Page 1

My Favorite Tool Out & About Before & After

Volume 36 No. 9 Sept 2013

Snow & Ice Benchmark Report

Also Inside

Are Natives Always Best?

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



Your Chevrolet Business Elite Dealers are the best choice for all of your business vehicle needs. With outstanding selection ranging from efficient small cars to hard-working Heavy-Duty trucks. Innovative solutions and configurations designed to answer all of your cargo storage needs. And dedicated teams that ensure your company gets what it needs when it needs it from sales right through to service.





JEFF BELZER CHEVROLET George Miller (952) 469-6820 gmiller@jeffbelzer.com


Howie Lee (763) 786-6100 howielee@friendlychev.com

To find out what a Chevrolet Business Elite Dealer can do for your business, call or contact one of our experts. LUTHER BROOKDALE CHEVROLET

Kristal Bechtold (763)-222-1913 kristal.bechtold@lutherbrookdalechev.com


Ron Hogan (651)-255-8295 rhogan@meritchev.com


Darin Trees (952)-913-0036 dtrees@suburbanchev.com


Scott Miller (866) 229-3091 smiller@walserchev.com

*Customer must be a member of Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association. Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association and Members agree to purchase a minimum of 15 units in each model year, and title, license, register and retain all vehicles for a minimum of 6 months. This private offer is not compatible with any additional retail or dealer incentives/ rebates (i.e. business choice, dealer cash, pull boards, etc.). For the program details, restrictions and list of eligible 2013 GM cars and light duty trucks, please see the dealer.

Laketon PLus™ Paving system

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ScoopAd_AspenEQ.indd 1

7/12/13 12:57 PM

Volume 36 No. 9 Sept 2013

contents 19



19 The UConn Barberry Study What can MNLA members learn from 10 years of research on barberry cultivar invasiveness?    

28 Children and Landscapes In this featured section stretching over three articles, we address the challenge of designing our landscapes to be more engaging to children while imitating nature and becoming more profitable.  

44 Are Natives Always Best? Faith Appelquist questions the wisdom of favoring planting natives in urban areas.     

47 The Buzz on Neonicotinoid Insecticides This Research for the Real World article takes a balanced view on the causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD).     

53 Speeding Tickets and Your Driver’s License How will changes to Minnesota’s law affect those with commercial driver’s licenses? 

65 Snow & Ice Industry Benchmark Report Here are five key takeaways from a recent survey of nearly 300 snow contractors.     

74 IN THIS ISSUE 8 Events 10 From the President Don’t forget the joy gardens and plants can bring people. 12 Federal Worker Protection Standards Do they apply to your business? 14 Out and About at the Bailey Expo 16 My Favorite Tool Handy-Spray 56 Not Every Utility Gets Marked! Call before you dig, then take these additional steps to stay safe. 58 Widmer Golf Recap Thanks to all golfers and sponsors for making this event successful! 72 Networking News, Business Briefs, New Members & Classifieds 74 Before & After How was the challenge of the “before” turned into the success of the “after”?

 Landscape & Hardscape Install & Design  Garden Services & Landscape Management  Garden Centers  Growers: Nursery & Greenhouse  Irrigation & Water Management  Arborists & Tree Services  All

september 13

mnla .biz


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

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


debbie lonnee, mnla-cp, president

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

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

herman roerick, secretary-treasurer

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

bert swanson, mnla-cp, past president Swanson’s Nursery Consulting, Inc. 218-732-3579 • btswanson2@gmail.com

randy berg, mnla-cp

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

scott frampton

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

tim malooly, cid, clia, cic

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

mike mcnamara

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

bill mielke

Waconia Tree Farms LLC 612-237-1728 • bill.mielke@waconiatreefarms.com

cassie larson, cae

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

Staff Directory

executive director:

Cassie Larson, CAE • cassie@mnla.biz

membership director & trade show manager:

Mary Dunn, CEM • mary@mnla.biz communications director: Jon Horsman • jon@mnla.biz education/cert manager: Susan Flynn • susan@mnla.biz administrative assistant: Jessica Pratt • jessica@mnla.biz accountant: Norman Liston • norman@mnla.biz

mnla foundation program director: Jodi Larson • jodi@mnla.biz

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

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

government affairs consultants:

Doug Carnival, Legislative Affairs Tim Power, Interim Government Affairs Director


mnla .biz

september 13

ad list

Volume 36 No. 9 Sept 2013

➾ section title

A Top Notch Equipment ................................................................................... 61 Albert J. Lauer, Inc. ........................................................................................... 35 Anchor Block Company ...................................................................................... 4 Ancom Communication & Technical Center .................................................... 13 Aspen Equipment ............................................................................................... 4 Astleford Equipment Co. .................................................................................. 32 Bachman’s Wholesale Nursery & Hardscapes .................................................. 51 Beberg Landscape Supply ................................................................................ 45 Berger ............................................................................................................... 31 Borgert Products, Inc. ....................................................................................... 18 Bridgewater Tree Farms ................................................................................... 48 Bullis Insurance Agency .................................................................................... 41 Carlin Horticultural Supplies/ProGreen Plus ..................................................... 46 Central Landscape Supply ................................................................................ 52 Cushman Motor Co. Inc ................................................................................... 48 D. Hill Nursery Co. ............................................................................................ 62 Dayton Bag & Burlap ........................................................................................ 52 Edney Distributing Co., Inc. ............................................................................. 45 Evergreen Nursery Co., Inc. ............................................................................. 41 Farber Bag & Supply Co. .................................................................................. 62 Frontier Ag & Turf ............................................................................................. 23 Fury Motors ...................................................................................................... 18 Gardenworld Inc. .............................................................................................. 62 Glacial Ridge Growers....................................................................................... 57 GM Fleet and Commercial ................................................................................. 3 Gopher State One-Call ..................................................................................... 46 Great Northern Equipment Distributing, Inc. ................................................... 31 GreenTurf Sod Farms Inc. ................................................................................. 52 Haag Companies, Inc. ...................................................................................... 42 Hedberg Landscape & Masonry Supplies ........................................................ 34 Jeff Belzer Chevrolet .................................................................................. 38–39 Johnson’s Nursery, Inc. ..................................................................................... 59 Klaus Nurseries ................................................................................................. 46 Kubota Dealers ................................................................................................. 55 Landscape Alternatives Inc. .............................................................................. 62 Maguire Agency ............................................................................................... 52 McKay Nursery Co. ........................................................................................... 57 Midwest Groundcovers .................................................................................... 25 Novozymes BioAg Inc. ..................................................................................... 50 Out Back Nursery ............................................................................................. 59 Plaisted Companies .......................................................................................... 70 RDO Equipment Co. ........................................................................................ 13 Rock Hard Landscape Supply division of Brian’s Lawn & Landscaping, Inc. .... 41 Synthetic Turf Solutions of MN ......................................................................... 73 The Builders Group .......................................................................................... 23 Titan Machinery ................................................................................................. 2 Towmaster, Inc. (Big Tow) ................................................................................. 64 Tri-State Bobcat, Inc.................................................................................... 17, 67 Truck Utilities & Mfg. Co. .................................................................................. 46 United Label & Sales ........................................................................................ 41 Vermeer Sales & Service ................................................................................... 69 Walters Gardens Inc. .......................................................................................... 7 Ziegler CAT .................................................................................................... OBC

All original works, articles or formats published in The Scoop are © Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association, 2013, and may not be used without written permission of MNLA. The Scoop is published 12 times per year by MNLA, 1813 Lexington Ave N., Roseville MN 55113. Address corrections should be sent to the above address.

➾ calendar


MNLA Event

Clean Water Summit

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska arboretum.umn.edu/ 2013CleanWaterSummit The summit will focus on the essential role of people in clean water, with featured presentations addressing personal motivation, the influence of social connections on our behavior, and the capacity of both individuals and communities to engage in green infrastructure planning, policies, and practices.

MNLA Event

NOV12 Webinar Colorful / Blooming Shrubs for Minnesota Landscapes 1:00 pm Presented by Debbie Lonnee, Bailey Nurseries MNLA.biz Color is the name of the game, in the garden center as well as the landscape. In this webinar, Lonnee will present the best of the best in shrubs that will provide a pop of color to Minnesota landscapes. Spend time on a cool fall afternoon planning for color in spring 2014!

mnla .biz

september 13

MNLA Shootout South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club mnlafoundation.com 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.




NOV22 ➾

Pesticide Recertification TIES Conference Center, St. Paul MNLA.biz This workshop meets MDA’s pesticide applicator recertification requirements for Categories A (Core) and E (Turf & Ornamentals).

2013 MNLA seminars generously supported by John Deere Landscapes

MNLA Event


SEPT 20–21

American Horticultural Therapy Assoc. Annual Conference


The Commons Hotel, Minneapolis ahta.org Celebrating AHTA’s 40th Anniversary — This year’s anniversary celebration will feature past AHTA presidents and luminaries from the field, as well as a host of international presenters who will discuss their research, practices and the future of horticultural therapy.

Webinar Wage & Overtime Laws for the Green Industry 1:00 pm Presented By Patrick McGuiness, Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC MNLA.biz Find out which employees must be paid overtime and which ones qualify for salary, chances are you will be surprised. Learn about the difference in state and federal laws related to minimum wage and overtime. Learn when employees must be paid for drive time, and whether break time must be paid.

Irrigation Show and Education Conference Austin Convention Center, Austin TX irrigation.org The irrigation show is an opportunity to investigate the latest the industry has to offer across agricultural, landscape and golf irrigation products, technologies and services. The education conference offers classes, technical sessions and seminars that offer industry professionals continuous learning opportunities through technical training classes, idea and research sharing forums and “how-to” seminars.

MNLA Event

Event Education


MNLA Event

Super Tuesday: Save the Date! MNLA.biz Attend one of the excellent pre-Expo education sessions. Seminars include: Landscape Lighting Design and Technology (PLT Relicensure); A New Era of Leadership in the Green Industry by John Kennedy; MTGF – The Impact of Water; and an Key: evening CEO Symposium. See more on page 71.

jan8–10 Northern Green Expo: Save the Date!

Exhibit Contracts Available Minneapolis Convention Center NorthernGreenExpo.org See more on page 75.

All information on these and other industry events are online at MNLA.biz. september 13

mnla .biz


➾ from the PRESIDEN T

The Joy of Garden Beauty Whew! What a year 2013 has been so far. Mother Nature was not kind to us this spring, and who knows what type of autumn we will have. I hope that you have been able to ‘weather the storm,’ so to speak, and make the best of this business that is so affected by the weather.

Debbie Lonnee

Are Natives Always Best?

My Favorite Tool Out & About Before & After

Volume 36 No. 9 Sept 2013

Snow & Ice Benchmark Report

Also Inside

Bailey Nurseries, Inc.

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

i have had a busy summer of travel this year, and on a recent trip to visit a breeder in Georgia, had a few free moments to visit the Atlanta Botanic Garden. I was really struck by the beauty of the garden on my visit, and especially of their special exhibit of ‘Living Sculptures.’ There were whimsical sculptures throughout the gardens, depicting snakes, ogres, butterflies, puppies, horses, and people, all of which were built of wire and sphagnum moss and covered with plants. One sculpture in particular was a woman, called the ‘Earth Goddess’, who seemed to be at least 30 feet in height and weighed 29 tons! She was placed next to a lovely water feature, and her hair was long and flowing, made of sweet potato vines in shades of yellow and purple. I couldn’t help but think how lucky I am to be in an industry that is full of so much beauty and inspiration! Sometimes in our day to day jobs it is easy to forget how much joy gardens and plants can bring people. My visit to this particular botanic garden really brought that fact back to me. The families that were enjoying these sculptures had wide smiles on their faces. I hope you have been able to step back from your day to day activities and enjoy a special garden, arboretum, or even your own backyard. Enjoy these upcoming autumn days and the special colors, sights, sounds and smells they bring us.

debbie lonnee can be reached at: debbie.lonnee@baileynursery.com.

on the cover

Eric Castle submitted this photo along with his article for this issue of the Scoop. He reflects on what he’s learned from watching children interact with landscapes and what we can all learn from it. Amanda Podoll, in part two of our featured section, suggests looking to nature for clues on how children will best learn and develop as they play in the landscape. The final article in this section points out that not considering children when designing a landscape limits the pool of potential buyers for your client’s home. See full article, page 28. 10

mnla .biz

september 13

Member-Get-A-Member Campaign The Member-Get-A-Member Campaign is an MNLA membership recruitment and rewards program running September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014. The campaign rewards MNLA members for encouraging their colleagues or friends to join MNLA. Take time now to share the learning, resources and connections of MNLA with your colleagues or friends. Recruit new members and receive a $50 VISA Gift Card for the first 3 new members that a current member recruits during the campaign timeframe. Recruit 6 new members and you will be entered into a drawing to win $300 cash! New MNLA membership costs individuals less than $0.41 cents per day and provides benefits and services valued at nearly $5,000 per year. Spread the word about MNLA and reap the benefits.

How the Campaign Works Tell your colleagues or friends about MNLA. Simply encourage them to join online or download a membership application at www.MNLA.biz. Also, make sure to tell them to include your name as the referrer on the application (referral line located just above the payment box).

Member-Get-A-Member Benefits YOU – After 3 new members have used your name as

the referrer when they join, MNLA will reward you with a $50 VISA Gift Card. (No maximum reward per referrer.)

MNLA – Every time you recruit a member, you strengthen MNLA.

Through member growth, MNLA can develop new and enhanced programs to support you.

Member-Get-A-Member Guidelines and Eligibility • The Member-Get-A-Member program is open to current MNLA members in good standing. • The program is valid for the MNLA business membership category only. Industry Affiliate, Academic and Student memberships do not qualify. • To receive credit for a referral, the new member must include the referring member’s name on the membership application. If MNLA cannot verify the identity of the referring member, no credit will be received for the application. • Applications received without referrers name will not count. • Completed applications with full dues payment must be submitted to MNLA for referrer to receive credit.

• The program is not valid for membership renewals. Reinstated memberships qualify for credit. Reinstatements are defined as memberships that have not been active for at least 2 years since their last expiration date. • Membership applications must be received by August 31, 2014, in order for the referrer to receive credit. • MNLA staff are not eligible for rewards. • Program rules and incentives are subject to change by MNLA. MNLA reserves the exclusive right to interpret these rules. • All federal, state and local laws apply. Void where prohibited. • VISA is not a sponsor of this promotion.


worker protection Does t h e Federal Work er Protection S tandard A pply to Your Business? John Peckham

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA)

to determine if your business must comply

with federal worker protection standards (WPS), answer these questions:

1. Do you have non-family members who work (called a worker) with plants that you are producing or holding for sale that are treated with products for insect, fungus, weed or other pests or use growth regulators? 2. Do you have non-family members who apply (called a handler) products for the control of insects, fungi or other pests or use growth regulators? 3. Does the label of the product you use have a box that says: AGRICULTURAL USE REQUIREMENTS? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are required to comply with the Federal Worker Protection Standard. The standard requires, but is not limited to, the following: Training or certification/licensing of employees within 6 days of the day they enter areas treated with any of the above products. A qualified trainer in WPS — Qualified trainers are licensed or certified applicators or an individual who has taken and can verify that they have “train-the-trainer” training — NOTE: Right-to-Know training is not the same as required WPS training. Curriculum for training that complies with WPS.


mnla .biz

september 13

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

If you have workers or handlers who are not fluent in reading/understanding the English language, you must provide an interpreter who can answer questions in their native language. Providing all label required personal protective equipment/change of clothes — See individual labels for required equipment. Some labels are very stringent when it comes to what is required, especially coveralls, protective eyewear and respirators. Readily available decontamination areas which have soap, water and towels. A record of all products applied within the last 30 days and posted for workers and handlers to see.

When project coordination helped you meet a deadline.

Two-Way Communications

SALES: 952-808-0033 RENTALS: 952-890-7570 SERVICE: 952-808-7699

sales @ ancom.org

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.

Oral Notification/Posting of treated areas if the label requires it. A poster for employees describing how to seek medical help in the case of illness or injury from insect, fungus, weed or other crop protection chemicals. Contacts for the MDA’s WPS Program are: Heidi Fischer — Supervisor WPS Program, 651-201-6528 or Heidi.fischer@state.mn.us. Gregorio Mendez-Ortega — Ag Chem Advisor and Lead WPS Inspector, 507-344-5259 or Gregorio.mendez-ortega @state.mn.us.   Info can also be found on the MDA Website at https://www.mda.state.mn.us/chemicals/ spills/worker-protection-standard.aspx.

is program supervisor of the MDA’s Inspection & Enforcement Section, Pesticide & Fertilizer Management Division. He can be reached at: (651) 201-6276 or john.peckham@state.mn.us.

john peckham

september 13

mnla .biz




OUT AND ABOUT AT THE BAILEY EXPO! MNLA members and staff gathered at the recent Bailey Nurseries Expo on July 18, 2013.


Susan Morlock-Jelks and Paul Morlock, Law’s Nursery, Inc. talk business with Gordy Bailey.

Kendall Klaus, Klaus Nurseries and Steve, Conner, and Logan Mielke, Wilson’s Nursery, Inc.


mnla .biz

september 13

Ann Mayer, Cory Whitmer & Amanda Clark, The Mustard Seed Landscaping and Garden Center.

George Ritten and Carrie Evans, Grove Nursery, Inc.

Kevin and Jerry Theis, Dundee Nursery & Landscaping Co.

Dave Remer, Lawn King, Inc. and Herman Roerick, Central Landscape Supply.

Tom Riesgraf and Scott Lindberg, Bachman’s Wholesale Nursery & Hardscapes.

Sandra and Larry Lankow, Whispering Gardens.

september 13

mnla .biz


âžž my favorite tool


favorite tool Handy-Spray Dan Hanson

Superintendent Majestic Oaks Golf Club

at majestic oaks golf club,

our clubhouse remains very busy throughout the winter with banquets, wedding receptions, dinner theaters and winter sports. Guest safety and injury prevention become critical issues during these months. We utilize multiple strategies to prevent and abate ice build-up. An application of a liquid ice melt product continues to be an effective treatment method for us.


mnla .biz

september 13

The Handy-Spray allows us to put down liquid treatments in a cost-effective manner and to react quickly to changing conditions. The Handy-Spray has become our go-to tool for curbs, steps, and landings. In the past, we would experience a persistent build-up of ice under roof and gutter drip lines. This issue has been virtually eliminated thanks to the Handy-Spray. Because the Handy-Spray is outfitted with a quick-connect turf spray nozzle, the options for spray patterns seem endless. With this in mind, we will see if the Handy-Spray becomes a go-to tool for weed control during our growing season.

september 13

mnla .biz


... just better

Dreamy Spaces


V I S I T O U R S H O W R O O M AT I M S , S U I T E 12 C For a dealer near you 800.622.4952 W W W. B O R G E R T P R O D U C T S . C O M

The UConn barberry study:

10 Years of Results Barberry Cultivar Fruit and Seed Production — Findings from Connecticut’s 10+ year study.

Mark Brand | Professor, Horticulture, Dept. of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Connecticut

Reprinted with permission of the University of Connecticut and Connecticut Nursery & Landscape Magazine.

➾ barberry study

Introduction Tim Power

MNLA Regulatory Consultant Connecticut’s forested natural areas have been heavily invaded by Japanese barberry, far more than currently in Minnesota. Facing a likely ban of Japanese barberry in the state a decade ago, the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association (CNLA) asked for time to conduct research and suggest alternatives to a species ban. The adjacent report from UConn’s Dr. Mark Brand marks the ten-year anniversary of beginning that research, with insights gained from a decade of observation. In the summer of 2010, CNLA announced a voluntary phasing out of the seediest 25 cultivars of Japanese barberry being grown, sold and/or planted in Connecticut, in return for the state not banning the entire species. That voluntary phase-out is now fully in force, resulting in none of those seediest cultivars being grown, shipped in or sold in the state. As Minnesota’s Noxious Weed Advisory Committee (NWAC) contemplates regulating Japanese barberry as a noxious weed, the CNLA action may serve as a template. NWAC is considering the option of designating Japanese barberry as a Specially Regulated Plant (SRP), a noxious weed category that requires an accompanying management plan. In this case, the management technique would be to ban the seediest barberry cultivars from the state after a phase-out, perhaps using the Connecticut list. Cultivars with lower fecundity (less prolific seeding) would be allowed under this management plan, and no existing plantings would be required to be removed. Wisconsin is considering similar action. This management technique is not without its detractors. Some researchers have concluded that long-lived woody plants like barberry need few established mother plants to produce at least some seed pressure on uninvaded natural areas. However, invasive pressure on our natural areas would be reduced, and public awareness of Japanese barberry’s invasiveness would further reduce sales of the species. As research continues on sterility in Japanese barberry, the “acceptable” number of seeds per plant could be reduced or eliminated through further action by NWAC. 20

mnla .biz

september 13


n the early 2000’s, there was consideration given to banning the sale and use of Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry) and all of its cultivars in Connecticut. This plant had clearly demonstrate invasive tendencies, was widely established in unmanaged areas of Connecticut, and people were concerned that continued sale and use of barberry as an ornamental would exacerbate the invasive situation. Of course, barberry is a significant and popular crop for Connecticut nursery producers, landscapers and the gardening public. In particular, the nursery industry was concerned about the potential impact the loss of barberry cultivars could have on their profitability. Although Japanese barberry came to the U. S. in the late 1800’s through Boston and later New York City, it originally arrived in America as the green, large-growing species form of the plant that we now refer to as the “wild species.” Today, the green industry primarily grows and uses cultivars of barberry that have purple or yellow foliage and most are dwarf or compact forms. These barberry cultivars look and behave differently than the wild, large growing species form that is found commonly on the loose in Connecticut’s woodlands and old fields. Some members of the Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association put forward the idea that contemporary barberries used as ornamentals may not be as invasive as their wild relatives and that it may be appropriate to have exemptions to any barberry ban to allow for continued use of “safe” or “less invasive” barberries. A Connecticut ban on Japanese barberry was put on hold so data and information could be developed to accurately document the invasive potential of different barberry cultivars. With funding from CNLA and USDA via the New England Invasive Plant Center, my lab began a

Table 1. Fruit production per plant, number of seeds per fruit, number of seeds per plant and greenhouse seed germination for Berberis thunbergii cultivars. Cultivars are separated into two evaluation groups based on their planting date and size at planting. Evaluation Group 1 Taxa


Seeds/fruit Seeds/plant

germination (%)

‘Tara’ Emerald Carousel®

9926 az

1.3 cd

12419 a

77.5 abcde


5543 bc

1.8 a

9917 b

89.7 a

‘Anderson’ Lustre Green™

4257 cd

1.6 abcd

6768 c

76.5 abcde

‘Bailone’ Ruby Carousel®

4063 cd

1.6 abcd

6422 c

85.8 ab

‘Crimson Velvet’

6675 b

1.0 ef

6311 c

71.2 abcdefg

‘Marshall Upright’

3249 de

1.4 abcd

4362 cd

67.6 abcdefg

‘Bailgreen’ Jade Carousel®

2267 de

1.7 ab

3925 de

75.3 abcde

‘Angel Wings’™

1847 def

1.6 abcd

2999 def

70.5 abcdefg

‘Bailtwo’ Burgundy Carousel®

1377 def

1.7 abc

2309 defg

70.3 abcdefg

‘Monomb’ Cherry Bomb™

1225 def

1.5 abcd

1797 efgh

73.0 abcde

var. atropurpurea

1045 ef

1.2 de

1179 fgh

70.8 abcdefg

‘Bailsel’ Golden Carousel®

681 ef

1.3 cd

883 fgh

58.0 cdefgh

‘Rose Glow’

939 ef

0.9 ef

810 fgh

77.8 abcd


842 ef

0.9 ef

767 gh

76.0 abcde

‘Crimson Pygmy’

429 ef

1.3 cd

558 gh

66.0 abcdefg


1105 ef

0.7 f

478 gh

61.5 bcdefg

‘Royal Cloak’

504 ef

0.9 ef

467 gh

44.5 g

‘Helmond Pillar’

209 f

1.7 abcd

366 gh

71.3 abcdefg

‘Lime Glow’

333 f

0.9 ef

294 gh

50.5 efg

‘Crimson Dwarf’

191 f

1.4 abcd

261 gh

79.3 abcd

‘Green Pygmy’

556 ef

0.4 g

220 gh

83.7 abc


254 f

0.9 ef

214 gh

47.8 fg

‘Criruzam’ Crimson Ruby™

523 ef

0.4 g

166 gh


‘Bogozam’ Bonanza Gold™

108 f

1.3 bcd

141 gh

55.3 defg

‘Monry’ Sunsation™

222 f

0.6 fg

140 gh

63.0 acdefg

‘Gentry Cultivar’ Royal Burgundy™

106 f

0.7 f

61 h


‘Monlers’ Gold Nugget™

22 f

1.4 abcd

29 h




0.7 ef





0.5 g



× mentorensis


0.4 g





Seeds/fruit Seeds/plant

germination (%)

‘Red Rocket’

1332 b

1.4 a

1918 a

64.0 ab


2912 a

0.6 c

1411 ab

55.8 ab

‘Painter’s Palette’

1177 b

1.1 ab

1295 ab

50.2 ab

‘Gold Ring’

954 b

1.3 a

1209 abc

77.2 a

‘Pow Wow’

1004 b

1.2 a

1205 abc

38.8 b

‘J. N. Redleaf’ Ruby Jewel™

998 b

1.0 b

1010 bcd

44.8 b


855 b

1.1 ab

927 bcde

63.2 ab

‘Talago’ Sunjoy™ Gold Pillar

525 b

1.1 b

578 cde


‘Stan’s Variegated’

432 b

0.9 b

394 cde

74.5 a

‘J. N. Variegated’ Stardust™

768 b

0.6 c

348 de

50.5 ab

‘Maria’ Sunjoy™ Gold Beret

358 b

0.9 b

322 de



620 b

0.6 c

302 de

62.0 ab

‘Silver Mile’

638 b

0.3 c

206 de

60.8 ab


1152 b

0.1 d

125 e

56.8 ab

‘Golden Devine’





‘Red Chief’





Evaluation Group 2

Within evaluation group mean separation in columns by Fisher’s least significant difference test at P≤0.05.


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➾ barberry study

10 year effort to really get to the bottom of this issue with barberry cultivar invasiveness. We started the project by establishing a replicated (three plants of each cultivar) planting of all available B. thunbergii or B. thunbergii hybrid cultivars we could find. We evaluated 46 cultivars and now the barberry cultivar planting has expanded to contain 60+ cultivars. Plants were established in 2003 and 2004 using either 1 gal. or 2 gal. plants. Plants were grown in full sun conditions in rows with clean cultivation down the rows and mowed grass between the rows. Cultivars from 1 gal. containers were allowed to establish in the field for 3 years before fruit and seed data were first collected, whereas cultivars from 2 gal. containers were allowed to establish for 2 years. Plants were between 5 and 7 years old from rooted cuttings at the first evaluation of fruit and seed set. Due to the two planting years and two container sizes, the cultivars were split into two evaluation groups for comparisons. Fruit and seed data were collected in October by either picking all of the fruit from plants if they were not too large (most cultivars) or by collecting fruits from two random quadrants of a plant (a few large cultivars) and extrapolating total production. Fruit harvesting and cleaning was a very time consuming and painful activity due to the thorns that adorn barberries. Each annual harvest took a professor (yours truly), 22

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three graduate students and two undergraduate students about 3 weeks to complete. It took another 6 weeks for all of the embedded barberry thorns to fester out of everyone’s hands! We found that barberry cultivars varied dramatically in how much fruit and seed they produced (Table 1). Number of fruits per plant ranged from none (‘Golden Devine’ and ‘Red Chief ’) to almost 10,000 (‘Tara’ Emerald Carousel). Seeds per fruit also varied significantly from 0.1 to 1.8 seeds depending on the cultivar. Seventeen cultivars produced more than 1000 seeds per plant and 23 cultivars produced more than 500 seeds per plant. On the other hand, 14 cultivars produced less than 250 seeds per plant and ‘Aurea’, ‘Bagatelle’ and Mentor barberry produced less than 10 seeds per plant. Although there were exceptions, yellow-leaved cultivars generally were low seed producers. Dwarf and compact cultivars also tended to be low seed producers, regardless of their foliage color. Tall, green-leaved cultivars produced the most seeds, while compact yellow and purple-leaved cultivars tended to be the lowest seed producers. When we conducted the first fruit and seed counts, cultivars were just entering their reproductive years and we wondered if we had waited long enough to collect data on barberry reproductive capacity. We decided to let the plants grow for an additional 4 or 5 years and reevaluate a subset of cultivars to

➾ barberry study

Table 2. Fruit production per plant, number of seeds per fruit and number of seeds per plant for selected Berberis thunbergii cultivars four to five years after initial data collection. Fruit production Taxa

Years beyond initial comparison

Fruits/plant change over time (%)z



35300 ay


‘Tara’ Emerald Carousel®


25300 b


‘Crimson Pygmy’


7970 c


B. thunbergii


7100 cd


‘Helmond Pillar’


6500 cde


‘Crimson Velvet’


5270 cdef


‘Royal Cloak’


4930 defg


‘Rose Glow’


4400 defgh


‘Monry’ Sunsation™


4330 defgh


‘Bailsel’ Golden Carousel®


3730 efgh


‘Green Pygmy’


2430 ghi




2020 hi


‘Bogozam’ Bonanza Gold™


1870 hi


‘Gentry Cultivar’ Royal Burgundy™


767 i


‘Monlers’ Gold Nugget™


717 i




483 i




298 i


‘Golden Devine’


165 i




123 i


‘Red Chief’


20 i


× mentorensis


16 i



Change in number of fruits in comparison to the initial evaluation time 4 or 5 years earlier. Mean separation by Fisher’s least significant difference test at P≤0.05.


document how fruit and seed production changed as barberry cultivar plants grew older. We expected to see increases in fruit and seed set as plants grew older and that is exactly what occurred. All cultivars we tested, with the exception of ‘Crimson Velvet’, increased their fruit set dramatically (Table 2). There were eight cultivars whose fruit production increased well over 1000%. One should note that ‘Red Chief ’ and ‘Golden Devine’, which both appeared to be sterile at their initial fruiting evaluation, did produce some fruit (165 fruit for ‘Golden Devine’; 20 fruit for ‘Red Chief ’) when the plants were allowed to get a few years older. Clearly, barberry cultivars can be expected to increase their reproductive output significantly beyond their initial fruit crops as they become larger and more mature. New barberry cultivars should probably be observed in landscape plantings for about 8 to 10 years in order to be reasonably sure of their reproductive potential. It is also important that plants are grown under good landscape conditions and have lots of opportunity for cross-pollination by many other different genotypes or cultivars. Cultivar evaluations where barberries are grown in relative isolation from other barberries, will probably suggest that a cultivar is sterile, when it may actually be highly fertile when it can outcross with other dissimilar barberries. All too often, this is the case when nurseries or breeders developing new barberries and incorrectly assume they 24

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➾ barberry study

Table 3. Germination, seedling survival and average seedling weight for seeds of Berberis thunbergii cultivars sown in a deciduous woods. Cultivar

1st year germination (%)z

2nd year cumulative germination (%)

seedling survival (%)


8.0 bcdy

15.0 cd

22.0 abcd

0.06 a

‘Bailsel’ Golden Carousel®

10.0 abcd

18.0 bcd

5.6 d

0.08 a

‘Bogozam’ Bonanza Gold™

3.5 d

21.0 abcd

14.1 bcd

0.04 a


6.0 cd

12.5 d

15.5 bcd

0.03 a

‘Crimson Pygmy’

6.5 cd

15.0 cd

17.5 bcd

0.07 a

‘Crimson Velvet’

10.5 abcd

18.5 bcd

20.0 bcd

0.05 a

‘Gentry Cultivar’ Royal Burgundy™

12.0 abc

16.0 cd

19.4 bcd

0.09 a

‘Green Pygmy’

15.0 ab

28.0 ab

29.3 ab

0.11 a

‘Helmond Pillar’

6.5 cd

17.5 bcd

20.7 abcd

0.06 a


15.5 ab

30.5 a

23.3 abcd

0.07 a

‘Monlers’ Gold Nugget™

6.5 cd

20.5 abcd

7.2 cd

0.04 a

‘Monry’ Sunsation™

10.0 abcd

19.5 abcd

25.7 abc

0.07 a

‘Rose Glow’

12.5 abc

23.0 abcd

28.4 ab

0.14 a

‘Royal Cloak’

5.0 cd

12.5 d

10.5 bcd

0.04 a


17.0 a

31.0 a

16.6 bcd

0.10 a

‘Tara’ Emerald Carousel®

9.0 abcd

26.2 abc

15.4 bcd

0.08 a

B. thunbergii

10.0 abcd

25.0 abc

40.4 a

0.11 a

seedling dry wt. (g)

40 seeds sown per 5 replications; total seeds=200.


Mean separation in columns by Fisher’s least significant difference test at P≤0.05.


are sterile just because they haven’t seen fruits on their production plants or their plants in display gardens. While cultivar production of fruits and seeds is certainly a significant part of the fecundity picture for barberry, you also need to determine how likely seeds are to germinate in the wild and then survive the first couple of critical years. To get a handle on this part of the fecundity equation, we sowed seeds from 16 important cultivars, plus the wild species, in a deciduous forest and observed germination and survival for 3 years. Five replications of 40 seeds per cultivar were sown in a deciduous woodlot in early November. Existing vegetation and leaf litter was left in place to better simulate what would happen if barberry seeds happen to land in a wooded area. Germination was measured after the first growing season and again after the second growing season. Survival was evaluated at the end of the third growing season. Some seeds of all cultivars germinated the first spring and more germinated the second spring (Table 3). Additional germination did not occur in the third spring. Cumulative germination in the woods was less than a third of what was achieved in greenhouse germination tests with the same seeds. Greenhouse germination of 60 to 80% can be expected with seed from most barberry cultivars, but germination in the woods was typically between 15 and 30% (Tables 1&3). In the woods, ‘Royal Cloak’ and ‘Concorde’ didn’t germinate as well as the wild species, but all other tested cultivars germinated just as well as the wild species. Wild green barberry seedlings survived at around 40%, which was significantly higher than survival rates for many of the cultivars. Most cultivars exhibited less than 25% seedling survival in the woods. 26

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We wanted to develop predictive numbers for how many seedlings would be produced from a single plant of a specific cultivar. To arrive at such a number, we combined seed production data, deciduous woods germination data, and seedling survival data to calculate a predicted number of surviving seedlings per plant of each cultivar (Table 4). We found that 11 of the 16 cultivars are predicted to contribute fewer seedlings to an unmanaged wood lot than the species. Still, even the least fecund cultivars, ‘Aurea’ and ‘Concorde’, can be expected to contribute 4.1 and 9.4 seedlings to the woods each year once the plants reach and age of 8 to 10 years old. Mature plants of highly fecund cultivars, such as ‘Tara’ Emerald Carousel and ‘Sparkle’ were predicted to establish 1020 and 1816 seedlings to an adjacent woods each year, respectively. These are rather startling numbers. Of the commonly grown cultivars that we tested, ‘Aurea’, ‘Bailsel’ Golden Carousel, ‘Bogozam’ Bonanza Gold, ‘Concorde’, ‘Gentry Cultivar’ Royal Burgundy, ‘Monlers’ Sunsation, and ‘Royal Cloak’ are going to be the least potent cultivars as far as seedling establishment in the woods. Of course, there are many new dwarf and columnar cultivars that have been recently introduced into the trade including ‘Goruzam’ Golden Ruby, ‘Pyruzam’ Pygmy Ruby, ‘Miruzam’ Midnight Ruby, ‘Grhozam’ Green Hornet, Admiration, ‘24kagozam’ 24K Gold, ‘Tiny Gold’, ‘Orange Rocket’, ‘Golden Rocket’, ‘Rosy Rocket’, ‘Fireball’, and ‘Sparkler’ (plus there are a number of other new cultivars about to be introduced). We are informally trialing them now for seed production. So far, Midnight Ruby, 24K Gold and Fireball have not set any seeds, but it could still happen and we will

Table 4. Predicted contribution of established seedlings to a deciduous woodland from adjacent medium and large plants of Berberis thunbergii cultivars. Predicted seeds produced per year Predicted

Predicted seedlings establishing per yearw


medium plantz

large planty

establishment ratex

medium plant large plant







‘Bailsel’ Golden Carousel®






‘Bogozam’ Bonanza Gold™












‘Crimson Pygmy’






‘Crimson Velvet’






‘Gentry Cultivar’ Royal Burgundy™






‘Green Pygmy’






‘Helmond Pillar’












‘Monlers’ Gold Nugget™






‘Monry’ Sunsation™






‘Rose Glow’






‘Royal Cloak’












‘Tara’ Emerald Carousel®






B. thunbergii






Values for seed for medium plants were from the first fruit and seed evaluation time. Data from Table 2.


Values for seed for large plants were from the second evaluation time when plants were 4-5 years older and assumed an average of one seed per fruit. Data from Table 2.


Values for predicted establishment rate were calculated as the 2nd year cumulative germination rate x seedling survival rate. Data from Table 3.


Values for predicted seedlings establishing per year were calculated as predicted seeds produced per year x predicted establishment rate.


watch these plants for several more years before drawing any solid conclusions. In pondering the findings of this research, it is important to bear in mind that the numbers we generated are probably the worst case scenario. Plants were grown under fairly good conditions at our research farm, there was maximum opportunity for cross pollination which produces best seed set, and we placed the cultivar seeds in the woods ­— they didn’t have to find their way there as they would under normal landscape conditions. I would also like to emphasize the importance of following plants for many years before saying that a plant is sterile. Our work showed convincingly that some cultivars just have to reach a certain age and size before they start fruiting. In summary, with the bad news first, many barberry cultivars are fairly prolific seed producers. Some are as bad as or worse than the wild species of Japanese barberry. The good news is that there are several cultivars that exhibit a substantially reduced ability to contribute to invasions. Most of these are cultivars with useful traits like purple or yellow foliage and dwarf or compact habits. Some other good news is that my lab is in the final stages of selecting some barberries that we have bred that are sterile or nearly sterile. By the end of the 2013 growing season, we hope to have made selections of both purple and yellow foliage plants for introduction,

including lines of tetraploid ‘Crimson Pygmy’ which have produced few or no seeds. If you would like to get more in depth information on the barberry research described in this article, the full paper has been published in the Oct–Dec, 2012 issue of the journal “Invasive Plant Science and Management,” vol. 5(4): 464-476, with the title “Fecundity of Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) cultivars and their ability to invade a deciduous woodland.” If you contact me at mark.brand@uconn.edu, I can email you a pdf file of the full paper. I would like to acknowledge Dr. Jonathan Lehrer and Dr. Jessica Lubell who were the two primary graduate students involved in this project. Both spent many hours helping with the work and suffered through all of the barberry thorns. Jonathan is now an Assistant Professor of Ornamental Horticulture at Farmingdale State University and Jessica is an Assistant Professor of Ornamental Horticulture at the University of Connecticut.

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âžž cov er story

cover story: Part I

Children and La


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september 13

Eric Castle | University of Minnesota Crookston


If you have spent any time around children, you will notice one thing fairly quickly; they often do things very differently than adults. This point is made clear to me almost every time my seven-year-old son and I approach a building that has any type of landscaping. ďƒş

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s a dutiful and responsible adult, I move along the designated paved pathway to the front door. My son, however, approaches the situation his way; he sizes up the arrival landscapes of buildings and quickly determines which route will provide the most play. Like a magnet, he is pulled into the landscape on his pathway to the front door, his routes often consist of hopping from rock to rock or weaving in and out of shrubs. His journey takes longer; I am often waiting at the door cringing at the impact his feet are having on the plants. This also provides time to reflect on how children growing up today interact and play in the landscapes we create and how these interactions have changed over time. The daily activities of recent generations of children have changed dramatically. Non-adult structured outdoor freeplay has been replaced with primarily indoor organized activities and media centered entertainment. In the United States, rates of obesity and severe obesity, particularly from 2000–2010, have skyrocketed among all age groups and ethnicities. Younger age groups have historically been less prone to being overweight, however children are suffering from the results of too many calories and reduced physical activity. According to the 2010 US Census from 1995 to 2010, the obesity rate in Minnesota increased from 14.6% to 25.3%, ranking in at the 38th most obese state. In 2010 the Minnesota Student Survey found that 46% of 9th grade students are reported overweight or obese. Obesity is not the only problem children are facing today. Attention deficit disorders are also affecting more and more children, the symptoms of which can limit kid’s success in school and impact relationships with friends and family. 30

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One activity common to past generations of children which engages the body and stimulates the mind is outdoor play. Researchers have identified a wide spectrum of health benefits that children get from engaging in unstructured play in nature. This outdoor play has been shown to reduce obesity, improve academic performance, and reduce the impacts of attention deficit disorders. Researchers are also finding that children today are spending less and less time in this healthy unstructured outdoor play. There are many reasons for this decline, but they can include parental concerns about dangers of crime, abduction, injury, and diseases perceivably associated with unstructured outdoor play, combined with greater parental time constraints. Water, sand, gravel, plants and hardscapes can all be used to create spaces that are exciting to kids. I’m not arguing for creating dedicated playgrounds on every landscape. However, reflecting on how children view and interact with landscapes can provide insight into how we might design and manage all landscapes to be more engaging, if even in small measures. My son interacted with landscapes in ways that provided the most opportunity for play, which is typical of most children. Businesses can host events that attract families and provide activities that draw upon natural curiosities that children have with plants and soil (think mud pies!) or create and market products that get kids outside. As nursery and landscape professionals, we work hard to create the spaces around homes, communities and cities that are functional and interesting. As we do this, let’s remember the children as the future.

eric castle

can be reached at castl047@crk.umn.edu.













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cover story: Part II

beyond the jungle gym:

Designing Landscapes for Children Children are wonderfully exciting creatures who bring joy and energy to those around them. They entertain themselves in the simplest spaces and become enamored with unlikely objects. Expensive, store-bought toys are bypassed in favor of the multi-functional cardboard box, or the rock that fits in their tiny hands. Amanda Podoll, M.L.A. | Landworks Design Group






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child’s imagination transforms these treasures into cars, houses, caves, loot, jewels, or absolutely anything else they can think of. When planning an outdoor space for children, it is critical that we do not do their thinking for them. Our job as designers is not to create heavily-programmed spaces, but instead to provide a canvas on which they will create their own play. In order to do this we must first understand that children play in different ways. The different categories of play we will discuss are physical play, fantasy play, constructive play, and cooperative play.  Physical play includes the types of activities that will be observed at most playgrounds. Kids engaged in this type of play will use their large muscle groups, and will do a lot of climbing, swinging and jumping. Physical play helps develop motor skills and coordination, not to mention the large number of calories it burns!  Fantasy play occurs when children use their imaginations to create play scenarios that differ from reality. This happens when kids play house, school, pirates, or any other game in which they pretend to be somebody (or somewhere) else. When children engage in fantasy, or imaginative play, they are allowed to experiment with new words, phrases, and ideas in a risk-free environment.   Constructive play happens when children play in an environment with moving parts such as rocks, sand, sticks, blocks, and twigs. When kids are allowed to manipulate their surroundings, they are able to learn what works and what does not work. They will quickly figure out that a bridge needs to be supported at each end, and that water will not run through a river that has a dam at the bottom. These types of lessons are easily translated to other areas of learning like math, reading and logic. Cooperative play happens when children work together to accomplish a common goal. For example, two kids who are mapping a treasure hunt together are engaged in cooperative play. This type of play is especially valuable for building social relationships and learning how to interact with other people. As children get older, cooperative play will evolve into games with rules, in which a group of kids play a game and all participants know what is expected of each player.  Now that we have established the basic categories of play, we can look at how these ideas can be incorporated into a landscape plan to enhance a child’s physical and cognitive development. In fact, clues for the most successful landscape designs can be drawn from nature, as was the case in the following example. During my time in the Master of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Minnesota, I had the pleasure of working with a group of first grade math students at an elementary school in Edina. My project assignment was to create a unique and fun way to help the students learn about fractions. We began by looking at pictures of stone art created by Andy Goldsworthy and asking questions about why the images were unique. We then went outside to the school’s dry creek bed and put the kids to work. Their job was to use their imaginations to create their own sculptures, and then to examine their work and create a fraction based on whatever criteria they chose. So, if they built a sculpture with 9 rocks, and 4 of those were smooth and 5 were rough, they were able to report that 4/9 of their rocks were smooth. This sounds simple, right? It is! Not only were these kids playing in a naturalistic environment, but they were learning specific lessons from it, as well as enhancing their fine motor skills. 


The MNLA Foundation has been busy linking members to schools to educate and excite the next generation about green industry careers. One example is the “Hooked on Horticulture” curriculum for 3rd and 4th grade classes. Lessons include: Identifying Plants at the Garden Center and in the Landscape Transplanting and Caring for Your Plants Designing Paver Walkways and Patios Using Geometric Shapes Designing Shrub and Flower Beds Soils and Plants Help to Keep Our Water Clean

The curriculum is just one example of the tools available to you at www.MNLASchoolhouse.org.

The takeaway lesson from this project is that the simplest landscapes provide the best play environments for children. When developing a project that caters to kids, consider natural materials such as large, flat, outcropping boulders set in a sand, mulch or rock bed. The boulders will provide kids with a place to jump and climb, as well as somewhere they can lay back with a book. The smaller rocks and sand create a moving parts landscape, giving them the opportunity to manipulate their environment. Key plants can be added to encourage fantasy play. A strategically-placed grouping of shrubs can be the perfect castle or hiding place. Additionally, landscapes that imitate nature will fit in seamlessly with any landscape, and will hold a child’s interest much longer than a colorful playset will. I encourage you to think outside of the catalog pages filled with colorful play equipment and look to nature for design cues when creating the perfect play environment for children. I am certainly not saying that playgrounds do not have their place, because they do! I am simply asking you to consider some alternatives when designing the perfect play area for children. amanda podoll, m.l.a.

can be reached at pala0044@umn.edu.

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âžž cov er story

cover story: Part III

Landscaping for Children Lessons learned from public spaces can help your projects be more profitable. Designing for the littlest clients can pay big rewards. Reprinted with permission from Total Landscape Care Magazine (http://www.totallandscapecare.com/landscaping-for-children)


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Plants stimulate the senses.


ust beyond Brookgreen Garden’s main path canopied by live oaks and their feathery Spanish moss, lies the Garden Room for Children, a small nook for young patrons to play and explore. The area includes butterfly-attracting flowers, areas to climb and hide, plaques with verses of poetry and sculptures of children and animals. “Our goal is to get kids interested in both nature and art at a young age,” says Sara Millar, Manager of Horticulture at Brookgreen Gardens. Famous for its American sculpture and native plants, Brookgreen Gardens, located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina is one of the world’s largest outdoor sculpture gardens. Once the site of four rice plantations, the area hosts 250,000 visitors a year, 25,000 of whom are children. While children aren’t paying the bills directly, more and more landscape architects and contractors are keeping their desires and needs in mind when designing and caring for landscapes. For many, including children in the equation is a must. “To one degree or another, all landscapes must have a children’s component, especially in a residential market,” says Chris James, owner of Chris James Landscaping in Midland Park, New Jersey and a consultant for Vander Kooi and Associates, a landscape consulting company. “Whether the client has small children or not, he eventually will be selling his home. If you don’t consider the child component you are limiting the pool of potential buyers.” Against his advice, some long-term clients eliminated about 90 percent of the green space in their backyard by adding hardscaping, stonework and a greenhouse. “They were very lucky to sell it,” James said. The new owners, who have two small children, spent over $10,000 ripping up the landscape because it didn’t fit their lifestyle. Landscapers should also include pictures of child-friendly landscapes in their portfolios. “When prospective clients see photos of children enjoying these spaces, they can imagine their children enjoying them too,” says Bob

Young visitors to Brookgreen Garden’s children’s garden enjoy things just their size.

F. Brzuszek, an Associate Professor for the Department of Landscape Architecture at Mississippi State University. Stroking the supple leaves of a lambs ear plant, crushing and sniffing mint leaves, observing the metamorphism of a butterfly in a flower garden, children best learn through using all their senses. september 13

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➾ cov er story

Sherman Elementary School is one of several school yards in San Francisco designed by Miller Company Landscape Architects to provide green space for learning and playing.

Choosing the appropriate plants for a landscape can help engage young explorers, and keep them safe. “I used to lead children on nature tours when I worked at an arboretum and let them freely pick wildflowers and grasses. Why not? We grew acres of them. I’d rather have them enjoy nature than be told to be afraid of it,” says Brzuszek. With any landscaping project, the positioning of plants and what types of plants to use are key areas to discuss with clients. “Having my own kids helps me design for others,” says Chad Beidel, owner of Outside Solutions in Sykesville, Maryland. His three children are all under the age of seven. “For example, I avoid plants with thorns or prickly leaves in areas where the kids play. I also consider the views from inside the home. You want to be sure not to obstruct views that may prevent parents from keeping an eye on the kids.” Avoid using plants such as yucca and agave, which have sharp edges, and, of course, don’t use poisonous plants in gardens where children may play. “Other than that, plant selection and design possibilities are endless,” says Millar. “Plants that attract insects and other wildlife to the garden are great to incorporate. Children also enjoy plants that appeal to their senses; brightly colored foliage in different shapes and textures, fragrant leaves and flowers, leaves that are fuzzy or interesting to the touch all make wonderful additions.” “Our goal is to get kids interested in both nature and art at a young age.” James has worked with several clients who didn’t want their children around bees, so he limited planting pollinating flowers to areas where the children didn’t roam. “The parents are usually much 40

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more concerned about this than the kids, but it’s mom and dad writing the check.” In his own yard, Beidel included a garden full of Black Eye Susans and Purple Cone Flowers, “for them to pick for Mommy,” he says. “The kids can pick the flowers safely and the flowers will re-bloom.” “Whether the client has small children or not, he eventually will be selling his home. If you don’t consider the child component you are limiting the pool of potential buyers.” Play time can be learning time in an unusual garden in the heart of San Francisco, where young students stretch their imaginations by constructing forts out of railroad ties, pounding on rocks with shovels and hammers and they sharpen their geology skills, and analyzing the parts of a flower through touch, taste and smell. “If the kids go home at the end of the day with dirt under their fingernails, grass stains on their pants and sand in their shoes, to me it was a successful day,” says Steve Morris, head of school at The San Francisco School. “Play equipment is becoming so safe that they now lack the fun of playing on it.” The campus of The San Francisco School was designed by landscape architect Jeffrey Miller with the goal of creating open, natural spaces where students could have hands-on learning opportunities. The school yard includes a compost pile, goats, rabbits and an “adventure playground.” Adventure playgrounds, like the one at The San Francisco School, include loose parts such as railroad ties and the use of natural elements such as rocks, sand and mud. By using raw materials,

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➾ cov er story

How Do You Explain the Concept of “Native Pollinators” to Children?

Esther Jordan, Horticulture Assistant, brought this concept and visuals to an area kindergarten class. In turn, the students creatively made bees to hang inside the Backpack Shack as part of the pollinator display.

Fun can be created in the landscape through incorporation of water features.

the children create their own playgrounds using initiative and creativity. Richard Louv, the author of Last Child in the Woods, says it’s disheartening we don’t let children play naturally anymore. Today, many schools install “safe” play equipment and in some cases, even eliminate recess. “Play equipment is becoming so safe that they now lack the fun of playing on it,” says Brzuszek. To be successful designing areas for children, take into consideration the various needs of different age groups. “Create a diversity of spaces just their size,” says Brzuszek. “Things to crawl into, things to crawl on, places to splash in, places to dig and plant, places just for them.” Fountains without water basins are wonderful places for children to explore and there is no risk of drowning. In most communities, a fence is not required for a fountain that has no basin. At The San Francisco School, Miller designed a rocky stream running through the campus raised to about chest level for preschoolers. They can enjoy the sight, sound and feel of the water without the dangers that surround many water features. To increase students’ knowledge of storm water and water usage, Miller includes cisterns on other school campuses to catch roof

Educating children about important horticultural principles requires making the concepts concrete and relating them to their world. One of the displays in the Children’s Garden at the West Central Research and Outreach Center’s Horticulture Display Garden in Morris, MN, features the important work of native pollinators. Inside one window of a structure called the “Backpack Shack” is a picnic table set up with all the foods typically found at a backyard picnic that come from the work of pollinators such as pickles, lemonade, watermelon, and chocolate. The other window shows what a picnic would look like if there were no pollinators. The sparsely set picnic table amazes children with the lack of food, and clearly demonstrates the importance of native pollinators in a concrete way.

water. The children are then able to pump the water and direct it where they want it to go. Miller’s designs allow plenty of room for children to walk and play, and to help plant and maintain gardens. Parents and teachers promote environmental stewardship by explaining how important plants, insects and animals are to the ecosystem. Kids become familiar with native plants and learn various concepts such as plant and insect identification, the life cycle and anatomy of plants, caring for the plants, composting and water conservation. At The San Francisco School, opportunities for learning transcend the doors of the school house. “There is less structure and more opportunity,” says Morris. There is also a lot of opportunity for landscapers who incorporate child-friendly practices into their portfolios. Designing for the littlest clients can pay big rewards.

Article reprinted with permission from Total Landscape Care: http://www.totallandscapecare.com/landscaping-for-children

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We need to get over the ‘natives are best’ obsession Urban areas are not a native environment to planet earth, so planting “natives” only there does not really make sense. Sometimes non-native, exotic plants are deemed tougher. They are able to withstand degraded soils, pollution, salt, extreme heat and lack of water. Faith Appelquist | Tree Quality, LLC


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From top: The ‘native’ landscape; St Anthony Falls, MN before 1848. The ‘man-altered’ landscape; St Anthony Falls, MN as it looks today. Forest adapted species such as these pin oaks do very poorly in the urban landscape.


ut what exactly is a native plant? There are varying definitions. Because early settlers in North America brought with them a variety of native European plants, some consider the plants that were growing prior to the arrival of Europeans to be native. A broader definition that is widely accepted is that offered by the Federal Native Plant Committee: “a native plant species is one that occurs naturally in a particular region, state, ecosystem, and habitat without direct or indirect human actions.” I am not sure there is any such thing as a native urban tree. Sometimes the best you can do is use adaptable natives, cultivars, or non-invasive exotics if you want to have something that will actually live and do reasonably well in the city. So in this sense, non-natives help increase the health of our cities by cleaning our air and water, and existing in places that forest-adapted species could not survive. In an era of coming rapid climate change, if any species are going to thrive, surely, it will be the desperadoes, stowaways, and vagabonds that have been hitching a ride around the world with humans — species that, in some respects, closely resemble us. is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, an ISA Municipal Specialist MN, and an ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist®. Faith can be reached at faith@treequality.com.

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➾ Research for the R eal World

The Buzz on Neonicotinoid Insecticides Neonicotinoid insecticides are systemic, neurotoxic insecticides that are very effective in controlling a variety of insects of concern to humans and are commonly used in agricultural systems and public and private landscapes.

Dr. James Calkins

Research Information Director MNLA Foundation

depending on the specific active ingredient and purpose, neonicotinoid insecticides can be applied as seed treatments, foliar sprays, basal bark sprays, trunk injections, and soil drenches. They are effective at relatively low concentrations and are used to control a wide variety of insects including termites, fleas, and a variety of chewing and sucking insects that feed on plants. When first introduced in the 1990s, one of the primary benefits associated with the neoicotinoid insecticides was their reduced toxicity to bees and other non-target species compared to other insecticides including organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Neonicotinoids are most toxic to insects and of moderate toxicity to animals; toxicities to animals much less for dermal and inhaled exposures than ingestion. The primary active ingredients include acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam. Based on their ability to control harmful and damaging insects and their reduced toxicity compared to other insecticides, they are the most widely used insecticides in the world today and imidacloprid is the most widely used of the group. Though all of the neonicotinoid insecticides are chemically related to nicotine, the active ingredients have different chemistries, advantages, and limitations and are best suited for specific uses and situations. It is important that these differences be considered when choosing the appropriate active ingredient for a particular purpose. One of the primary worries associated with the use of neonicontoid insecticides revolves around the concern that these insecticides may be a significant threat to bees and other pollinators including European honey bees (Apis mellifera) and may be implicated in the serious phenomenon termed colony collapse disorder (CCD) wherein a honey bee colony’s worker bee population suddenly declines, but few if any dead bees are found in or near the hive while the queen, immature brood

top takeaways Colony collapse disorder (CCD) occurs when a honey bee colony’s worker bee population suddenly declines and no obvious cause for the decline is apparent. Potential causes that have been suggested for CCD include: • Parasites and pathogens • Pesticides • A lack of genetic diversity • Bee management practices • Habitat fragmentation • Agricultural practices • Nutritional deficiencies • Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) • Importation of bees infested with pathogens from other countries • Ozone depletion • Cell phone technology • Climate change The systemic nature of neonicotinoid insecticides leads to their presence in foliage, pollen, and nectar and considerable research indicates that bees and other non-target insects can indeed be negatively affected by this. Interestingly, though, the incidence of CCD has not been reduced in countries where the use of neonicotinoid insecticides has been restricted or prohibited. Based on toxicity and documented levels in pollen and wax samples from beehives, research has indicated residues of pyrethroids may be a much greater threat to honey bee colonies than neonicotinoids. Though some vehemently disagree, the current general consensus is that no single factor is responsible for CCD.

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Photo Credit: Jim Calkins Figure 1. European honey bee collecting pollen from willow catkins; colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a serious concern for honey bee populations and the successful production of many fruit, nut, and vegetable crops; although some research has suggested a possible link between imidacloprid and other neonicotinoid insecticides, which show up in pollen and nectar, and CCD, the research is generally mixed and inconclusive.

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(young), and a few young adults are still alive. Affected colonies generally have sufficient honey and pollen reserves and no obvious cause for the decline is apparent. The colony ultimately fails for lack of adult worker bees. CCD was first recognized when significant numbers of bee colonies were lost in the fall of 2006 and during the winter of 2006/2007. It should be noted that historical accounts of losses of honey bee colonies have been reported prior to 2006 and for more than 100 years. Whether these declines were related to the factors responsible for CCD losses today is unknown. While the loss of honey bee colonies seems to have leveled off in recent years, losses continue and CCD remains a serious concern for beekeepers and because honey bees play an important role in pollination and the successful production of commercial fruit, nut, and vegetable crops. It has been estimated that as much as one third of the world’s food production is directly related to the pollination of crops by honey bees. Many factors, including neonicotinoid insecticides, have been suggested as being problematic relative to colony collapse disorder (CCD). Potential causes that have been suggested as being responsible for CCD include parasites (e.g., mites) and pathogens (e.g., various bacteria, fungi, and viruses), pesticides (e.g., insecticides, fungicides, herbicides) and pesticide combinations, a lack of genetic diversity, bee management practices (apiary overcrowding, migratory stress, supplemental feeding with high fructose corn syrup, transport of hives as a vector for the spread of parasites and pathogens), habitat fragmentation, agricultural practices, nutritional deficiencies, genetically modified (GM) organisms (GMO’s; specifically GM crops), importation of bees

infested with pathogens from other countries, ozone depletion, cell phone technology, and climate change. While research has provided evidence that seems to support a causal relationship for many of these factors relative to CCD, several of these correlations have also been questioned by other studies and no single factor or combination of factors has been proven to be responsible for CCD. Considerable research has specifically focused on neonicotinoid insecticides and their effects on bees and other pollinators. The systemic nature of neonicotinoid insecticides leads to their presence in foliage, pollen, and nectar and considerable research indicates that bees and other non-target insects can indeed be negatively affected by neonicotinoid insecticides. Most research has been laboratorybased and focused in individual factors, but field-based studies and interest in the possibility that multiple factors may be involved are increasingly being pursued. Though less susceptible, bumblebees which have been increasingly used for pollinating food crops in recent years can also be affected by neonicotinoid insecticides. In March, 2013, several beekeepers, including a migratory beekeeper who works in Minnesota, together with a number of environmental and conservation groups sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on concerns about pesticide safety and registration and a failure to protect pollinators from dangerous pesticides. It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this litigation will be as the implications could be significant. Interestingly, based on toxicity and documented levels in pollen and wax samples from beehives, research has indicated residues of pyrethroids (neurotoxic, synthetic pesticides similar to the natural pesticide pyrethrum produced from chrysanthemum flowers) may be a much greater threat to honey bee colonies than neonicotinoids. Several synthetic pyrethroids are commonly detected in honey bee colonies including tau-fluvalinate which is used by beekeepers to control mites. In addition, more than a hundred different agrochemicals including insecticides, miticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, and herbicides have been found in bee hive environments (e.g., pollen, honey, wax, and bees) and the effects of many of these chemicals, alone and in combination, on honey bee health are variously understood and may play a role in CCD. It is also interesting to note that the theory that CCD may be caused by an infectious agent is supported by evidence that indicates CCD may be related to the reuse of equipment used with honey bee colonies affected by CCD and can be subsequently prevented by irradiation of equipment and hive boxes before reuse. It is also curious that the incidence of CCD has not been reduced in countries where the use of neonicotinoid insecticides has been restricted or prohibited and CCD has thus far not been reported in Australia even though neonicotinoid insecticides are allowed and widely used. A search of the literature will reveal much more information about the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides and whether they might be associated with CCD and the possible relationships among the many other factors that may be involved in CCD and its effects on honey bee populations. All pesticides have advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered prior to their use. In addition, and as we all know, it is important that insecticides and all pesticides be applied with care and only as directed on the label. In general, neonicotinoid insecticides should not be used on flowering plants and should otherwise

be applied to avoid contact with non-target insects. Remember that some of these insecticides can persist in plants for more than one year. While the use of pesticides can be an important component of IPM programs, any scenario where routine prophylactic applications of pesticides, including insecticides, are recommended is contrary to standard IPM practice and should be considered with caution and is generally ill-advised. This is especially true in situations where neonicotinoid insecticides are used on flowering species that attract pollinators. The use of neonicotinoid insecticides to protect significant existing trees from borers like emerald ash borer (EAB) and Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in infested areas to conserve the ecological services provided by tree canopy may be a justifiable exception to this standard. Ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) are wind pollinated so exposure to non-target pollinators is of limited concern; ALB, however, attacks a variety of species including some that are regularly visited by pollinators. In addition to concerns about effects on non-target organisms, another concern associated with soil-applied pesticides is the potential for leaching and groundwater contamination. Because the active ingredients used to control insects that damage plants tend to bind to organic matter, the risk of leaching is limited. Though some vehemently disagree, the current general consensus is that no single factor is responsible for CCD. This does not eliminate the potential involvement of any of the many factors that have been suggested including neonicotinoid insecticides. Additional, targeted research is needed to elucidate the cause(s) of CCD and hopefully solve the CCD dilemma. As with any subject that has the potential to impact our industry, nursery and landscape professionals and their customers, and the horticulture industry in general, should be informed about these issues and their implications. Much research has already been done and researchers continue to search for answers to these important questions. As a result, the scientific literature related to neonicotinoid insecticides and CCD is considerable and growing. A sampling of some recent reports related to these issues follows; some are biased and some are not, but this is representative of the pesticide and neonicotinoid insecticide debate. Readers are encouraged to check out these references and others to become educated about these issues and formulate their own opinions. Thompson, H., P. Harrington, S. Wilkins, S. Pietravalle, D. Sweet, and A. Jones. 2013. Effects of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments on Bumble Bee Colonies Under Field Conditions. Food and Environment Research Agency, Sand Hutton, York, UK. (FERA Report) Henry, M., M. Béguin, Requier, F., O. Rollin, J.F. Odoux, P. Aupine, J. Aptell, S. Tchamitchain, and A. Decourtye. 2012. A Common Pesticide Decreases Foraging Success and Survival in Honey Bees. Science 336(6079):348-350. (abstract only) Whitehorn, P.R., S. O’Connor, F.L. Wackers, and D. Goulson. 2012. Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production. Science 336(6079):351-352 (abstract only) National Cotton Council. 2013. Neonicotinoid Pesticides Still Under Fire. Western Farm Press; March 26, 2013. Casting Doubt on Neonicotinoid Guilt. Western Farm Press, April 4, 2013. Cressey, D. 2013. UK Study casts Doubt on Link Between Insecticide and Bee Declines. Nature News Blog, March 28, 2013.

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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). 2013. An Assessment of Key Evidence About Neonicotinoids and Bees. (DEFRA Report) United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS). Honey Bees and Colony Collapse Disorder.  Kaplan, J. Kim. 2012. Colony Collapse Disorder: An Incomplete Puzzle. Agricultural Research 60(6):4-8. Johnson, R.M., M.D. Ellis, C.A. Mullin, and M. Frazier. 2010. Pesticides and Honey Bee Toxicity – USA. Apidologie 41(3):312-331. http://link. springer.com/article/10.1051%2Fapido%2F2010018 (abstract only) Hopwood, J., M. Vaughan, M. Shepherd, D. Biddinger, E. Madder, S.H. Black, and C. Mazzacano. 2012. Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees? – A Review of Research Into the Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Bees, With Recommendations for Action. Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Lawsuit Seeks to Address Bee Colony Collapse Disorder.  Agri-View; March 28, 2013. Complaint for Declaratory & Injunctive Relief; The United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Steve Ellis, Tom Theobald, Jim Doan, Bill Rhodes, Center for Food Safety (CFS), Beyond Pesticides, Sierra Club, Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), and Center for Environmental Health (CEH), (Plaintiffs) v. Steven P. Bradbury, Director of Office of Pesticide Programs of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Bob Perciasepe, Acting Administrator and Deputy Administrator of EPA (collectively EPA or Defendants). March 21, 2013. Wines, M. 2013. Mystery Malady Kills More Bees, Heightening Worry on Farms. The New York Times; March 28, 2013.

Garvey, K.K. 2013. Pesticides Get Undue Blame in Honey Bee Decline. Western farm Press; March 20, 2012. Brandon, H. 2013. Pesticide Battle Over Honey Bee Health Under Way. Western Farm Press; March 5, 2013. Mussen, E. 2013. Bee Careful With Pesticides. Western Farm Press; March 11, 2013. Cline, H. 2013. Honey Bee Losses Defy Solitary Explanations. Western Farm Press; January 22, 2013. Bennett, C. 2013. Pesticides on Brink of Ban Over Honey Bee Losses. Farm Press Blog; February 22, 2013. United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS); CCD Steering Committee. 2012. Colony Collapse Disorder Progress Report. (Can also be found here). Frazier, J., C. Mullin, M. Frazier, and S. Ashcraft. 2011. Pesticides and Their Involvement in Colony Collapse Disorder. American Bee Journal, August 2011: 779-784. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA/AMS). 2013. Pesticide Data Program: Annual Summary, Calendar Year 2011. Williamson, S.M., D.D. Baker and G.A. Wright. 2012. Acute Exposure to a Sublethal Dose of Imidacloprid and Coumaphos Enhances Olfactory Learning and Memory in the Honeybee Apis mellifera. Invertebrate Neuroscience (unassigned). to comment on this research update,

suggest research topics of interest, or pass along a piece of research-based information that might be of interest to your industry colleagues, please email us at research@mnla.biz.

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speeding tickets

and Your Driver’s License You may have heard that speeding tickets which are 10 miles per hour or less over the speed limit do not get recorded on your driving record. To a degree this is true, but the law that makes this possible is changing next year. Additionally, it does not apply to some types of driver’s licenses and vehicles. Read on to find out more about if this law can help you or if you need to be extra conscious of your speed. Patrick McGuiness | Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC



n 1986, State Representative Chuck Dimler sponsored an amendment to a bill that governs how speeding violations are recorded on driving records. What has since become known as the Dimler Amendment saves Minnesotans a lot of money on insurance costs. In short, the amendment prevents speeding tickets from being recorded on a driving record, provided the speeding violation was below a certain threshold. The Dimler Amendment was amended in 2012 and the changes will go into effect in August 2014. Speeding Tickets Not Recorded:

Minnesota Statute 169.14, Subdivision 2 states that a conviction for a violation of a speed limit of 55 MPH shall not be recorded on the violator’s driving record unless the violation consisted of a speed greater than 10 MPH in excess of a 55 MPH speed limit. What this means in practice is that in a 55 MPH zone, a speeding violation of 65 MPH or less is not recorded on a driving record. In 2012, the Dimer Amendment was amended as it relates to 60 MPH zones. Between now and August 1st, 2014 violations of 10 MPH or less will still not be recorded on a driving record. So, a 70 MPH violation or less will not be recorded. After August 1st, 2014 violations of only 5 MPH or less are not recorded. So a 66 MPH violation will be recorded on a driving record, but a 65 MPH or less violation will not be. Exceptions:

The Dimler Amendment does not apply to violations that occur in a commercial vehicle. So if you thought you were protected by this law while driving your 1 ton dump truck, you will have to rethink how fast you are willing to go. Additionally, the law does not protect violations committed by people who hold class A, B, or C commercial driver’s licenses. This is the case, regardless of what type of vehicle the violation occurred in. If you are driving your family car, but you have a CDL and get a speeding ticket, it will be recorded on your driving record regardless of how many miles over the limit you were going. 54

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Officer and Court Discretion

If you do receive a ticket that is more than 10 MPH over the speed limit, the officer, the prosecutor, or the court can amend the ticket so that it will fall within the Dimler amendment protections. They are not required to do this for any reason, but can do so as part of a settlement or out of good will. If you receive a speeding ticket of any kind, it is a good idea to go to court on the arraignment date and meet with the attorney that is prosecuting the ticket. Be polite and professional and kindly request that the ticket be reduced. You can also request a “continuance for dismissal” which is a plea that keeps the ticket off of your record as long as you do not receive any moving violations within an agreed upon time frame after the continuance is accepted. If you agree to a continuance for dismissal with a prosecutor, and then get another speeding ticket, you will be responsible for the full ticket amount of the first ticket in addition to any fines for the new ticket. Drive Safely

We all run late from time to time. Getting pulled over for speeding will make you even more late. Drive safely, but if you do find yourself with a speeding ticket, keep the Dimler Amendment in mind as a possible way to protect your driving record. This article provides general information on legal matters and should not be relied upon as legal advice. A qualified attorney must analyze all relevant facts and apply the applicable law to any matter before legal advice can be given.

is a partner at Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC. His law practice focuses on assisting small business owners on a wide range of legal issues. He can be reached at pmcguiness@zmattorneys.com. If you would like more information regarding this article or other legal issues, please contact Zlimen & McGuiness, PLLC at 651-206-3203 or www.zmattorneys.com. patrick mcguiness

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➾ utility marks

utility marks Call Before Y ou Dig , B ut B eware — N ot E v ery U tility G ets M ar ked ! Jeff Murray Minnesota Department of Public Safety

imagine this:

you have a project that requires you to make a hole in the ground with a shovel, a trencher, a skid-steer or some other digging tool. You’re aware that hitting an underground utility — a pipe, power line, fiber cable, etc. — can be expensive and dangerous. You want to do the right thing and adhere to the law, so you contact Gopher State One Call, generate an excavation ticket, and wait 48 hours for utility people to mark the areas you must avoid. With the utilities marked, the ground surface becomes an explosion of colors, and you’re clear to start your project. Right? Wrong! The law does not require ALL underground utilities to be indicated; the ones falling in the category of “private facilities” may go unmarked, including some electric and natural-gas facilities. An in-ground sprinkler system probably will not be marked, along with a substantial portion of the sewer line under the yard. If there are gas or electric facilities buried after the meter (“downstream” from the meter in the directional flow) on the property, they may not be marked, either. These are all examples of “private facilities” that


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are not owned by the utility, but by the property — and therefore not required to be marked by utility employees. In light of this reality, what can you do to assure your personal safety and the integrity of the private facilities as you complete your project? These actions will help: If you are not working with the original property owner, it may be necessary to contact previous owners or long-time neighbors to determine whether private facilities were installed prior to current ownership. Be a detective. Look around the proposed excavation site for clues, including: • A gas meter with no yellow markings on the property • An electric meter with no red markings on the property • In-ground sprinkler heads If there is a city sewer system, the operator is required to mark it in the right-of-way and indicate the spot where it leaves the right-ofway and goes into the property. If it’s not marked, call the city and find out where the service line comes off the main sewer pipe and goes into the yard. Use hand tools to dig carefully around the spot where it should be. If there is a septic system, locate it (or hire a private locator) and mark it so you can avoid damaging it.

Look for devices powered by gas or electricity — things like lights, grills, or heated swimming pools — that do not have markings leading to the device. If evidence suggests that private facilities are present in the ground where you will be working, consider hiring a private locator. A private locator is someone who will come to the job site and attempt to locate private, underground facilities. Anytime an excavation occurs, care must be taken. Knowing what steps to take on your own, even after Gopher State One Call has been contacted, will assure a safe and successful project.

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➾ golf recap



t Tournamen

Thank you to everyone for supporting MNLA Foundation Research by joining in the 2013 Widmer Golf Tournament. Good money was raised and good fun was had by all on what turned out to be the perfect day to be out golfing!

Congratulations to our winners!

First Place Team: (pictured left to right) Chris Wilcox – Hedberg Aggregates Craig Palmer – Outdoor Innovations Dave Otter – Belgard Hardscapes Asher Judd (not pictured) – Outdoor Innovations Sponsored by Bailey Nurseries

Longest Drive: Lee Gregg – Tamarack Landscaping Sponsored by GM Fleet & Commercial


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september 13

Second Place Team: (pictured left to right) Jason Orton – SRW Products Kevin Scott – Wheeler Landscape Supply Duane Bacon – D-BAC Tim Sanborn – SRW Products Sponsored by Ziegler CAT

Closest to Pin: Troy Lucht – Malmborg’s Inc. Sponsored by Linder’s Greenhouses

Longest Putt: Brian Schantz – County Materials Sponsored by Bachman’s Wholesale Nursery & Hardscapes

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MNLA BOARD Submit N ominations for M N L A B oard N ow

As a member-driven organization, the MNLA solicits candidates to fill the open seats on the Board of Directors. The MNLA Nominating Committee is now accepting board nominations through Tuesday, October 1, 2013.

Serving on the MNLA Board of Directors is voluntary but requires the following time commitment:

2013 MNLA Board of Directors Requirements and Priorities The following criterion for participation as a board member is required in the MNLA bylaws:

The Board meets a minimum of four times per year. Responsibilities include reading agenda and supporting materials prior to attending.

Eight years of MNLA membership immediately preceding the election

Special meetings, conference calls, electronic votes, and strategic planning sessions are sometimes convened.

Business member status; and appropriate dues paid. In addition, MNLA seeks to maintain a strong, balanced, strategicthinking board that accurately represents the varied companies found in the green industry. Skills in the following areas will also be considered for new board seats:

A Board term is two years.

Board members receive no compensation for their time.

2014 MNLA Election Timeline

Leadership experience

October 2013 – Candidates are recommended for the ballot by MNLA Nominating Committee.

Dedication to the association

December 2013 – Online board and officer elections are held.

Government relations/advocacy

January 8, 2014 – Candidates are ratified at the MNLA Annual Meeting and announced to the membership.

Finance Strategic / Perspective Entrepreneurship Business ethics; and Industry experience

Submit Your Nomination Today If you or someone you know is interested in working with others to ensure the growth and success of the green industry, please submit your nomination online at www.MNLA.biz or via email to cassie@ mnla.biz no later than Tuesday, October 1, 2013. If you have any further questions about the election process, contact MNLA Executive Director Cassie Larson at 651-633-4987.

accepting nominations N ominations O pen for Todd B ac h man Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the annual Todd Bachman Award for Innovation in Horticultural Business. Created by the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association and the MNLA Foundation, the award annually recognizes a young individual whose innovation in private enterprise has positively influenced one or more horticulture and/or green industry businesses in the region. The award recipient will receive a plaque and will be recognized in trade publications. In addition, the MNLA Foundation will make a $1,000 cash award in the recipient’s name to his or her alma mater. Qualifications for Todd Bachman Award 60

mnla .biz

september 13

Owner or employee of a horticultural business in the north central region (MN, WI, IA, ND, SD). Recipient of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree or greater in horticulture, business or related field from an accredited institution of higher learning. Demonstrated innovation in business, marketing, horticultural production, floral, or landscape practices. For all details and nomination instructions, visit MNLA.biz.


www.MNLA.biz | June 2012

d v c w y c i o h y t


Key Takeaways from the

Snow & Ice Industry Benchmark Report There’s a great story in Steven Levy’s book In the Plex explaining how Google came to dominate the search engine landscape. And, not surprisingly for anyone that knows Google, they did it by leveraging the power of their data. And they leveraged their data in ways that other search engine companies didn’t.

David Crary | HindSite Software


in the 2012–2013 snow season, my snow revenue: Grew by 20%+


Grew by 11–20%


Grew by 6–10%


Grew by 1–5%


Stayed the same


Decreased by 1–5%


Decreased by 6–10%


Decreased by 11–20%


Decreased by 20+



or example, their competitors’ business model was based on people staying on the search engine web page. Yahoo placed ads at Yahoo.com, meaning the more visitors to that page, the more money they made. So Yahoo didn’t necessarily care if their search results were so poor that people kept returning to Yahoo.com to search again. They made more money if people searched multiple times. But Google quickly realized that if people had to search 4 or 5 times to find what they were looking for, the search results just weren’t good enough. So they were constantly testing which had the least repeat visits. The fewer repeat visits from a result, the better the result and the higher it should be ranked. By uniquely using data to determine the quality of its search results, Google quickly became the best search engine in the land, which increased its market share, and which they eventually made wildly profitable thanks to its advertising product. And so should you. Data can help you better understand your industry and position your business appropriately. To help snow removal businesses better understand its market, HindSite Software recently surveyed nearly 300 snow contractors, and then compiled those results into the 2013 Snow Industry Benchmark Report. So what did we find? Here are five key takeaways:


2012/13 was a pretty good year.


Keep an eye on your margins

my profit margins on my snow business are: 40%+ 17% 36–40% 9% 31–35% 8% 26–30%






11–15% 15% 6–10% 9% 0–5% 6%


mnla .biz

september 13

Snow businesses are nearly universally dependent on the weather for revenue. If it doesn’t snow or ice doesn’t form, there’s no work to do. But if it does — which it did in the 2012/13 snow season, then there’s lots of revenue to be had. Generally speaking (there are obviously going to be regional differences), snowfall was up for most contractors. 73% indicated the number of snow events increased in 2012/13 when compared to 2011/12. That increase in snow, not surprisingly, led to a nearly identical growth in revenue, with 77% of snow contractors indicating their revenue grew in 2012/13. And, with a little more money in their pockets, many contractors are looking at ways to make their operations more efficient, with 64% indicating they plan to increase spending on equipment and software.

Our survey also showed that snow industry businesses had pretty healthy margins during the 2012/13 snow season. 17% of respondents indicated they had margins in excess of 40%, while 58% indicated margins in excess of 20%. So there is money to be made in the snow removal business. We also examined regional data to determine if any regions fared better than others. To a certain extent, the Northeast US was the most profitable place to remove snow, followed by the Western US, Canada and the Midwestern US. There are some significant regional differences, with nearly 70% of respondents in the Northeast indicating they had margins in excess of 20%, while only about 50% of those in the Midwest reported those same margins.


% using pricing models


Consider your prices and pricing mix.


There’s plenty of opportunity to distinguish yourself with marketing

Once you’ve nailed down your service and identified what makes your business competitively superior, it’s time to start marketing your business. What we found in our survey is that there’s plenty of opportunity out there. In fact, just over 60% of contractors indicate they have website, and less than 50% use tactics like email marketing, social media, search engine optimization, direct mail, the Yellow Pages or blogging. In other words, there is a lot of opportunity for businesses using strategic marketing to grow their customer base. In fact, a lot of snow contractors are turning to new marketing methods like email (about 48%) and social media (about 42%) than older tactics like direct mail (about 42%) and yellow pages ads (about 31%). These cost-effective, electronic marketing methods can offer good ROI if performed correctly.

marketing strategies


revenue growth by field service software usage

Expect snow removal prices to rise next year. 50% of those we surveyed indicated that they plan to increase their prices for the 2013/14 snow season. Many cited rising fuel costs and an improving economy as the main reasons for the price increase. A good pricing mix can also help snow contractors insulate themselves from the unpredictability of the weather on which they rely. Many contractors use a mix of event-based, monthly or seasonal contracts and time and material pricing to ensure revenue when it snows a lot (event-based or time and material pricing) or not at all (monthly contracts). About 75% of contractors use event-based billing, 65% use seasonal or monthly contracts and another 45% use time and material billing, showing that most contractors use a nice mix of contract types.

You can grow your revenue with software

In our 2013 Green Industry Benchmark Report, we noted that green industry contractors that use field service software were much more likely to have experienced high revenue growth than their counterparts that didn’t use field service software. Not surprisingly, when isolating the effects of weather, we noticed the same result for snow contractors. In fact, about 60% of those using software indicated they experienced revenue growth of more than 10% in 2012/13, compared to about 48% of those not using software. And only about 11% of those using software saw revenue decrease, compared to roughly 15% of those not using software. Since we sell snow removal software, this isn’t surprising to us, but it may be to snow removal contractors. There’s a lot more data in our Snow Industry Benchmark Report that can help you better understand the snow removal industry. Be sure to download it today! Don’t want to read the whole thing? Then watch a recent webinar we did on the topic – 8 Things We Learned from the Snow Industry Benchmark Report. Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlGNZn5AfCc. is President and Founder of HindSite Software. Learn more at www.hindsitesoftware.com.

david crary


mnla .biz

september 13

N otable features of M N L A’ s new project- based landscape awards program

Online: The application process, judging, and viewing of winning entries — all of this will done online via software designed specifically for awards programs. Member Engagement: All entries and the judge’s notes about them will be available to all members, though non-winning entries will be anonymously displayed. Each online entry will have a comments section so that members can give and receive constructive feedback on their submission from their peers.

Tools for Promotion: Each winner will receive: • A plaque. • A package of marketing materials, including templates and plans for promotion to local media. • A badge on their profile in the MNLA directory that links to their project. • A crest for members to display in print and for posting on their website. • A bound photo book displaying the winning entry.

Resubmittal: If an entry is incomplete or incorrect, entrants will have one opportunity to amend their submission and resubmit their materials. Member’s Choice Award: Using the online awards software, each member company will have a chance to vote for their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd favorite project. No Categories: Entrants won’t have to choose where their project fits, and no entry will be judged against another.

More details about this program will be available in a Call for Entries that will be published on MNLA.biz this fall. If you currently have questions about this program, contact MNLA Communications Director Jon Horsman at 651-633-4987, ext. 4 or jon@mnla.biz. special thanks to our sponsors:

➾ mnla news

networking news Top Takeaways: 1. Order staff (ones giving 105%) to allow for call-ins and personal time off.


2. Expect greater turnover than past generations and consistently recruit employees.

Meeting Date:

July 17

3. Use a benefit package to hire and retain key employees.


4. A number of companies use four 10-hour day format with Friday as a swing day to allow employees more free time off.

Park Tavern in St. Louis Park

Next Meeting: September 25; 11:30 lunch — Wild Onion, Grand Avenue, St. Paul. Topic: Employee education and career development for retention.

Upcoming Networking Events

Professional Gardening Services September 13; 11:30 am 405 Comstock Lane, Plymouth Commercial Flower Growers September 17; 3:30 pm Meeting and tour of Tangletown production range in Plato, MN CEO September 25; 11:30 am 788 Grand Avenue, St. Paul

business briefs september 2 0 1 3

aspen equipment company hires new territory manager and promotes inside sales/parts representative Keri Ulrichs has joined Aspen Equipment Co. as a territory sales manager for its Iowa and Nebraska branches. Ulrichs is an experienced business-to-business sales professional who has grown up around the trucking industry through her family’s trucking brokerage business. Ulrichs received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Iowa. In her new role at Aspen Equipment, Ulrichs will develop and maintain relationships with new and existing construction, fleet, governmental and utility customers, with her main focus on customers of truck equipment including Palfinger articulating cranes. Mitchell Buzzo has been promoted from warehouse specialist to inside sales/parts representative for the company’s Bloomington, Minn. location. Buzzo has been employed by Aspen Equipment for nearly one and one-half years, and is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree in sales and marketing at Normandale Community College.


mnla .biz

september 13

mnla welcomes members new

CST Distribution, LLC, St. Paul, MN Megan Toft, 651-486-7725 LandOpt, Pittsurgh, PA Teri McGuiness. 412-567-4345 Miller Greenscapes LLC, Minnetonka, MN Ryan Miller, 952-405-8771 Minnesota Wholesale Trees, Foley, MN Alicia Spaeth, 320-227-6068 Quality Forklift Sales and Service, Inc./ Quality Equipment, Shakopee, MN Colleen Wright, 952-895-9918 Titan Machinery, Rogers, MN Dennis Moening, 763-428-5099

scoop classifieds Landscape laborer position available. $15/hour. Mike – Deer Creek Turf – 763-434-5416 – mksteen@mac.com

âžž th e last word

BEFORE & AFTER this month, we debut a new feature initiated by the mnla communications + technology committee’s scoop team. thanks to these volunteers who are investing their time in educating and inspiring their fellow members. Do you have photos that show a dramatic before and after?

Send us your best before/after photos and tell us how you overcame the challenge shown in the before photo. What was the situation, your diagnosis and solution, and how do the results look? Sharing these challenges and how they were overcome helps all MNLA members to learn and our entire industry to grow professionally. Send your photos and notes to MNLA Communications Director Jon Horsman at jon@mnla.biz or 651-633-4987.

member company: tree quality, llc submitted by: faith appelquist situation:

In 2011, I received a call from a homeowner concerned that his three Japanese tree lilacs were dying. He planted them 3 years ago and they never looked good. When I arrived, the trees had almost no leaves and the ones that remained were brown and crispy. The trees had put on very little growth. diagnosis:

This is how the tree looked in summer 2011.

Digging in to the root flare, I discovered the trees were planted too deep. When trees are planted too deep they are deprived of essential air and water. This will show in the canopy decline. solution:

Dig out the excess soil over the root system, replace with hardwood mulch. Start a program of regular watering. Treat with plant growth regulator to stimulate the weakened root system. results:

Today the trees look healthy, green and are full of flowers. And, this is how it looks now!

this is why i love my job!

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

Profile for Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association

The Scoop Online – September 2013  

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

The Scoop Online – September 2013  

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