He has extensive experience in the green industry as former owner of Property One Call and other green industry businesses. Patrick obtained his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law and has served on a variety of committees and task teams for the association.

Also newly elected was Jeff Pilla, Director of Retail Stores for Bachman’s, Inc. Pilla holds an AA degree from Rochester Community College and is an MNLA Certified Professional. He serves on the MGI-Green Industry PAC Board and has been active in several committees and task teams over the years.

Also continuing to serve on the MNLA Board of Directors are Randy Berg, Berg’s Nursery; Tim Malooly, Water in Motion; and Past President Debbie Lonnee, Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

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TAKE PART IN THE

GREEN INDUSTRY DAY ON THE HILL Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Kelly Inn / State Capitol, St. Paul

All Minnesota green industry professionals are invited to attend this event. In order for MNLA to coordinate appointments with your legislators, please register no later than February 21.

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

DAY ON THE HILL SUCCESS STORIES

• Helped fix subcontractor indemnification loophole in construction contracts. • Protected nursery interests in invasive species discussion. • Protected Green Acres status for nurseries, greenhouses. • Gained EAB rapid response money plus tree removal and replacement money. • Reduced update intervals for pesticide applicator training manuals. • Held back anti-business immigration enforcement measures.

To register, go to the MNLA.biz event calendar and download the form on the Day on the Hill event page. Please reserve your spot by February 21st for the March 5th event. Questions? Call Tim Power at 651-633-4987, or e-mail tim@mnla.biz.



The Scoop Online – February 2014