Page 1

Summer Field Field Day Day Summer

Millennials to to Watch Watch Millennials

September 2019

CONTENTS Excellence In Landscape Awards Project


FOCUS: Turf Education Day

Renewal and Remembrance 10 ILCA members attend annual NALP program Legislative Day on the Hill 12 Members raise their voices on national issues

Five Millennials to Watch Younger members on the move


Seasonal Weather Forecast 24 The Fall 2019 forecast Retooled Summer Field Day Hits the Mark 26 A great day for a great event

Turf Education Day Program

Turf Education Day Program 39 Día de la educación del césped

Midwest Groundcovers Celebrates 50 Years


Five Critical Steps to Better Meetings It seems simple... but





Diseases & Pests 58 White Grubs and Seasonal Needle Drop



Member Profile 60 Okaw Prairie Landscapes Revisiting Your Plant Palette 66 Allium senescens ‘glauca’ On the cover... Rosborough Partners, Inc. received a Gold award for Landscape Maintenance for this 2018 turf masterpiece. The Landscape Contractor September 2019

66 3


DEPARTMENTS ILCA Calendar From Where I Stand President’s Message New Members Classified Ads Advertisers Index Photo Credits

Calendar 4 5 6 54 62 65

ILCA Leg. & Reg. Affairs Committee 10-13 AM Woodland Outdoor Design 14, 16 Kyle Burkhart 18 The Morton Arboretum 20 Tim Sweeney 22 Steve Mirsky 24

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

Rick Reuland 26-32, 44 TED 34-35, 40-41 Christy Webber 56 Midwest Groundcovers 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.

October 3, 2019 Women’s Networking Group Fall Event Chandler’s Chophouse Schaumburg

Volume 60, Number 9. 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. 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

October 22, 2019 The Impact Conference Chicago Botanic Garden Glencoe

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

Education Manager AnneMarie Drufke

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

Events Manager Terre Houte Office Manager Alycia Nagy Membership & Marketing Manager Marissa Stubler

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

NOVEMBER November 7, 2019 Pruning Workshop Location TBD

v Becke Davis Senior Writer Patrice Peltier

Feature Writer

November 14, 2019 Annual Party and Member Meeting Joe’s Live Rosemont

Meta Levin

Feature Writer Nina Koziol Feature Writer Heather Prince


Feature Writer @ILCAlandscape


The Landscape Contractor September 2019

From Where I Stand — My mom used to work at a Catholic Church. She

helped organize the religious education program. She worked long hours and was paid very little. Whenever I would ask why she did all that work for such a small paycheck, she would respond with a wink, “The pay may be small, but you can’t beat the retirement plan.” It’s a big ask for a woman with two young children to dedicate 75 hours a week to a job for very little money due to the promise of heavenly rewards. I’m sure many of mom’s contemporaries won’t burn in hell because they were home by 5:30pm. My mom worked many years for embarrassingly low pay for one simple reason - she found the work meaningful. The data backs this up. The website Payscale put together a phenomenal report that takes hundreds of different occupations and ranks them based on how meaningful they are to the individuals who do the work. It should come as no surprise that clergy is the highest ranking profession on the list. 98% of clergymen and clergywomen said the job had high meaning. As a side note, I wonder what the services conducted by the remaining 2% are like, “Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. You know what, whatevs, you be you.” My mom’s old position clocks in at fifth on a scale of 454 jobs. No wonder they had their hooks into her for so long. It wasn’t because of the retirement plan, it’s because she got intense, euphoric meaning from her job. Man, what a weirdo. In fact, many of the top ten positions are not high paying jobs. Of the top ten most meaningful positions, three of them have a mean salary of six figures (surgeons, anesthesiologists, and psychologists). Three of the positions; chiropractor, educational administrators, and radiation technicians are above $60,000. The remaining four all average below $50,0000 (clergy, religious education coordinators, teachers, and rehabilitation counselors). Salary plays a factor in satisfaction and retention, but clearly not with our sense of meaning. Now, let’s look at the bottom feeders. Good news, it’s not landscapers - a little more on that later. Salary factors into the discussion because it’s unlikely that the 454th most meaningful job is going to command six figures. Only one of the bottom ten professions make $50,000 or more per year (fabric patternmakers). The other 4 are, in descending order: • Title Examiners • Prepress Technicians and Workers • Gaming Supervisors And finally, bringing up the rear, with a 5% job meaning level - parking lot attendants. I can’t believe that sitting in a tiny booth all day to rent asphalt for exorbitant rates could lead to such a low level of personal validation. Now, let’s dive into the green industry: • Foresters - 81% job meaning / 85% job satisfaction • Landscape Architects - 71% job meaning / 73% job satisfaction • Soil and Plant Scientists - 79% job meaning / 67% job satisfaction • Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers - 62% job meaning / 71% job satisfaction • Floral Designers - 61% job meaning / 58% job satisfaction • Tree Trimmers and Pruners - 59% job meaning / 75% job satisfaction • Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, and Applicators (lawn) - 56% job

meaning / 47% job satisfaction First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Workers - 52% job meaning / 64% job satisfaction First, some hot takes. Taken with the narrow lens of green industry professions only, it would appear that the more education required for the position, the higher the level of job meaning. I contend that is probably related to the life safety aspects of landscape architecture and forestry. These professions view their work as serving a greater public good. Additionally, we see a reverse bell curve effect near the bottom of the spectrum. The landscaping workers, trimmers, and pruners actually rate higher than the individuals who supervise those professionals. Meaning, the guy who is cutting the grass feels he is making more of an impact on the world than the guy who has to make sure the grass got cut. This may be surprising to some, but it is not surprising to me. Almost weekly, I listen to the conversations from members about the challenges of managing the unpredictability of the current workforce. Frankly, I was taken aback by these rankings. Most notably, by how high the green industry placed when put in comparison with other professions. I was also surprised that the satisfaction percentage outpaced the job meaning percentage with almost every position where I expected the converse to be true. I wouldn’t say this industry beams with pride. Pride is a direct offshoot of job meaning and satisfaction and I’ve always noticed a fierce Napoleon complex with the lawn and landscape industry. There is a general sense I get from landscape workers and business owners that they are the low man on the totem pole and these are jobs people pursue when all else fails. If the Payscale data is to be believed, that is patently false. Perhaps, and excuse the pun, the grass is not always greener when it comes to comparable professions. If we were to examine just the trades, all of the following rank lower in job meaning than green industry employees: masons, carpenters, electricians, sheet metal workers, truck drivers, general construction laborers, steel workers, drywallers, boilermakers, painters, roofers, welders, and millwrights. In fact, the only trade that ranks higher than a landscaper is a one scant percentage point! Ok, I understand that not every member of the green industry is an unskilled, green collar worker. We have thousands of professionals who make up our ranks who never dig holes or run a piece of equipment. Landscape professionals, across the entire discipline rank higher than structural engineers, lawyers, air traffic controllers (YIKES!), surveyors, interior designers, and hundreds upon hundreds of other professions. Personally, I thought we’d fare well in meaning, but did not anticipate that 71% of landscaping and groundskeeping workers are satisfied with their jobs. That puts them on par with aerobics instructors, general internists, registered nurses, and aerospace engineers. It was conventional wisdom that the more physically demanding the job, the lower the satisfaction level. The data does not support that premise. Since the recession ended, I have seen the tenor of the industry change. ILCA was quick to cut our student-based and public outreach programs in the late 2000s out of self-preservation. These “nice to have” initiatives had to take a backseat when the health of the association was •

The Meaning in Life

The Landscape Contractor September 2019


From Where I Stand —



on the line. This was no different with our national partners whether AmericanHort, NALP, the Irrigation Association and the hundreds of other state green industry trade organizations. With the economy leveling off, and labor once again surging to the top of the priority list, these initiatives are blossoming again. Most notably, ILCA’s Future Landscape Industry Professionals (FLIP) Committee and NALP’s Industry Growth Initiative. FLIP has spent the spring and summer doing community immersion. This is where we attend community based events aimed at putting a positive spin on careers in the green industry. We have attended the Taste of Mexico and the Lake County Fair among others. We set up a table staffed by volunteers, we have a prize wheel, we give away swag like backpacks and plant plugs, and we have a lot of fun evangelizing our industry to the general public. Will this result in a windfall of new job candidates, hort students, and future landscape professionals? Maybe. Has this created a stronger sense of pride in our industry? Absolutely. There is something empowering about standing elbow to elbow with other professional groups, associations, and labor unions at these events to promote landscaping as a vocation. We bring a lot of energy to these festivals as the clicking of our prize wheel slices through the din of the crowd. We exchange information, offer free plant advice, and provide handshakes and smiles. It feels good to not hide or be embarrassed by the industry we call home. I’m noticing more and more of this across the country as the green industry relocates its pride. NALP’s Industry Growth Initiative is a multi-year, multi-faceted PR program designed to draw more people to the labor force. ILCA is helping to fund this effort as well as advertise their outputs. The result has been a groundswell of pride that I have not seen in the 12 years I’ve been at the ILCA. NALP has also launched as a one-stop resource for those interested in working in the green industry. Seeing Payscale list over 450 professions in one table was eyeopening to me. For years, I labored under the notion that the green industry suffered from acute self-loathing and an inability to view itself above comparable trades. Now, I realize that our industry finds meaning and satisfaction in their jobs. Our industry has room to grow and problems to fix in order to solve the labor shortage, but the drudgery of the job is clearly not one of them. It all starts with you. FLIP, NALP, and others will continue to work the big rooms. It is your job as a green industry professional to work the small ones. We may lack the retirement benefits of the clergy, but the data says that you like your job more than hundreds of other professions who we have accused for years of luring away our best talent. Don’t be embarrassed, ashamed, or apologetic about your job in the green industry. When someone asks, “So what do you do?” Don’t stare at the ground and mutter “I’m just a landscaper.” Instead, grasp their hand, smile wide, pull them closer, and proclaim, “I’m a landscape professional and proud of it.” Maybe we should start with the parking lot attendants, they are a captive audience after all. Scot Grams August 12, 2019


The Landscape Contractor September 2019

President’s Message — Education will open the doors to you... My parents were educators


and planted in me the seed of education and the importance of success at an early age. It’s with that philosophy, that since my arrival to the United States, education was my priority. So even with the long days of physical work I decided to invest in my education by taking classes at community colleges during the evenings for many years. Initially, I took a class in English language (ESL) so that later I could take classes in accounting, administration, computers and legal business among others. It was my perseverance and wish to come out ahead and education helped me focus on my goals. Now, in the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA), keeping that same perseverance as well as the enthusiasm that characterizes us and with the support of our many program Committees (Technical Skills, Latino Relations, Turf, Sustainable, FLIP, Education, Snow and Design) we promote education and the personal technical training through workshops, seminars, publications and webinars. More recently, we are creating an ambitious yet concrete form of an apprenticeship program focusing on landscaping by joining forces with the College of Lake County. This will help us develop our workforce within the industry at all levels. As a result, it will give us significant and better opportunities which will benefit the industry, membership and participating individuals. In conclusion, that is how education will open doors for you to learn, develop and benefit the industry and your family’s well-being. Yes We Can!

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

Kind Regards,

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

José M. Garcia, President of ILCA

La educacion te abrira las puertas... Mis padres fueron educadores y plantaron Ia semilla de Ia educacion y Ia importancia de su relacion con el exito desde temprana edad. Es asi que con esa filosoffa desde que llegue a los Estados Unidos esa fue mi prioridad, asi que aun a pesar de mis jornadas largas de trabajo fisico decidi invertir en mi educacion tomando clases en varios Colegios Comunitarios durante las naches y par varios afios inclialmentee tomé clases de ingles como segunda lengua (ESL) para luego tamar clases de: contabilidad, administracion, computacion y aspectos legales en los negocios entre otras, fue mi perseverancia y el deseo de salir adelante lo que me ayudo a mantenerme enfocado en mis objetivos. Ahora en Ia Asociacion de Contratistas del Paisajismo de Illinois (ILCA) manteniendo esa misma perseverancia asf como el entusiasmo que nos caracteriza y con el apoyo del comite de futuros profesionales del paisajismo (FLIP) promovemos Ia educacion y Ia capacitacion tecnica del personal a traves de cursos, seminaries, practicas y mas recientemente en una forma mas ambiciosa pero concreta a creacion de un programa de aprendizaje enfocado en el paisajismo con el apoyo mutua del Colegio Comunitario del Condado de Lake eso nos ayudara a desarrollar a nuestra fuerza Ia bora I dentro de Ia industria en todos los niveles, dando como resultado Ia creaci6n de mayores y mejores oportunidades en beneficia de Ia Industria, membrecia e individuos que participen. Es asi como Ia educacion te abrira las puertas del conocimiento y desarrollo en beneficia de Ia industria y el bienestar familiar. iiiSi se Puede!!! Saludos Cordiales, José M. Garcia, Presidente de ILCA The Landscape Contractor September 2019


When the client bought

ILT Vignocchi • Wauconda Skokie Residence

the house they knew that they would immediately have to do something with the existing small patio and completely neglected landscape. As frequent entertainers of very large groups a property wide transformation would be needed to fit their needs. A Landscape Designer was hired to bring this property back to life. The request was for an all-encompassing modern design with specific requirements for the patio: a Bar-B-Que station, dining and fire pit areas, new stoops and a pergola. They also wanted a large lawn panel that could accommodate a tent for entertaining. Lastly was the desire for lush plantings throughout the property. What came to life was a spectacular blending of all these elements. A new stoop brought both rear doors together onto one space. The patio’s generous open floor plan not only gave personality to each of the three requested patio areas, but seamlessly melded those spaces together. A pergola was added over the Bar-B-Que that had to be designed to hold a fan, TV, heating lamps, speakers, and lighting. Seeing wires for any of these elements was not going to be acceptable. The patio spaces are enclosed by seat walls that give a firm separation between patio and plantings. A very geometric lawn shape was used to compliment the shape and lines of the patio and the size was determined by the size of a large party tent. The rest of the yard became a garden. Pain staking time was given to

every plant and its placement in the garden. This held true for both the front and rear yard. This time greatly paid off as the garden comes to life with a symphony of colors throughout the season. As the design neared completion the designer collaborated with the landscape contractor on details including material selection. The client hated the color of the house brick so a more modern looking, darker, brick was chosen for all the vertical elements around the patio. The darker walls were softened by using the lighter tones of limestone for the patio that were all custom cut into planks of various lengths. Each piece of limestone was sealed several times before installation to help prevent long term discoloration. Darker inlays where then set into the patio that not only accented each area of the patio, but matched the material used for the wall coping. Gas, electric, lighting and speaker lines needed to be run and set properly before any of the concrete was poured. A dryer vent needed to be completely relocated and new a/c units added before the new fence was installed. The entire team, working extremely closely together, successfully navigated every request and wish the owner had. The property had, at the most, 2� of good topsoil. Clay was removed or enhanced with a garden mix before any plantings were installed. Each and every plant was then hand placed, meticulously, to insure that the planting plan, with its flow of plants and colors, was followed precisely.

The Landscape Contractor September 2019


ILCA in Action —

Renewal & Remembrance 2019


The Landscape Contractor September 2019

by Scott Grams

ILCA sent

its annual delegation to NALP’s Renewal and Remembrance and Day on the Hill from July 15-17, 2019 in Washington, DC. This annual event gathers landscape professionals from across the country for a Day of Service at Arlington National Cemetery. After a day of sweat spreading lime at the cemetery, we attend briefings on a variety of pressing green industry issues that we will discuss during our legislative visits the next day. ILCA usually has one of the larger delegations in Washington and this year was no exception. We also plan an aggressive schedule of meetings. We met with the representatives or staff members for 13 different districts and dropped off information at the remaining eight offices. Sadly, we don’t have enough hours to meet with them all. Meetings are kept tight and on time as we move through our agenda. This can result in our delegation sprinting through the underground tunnels that snake through the basement of the Capitol to stay on time and on task. There are always a handful of meetings we arrive at needing a few seconds to catch our breath. Lobbying on Capitol Hill is never an easy exercise. It is about telling a compelling and memorable story while navigating the political white waters and optics. Our delegation showed poise, truthfulness, and patience when engaging in these spirited discussions, especially against those who currently oppose our issues. A stark difference between this visit and the dozens of other visits ILCA has made to Washington is that the labor crisis is palpable and can no longer be ignored. For years, we were met with skepticism about our labor challenges. Most of our representatives just assumed we were not looking hard enough or paying our workers enough money. Now, as the economy strengthens, they are hearing about labor crises from dozens of different white collar, blue collar, and green collar industries. The H2B program is essential to the economic success of many ILCA members and we continue (continued on page 13)

The Landscape Contractor September 2019


ILCA in Action —

Legislative Day on the Hill


The Landscape Contractor September 2019

(continued from page 11) to advocate for cap relief and the permanent reinstallation of the returning worker exemption. A few years ago, the Trump administration vested tremendous power in the US Department of Labor to release additional H2B visas based on demand. This has proved to be a double-edged sword. The first year, this release happened deep into the season and provided little value to seasonal landscape businesses. With each passing year, the release date has moved up, but not without intense pressure from industry groups including ILCA, NALP, and the H2B Workforce Coalition. This rule change presents a tremendous opportunity to release additional visas especially in light of the gridlocked political climate. On the lawn care side, glyphosate was on everyone’s mind as the recent court settlements have thrust the issue into the spotlight. It is rare that the lawn care side of the industry discusses pesticides that are known to DC stakeholders. Not anymore. The members of Congress and their staff see the exact same television commercials we all do. Since the scientific underpinnings of glyphosate are so strong, it is easier to cut through the emotion. If we are asked to “believe the science” surrounding climate change, that argument must also extend to glyphosate and neonicotinoids. Lobbying is one of the essential tasks of the ILCA. We will continue to advocate for our members’ best interests on the state and federal level. This year, the ILCA delegation consisted of: • Claire Storti, Scott Byron & Company, Chairperson, Regulatory and Legislative Committee, Lake Bluff • John Fisher, GCG Financial, LLC, Regulatory and Legislative Committee, Downers Grove • Melisa Bell, Montale Gardens, Regulatory and Legislative Committee, Wauconda • Dave Froede, Logan Tree Care Experts, Regulatory and Legislative Committee, Chicago • Scott Grams, Executive Director, Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA), Oak Brook We were also joined by our friends from Munie Greencare Professionals headquartered in Caseyville, IL. Their participation on our delegation is always appreciated as they are heavy users of the H2B program in Illinois and a number of surrounding states. They were excellent advocates demonstrating that labor challenges are not just a northern Illinois problem. The Landscape Contractor September 2019


Five Millennials to Watch —

Andy Migacz by Meta Levin

Andy Migacz’s

energy and industriousness has served him well in the green industry. Introduced to the work through part time jobs in high school and college, he realized it fed his need to work hard and be outside. As a geology major at the University of Illinois, he soon realized that the kinds of jobs his classmates were getting, were not what he wanted. He was able to minor in turf management and landscape design. Faced with student loans, he started his own lawn maintenance company while still in school, to begin accruing money to pay them off. “I knew I had to do something,” Andy Migacz he says. He soon was traveling back and forth from school to home to service his customers. In the first year, he managed to get 13 clients, mostly by going door to door and talking with people. It’s that industrious nature that has served him well as he grew A.M. Woodland Outdoor Design, from his parents’ driveway to its current location in Mundelein, IL. At just one year in, he had grown enough that that he had to hire some more people to help. Not long after that, he moved to a gravel parking lot and finally to a lot with a pole barn, formerly the home of another landscape contractor. Gradually, the operation grew. When he needed some capital to take it to the next level, his twin


brother, Dan, a CPA, who had been doing his books, realized the need. Dan approached a long-time friend, Kirk Vander Pas, who holds a degree in economics from the University of Illinois and worked for a bank. The two not only provided funding, but began helping out nights and weekends, as well. Last February, they were able to leave their full-time jobs and come to work for A.M. Woodland Outdoor Design, Dan as the CFO/COO and Kirk as the CIO, as well as manager fleet and resources. “They have the right set of skills and balance me,” says Migacz. Migacz started at the University of Illinois in its architecture program. “But I decided that I did not want to be indoors,” he says. “I wanted to be outside.” Never one to sit still, once a month he makes a point of working alongside his employees on job sites. When he is not working, he and his wife, Cate, are camping, rock climbing, kayaking and riding mountain bikes. “I don’t like to be idle,” he says. And Migacz’s wife? She’s in the green industry, too. With a degree in horticulture from the University of Illinois, she started working for Charles J. Fiore Nursery right out of college and is still there. “It’s nice to have someone who understands,” says Migacz.

The Landscape Contractor September 2019

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Design: Earth Developments, Inc., Spring Grove, Illinois.

Planters and garden ornaments for fine gardens . . .

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Five Millennials to Watch —

Dan Migacz by Meta Levin

Dan Migacz likes

accounting. So much so that he earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the subject and began his career in the field. He wasn’t completely unfamiliar with the landscape industry. During high school and college, he worked part time for his father, a firefighter and paramedic who, with a partner, had a landscape maintenance business on the side. Migacz and his brother, Andy, did some mowing and a little mulching – their first introduction to the green industry. Migacz, however, was focused on business. From the time he ran his first lemonade stand, he wanted to be an Dan Migacz entrepreneur. With a push from a professor, Migacz majored in accounting and, just to round things out a little, minored in religion. There were days, he says, that he went straight from advanced auditing to Eastern religion. “It taught me to keep things in balance.” During college he worked for Deloitte. Afterwards he landed a job with McGladrey LLP, where he concentrated on public accounting and taxation. Meanwhile, Andy Migacz, his twin brother started a landscape contracting business. Migacz did his brother’s books, allowing him a front row seat to what was going on. “I saw that he was doing something good,” he says. “I thought it might be good to get together.” There it might have stayed, had it not been for a fateful Christmas party in the winter of 2010, where he ran into a longtime friend of his and his brother’s, Kirk Vander Pas. They talked about the landscape contracting business, then approached Andy about investing in it so that he could take it to the next level. “It was a rather small investment,” Migacz says. It made, however, a big difference, allowing Andy Migacz to expand.


For seven-and-a-half years, the two kept an eye on the business, while helping when they could and keeping their day jobs. In early 2018, they took the jump, moving to full time with A.M. Woodland Outdoor Design, where both wear multiple hats. Migacz is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, while Vander Pas is the Chief Information Officer and HR Director. “Growth was something we talked about constantly,” he says. “The goal was for the three of us to work together.” Although Andy and Dan are twins, Migacz admits that they are different. “For Andy’s honeymoon, he and his wife went to Costa Rica and spent time in a tree house,” he says. “My wife and I

would never do that.” Both, however, like the outdoors, something that figured into Migacz’s decision to join his brother in the landscape industry. They both were Boy Scouts, where they, “learned a lot of skills that helped out in life.” They also share a love of sports, took AP classes in high school, and had part time jobs. Migacz is a huge sports fan, rooting for the Cubs, Blackhawks and Bears. In his spare time, he plays touch football, softball and frisbee, “anything that gets me outside and moving around.” His wife, Callen, is a special education teacher in the Barrington School District. She likes soccer and volleyball. The Migacz twins and Vander Pas also brew beer, testing recipes in an area they set up in one of the offices. Although, they’ve slowed down, they still enjoy it. Migacz is happy that he, his brother and Vander Pas have the opportunity to work together – outdoors and in.

The Landscape Contractor September 2019

Five Millennials to Watch —

Kyle Burkhart by Meta Levin

Following highschool, Kyle Burkhart, founder of Burkhart Outdoors Inc., tried several different jobs before finding the green industry. He worked at a pool, in the food business and then worked his way back to mowing lawns, something he had done as a youngster. “Every weekend and after school, I mowed lawns,” he says. “At 12, I had 20 accounts.” As a young adult, he went to work for a friend’s father, attended the College of DuPage to study interior design and eventually started his own landscape contracting business. “I learned good lessons about hard work,” Kyle Burkhart he says. Those lessons, as well as his ambition, served him well. In the last five years, since starting his career, he has, “sold millions of dollars in landscaping design-build services,” he says. His interior design studies also helped him with space planning, something that has easily crossed over into his landscape design work. “I took what I learned on the inside and applied it to the outside,” he says. The questions you ask your clients are the same, starting with: how much space do you have? How do you want to use the space? As he worked first for another landscape firm and then his own, Burkhart realized that both design and selling came naturally to him. “I’ve always been artistic,” he says. During high school he won awards in graphic design. His grandfather built boats by hand. The stories

about his work were told and re-told in Burkhart’s family. “Unbelievable craftsmanship,” says Burkhart, who includes woodworking and cabinet making among his hobbies and believes he may have inherited some of his ancestor’s natural talent. By junior high school, he was working with his hands, something he found he liked. In high school he won a state competition, qualifying him for the national contest, where he came in third place in construction design. He has combined the satisfaction he gets from working with his hands with his enjoyment of the outdoors. When he has some extra time, he loves to walk and “enjoy nature.” Burkhart also is focused on helping others. “It’s always about helping others,” he says. An active person by nature, he doesn’t like to sit still. So, when he isn’t working, he’s doing something for his neighbors, many of whom bought homes 60-plus-years-ago and now need some help with everyday tasks. “It’s about being a part of the community,” he says. Three years ago, he bought his own home, where he now has his office. He rents yard space for his landscape company. Burkhart grew up in Oswego, where his parents taught him to value honesty. It’s a lesson he has taken to heart. “I hear my clients say that they appreciate my honesty and the fact that I do what I say I’m going to do, no matter what,” he says. “When I say that I’m going to do something, I do it.”


The Landscape Contractor September 2019

Five Millennials to Watch —

Melissa Custic by Meta Levin

“I always knew

I wanted to do something in the outdoors,” says Melissa Custic, which is sort of how she landed at The Morton Arboretum. She knew she wanted to be outdoors and, in fact, cites camping and hiking with her family growing up as primary influences on her. She also enjoyed gardening with her mother, so when, in high school, she landed an internship at the Field Museum, where she could choose from one of several areas of interest, she chose plants. She liked it. At Beloit College in Beloit, WI, she studied environmental biology and got connected with Melissa Custic George Ware and Gary Watson at The Morton Arboretum, where she interned as a research assistant. She never looked back. At Northwestern University, which has a partnership with Chicago Botanic Garden, she finished her Master’s degree and moved to the University of Illinois at Chicago to start work on her PhD. The further she got into academia, however, the less actual contact she had with plants. It required her to be what she called, “hyper-specialized” and she is a selfdescribed, “jack-of-all-trades.” For a while, she dabbled in education, serving as an education program guide, then worked in the Arboretum’s Children’s Garden, before realizing that working with children was not what she wanted to do. She also taught a college class, which was more to her liking. Along came the Morton Arboretum’s Chicago Region Trees Initiative, which it started with the


help of its lead partners, where she found her home. “it’s a cool collaboration,” she says. “It’s all about improving the health, diversity and cover of trees for the people who live here.” ILCA is, by-the-way, one of 14 lead partners of the tree initiative. For the last five years, she has worked with it, “keeping all the moving parts moving,” she says. “I love it.” She can satisfy her academic side by reading research, but working with the Tree’s Initiative lets her apply that science and make an impact. “Trees are the solution to many problems.” Data from the seven counties encompassed by the Chicago Region Trees Initiative shows that keeping trees healthy, planting them and teaching people to enjoy, respect, appreciate and care for trees impacts flooding and crime rates, among other things. Trees also influence climate change. “We look at issues from different angles,” she says. She and others involved talk with residents, looking at the various neighborhoods and their wants and needs. Trees have long timelines. “We are setting goals for 2050,” she says. Every five years they do an operational capacity survey and every 10 years is a tree census. In her free time, Custic’s priority is her family, which includes her 8 ½ year old son and husband. Together they camp and hike. Often, she can be found coaching her son’s soccer team, is training for a sprint triathlon and works in her own garden. All outdoors, of course.

The Landscape Contractor September 2019

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The Landscape Contractor September 2019


Five Millennials to Watch —

Tim Sweeney by Meta Levin

Out in Tucson

Arizona, a couple with a passion for plants, one from Hungary and the other a Chicagoan, started Western Nurseries. They didn’t know that their excitement about growing plants would work its way into the DNA of first, their son, and now their grandson. Tim Sweeney grew up around plants, hearing the stories his father told of working for his parents in the nursery, before moving to the Midwest to work for The Brickman Group, then starting his own landscape contracting company, Sweeney’s Custom Landscaping, Inc. in 2005. Within months the youngTim Sweeney er Sweeney had joined his father in the business full time. “Growing up, I always loved when I visited the job sites,” Sweeney says. He enjoys the outdoors, too, but originally dreamed for working for Caterpillar®. With two years of business classes at the College of DuPage under his belt, as well as education he has received at the Chicago Botanic Garden and through ILCA, Tim Sweeney now is firmly entrenched in the landscape industry. His father did not make it easy, though. Sweeney began at the company by mowing lawns and doing work orders. Eventually he worked his way up to his present position, sales manager. Along the way, he says, “I had to earn the respect of the guys.” Many of them still work for Sweeney Custom Landscaping. During that time, Sweeney recruited his best friend, Mike Wyller. The two have known each other since elementary school and share a love of the outdoors. Wyller helped here and there, before starting full time at the landscape firm nearly four years ago. Wyller now is a production manager for the company.


When not working, Sweeney can be found outdoors, of course. Never one to sit around, Sweeney loves to kayak and camp. He has projects going, too. In fact, he is working to turn his own yard into a native garden. “It’s a project of passion,” he says. It’s one that has captured the attention of his neighbors in Lombard, IL, who often stop to ask him about the native ornamental plants they see in his front yard. That warms his heart. “I’m trying to start a trend in my neighborhood, so I can get my neighbors on board,” he says. He and his girlfriend, who have been together for 12 years, also are renovating their home, for the most part doing the work

by themselves. The two share a love of travel with Sweeney’s father, whose goal is to visit all 50 states. Sweeney, however, has no such objective. He just likes to see new places, though he wants to revisit New York City to see, once again, Central Park and the High Line, New York City’s elevated and scenic park. It was this love of travel that first gave Sweeney the idea of putting native plants in his own yard. Everywhere he went in the United States, except the Southwest, which was dry, he saw the same kinds of landscaping, the same flowers and other plants. He became passionate about using plants that are native to this part of the country on his own land. Sweeney credits ILCA with much of his success in the landscape industry. A member of the Young Professionals Committee, as well as FLIP (Future Landscape Industry Professionals), he says that “ILCA has been great. They embraced me and helped me in my career.”

The Landscape Contractor September 2019

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Seasonsal Weather Forecast — Fall 2019 by Steve Mirsky

As of this writing, so far the analogs and model

forecasts have generally performed well this meteorological summer that began June 1st and goes until August 31st. As expected, summer temperatures have been near/slightly above normal while the models have been a bit too cool. Rainfall totals have been quite variable over Illinois and surrounding areas as often the case during summer due to thunderstorms that occur on a small scale as opposed to winter storms. As we move into the meteorological autumn (September 1November 30) the analogs have decidedly changed from what was used for the summer. The main reason for this is that the El NiĂąo that existed since last fall is weakening and will soon be neutral. That is, sea surface temperatures (SST) over the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean which have been above normal for almost a year now are returning to close to normal and expected to continue this trend for the next few

months. Looking back at similar years when the SST transitioned from El NiĂąo to neutral as well as some other meteorological factors I came out with this analog. Temperatures would average close to normal. If you break this down by month, it would come out to a mild September that would transition to a cold November. Steve Mirsky is a degreed meteorologist and has been with Weather Command since 1988. Although Steve is interested in almost every aspect of weather, his specialties include consulting for energy companies, winter storms, severe weather and long range forecasting.

There is much better agreement with precipitation. Near normal precipitation over the far northern part of the state although it is wetter further south. 24

The Landscape Contractor September 2019

Meanwhile the model is much warmer with above normal temperatures for the fall months.

My general feeling by looking at the analogs and models is that Illinois will generally see close to normal temperatures this meteorological fall with the coldest readings relative to normal later in the season. Precipitation will average near to slightly above normal. The Landscape Contractor September 2019


Summer Field Day 2019 —

Retooled for 2019 Summer Field Day Drew Great Reviews by Meta Levin

Yes, there were camels at Summer Field Day (SFD) 2019. Three, in fact; a three-month-old baby, its mother and an unrelated male. “I’ve been in this industry for 20 years and I’ve never seen camels before,” says Dave Boyce of Midwest Trading. The camels pranced around Goodmark Nurseries LLC in Wonder Lake, IL led by handlers, while excited SFD participants whipped out cell phones and snapped pictures. It was just one of the many differences to this year’s event. More than 700 people learned, played, ate and networked their way through the day-long annual affair. “I buy from a lot of the vendors here,” says Lisa Fiore, operations manager for Don Fiore Company, Inc., who estimates she


has been attending Summer Field Day for the last 20 years. “It’s nice to see them face to face. Normally we only talk on the phone.” Host Goodmark Nurseries LLC provided what proved to be popular tours of its 500-acre site, where it grows B&B shade, evergreen and ornamental trees, container trees, shrubs and perennials. “This is a sensible set-up in the open air,” says Lisa Pollman, a landscape architect for Schmechtig Landscapes. “Someone really thought about the layout.” Networking was a big draw for those attending SFD 2019, something the committee kept in mind when planning the event. Longtime attendees noticed that, among other things, there was easy access to educational offerings, which were held right on the show floor – in

The Landscape Contractor September 2019

vendor’s tents– making it easier for them to find. Participants crowded the Russo Power Equipment booth to hear Paul Stebel introduce them to the Echo Robotics turf mower, which can mow up to six acres. “They are quiet and the turf will always have that mowed look,” he says, predicting that there will be more robotics in the industry in the future. Participants learned what is needed to start a Monarch butterfly tagging program at the Pizzo Native Plant Nursery booth. Montale Gardens presented a primer on how to choose the right plants and amend soil to help create successful long-term landscapes. For more information, attendees heard from RCOP why crop rotation and proper irrigation are critical (continued on page 30)


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Summer Field Day 2019 — (continued from page 26) to landscape success and were introduced to plants useful to attracting beneficial insects. Planners did not forget the business side. The Arachas Group provided guidance on how to select the insurance agency that is right for you and your business. “It was a good idea to have the education sessions in the booths,” says Boyce, who admits that the networking also was a big draw for him. “There are certain people that I only see at this event.” The SFD 2019 committee decided to shake things up a little this year with three different food offerings: Italian, Mexican and BBQ. Instead of one, large, dining tent, as had been the norm in the past, there were three smaller ones around the show where attendees could not only eat, but duck in for a little networking, as well. “I get to see people I don’t get to see at other times of the year,” says Dean MacMorris, president of Night Light Landscape Illumination. “It’s more about networking for me.” It’s also about supporting ILCA and learning who and what is new in the industry. There were about 70 vendors at SFD 2019, talking with current customers and potential ones. The SFD 2019 committee also did more than nod to sustainability with


bright blue refillable water bottles and water stations at which to refill them. The bottles, which featured the Summer Field Day logo, were included in a green “swag bag” given to all attendees. Vermeer Midwest served as the Summer Field Day Premier sponsor. If attendees wanted another special souvenir to take home, SmithAmundsen sponsored a fun photo booth, complete with props for everyone.

The Landscape Contractor September 2019

The Tree Connection hosted a beer garden, featuring locally brewed beer, as well as Miller Lite, and Ball Seed was responsible for the Ice Cream Social. Burris Equipment provided the lanyards on which attendees hung their name tags. Brightview sponsored the giant Beer Pong. Dayton Bag provided raffle prizes, which included Bose wireless headphones; a Yeti portable cooler; a Garmin GPS Smartwatch and a Toshiba 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV. In kind sponsors included Alta Equipment, Buck Brothers, Goodmark Nurseries, Gravely, Miller Road Farm, Russo Power Equipment and South Branch Nurseries. Attendees reveled in the good weather, which was sunny and in the 70s. And, whether most people noticed, the SFD 2019 committee changed shirts. “We no longer wanted the mustard yellow shirts,” says Jessica Riedell, committee member, who, like the others, was sporting a purple polo shirt with the Summer Field Day logo. The day ended with a live band, Breezy Rodio and the Coolers, providing music, and increased opportunities for networking. “This is like an industry reunion,” says Pollman.


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August 29, 2019

The Landscape Contractor September 2019


Registration 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Linneaus Room

Legislative Issues Facing the Landscape Industry: What They Are, What to Know, What to Do

Joseph Regenstein Center at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Bob Mann, National Association of Landscape Professionals Landscapers typically do not like public policy but, as the old saying goes, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. Too often, lawmakers and regulators attempt to address important environmental issues by picking on the very people that practice environmentalism every day – landscapers. Bob Mann will lead you through the important issues from a nationwide perspective so that you are ready to defend your home turf in Illinois.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM Alsdorf Auditorium

Shane Griffith, Turf Committee Chair Scott Grams, ILCA Executive Director Tim Johnson, Chicago Botanic Garden


Pullman Room

Herbicide Resistance

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM Alsdorf Auditorium

Dr. Aaron Patton, Purdue University – Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture

Glyphosate: What Are the Risks?

Herbicide resistant weeds are being found in Midwestern turf. In this session, we will review current cases of herbicide resistance in turf. We will also discuss cultural weed control options as well as herbicide mode of action and options for rotating chemistry.

Jason Fausey, NuFarm In this presentation we will be discussing the associated risks using the nonselective herbicide glyphosate. From application to weeds controlled, glyphosate has been a valuable tool for the industry for decades. What are the associated risks using this herbicide and what alternatives do we have as options.

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM — Break

9:30 AM - 10:00 AM — Break

11:15 AM - 12:00 PM


10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Alsdorf Auditorium

Identifying and Controlling Weedy Grasses in Lawns

BREAKOUT SESSIONS Alsdorf Auditorium

Tom Voigt, University of Illinois – Department of Crop Sciences

Mike Reed, SynaTek In this session, attendees will review the routes of entry and the dermal exposure values. We will learn the toxic effect of pesticides, common products and the risk factors associated with applying pesticides. Finally, we will discuss how to reduce toxicity and exposure through personal protection equipment and other precautions.

This session will focus on the identification and control of common grassy weeds that invade cool-season lawns. Discussions of crabgrass, foxtails, nimblewill, tall fescue, and quackgrass will be included along with several less common grassy weeds that Dr. Voigt dealt with during a 30+ year Extension career.

Pesticide Toxicology: Pick Your Poison

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The Landscape Contractor September 2019

Linneaus Room

1:50 PM - 2:00 PM — Break

Illinois Department of Agriculture – Regulatory Update and Issues

2:00 PM - 2:50 PM

Doug Owens, Illinois Department of Agriculture Get answers to your burning questions in this discussion with the Department of Agriculture. Hear what they have to say about the efforts to repeal pre emption in other states or chime in with any changes you’d like to see in the pesticide applicator statute. Submit your questions ahead of time to

Pullman Room

Understanding Your Soil and How It Can Impact Turf Quality Dr. Ben Hamza, TruGreen This presentation will provide an introduction to soil physical and chemical properties and how they impact plant growth and development. Dr. Ben Hamza will touch on soil sampling and what it can tell you, soil pH, and its impact on soil nutrient availability.

BREAKOUT SESSIONS Alsdorf Auditorium

Growing Turf in Low Light, Shaded Environments Dr. Aaron Patton, Purdue University – Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture Plants capture the sun’s energy and build carbohydrates, which are necessary for plant growth and development. Learn how you can measure the light plants use to make turf establishment and management decisions. The latest information on shade tolerant cultivars, management practices to enhance shaded turf quality, and new technologies to diagnose shade issues will be covered.

Linneaus Room

For Your Consideration: Reduced Risk and Low Impact Pesticides Mike Reed, SynaTek

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM — Lunch Served in McGinley Pavilion


1:00 PM - 1:50 PM Alsdorf Auditorium

Biological Products and Their Impact on Turf & Soil Health Dr. Roch Gaussoin, University of Nebraska – Department of Agronomy & Horticulture The term “biologicals” refers to products that purport safety, sustainability and performance and are often marketed as cost-effective alternatives or additions to a conventional chemical program. Are these products effective and do they align with the marketing claims? This presentation will use science based reasoning to help the turf manager make sound agronomic choices at their facility.

Environmental Protection Agency approved Reduced Risk and Low Impact Pesticides are available and are a good fit for controlling insects, weeds and certain diseases in Turf. These products are extremely low in toxicity to most non-target animals including birds, fish, bees and humans. So why are we as an industry reluctant to embrace these new technologies? Let’s take a look at some commonly used Turf Products and see how they can effect environment and suggest some Reduced Risk and Low Impact Pesticide alternatives.

Pullman Room

Soil Surfactants – Improving Water Management Chip Houmes, Precision Laboratories, LLC Soil surfactant chemistries both move water deeper into the soil off the surface, as well as help main a balance volumetric water volume. They can be used in landscaping, plant containers, all turf areas including athletic fields. One product is even specially designed for infield skins on baseball fields.

2:50 PM - 3:00 PM — Conclusion

The Landscape Contractor September 2019



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The Landscape Contractor September 2019


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The Landscape Contractor September 2019

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August 29, 2019

The Landscape Contractor September 2019


Inscripción 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Linneaus Room

Asuntos legislativos que enfrenta la industria del paisajismo y la jardinería: Cuáles son, qué debemos saber, qué hacer

Joseph Regenstein Center en el Jardín Botánico de Chicago

BIENVENIDA Y PRESENTACIONES 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Alsdorf Auditorium

Shane Griffith, Presidente de la Junta del Comité de Césped Scott Grams, Director Ejecutivo de ILCA Tim Johnson, Chicago Botanic Garden


8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Alsdorf Auditorium

Bob Mann, Asociación Nacional de Profesionales del Paisajismo Por lo general, a los paisajistas no les agradan las políticas públicas, pero, como dice el viejo refrán, o estás sentado a la mesa o estás en el menú. Con mucha frecuencia, los legisladores y los reguladores tratan de resolver problemas ambientales importantes cuestionando a las personas que precisamente ponen en práctica diariamente el ambientalismo – los paisajistas. Bob Mann lo guiará por asuntos importantes desde una perspectiva nacional con el propósito de que esté listo para defender el césped de su casa en Illinois.

Pullman Room

Glifosato: ¿Cuáles son los riesgos?

Resistencia a los herbicidas

Jason Fausey, NuFarm En esta presentación hablaremos sobre los riesgos relacionados con el uso del herbicida no selectivo glifosato. Desde su aplicación hasta el control de malezas, el glifosato ha sido una valiosa herramienta para la industria durante décadas. Cuáles son los riesgos relacionados con el uso de este herbicida y qué alternativas tenemos como opciones.

9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. — Descanso

Dr. Aaron Patton, Universidad Purdue – Departamento de Horticultura y Arquitectura Paisajista Se están encontrando en céspedes del Medio Oeste malezas resistentes a los herbicidas. En esta sesión, revisaremos casos reales de resistencia a los herbicidas en céspedes. También hablaremos de opciones de control cultural de malezas y modos de acción de los herbicidas y opciones de rotación química.

10:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. — Descanso

10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.


11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Toxicología de pesticidas: Elija su veneno

Alsdorf Auditorium


Alsdorf Auditorium

Mike Reed, SynaTek En esta sesión, los asistentes revisarán las rutas de entrada y los valores de exposición cutánea. Aprenderemos acerca de los efectos tóxicos de los pesticidas, productos comunes y los factores de riesgo relacionados con la aplicación de pesticidas. Por último, hablaremos sobre cómo reducir la toxicidad y la exposición mediante equipos de protección personal y otras precauciones.

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Cómo identificar y controlar céspedes cubiertos de maleza Tom Voigt, Universidad de Illinois – Departamento de Ciencias de Cultivos Esta sesión se concentrará en la identificación y control de malezas gramíneas comunes que invaden los céspedes en temporadas frías. Se incluirán discusiones de garranchuelo, colas de zorra, nimblewill (muhlenbergia schreberi), festuca alta y gramilla colorada junto con varias malezas gramíneas menos comunes con las que el Dr. Voigt lidió durante su carrera de más de 30 años.

The Landscape Contractor September 2019

Linneaus Room

2:00 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Departamento de Agricultura de Illinois – Actualización y problemas reglamentarios


Doug Owens, Departamento de Agricultura de Illinois Obtenga respuestas a sus preguntas más apremiantes en esta charla con el Departamento de Agricultura. Escuche lo que tienen que decir acerca de los esfuerzos por revocar la prelación en otros estados o intervenga con cualquier cambio que considere necesario en el estatuto de aplicadores de pesticidas. Envíe sus preguntas anticipadamente a adrufke@

Crecimiento del césped en ambientes sombreados, con poca iluminación

Pullman Room

Comprenda su tierra y cómo puede impactar la calidad del césped Dr. Ben Hamza, TruGreen Esta presentación ofrecerá una introducción a las propiedades físicas y químicas de la tierra y cómo impactan el crecimiento y el desarrollo de las plantas. El Dr. Ben Hamza tratará sobre el muestreo de suelo y lo que puede indicarle, el pH del suelo y su impacto en la disponibilidad de los nutrientes del suelo.

12:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. — Almuerzo Servido en el McGinley Pavilion


1:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m. Alsdorf Auditorium

Productos biológicos y su impacto en la salud del césped y el suelo Dr. Roch Gaussoin, Universidad de Nebraska – Departamento de Agronomía y Horticultura El término “biológicos” se refiere a productos que pretenden ofrecer seguridad, sostenibilidad y rendimiento, comercializados con frecuencia como alternativas menos costosas o adiciones a un programa químico convencional. ¿Son eficaces estos productos y coinciden con las afirmaciones publicitarias? Esta presentación utilizará razonamientos científicos para ayudar a los gestores de céspedes a tomar decisiones agronómicas adecuadas en sus instalaciones.

1:50 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. — Descanso

Dr. Aaron Patton, Universidad Purdue – Departamento de Horticultura y Arquitectura Paisajista Las plantas absorben la energía solar y desarrollan carbohidratos, necesarios para el crecimiento y desarrollo de las plantas. Aprenda cómo puede medir la luz que las plantas utilizan, para tomar decisiones sobre establecimiento y gestión de céspedes. Expondrá la información más actualizada sobre variedades tolerantes a la sombra, prácticas de gestión para mejorar la calidad de los céspedes sombreados y nuevas tecnologías para diagnosticar problemas de sombra.

Linneaus Room

Para su consideración: Pesticidas de riesgo reducido y bajo impacto Mike Reed, SynaTek Pesticidas de riesgo reducido y bajo impacto aprobados por la Agencia de Protección Ambiental están disponibles y son una buena opción para controlar insectos, maleza y ciertas enfermedades del césped. Estos productos son extremadamente bajos en toxicidad para la mayoría de los animales no fijados como objetivo incluyendo aves, peces, abejas y seres humanos. Por consiguiente, ¿por qué nosotros como industria somos reacios a adoptar estas nuevas tecnologías? Echemos un vistazo a algunos productos para céspedes usados frecuentemente para determinar cómo pueden afectar el medioambiente y sugerir algunas alternativas de pesticidas de riesgo reducido y bajo impacto.

Pullman Room

Surfactantes de suelo – Cómo mejorar la gestión del agua Chip Houmes, Precision Laboratories, LLC Los agentes químicos surfactantes introducen el agua a mayor profundidad, fuera de la superficie, y ayudan a balancear el contenido volumétrico del agua. Se pueden usar en paisajismo, recipientes para plantas y en todas las áreas con césped incluyendo campos deportivos. Un producto ha sido incluso diseñado especialmente para las áreas de tierra en campos de béisbol.

2:50 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. — Conclusión The Landscape Contractor September 2019










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Special Report —

By Rick Reuland

On July 24, 2019

Midwest Groundcovers hosted hundreds of industry friends and associates to celebrate their 50th year in business. Midwest was blessed with a georgeous summer day, without a cloud in the sky. Guests were treated to guided tours of the various Midwest facilities, led by quite capable staff. Throughout the morning you never really got a sense of how many people were in attendance. Around noon, when everone gathered in an enormous tent for a catered lunch, it was amazing to see how many people had come to honor Peter Orum and the legacy that he began some 50 years ago. Among the speakers at lunch were Peter Orum, Christa Orum-Keller, Paul Pedersen, and Gary Knosher. One thing is always clear when it comes to Peter. He is a leader with an indomitable will to succeed. Congratualtions on your first 50! May the next 50 bring the same success.

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The Landscape Contractor September 2019

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The Landscape Contractor September 2019


Better Business Operations —

5 Critical Steps to Better Meetings By: Rich Horwath

Are your meetings creat-

ing valuable new insights for the business or are they a series of multitasking-filled monologues? Are they productive conversations about key business issues or a rehashing of the same stuff you’ve been talking about for months? Are your meetings getting better or worse? Answer these five sample questions from the Strategic Meetings Assessment for the meetings you typically attend:

2. Meetings start at their scheduled time. Yes No 3. People are fully attentive and not engaged in multitasking (e.g., checking phones). Yes No 4. People leave meetings with a clear understanding of who is doing what by when. Yes No 5. I decline meeting invitations when the purpose and/or agenda have not been communicated. Yes No

1. Relevant information is sent out prior to meetings to avoid oneway presentations during the meetings. Yes No

In this brief sample, a score of three or more “No’s” indicates an opportunity to dramatically improve the efficacy and productivity of your meetings. A meeting can be defined as a gathering of two or more people featuring collective interaction and engagement using conversations to make progress toward a purpose. Note the use of the words “interaction” and “conversations” in the definition. If you find yourself in meetings and especially teleconferences on a regular basis where the format is primarily one-way presentation, there’s ample opportunity to improve your situation. (continued on page 48)

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Better Business Operations — (continued from page 46) Research shows that meetings consume about 40 percent of working time for managers. Key data points from research to consider: •

• • •

Up to half of the content of meetings is either not relevant to participants or could be delivered outside of a meeting. 20 percent of meeting participants should not be there. 40 percent of meeting time is spent on information that could be delivered before the meeting. 50 percent of meetings executives attend are rated as “ineffective” or “very ineffective.”

There are five critical steps you can follow to help your organization take a more strategic approach to meetings and teleconferences:

1. Conduct a meetings audit Before a doctor prescribes a medication, she first diagnoses the patient’s condition. In the same spirit, before you prescribe new meeting guidelines, it’s helpful to first baseline what’s happening today. Look at factors such as the types of meetings you attend, the frequency of meetings, and the length of meetings. Then identify the reasons these meetings exist and if there are any meetings that are not necessary. Once the audit is complete, it provides a bounty of useful information to shape the future state of meetings. 2. Identify current meeting mistakes Meeting mistakes occur in three phases: pre-meeting, in-meeting, and post-meeting. They can also be categorized as either leader or participant mistakes. For example, a common in-meeting mistake by the leader is failing to rein in off-

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Better Business Operations — track conversations. A common inmeeting mistake by participants is multitasking, which conveys a lack of interest in the topic and/or a lack of respect for the person speaking at the time. There are approximately 25 mistakes to look for in the three phases to ensure that the group is not sabotaging their own efforts at improvement.

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3. Educate managers on what good looks like Begin this step by collecting the current best practices being used by managers within the organization. Then look externally to see what principles and guidelines are being used by other organizations within and outside your industry as it relates to meetings. Examples of best practice principles include things such as “identify decisions to make in the meeting” and “create a virtual table of participants for teleconferences.” Use these best practices to compile a list of new meeting standards. 4. Utilize meeting tools One of the keys to leading effective and efficient meetings is aligning the goals of the meeting with the appropriate tools and processes to

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Better Business Operations — get there. For instance, if you’re leading a strategy development meeting, there are more than 70 different strategic thinking tools you can choose from to help your team think and plan strategically. The key is to select the handful of tools that make the most sense based on the context of the team, business goals, competitive landscape, etc. Be clear on your meeting goals and then choose the process and tools to get there. 5. Develop meeting checklists Research in the social sciences on habits shows that in order to effectively change someone’s behavior, it’s helpful to provide physical or environmental triggers. One highly effective trigger is the use of meeting checklists. These physical reminders ensure that teams across the organization are aware of the basic meeting principles, techniques, and tools to optimize their meeting time. However, the checklists are only valuable if they are accompanied by the corresponding discipline to utilize them on a consistent basis.

Effective meetings can be energizing forums to help your team set direction, make decisions, and unify efforts. Ineffective meetings can be anchors that weigh people down with irrelevant information, didactic presentations, and unclear priorities. Which type do you attend today? Do you think it will be different tomorrow? ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rich Horwath is a New York Times bestselling author on strategy, including his most recent book, StrategyMan vs. The Anti-Strategy Squad: Using Strategic Thinking to Defeat Bad Strategy and Save Your Plan. As CEO of the Strategic Thinking Institute, he has helped more than 100,000 managers develop their strategy skills through live workshops and virtual training programs. Rich is a strategy facilitator, keynote speaker, and creator of more than 200 resources on strategic thinking. To sign up for the free monthly newsletter Strategic Thinker, visit:

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The Landscape Contractor September 2019

Successful suppliers know— industry leaders read this magazine.

Save the Date — Aug. 10, 2017

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• Sales and marketing statistics show that the single best way to reach buyers is through highlytargeted specialty magazines.

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• The Landscape Contractor has an affordable advertising program for every budget.

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The Landscape Contractor September 2019

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The Landscape Contractor September 2019


7/24/19 11:33 AM

In Loving Memory — How I loved that man! He was more than a coworker to me. Just a gentle giant! Esther Betancourt, Restoration Contract Administrator

Dan Fish Daniel (Dan) James Fish, a devout Christian and family man, has passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, at his home in Plainfield, IL on July 18th, 2019 at the age of 61. Daniel is survived by his wife Kathryn (Kathy) Fish, his children Patrick Fish (Kathryn), Joseph Fish (Alison), Anne Marie Fish (Tyndale), Andrew O’Connor, and his grandchildren Maddie Fish and Ellie Fish. He is preceded in death by his father Edmund Fish, his mother Catherine Fish, his sister Carol Davis, his brother Kevin Fish, his niece Catherine (Casey) Fish, and his father-in-law Joseph Klis. Dan was born September 16th, 1957 in Evanston. He graduated from Western Illinois University in 1981 with a degree in Forestry. He married the love of his life, Kathryn Fish on June 13th, 1987. They met at Shemin’s Nursery where they became good friends before falling for one another. Dan and Kathy later moved to Glendale Heights, IL to start a life and family together. The couple welcomed three children. After a couple of years, Dan moved his family to Oswego, IL and bought his wife Kathy’s childhood home, where they were able to create even more memories with each other and their three children. After 30 years of marriage, Dan and Kathy renewed their vows in front of their children and before God, and Dan insisted on getting down on one knee to ask Kathy’s hand in marriage once again. Dan was a loving husband and father. He was always actively involved in raising his children, where he never missed a game or special event, and always made time for his family. He was kind, patient, and had a calming presence that anyone who met him could instantly feel. His hobbies and passions included fishing, hunting, archery, or anything that was related to the outdoors. Dan was an active member of his church as he participated in several different Bible studies and Church groups over the years. Despite the difficult Parkinson’s diagnosis toward the end of his life, his love and his belief in God never wavered. Dan spent his life in the nursery and landscape industry and is remembered fondly by all who knew him. Following are some warm sentiments offered by Dan’s co-workers at Christy Webber Landscapes, along with some photos of Dan in happier times.


In the short time Dan spent at CWL, he taught so many people, so many things. A true professional with a huge heart of gold. We are all better people for being a small part of Dan’s life. Ron Gorz, Director of Construction

Dan was a “glass half full” person – always ready to see the best in everyone around him, always thankful for what life had given him. He was a man of honor and duty. We will miss him. Roger Post, CFO

At my office having a guy like Dan around just made everyone feel all’s well in the world of landscaping! Nothing riled him or worried him, he knew what to do and proceeded at his job like a professional should! Christy Webber, President & CEO

The Landscape Contractor September 2019

Diseases & Pests —

Pest of the Month: White Grubs Disease of the Month: Seasonal Needle Drop

by Heather Prince

Not Really a Disease of the Month: Seasonal Needle Drop

Pest of the Month: White Grubs

White grubs are the larvae of several beetle species including Japanese beetles, chafers, and June beetles. In the late summer, they feed on the tender roots of well-irrigated lawns, turning patches of turf brown. Grubs tend to prefer a sunny, well-watered lawn and often you will see damage end at property lines or the drip line of trees where watering practices differ and it gets too shady. Japanese beetle and masked chafer grubs are C-shaped, white, and range in size right now from half to one inch long. They have three pairs of legs and a brown head. Actively feeding grubs are blackish at the posterior portion of the abdomen because they consume soil in their root feeding. White abdomens on grubs indicate that the grubs are not feeding heavily and are probably dying from insecticide or disease. Adult beetles laid eggs in July. Larvae emerge, feed, and then begin to move deeper into the soil when temperatures cool in October. They will overwinter as larvae and will migrate upward in spring to feed on turf roots again, usually pupating in June to start the cycle again.


White Grubs


Needle drop

To determine if brown patches of turf are grub damage, lift a section. Grub damaged lawn pulls away easily as roots are gone. The general rule is that 10 to 12 grubs in a square foot area are enough to cause obvious damage and are significant enough to warrant treatment. At this time of year, trichlorfon, chlorantroniliprole, or Bacillus thruingiensis galleriae are recommended for control. Watering dry turf a couple of days before treatment to bring the grubs up into the root zone increases insecticide effectiveness. Water in the application with at least half inch of irrigation for best results. Insecticidal nematodes such as Heterorhabditis bacteriaphora are also effective against white grubs. Watering a couple of days before applying insecticidal nematodes to bring the white grubs into the root zone also helps increase control.

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


You may be getting calls from alarmed clients convinced that their evergreens are dying because yellowing or browning needles have appeared in the center of their trees. This is a normal phenomenon called seasonal needle drop. Most conifers will drop their oldest needles each year as needles don’t live forever. Once the needle becomes less productive, the plant will cut it loose to focus on new growth in the spring. White pines can be particularly dramatic, but many arborvitae also cause clients concern. With arborvitae, the browning needles in the center of the plant may linger until time and weather can cause them to fall. Occasionally, you may also receive calls from clients with deciduous conifers such as bald cypress or dawn redwood that have turned their usual bronze fall color before dropping completely. Since this is a normal process of the plant, no treatment is needed. However, if your client is experiencing spruce or pine needle diseases, it may be a good idea to rake up fallen needles to limit the vector for fungal spores.

Additional resources:

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

The Landscape Contractor September 2019

Chicago Botanic Garden Plant Information Service: plantinfoservice 847-835-0972


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The Landscape Contractor September 2019

59 8/7/19 11:38 AM

New Member Profile Snapshot

Okaw Prairie Landscapes PO Box 166 Tuscola, IL 61593 (217) 577-2003

by Meta Levin

The Okaw Prairie Landscapes name

pays homage not only to brothers Seth and Schuyler Binion’s grandfather, Bob Henningson’s, family farm, which he called, “Okaw Prairie Farms,” but also to the West Okaw River, a tributary of the Kaskaskia River. Armed with a shovel, a rake and a wheelbarrow, as well as some experience working for another landscape company, the two brothers kicked off their business in February 2014 with an article and photograph in the local newspaper, the TriCounty Journal. By the end of 2014, they had 45 maintenance contracts. A year later they had doubled that. Initially they ran two separate businesses, one providing lawn care and maintenance and the other, landscape services. But, by 2017 they had merged into one: Okaw Prairie Landscapes, offering both lawncare and maintenance and landscape services. They also have moved beyond the shovel, rake and wheelbarrow to more modern and efficient equipment. The company has grown, too. In addition to the two brothers, their self-described “adopted brother,” Kyle Gingerich, now is a business partner in charge of landscape design and estimating. Gingerich was one of Seth Binion’s high school classmates and worked with Schuyler Binion at another landscape company. He holds an associate degree in landscape design, build and maintenance from Parkland College and a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science with a focus on landscape horticulture from Southern Illinois University. Seth Binion is a business partner, maintenance and crew supervisor and company president. His brother, Schuyler, also a business partner, studied landscape design, build and maintenance at Parkland. He is the installation crew supervisor and company vice president. In season, the company has about 15 employees. In the 2019 season they expect to run seven full time crews: two mowing, two landscape maintenance, two installation and one fertilizer/lawn crew. This is the second season they have 60

offered fertilizing services, something that has become popular with their customers. Okaw Prairie Landscapes is truly a family business. Three more of the Binion’s brothers, a brother-in-law, a sister-in-law and a cousin work there. Most of Okaw Prairie Landscapes’ customers have come to them through word of mouth, says Gingerich: “We provide high quality work.” They spend little on advertising, participate in a local home show and did not launch a website until 2019. “We’ve never been a ‘mow and blow’ company,” says Gingerich. “We never take short cuts and we always stand behind our work.” They also pay attention to trends and customers’ demands. Now they are noticing more requests for landscaping lighting, which is something on which Gingerich is trying to focus, especially as it becomes more affordable. Customers also are finding that they like interlock pavers. “We are trying to educate them on the advantages of that,” he says. It helps that a local company manufactures such pavers, so area clients are more familiar with them. Their clients also like gas firepits. “They are attracted by the ease of use,” Gingerich says. Drawn to ILCA by the ability to connect with others in the green industry, Okaw Prairie Landscapes joined in 2019. “It will be helpful to talk with others who have gone before us,” says Gingerich. They are eager to take advantage of educational opportunities and attended the 2019 iLandscape Show. In future years they hope to bring some of their employees. In the past they have taken as many employees as possible to the annual GIE (Green Industry and Equipment Expo) in Louisville, KY. “It helps them understand how big the industry is and to try out equipment,” says Gingerich. “It’s a good bonding trip.”

The Landscape Contractor September 2019





Classified Ads HELP WANTED



Chicagoland Certified Sales Arborist

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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.

Stuber Land Design, Inc., a progressive landscape design-build firm has an opening for a Landscape Architect/ Designer in our Tremont, Illinois office. The full time position will include developing design solutions and graphic presentations along with sales presentations to clients. A Landscape Architect/Designer or degreed Horticulturist with strong skills in 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 oversight, and provide expertise to clients and production team. Stuber Land Design, Inc. was established in 1994 and specializes in design-build landscape construction and management. Our company is located in Tremont, IL and serves all of Central Illinois. More information can be found online at This is a key position and an exciting opportunity to work for an award winning design-build firm looking to the future. Desirable skills •Experience in Dynascape or similar CAD program, Uvision or similar 3D software and Mircosoft Office •Good knowledge of annuals, perennials, and woody plants •Strong design creativity, including hardscape design and sales experience •Ability to work independently and be self-motivated. •Construction experience helpful

Stuber Land Design, Inc. has an opening for Landscape Maintenance Foreman in Tremont, IL. Our company has successfully served a large geographic region of central Illinois for 25 years and we are looking forward into the future. We enjoy a positive work environment and many loyal employees with over 10-20 years of service. Come join our team of professionals! This full-time position would lead a maintenance crew, interact with designers, the manager, and have direct contact with our current customers as well as our growing list of new clients. Our maintenance crews are involved with landscape property maintenance including landscape and hardscape, but no turf management or mowing. Extensive horticulture knowledge is required. We provide health insurance, paid holidays and vacation, retirement plan, and overtime pay. Pay is commensurate with experience. Please email your resume to

Experienced Landscape Maintenance Manager Stuber Land Design, Inc. has an opening for a Landscape Maintenance Manager in Tremont, IL. Our company has successfully served a large geographic region of central Illinois for 25 years and we are looking forward into the future. We enjoy a positive work environment and many loyal employees with over 10-20 years of service. Come join our team of professionals! This full-time position would coordinate maintenance crews, interact with designers and production manager, and have direct contact with our current customers as well as our growing list of new clients. Our maintenance crews are involved with landscape property maintenance including landscape and hardscape, but no turf management or mowing. Extensive horticulture knowledge is required. We provide health insurance, paid holidays and vacation, retirement plan, and overtime pay. Pay is commensurate with experience. Please email your resume to: Maintenance Supervisor This full-time, senior level position handles the day to day operations of the maintenance division. Responsibilities include scheduling, hiring, client retention, estimates, overseeing account managers, maintenance budget, and other duties as assigned. Experience required is a minimum of 5 years in the green industry in a managerial position. The ideal applicant would have performed some or all of these tasks at another landscape company in a similar role. Financial compensation would be discussed during the interview. The position includes all usual benefits including heath & dental insurance, company vehicle and profit sharing. Please send resumes to:


Interested applicants should email a resume and design samples/portfolio to 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. Email Resumes to Gene Grant.

The Landscape Contractor September 2019

Live Goods Buyer Clesen Wholesale is a premier grower and distributor of seasonal annual flowers and plants selling to independent garden centers, professional landscapers and mass markets in the Upper Midwest. We are a thriving business with years of continuous strong growth and an exciting vision for the future. We are building a stronger culture with great teams and great individuals to help create beautiful environments for the public and private sectors. Job Description Responsible for purchase order generation, inventory management, product support, and product planning. This position is also responsible for increasing gross margin dollars, product waste management, and maintaining order fulfillment. Responsibilities and Duties 1. Purchase Order Management. Generate initial orders from plan, make updates as required, and communicate changes effectively. Monitor purchase orders from placement through receipt. 2. Increase Gross Margin Dollars. Optimize product schedules to meet demand and adjusting margin through price adjustments. 3. Manage Vendors. Maintain and improving existing relationships in addition to building new relationships. Seasonally evaluate and improve contracts by maximizing product fit and negotiating cost. 4. Manage Product Lines. Communicate product schedules to vendors and modify as needed. Stay current with industry trends and evaluate new items within product line assignment. 5. Availability Management. Adjust purchase orders to meet sales order demand. Maintain appropriate inventory levels to fulfill orders and drive sales with additional availability. Ensure vendors are delivering on schedule.

HELP WANTED 6. Product Waste. Meet and/or exceed waste goals by maintaining planned schedules, product quality throughout contract cycle, and weekly availability throughout season. 7. Product Support. Communicate product availability issues and solutions, data reports, and product status details to internal teams.

Reach more buyers and MAKE MORE SALES!

Qualifications • Bachelor’s Degree preferably in a related field • 2-4 years of purchasing experience • Horticulture industry experience preferred • Strong project management and financial analysis skills preferred • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Excel Please send resumes to:

Purchaser Clesen Wholesale is seeking experienced candidates for the following position: Purchaser We offer competitive pay, health insurance benefits, paid-time off, and 401k retirement benefits. Salary range from $50,00 to $67,500 If you are interested in any of the positions listed, please submit a cover letter and resume for our consideration to

CLASSIFIED ADS CLOSING DATES & RATES October 2019 issue ads: September 15, 2019 November 2019 issue ads: October 15, 2019 December 2019 issue ads: November 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

Successful suppliers know— industry leaders read this magazine.

The Landscape Contractor is the Midwest’s premier monthly magazine for the landscape, nursery and garden center business. • Sales and marketing statistics show that the single best way to reach buyers is through highly-targeted specialty magazines. • This award-winning magazine is frequently hailed as the best magazine of its kind. Put your message in this flattering environment. • The Landscape Contractor has an affordable advertising program for every budget.

Give your sales program a jump start! For immediate attention CALL Debbie at 817-501-2403 or email —

The Landscape Contractor September 2019


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Dayton Bag & Burlap ............................................52 Deerpath Nurseries ..................................................53 DitchWitch Midwest.............................................57 Doty Nurseries LLC ...............................................29

Call Debbie to get started!

Ewing Irigation & Landscape Supply ......................37 Goodmark Nurseries ...............................................27 Green Glen Nursery ..............................................67


Hinsdale Nurseries, Inc. ........................................46 Homer Industries ...................................................17 Iron Rental .............................................................31 Lafarge Fox River Stone ...........................................49 Longshadow Planters ............................................15

Attention Landscape Contractors:

Mariani Plants ..........................................................6 Mariani Plants .........................................................38 Martin Implement ..................................................29

Remember to Support ILCA Supporters!

McGinty Bros. ......................................................25

These include:

Midwest Groundcovers ..........................................2

Midwest Trading ....................................................45 Monroe Truck Equipment .......................................21

• Members & Advertisers who supply goods and services • Members who sponsor ILCA programs and events

North Shore Truck ...........................................28, 42 OGA .......................................................................55 R.A. Adams Enterprises ...................................19, 43, Rainbow Farm .........................................................50 Russo Power Equipment ........................................51 Spring Meadow Nursery .......................................59 The Care of Trees ..................................................29 The Mulch Center .................................................47

Where will you find them? • ILCA Membership Directory & Buyer’s Guide • The Landscape Contractor magazine advertising • The Landscape Contractor magazine reports of events with sponsor acknowledgments • member lists – Finding a Landscape Contractor & Suppliers to the Trade

Turtle Creek Nursery ..............................................50 Unilock, Inc. ...........................................................68

The Landscape Contractor September 2019


Revisiting Your Plant Palette —

Allium senescens ‘Glauca’

By Patrice Peltier

When Kathy Freeland recommended Allium

senescens ‘Glauca’ in 2001, the only allium her employer, Midwest Groundcovers, was selling was the native Allium cernuum. Freeland appreciated ‘Glauca’ for its twisty, blue-green foliage and its smaller size—6-12” tall and wide compared to A. cernuum’s 12-18” stature. A few years later, another allium, ‘Summer Beauty’ burst onto the scene and stole all the attention. In the wake of Summer Beauty’s popularity, landscape designers and home gardeners took notice of other alliums as well. Currently, Midwest Groundcovers carries five non-native and two native varieties of alliums, selling about 85,000 plants a year. (It stopped selling A. senescens ‘Glauca’, however, in 2015 due to decrease in demand.) “’Summer Beauty’ is far and away the most popular allium,” says Shannon McEnerney, product manager at Midwest Groundcovers. She says two newer cultivars—Summer PeekA-Boo® and ‘Millenium’—and the native A. cernuum are seeing increasing sales. Summer Peek-A-Boo is a sport of Summer Beauty selected by Midwest Groundcovers for its compact foliage, growing 8-12” tall with a spread of 18-24”. ‘Millenium’, introduced by breeder Mark McDonough, has brighter, rosy-purple flower color but has shown some self-seeding, according to Christine Darbo, inside sales representative at Midwest Groundcovers. Although only A. senescens ‘Glauca’ has the twisty foliage Freeland so admired, all the alliums discussed here are widely admired for their clean, attractive foliage. “The foliage is fabulous,” Darbo says. “It starts out beautiful and stays beautiful all season.” Freeland recommended alliums, in part, because of their adaptability. They thrive in a range of soils from rich to poor, do not require a lot of water and are well suited to rock gardens or perennial borders. She pointed out that they come in a range of sizes, from less than six inches to more than six feet in height. “Designers frequently plant the taller types in the middle to the back of the perennial border in combination with monarda, achillea and ornamental grasses,” she wrote. “‘Glauca’ is a darling plant,” Darbo says, confirming Freeland’s endorsement of it as an admirable landscape plant. Since then, it has been overshadowed by the emergence of ‘Summer Beauty’. In this regard it remains much as it was when Freeland shone a spotlight on it, a plant worthy of a second look.


Allium senescens ‘Glauca’ (German Garlic) Size: 6-12” tall and wide Bloom time: July-August Bloom color: Lilac to lavender Foliage: Bluish-gray to gray-green, twisting Allium senescens ‘Glauca’

Allium angulosum ‘Summer Beauty’ Size: 12-18” tall; 18-24” wide Bloom time: July-August Bloom color: Purple Seeds: Sterile Zone: 5-8

Allium angulosum

Allium Summer Peek-A-Boo® (a sport of ‘Summer Beauty’) Size: 8-12” tall; 18-24” wide Bloom time: July-August Bloom color: Purple Zone 5-8

Allium Summer Peek-A-Boo®

Allium ‘Millenium’ Size: 12-18” tall and wide Bloom time: July-August Bloom color: Rosy purple Seeds: 50-70% of flower capsules produce viable seed

Allium ‘Millenium’

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 September 2019

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The SEP.19 issue of The Landscape Contractor magazine  

Illinois Landscape Contractors Association

The SEP.19 issue of The Landscape Contractor magazine  

Illinois Landscape Contractors Association

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