Page 1

Growing Concern


May 2013

A p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h e O h i o La n d s c a p e A s s o c i a t i o n

OLA Scholarship Golf Classic August 1, 2013 PAGEs 18-19

Landscape Industry Certified Technician Test August 8, 2013 PAGE 34

Can’t Pay Your Taxes? New Options for the IRS PAGE 30


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President’s column

The Art Of The Sale It only takes a couple nice Saturdays and Sundays in the spring to make the phone start ringing off the hook. People want landscaping and they want it now. What makes it interesting is, with every lead, you don’t know if it is a basic maintenance package, a lucrative design/build project, a simple one week patio to help fill your schedule or a complete waste of your time. In part, that is what makes sales an adventure. So how do you follow up on all of those leads, manage current projects in production, order materials, process invoices, and everything else that goes along with the insanity of spring? More importantly, how do you convert those leads to sales? Here a few ideas to help you through it all.

Have A Positive Attitude And Take Interest This goes a long way to making that important first impression with a client. Put

JAmes Arch, ASLA Vizmeg Landscape, Inc.

yourself in the role of the buyer and think about how you react to sales people. Chances are you like it when people have a good attitude and are willing to help you. I recently went into a local bike store while my car was up on the rack. I was in the store for twenty five minutes in total with the intent of buying a mini pump for my road bike. Within that time period, the only interaction I had with the staff was when I checked out. I don’t think I’ll be back any time soon.

Get Beyond The Landscape

I believe the phone call and an actual conversation may be the new incarnation of the handwritten note.

After you conclude you and the potential clients are the right fit, take a couple of minutes to get to know them on a basis other than a consumer. Ask about kid’s sports, hobbies or that Ferrari sitting in the third bay. Let them know you are interested in more than just making a sale that day. This could lead to a longer term client relationship. continued on page 6 The Growing Concern x May 2013


Ta b l e o f c o n t e n t s M ay 2 0 1 3 w w w. o h i o l a n d s c a p e r s . o r g

Ohio’s Professional Green I n d u s t r y A s s o c i at i o n Ohio Landscape Association 9238 Broadview Road Broadview Heights, Ohio 44147 Phone: 440-717-0002 or 1-800-335-6521 Fax: 440-717-0004 Web: or Editor Lindsay Scott, Ohio Landscape Association

ON THE COVER — Down to Earth Landscaping, Inc., Garfield Heights, OH



President’s Column

The Art Of The Sale


Fiscal Fitness

Hedging Against Downward Moves

12 14

Lifetime dedication award


Plant Of The Month

For Safety Sake

Using Portable Generators Safely

Styphnolobium japonica Pagoda Tree/Scholar Tree

24  OLA Awards Scholarship To Six Students


Perennial Focus

Tiarella Foamflower

30 Can’t Pay Your Taxes? 36

Advertising Information Submission deadline: 10th of month prior to publication month. For advertising and classified rates, please call 1-800-335-6521 Disclaimer The Ohio Landscape Association, its board of directors, staff and the editor of The Growing Concern neither endorse any product(s) or attest to the validity of any statements made about products mentioned in this, past or subsequent issues of this publication. Similarly, the opinions expressed in The Growing Concern are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Ohio Landscape Association. Officers President James Arch, ASLA President-Elect Joe Twardzik, CID Treasurer Chad Mikin

New Options From the IRS

OLA Staff Executive Director Sandy Munley


Membership Coordinator Jean Koch

Planet Day Of Service

Inside Every Issue

33 38

Regular Writers James Arch, ASLA, Vizmeg Landscape, Inc. Michael J. Donnellan, King Financial, Inc. Jim Funai, COLP, Cuyahoga Community College Shelley Funai, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens Sandy Munley, Ohio Landscape Association Bobbie Schwartz, FAPLD, Bobbie’s Green Thumb

Advertising Index Welcome New Members

Directors Patrick Beam, RLA Jason Cromley Josh Hayden Chris Meltzer, MLA Steve Moore Cathy Serafin, ASLA, RLA Bryan Taynor

Events and Communications Manager Lindsay Scott

Ca l e n d a r o f E V e n t s U p c o m i n g OL A m e e t i n g s , e d u c a t i o n s e m i n a r s a n d o t h e r g r e e n i n d u s t r y e v e n t s


OLA Scholarship Golf Classic AUGUST 1, 2013 A great day that includes 18 holes of golf, cart, driving range, breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverages, game day contests and lots and lots of fun. Held at Mallard Creek golf Course in Columbia Station. For more information on registration or sponsorship, please contact the OLA at 1-800-335-6521 or visit

Landscape Industry Certified Technician Test August 8, 2013 The hands-on portion of the Landscape Industry Certified Technician Test will be offered on the campus of the OSU/ATI in Wooster. For more information, visit or call The Ohio State ATI at 330-287-7511.

NGLCO Field Day AUGUST 13, 2013 Presented by the Nursery Growers of Lake County Ohio. Held at the Holden Arboretum. For more information, contact NGLCO at 440-241-7969 or visit


Pond Clinic SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 One-day, classroom setting pond clinic that will teach how to plan, build, and maintain ponds and water features. Instructed by Bill Hoffman of Pond Supplies of Ohio. Held at Chenoweth Golf Course in Akron. For more information or to register online, contact the OLA at 1-800-335-6521 or visit

Support those who support You! They are... • OLA members and advertisers who supply goods and services • OLA members who sponsor OLA events

You’ll find them... • Inside the pages of the OLA Membership Directory • Among those advertising inside The Growing Concern and the OLA Membership Directory • Displaying as a sponsor at OLA meetings and education events • Inside The Growing Concern’s pages with event sponsor acknowledgements The Growing Concern x May 2013


President’s column continued from pg 3 The Phone Beyond The Text WELDING & SAFETY SUPPLIES STRUCTURAL STEEL & ALUMINUM SUPPLIES free estimates

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Emails and texts have their place but sometimes it is best to dial the number and actually talk to someone. Back in the day it was preached that you should send a handwritten note. I believe the phone call and an actual conversation may be the new incarnation of the handwritten note. So you’ve now made the sale and are working for the client, things are going badly and you get the dreaded phone call. You know, the one that makes you hold the phone a little further from your ear and causes the blood pressure to go up a bit. We’ve all been there and sometimes wish we would have handled it differently (sometimes not). How can these situations be handled?

Don’t Take It Personally This can be hard to do but realize they are venting. The best thing to do is to listen and not talk. It’s about them right now, not you. Sooner or later they need to stop to breathe and, if you have kept your cool, you can step in and start to steer the conversation towards a resolution.

Respond With An Olive Branch “Mr. Smith, I agree this is an issue that needs to be addressed. I would like to meet with you as soon as it is convenient for you so that we can resolve this and put it behind us. Are you available when you have finished with work this afternoon?” A comment along these lines can help disarm the immediate confrontational response. The trick here is to be sincere in the delivery as you may be thinking otherwise.

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6 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

The worst thing you can do is sweep it under the rug and hope it goes away. Seek a resolution to the issue. This may or may not completely satisfy the client but you need to stand behind your company and your word. If in the end the client leaves and moves on, you put your best foot forward. I hope these tips help to guide you through the art of the sale and customer service. My best wishes on a successful season for you all.


July 18, 2013

Presented by

8:30 am to 3:00 pm Instructed by Wendy Moore ~ Davis Tree Farm Bridget Comes ~ Medina County Career Center Russ Luyster, OCNT ~ Impact Grounds Maintenance Held at Davis Tree Farm & Nursery

Sponsored & Hosted by

Valley City, OH

This Plant ID Clinic is a hands-on training opportunity for you and your crews that will cover the basics of Plant ID for plants typically used in Zone 6 in Ohio. Many of the plants that will be covered are on the plant list for the Landscape Industry Certified Technician’s Test, including: perennials, groundcovers, ornamental grasses, as well as trees and shrubs - both evergreen and deciduous. Qualifies for 5 CEUs for Landscape Industry Certified

Those who should attend are plant installation staff, maintenance staff, garden center staff, foreman, and anyone studying to take the Landscape Industry Certified Technician’s Test. GENERAL INFORMATION: This seminar is hands-on training with live plant material. Attendees will need to bring their own notepad and pen, and will need to dress appropriately for outdoor practical training. Continental breakfast and lunch are included. Register early as class size is limited and will sell out quickly. Register online by going to and clicking on the EDUCATION button.

Cancellations made 8 to 14 days prior to the course start date will be subject to a 30% cancellation fee. NO refunds will be issued for cancellations less than 7 days prior to the course, no shows, or cancellations on the day of the course. If, for any reason, the course is cancelled, enrollees will be notified, and fees refunded in full.

Register On Time, Payment Received Before 7/8/13 Register Late, Payment Received After 7/8/13 Firm Address City Phone (______)

OLA Members OLA Members

$69 $99

NON Members NON Members

$99 $129

Contact State Fax (______)




FEE $ $ $

 Check No. ___________ Enclosed

Charge to my

 MasterCard

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$ Exp. Date

Name on Card


Billing Address + Zipcode for Card

Last Three Digits on Signature Line

PLANT ID CLINIC Make checks payable and send to: Ohio Landscape Association, 9238 Broadview Rd, Broadview Hts., OH 44147 Register online, by mail, phone or fax • Phone 440-717-0002 or 1-800-335-6521 • Fax 440-717-0004 •

Fiscal Fitness

Michael J. Donnellan King Financial, Inc.

Hedging Against Downward Moves Last month I wrote about stock market corrections and their frequency. This month I want to highlight a few ways investors can hedge against downward moves in the stock market.

Inverse Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) Inverse-equity ETFs are built to increase in value when stock prices fall. Although they are not meant to be bought and forgotten, but they can offer temporary shelter in a market decline. The current generation of inverse or “short� ETFs has daily objectives of either 100% opposite performance, or in the case of leveraged funds, 200% or 300% opposite returns.

8 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

Investors can access a wide array of Inverse ETFs in the overall market, individual sectors or even metals and commodities.

Put Options Buying protective insurance via put options on stocks is another way for minimizing the damage of falling stock prices. Put options are designed to increase in value when the underlying asset falls in price. In other words, any losses in the value of a stock would be offset by gains in the underlying put options. continued on page 10

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The Growing Concern x May 2013


Fiscal Fitness continued from pg 8 Put options act in a non-linear fashion. That means it requires a small dollar amount of them to hedge a much larger dollar value position in an underlying security. Think of buying a put option as paying an insurance premium. The length of insurance coverage via put options can be as short as one month or up to a year or more, depending on when the options contracts expire. Investors can customize the length of insurance with options to match their unique needs.

Buying Volatility Higher stock prices have led to depressed market volatility. A measure of that volatility is the Volatility Index (VIX). In 2012, the VIX had an average daily closing value of just 17.80, but today the VIX has fallen even lower to the 12 to 13 range, signaling complacency and low volatility in the stock market. That puts the VIX right at pre-credit crisis levels seen in 2005 to 06. Conversely, an elevated VIX infers a high level of fear and could be a good buy setup, depending on the circumstances. Near the end of the credit crisis in 2008 the VIX was near 80. One way to hedge against lower stock prices is to buy purchasing call options on the VIX.

A Cash Cushion The average yield on a money market is a paltry 0.05%. At that rate, it would take a person 1,440 years to double their money! No wonder so many people, and even some advisors, believe that “cash is trash.” But during a market downturn, cash isn’t trash. Ever notice how Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway always has a multi-billion dollar cash cushion? That’s because when the stock market gets roughed up, cash in a portfolio gives the owner financial flexibility. Cash is the easiest way to hedge against a downturn and gives advisors the luxury to buy assets on the cheap, when the crowd is running for the exit signs. It’s called opportunistic investing. And it’s just one more way to hedge against a market correction. It may not be flashy, but the other saying “Cash is king” is a beautiful thing when the markets are selling off.

Cash is the easiest way to hedge against a downturn and gives advisors the luxury to buy assets on the cheap…

10 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association




Dave Richards along with his wife Ann and OLA President, James Arch.

At the 16th Annual Landscape Ohio! Awards Dinner, the Ohio Landscape Association bestowed its greatest honor upon a deserving individual. The recipient of this year’s OLA Lifetime Dedication and Contributions to the Landscape Industry Award is Mr. David Richards, CLT, OCNT of Auburn Career Center.

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F o r Sa f e t y Sa k e

Using Portable Generators Safely Occupational Safety and Health Administration Portable generators are internal combustion engines used to generate electricity. They are useful when temporary or remote power is needed. This article will discuss specific hazards inherent with the use of generators and also provides helpful information to ensure that workers and others using such equipment remain safe.

Hazards Associated with Generators • S hocks and electrocution from improper use of power or accidentally energizing other electrical systems; • Carbon monoxide from a generator’s exhaust; • Fires from improperly refueling a generator or inappropriately storing the fuel for a generator; and, • Noise and vibration hazards.

Shock and Electrocution The electricity created by generators has the same hazards as normal utility-supplied electricity. It also has some additional hazards because generator users often bypass the safety devices (such as circuit breakers) that are built into electrical systems. The following precautions are provided to reduce shock and electrocution hazards: • Never attach a generator directly to the electrical system of a structure (home, office, trailer, etc.) unless a qualified electrician has properly installed the generator with a transfer switch. Attaching a generator directly to a building electrical system without a properly installed transfer switch can

14 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

Never attach a generator directly to the electrical system of a structure … without a properly installed transfer switch … energize wiring systems for great distances. This creates a risk of electrocution for utility workers and others in the area. • Always plug electrical appliances directly into the generator using the manufacturer’s supplied cords or extension cords that are grounded (3-pronged). Inspect the cords to make sure they are fully intact and not damaged, cut or abraded. Never use frayed or damaged extension cords. Ensure the cords are appropriately rated in watts or amps for the intended use. Do not use underrated cords—replace them with appropriately rated cords that use heavier gauge wires. Do not overload a generator; this can lead to overheating which can create a fire hazard. • Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), especially where electrical equipment is used in or around wet or damp locations. GFCIs shut off power when an electrical current is detected outside normal paths. GFCIs and extension cords with built-in GFCI protection can be purchased at hardware stores, do-it-yourself centers, and other locations that sell continued on page 16 for Equipment & Repair for Parts & Parts Lookup

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The Growing Concern x May 2013

x 15

F o r Sa f e t y Sa k e continued from pg 14 electrical equipment. Regardless of GFCI use, electrical equipment used in wet and damp locations must be listed and approved for those conditions. • Make sure a generator is properly grounded and the grounding connections are tight. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for proper grounding methods. • Keep a generator dry; do not use it in the rain or wet conditions. If needed, protect a generator with a canopy. Never manipulate a generator’s electrical components if you are wet or standing in water. • Do not use electrical equipment that has been submerged in water. Equipment must be thoroughly dried out and properly evaluated before using. Power off and do not use any electrical equipment that has strange odors or begins smoking.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, toxic gas. Many people have died from CO poisoning because their generator was not adequately ventilated. • Never use a generator indoors or in enclosed spaces such as garages, crawl spaces, and basements. NOTE: Open windows and doors may NOT prevent CO from building up when a generator is located in an enclosed space. • Make sure a generator has 3 to 4 feet of clear space on all sides and above it to ensure adequate ventilation. • Do not use a generator outdoors if its placement near doors, windows, and vents could allow CO to enter and build up in occupied spaces. • If you or others show symptoms of CO poisoning — dizziness, headaches, nausea, tiredness — get to fresh air immediately and seek medical attention. Do not re-enter the area until it is determined to be safe by trained and properly equipped personnel.

16 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

Fire Hazards • G  enerators become hot while running and remain hot for long periods after they are stopped. Generator fuels (gasoline, kerosene, etc.) can ignite when spilled on hot engine parts. • Before refueling, shut down the generator and allow it to cool. • Gasoline and other generator fuels should be stored and transported in approved containers that are properly designed and marked for their contents, and vented. • Keep fuel containers away from flame producing and heat generating devices (such as the generator itself, water heaters, cigarettes, lighters, and matches). Do not smoke around fuel containers. Escaping vapors or vapors from spilled materials can travel long distances to ignition sources. • Do not store generator fuels in your home. Store fuels away from living areas.

Noise and Vibration Hazards • G  enerator engines vibrate and create noise. Excessive noise and vibration could cause hearing loss and fatigue that may affect job performance. • Keep portable generators as far away as possible from work areas and gathering spaces. • Wear hearing protection if this is not possible.

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The Growing Concern x May 2013

x 17

OLA Scholarship Golf Classic Lunch Sponsor

Commemorative Gift Sponsor

Closest To The Pin Contest Sponsor

Long Drive Contest Sponsor

Cornhole Sponsor

Trophies Sponsor

Driving Range Sponsor

Continental Breakfast Sponsor

Beverage Cart Sponsors

Long Putt Contest Sponsor

Sponsorship Opportunities We're not asking .... We're begging!! We are excited to be holding our 13th annual golf outing at Mallard Creek Golf Club on August 1, 2013. But we need your help to make it a success! This event helps to generate funding for our scholarship program, targeting qualified students interested in a vocation within the green industry.

Major/Contest Sponsorships Dinner (Top Level Sponsor) .............................................. $2,500 Hole-In-One Contest .............................................. Ins. Policy

Tee Sponsorships

Tee Sponsorship

................................................ $100

(Your company name will appear on a sign at your designated tee.)

Major Sponsorship Features:  Ability to display equipment/product at the event (TOP LEVEL SPONSORS ONLY)  Recognition during winners presentation at event.  Banner and signage recognition at event.  Recognition in the Growing Concern.  Company logo with website link will appear on the Golf Page of  Recognition and website link on all email event reminders.

Door Prize(s)

Please specify: ______________________________ Item(s) will be:  shipped to OLA  dropped off at OLA

Cash Donation $ ___________

Let us shop for you!

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Make Checks Payable and Send to: Ohio Landscape Association, 9238 Broadview Road, Broadview Heights, OH 44147 Sponsorships and Donations Also Taken Online: • 440-717-0002 • 1-800-335-6521 • Fax: 440-717-0004


OLA Scholarship Golf Classic August 1, 2013 Mallard Creek Golf Club Columbia Station, OH 4-person Scramble Shot gun start 9am

Each Golf Registration Includes: 18 Holes of Golf Golf Cart Driving Range Game Day Contests

Beverages Continental Breakfast Lunch Dinner


Register Today!


Before July 8th - $95 After July 8th - $105

Number of Golfers


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= $ ______

Don’t Golf? Join us for dinner!


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$ ______

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Acct. No. ________________________________________________________________________________________ Exp. Date_______ Name on Card ________________________________________________ Signature ___________________________________________ Billing Address + Zipcode for Card ___________________________________________________ Last Three Digits on Signature Line___________ Make checks payable and send to: Ohio Landscape Association, 9238 Broadview Rd, Broadview Hts., OH 44147 Register online, by phone, mail, or fax: Phone 440-717-0002 or 1-800-335-6521 • Fax 440-717-0004 •

Plant Of the Month

Jim Funai, COLP Cuyahoga Community College

Shelley Funai Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

Styphnolobium japonica

Pagoda Tree/Scholar Tree

Why is it that so many plants from the orient get the “japonica” or “japonicum” name even though they may not be native to Japan? This handsome and durable tree is one of those cases where being native to China and Korea did not seem to have bearing on the name and it got the japonica stamp anyways. This tree has long ties for use in the landscape in China and Korea, and, after being introduced into Japan, they were typically planted next to Buddhist temples, which are known as pagodas. So, perhaps, the japonica part is well earned after centuries of use finally leading to discovery by James Gordon of Kew Botanical Gardens in 1753. In fact, the tree he planted at Kew in 1762 still lives on the property today. Talk about a long-lived tree! This tree has a long history of use in China for medical purposes and is one of the 50 fundamental plants in Chinese Medicine. Stories surround the tree in China with claims that demons are drawn to the wood (reportedly based on a farmer who built his home of the very sturdy wood and his entire family died without known cause). Another famous story of the tree is that of the last emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Chong

20 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

Zhen, who hung himself in a Pagoda Tree that lived in the Forbidden City after peasants stormed the city in revolt in 1644. During my study abroad in China, I can’t remember seeing this tree inside the Forbidden City, but I do remember a stunning row of them just outside in Jing Shan Park. In America, the tree also has a long history, though many in our industry still are not familiar with it. In the late 1700s, two Quakers, Samuel and Joshua Pierce, began a collection of exotic trees (including a seedling Pagoda Tree) near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. In 1853, Pierre Samuel DuPont purchased the land from the Pierces to save their arboretum. This land would later become the now famous Longwood Gardens. So, what does this long storied tree look like? Quickest way to describe it is that it resembles a Black Locust (robinia pseudoacacia) without thorns and with a better habit. continued on page 22 Corporate Offices / Main Nursery 4534 Center Road Avon, Ohio 44011-0299 Email: Toll Free: 866-934-4435 / Fax: 440-934-5826


Distribution Centers

4825 Center Rd. / Avon, Oh. 44011-0299 Toll Free: 866-934-4435 ext. 2251 / Local: 440-934-3813 Fax: 440-934-4621 E-mail: Bill Owens, Manager


6981 Scioto Darby Creek Road / Hilliard, Oh. 43026 Toll Free: 888-593-5999 / Local: 614-777-9859 Fax: 614-777-1276 E-mail: Jack Johnston, Manager

The Growing Concern x May 2013

x 21

Plant Of the Month continued from pg 20 The tree has the ability to reach 40 to 50 feet tall and will reach out slightly less, to about 35 to 45 feet. It is often used as a street tree for its toughness in the face of drought, infertile soils, and compacted soils. This tree is in the Leguminaceae family and, as such, forms a symbiotic relationship with Rhizobia bacteria, which allow the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen into a form of nitrogen that the tree can use for food. One of the exciting parts of this tree is its late summer bloom, usually in August, with fragrant white inflorescences covering the tree. This is a time when the garden welcomes flowers from a shade tree with open arms, regardless of the color. The seedpods that follow could be considered more interesting than the flower itself. They resemble a string of beads with the pod sucking back in between each seed.

One of the exciting parts of this tree is its late summer bloom, usually in August, with fragrant white inflorescences covering the tree. worth a look is ‘Regent’ which will likely obtain the same size as the straight species, but reportedly can do so much faster. This cultivar was selected for its ability to grow faster and bloom sooner in life. Both cultivars share the species ability to tolerate difficult planting sites and are great options for the commercial setting where soils are terrible at best.

Borne in clusters, the lime green color jumps out from the deeper green compound leaves in the background. Seedpods are typically held late into the year until either dropped or eaten by birds by late December.

Add this long storied tree to your next landscape plan to show your clients a lovely summer blooming shade tree of scholarly proportions!

Shelley and I remember a time we were out snow plowing a residence and, after jumping out of the truck to shovel off the sidewalk, noticed little spots of florescent yellow along the drive. Our hearts dropped as we assumed we must have been leaking antifreeze, as what else could possibly stain snow that bright yellow color? Upon further investigation, we discovered that in each stain in the snow lay a seedpod that had dropped from the overhead Pagoda Tree that was being used as the street tree. The snow had leached the color out of the seedpod and stained it to look just like antifreeze. Good lesson in random winter identification features!

Jim Funai, COLP, is full time faculty at Cuyahoga Community College, a

The tree will grow from seed, as we have one of them slowly establishing at home. It does remind us of another interesting feature of this tree; it keeps a very olive green color to the stems for at least 5 years of growth, giving it a slight more winter interest. We have learned from many sources not to expect flowers in its first 10 years or so of life, so I suppose we will have to wait several more years for the florescent snow. Fall color is typically a pleasant yellow with leaflets falling off similar to a Honey Locust and making fall clean up much easier on the crew. One cultivar of note is ‘Pendula’ topping out under 15 feet tall and reaching about 10 feet wide at most. This form has strongly drooping branches with a rounded habit. Consider this as an alternative to the heavily (over) used weeping cherry. A second cultivar

22 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

PLANET accredited, associate of applied science in horticulture degree program, offering many paths to higher education to the green industry. Shelley Funai is a full time Senior Gardener at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio that offers a historic estate designed by Warren H. Manning and a beautiful manor house museum. Both are graduates of The Ohio State University. Contact Jim and Shelley via email at


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The Growing Concern x May 2013

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OLA Awards Scholarships To Six Students At the 16th Annual Landscape Ohio! Awards Program dinner, held on Thursday, March 21, 2013, the Ohio Landscape Association awarded scholarships to six worthy horticulture students in front of an audience of approximately 200 green industry professionals. One of the things the OLA is most proud of is our scholarship program. Scholarship winners are chosen based on their academic record, instructor recommendations, and financial need. Going on its thirteenth year, the OLA has had tremendous support for its Scholarship Golf Classic, which has provided the funding needed to create these scholarship opportunities. This year’s outing will be held on August 1st at Mallard Creek Golf Club in Columbia Station.

Joshua Henry Joshua is a graduate of James Ford Rhodes High School in Cleveland and is currently majoring in Sustainable Plant Systems at The Ohio State University Main Campus where he has a 3.9 GPA. He has been a volunteer with the Ohio State Extension Master Gardeners since 2003 and a volunteer at the Cleveland Botanical Garden since 2006. Joshua was honored with the CBG’s Teen Volunteer of the Year in both 2006 and 2011, and was featured in the 2011 edition of Who’s Who in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Amy Miller Amy Miller is majoring in Sustainable Plant Systems at The Ohio State University ATI and has a GPA of 3.9. She was a 2012 OFA Scholar and volunteered at the 2011 OFA Short course. Amy is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Robin Cannon Robin is currently a junior at Kent State University and will graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Design. She has been voted the President of the Horticulture Club since 2010 and has been on the President’s List once and the Dean’s List five times at Kent State. Robin is also the current Treasurer of the Aurora Shores Women’s Club.

24 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

Michael Davie Michael attends Columbus State Community College where he has a GPA of 3.3 and is majoring in Landscape Design/ Management. He is also a member of several green industry organizations and is very passionate about plants. In addition to being a full time student and learning what it takes to be successful in this industry, Michael has his own small landscape maintenance company.

Joan Moore Joan Moore is a senior at Springfield High School in Akron and attends Portage Lakes Career Center. She has a 3.28 GPA and plans to attend Cuyahoga Community College to major in Landscape Design.

Jordan Thorn Jordan Thorn is currently a freshman at Hocking College where he is majoring in Landscape Management with a GPA of 2.7. In 2011, he was a member of the National Technical Honor Society while attending Gates Mills Environmental Center. Jordan’s hobbies include hiking and camping and he is committed to finding a full-time job in the landscape industry after he graduates from college.










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The Growing Concern x May 2013

x 25

Perennial Focus

Bobbie Schwartz, FAPLD Bobbie’s Green Thumb

Tiarella Foamflower Spring is here and the trend of using native plants remains popular. Tiarella, a native perennial, epitomizes the May garden. My friend Angela Treadwell of Plants Nouveau writes a blog about new introductions and her life as a gardener. Last year, in one of her posts, she asked, “Who would have thought that delicate little foamflowers could help to increase declining bee populations? Up to ten different bee species visit tiarellas, so adding foamflowers to your … garden increases the pollen for bees. More bees means better pollination for necessary food crops.” Hardy in zones 3 to 8, Foamflower is a woodland wildflower with lobed, semi-evergreen foliage that has distinctive burgundy veins that are most noticeable in the spring. Although the foliage is somewhat similar to that of Heuchera, the flowers are very different. The twelve inch spikes display an array of tiny stars that are either white or pink. Tiarella prefers moist shade and humus-rich, well-drained soil, without which roots may rot during the winter. continued on page 28

26 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

…Foamflower is a woodland wildflower with lobed, semi-evergreen foliage that has distinctive burgundy veins that are most noticeable in the spring.

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Perennial Focus continued from pg 26 Tiarella cordifolia is a rhizomatous species so it is an excellent groundcover for small to medium sized areas, while Tiarella var.collina (formerly wherryi) is a clumping species. During the past ten years, Tiarella has become a favorite of hybridizers and there are now an infinite number of cultivars, many of which vary only slightly. I tend to favor those cultivars with strong venation like ‘Crow Feather’ (which also has more divided foliage and great fall color), ‘Sugar and Spice’, ‘Elizabeth Oliver’, ‘Jeepers Creepers’ and ‘Oregon Trail’. There is also a relatively new series developed by Charles Oliver called the River Series. All five of the selections are excellent groundcovers but ‘Octoraro’ does quite well in dry shade. The only problem is that no one locally is growing it. ‘Octoraro’ grows four to six inches tall and covers up to 24 inches of ground, making it the perfect, native substitute for English ivy and periwinkle in dry or moderately wet shade. Thick flower stalks hold mauve-pink buds that open to creamy, light pink blooms from early May to July. The medium maroon foliage markings become more pronounced as the foliage matures each season. Early spring bulbs, ferns and woodland ephemerals, like bluebells, will grow through the foliage of Tiarella to create lovely spring vignettes. Tiarella is also an excellent ground cover beneath Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) and Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica) in dry shade locations. In slightly moister soils, summer blooming perennials like Dicentra eximia/formosa (Bleeding Heart) and low growing, clumping grasses make interesting companions for foamflowers. Aren’t you glad you know more about Foamflower now?

Bobbie Schwartz, FAPLD, owner of Bobbie’s Green Thumb in Shaker Hts., Ohio, is a landscape designer, consultant, free-lance writer, and lecturer whose specialties are perennial gardens and four-season landscapes. In addition to being an Ohio Landscape Association (OLA) member, she is an active member of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association (ONLA) and Perennial Plant Association (PPA). Bobbie is a Past President of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). Bobbie currently serves as chair of the ONLA Plant Selection Committee. Bobbie can be reached at (216) 752-9449.

28 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association


September 11, 2013

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Learn to plan, build, and maintain ponds and water features with this one-day, classroom setting, pond clinic! This class will cover the tools, tips, and the science behind making every pond project a success. This clinic is designed for company owners, landscape salespersons and designers, and field technicians. Topics covered will include:

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Special Price! ~ Register one person from your company and each additional person from the company is only an additional $69! Cancellations made 8 to 14 days prior to the course start date will be subject to a 30% cancellation fee. NO refunds will be issued for cancellations 7 days or less prior to the course, no shows, or cancellations on the day of the course. If, for any reason, the course is cancelled, enrollees will be notified, and fees refunded in full.

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Make checks payable and send to: Ohio Landscape Association, 9238 Broadview Rd, Broadview Hts., OH 44147 The Growing Concern x May 2013 Register online, by mail, by phone or by fax: Phone 440-717-0002 or 1-800-335-6521 • Fax 440-717-0004 •

x 29

Can’t Pay Your Taxes? New Options From the IRS By Mark Henricks Perhaps the scariest thing about doing a tax return is worrying that the final number will be more than your business – or you – can pay. If that happens in 2013, it’s not as scary as it has been in past years. Thanks to some new tax policies and low interest rates, most taxpayers who can’t pay their taxes on April 15 this year have some workable options. From simple extensions and installment plans to agreements that could drastically reduce the amount you have to pay, the Internal Revenue Service offers several choices for people who owe more than they have. And, according to IRS records, many thousands of taxpayers every year request and receive various kinds of assistance with paying taxes. Based on IRS documents and discussions with IRS workers and tax experts, here’s what you should do if you can’t pay your taxes:

1. File a return. This is the most important thing you should do. It will cost you much more if you don’t file than if you file and don’t pay. Penalties for not filing are 5% of the unpaid amount due per month. By comparison, the failure-to-pay penalty is only one-half of 1% per month. 2. Pay as much as you can, even if it’s not the entire amount. If you can pay as much as 90% of the total amount owed, you can even avoid any penalty by filing a Form 4868 request for a six-month extension of the time to file. Bear in mind: Form 4868 doesn’t give you extra time to pay, just extra time to file. 3. If you simply need a small amount of additional time to pay what you owe, you should contact the Internal Revenue Service. You can do this by calling 800-829-1040 or by completing an Online Payment Agreement application at You may be granted an additional 60 to 120 days to pay. You will still, however, have to pay some penalties and interest. 4. Look into an installment plan with the IRS. While the IRS is not a bank, the agency does set up installment plans with thousands of taxpayers every year. And when you agree to pay by installment, the penalty on unpaid taxes is reduced by half, to 0.25%.

30 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

IRS Form 9465 is the one you fill out to set up an installment plan. You can submit this form with your return or separately. If you owe less than $10,000, have been current on taxes until now, and request three years or less to pay what you owe, the IRS is required to agree to the plan. You can even set the amount you want to pay every month. continued on page 32

Mark your

calendar! 46th Annual Summer Field Day Tuesday, August 13, 2013 Join us for a day of Natural Connections – nurseries, landscape design, cultivated gardens, conservancy – surrounded by the beauty of nature at The Holden Arboretum, featuring the arboretum’s new Rhododendron Discovery Garden and Tree Allée. The new 4.5-acre garden was designed to showcase rhododendrons, the role Northeast Ohio has played in developing new hybrids and how home gardeners can care for these plants in their own landscapes.

New. Every Day. For more information on exhibiting or attending, contact Annette Howard, NGLCO Executive Director Phone: 440.241.7969 Fax: 440.259.2378 •

Presented by Nursery Growers of Lake County Ohio, Inc. Hosted by The Holden Arboretum In affiliation with OSU Extension, USDA and Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association

continued from pg 30 If you need more time, you can request up to 72 months, although this is not guaranteed. You’ll also have to pay a fee of $105, which can be reduced to $52 if your monthly payments are automatically drafted from a bank account. The current interest rate, which changes quarterly, is just 3%. This is considerably lower than most credit cards and competitive with bank loans. You can use Form 9465 if you owe up to $50,000 in taxes. If the amount is more than $10,000 the IRS is not required to agree, but the agency’s current policy is to approve amounts up to $25,000. If you owe more than $50,000, you may still be able to set up an installment plan, but you’ll have to fill out Form 433, which is a financial statement describing your assets and income. The IRS will have to be satisfied you can’t pay from your assets, and perhaps that you can’t borrow the money, before agreeing to an installment plan.

A Fresh Start An IRS program dubbed “Fresh Start” is the agency’s attempt to make it easier for people to pay their taxes. After starting in 2011, the program was revised last year to help taxpayers owing less than $50,000 get approved for installment plans and provide for longer repayment terms.

Payroll Tax Problems Payroll taxes represent a special problem for business owners. Employers are generally required to file employee payroll taxes quarterly and pay them monthly or semi-weekly. However, during tough economic times, notes Mary Lou Gervie, an accountant with Watkins Meegan in Bethesda, Maryland, the choice may be paying salaries, rent and other pressing bills or payroll taxes. Legally, payroll taxes still must be paid. Usually when a small business doesn’t pay payroll taxes, it’s because the business lacks the money and its credit lines are fully utilized. However, Gervie says business owners should borrow the money elsewhere, from themselves or family or friends if necessary, rather than not pay them.

Thanks to some new tax policies and low interest rates, most taxpayers who can’t pay their taxes on April 15 this year have some workable options.

Some Fresh Start changes were aimed at allowing more small businesses to participate in the program. For instance, the amount of tax a small business can owe while still qualifying for an installment arrangement with little or no financial information was increased from $10,000 to $25,000. And a business can get 24 months to pay if payments are made by direct debit. Taxpayers who owe more than they can pay under an installment agreement still have the option of an Offer in Compromise. This is an agreement that lets a taxpayer off the hook for less than the amount owed. The taxpayer has to show the IRS, based on income and assets, that he or she can’t pay the amount in a single sum or even with an installment plan lasting 10 years, which is the statutory limit for tax collection. The Offer in Compromise isn’t necessarily easy. The IRS wants taxpayers to offer the net value of their assets plus whatever income the agency determines isn’t necessary for living expenses for one or two years. Generally only about one in three Offers in Compromise are approved by the agency, but if it works, it can significantly reduce the amount you ultimately have to pay.

32 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

“There is a huge cost to not paying the payroll taxes,” she says. For depositing these taxes even one day, late the penalty is 2% of the total tax due. After five days, the penalty increases to 5%. After 15 days, it’s 10%.

While the business owes the taxes, the IRS will often try to identify a “responsible person” - typically the owner - who will be held personally liable, Gervie says. The business may be able to set up an installment plan, similar to the ones used to pay income taxes. To qualify for this, the business will have to submit Form 433-B. If the business can’t pay within a reasonable time, the IRS typically files a tax lien on its assets.

Limits of Relief While the Fresh Start program can help many taxpayers, the dollar amounts of automatic installment agreements are generally too low to help businesses that are behind on payroll taxes, Gervie says. And the 9465 program won’t necessarily work for any taxpayer owing more than $50,000. Bankruptcy may be an option. In some cases, a tax debt may be discharged through bankruptcy. Nevertheless, for business owners who are looking at an amount larger than they can pay this tax season, there are many options to consider. Perhaps the most important one is to increase the amount of withholding or estimated tax payments they make for next year, so the problem won’t be repeated in 2014.

Advertising Index

39 ABC Equipment Rental & Sales 9 Bowers Insurance Agency 35 Chagrin Valley Nurseries 27 Davis Tree Farm & Nursery 23 Huggett Sod Farm 27, 38 Irrigation Supply 15 John Deere Landscapes 23 Klyn Nurseries 37 Lakeside Sand & Gravel 6 M&M Certified Welding 17 Mason Structural Steel 35 Medina Sod Farms 25 MRLM Landscape Materials 31 NGLCO 21 O’Reilly Equipment 11 Ohio Mulch 17 Power Equipment Distributors 25 R&J Farms 15 RCPW/Sohar’s 6 Shearer Equipment 2 Unilock 13 Valley City Supply 23, 35 VanCuren Tree Service 21 Willoway WDC

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The Growing Concern x May 2013

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Stand Out

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By earning your Landscape Industry Certified Technician certification, you send a message to your clients and/or employers that you’ve met and achieved the industry standard, and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of all the facets of your job. Landscape Industry Certified Technician Written & Hands-on Test Dates Registration deadline for the hands-on test is June 5, 2013. August 7 & 8, 2013 - WRITTEN TEST (Ohio State ATI in Wooster) August 8, 2013 - HANDS-ON TEST (Ohio State ATI in Wooster) REGISTER TODAY! Deadline to register for the hands-on test is June 5, 2013. For additional information about the test, registration information or study materials, visit, or call The Ohio State ATI at 330-287-7511 or 330-287-0100.

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Planet Day Of Service Earth Day was Monday, April 22 and so was PLANET’s Day of Service. This year, the Ohio Landscape Association took on a community service project in conjunction with PLANET’s Day of Service and Project Evergreen. Members and friends of the OLA pooled their resources, as well as their time and materials, to install a landscape at Valor Home in Akron, Ohio. The project included plantings and a Unilock retaining wall.

Sandy Munley Executive Director Ohio Landscape Association

Valor Home is a 30-bed rehabilitative (transitional) home for previously homeless veterans. It is a place where veterans can come to receive the help they need and learn the skills to become self-sufficient again. This is a new construction project funded by grants and matching donations, including in-kind donations...such as the landscape. Valor Home plans to open its doors in May of this year. A huge “thank you” goes out to those who helped with the project. Companies who donated labor included Edenscape, Empaco Equipment, Graf ’s Landscape and Design, Impact Grounds Maintenance, J.A.G. Lawn Maintenance & Landscape, Lawn & Landscape Magazine, Ohio Landscape Association, Project Evergreen, and Vizmeg Landscape. While everyone’s participation and help was vital, I would like to say a special thank you to John Gomersal, CLT of J.A.G. Lawn Maintenance & Landscape and Chris of Edenscape. Both John and Chris provided the expertise in the construction of the wall and John also provided his skidsteer and compactor. Without them, we could not have built the wall.

Thank you again to all that participated! It is awesome to see what can be accomplished with a group effort such as this.

Plant material was supplied by Davis Tree Farm & Nursery, Gilson Gardens, Lake County Nursery, Herman Losely & Son, and Willoway Nurseries. continued on page 38

36 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association


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Directions continued from pg 36 Retaining wall stone was donated by Unilock Ohio, mulch by The Sagamore Companies, topsoil by Kurtz Bros., and aggregates by Perrin Asphalt and Concrete. Trucking was provided by S.A.M. Landscaping, J.F.D. Landscapes, Suncrest Gardens, and Mason Structural Steel. Even I got into trucking and have learned that I have a “30 shrub” mini van – just barely! We were very lucky to have a beautiful day to work on. The sun was out and it was around 65 to 70 degrees out. In addition to the work completed on April 22, Vizmeg Landscapes spread straw over the site this past fall to prevent erosion and James Arch organized the Day of Service for OLA. Davey Tree will provide and plant 11 deciduous trees on the grounds sometime in the future. Thank you again to all that participated! It is awesome to see what can be accomplished with a group effort such as this.

Save The Date The OLA has partnered with the Chagrin River Watershed Partners and other organizations to provide training on new or expanded business opportunities for installation and maintenance of stormwater management solutions. The date of this training will be July 9 with a focus on residential practices and October 1 with a focus on commercial properties. Each day will include training on installation and maintenance of these practices, a tour of different types of stormwater best management practices, as well as information on the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District stormwater program and fee credits.


The Ohio Landscape Association is delighted to welcome the following new members to the association: ASSOCIATE MEMBER:


State Sharpening, Inc.

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10155 Broadview Road, Suite 1 Broadview Hts., OH 44147 (440) 838-8437 Scott Bily

38 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

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38525 Chester Road (90 & 611) Avon, Ohio 44011 440-934-7368

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The Growing Concern Magazine - May 2013  

The Growing Concern magazine - May 2013 issue

The Growing Concern Magazine - May 2013  

The Growing Concern magazine - May 2013 issue