Page 1

Boxwood Burnout

Top 10 Grasses with Style


you’re invited to our

OPEN HOUSE Wednesday, July 24 8am - 4pm

Join us as we celebrate 50 years! We will be hosting an open house at our St. Charles Nursery. Enjoy tours, food, and fun!

Earn a bonus raffle ticket! Visit by July 21 to receive a bonus

raffle ticket for one of our awesome prize packages! We have prizes for sports fans, nature enthusiasts, whiskey aficionados, and of course plant lovers! All customers, vendors, and friends are welcome. No registration necessary. Visit the website for more details about the day’s events.

Midwest Groundcovers - St. Charles 6n800 il rt. 25 in st. charles, il 60174 MIDWESTGROUNDCOVERS.COM | 847-742-1790

July 2019

CONTENTS Excellence In Landscape Awards Project


FOCUS: Summer Field Day 2019 Summer Field Day Guide 10 It’s back and ready to shine! Summer Field Day Show Map & Exhibitors 14 Who’s here and where you can find them Top 10 Ornamental Grasses with Style The most attractive grasses for landscape use


What the Heck Happened to the Boxwood Yes, it was a tough winter, but really




Shrubs: Proper Pruning for Better Blooms Getting into the weeds of work processes

Production, Planning and Execution 44 Understand the Importance of Systems Management

Summer Field Day Rides Again 34 Los asistentes al Día de Campo de Verano 38


Diseases & Pests 54 Viburnum leaf beetle and tar spot Member Profile 56 Before and After Landscape Design Revisiting Your Plant Palette 62 Hakonechloa

On the cover... An aerial view of a previous Summer Field Day. Lift provided courtesy of Rentalmax.

The Landscape Contractor July 2019


38 3


DEPARTMENTS ILCA Calendar From Where I Stand President’s Message Classified Ads Advertisers Index Photo Credits ILCA Awards Program Rick Reuland Heather Prince Before & After Midwest Groundcovers

Calendar 4 5 6 58 61

AUGUST August 1, 2019 Summer Field Day Goodmark Nurseries Wonder Lake August 29, 2019 Turf Education Day (TED) Chicago Botanic Garden Glencoe

8-9, 30-36 28-31 54 56 62

The official publication of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA), The Landscape Contractor is dedicated to educating, advising and informing members of this industry and furthering the goals of the Association. The Landscape Contractor carries news and features relating to landscape contracting, maintenance, design and allied interests. Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited material and reserves the right to edit any article or advertisement submitted for publication. Publication reserves right to refuse advertising not in keeping with goals of Association.


Volume 60, Number 7. The Landscape Contractor (ISSN # 0194-7257, USPS # 476-490) is published monthly for $75.00 per year by the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association, 2625 Butterfield Road, Ste. 104S, Oak Brook, IL 60523. Periodicals postage paid at Oak Brook, IL and additional mailing offices. Printed in USA.

September 12, 2019 ILCA Golf Outing Village Links of Glen Ellyn Glen Ellyn

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Landscape Contractor, 2625 Butterfield Road, Ste 104S, Oak Brook, IL 60523. DISPLAY ADVERTISING SALES: Association Publishing Partners, Inc., Ph. (630) 637-8632 Fax (630) 637-8629 email: CLASSIFIED ADS, CIRCULATION AND SUBSCRIPTION: ILCA (630) 472-2851 Fax (630) 472-3150 PUBLISHER/EDITORIAL OFFICE: Rick Reuland,, Naperville, IL 60540 Ph. (630) 637-8632 PRODUCT DISCLAIMER: The Illinois Landscape Contractors Association, its Board of Directors, the Magazine Committee, ILCA Staff, The Landscape Contractor and its staff, neither endorse any products nor attest to the validity of any statements made about products

ILCA Staff

Magazine Staff

Executive Director Scott Grams (630) 472-2851

Rick Reuland Publisher/Advertising Sales (630) 637-8632

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Debbie Rauen Advertising Sales (817-501-2403) debbie.landscapecontractor@

Events Manager Terre Houte Office Manager Alycia Nagy


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Becke Davis

at dotynu m to recei ve our

Senior Writer Patrice Peltier

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Membership & Marketing Manager Marissa Stubler

Feature Writer


Feature Writer

Meta Levin

Shade TreeS • OrnamenTalS • evergreenS • ShrubS

ILCA 2625 Butterfield Road Ste. 104S Oak Brook, IL 60523 Nina Koziol

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Feature Writer Heather Prince


Feature Writer @ILCAlandscape


The Landscape Contractor July 2019

From Where I Stand — On May 20, 2019, Lori Lightfoot was sworn in as the

45th Mayor of Chicago. To say her election was a surprise is an understatement. She had the decked stacked against her on many traditional qualities one usually finds in Chicago mayoral candidates. She was female, she was diminutive, she was openly gay, she had zero political experience, and she was certainly not part of The Machine. She was barred from the first debate because she was not a frontrunner. At the time, she was barely receiving 3% of the vote. She was going up against a crowded field of names, many who had haunted Chicago politics for years. She was underfunded and undermanned. She was a longshot and an underdog. After the special election, where she cruised to victory in every single Chicago precinct, she stood alone as Chicago’s first female African-American, openly gay mayor. Her election exemplified the progressive shift seen in Chicago over the past two decades. She didn’t win because she is different, she won because she is a fighter. She came out bare-knuckled in the campaign, which matched the tone most Chicagoans expect with their mayoral candidates. She didn’t use squishy or cuddly rhetoric to win votes. She spoke hard truths and she got into the mud. This has clearly continued in her early days in City Hall. She infamously torched Alderman Ed Burke in one of her first city council meetings. Her clap back reaffirmed that Lightfoot was drawing battle lines — you are either for her and the City of Chicago or you are against it. She faces tremendous battles, mostly budget-related, and her options and margin for error are limited. Yet she issued a clarion call; the days of machine politics are over. It will be curious to see how much power Lightfoot cedes back to the City Council. For better or for worse, her predecessors, Mayor Richard M. Daley and Mayor Rahm Emanuel had autocratic leadership styles that wrestled control away from the aldermen. Chicago is designed to be run by a mayor who answers to a powerful City Council. In reality, our most transformational change has come from mayors who bucked that trend. The idea is that the City Council better represent the diverse people and neighborhoods of Chicago more than a single individual. It just doesn’t always work out that way. Chicago’s political history is littered with aldermen who put themselves before their constituents. ILCA had a great relationship with Mayor Daley. I personally met him on at least a half dozen occasions. Once, Past President Dan Wanzung and I were summonsed for a private meeting about the state of the landscape industry in the Mayor’s personal office. Mayor Daley simply loved landscaping. He loved its beauty and its ability to soften and transform Chicago’s concrete jungle. He invested millions into landscape and public improvement projects that showcased the best work of many of our landscape contractor and landscape architecture firms. Mayor Daley also had boundless vision. He would talk about 45 different ideas in 30 minutes. This leadership style, although exhausting, is inspiring. There are many people in government who care deeply about policy and budgets, they just have no idea where they want to go. With Mayor Daley, there was never a doubt. Under Mayor Daley we had a robust Department of the Environment. He was a frequent reader of The Landscape Contractor magazine and staff members would find clips from its pages tucked

into manila folders with notes that read, “Do this.” They even had a Landscape Coordinator in the Mayor’s Office itself! What an incredible testament to his love of the landscape industry. I feel Mayor Daley’s decision to retire had nothing to do with his wife Maggie’s sickness and eventual passing. Mayor Daley knew how much Maggie loved the City and she would’ve wanted him to keep fighting. Mayor Daley stepped down because the city was in financial ruin. The hardest job in politics is to tell a dreamer he’s broke. Chicago’s stance on landscaping changed dramatically when Mayor Emanuel took office. I never met Mayor Emanuel, but we met with his staff often in Washington DC when he was a congressman. They were direct, well-researched, and did not accept BS. My guess is that Mayor Emanuel was the same. He was not afraid to run Chicago with the same iron fist Mayor Daley used, but Mayor Emanuel’s vision was less clear. He faced steep financial shortfalls amplified by the recession. Within a few months of Mayor Emanuel taking over, ILCA had a joint meeting with ILASLA and Chicago’s new Sustainability Coordinator. She was trendy and young and whip smart and wore cool eyeglasses. She handed us a big, thick report that detailed Chicago’ new sustainable action plan. We flipped through it during the meeting as she talked about water management strategies, LEED certification, and green infrastructure. Finally, I stopped her and asked, “Where is all the landscaping?” She said, “Landscaping is part of Chapter 6.” The Landscape Coordinator was gone and a few months later, the Department of the Environment along with him. If historians are looking at what Mayor Emanuel valued, he did value tourists. Many signature landscape installations were completed during his tenure whether The 606, Maggie Daley Park, or The River Walk. These projects help draw more tourists to the city and pump revenue into a beleaguered tax base. Now, we will wait and see what type of approach Mayor Lightfoot takes with landscaping and green space. That is usually not a major campaign issue so we always have to wait and see what’s behind the curtain. If one were to make an inference about how she will value landscaping and green infrastructure projects, I’d look to her positions on social and environmental justice. Environmental justice is a relatively new concept in urban planning and landscape architecture. In short, it’s the idea that poorly served communities do not receive their fair share of environmental benefits. Major cities are usually segregated by race and socio-economic class. This means green spaces, parks, landscape improvements, edible and ornamental gardens, etc. are also segregated. Higher-end parts of the city receive a disproportionate number of environmental benefits and have the time and resources to enjoy them. Landscape professionals are biased when it comes to landscaping. We feel it is intrinsically and fundamentally good. Landscaping make a positive impact on society when done correctly in almost all cases. Before terms like conservation, sustainable, and, now environmental justice came into vogue, landscaping was judged on its form, function, and aesthetics. It was not asked to serve a higher purpose. That has changed. When landscaping is viewed through the lens of environmental justice, landscaping is no longer neutral or universally good. It has to pull its own weight. This isn’t a new dichotomy. Landscape professionals know that when landscaping threatens infrastructure, landscaping almost always loses. People love trees, except when they buckle pavement,

Justice for All

The Landscape Contractor July 2019


From Where I Stand —



crack pipes, or fall on fences. People love parks until they run out of parking. People love their yards, but love massive houses blasted to the fence line even more. Since environmental justice focuses on the distribution of assets, the landscaping amenity must demonstrate its value and explain how it helps underserved communities. Chicago has a map of tree deficient Wards in the city and, surprise, surprise, most are on the south and west sides. My guess is that a mayor like Lori Lightfoot will want to see that change. Landscape contractors and architects will need to justify and defend not only the “what,” but the “where.” There is the dark, underlying concern that aesthetic landscaping won’t make the cut. When dealing with limited resources, the environmental activities that improve quality of life the most will take top priority. For example, who has time for flower beds when there is lead in the drinking water. Landscaping will need to reframe its value proposition to why it helps people whether their mental and physical health or by making their communities more desirable for financial investment. “Because it’s pretty” is probably not a strong enough pitch in today’s day and age. The good thing is that landscaping has the tools to make that pitch. We have the studies, the talking points, and the central arguments. Exhaustive research with corresponding white papers have been written for years on the value humans derive from landscaping. Those are the facts and figures that resonate as a new day dawns in Chicago and across the country in progressive cities. This will include Kathleen Wolf’s study on how landscaping increases consumer spending or some of the groundbreaking work of Professor Bill Sullivan down at U of I about how landscaping can transform blighted communities and improve our mental health. Those are the arguments that will need to be made as landscape professionals elbow for our seat at the table. Chicago’s city motto is “Urbs in Horto” which means “City in a Garden.” Mayor Daley took that motto literally and tried to turn every street corner into a landscaped paradise. Mayor Emanuel used that motto as a tourist slogan and used old and new parks to draw even more people to Chicago. My guess is that Mayor Lightfoot will once again interpret that motto in her own way and focus on making sure those gardens work for her city and all its people. To me, if environmental justice has a symbol, it’s Crown Fountain in Millennium Park. Yes, that’s the one with the faces that occasionally spit water on giggling kids and unsuspecting tourists. Go there on any summer day and you will see thousands of people delighting in that public space. People of all colors, creeds, languages, and socio-economic backgrounds frolicking against a backdrop of 50 foot tall faces as diverse as the city itself. Sitting near its edge and watching people interact with that garden space, you better understand environmental justice and how a maverick like Lightfoot was elected. The park allows us to ponder where Chicago has been, where Chicago is going, or maybe just allows us a moment to forget about life for a while. All of us, regardless of our backgrounds, deserve that.

Scot Grams June 18, 2019


The Landscape Contractor July 2019

President’s Message — “People love to be nestled,” wrote Jan Johnsen in her book Heaven is a

Garden. Ms. Johnsen speaks about the requests to design smaller areas within a garden to create a specific intimate and warm feeling. While outdoor living spaces tend to be all about entertaining guests and family, these secluded retreats provide a quiet place to relax, read, and unwind. We are becoming increasingly familiar with these kinds of private getaways as we get closer to cultures from different parts of the world. Representation and cultural diversity are a fact in our current lives —which strengthens our country. In the landscape industry the moment has come: I am responsible for addressing our members in English and for the first time in Spanish. I am honored and I humbly accept being the first Latino president of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) now with a membership of more than 800 strong. Our mission is to enhance the professionalism and capabilities of members by providing leadership, education, representation and services; while promoting environmental awareness and the value of the landscape industry and “Change is the essence of our industry.” I intend to serve —with the example and dedication I learned from previous presidents ­— with passion, patience, perseverance and humor that characterizes me. I will continue to promote and maintain the internal development of the association for the benefit of our members and serve as an example for all those aspiring to be entrepreneurs who are currently participants in this industry. I commit to encourage them to take the next step and show them that they can! With confidence in the positive response, the work of hundreds of volunteers, and with the energy and enthusiasm that characterizes our association, the change will continue to be a part of our existence... In an environment in which the only constant... is change itself. Let’s do it together! I invite all to participate in the many ILCA sponsored events that take place throughout the year. Hopefully I can see you and welcome all personal introductions.


Jose Garcia Natural Creations Landscaping, Inc. (815) 724-0991


Donna Vignocchi Zych ILT Vignocchi, Inc. (847) 487-5200


Scott McAdam, Jr. McAdam Landscaping, Inc. (708) 771-2299

Immediate Past President Tom Lupfer Lupfer Landscaping (708) 352-2765


Eric Adams Russo Power Equipment (847) 233-7811 Jennifer Fick Wilson Nurseries and Landscape Supply (847) 683-3700

José M. García President of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association.

Allan Jeziorski Hartman Landscape (708) 403-8433

Jeff Kramer Kramer Tree Specialists, Inc, (630) 293-5444

Dean MacMorris Night Light, Inc. (630) 627-1111

Kevin Manning K & D Enterprise Landscape Management, Inc. (815) 725-0758 Ashley Marrin Bret-Mar Landscape Management Group, Inc. (708) 301-8160 Mark Utendorf Emerald Lawn Care, Inc. (847) 392-7097

“A la gente le gusta hacer nido.” reflexiona Jan Johnsen, en su libro

Heaven is a Garden Es lo que pretende cuando le solicitan diseñar una área buscando crear esa sensación acogedora. Los espacios exteriores tienden a ser áreas de recepción y entretenimiento, pero también pueden ser ámbitos que nos proporcionan la oportunidad especial de descansar, leer o de relajamiento. La representación y la diversidad cultural son un hecho presente en nuestra vida —con mayor fuerza en nuestro país. Para nuestra industria del paisajismo llegó el momento: soy yo el responsable de emitir el primer mensaje en español. Me honra, y acepto con humildad ser el primer presidente de origen latino de la Asociación de Contratistas de la Industria del Paisajismo (ILCA) que representa a más de 800 empresas en Illinois. La misión de nuestra Asociación es mejorar el profesionalismo y las capacidades de los miembros mediante liderazgo, educación, representación y servicios; y promover la conciencia ambiental y el valor de la industria del Paisajismo. Y es así por sus objetivos que, la esencia de nuestra industria… es el cambio. Me propongo servir —con el ejemplo y la dedicación que aprendí de los anteriores presidentes— con pasión, paciencia, perseverancia y humor que me caracterizan, promover y mantener el desarrollo interno de la asociación en beneficio de nuestros Miembros y servir como ejemplo para todos aquellos empresarios potenciales que trabajan ya en esta industria e impulsarlos para dar el siguiente paso y enseñarles que ¡sí se puede! Con la confianza en la respuesta positiva, el trabajo de cientos de voluntarios y con el dinamismo y entusiasmo que caracteriza a nuestra asociación, el cambio seguirá siendo parte de nuestra existencia… En un entorno en que lo único constante... es el cambio... ¡hagámoslo juntos…! Los invito asistir a los eventos que la asociación ofrecerá este año y espero poder saludarlos personalmente. José M. García, Presidente de la Asociación de Contratistas de Paisajismo de Illinois.

The Landscape Contractor July 2019


Mariani Landscape • Lake Bluff Craftsman Cottage

This residential project was designed with

the idea of family in mind. To complement the architectural style, the Landscape Architect created a casual, but organized, look. An outdoor kitchen, fireplace, patio space and open lawn were incorporated and continue to be maintained for the family to enjoy. When construction began, this site had significant flooding problems and bad soils. An extensive drain tile system was created to direct water away from the home. The bad soils were removed and non-clay soils were brought in to help plant viability and drainage.

The fireplace and grill island were two essential design items for the client. The fireplace is the center piece of the terrace and is used year round. The grill island creates visual separation from the garage court which softens the expansive driveway. The grill island also includes a sink basin that doubles as a cooler during large gatherings and can be covered when not in use. This landscape was designed as a space for family, friends and neighbors alike to enjoy. The outdoor kitchen, fireplace, patio and lawn provide endless entertaining opportunities and will continue to do so for years to come.

The Landscape Contractor July 2019


Summer Field Day 2019 — Meta L. Levin

Summer Field Day (SFD)

attendees will find a whole lot that is new and exciting, says committee co-chair, Sheri Lundell. Scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Thursday, August 1, 2019, SFD 2019 promises to be an action-packed day, with educational opportunities, exhibitors, networking opportunities, games, food and music. “We are bringing back some of the fun aspect,” says co-chair, David Burton. Even the logo has been updated. It’s now a red, green, yellow and blue circle, with the words, “Summer Field Day” surrounding an icon of the sun, reminiscent of a sunny summer day. It was designed by Burton’s daughter, Samantha Burton, who has been on the committee for 10 years. She will be helping with registration this year. In place of a few large lectures, SFD 2019 will feature 15 to 20-minute interactive education sessions, including walk-abouts or tours, taking advantage of the expertise available from the vendors, as well as the location: Goodmark Nurseries in Wonder Lake, IL. “It is beautiful out there,” says Lundell, a sales executive for Ron Clesen’s Ornamental Plants, Inc. (RCOP). Goodmark has two locations: Wonder Lake and Union, IL. SFD 2019 will be held at its Wonder Lake facility, home to 500 acres with a diverse array of ball and burlap trees,


which they are excited to show off, says Kenny Fiantago, Goodmark’s senior sales representative and a member of the SFD Committee. “We’re planning field tours, so attendees can get a grasp of everything that we do.” One of SFD’s biggest attractions is the opportunity to get up close and personal with vendors, try out the equipment and talk with growers about their products. To attract some of the top notch vendors in the business, a subcommittee headed by JR Warner, Dave Burton and Brian Jones has been working on not only spreading the word, but ensuring that such basic issues as easy move-in and move-out of the site has been facilitated, as well as any help moving around. Burton, a veteran SFD committee member and director of product support for three states for Ditch Witch Midwest, is co-chair with Lundell this year. Initially hesitant about the new schedule, which calls for Summer Field Day to alternate years with Summer Snow Days, Burton now finds himself pleased about it. “Summer Field Day is a huge draw on people’s time and resources,” he says. Many landscape contractors bring employees to the event, which can be expensive. Allowing for a year off helps the budget, says Burton. In addition to the varied educational offerings, attendees will find changes in the food. Four smaller dining tents, (continued on page 12)

The Landscape Contractor July 2019


The trees you plant today will be growing long after you depart LEAVE A GOODMARK! Shade Trees


Container Trees




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Host of 2019

SUMMER FIELD DAY The Premier Outdoor Landscape Event

8920 Howe Rd. Wonder Lake, IL 60097


18101 IL 176 Union, IL 60180

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420 Nolen Drive South Elgin, IL 60177 Phone: 630-883-3320 Fax: 847-695-9105

North Branch 26354 N US Highway 12 Wauconda, IL 60084 Phone: 847-469-0120 Fax: 847-526-8054


Orland Park & South Elgin Monday - Friday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Mar - Nov) 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Dec - Feb) 7:30 AM - NOON Sat (Mar - Nov)


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(continued from page 10) scattered throughout the SFD show area, will replace the single large tent that formerly served to draw participants away from where they really wanted to be – near vendors, demonstration areas and educational opportunities, says Warner. Meal selections have been changed, as well. Now, attendees can chow down on their choice of Italian, Mexican or barbecue fare, all available for longer periods of time during the show. The smaller dining tents also will provide places out of the sun that attendees can use for networking. Speaking of networking, the committee is planning an hour and a half of casual networking time, from 2:30 to 4 pm, at the end show. Serenaded by Breezy Rodio & the Coolers, a Chicago based Reggae band, the casual, friendly time also will feature food and beer. The show’s catering company, Salerno Catering, will bring its truck right up to The Tree Connection’s booth to dispense the beer, supplied by a local craft brewery, Whiskey Hill Brewing Co., Westmont, IL. They will offer Whiskey Hill One and Whiskey Hill Two craft brews, as well as Miller Lite. “We are working to make things fresh and different,” says Burton. Warner, a district sales manager for Ariens, says the committee envisions the walk-about tours to be patterned after the popular ones on the iLandscape show floor, but more interactive. “We’re coordinating this with the education subcommittee,” he says. Lundell, too, is excited about changes to the educational offerings. “Setting it up this way avoids the mass exodus from the show floor,” she says. “We want more landscape contractors to bring people out to the show. We want them to be able to learn something while they are there.” In a nod to sustainability, participants will receive reusable Summer Field Day water bottles in their swag bags, which also will contain other goodies, courtesy of the show vendors. The committee will provide stations with five-gallon water jug dispensers throughout the show where attendees can refill their bottles, Lundell says. The committee is also planning raffles, games, and a photobooth, much like the ones many have encountered at weddings and other celebratory events. The booth will have props, which attendees can use to dress up their pictures. “I’m excited about how the committee has come together,” says Lundell. “I can’t wait to see how the attendees like it.”

The Landscape Contractor July 2019

Shawnee 24 Planter, LS 9014 with Old Bronze Finish, LS 0032

Design: Steven R. Williams Landscape Design, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Planting: K.L. Blankenship, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Fine planters and garden ornaments for legendary gardens

Shawnee 24 Planter, LS 9014 with Old Bronze Wash, LS 0032




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Summer Field Day 2019 —

Don’t forget to Register online at





Clesen's 111





Chicagoland Grows,Inc.






United Label-& SATO

Russo Power Equipment


A i s l e

Turtle Creek Nursery

Listerman & Associates 209





Arlington Power Equipment


Dining Tent C


Ron-Clesen Ornamental Plants 304

Green-Glen Nursery 302

A i s l e



Vermeer Midwest

Premium Travertine 411

Midwest Groundcovers-& Midwest 309 Trading Harrell's DeVroomen LLC 307a Garden NYP Products 307 Corp. 406

Bartlett HydroBlox Tree Midwest Experts



Burris Equipment



A i s l e



409 B

Dining Tent B




Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements




Wilson Nurseries-& Landscape Supply


Kankakee Nursery


Bailey Nurseries


Atlas Bobcat

Not for Rent



Exhibitor map as of June 12, 2019. See a spot you want? Contact Terre Houte at 14


The Landscape Contractor July 2019




Ornamental Growers Association



A i s l e


M&K-Truck Centers

Perfect Turf


Cassidy Tire-& Service

Davey Resource Group


Alta-Equipment Company


A i s l e

Carlin-Sales/ ProGreen Plus

Dining Tent A



Cedar-Path Nurseries







The-Davey Tree-Expert Company

College-of-DuPage Hort-Dept


Dayton Bag





A. Block Marketing

Mariani Plants


Kramer Tree Specialists



J.Frank-Schmidt &-Son Company 414a

Buck Bros.








Martin Implement Sales


Dining Tent D



McGinty Brothers, Inc.

Xylem,Ltd. Rocks,Etc



Pizzo Native-Plant Nursery


316 D



The-Tree-Connection BEER GARDEN

Home Nursery




Monroe-Truck Equipment

RentalMax LLC


Midwest Stihl

Advanced Montale Turf Gardens Solutions


Band performs

Gravely, an-Ariens Company Brand


McCann Twixwood Industries Nursery


* Chicago Gas Lines

Before&After Landscape Design


Exhibitors As of June 12, 2019 Kramer Tree Specialists, Inc. A. Block Marketing Listerman & Associates OVER 250,000 TREES IN PRODUCTION Advanced Turf Solutions M&K Truck Centers ON 600 ACRES Alta Equipment Company Mulch Pile for Demos Mariani Plants 20 IRRIGATED ACRES Arlington Power Equipment, Inc. Martin Implement Sales, Inc.ABOVE GROUND AVAILABILITY Arthur Clesen McCann Industries Atlas Bobcat McGinty Bros., Inc. Bailey Nurseries Midwest Groundcovers & Midwest Trading Bartlett Tree Experts Midwest Stihl Before and After Landscape Design Monroe Truck Equipment Buck Bros., Inc. Montale Wholesale Nursery Burris Equipment NYP Corp Carlin Sales/Pro Green Plus Ornamental Growers Association Cassidy Tire & Service Perfect Turf LLC Cedar Path Nurseries Pizzo Native Plant Nursery Chicago Gas Lines Premium Travertine Chicagoland Grows, Inc Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements College of DuPage Horticulture Department RentalMax LLC Conserv FS Ron Clesen’s Ornamental Plants Conservation Land Stewardship Russo Power Equipment Dayton Bag SavATree DeVroomen Garden Products The Davey Tree Expert Company Goodmark Nurseries The Tree Connection an Ariens Co. Brand Trees Evergreens TSI The ServiceRoses InnovatorShrubs & More! Shade TreesGravely, Ornamentals Container Perennials Green Glen Nursery, Inc. Turtle Creek Nursery Harrell’s LLC Twixwood Nursery Host of 2019 Home Nursery, Inc. United Label & SATO SUMMER FIELD DAY The Premier Outdoor Vermeer HydroBlox Midwest Landscape Event J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. Wilson Nurseries & Landscape Supply Kankakee Nursery Co. 815.653.9293 Xylem Ltd/Rocks Etc.18101 IL 176 8920 Howe Rd. Wonder Lake, IL 60097 Union, IL 60180

The trees you plant today will be growing long after you depart LEAVE A GOODMARK!

The Landscape Contractor July 2019


Trends in Sustainability —

Top 10 Ornamental Grasses with Style


and requested by clients and customers for their low maintenance and their beautiful range of textures and colors. With so many to choose from, Brent Horvath, owner/grower of Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, Inc., chose some favorites for his presentation at iLandscape. After growing up in the industry, Horvath started Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, Inc., a wholesale perennial nursery and is an active plant breeder with several grasses and perennials introductions available nation-wide. “Why do we plant ornamental grasses or grasses in general? The big reason is because we can eat and drink them. Rice, corn, wheat, sorghum are all grasses. Sugar cane, too, is a grass,” observed Horvath. Grasses also give us terrific architecture in the garden areas. “Vertical accents or architecture is a huge reason for using grasses,” recommended Horvath. As a design tool, “Grasses are also soft and subtle in their texture. They can soften paths and walkways.” Green is a necessary color in the landscape and “by planting deep green and light green grasses together you can get a nice ebb and flow of color and shades of green in the landscape. Those









0 1 9Landscape Show The i llinois + wi2sconsin C T O

by Heather Prince

Ornamental grasses remain popular






shades of green can really play off flower colors and broad leaf foliage plants,” commented Horvath. He strongly advocates for adding grasses to any landscape, no matter the season. “The main reasons for grasses in the spring and early summer is that they give our eyes a rest. When we’re looking at a garden or an ornamental planting, these tend to be soft on the eye and green in color. That gives a place for the eye to rest and show off the other showier larger petaled flowers and plants and the texture of broad leaf perennials and shrubs.” Grasses don’t stand still during the growing season, however. “And then we’re using them for fall color, something I’ve been working hard on as a breeder for perennials and ornamental grasses. I’m breeding for red, purple fall color, and foliage color like red or yellow leaves.” Plus, they are a low maintenance solution for clients and there is a grass for every place. “We love planting grasses because they are super adaptable. They can go from gravel and alpine and roof garden situations to standing water,” observed Horvath. A mix of new cultivars as well as tried and true favorites, we discussed a list of nine grasses and one sedge that can add grace and style to any landscape. (continued on page 18)

The Landscape Contractor July 2019

Trends in Sustainability — (continued from page 16)

Tall Grasses

Ornamental grasses can be an elegant solution to screening. They can also punctuate a perennial border, become an autumnal focal point, or frame a gate or pathway. Think about ways to add these impressive grasses for movement in the landscape and dynamic fall color. “The fact that grasses move is a really big factor for me. I like the taller grasses for that, especially,” commented Horvath.

Andropogon gerardii ‘Blackhawks’

Height: 4 to 5 feet Width: about 2 feet Light: full sun Soil: average to dry Notes: Deep green foliage emerges in spring and turns dark purple to nearly black by fall. “This is a big bluestem, and after many years of breeding and selecting, I selected this for its fivefoot habit and its near black-purple fall color. It will have highlights of purple even in early spring,” mentioned Horvath. It’s incredibly adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions as long as it’s in full sun. Tall flower stems hold feathery seed heads to wave in the breeze. (continued on page 20)

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The Landscape Contractor July 2019

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Trends in Sustainability — (continued from page 18)

Andropogon gerardii ‘Dancing Wind’

Height: 5 to 6 feet Width: 2 to 3 feet Light: full sun Soil: average to dry Notes: Beautiful light green summer foliage develops threads of red in late summer before deepening to dark red in September and turning scarlet with first frosts. Red flowers dance above the sturdy stems and foliage remains upright through winter. “’Dancing Wind’ has a red and green combination in the foliage. Sturdy form, yet open and reaching 6 feet tall,” commented Horvath.

Molinia arundinacea ‘Cordoba’

Height: 6 to 7 feet Width: 2 to 3 feet Light: full sun Soil: average to moist Notes: “Molinia ‘Cordorba’ is a seven to eight footer. Very upright, vase shaped habit, but the fall color is really hard to beat. It has green airy stems above green foliage that turns rich golden yellow in fall. Space them out or tuck them in the front of the border to enhance that see-through quality. The foliage tends to be about two feet high in green. When it blooms, the flower stems have an open habit. They also make great cut flowers,” reported Horvath. “It is a moor grass that is more requested and talked about. I have this planted at a garden gate at the nursery with a Panicum and another Molinia to make a green wall. They work well with rudbeckias for an autumn show. Try it with Rudbeckia ‘American Goldrush’ with its tight two-foot mound of bright yellow flowers and exceptional disease resistance.” (continued on page 22)


The Landscape Contractor July 2019

The Landscape Contractor July 2019


Trends in Sustainability — (continued from page 20)

Medium Grasses

These grasses are mid-range in height and easily blend into garden beds or make a statement on their own. They take the stage at the end of summer and add rich fall color before becoming part of the winter architecture of the landscape.

Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’

Height: 3 to 4 feet Width: 3 to 4 feet Light: full sun to part shade Soil: average to moist Notes: A cultivar of the native switch grass, ‘Shenandoah’ has a smaller stature, making it easy to add to the landscape. Foliage emerges blue-green in spring and matures to a beautiful burgundy by the beginning of July. Airy reddish-pink flower panicles hover over the foliage giving this upright beauty some softness. “Panicums are great with baptisias and other spring substantial plants like amsonias,” observed Horvath.

Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Ginger Love’

Height: 2 to 3 feet Width: 2 to 3 feet Light: full sun to part shade Soil: average to moist Notes: A nice fountainy clumping grass for the perennial border with thick, bushy flower heads appearing in July, resembling a fox’s tail. “Pennisetum ‘Ginger Love’ is a smaller form of ‘Red Head’. “‘Ginger Love’ is three foot with similar reddish blooms in midAugust to mid-September into October. You get red tips in the foliage, too,” mentioned Horvath. Golden fall color matures to a pleasant brown.

(continued on page 24)


The Landscape Contractor July 2019

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Trends in Sustainability — (continued from page 22)

Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Jazz’

Height: 2 to 2.5 feet Width: 1 to 1.5 feet Light: full sun to part shade Soil: average to dry Notes: A terrific cultivar of one of the native grasses, ‘Jazz’ features purple fall color with a delicate silver flower. “Little Bluestem ‘Jazz’ is a selection I made out of ‘The Blues’. It’s a much more compact form with the same great silverblue color at about two feet high. Great bluish foliage color with purplish fall color and cinnamon winter color. It has a great upright stature in the landscape over the winter, too,” commented Horvath. “Little bluestems are hard to beat with echinaceas, especially Echinacea pallida.’

Short Grasses

Small grasses can add pops of color and texture at the front of a border, in a container, or as a featured edging plant. Carex or sedges are being recommended more frequently for texture in shady sites and as good options for rain gardens or swale bottoms.

Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’

Height: 1 to 2.5 feet Width: 1 to 1.5 feet Light: full sun Soil: average to dry Notes: Soft green clumping foliage has a hint of silver, but what makes this grass special is the flower heads that are held high above to catch the slightest breeze. “’Blond Ambition’ was selected in New Mexico and it is just under three feet tall. It has extra showy creamy flowers held horizontally. These are great plants for meadow situations,” observed Horvath. (continued on page 26)


The Landscape Contractor July 2019

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Trends in Sustainability — (continued from page 24)

Carex bromoides

Height: 10 to 12 inches Width: 16 to 18 inches Light: part shade Soil: average to wet Notes: “Carex bromoides is one of my favorites. Similar to Carex pensylvanica in texture, but it’s more clumping. It has pronounced creamy yellow heavy bloom before the foliage develops in spring. After initial flower, in May, the foliage sprouts out and develops a relaxed habit. I have this at home planted along my front walkway, about a foot apart. In that same bed I have Geranium x cantabrigiense and another Carex. The geranium sandwiched in with the Carex makes a nice little vignette.”

Festuca x Cool as Ice

Height: 12 to 18 inches Width: 18 to 24 inches Light: full sun to part shade Soil: average to dry Notes: A tidy, clumping grass with delicate silver blue foliage. “Fescue ‘Cool as Ice’ is a hybrid fescue between a green leaved one and a blue leaved fescue and that gives the plant better longevity in the garden, better heat tolerance, and better drought tolerance. It is less likely to melt in the heat, rot out, or turn brown in the summer. These plants are native to the mountains so they like it cool, well drained, and on the dry side. This one is more adaptable. It makes a great container plant as well. Beautiful blue foliage in the spring then a heavy bloom. Very easy to combine with other plants,” recommended Horvath.

Sesleria x ‘Greenlee Hybrid’

Height: 12 to 14 inches Width: 12 to 18 inches Light: full sun to part shade Soil: average to dry Notes: An easy grass to blend into perennial plantings, “Seselaria ‘Greenlee Hybrid’ is a hybrid with mid to deeper green leaves with a hint of silver to it. This form blooms both spring and fall with a creamy white flower in April/May and a rebloom in August/ September. Fall color is a nice golden yellow with brown seedheads as well,” commented Horvath.


The Landscape Contractor July 2019


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Boxwood Update —

What the Heck Happened to Boxwood? by Heather Prince

Are you or your clients experiencing losses

in boxwood after this winter? Our challenging weather damaged many landscape plants, and among the most affected are boxwood. Many of us are removing, replacing, and pruning back one of our favorite landscape plants. Damage ranges from complete dieback to the ground to a few inches of dead twigs at the top of plants. Why did many boxwood die this year? We talked to experts at the Chicago Botanic Garden and The Morton Arboretum to find out causes, concerns, and what to look for going forward. “Many boxwoods in our region are struggling this spring due to the extreme cold this winter, difficult weather conditions over the past several years, and other stressors. We have seen this at the Arboretum, as well. Some of our boxwoods were hardy enough to bounce back, and others weren’t,” observed Julie Janoski, Plant Clinic Manager at The Morton Arboretum. “In most cases, boxwood death and dieback are winter damage. They looked good coming out of winter, then went off color and we are experiencing tip browning, dieback, and some plants dead to the ground,” reported Tom Tiddens, Supervisor, Plant Health Care Department at the Chicago Botanic Garden. “We’re finding that exposure and siting had the most impact. Those on the south and west and those that got more wind had the most damage.” At both public gardens they are evaluating their boxwood collections and determining what to prune back and keep, what to replant, and what to replace. Boxwood is a key component to their plant collections and a beloved evergreen shrub in many landscape designs. 28

For winter damage, the solution is pruning. Cut back plants to living tissue and see what you have left, being mindful to sterilize your pruners between cuts to limit the spread of any possible fungal issue. In some cases that may be just cutting a few inches off the top, in others it might be to the snow line or even to the ground. “Boxwood is slow to recover. Like many evergreens, it only grows a few inches a year,” commented Tiddens. “At the Garden, in some areas we are cutting far back to the snow line, which leaves us with some awkward looking plants. Depending on the area, we are removing and replanting. All the boxwood in the Crescent Garden, the garden area just beyond the Visitor Center, are a total loss. We’ve removed them for now and will replace them in the fall, but likely not with the same variety.” Clients probably have already been out in their landscapes and expressed concerns. “We recommend that homeowners seek expert advice from the Arboretum’s free Plant Clinic before making any changes to their boxwoods,” recommended Janoski. The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plant Information Service also offers free diagnostic services and horticulture advice. As you are examining and evaluating boxwood, look closely at the inner stems and bark. The Arboretum and the Garden are reporting extensive stem canker or bark blast where bark is cracking, pulling back from stems, or even falling off when given a twist. Bark damage like this is a stress disease from years of extreme weather and swings in moisture. You may see green growth above bark damage, but it won’t last long. “What I’m very concerned about is volutella blight settling in those cracks and crevices. For the boxwood that survived, keep a (continued on page 30)

The Landscape Contractor July 2019

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Boxwood Update — (continued from page 28) close eye on them for secondary diseases,� stressed Tiddens. Volutella causes infected leaves to turn tan or bronze in the spring, gradually progressing down the stem over time, whereas winter damage happens all at once. To test for volutella, place suspected foliage and stems in a sealed bag or container with a damp paper towel. Moist, humid conditions will cause the fungus to sporulate, and if present, spores will be pink or salmon colored. Unfortunately, no fungicides have been shown to effectively treat this


The Landscape Contractor July 2019

disease. To control it, prune out dead and dying stems well below the infection and destroy. There are a number of other issues on boxwood besides winter damage that look very similar. The University of Illinois Plant Clinic is seeing reports of phytophthora root rot on boxwood in heavy, wet soils. Individual branches will wilt and dieback, leaving patches of damage in the plants. Leaves will turn pale green, then brown and shrivel, still attached to the stems. The roots are often dark brown or black and the cam-

bium layer under the bark at the base of the main stems may be dark brown or black. Management consists of removing infected plants as there are few options once infection has been established. The Plant Clinic recommends submitting samples if phytophthora root rot is suspected. Boxwood leafminer is also becoming more common and damage can resemble disease. Boxwood leafminer larvae cause offgreen pouches on leaves that turn mottled brown in spring as overwintering larvae mature and feed. Heavily

affected leaves develop light brown mottling in the spring on both the undersides and tops of the leaves. Very tiny yellowish-orange adult flies mate and lay eggs in mid to late May. Once hatched, the larvae feed on the mesophyll tissue in the interior of the boxwood leaf. They develop slowly through the summer, first causing raised, green blisters on top of the leaf and small, tan blisters on the underside. You can control adults during egg laying with sprays of carbaryl or labeled pyrethroids, but more effective may be a systemic insecticide such as imidacloprid applied (continued on page 32)

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The Landscape Contractor July 2019


Boxwood Update — (continued from page 31) in June when larvae are actively feeding. “We are seeing a lot more leafminer this year and will be doing treatments,” reported Tiddens. As you are scouting boxwood, you may also notice damage from boxwood psyllid. Boxwood psyllids are little grayish green insects that are usually covered with white, waxy, filaments that partially covers the body, providing protection from parasites and, conveniently, sprays of insecticides. Eggs overwinter and hatch into yellowish nymphs that begin feeding once boxwood buds begin to open in early spring. Nymphs suck plant fluids, causing leaves to yellow, curl, and form a cup, which conceals and protects them. Damage is cosmetic and the best solution is to prune out affected stems. Boxwood blight, although rarely found in Illinois, is still a concern as we replace damaged and dead plants in large numbers. Check with your suppliers and see if they have protocols in place to find and prevent boxwood blight. Evaluate plant material and look for signs of fungal problems. “It’s a scary disease, but education is key. Boxwood blight is controllable with a protective fungicide, but we quarantine any new ones at the Garden before planting,” reported Tiddens. By and large boxwood is still a great plant in our landscapes. “We’re not going to stop using it. We are evaluating and rating all our boxwood according to winter damage received. We’re looking at all the different varieties, but it seems like exposure is the number one factor,” observed Tiddens. “We need to learn from this. When choosing boxwood, think about siting in a more protected area.” However, in some landscapes it may make sense to choose a different plant. Globe arborvitae and yews can give a similar look and texture to boxwood and be a hardier plant in a more exposed site. “I’d not take boxwood off the palette, but maybe lessen the number you use,” recommended Tiddens. 32

The Chicago Botanic Garden could be thought of as a “power user” of boxwood in its gardens. Here, row after row of boxwood hedges show horrific damage.

The Landscape Contractor July 2019



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Enfoque: Sección en Español

Los asistentes al

Día de Campo de Verano (SFD, por sus siglas en inglés) encontrarán muchas cosas nuevas y emocionantes, asegura la co-presidente del comité, Sheri Lundell. Programada de las 8:30 a.m. a las 4:00 p.m. del jueves, 1 de agosto de 2019, SFD 2019 promete ser un día lleno de acción, con oportunidades educativas, expositores, oportunidades para establecer contactos, juegos, comidas y música. “Estamos reincorporando algunos de los aspectos más divertidos”, afirma el co-presidente, David Burton. Incluso el logotipo ha sido actualizado. Ahora es un círculo rojo, verde, amarillo y azul, con las palabras “Summer Field Day” (Día de Campo de Verano) alrededor de un icono del sol, reminiscente de un soleado día de verano. Fue diseñado por la hija de Burton, Samantha


Burton, quien ha estado en el comité durante 10 años. Este año ayudará con las inscripciones. En lugar de unas cuantas conferencias largas, SFD 2019 presentará sesiones educativas interactivas, con una duración de 15 a 20 minutos, que incluirán caminatas o excursiones, aprovechando la experiencia y el profesionalismo de los proveedores, así como el local: Goodmark Nurseries en Wonder Lake, IL. “Es muy bello ese lugar”, afir-

The Landscape Contractor July 2019

ma Lundell, ejecutiva de ventas de Ron Clesen’s Ornamental Plants, Inc. (RCOP). Goodmark tiene dos instalaciones: Wonder Lake y Union, IL. SFD 2019 se celebrará en la instalación de Wonder Lake, que abarca 500 acres con una gran variedad de árboles en su cepellón o en bolsas plásticas, cuyos dueños están ansiosos por mostrar, afirma Kenny Fiantago, representante de ventas sénior de Goodmark y miembro del Comité de SFD. “Estamos planificando giras de campo para que los asistentes tengan una idea más clara de todo lo que hacemos”. Una de las mayores atracciones del SFD es la oportunidad de relacionarse personalmente con los proveedores, probar los equipos y hablar con los cultivadores sobre sus productos. Para atraer a algunos de los proveedores más importantes de la industria, un subcomité

dirigido por JR Warner, Dave Burton y Brian Jones ha estado trabajando no solamente para difundir el mensaje sino también para asegurar que se faciliten asuntos básicos como el acceso al sitio y la salida del mismo, así como cualquier ayuda para desplazarse dentro del lugar. Este año, Burton, miembro veterano del Comité del SFD y director de apoyo de productos en tres estados para Ditch Witch Midwest, es co-presidente junto con Lundell. Vacilante al principio con respecto al nuevo programa, que propone la celebración del SFD en años alternos con Summer Snow Day (Día de Nieve de Verano), Burton se siente ahora conforme con esta idea. “Día de Campo de Verano requiere de mucho tiempo y recursos para los asistentes”, afirma. Muchos contratistas de paisajismo traen a sus empleados al evento, lo que puede resultar sumamente costoso. Omitir un año ayuda al presupuesto, asegura Burton. Además de la variedad en ofertas educativas, los asistentes encontrarán cambios en las comidas. Cuatro tiendas de campaña pequeñas para comer, diseminadas por toda el área de exhibición del SFD, reemplazarán la carpa-comedor única que

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The Landscape Contractor July 2019


Enfoque: Sección en Español anteriormente servía para alejar a los participantes de los lugares donde realmente querían estar – cerca de los proveedores, las áreas de demostraciones y las oportunidades educativas, afirma Warner. También se han cambiado las selecciones de comidas. Ahora, los asistentes pueden saborear sus selecciones de comida italiana, mexicana y a la barbacoa, disponibles por períodos más prolongados durante la feria. Las tiendas de campaña más pequeñas para comer ofrecerán lugares fuera del sol que los asistentes podrán usar para establecer contactos. Hablando de establecer contactos, el comité está planificando un período informal de hora y media para establecer contactos, de 2:30 a 4 p.m., al final de la feria. Amenizado por Breezy Rodio & the Coolers, una banda de Reggae de Chicago, el período para contactos amistosos incluirá comida y cerveza. La compañía de catering de la feria, Salerno Catering, llevará su camión hasta el stand de Tree Connection, Inc. para distribuir la cerveza, provista por una cervecería artesanal de la localidad, Whiskey Hill Brewing Co., de Westmont, IL. Ofrecerán cerveza artesanal Whiskey Hill One y Whiskey Hill Two, así como Miller Lite. “Estamos trabajando para que las cosas sean frescas y diferentes”, asegura Burton. Warner, gerente de ventas de distrito de Ariens, informa que el comité visualiza las excursiones a pie similares a las populares excursiones en el piso de exhibición de iLandscape, pero más interactivas. “Estamos coordinando esto con el subcomité educativo”, dice. Lundell también está animada con los cambios en las ofertas educativas. “Configuradas de esta forma, se evitan los éxodos masivos del piso de exhibición”, dice. “Queremos que más contratistas de paisajismo traigan personas a la feria. Deseamos que puedan aprender algo mientras estén aquí”. En reconocimiento a la sostenibilidad, los participantes recibirán botellas de agua del Día de Campo de Verano reutilizables en sus bolsas de regalo, las que también contendrán golosinas, cortesía de los proveedores de la feria. El comité proveerá estaciones con cinco dispensadores de jarras de agua de cinco galones por toda la feria, donde los asistentes podrán rellenar sus botellas, informa Lundell.

El comité está planificando también rifas, juegos, bolsas de regalo y una cabina de fotomatón, parecida a las que se encuentran en bodas y otras celebraciones. La cabina tendrá piezas de utilería que los asistentes podrán usar para decorar sus fotografías. “Me anima la forma en que el comité está configurando el evento”, dice Lundell. “Y estoy impaciente por ver las reacciones de los asistentes”.

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Maintenance Matters — P








SHRUBS: Proper Pruning for Better Blooms TM

0 1 9Landscape Show The i llinois + wi2sconsin C T O





by Nina A. Koziol

Meatballs. Exclamation points.

Bare sticks with a flying saucer of green at the top. You’ve seen these shrubs in landscapes across cities, suburbs and towns. Yews, junipers, arborvitae, forsythia—you name it—all power-sheared into perfectly shaped balls or loaves. You can’t blame it on a desire for topiary. And this isn’t England. It’s Horti-torture. “It’s indiscriminate pruning—and it’s easy to see when plants are dormant,” says Richard Hentschel, horticulture educator at the University of Illinois Extension in St. Charles. “On these shrubs you’ll see thickness at the top and it shades out stems below—there are no leaves below.” Hentschel knows a thing or two about how to make shrubs not only look good but stay healthy, and he shared his expertise with a packed room of iLandscape attendees this winter. Why prune? “We do it for the health of the plant, to increase flowers or vigor, to remove canker, insects or damage, or to control size. The goal is generally to produce a more satisfying plant.” Good pruning techniques allow more light throughout the shrub. It creates better plant structure and eliminates crossing or rubbing branches. It helps remove wood-boring and scale insects before they destroy the plant and it can

eliminate or reduce disease and decay. “Older branches tend to have wood borers, such as clearwing ash borer,” Hentschel said. “The last two rounds of drought have really taken a toll—woodboring insects have been bad and they are always attracted to plants in a distressed state. Start by removing older branches and you’ll knock down insect populations.”

The More You Know

You can’t “fix” a plant by pruning until you know exactly what it is and how it grows. “Proper identification of ornamental plants is important,” Hentschel said. Know the plant’s function—is it a specimen, a filler, or a border or hedge plant?

When does it bloom? That’s really important because you don’t want to lop off potential flowers before they’ve had a chance to open. For example, most, but not all hydrangeas, can be pruned safely in spring without losing the flower buds. Some shrubs, like those with inconspicuous flowers, can be pruned at any time of the year. “Non-showy plants are those like alpine currant, which is often used as a filler or informal hedge. Every plant blooms—it’s part of its DNA, but alpine currant has small non-showy flowers.” Ditto for boxwood.

When to Prune

Indiscriminate pruning can remove a show of spring flowers. If a shrub blooms early in the spring, leave it alone until it’s finished blooming. The flower buds are already present and pruning before it blooms could reduce this year’s display. “For those early spring bloomers—lilacs, forsythia, most viburnum and Cornus mas—if you pruned them in winter or early spring, you’d lose the show because the flower buds for this spring formed on last year’s branches.” An exception is arrowwood viburnum (V. dentatum), Hentschel said. The buds form on the current year’s growth. If you need to prune a springblooming shrub, do it shortly Shearing boxwood in September or later produces tender growth that is (continued on page 40) killed by low winter temperatures.


The Landscape Contractor July 2019


Maintenance Matters —

(continued from page 38) after the flowers are finished. Shrubs that bloom in midsummer, like panicle hydrangeas (Limelight, Tardiva, Quickfire), Annabelle hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens), Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), Common Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), St. John’s wort, snowberry (Symphoricarpos) Spiraea x bumalda and Spiraea japonica form their flower buds on the current year’s growth or current wood— the new stems that began growing in spring. “You can prune those plants in the spring and do no harm,” Hentschel said. Shrubs that bloom on the current year’s wood should be pruned in early spring before bud break. Dormant pruning is done in winter. “We do it when things are dormant—without the leaves


on the plant it’s easy to see the dead versus live branches. Dead branches often have a brown or black tone—no viable buds on them so it’s easy to see.” It’s also easier to spot structural issues like crossing or rubbing branches that need to be addressed. One advantage to dormant pruning is that there’s no sap to flow. “The wound will not bleed come spring so you won’t be attracting damaging insects.”

Basic Pruning Techniques

There are four basic pruning techniques used for maintaining shrubs: renewal, rejuvenation, heading back and shearing.


The goal of renewal pruning is to encourage new growth from the crown of the plant. It is best

A ‘canker’ is a symptom of an injury often associated with an open wound that has become infected by a fungal or bacterial pathogen. Canker diseases frequently kill branches or structurally weaken a plant until the infected area breaks free. Hentschel recommends cutting the branch 6 to 8 inches below the canker.

The Landscape Contractor July 2019

done during the dormant season and it typically involves cutting out old, overgrown stems or canes from larger plants like lilacs, honeysuckle, viburnum, dogwood and bridal wreath spirea. In general, renewal pruning involves removing about one-third of the stems each year over a three-year period. By the third year, the plant is totally renewed. Start by removing any dead branches and then move on to branches causing structural problems. “Renewal pruning allows you to have mass, bulk and density, but encourages new growth from the crown,” Hentschel said. “Prune properly when plants are young starting with renewal techniques. Renewal maintains the plant at about two-thirds of its size. Take out the oldest, tallest wood. This results in a more vigorous shrub and, in the case of flowering ornamentals, better flowering.”


“Rejuvenation or renovation—the plant is past help,” Hentschel said. “We will cut it down to the ground while it’s dormant and let it start over. Some old, neglected shrubs can be restored to vigor by pruning all stems or canes to ground level.” Among those that respond well to this treatment: forsythia, weigela, privet, honeysuckle, smaller spirea, potentilla, alpine currant, lilac, red-twig dogwood and hydrangea. Rejuvenation pruning is best done in late winter or early spring. Hentschel cautions that plants that grow from the crown shouldn’t be covered in thick layers of mulch. “You can’t have three to four inches of mulch on that crown.” Doing so will inhibit new growth and encourage insects and disease. “Rejuvenation is like ‘Pruning for Dummies’,” Hentschel said. “Everything (continued on page 42)

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The Landscape Contractor July 2019


Maintenance Matters — Hentschel sometimes uses heading back in combination with renewal pruning. “Prune back to a growing point—a smaller branch at least one-third size of the one you are removing. It’s a way to manage the canopy size and density.” Remove the wayward branch to a good bud or a lateral branch instead of cutting it to the ground. Heading back is best done when the new growth is complete.

Before You Cut

Prune shrubs and small ornamental trees when they are small/young to eliminate problems like crossing or rubbing branches.

One pruning goal is to redirect new growth on the plant. Look at the plant’s bud pattern to fine-tune your pruning. “Look at how the buds are placed on the branch,” Hentschel advised. “You can direct the growth of pruned stems. If the buds grow alternately, pick your bud to direct the new growth. The direction of new growth is determined by a stem’s uppermost remaining bud (the apical bud). Hentschel recommends pruning a

(continued from page 41) comes off at the ground, clear down to the ground. Spirea, for example, puts out growth through the crown of the plant. If you leave some of the old wood standing, the new growth off that old wood is typically weak. Recovery is less than we’d expect. Be courageous—cut it down to the ground so it comes back in good order.”


Shearing is done when a formal hedge is desired. When shearing, keep the bottom of the hedge wider than the top to allow sunlight to reach the lower branches. The optimal time to shear is when new growth is complete. Shearing too late in the growing season (August-September) can stimulate new, tender growth that can be killed in a harsh winter.

Heading Back

Heading back is used to control the size of the shrub or to remove a branch that is out of balance with the rest of the plant. “Heading back helps recover the plant’s natural form. It allows the plant to take on some of it’s natural shape.” 42

If you remove the buds of Cornellian Cherry Dogwood (Cornus mas) in the spring, you’ll lose the floral display. Prune these shrubs when they’ve finished blooming.

The Landscape Contractor July 2019

quarter-inch above a bud to direct new growth. Look for buds that face out and away from the shrub. If you prune above an inward-facing bud, you direct the new stems to grow into the crown instead of outward. Most new sprouts arise within six to 12 inches of the cut. If you indiscriminately prune, you’ll produce multiple growth points and that makes future pruning more difficult, Hentschel said. Take a close look at the branches. “Twig color is a big indicator when you’re trying to prune old growth.” Lighter green stems are typically newer growth while darker green or brown are older. Black stems on red-twig dogwood are an indication of canker disease. “Remove it before it gets into the crown. Red-twig responds very well to renewal pruning.” Cankers can ooze down a branch so Hentschel recommends cutting the infected branch 6 to 8 inches below the canker.

Panicle hydrangeas bloom on the current year’s wood and may be pruned at any time.

Don’t Rush It

Maintenance contractors know that time is money, but no matter what shrub you’re working on, try to skip the “buzz cut” and spend a little time analyzing what branches to reduce or remove. In the long run, it will save you time (and money) and the plants will be all the better for it.

Resources You’ll find fact sheets and more on pruning at the following web sites: The Morton Arboretum: The University of Illinois Extension: The Chicago Botanic Garden: Formal hedges should be sheared so that they are wider at the bottom than the top to allow for more light to reach lower branches.

The Landscape Contractor July 2019


Operations —

Production Planning and Execution iLandscape P








0 1 9Landscape Show The i llinois + wi2sconsin C T

Understanding the Importance of Systems Management vs. Task Management in Day to Day Operations






by Meta L. Levin

“If you can’t measure it,

you can’t improve it.” Management Consultant Peter Drucker said that, but Fred Haskett, CA, CTP, LICM, of the Harvest Landscape Consulting Group could have, because he whole heartedly subscribes to that maxim. Haskett’s 2019 iLandscape presentation, “Production Planning Analysis and Execution; Understanding the Importance of Systems Management


“You should understand where your revenue is coming from.”

The Landscape Contractor July 2019

vs. Task Management in Day to Day Operations,” focused on the importance of daily tracking data about the work that your company does. “You should understand where your revenue is coming from,” says Haskett. “You should understand the production capacity at the crew level, as each different skill set and production capability.” You also need to know your cancellation rate. This allows you to plan for the next season, strategize ways to grow, if you choose to do so, and more accurately provide estimates for your clients. (continued on page 46)

Operations — (continued from page 44) In the case of company growth, for instance, Haskett gave a simple example: if you earned $100,000 revenue last year and had two crews of three men each, that would mean each crew was responsible for $50,000 in revenue or $16,665 per man. Did each crew work a 40-hour work week during the season? The following year you want to increase your revenue by 50 percent or to $150,000. Let’s say you had a 5 percent cancellation rate, that means that you must replace $5,000 in sales. To increase your revenue to $150,000, you must add another crew, so, you need to add $50,000 in sales, plus the lost amount from the cancellations. “Now, you have a goal,” says Haskett. “You are building your plan around real numbers, not a guess.”

Before your company becomes too big, Haskett encourages you to set up basic procedures for tracking production levels, scheduling and routing. If you are earning less than $500,000 a year, you probably have a good handle on everything without formal tracking procedures. If, however, you are growing, you need to have these procedures in place before you get beyond that. “At $500,000 start doing a little, then start layering up,” he says. “If you get to $850,000 to $1 million and you haven’t started, it will be a struggle to put them (tracking procedures) in place.” Larger organizations cannot turn on a dime. If you wait, it can be painful. Haskett outlined some definitions. “The profitability of a company…is determined by earning a man hour rate for each and every man hour invested

in a service agreement, which will yield an acceptable profit after all direct, indirect and administrative costs are accounted for.” He ticked off some common planning and budgeting questions business owners ask when putting together a revenue projection worksheet: • What are our sales goals? • What are we going to pay our people? • How much growth do I need? • How many people do I need? • How will we price our work? • How much equipment do we need? (continued on page 48)

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Operations — (continued from page 46) You answer these and other questions from the numbers you have tracked from previous seasons. A revenue projection has several functions. It is the first step in planning for the right level of sales growth and it begins the financial planning process for the up-coming year. It also serves to estimate the total revenue and revenue mix for the rest of the current year and predicts the renewal percentage for the next year, as well as the revenue mix. In other words, you need to keep track not only of how many hours you and your employees work on a project, what they are doing, what they are paid, what it costs you in terms

of materials, training, transportation, administrative costs and others. Your profit is whatever is left over. Collecting data allows you to put together a realistic plan for all the work you are doing. Planning, scheduling,

component in the process of determining annual revenue goals, direct costs, indirect and overhead costs and spikes in expenses or revenues. A sales action worksheet will set out a clear daily and weekly timeline for what is required to achieve your sales goals. Once you have a specific plan, it creates a sense of urgency. It provides a way to measure your results. Together with the revenue projection sheet, you can identify your average account size and figure out how many sales are needed to achieve your sales goal. It also creates a strategy for sales management.

“Looking at everything can be overwhelming. The key is to implement one item at a time.”


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The Landscape Contractor July 2019

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Putting together a comprehensive tracking system can take some time, an entire season or even more, depending on your business. You do not, however, need to start tracking everything at once, but you should begin somewhere, says Haskett. Prioritize and start your tracking with what you think is most important. He recommends creating a weekly schedule by route and budgeted hours and compare this to actual hours. Look at where the crews were going, how long it took for them to get there, how long should it have taken and was there a variance? Capturing this data needs to become a habit. “Looking at everything can be overwhelming,” says Haskett. “The key is to implement one item at a time.” Compare how long you had budgeted for a project with the hours it took to complete it. Haskett points to industry data easily available for the length of time routine jobs, such as mowing an acre of land, should take. “Lawn care, tree care, everything has hours,” he says. How long did a job take? What is the difference between that and the industry standards?

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Operations —

“Create a system of inspecting jobs and have a metric for judging quality. Quality and safety are measurable..” (continued from page 49) “If you have nothing in place, where are you telling your people to start?” he says. “Your crews, day jobs. If you do have this information, you can say here is the way things ought to be. You can rearrange the chairs from a position of knowledge.” You might even put together or consult an annual agronomic and horticulture calendar that will show you agronomic and horticultural windows, as well as optimum service opportunities. It can also provide you with data on good timing for enhancement projects, contract proposals, sales and renewals. Let your employees – all of them – know when you embark on this change in the way that you do business. More than that, offer some incentives if they

bring a project in on time or even early. Make sure, however, that they are doing so with an eye toward safety, quality and productivity. It does no good to bring a project in faster than projected, if there were accidents or the quality of the finished product was poor, Haskett says. “First put safety and quality procedures in place, then add incentives,” he says. Once again, he points to the importance of clear measurements for these things. “If the safety or quality is measured at a poor level, it mitigates the incentive.” This requires a safety auditing system so that you can score it. Once again, it boils down to data collection. “Create a system of inspecting jobs and have a metric for judging quality,” he says. “Quality and safety are measurable.”

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The Landscape Contractor July 2019

Haskett knows of what he speaks. Little things can make a big difference. He points to an experience he had more than 30 years ago. The truck and crew for his company was parked on the street behind a dump truck with a black bed. The crew failed to deploy orange warning cones. A car came around the corner and drove right into the trailer. “It resonated with me,” he says. “We got cited as much as the driver who hit us.”

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The Landscape Contractor July 2019


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Diseases & Pests —

Pest of the Month: Viburnum Leaf Beetle Disease of the Month: Tar Spot on Maple

by Heather Prince

Pest of the Month: Viburnum Leaf Beetle

A recent introduction to Illinois, viburnum leaf beetle is popping up more frequently in suburban landscapes. Its favorite host is arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) and cultivars. In July, adults emerge from the ground and do another round of feeding on leaves until the first frost. Females will lay eggs in late summer and fall, depositing them in chewed holes in the twigs at the top of the plants. Caterpillars hatch in May and begin to skeletonize leaves. This is a serious insect pest on arrowwood and other species of viburnum and should be treated if found. The University of Illinois’s Home, Yard, and Garden Pest newsletter and The Morton Arboretum offer a list of resistant viburnum species.

Disease of the Month: Tar Spot on Maple

Viburnum Leaf Beetle


The most effective treatment is to prune the eggs off the plants once they have gone dormant. If you are treating during the growing season, timing is key. The caterpillars are easiest to kill on contact, rather than the adults, and you can use carbaryl or permethrin for a contact insecticide, as well as spinosad or insecticidal soap. For adults, a systemic insecticide of imidacloprid can be effective.

University of Illinois Extension Service horticulture/index.php 217-333-0519


Tar spot on maple is caused by several different fungi in the genus Rhytisma and is mostly noticed late in the summer when thick, black spots resembling tar appear on maple leaves. The first symptoms appear usually in mid-June as small, pale yellow spots. By mid-July, the spots expand and a thick, raised, black stromata starts to form within the spot. When severe, the tree can drop leaves in abundance, but the disease rarely affects an established tree’s long-term health. The fungi overwinter on fallen leaf litter and in spring fungal bodies eject spores spread by wind, re-infecting the tree.


Tar Spot

The best treatment is prevention by raking and destroying fallen infected leaves in the fall or early spring to reduce the presence of spores that may re-infect the tree. For young trees or when a heavily infected tree is a cause for concern, fungicides containing the active ingredient mancozeb or copper hydroxide can be applied to newly developing leaves. Spray application should begin in early spring when leaf buds are beginning to open and continued at 10-day intervals.

Additional resources:

The Morton Arboretum Clinic: tree-and-plant-advice/ 630-719-2424

The Landscape Contractor July 2019

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The Landscape Contractor July 2019


New Member Profile Snapshot

Before and After Landscape Design 151 Brookside Drive Elgin, IL 60123 (630) 404-0747

by Meta Levin

Both Ken Kand and his father, Al,

were unplanned entrants into the green industry. In the 1950s, Al Kand was a recent veteran of the Korean War when his aunt and uncle (Lillian and Morris Kand) purchased a hotel in Florida and asked him to shut down their 20-acre nursery in Niles and sell the stock. Al Kand’s customers began asking him to install what they had bought. Recognizing a business opportunity, he called some friends and began designing and planting in the Niles and Skokie areas, giving birth to Al’s Landscaping. When his son, Ken, was in college, he agreed to help for a short time. That lasted for 20 seasons. Ken Kand took over in 2003 after his father died. Six months later, he renamed the firm, Before and After Landscape Design. “The name has a double meaning for me,” Kand says. Kand incorporates lessons he learned from his father, as well as some long-term employees. He then adds his own unique approach. In addition, he takes pleasure in transforming clients’ property from “before” to the beautiful “after.” “I watched my Dad,” says Kand. “He was wonderful with people and he always was himself.” Because of that attitude, which he adopted, Kand says many of his customers have become like friends. Kand also has benefited from listening to employees, some of who have been with him almost as long as he has owned the business. During the season, Kand has three to four employees and often can be found working on job sites alongside them. “Customers have said that they are surprised to see me on the job; that I work alongside my guys,” he says. Proud of his employees, Kand praises them as “professional and conscientious,” helping him carry on the family tradition of serving the Chicago suburbs. Tomas Castro, Before and After Landscape Design’s foreman, has been with the company for 14 years. “He is invaluable,” says Kand, who refers to Castro as “my second.” Kand praises him for trying to find efficient ways to get the job 56

done. “I will design a project and he will make it happen.” Castro is a family man, something that is important to Kand, as well. “We hardly ever work weekends,” he says. “I believe that the guys need that time with their families.” Topping Kand’s list of key people at Before and After Landscape Design is his wife, Heather Kand. “She takes care of all the behind the scenes work, making sure that everything is in place financially,” he says. In addition, when he is designing a project, she’s the one with a good eye for color, who makes suggestions that always make the customers happy. When Kand’s father ran the business, demand ran heavily to plantings. Now, however, Kand has noticed that things have changed. His work runs 60 percent hardscapes and 40 percent plantings. It is, however, “fun and different every time,” he says. He often drives past former projects, just to see how they are doing. Not only that, but many customers call years later asking him to update their landscaping. Before and After Landscape Design offers custom design and installation to its residential and commercial customers, including brick paver and natural stone patios, walkways and driveways, retaining walls, drain pipe installations, mulch and gravel, natural stone accents, landscape lighting; English, Asian and perennial gardens; grading and masonry overlay. Using his creativity, Kand also has designed and created two products that he sells under the Before and After Landscape Design umbrella: Tailgate Mates, removeable side spill stoppers that fit onto trucks, eliminating spills when removing soil and mulch at a job site. The metal plates create a shoot that dumps right into the wheelbarrow. “The Simple Search Plant Book” is a 12 inch by 12-inch hard cover book. Each cover can be customized with a company logo and includes photographs of plants that can be shown to clients as the design is presented. He is proud of what he has built. “I really enjoy seeing the transformation,” he says.

The Landscape Contractor July 2019

Classified Ads HELP WANTED LANDSCAPE DESIGNER IMMEDIATE EMPLOYMENT Clarence Davids & Company, a landscape designbuild firm, has an opening for a Landscape Architect / Designer or Horticulturist in the Plainfield, Illinois office. The full time position will include developing planting and hardscape design solutions and graphic presentations for both commercial and residential clients, with a strong emphasis on seasonal displays and sustainable enhancements for streetscapes and rooftop gardens in downtown Chicago. A Landscape Architect / Designer or degreed Horticulturist with strong skills in horticulture, floriculture and planting design as well as technical computer skills would be best suited for this position. The individual will assist with client communication, as well as project installation, seasonal floral arrangements and providing horticulture and creative expertise to clients and sales team. Clarence Davids & Company was established in 1951 and specializes in landscape management, seasonal floral rotations, and design/build landscape construction. The company has three offices; Matteson, IL (Corporate), Plainfield, IL, and Ingleside, IL. More information can be found online at and facebook. com/clarencedavids. • This is a key position and an exciting opportunity to work for an award-winning designbuild firm! • Skills required: • Experience in AutoCad, Photoshop, Sketchup and Microsoft Office • Good knowledge of annuals, perennials, and woody plants • Strong design creativity, including seasonal floral design experience • Ability to work independently and be selfmotivated



Interested applicants should send a resume and work samples to: Steve Bos Clarence Davids & Company 23900 W. 127th Street Plainfield, IL 60585 LANDSCAPE DESIGNER/ESTIMATOR FULL-TIME POSITION Are you a landscape designer stuck in a sales position? Do you want to focus on and grow your design skills? Grant & Power Landscaping, a premier contractor in the western suburbs, is looking for an experienced and creative landscape designer to add to our talented team. This position is focused on design and estimating. No sales are involved. Candidate will work closely with sales staff to create a custom design for their clients. The ideal candidate has a strong knowledge of planting and hardscape design, and proficiency using Dynascape Design, Google Sketchup and Adobe Photoshop. Prior estimating experience a plus. The ability to efficiently develop creative solutions is essential as we are a high end, high volume company. Prefer someone with a degree in landscape design, horticulture or equivalent industry experience. Full time position – Competitive Salary, medical and dental insurance, employer match 401K, generous personal and vacation time program, company profit sharing plan. Email Resumes to Gene Grant. Genegrant@ Please visit our website at www.grantandpower. com to get to know us and see some of our 40 years of award winning jobs.

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Chicagoland Certified Sales Arborist We have a need for another Certified Sales Arborist. Assist in daily operations, responsible for sales and client contact in an established territory. Qualified candidate must have the ability to identify plants, insects and disease. Sales arborist would be responsible for providing daily work and scheduling for 6 crew members. Full benefits include company vehicle,100% paid medical and dental insurance for employee and family and 100% paid life insurance policy for the employee! A retirement program is also available. This is a salary plus commission position. Submit resume to Discretion assured Commercial Account Manager James Martin Associates (Vernon Hills, IL) is looking for an experienced Commercial Account Manager to sell, manage, plan and schedule weekly maintenance and enhancement services to our customers. -Prefer degree in landscape management, horticulture or equivalent experience -5 years’ experience with landscape maintenance -CDL license a plus -Strong computer skills in Microsoft Office programs Visit our website to learn more: https://www. Landscape Maintenance Supervisor/Sales A growing commercial landscape company looking to fill the following position: Landscape Maintenance supervisor/sales. Candidate must be bi-lingual Two years experience Willing to run up to 6 crews. Email resumes to:

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The Landscape Contractor July 2019




Landscape Management Sales Person Grant & Power Landscaping is in need of persons to join our team. Come join and make Grant & Power Landscaping your new family and home. Are you a people person? Do you like putting smiles on faces? We are seeking an organized and motivated person to work with our maintenance clients. Job duties will include providing exceptional customer service, site visits, site inspections and quality control, providing our clients with additional products and services to solve their needs, maintaining and providing Landscape Management Proposals and renewals each year. The ideal person should have a customer services, sales and horticulture back ground. Understanding of landscape design a plus. Full time position – salary and bonus compensation package with company car allowance. We offer medical and dental insurance, employer match 401K, generous personal and vacation time program, company profit sharing plan.

CLASSIFIED ADS CLOSING DATES & RATES August 2019 issue ads: July 15, 2019 September 2019 issue ads: August 15, 2019 October 2019 issue ads: September 15, 2019 PLEASE NOTE: “HELP WANTED” AD SALES ARE LIMITED TO ILCA MEMBER COMPANIES Magazine Cost is $5 per line Minimum charge $50 Website Cost is $12 per line Minimum charge $120 (About 6 words/line) Submit your ads online at or call Alycia Nagy (630) 472-2851

Email Resumes to Gene Grant. Genegrant@ Please visit our website at www.grantandpower. com to get to know us and see some of our 40 years of award winning jobs.

The Landscape Contractor July 2019


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The Landscape Contractor July 2019


Revisiting Your Plant Palette — Hakonechloa By Patrice Peltier

In the early 2000s, many landscape desigers

were just starting to explore ornamental grasses beyond Miscanthus, Calamagrostis and Pennisetum. Kathy Freeland had a recommendation: Hakonechloa, also known as Japanese forest grass. “The leaves glow golden yellow from a distance and will draw the eye of garden visitors like a magnet,” she predicted. She appreciated Hakonechnloa macra ‘Aureola’ for its golden yellow blades with thin green stripes running along their length. She also liked the slightly pink fall coloration and bronze winter color. “This is a grass for partial shade, doing well under trees and at the edge of woods and trees and shrubs,” she wrote. “Not invasive, it is a most appealing grass for the garden and is especially wonderful when planted in containers and allowed to spill over the edges. Freeland had lots of suggestions for using this shade plant. “In areas of partial shade, growing along with Hosta, Pulmonaria and other shade lovers, Hakonechloa is at its most appealing. Use as a groundcover at the edge of evergreens and the base of trees to create some interest. Freeland’s employer, Midwest Groundcovers, was selling ‘Aureola’ in 2003 when Freeland wrote about the plant. In 2012, Midwest added two more cultivars, ‘All Gold’ and ‘Fubuki.

“We still carry ‘Aureola’ and ‘All Gold,’” says Product Manager Shannon McEnerney. “We had performance issues with ‘Fubuki,’ so it only lasted about a year. We are in the process of trialing a few other varieties,” she adds. Planting Hakonechloa in the proper light is important, according to Freeland. She explained that full sun would burn the leaves while too much shade could cause the leaves to lose their yellow variegation. “This is a perfect plant for partial or dappled shade,” she wrote. “Plant Hakonechloa in good garden soils that are well drained, in partial shade with a bit of winter protection, and these plants will give pleasure to the gardener,” she advised. “In a container, use a soilless mix containing a slow release fertilizer for the best growth. Put the container in partial shade and enjoy it all through the summer season.”

Editor’s Note: Honorary Lifetime ILCA Member Kathy Freeland, a certifiable plant geek, was a regular contributor to The Landscape Contractor starting in the late 1990s. She introduced readers to strange and sometimes exotic plants, frequently offering suggestions on how they might be employed in the landscape. In a world of euonymous and impatiens, she offered a path less travelled. Twenty years later, we offer a look back at how some of her recommendations have stood the test of time.


The Landscape Contractor July 2019

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