Page 1

New Reports on Soil Amendments

Also Inside


Minimum Wage on the Rise

Plant of the Month Networking News Photo Flashback

sales tax help

Government affairs efforts help to clarify Minnesota’s tax law

Vol: 37 No: 6 June 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




FOR PAVER JOINTS IN OVERLAYS APPLICATIONS • Fast setting • Does not haze concrete pavers, wetcast & natural stones • Used for drainage & non-drainage base systems


To l l f r e e : 1 . 8 5 5 . 8 4 7 . 7 7 6 7

Volume 37 No. 6 June 2014

contents 16

54 36



10 From the Executive Director People Buy the WHY


16 Using Digested Dairy Manure as a Soil Amendment The first of a two part report on how digested dairy manure performed as a soil amendment.   

26 The Benefits of Biochar Do you understand biochar’s potential uses in the horticulture industry?   

34 New Landscape Sales Tax Fact Sheets Confused by Minnesota sales tax fact sheets? Help is now available!    

36 Garden Center 2020 How should retail businesses modify themselves now to assure relevancy down the road?  

13 Plant of the Month Jerod Fehrenbach loves the versatile Hosta lancifolia. 14 House Ag. Hearing on Pollinators Joe Bischoff reports on our industry’s participation in this national issue. 24 Zebra Mussel Larvae Too Small to Stop Tim Malooly explains the impact this invasive species can have on lake home irrigation systems. 51 New Scholarships The MNLA Foundation rolls out a new program for high school students. 54 New, Improved MNLA has launched a redesigned website with online community features. 56 Landscape Award Winners The final seven entries from the year’s finest projects. 60 Networking News

41 Imprelis® Settlement Reached Jim Calkins reports after contacting several of the players who had a part in reaching this settlement. 

47 Minimum Wage Is on the Rise In August the minimum wage is going up, and Patrick McGuiness tells you what you need to know.    Landscape & Hardscape Install & Design  Garden Services & Landscape Management  Garden Centers  Growers: Nursery & Greenhouse  Irrigation & Water Management  Arborists & Tree Services  All

The Scoop, June 2014, Issue 6 (USPS # Pending) (ISSN # Pending), is issued monthly, 12 times per year. All original works, articles or formats published in The Scoop are © Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association, 2014, and may not be used without written permission of MNLA, 1813 Lexington Ave N., Roseville MN 55113. Subscription price is $99 for one year, which is included with member dues. Application to mail at Periodical Postage Prices is Pending at St Paul, MN. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Scoop, MNLA, 1813 Lexington Ave N., Roseville MN 55113. Editorial Contributions. You are invited to share your expertise and perspective. Article ideas and manuscripts should be submitted to the publisher at or 651-633-4987. MNLA reserves the right to edit all articles.

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mnla .biz


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

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


Alliance Designer Products ................................................................................ 4 Ancom Communication & Technical Center .................................................... 48 Arborjet ............................................................................................................ 53 Astleford Equipment Co. ................................................................................. 43 Borgert Products, Inc. ....................................................................................... 19 Carlin Horticultural Supplies/ProGreen Plus ..................................................... 29 Central Landscape Supply ................................................................................ 45 Cushman Motor Co. Inc ................................................................................... 35

heidi heiland, mnla-cp, president

Edney Distributing Co., Inc. ............................................................................. 42

herman roerick, vice-president

Farber Bag & Supply Co. .................................................................................. 55

Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens 612-366-7766 •

Central Landscape Supply 320-252-1601 •

scott frampton, secretary-treasurer

Landscape Renovations 651-769-0010 •

debbie lonnee, mnla-cp, past president

Bailey Nurseries, Inc. 651-768-3375 •

randy berg, mnla-cp

Everris ............................................................................................................... 31

Frontier Ag & Turf ............................................................................................. 31 Fury Motors ...................................................................................................... 23 Gardenworld Inc. .............................................................................................. 39 Gertens Wholesale ............................................................................................23 GM Fleet and Commercial ................................................................................. 3 Gopher State One-Call ..................................................................................... 15

Berg’s Nursery, Landscape/Garden Center 507-433-2823 •

Great Northern Equipment Distributing, Inc. ................................................... 45

tim malooly, cid, clia, cic

Haag Companies, Inc. ...................................................................................... 40

Water in Motion 763-559-7771 •

Jeff Belzer Chevrolet .................................................................................. 32–33

patrick mcguiness

Jokela Power Equipment .................................................................................. 19

Zlimen & McGuiness PLLC 651-331-6500 •

Kline Nissan ...................................................................................................... 46

mike mcnamara

Kubota Dealers ................................................................................................. 11

Hoffman & McNamara Nursery & Landscaping 651-437-9463 •

Landscape Alternatives Inc. .............................................................................. 29

jeff pilla, mnla-cp

Mississippi Topsoils .......................................................................................... 15

Bachman’s Inc. 612-861-7600 •

MTI Distributing, Inc. ........................................................................................ 39

cassie larson, cae

Out Back Nursery ............................................................................................. 55

MNLA Executive Director 651-633-4987 •

Plaisted Companies ............................................................................................ 7 Prairie Restorations, Inc. ................................................................................... 45

Staff Directory

executive director:

RDO Equipment Co. ........................................................................................ 48

membership director & trade show manager:

RDO Equipment Co. - Vermeer ........................................................................ 55

Cassie Larson, CAE • Mary Dunn, CEM •

communications director: Jon Horsman • education/cert manager: Susan Flynn • government affairs director: Tim Power • administrative assistant: Jessica Pratt • accountant: Norman Liston • mnla foundation program director:

Resultants for Business, Inc. (RFB) .................................................................... 35 Rock Hard Landscape Supply division of Brian’s Lawn & Landscaping, Inc. .... 29 SRW Products ................................................................................................... 25 Sterling Arbor, LLC. .......................................................................................... 52 Titan Machinery .................................................................................................. 2

Jodi Larson • •

Tri-State Bobcat, Inc. .................................................................................. 12, 50

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

Truck Utilities & Mfg. Co. .................................................................................. 29

Faith Jensen, Advertising Rep • Betsy Pierre, Advertising Mgr •

legislative affairs consultant: Doug Carnival 6

ad list

Volume 37 No. 6 June 2014

➾ sectio n title

mnla .biz

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Versa-Lok Midwest ........................................................................................... 59 Ziegler CAT ......................................................................................... Back Cover

➾ calendar

jul 12–15 OFA Short Course is now Cultivate 14 Columbus, Ohio It is a dynamic experience designed to offer interactive learning, community building, and it celebrates all of horticulture.

MNLA Event

aug5 Pollinator Symposium Wilder Event Center St. Paul Join a cadre of green industry experts who will talk about a variety of perspectives related to this important topic. At the end of the day you will have a 360 degree perspective on the pollinator issue.

➾ 8

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MNLA Event

aug7 Garden Party Wallace Gardens, Medina The MNLA Foundation Garden Party features an evening of food, fellowship & fundraising, and offers you a oncein-a-lifetime chance to experience Wallace Gardens.

MNLA Event

JUL17 Bailey Expo

St. Paul The annual event is open to Bailey customers and is a full day of activities including facility tours, introduction of new plant varieties, merchandising display ideas and guest speakers.

University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus See research projects conducted by University faculty and staff first hand. Focus areas will include both turfgrass research and landscape research.

MNLA Summer Social at Summit Brewery 6pm–9pm Summit Brewery St. Paul, MN Take a break from your busy summer schedule to connect with industry professionals, and enjoy great beer and pizza. Proceeds from your ticket to this event will benefit the MNLA Foundation Scholarship Program.

MNLA Event

aug7 UM/MTGF Turf and Grounds Field Day


aug14 garden center Tour 651-633-4987 We will tour several MNLA garden center locations in the Twin Cities. Network with other professionals and take away great ideas to implement at your own garden center.

Did you miss a webinar? ALL of our webinars are recorded and available for viewing afterwards. Login to to learn more! june 14

2014 MNLA seminars generously supported by John Deere Landscapes

MNLA Event

JUL 22 24th Annual Widmer Golf Tournament Oak Marsh Golf Course, Oakdale, MN Join your fellow Hackers for Horticulture at the 24th Annual Widmer Golf Tournament! An awards reception will immediately follow the tournament with a chance to win great prizes.


MNLA Event

Horticulture Night

JUL 31

at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris Several hands-on children’s activities will be available along with Ag Tours, live music, food and vendor booths.

➾ Landscape

Design Tour

651-633-4987 This year’s tour will highlight outstanding sustainable landscape designs in the metro area.

MNLA Event MNLA Event

aug14 Carlin Buyerfest 2014

MNLA Garden at the State Fair 651-633-4987 Promote your business — register to take a shift during the Fair!



Event Education


➾ MNLA Shootout South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club 651-633-4987 Don’t miss this annual sporting clays charity event that raises money for scholarships! This course runs at a beginner’s level – the focus is on fun. Proceeds benefit the MNLA Foundation Scholarship Fund.

Minnesota Brooklyn Park Your one stop source for greenhouses, garden centers, nurseries and landscapers. Opportunity to visit with vendors, ask questions and learn about new products.

aug21 –sept1


MNLA Snow Day MN State Fairgrounds 651-633-4987 Snow Day is back! Learn what’s new in equipment and supplies and education to gear up for the next snow season.

All information on these and other industry events are online at june 14

mnla .biz


➾ fr om the executive directo r

“People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy WHY You Do It” Why do you do what you do? Have you thought about it recently? I have listened to many great TED Talks over the past two years, but there is one that stands out: Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” It holds an important reminder for MNLA members. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee it’s important to regularly assess what motivates you in business. It’s not only important for you and your Cassie Larson company, it’s important for your customers. Because as MNLA Executive Director Simon Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Sinek’s message seems to hold prophetic truth for businesses, and more specifically green industry businesses. It has now been presented at three major green industry meetings that I have taken part in and each time, it elicits thought-provoking conversation from the assembled group as to the meaning of WHY we do what we do, both as associations and green industry businesses. Sinek’s “The Golden Circle” offers an excellent methodology for defining and refining your company’s core values and strategy — your why, how and what. If you are just doing it for the money, you can’t expect to make a difference. But when people believe in your brand as much as you do, it’s easy for them to choose to do business with you. People want to be inspired. If you don’t know:

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Every single person in your organization needs to watch this video, PERIOD. Why? Because if you and your employees don’t know your why, how can you market it to consumers? So a few questions: Do your employees believe?

WHY you sell what you sell

Do your customers believe?

WHY your solutions are the best

Do YOU believe?

Then, you’re missing the opportunity to create raving fans, not just customers. To create raving fans you have to sell belief and trust. As Sinek states “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

mnla .biz

Simon Sinek’s TED Talk explains inspirational leadership using a golden circle and the question, “Why?” Find Simon’s talk at how_great_leaders_inspire_action. Online readers can click the graphic above to watch now.

WHY you get out of bed in the morning

WHY your customers should buy from you rather than your competitors



Answer truthfully. If the answer isn’t a resounding YES with a clear reason WHY, then I encourage you to watch this video a few times. Contemplate your why, how and what. Redefine your company, your role in it, and your employees’ roles. Present it with passion, belief and trust. And, watch what happens as a result! cassie larson

can be reached at:

Power you can build on. Quality you can count on.

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See one of these authorized Kubota dealerships near you. ALEXANDRIA Alex Power Equipment 111 50th Avenue West (320) 763-4994 ANOKA Lano Equipment, Inc. 6140 Highway 10 (763) 323-1720

GLENCOE Arnold’s of Glencoe 655 Lindbergh Trail (320) 864-5531

KIMBALL Arnold’s of Kimball 701 Hwy 55 East (320) 398-3800

NORTH MANKATO Arnold’s of Mankato 1715 Howard Drive (507) 387-5515

HASTINGS Neibur Tractor & Equipment 14380 East 240th Street (651) 437-3531 (888) 559-9492

NORTH BRANCH Olson Power & Equipment 38560 14th Avenue (651) 674-4490 (800) 657-5198

ST. MARTIN Arnold’s of St. Martin 374 Industrial Boulevard (320) 548-3285 *Manual dumping on RTV-X900 general purpose model. Kubota Tractor Corporation Markets a Full Line of Tractors and Construction Equipment Through a Nationwide Network of Over 1,000 Authorized Dealers. Optional equipment may be shown. © Kubota Tractor Corporation, 2014

➾ plant of the month

plant month of


Hosta lancifolia

The season is in high gear now and maybe nearly over for most of the annual growers out there. That is not the case for perennials and what they can do for your gardens or landscapes. Many perennials are just now beginning to put on a great show of shape, texture, and color. If you have read a few of my past articles, you would know I have a soft spot for some of the older varieties of perennials. This month’s pick is no exception: Hosta lancifolia. There is such a sea of new varieties, and in particular hostas, that are introduced every year and many of them end up being underperformers in the long run. Lancifolia is a much longer lasting and more stable hosta than most of the new varieties you find.

Lancifolia, if you are not familiar with it, is a long time staple of both shade and sun gardens. It is short in stature measuring around 10"–12" to the top of the leaves and another foot taller when it blooms.

Jerod Fehrenbach

The leaves on this hosta are around 4"–6" long lance shaped leaves that are a very dark green with a shiny texture to them. It blooms in late summer with around 10–15 dark lavender blooming stalks per clump. These flowers are excellent attractors for pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds. I think it is one of the better attractants for hummingbirds out there. Once it is done blooming, it works best to trim all of the seed pods off which encourages growth of new plants at the base of each blooming stalk. Its versatility is why you should consider it as a regular in your plantings. It is a vigorous grower and tolerates much more sun than almost any other hosta out there. It can handle a variety of soil types including sandy and some clay with ease including drier spots in your landscape. Consider using it in multiple gardens in a landscape to tie together different parts of the garden. Its most common use is as

an edging along gardens, pathways, and driveways. It can even handle getting run over from time to time like it does at our nursery. Although it is not the showiest of hosta out there it can serve as an accent to more showy varieties or as filler in shade gardens. It is one of the easier hosta to divide and transplant which is why it has been popular over more than a few decades. Don’t think of Hosta lancifolia as another green leafed hosta that has had its day in the sun. It’s a versatile and easy to maintain variety with impressive vigor and hardiness for our climate. Use it en masse to line patios, walkways, and driveways. If they get too large, you can dig clumps off and hand them out to your friends and neighbors. Just don’t forget this often overlooked hosta!

of Twin Orchards Nursery can be reached at

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mnla .biz


➾ P ollinators

House Agriculture Hearing o n p o llinat o rs Joe Bischoff

AmericanHort Director of Government Relations

On April 29,

the U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture held a hearing “to review current research and application of management strategies to control pests and diseases of pollinators.” Jeff Stone, Executive Director and CEO of the Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN) was one of the witnesses providing testimony and was staffed by AmericanHort’s regulatory and legislative affairs director Joe Bischoff.

In kicking off the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Austin Scott (GA-08) described the vital role bees play in pollinator services for over 30 percent of the crops produced in the U.S. and the importance of looking, “at the current state of pollinator health in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the status of research on causes of and possible solutions to Colony Collapse Disorder.” In addition to Stone, the other witnesses were Mr. Dan Cummings, CEO of Capay Farms and CFO of Olivarez Honey Bees in Chico, CA; Dr. Jeff Pettis, Research Leader of the USDA’s Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, MD; and Bayer’s Dr. David Fischer, Director of Pollinator Safety and Manager of the Bayer North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park, NC. All witnesses described the challenges surrounding pollinator health as multi-faceted and how no single


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factor could be identified for the increased mortality rates for overwintering bee colonies. However, all agreed that the introduction of the Varroa mite was causing the greatest impact. In both his written and oral testimony, Dr. Pettis succinctly described the increased difficulty that honeybee managers are facing as “when Varroa destructor was first found in the Unites States in 1987, beekeepers managed more than 3 million colonies for crop pollination and their winter losses were typically about 10 percent to 15 percent. Today, beekeepers are having trouble maintaining 2.5 million managed colonies; winter losses are averaging over 30 percent a year.” Stone described the difficulties the Oregon “green industry” faced when the misapplication of a systemic insectide, Dinotefuran, to Linden trees in flower caused the unfortunate death of 50,000 bees. He addressed the initial calls by some to ban the insecticide, a reaction based more on emotion than science. When a bill would have substantially limited access to the chemistry class (neonicotinoids) was initially introduced in the state legislature that, he described how cooler heads prevailed and “instead, stakeholders listened to one another and determined that a science-based approach to pollinator health would lead to a better solution.” The Oregon bill eventually led to a two-year effort where, “stakeholders will roll up their sleeves and work with Oregon State University

— our land grant university — legislators, and state agencies to determine the most appropriate path forward,” said Stone.

GOPHER STATE ONE CALL This time and every time.

In Chairman Scott’s concluding remarks he referenced Stone’s statements when he spoke about the need to look to the science to guide decision making, while recognizing that insecticides play an important role in controlling invasive and other problematic pests. Throughout the hearing, the need for a balanced approach in tackling bee health concerns was clear, including control of the Varroa mite, steps to improve forage opportunities, better understand the fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens, as well as efforts to limit bee exposure to pesticides.

Protect What Matters

To read the full testimony of the witnesses please visit the House Agriculture Committee site. For more information, contact Joe Bischoff, ANLA’s Director of Government Relations at

14010591_4.75x4.75.indd 1

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2/25/14 8:16 AM

mnla .biz


Utilization of

Digested Dairy Manure

for Plant Production, Gardens and Landscapes Part One: The amendment of soils and growing media to enhance plant growth has been a long-standing practice in the horticultural and agricultural industries. These amendments come from many and varied sources and can have just as many and varied effects and results in improving plant growth. The purpose of this research is to evaluate one of these many amendments as to its potential to be used as a component in container growing media and as an amendment to garden and landscape soils.

Bert T. Swanson and Steven R. Poppe

Two of the ten different growing media used in this research included a Commercial Container Growing Medium (CCGM) and a Commercial Greenhouse Growing Medium (CGHGM), both of which were not amended with DM, and therefore, served as controls for all media.


he amendment under study in this report is Digested Dairy Manure (DM) from Riverview Farms in Hancock, Minnesota. The anaerobic digester biologically converts animal manure to a product that may have potential to be used as animal bedding, soil amendments and other products. This research was conducted at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, MN. All plants were grown outdoors under trickle irrigation. Soils and substrates in the landscape, in fields, and in growing media for containers is the life blood of all plant growth. It is unlikely to read a technical, industry or scientific publication in the plant world today without finding an article on the substrates in which plants grow. Field soils are often limited in the ability to be altered due to the sheer volumes which must be amended, however, landscape soils are more often and more readily subject to considerable alterations to improve plant establishment and growth. In contrast, Container Media has moved to totally soilless mixes using components varying from pine bark, wood chips, rice hulls, peat, sand, perlite, aquaculture effluent, rubber tire chips, manure, yard compost, municipal solid waste, ground glass and others. Container growing is quite unforgiving, thereby requiring great attention to detail in all aspects of building a successful growing medium. Both physical and chemical properties are critical which include pH, Soluble Salts, Micro and Macro-nutrients, Aeration Porosity, Bulk Density, Water Holding Capacity and

Cation Exchange Capacity. Fertility management is also a very critical factor in developing a successful container growing medium. Two of the ten different growing media used in this research included a Commercial Container Growing Medium (CCGM) and a Commercial Greenhouse Growing Medium (CGHGM), both of which were not amended with DM, and therefore, served as controls for all media. The remaining eight growing media consisted of these two media amended with 15% and 25% of Non-Composted Digested Dairy Manure (NCDDM) or Composted Digested Dairy Manure (CDDM). The NCDDM was fresh from the digester, without long-term storage. The CDDM was composted at Riverview Farms, however, physically it varied very little from the NCDDM. For the second year replanting of the Petunia plants, the CDDM was composted by Mississippi Topsoils, Inc. The controls and the amended media used in this research comprised the following treatments: 1. Commercial Container Growing Medium: CCGM + 0% DM (Base Control) 2. Commercial Greenhouse Growing Medium: CGHGM + 0% DM (Base Control) 3. CCGM + 15% NCDDM 4. CGHGM + 15% NCDDM 5. CCGM + 25% NCDDM 6. CGHGM + 25% NCDDM 7. CCGM + 15% CDDM

8. CGHGM + 15% CDDM 9. CCGM + 25% CDDM 10. CGHGM + 25% CDDM Two slow release fertilizers were incorporated into each of the above container media at a rate dependent on the Release Time of the fertilizer. This increased the total growing media treatments to 20 treatments. Harrell’s 19-5-10 + micros is a Polyon Prill and was used as a Six-month slow release formula and as a Nine-month slow release formula. Rates incorporated at the time of planting into each medium are as follows: 1. Harrell’s 19-5-10 + Micros ( Six-month) (Referred to as 6F) a. 10.0 lbs./yd3, 1.90 lbs. N/yd3, 0.32 lb. N/Month. 2. Harrell’s 19-5-10 + Micros (Nine-month) (Referred to as 9F) a. 15.0 lbs./yd3, 2.85 lbs. N/yd3, 0.32 lb. N/Month. NCDDM was also incorporated into ground beds at the West Central Research and Outreach Center. The soil in each ground bed plot was rototilled and then NCDDM was incorporated at the levels of 0-inch, 4-inches and 8-inches of DM in the three ground bed plots. Due to high soil moisture levels, preparation of the soil was difficult as was also the incorporation of the DM. It was extremely difficult to incorporate the eight inches of DM evenly and thoroughly into the existing moist soil. Plants species as described below were planted on May 25, 2011 and top-dressed june 14

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➾ digested dairy manure

with Signature 18-18-8, a 50% slow-release fertilizer which also contains 3% iron and 5% sulfur. Plant material used in this research includes the following: 1. Petunia ‘Opera Supreme Pink Morn’ – Opera Supreme Pink Morn Wave Petunia. This liner was planted as a 2¼-inch actively growing plug. The mature plants were discarded at the end of year 1 and new liners were planted at the beginning of year 2.

and Media Treatments were determined by AURI upon initiation of the project. Although data for each parameter for each treatment was measured and graphed and is available, space does not allow its presentation. Thus, data presented will not describe individual parameters unless meaningful differences exist. Unless otherwise specified, the presence of DM will indicate the average over NCDDM and CDDM or over 15% and 25% or over all four parameters or over all parameters not specified.

2. Salvia nemorosa ‘Mainacht’ – May Night Salvia. This liner was planted as a 2¼-inch actively growing plug, and after year 1, the plants were protected over winter for regrowth in year 2. 3. Spiraea japonica ‘Little Princess’ – Little Princess Spirea. This liner was planted as a dormant, bare-root, rooted cutting, and after year 1, the plants were protected over winter for continued growth in year 2. 4. Juniperus horizontalis ‘Compacta’ – Andorra Juniper. This liner was planted as a 2¼-inch actively growing plug, and after year 1, the plants were protected over winter for continued growth in year 2. The overall quality of plant growth was evaluated to determine the effect of the DM-amended growing media. The quality of plants in the containers and in the ground beds was determined for each plant on four dates each year by four evaluators. All Plant Quality Ratings (QR) were based on size, color and overall quality of each plant relative to other plants of the same species in the research, and rated on a scale of 1 to 5 as follows: 1 = Very Poor; 2 = Poor; 3 = Fair; 4 = Good and 5 = Excellent. In 2011, Plant Root Quality was determined on all Petunia plants on November 2, 2011. Plant Root Quality on all species was determined on October 19, 2012. Roots were evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5 as described above. In 2012, roots were evaluated separately for side roots and bottom roots. Composite photos over all treatments of each species were taken at the time of each evaluation. Some individual treatment photos were also taken. Photos were taken on November 2, 2011 of all Petunia roots. On October 19, 2012, all replications of each treatment of each species’ root system were photographed to show side roots and bottom roots. Media samples from each treatment were taken for chemical and physical properties analysis on May 23, 2011, on October 14, 2012 and on October 19, 2012. These media samples were analyzed by the University of Minnesota Soils Testing Laboratory using the Florist Test Saturated Media Extract Method for each sample. Total Porosity, Aeration Porosity and Water Holding Capacity determinations were conducted on each media treatment by Swanson’s Nursery Consulting, Inc. Carbon:Nitrogen ratios (C:N), Absorbency, and Bulk Densities of selected container components 18

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Container Media Chemical and Physical Properties

In general, the NCDDM and CDDM are high in pH, high in Soluble Salts, low in Soluble Nitrogen, high in Ammonium, and high in Organic Matter. The NCDDM and CDDM are in a stable and mature condition. The medium components Composted Pine Bark (C:N 60) and Sphagnum Peat (C:N 41) had the highest C:N ratios, indicating a less mature product. The NCDDM (C:N 20) and the CDDM (C:N 21) had the lowest C:N ratios indicating a more mature product. The Bulk Density (lb/ft3) of NCDDM (BD 13.60 lb/ft3) and the CDDM (BD 14.32 lb/ft3) were very similar. Sphagnum Peat (BD 18.08 lb/ft3) was slightly heavier and the Composted Pine Bark (BD 34.72 lb/ft3) was the heaviest organic component. The Moisture Content (MC) of the NCDDM (MC 68.08%) was the highest Moisture Content of all components and media. Sphagnum Peat (MC 62.03%) was similar. Relative to Absorbency (A), the CDDM (A 3.41g/g) had the highest water absorption rate followed by NCDDM (A 2.43g/g) and the Sphagnum Peat (A 2.11g/g). The difference in Water Holding Capacity between 15% DM (WHC 34.4%) and 25% DM (WHC 36.5%) was minimal, but the addition of either the 15% or 25% DM increased the Water Holding Capacity relative to the CCGM and the DM decreased the Water Holding Capacity relative to the CGHGM. There was no difference in Water Holding Capacity between NCDDM (WHC 35.4%) and CDDM (WHC 36.6%). The DM had no effect on Aeration Porosity in the CCGM (AP 18.1%), but it increased the Aeration Porosity in the CGHGM from AP 12.0% to AP 15.3% in CGHGM + DM. Aeration Porosity in media with 15% DM (AP 17.2%) was slightly higher than media with 25% DM (AP 16.3%), but this is not a major difference. Aeration Porosity was slightly higher in media with NCDDM (AP 17.7%) than CDDM (AP 15.8%). Overall there was very little impact on Aeration Porosity by the DM. The DM increased the pH of all media. The CCGM Base Medium (pH 5.0) was higher than the CGHGM Base Medium (pH 4.1). Upon the addition of DM, the CCGM + DM Medium pH increased to 6.2 and the CGHGM + DM Medium pH also increased to 6.2. This was a large increase for the better buffered CGHGM Medium. The pH of the 15% DM Medium (pH 5.4) and the 25% DM Medium (pH 7.0) correlate with the changes in

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➾ digested dairy manure

Figure 1. Effect of Dairy Manure and Fertilizer on the quality of Petunia plants. Data are averaged over all parameters not specified.

Figure 2. Petunia plants growing in all 20 treatments of Dairy Manureamended growing media.

DM volume in the media. The NCDDM Medium (pH 5.7) was lower than the CDDM Medium (pH 6.6). The addition of the Slow Release fertilizer significantly increased the Soluble Salts levels in the media. However, the plants were not exposed to this high level of Soluble Salts caused by the Slow Release Fertilizer since the fertilizer is released over time. Soluble Salts in the DM are high, however, the DM Soluble Salts effect on the Treatment Media is less than the added fertilizer effect on the media Soluble Salts levels. The Nine-month Fertilizer slightly increased the Soluble Salts more than the Six-month fertilizer. The 15% DM Medium (SS 20

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7.66 mS/cm) was similar to the 25% DM Medium (SS 7.10 mS/ cm). The NCDDM Medium (SS 7.60 mS/cm) was similar to the CDDM Medium (SS 7.16 mS/cm). Overall the DM did have a Soluble Salts effect, but it did not create significant problems relative to high Soluble Salts levels at the 15% and 25% incorporation rates because the plants were never drought stressed. This emphasizes the need for a thorough watering at the time of planting, and maintaining proper media moisture at all times regardless of the type of growing medium. Nitrates were very high in all treatment media in the initial test on 5/23/11 ranging from 682 ppm in CGHGM 15 NCDDM + 6F to 1573 ppm in CCGM 15 CDDM + 9F. There was no correlation among volume of DM: 15% or 25%, or type of DM: NCDDM or CDDM for Nitrate levels. Most Nitrate levels were greatly reduced by 10/14/11 with the exception of CCGM + 9F (NO3 380 ppm), CCGM + 15 NCDDM + 9F (NO3 537 ppm), CCGM + 25 NCDDM + 9F (NO3 385 ppm), CCGM + 15 CDDM + 9F (NO3 452 ppm), and CCGM 25 CDDM + 9F (NO3 575 ppm), which are high mainly due to the 9-month Fertilizer. Again, the plant does not “see” the high levels of Nitrates as revealed by the medium analysis. All Nitrate levels were greatly reduced again by 10/19/12, some to deficiency levels. The DM did provide some P and K to the growing medium. By 10/14/11 all media had P and K readings that were satisfactory to very low and they were all very low by 10/19/12. DM was not a significant factor relative to levels of micro-nutrients in any of the Container Media.

Figure 3. Effect of Dairy Manure and Fertilizer on the quality of Salvia plants. Data are averaged over all parameters not specified.

the DM is used at 15%, or for some species, 25%, of the growing medium, and proper cultural practices are applied. Container Foliar Evaluations Petunia

Figure 4. Salvia plants growing in all 20 treatments of Dairy Manureamended growing media.

In summary of the Chemical and Physical Properties of the Container Media and Ground Soil, the DM has extremely high pH levels, Soluble Salts levels and Nitrates levels. The 25% DM did have a slightly larger negative impact than the 15% DM, but in most cases they both grew satisfactory plants. However, some pH effects may be apparent in later stages of growth resulting in some foliar chlorosis. Using irrigation water that would lower the pH, rather than raise the pH, may ameliorate this effect. End users must be mindful of the high pH and Soluble Salts in the DM, but none of the physical or chemical properties of the DM are prohibitive if

The best plant Quality Rating for Petunia occurred in the CGHGM Base with the Nine-month Fertilizer; the second best plants were in the CGHGM 15 NCDDM Medium with the Nine-month Fertilizer, and the third best plants were in the CCGM Base with the Ninemonth Fertilizer (Figure 1). The 15% DM Petunia plants (QR 88) were slightly lower in quality than the 0% DM plants (QR 90). The 25% DM plants (QR 86) were slightly lower than the 15% DM plants. Very small differences existed between the NCDDM (QR 76) and the CDDM (QR 77) plants. Digested Dairy Manure at a 15% incorporation rate is a very viable container media component for the growth and production of Petunia plants. These differences were not visually apparent in overall plant appearance (Figure 2). Salvia

For Salvia plants, the 0% DM Medium provided the best quality plants (QR 86) compared to QR 82 for 15% DM plants, and QR 82 for 25% DM plants. The CDDM Medium (QR 83) was slightly better than the NCDDM Medium (QR 81). The effect of DM with the different fertilizers is shown in Figure 3. All media produced good quality plants with just a slight reduction in Plant Quality with 15% and 25% DM in the medium. This slight reduction was not readily visible on the plants (Figure 4). june 14

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➾ digested dairy manure

Figure 5. Effect of Dairy Manure and Fertilizer on the quality of Spiraea plants. Data are averaged over all parameters not specified.


The Nine-month Fertilizer provided the better quality Spiraea plants in all media (Figure 5). Spiraea plants in the NCDDM Medium (QR 89) were the same as in the CDDM Medium (QR 89) and they are only one Quality Rating Unit lower than the 0% DM Medium (QR 90). The 25% DM Medium (QR 90) provided Spiraea plants that are also equal in quality. In the 15% DM Medium (QR 88), Spiraea plants were just slightly lower in Plant Quality. Therefore, there is very little or no difference in Plant Quality among Media Treatments as these plants would all be highly acceptable quality plants in a production scenario (Figure 6). Acknowledgments: Riverview Farms, LLC, Hancock, MN Figure 6. Spiraea plants growing in all 20 treatments of Dairy Manureamended growing media.

Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), University of Minnesota, Waseca, MN West Central Research and Outreach Center, University of MinnesotaMorris, Morris, MN Bailey Nurseries, Inc., St. Paul, MN Ted Swanson, Woodbury, MN Harrell’s Fertilizer, LLC, Sylacauga, AL

Part two of this research report will appear in the July issue of The Scoop.

Mississippi Topsoils, Inc., Cold Spring, MN

Bert T. Swanson, II, Ph.D., is President of Swanson’s Nursery Consulting, Inc., 35423 County Highway 46, Park Rapids, MN 56470. Steven R. Poppe, is a Horticulture Scientist at West Central Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota-Morris, 46352 State Highway #329, Morris, MN 56267.


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Water in Motion

Figure 1: An adult zebra mussel shell. Image: Amy Benson, U.S. Geological Survey, The existence of Zebra Mussels in Minnesota lakes should come as no surprise to your customers who own lake homes. However, there are implications to this infestation to bring to light.

The Zebra Mussel is a small, non-native mussel originally found in Russia. In 1988, this animal was transported to North America in the ballast water of a transatlantic freighter and colonized parts of Lake St. Clair. In less than 10 years, zebra mussels spread to all five Great Lakes and into the Mississippi, and many inland lakes in Minnesota. They reproduce and colonize extremely quickly on and in any submerged structure. Colonies collecting on the surface of boats, docks, and irrigation intake lines are not the only hazard faced. The larval stage of this mussel is extremely small, equaling the diameter of a human hair and invisible to the naked eye. Larval-stage Zebra mussels can easily penetrate most filtration and screening that is commonly used on irrigation intake lines, making their way into the pump, piping, controls and eventually the sprinklers, where they may attach and begin to grow and colonize. This circumstance has the possibility of causing serious problems with the reliable operation of a lake or river-based irrigation system.


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Figure 2: A pipe clogged with a zebra mussel infestation. Image: Craig Czarnecki, Michigan Sea Grant, Currently, there is no effective, affordable filtration available to defend against the zebra mussel infestation. This article isn’t intended to cause alarm, merely to inform and help you and your customers prepare for potential irrigation system problems caused by this pest.

Related Licensure Information If your irrigation, pond, or fountain company installs or removes water-related equipment in or near Minnesota waters, you must hold a lake service provider license from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. New laws passed by the Minnesota legislature in 2011 require lake service provider businesses to complete training and obtain a permit. Businesses that are defined by Minnesota law as lake service providers must have the owner or manager attend aquatic invasive species training and apply for a lake service provider permit every three years. More information can be found online at http://www.

can be reached at:

Tim Malooly

2014 SRW Products Catalog Available Online: Scan code below to view

The Benefits of Biochar: Understanding Its Potential Uses in the Horticulture Industry The biochar fire has begun and it is not being used to cook burgers, but as a potential growing media additive.

Dr. Matt Taylor and Dr. Brian Jackson | Reprinted from AmericanHort Connect (phone 614-487-1117), 2014:3.

Figure 2: Biochar produced with yellow pine. Note the small particle size (0.02 to 0.08 inches).


iochar is also referred to as “black carbon” and, in general, is a residue that remains from the incomplete combustion of organic material. This carbon is highly resistant to decay and can exist in soils for much longer periods than typical organic matter (hundreds or thousands of years). There are agricultural areas of the Amazon basin that contain large amounts of biochar that is 500 to 6,000 years old and is thought to be the result of human activity. These soils are considered some of the most fertile in the world due to the influence of biochar on soil structure, microbial activity, nutrient content, and physical and chemical properties. Research and commercial use of biochar in agronomic crop production has been taking place since the early 2000s. More recently, interest from the horticulture world has been picking up steam with the commercial availability of biochar and horticultural mixes containing biochar increasing. Currently, there isn’t much information available about biochars’ use in container crop production but some research suggests increased cation-exchange-capacity (CEC) in mixes, moderate fluctuation of nitrate levels during crop production, and alleviation of certain disease progression caused by Phytophthora. Understanding the differences between sources and production techniques for biochar, as well as the physical, chemical, and biological properties is important when deciding to make changes to your current production techniques. This article will help you make the choice Production of Biochar

There are, in fact, many processes that can be used to make biochar including torrefaction, pyrolysis, and gasification. These processes differ in the temperature ranges and exposure time/speed of the organic feedstock to those temperatures. These factors result in biochars with varying physical and chemical properties. There is currently a lot of research being conducted around the country by private companies, universities, USDA researchers, and private individuals who are working to find and capitalize on potential benefits Figure 1. Biochars made from various feedstocks by different methods (torrefaction, pyrolysis, gasification) and at different particle sizes can yield very different products.

Figure 3. Pelletized biochar can be made from any biochar feedstock/ material.

of using biochar in growing mixes. As a result of the process(es) of making biochar, it is conceivable that many unused or underused organic waste materials could be used as a value=added product. The main issue that should not be overlooked by companies or individuals who are working with biochar is that, like compost, biochar is extremely variable from source to source, and one biochar is not like another (Figure 1). A brief look through the scientific literature in the past decade highlights dozens of ways in which biochar is made, most of which are small production methods/facilities that are incapable of producing large volumes. Other methods, such as gasification machinery at rice processing plants that burn rice hulls for the energy and have charred hulls as a by-product, can produce many tons per day. If biochar is to be used on a large scale across the country, methods of producing it will need to be large enough to supply large volumes, especially for agronomic use. It can also be a concern that the consistency and reproducibility of biochar (even from the same source) may not always be the same. Production of biochar, whatever the method, needs to be consistent (same feed stock, particle size, moisture content, time of charring, temperature of charring, etc) in order to assure the most reliable product possible. These variables are some of the reasons that our industry has had issues with using compost in production systems — the extreme variations that occur between and among sources, seasons, and years. Much like compost, biochar should be considered a verb and not a noun! Physical Properties

The physical properties of biochar, like any organic or inorganic material, are directly related to the particle size of the material. Depending on the feedstock source and method in which the char was made, particles can range from large and chunky (briquettes) to small (lots of fines; see Figure 2). There are a couple different ways that the particle size of biochar can be regulated/created. First, the feedstock can be processed prior to charring, usually in a hammer mill or some other machine to breakdown the material to a small size. This approach seems to facilitate a more uniform end product, likely june 14

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Figure 4. Biochar produced from pine wood chips.

Figure 5. Biochar produced from rice hulls. Even during the intense high temperatures of the charring process, the particles remain mostly intact and retain their shape.

because the consistency of particles allow for a more thorough and complete “burn” during the charring process. The second approach to particle size is to process the biochar after it’s made. Pulverizing or grinding biochar into smaller particles has been done, however this can be extremely dusty and messy. Some researchers have reported the use of “pelletized” biochar (similar to the process of making wood fuel pellets; Figure 3). Practically speaking, it is more time and cost effective to adjust the particle size of the feedstock material prior to charring since the particle size doesn’t change greatly (break down) during the biochar process. Regardless how the particle size is achieved, the incorporation of biochar in soils or growing mixes will change physical properties to some degree. The unique aspect of biochar, however, compared to other aggregates, is that it will not breakdown even after long periods of time. The changes in physical properties (porosity, air space, water holding capacity) of a soil or growing mix created with biochar are likely to remain constant over long periods of time which can greatly benefit the plant growing environment. In short, biochar can improve soil/substrate physical properties depending on the particle size and amendment percentage. Biochar has been made from dozens of feedstock materials over the years with some of the more common sources being wood chips (Figure 4), rice hulls (Figure 5), peanut hulls (Figure 6), and poultry manure (Figure 7).

nutrient use efficiency. A study by Altland and Locke (2012) at USDA, showed that amending a peat based substrate with 10% biochar reduced leaching of both nitrate and phosphate.

Chemical Properties

Similar to physical properties, chemical properties of biochar can be quite variable based on the feedstock and production techniques. Table 1 shows the ranges of pH and some major elements that can be found in biochar. The carbon in biochar is contained within a diverse range of carbon molecules with differing structures and functional groups. Some of these molecules have hydrophilic and/ or hydrophobic regions, which can improve the soil retention of organic molecules such as PGRs and pesticides. The molecules and structures also give biochar a significant amount of negatively charges sites for cation exchange capacity (CEC) and positively charged sites for anion exchange capacity (AEC). The added CEC and AEC that comes from amending horticultural substrates with biochar could potentially reduce leaching of fertilizer and improve 28

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Table 1. Range of chemical properties that have been shown to exist in biochar Chemical Property

Potential Range











The range of pH for biochar in table one is very broad. However, in most cases biochar has an alkaline pH and adding it to substrate will cause the pH to rise. This could present an issue if biochar is added to pre-made horticultural mixes. If you are mixing your own substrates on site, lime rates should be adjusted accordingly to account for the biochar. To date, there has been no research conducted to determine the change in pH buffering capacity that may occur when biochar is added to a substrate. The nitrogen content of biochar can be misleading. Occasionally, biochar can have a significant percentage of nitrogen (N), but this N can be tightly bonded to carbon molecules and unavailable to plant roots. In some cases, the addition of biochar has been shown to reduce the availability of N. A similar effect can be observed with phosphorus (P) where biochar can act as a source. However, some studies have shown that the addition of biochar to soils can bond with and tie up available P. The pyrolysis temperature during production of biochar controls the amount of P since P volatilization occurs at temperature above 1300°F. Potassium (K) in biochar is better understood, and in cases where biochar has high amounts of K, it can be used as the sole source of K as long as the production times are short. In most cases it will only supply supplemental K. In addition to N, P, and K, biochar can also have a significant amount of calcium and magnesium. When using a horticultural


SCOOP COMING In January, MNLA will be introducing a redesigned Scoop. Our goal is to provide even greater value to you, the member, through this vital communication service. To do that, we need to know what your current needs are! We would like to gather your feedback on how you read The Scoop, which content you value most, and what you wish we would include. Please take five minutes and give us your opinions via a quick 5-question survey found here: If you’d rather forward your comments via email, send those to WRITERS WANTED We’re also looking for members who love to write – members who want to share useful information,


Figure 6. Biochar produced from peanut hulls.

Figure 7. Biochar produced from poultry manure yields very fine particles compared to other feedstock materials.

mix that contains biochar, fertilization practices will most likely not be adjusted unless the chemical properties of the biochar are fully understood and the proportion in the mix is of a high percentage.

Current Research

Microbial Properties

Some researchers have indicated that biochar can serve as a haven for beneficial microorganisms and help prevent disease. In a greenhouse study with peppers, researchers indicated yeasts, fungi, Pseudomonas, and Trichoderma were greater and plant growth was improved in pots with biochar compared to those without (Graber, 2010). Agricultural research indicates a positive effect of biochar on disease incidence, the presence of mycorrhizal fungi, and the richness of bacterial species. However, the effect of biochar in horticultural systems on the presence and pathogenesis of disease causing organisms as well as the presence of beneficial organisms is poorly understood. More research is needed to understand these effects. Use in Container Substrates

While biochar has been proven to yield great results in field soils, the amount of information and scientific data available on its benefit in horticultural substrates is limited. The physical, chemical, and biological benefits of biochar in a soil are often seen over many years. The challenge with seeing such results in container plant production (substrates) is that these crops spend so little time in the containers that little advantage has been proven at this point. When you consider the ideal growing environment that greenhouse and nursery growers provide their plants (good substrate with adequate physical properties, proper pH adjustment, sufficient water, luxury consumption of nutrients, etc), it can be difficult to observe growth differences (improved performance). However, with more research and understanding of the potential benefits of biochar (chemically and physically) it is conceivable that cultural practices could be modified (lower fertility, lime, aggregate use, etc) to better allow the natural properties of biochar to enhance substrate properties while cutting costs of inputs (fertilizer, lime, etc). Areas of great interest concerning biochar and substrates include increased or improved pH buffering, source of potassium and phosphorus, or improved porosity by using biochar as an aggregate in place of perlite. 30

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Research across the country continues to evaluate biochar for both field (soil) and container (substrate) plant production. Much work is being done on the effect of biochar on nutrient charge and retention in production systems as well as a more in-depth look into its chemistry to assess pH modification potential. Container production of horticulture crops is based on such precision and accuracy (at least that’s the goal) so any new material or component introduced into our growing systems needs to also be precise and reliable. From a substrate perspective, more calculated research needs to be conducted especially on the processing and production side of biochar before it can be fully understood and its potential benefits utilized. Conclusion and Future Outlook

When purchasing and using biochar it is critical that the specific chemical and physical properties are understood in order to use the product effectively. If you are considering using a mix with biochar or adding biochar to your current mix, it is advisable to try this on small portion of your crop in order to effectively gauge the value of this amendment to determine if this product is right for your operation. It is also advisable to not assume every source and batch of biochar is the same (will yield the same properties or benefits). Literature Cited Altand, J. and J. Locke. 2012. Biochar affects macronutrient leaching in a soilless substrate. HortScience 47:1136-1140. Graper, E., Y.Harel, M. Kolton, E. Cytryn, A. Silber, D. David, L. Tsechansky, M. Borenshtein, Y. Elad. 2010. Biochar impact on development and productivity of pepper and tomato grown in fertigated soilless media. Plant and Soil. 337:481-496.

Research Coordinator, Longwood Gardens. Kennett Square, PA,

Dr. Matt Taylor,

Dr. Brian Jackson,

Assistant Professor and Co-director , Horticultural Substrates Laboratory at NC State University, Raleigh, NC,


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New Landscape Sales Tax Fact Sheets One of the projects Bob Fitch wanted to complete before he left MNLA in December 2012 was a long-awaited update of the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s (DOR) fact sheet on landscaping. Unfortunately, his timing did not work out. Control of the Minnesota legislature passed from Republicans to Democrats and a number of new tax issues were passed in 2013. Tim Power

MNLA Government Affairs Director

now that the dust has settled and DOR has had a chance to review two rounds of recommendations forwarded through MNLA, the newly revised fact sheets are on the street and are effective immediately. The single biggest difference in the new fact sheets is that there are now two of them, replacing a single fact sheet that was considered confusing by many MNLA members who went through sales tax audits. This is a logical split because landscaping maintenance contracts involve mostly taxable services, whereas landscaping construction contracts are improvements to real property, and therefore nontaxable. • Sales Tax Fact Sheet 121A — Lawn and Garden Maintenance, Tree and Shrub Service • Sales Tax Fact Sheet 121B — Landscaping Construction Contracts Another significant change in these new fact sheets is that the planting of perennials joins the planting of trees, shrubs and other woody plants as an improvement to real property and is therefore exempt from sales tax. As in the past, planting of annual plants or vegetables is only exempt for an initial landscaping construction contract. Seasonal switch-outs of annuals and mulch are a taxable gardening service. Another service that is specifically called out as nontaxable in both fact sheets is installing, maintaining and repairing underground sprinklers and irrigation


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systems. This is welcome news after the scare our irrigation contractors had last winter about the possible taxability of some of their repair services on electronic controllers. With the repeal of three B2B sales taxes in March, this has become a non-issue going forward. However, repair labor on electronic equipment for businesses WAS taxable from July 1, 2013 until March 31, 2014. If you were a provider or recipient of such services during that time for repairs of things like office electronics, sales tax should have been collected and forwarded to DOR. MNLA thanks the following members for their thorough review of the latest drafts of these fact sheets. Many of them either went through frustrating sales tax audits themselves or commiserated with those who did. Heidi Heiland, Heidi’s Lifestyle Gardens; Scott Frampton, Landscape Renovations; Mike McNamara, Hoffman & McNamara Nursery and Landscape; Cory Whitmer, The Mustard Seed Landscaping and Garden Center; Jim Saybolt, Biota Landscape Design + Build; George Norling, Norling’s Lake Minnetonka Landscapes; and Wendy Mickman, Mickman Brothers. Look for these new DOR landscape sales tax factsheets at fact_sheets.aspx. The list is alphabetical by subject. Other factsheets you may need to be aware of include: • Fact Sheet 128 – Contractors • Fact Sheet 106 – Farm Equipment

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• Fact Sheet 152B – Labor-Repair for Businesses • Fact Sheet 164 – Local Sales and Use Taxes • Fact Sheet 121C – Nursery and Greenhouse Production • Fact Sheet 146 – Use Tax for Business Finally, if you are interested in keeping abreast of DOR activity on sales tax issues, sign up for their e-mail updates at https:// subscriber/new?topic_id=MNREV_13. june 14

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Garden Center 2020....

Engaging for C


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John Stanley | John Stanley Associates


My current conference presentations and workshops are focused on what garden centers will look like in 2020. For certain they will look completely different than they do today — and we are only looking six years into the future.

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y view is that the large corporate garden outlets will still have a major part of the market share, but the growth sector will also be with local niche specialist retailers. The danger zone will be those that are stuck in the middle. Around the world we have already seen many of these businesses flounder as they do not fit into either market segment. Garden centers have to focus on either providing the best price or the best value to the consumer. Large outlets will focus on the best price, leaving the specialist the value option.

Customers will be delighted

Garden Center 2020 will look completely different in so many ways: the way it is designed, the way it is merchandised, and the way the team sells. Many of these changes will be driven by the Millennial Generation who think and behave differently to the generations before and by 2020 will be wanting to beautify their apartments and homes. In this article I will focus on how the team at Garden Center 2020 will delight their customers. I use the word “delight” on purpose as “customer service” will not be the way of the future. The focus will be on developing loyal customers, not because loyal customers will buy more plants (they probably will not as space will be limited), but because they value the experience that you offer and can become advocates for your business. We already have retail models that garden centers can pattern themselves after. The online retailer Zappos is already showing the opportunities and how to deliver “happiness” to consumers. Successful garden centers will have entered the era of digital marketing and will be communicating with their customer base via 38

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handheld smart devices. The consumer will expect the communications to be a smooth experience. But the critical thing to remember is that research shows that 70% of “memorable” experiences involve being engaging with people. This is one reason customer service will be a thing of the past and the team engaging with the consumer in the garden center will be so important. Technology will shine

Although engagement will be important I do not want to downplay the importance of technology. By 2020 technology will be playing a more important part in the customer experience process. Garden centers will be conducting more business online and will be providing personal recommendations to customers in the same way that communicates with me today. Since I am a buyer of management books, Amazon recommends to me new management books I may be interested in. Garden centers will be recommending new plants online using the same format. Smart phones will have voice activation based on developments using applications such as “Nina” or “Lexee” (both are software development kit solutions that add voice-enabled customer service capabilities to mobile applications) which will allow for a personal conversation that has been pre-programmed between the plant manager and the consumer. By 2020 we will also have “feel” screens on our smart phones and research is being carried out where smell can also be transmitted, which could be ideal for selling plants. This “high tech” development also means that the garden center team will have time in the garden center to provide “high touch” as we continue to better understand what drives “delight” in the consumer’s mind.

Summing it all up

Research by RightNow reveals that 86% of consumers will pay more for better customer experiences and 89% will change who they do business with because of a poor consumer experience. This will provide the specialist independent garden center with a unique marketing niche That niche will be: 1) Technology will be used to make the sale. 2) The garden center will be a venue where the decision making takes place and the consumer engages with a “garden guru.” This means that the garden center will look completely different from today. The garden center consumer will walk into the garden center having already engaged with the business on their smart phone. They will be checking on the product on offer in the center on their smart phone and looking at consumer reviews of the product, rather than just relying on the garden center team’s advice. They will be looking at videos of plants growing and having a video conversation with their garden friends on the plants on offer whilst in the center. They will be in the garden center looking for inspiration and engagement with the team. The consumer will be making buying decisions based on what friends are saying and will be selecting an independent garden center that inspires them. All this and it is only six years away…it is starting now!

John Stanley

can be reached at

june 14

mnla .biz


Imprelis Settlement Reached ®

Dr. James Calkins | MNLA Foundation Research Information Director


class action settlement that has been making its way through the legal process since the first lawsuit was filed on July 18, 2011, and multiple lawsuits were subsequently consolidated in federal district court in Pennsylvania [In re: Imprelis® Herbicide Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 11-md-2284 (E.D. Pa.)], was given final court approval on October 17, 2013, and marks a significant milestone in the Imprelis® herbicide debacle. Imprelis® (aminocyclopyrachlor) is a selective, auxin-like herbicide designed to kill broadleaf weeds in turf that was developed by DuPont and approved for use in the United States (except in California and New York) from August 31, 2010, through August 21, 2011. The active ingredient has both foliar and soil activity and is actively absorbed by plant foliage, stems, and roots and is systemic. While these characteristics, and especially root activity and being systemic, can be helpful in controlling tough weeds, they may also increase the potential for damage to non-target species which appears to have been the case for Imprelis® which was marketed for controlling tough weeds in turf. Even though Imprelis® was only used for a relatively short time because it quickly became apparent that the herbicide was causing damage to non-target landscape plants, the resulting damage to a variety of evergreens and other landscape trees that has been attributed to Imprelis® has been significant and widespread resulting in over 30,000 damage claims. Thus far it has cost DuPont nearly 400 million to resolve damage claims related to Imprelis® and the company will likely incur additional costs as a result of the settlement. Although a party to the settlement, DuPont has denied the claims made by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit and the settlement does not stipulate or prove DuPont did anything wrong pertaining to the marketing, sales, and product liability of the herbicide Imprelis®. While the settlement has been given final approval by the court, the settlement is not yet final as a member of one of the classes included

Figure 1. Damage to trees like this Colorado spruce (Picea pungens) which is believed to have been damaged by the herbicide Imprelis®, and especially established, mature trees in residential and commercial landscapes, is a real and significant loss to the property owner; this type of damage highlights the importance of thorough research and development efforts by herbicide manufacturers, a comprehensive registration review and regulation process, and always exercising great care in the selection and application of herbicides and other landscape chemicals to ensure product safety and reduce the potential for damage to non-target plants in managed landscapes (Photo Credit: Jim Calkins).

in the settlement has appealed the settlement decision. As a result, the appeals process is not yet complete. The settlement includes three classes: Residential and Commercial Property Owners (Class 1), Lawn Care Professionals (Class 2), and Golf Courses and Other Self-Applicators (Class 3). If the settlement becomes final once the appeals process is completed, the parties covered by the settlement will be notified and the terms of the settlement will apply to all class members that have not opted out of the settlement. june 14

mnla .biz


➾ imprelis settlement

Although the June 28, 2013, claim submission deadline and other deadlines related to the settlement have passed, property owners who provide documentation that trees on their property have been damaged by Imprelis® will still be eligible to submit a warranty claim under the conditions of the settlement which includes an extended limited warranty deadline of May 31, 2015. The original warranty deadline (December 31, 2013) remains in effect until the appeals process is complete and the settlement is final, but warranty claims are currently being accepted by DuPont under the terms of the proposed settlement and will be processed once the settlement is final. To submit a warranty claim, a letter detailing the damage and why it is believed the damage was caused by Imprelis® should be sent to the address below. The letter should also include the original claim number (if applicable), the complete address of the affected property, and your contact information including the mailing address, phone number, and whether you are represented by counsel. Send the information to: DuPont Imprelis® Claims Resolution Process c/o Epiq Systems Attention: Warranty Notifications FDR Station, P.O. Box 5013 New York, NY 10150-5013 Under the conditions of the settlement, claimants are not eligible for all the benefits offered in the original Claim Resolution Agreement which expired on June 28, 2013. The limited warranty covers any damage to trees caused by Imprelis® including replacement trees and transfers to new owners if the property is sold (Exhibit 21;, but does not include payment for incidental damages included in the original settlement offered by DuPont. Claims may be submitted for any tree(s) that are believed to be experiencing new or additional damage, but claimants should act quickly and promptly notify DuPont of the damage. Purdue University and Michigan State University have followed the effects of Imprelis® on landscape plants closely since the first reports of damage in 2011. Reports of damage caused by Imprelis® continued during the 2013 growing season, but most are believed to be situations that had not 42

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➾ imprelis settlement

detectable at very low levels in 2013. Herbicide residues in plant tissues have degraded more slowly and material from affected plants should not be used as mulch. Additional information about the Imprelis® Class Action Settlement, including the terms of the Settlement Agreement, can be found on the official court-approved website at https://treedamagesettlement. com. Answers to questions about the settlement may also be found by calling 1-866-802-8112 (Imprelis® Settlement Information Line). Special thanks are extended to the Honorable Judge Gene E.K. Pratter (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania) for facilitating contact with individuals who, unlike the judge, are able to discuss the proposed settlement and to Ashley N. Bailey (Cromwell & Moring LLP, Washington, DC), a member of the legal team representing DuPont in the Imprelis® matter, for her assistance in clarifying the status and the specifics of the of the negotiated Imprelis® settlement. For additional information about the effects of Imprelis® on landscape plants and the Imprelis® settlement, see the following selected resources:

Figure 2. One of more than 30 Black Hills white (Picea glauca var. denstata) and Colorado (Picea pungens) spruce trees damaged by the herbicide Imprelis® growing on a commercial property in a Twin Cities suburb; like most affected trees on the property, this tree has exhibited very minimal signs of recovery during the 2012 and 2013 growing seasons and will likely need to be removed and replaced as it is unlikely it will recover to become an attractive landscape plant (March, 2014) (Photo Credit: Jim Calkins).

been previously noted or the result of continued decline of previously affected trees. The damage caused by Imprelis® has included a variety of symptoms including complete mortality, dieback, browning, branch deformations (drooping, twisting, bending/epinasty), swelling of branch tips or terminal buds (clubbing), stunting, the formation of fleshy galls on trunks and branches, brown and dead buds, and various leaf deformities (cupping, twisting, and curling). An umbrella effect on pines where the needles are reflexed backwards resulting in an umbrella appearance has also been observed. Evergreens including Norway (Picea abies) and Colorado (Picea pungens) spruce and eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) have been most commonly affected, but other species of spruce (Picea spp.) and lilacs (Syringa spp.), yews (Taxus spp.), common honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos), aspen/cottonwood (Populus spp.), oaks (Quercus spp.), eastern white cedar/arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), and various other deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs have also been affected. Although damage to other species has been significant, Norway spruce and white pine appear to have been the most susceptible. While some damaged trees may recover, most, and especially evergreens that do not show widespread signs of new and normal terminal growth, are likely to be disfigured and are unlikely to become acceptable landscape plants. As expected, herbicide levels in the soil have declined over time. Research indicates Imprelis® in the soil on sites treated at recommended rates before Imprelis® was removed from the market has degraded such that residuals were no longer detectable or only 44

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Cregg, B. 2013. Imprelis Update for Spring 2013. Michigan State University Extension; June 6, 2013. imprelis_update_for_spring_2013 Cregg, B. 2013. Imprelis Update for Late Summer 2013. 2013. Michigan State University Extension; August 22, 2013. news/imprelis_update_for_late_summer_2013 Cregg, B. 2013. Imprelis Update. MTGF Clippings 21(2):16-17. www. ??? Purdue University Imprelis Clearinghouse Website. http://www.agry. Patton, A., T. Creswell, G. Ruhl, K. Daniel, S. Weller, and L. Purcell. 2013. 2013 Imprelis® Update: Tree Maintenance, Replacement, and Disposal. Purdue Extension, Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory; August, 2013. DuPont. 2013. The Facts about Imprelis®. Patton, A., T. Creswell, G. Ruhl, and S. Weller. 2012. Imprelis Update: 2012 Field Notes on Injury and Recovery. Purdue Extension, Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory; June, 2012. Creswell, T., G. Ruhl, A. Patton, and S. Weller. 2012. A Homeowner’s Guide to Imprelis® Herbicide Injury in the Landscape. Purdue Extension, Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory; September, 2011. http:// A Turf Professionals Guide to Imprelis® Herbicide Injury in the Landscape. Purdue Extension, Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory; November, 2011. ImprelisLCO.pdf In Re: Imprelis Herbicide Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation. October 17, 2013. pkg/USCOURTS-paed-2_11-md-02284/pdf/USCOURTS-paed-2_11md-02284-7.pdf

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@








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➾ sectio n title

Minimum wage is on the rise It’s official. Come August, the Minnesota minimum wage is going up.

Patrick McGuiness | Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC

june 14

mnla .biz


➾ minimum wage

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


his week, Governor Mark Dayton signed an increase to the minimum wage into law. It will rise to $8 per hour in August, and by 2016 it will reach $9.50. The new law also pegs the minimum wage to inflation, so it will regularly increase without legislative action.

So how will your business be affected?

When project coordination helped you meet a deadline.

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WWW.ANCOM.ORG When you needed reliable two-way communication. MOTOROLA, MOTO, MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS and the Stylized M Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Motorola Trademark Holdings, LLC and are used under license. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 2013 Motorola Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Minnesota minimum wage is currently $6.15 per hour, one of the lowest rates in the country. Because it’s less than the federal minimum wage, most employers are required to pay their employees at the national rate of $7.25 per hour. Once the increased state minimum wage takes effect, employers will be required to pay workers at the new, higher Minnesota rate. The minimum wage will be implemented gradually, going up every August for the next three years. In 2014, it will increase to $8.00 per hour, in 2015 to $9.00 per hour, and in 2016 to $9.50 per hour. The last time the state minimum wage went up was 2005, but you shouldn’t expect the new rate to be the law of the land for the next decade. In a new move, the legislature decided to peg the minimum wage to inflation. Beginning in 2018, the minimum wage will increase once a year by the rate of inflation. However, it will never increase by more than 2.5 percent, and the Department of Labor and Industry will be able to suspend automatic increases if economic data indicates the “potential for a substantial downturn in the state’s economy.” About 350,000 Minnesota workers currently earn less than $9.50 an hour, and should see their pay increase as the minimum wage does. Even some employees that earn $9.50 are expected to see wage increase as businesses begin offering higher pay in order to compete with other employers. Are there exceptions?

Yes, but they are limited. The new law will increase the minimum wage for the majority of workers, but there are a few exceptions. Small employers currently have a lower minimum wage than their large competitors, and this will still be true once the new law kicks in. Under current Minnesota law, any employer with an annual gross volume of 48

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Date of Increase

Big Employer Minimum (over $500,000 gross)

Small Employer Minimum (under $500,000 gross)

August 1, 2014



August 1, 2015



August 1, 2016



January 1, 2018 – onward

Inflation based increase not more than 2.5 percent

Inflation based increase not more than 2.5 percent

sales less than $625,000 is considered a small employer and is only required to pay employees $5.25 per hour. The new law limits the gross sales small employers can make to $500,000 (in line with the federal standard). It also increases the minimum wage for employees at those companies to $6.50 in 2014, $7.25 in 2015, and $7.75 in 2016. There is also an exemption to the law for a training period for teen employees. During the first 90 days of employment, businesses can pay workers under 20 years old below the minimum wage. The training wage is currently $4.90 per hour. Once the new law goes into effect in August, it will be the same as the small business minimum wage, reaching $7.75 per hour in 2016. (It should be noted that the law bans displacing regular employees by hiring workers at the training wage.)

Although it’s unlikely any of the exemptions will apply to your business, there are many other specific categories of workers that are not covered by minimum wage laws — from elected officials to babysitters to seasonal circus workers.

on employment law and does not list all prohibitions, exclusions and regulations. Do not rely upon this article as legal advice. A qualified attorney must analyze all relevant facts and apply the applicable law to any matter before legal advice can be given. If you would like more information regarding employment law or other legal matters, please contact Patrick McGuiness at Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC at 651-206-3203 or This article provides general information

time to renew on!

Summer is the time for renewing your membership in the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association. To continue your membership without interruption, please take a moment to renew by logging on at While you are logged in to your account, please review and update your company’s listing which will be published in the 2015 MNLA Membership Directory and in the online directory. On-line renewal is the most accurate and least expensive option! Your continued support and involvement as a member of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association is greatly appreciated. Providing you with education, legislative representation, networking, and other member services is why MNLA exists.

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mnla .biz


New Scholarships for High School Seniors who Major in Horticulture

Scholarships are an important component of the MNLA Foundation. The Foundation recently approved a new addition to the scholarship program. We are happy to announce the new HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP awards for 2015.

Mary Meyer | MNLA Foundation

june 14

mnla .biz


➾ foundati on corner

Sterling Arbor llc.

Specializing in large, legacy plantings and sourcing trees throughout the country to meet the Landscape Architect’s specifications

Boxed Trees

(lined with Rootmaker)

Large, Above Ground Cor-Ten Steel Planters (lined w/ Rootmaker)

We have moved! Our new yard is located just near Max Tree Farm (soon to be major supplier of large trees for local projects).

Inquire regarding NEW SOURCE of 18’ to 24’ Norway Spruce 612-747-5363 52

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he Foundation approved this new high school component to mirror the current college scholarship program, with a $250 member sponsor and a $250 Foundation match. The Foundation will match up to $2,500 or 10 scholarships for the 2015 fiscal year. Here is your chance to assist a student and help the next generation learn about horticulture. We believe MNLA has a substantial opportunity to recruit future workers to our industry by offering these new scholarships to high school seniors. Member companies can choose which school they want or the MNLA staff can direct the donation and Foundation match to a school identifying an eligible student. Member companies can also choose to direct the scholarship to individuals that have identified an interest in certain industry segments. For example, you may choose to sponsor a high school student interested in an education in tree care but if in the current year your high school does not have such a student the MNLA staff can send your scholarship to a student, with your interest that is enrolled in a different high school. We believe the high school and college scholarships will work well and can operate in tandem together. We believe the potential for additional funds and the exposure to new students offer solid reasons to expand the scholarship program to high school students. Our industry and horticulture needs to have more exposure to young people today. Announcements and promotions in high schools can help attract more students to our field and show them this is an engaging, fulfilling profession that can be a rewarding career. The new high school scholarships will begin in 2015, so make the decision to sponsor a student today and contact MNLA Foundation Program Director Jodi Larson at

For more information, you can also contact The Scholarship Task Team of the MNLA Foundation: Mike McNamara, Mary Meyer, Dennis Ullom, Jay Siedschlaw, Jodi Larson, or any Foundation Board member.



lIquId soIl applIed fertIlIzer

nutriroot is a unique blend of essential minerals, seaweed extract, humates, surfactants and humectants designed to increase root development and to reduce water stress in trees, shrubs and lawns. • Promotes root growth • Reduces watering • Improves transplant success

• Protects transplants from drought stress & shock • Feeds roots all season long

find a distributor: Visit or call 781.935.9070.

➾ MNLA N ews

check out our new web site! MN LA L aunches R e -D esigned , Resp o nsi v e M ember W ebsite

The Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association is pleased to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website The new site was designed based on feedback from MNLA members during focus groups formed during the latest strategic planning process, from survey data gathered from the membership, and from the guidance of the Communications + Technology Committee. The site was updated to the latest design standards and provides a more visually pleasing experience and easily understandable navigation. Site visitors can readily locate information they seek as well as discover additional educational materials.

Some of the features of the new site that were included based on member requests/needs: A simple, easy-to-navigate menu. Reorganization of site materials and events into industry categories for quick browsing. Latest industry-wide news, accessible from the home page. New social/group features that allow members to connect with each other around industry segment or topics of interest.


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Easy to access members-only resources (sales tax fact sheets, compiled wage statistics, city permitting information, an online Scoop archive, etc.). You must be logged in to see all the options in the menu! An improved online job board. A streamlined profile update and member join/renew process. The extensive resources offered by the MNLA make an in-depth collection of useful green industry information. Links to MNLA resources by industry segment, events, and a searchable member directory are all evident on the homepage. The new and engaging “slider” images also provide access to the latest and most important industry information. New social media buttons make the site easily shared with colleagues, family and friends. Finally, the new website is based on responsive technology which allows the site to recognize the device you’re on and translate to smart phone, tablet and laptop versions. To see the redesigned website in its entirety, visit www. We encourage you to visit the website and login today!

A Deeper Shade of Green Local Genetic Origins


Native Minnesota Woody & Herbaceous (651) 438-2771 • Fax (651) 438-3816

Call us first for all your native planting needs 34 | June 2012

➾ landscape awards

2014 MNLA Landscape Award Winners



Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 MNLA Landscape Awards! The April and May issues of the Scoop showcased fourteen of the 21 winning projects and the final seven are highlighted here. All winning projects were displayed during the Northern Green Expo and recognized at the MNLA Awards Gala. A video showing five photos from each project and judges’ comments is online at Did you know? In any given year, ALL entries could win awards, or NO entries could win an award. Entries are not judged against each other; rather each entry is judged against the standards of excellence. Judges must decide whether an entry, in their opinion, meets or exceeds those standards.

 Firm: Stonepocket, Inc. Project: Aspen in Minnesota Entrant: Tim Heelan

< Firm: Southview Design

Project: Leonard Project

Entrant: Tim Johnson

Subcontractors: Southside Concrete: installation of block walls, fireplace, and masonry work; Designer Iron Inc.: installation of radius steel beam for fireplace Pergola; Keller Residential: installation of cedar pergola; Fireside Hearth & Home: installation of outdoor kitchen

 Firm: Southview Design Project: Milne Pool Environment Entrant: Colleen Moran  Firm: Yardscapes, Inc.

Project: Goldman Residence

Entrant: David Kopfmann 56

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Team: Joe Christenson, Project Manager

Subcontractors: Bulach Custom Rock: concrete; Dakota Unlimited: fencing; Designer Spaces: carpentry; Dolphin Pool: pool liner; Sport Court of Minnesota

< Firm: Yardscapes Inc.

Project: O’Leary Residence

Entrant: Clayton Johnson

 Firm: Southview Design

Project: Ryan Project

Entrant: Josh Koller

Team: Refined LLC: interior remodel and new concrete driveway

Subcontractors: Jim Jerikovsky of DnL Builders: installation of arbor and gate

The MNLA Landscape Awards is

a program of recognition for installed landscapes. Submitting companies must be MNLA members who offer design, installation, design/build, bid/build, or other landscape specialty to their clients.

a special thank you to our sponsors:  Firm: TerraVista Landscape and Design Project: Urban Infill Entrant: Eric Baldus

june 14

mnla .biz


➾ the scoop

share scoop! the

each month, the Scoop is mailed to every company in the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association. A portion of your annual dues covers your yearly subscription to our official publication, which is one of the most-loved benefits of MNLA membership. Because each company only receives one copy of the Scoop, it’s important to share the wealth! Make sure your employees are able to take advantage of the insights and information in this magazine by putting it in your company break-room, or directly into the hands of that employee you’d like to develop into a leader in your company.

to receive the online scoop,

Want to make the Scoop accessible to everyone in your company? Every month, we publish an online issue of the Scoop, using a leading web platform for magazines. This digital issue is available to all personnel in all MNLA member companies. To utilize this member-only benefit, you simply need to send us the email addresses for whomever in your company you would like to receive the Scoop. We will then email the link directly to your employees’ inbox each month. In fact, our online issue is available a week before the hard copy of the magazine arrives. Your employees will be privy to the latest and greatest information!

email Jessica Pratt,


Also Inside

Also Inside

king New Plant Forum Networ in ners A Government Success Story W Affairs Non-Compete Clauses Award istakes Foundation Corner SEO M “Organic,” “Local” or “Sustainable”? B s io lt u d s e e g R r a y e Sur v Your Marketing? Green Ind dable Containe r e t n e C n u rs str y Benc Garde hould You Focus hmark

emPloymeNt issues? E v Finding, training, and retaining WE lOtS the right people can be challenging Nrforming annuals, pelexpA lore top pe ng for trees W , & cari new plants

Vol: 37 No: 3 Mar 2014

Vol: 37 No :5

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june 14

Plant of the Mon Out & th Abo Photo Fl ut ashbac k



A 12-page se this seaso ction covering n’s hottes t topic

May 2014

tion ocia a sns u t h e o f f i c i a l p u b l i c a t i o n tohfe to h e M i nsnceaspoet a r s e r y & l a n d s c a p e a s s o c i at i o n flfai n cd ial p & y ubli er c at i nurs on o s o ta f th inne e Mi 14 he M nne : 2 Feb 20 of t s o ta Vol: 37 No ion t nurs a c ery ubli p l & la a i ndsc ffic o ape e th


Also Inside


Where S


c i at




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➾ mnla news

networking news Landscape Design

The topic of the meeting was: technology for landscape designers (drafting, sketching, managing time, measuring, other).

Meeting Date:

Takeaways from the meeting were:

March 6; 10:30 am LOCATION:

MNLA Office

1. Digitally generated plans can be superior to hand drawing in at least two regards: First, changes are made dramatically easier and more efficiently with digital drawings. Second, digital plans can be transmitted electronically saving valuable time and potentially cutting down on on-site meetings. 2. Using county/government generated GIS maps where available are great ways to get a start on base plans and also to get they lay of the land prior to meeting with clients. 3. A possible resource for advertising is — this website takes you through the process of taking advantage of as much free advertising via the internet as possible. 4. The jury is still out on how notebook computers may be of value to landscape designers. Potential uses include on-site access to portfolios and specific product info, sketching, estimating and billing.

Landscape Contractor LOCATION:

The Landscape Contractor Networking Group met for the first time. It was a good networking happy hour with a total of 13 attendees. Conversations flowed naturally and people were happy that the event was organized.

Rochester Area

The Rochester Area Green Industry Networking Group met for the first time. We had nine attendees.

Meeting Date:

The top three takeaways were:

Meeting Date:

March 27; 5:30 pm Sweeney’s Saloon

April 9; 8:30 am LOCATION:

Dunn Bros. Coffee

1. Tree planting standards reviewed and discussion on “disagreements between arborists and landscapers.” The point is to always speak respectfully about fellow industry members, never speak in a negative way about a competitor or arborist vs. nursery or vice versa. 2. Hiring — How to find good people. Don’t necessarily look in the “normal” places.  Look for places that people who enjoy the outdoors would be. 3. Design landscapes for easy maintenance; reduce lawn space; make bed lines for easy mowing. The group decided that future meetings were to always be on the second Wednesday of every month at roughly the same time and place.

Attend an MNLA Networking group meeting in 2014! You will walk away with ideas you can implement and life-long industry contacts! Visit for a list of upcoming MNLA networking group meetings/events.


mnla .biz

june 14

Welcome new MNLA members! CW Exteriors, LLC; Little Canada; Chad Wolkerstorfer, 612-817-6527 Divine Containers; Victoria, MN; Meg Adams, 612-916-6449 Do It Yourself Landscape Design; Oronoco, MN; Brandon Brodin, 507-356-2283 Foxtail Landscapes, LLC; St. Paul, MN; Joshua Sweet, 360-931-1173 Fresh Alternatives; South St. Paul; Steven Bolton, 612-867-1267 Heart and Soil Design; St. Paul, MN; Molly Moriarty, 651-265-8000

Meadow Green Lawn & Landscape; Lakeville, MN; David Cripe, 952-894-3305 Meyer Outdoor Services; Rochester, MN; Ryan Boomer, 507-226-8833 Mid-State Environmental; Inver Grove Heights, MN; Lance Sanders, 952-215-8916 Neil’s Outdoor Services, Inc.; Eden Prairie; Neil Navickas, 952-6986900

Hydro Innovation; Princeton, MN; Dan Gotz, 612-244-4144

North Oaks Landscaping Service; Columbus, MN; Tim Carver, 651-248-8194

Langer PGM, LLC; Ellsworth, WI; Cole Langer, 715-273-3306

Reliable Tree Service; Cambridge, MN; Jim Olson, 763-360-6558

LeMay Farm & Garden; Hugo, MN; Tom LeMay, 651-246-0956

space at state fair


Mar keting Space Available f o r 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 Minnesota State Fair to promote your company to the many potential customers passing by this beautiful landscape. How? 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). This year 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 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 slot. BONUS OPPORTUNITY for those who sign up for a time slot: You’ll have the opportunity to provide a 20-minute presentation on the State Fair’s “Dirt Stage.” Availability of speaking times will be dependent on the Fair’s scheduling, but every effort will be made to schedule it during the time your company is staffing the garden. Visit for more information on this MNLA member opportunity at the MNLA Garden at the State Fair.

june 14

mnla .biz


➾ last word

photo flashback TO TH E 1 9 4 0 s

The year 2015 marks the 90th Anniversary of the association, and we want to celebrate our past and energize our future! This is the first in a series of photo flashbacks you will see in the Scoop during the upcoming year that help to celebrate our past.

A Minnesota Nurserymen’s Association gathering at the Hotel Lowry on December 1–2, 1947. Forrest H. Sargent on March 4, 1940 with his Red Wing Nursery truck.

Program from the 1947 meeting.


mnla .biz

june 14

MNLA FOUNDATION Improving the Environment by Investing in Research and Education

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


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

Research for the Real World

Career Development & Promotion


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



When you refer someone who buys a new Cat® skid steer loader or other qualifying machine from Ziegler during 2014, we’ll send you a $500 PREPAID VISA GIFT CARD after the sale is complete. What’s in it for your friend? A $500 credit toward any work tool. It’s a win-win for both of you. After all, what are friends for? Valid only if buyer has not purchased a new machine from Ziegler within the past 5 years. For more details, visit

To refer a friend, visit

Profile for Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association

The Scoop Online – June 2014  

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

The Scoop Online – June 2014  

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