2010 KLI Winter Here’s Use a Recession to Help Your Business

VOL. 39/NO. 3
FALL 2009
2010 KLI Winter
Education Preview
Got EAB? Here’s
How to Know for Sure
Use a Recession to
Help Your Business
VOL. 39/NO. 3
FALL 2009
2010 KLI Winter
Education Preview
A House Divided… Try
Red or Blue Lobelia for
Late-Season Color
Got EAB?
Use a Recession
to Help Your Business
Taking Nursery Outlook Cues
from the Stock Market
How Does Your Roof Grow?
The official publication of the Kentucky Nursery and Landscape Association
216 Pendleton Lane l Frankfort, KY 40601 l 502-695-0106 l Fax: 502-695-8455 l Email: [email protected] l www.knla.org
Published by Leading Edge Communications, LLC
206 Bridge Street l Franklin, TN 37064 l 615-790-3718 l Fax: 615-794-4525 l Email: [email protected] l www.leadingedgecommunications.com
KNLA Executive Director
and Nursery Views Editor
Kentucky Nursery & Landscape Assn.
216 Pendleton Ln. • Frankfort, KY 40601
Tel: 502-695-0106 • Fax: 502-695-8455
Email: [email protected]
Valley Hill Nurseries
237 Jones Ln. • Springfield, KY 40069
Tel: 859-284-5141 • Fax: 859-284-0268
Email: [email protected]
Boone Gardiner Garden Center
6300 Old LaGrange Rd.
Crestwood, KY 40014
Tel: 502-243-3832 • Fax: 502-243-3833
Email: [email protected]
Dreisbach Wholesale Nursery LLC
3903 Carraige Pointe Drive •
Crestwood,Ky 40014
Tel: 502-572-8249 • Fax: 502-243-0162
Email: [email protected]
Louis’ Flower Power Shops
101 Springdale Dr. • Nicholasville, KY 40356
Tel: 859-219-3299 • Fax: 859-219-3299
Email: [email protected]
Premium Horticultural Supply Co., Inc.
915 East Jefferson St. • Louisville, KY 40206
Tel: 502-582-3897 • Fax: 502-582-3898
Email: [email protected]
BEN CECIL (2010)
Sunny Ray’s Nursery
85 Skeeters Ct. • Vine Grove, KY 40175
Tel: 502-415-0806
Email: [email protected]
PAT CAREY (2011)
Riverfarm Nursery
P.O. Box 56 • Goshen, KY 40026
Tel: 502-228-5408 • Fax: 502-228-7360
Email: [email protected]
Clinton Korfhage Nursery, Inc.
1823 Heaton Rd. • Louisville, KY 40216
Tel: 502-448-1544 • Fax: 502-447-1931
Email: [email protected]
Stockdale Tree Farm, LLC
2901 Bakers Crossroads Drive •
Hazel, KY 42049
Tel: 270-293-1003 • Fax: 270-492-8843
Email: [email protected]
Lawnco, Inc.
8110 Warwick Ave. •
Louisville, KY 40222
Tel: 502-423-9297 • Fax: 502-423-0055
Email: [email protected]
TOM WEEKS (2011)
Wilson Nurseries, Inc.
3690 East-West Connector Rd. •
Frankfort, KY 40601
Tel: 502-223-7735 • Fax: 502-223-3159
Email: [email protected]
UK Research & Education Center
P.O. Box 469 • Princeton, KY 42445
Tel: 270-365-7541 • Fax: 270-365-2667
Email: [email protected]
University of Kentucky
Department of Horticulture
N-318 Ag Science Center N •
Lexington, KY 40546-0091
Tel: 859-257-1273 • Fax: 859-257-2859
Email: [email protected]
The Kentucky Nursery and Landscape
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and Landscape Association members, does
not constitute an endorsement of the
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subsequent issues of this quarterly
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Kentucky Nursery and Landscape
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Experience in Germany
January 11, 2010
Kentucky Landscape
Industries Winter
Kentucky Certified
Nurseryman’s Exam
Exposition Center
Louisville, Kentucky
For more information,
contact Betsie A. Taylor
at (502) 695-0106
[email protected]
everybody. As I write this letter, summer is winding down, but it has been a
fabulous one. Plentiful rain and cooler-than-normal temperatures have been great
for the nursery, and after two years of drought, this is a welcome change. Using
less energy and water for irrigation was good for the environment and my wallet.
The weather gave me smiles, but the highlight of my summer was a trip to Germany. Three years
ago, my family had the very good fortune to host an exchange student from Bamberg, Germany.
Nora spent 10 months with us, learning our way of life. This summer, she graduated from high
school in Germany, and her family invited all five of us to live a little while with them.
This was my first time to cross the big pond and experience European culture. Germany was a
great learning experience. Many of us have been trying to incorporate sustainability into our personal
and business lives. In Germany, this has been and continues to be a way of life. Centuries ago, when
they built a house, barn or store, it was built to last three or four hundred years. Over the centuries, it
was rebuilt and reused rather than left vacant or torn down. The country is full of charming stone
buildings and, of course, castles.
Germany is an exceptionally clean country. Residents have special bags for compost as well as for
all types of recycling. Packaging is minimal, and all packaging is reused or broken down and recycled.
Deposits are placed on all bottles, and very few are along the roadways. Most products are local,
cutting down on transportation and packaging.
Bamberg is a bustling city with narrow, cobblestone streets. We could walk, bicycle or take public
transportation everywhere. All the roads had pedestrian and bicycle access, and the buses and trains
had accommodations for bicycles also. Motor scooters, for those in a rush, were everywhere. I did
drive on the autobahn for long trips, but in the city, we rarely traveled by car. I enjoyed the options
we had for getting around.
I came home encouraged that, with a little effort, we also can live a much more sustainable
lifestyle. We would be giving up little, if any, comforts while choosing options that are enjoyable,
good for our health and environmentally friendly.
Todd Ryan
2009 KNLA President
Welcome, New KNLA Members!
P.O. Box 30063
Bowling Green, KY 42102
Office: 270-842-6414
Fax: 270-782-6927
[email protected]
P.O. Box 55268
Lexington, KY 40555
Office: 859-273-1549
Fax: 859-272-0075
[email protected]
100 Doctors Drive
Frankfort, KY 40601
Office: 502-875-8400
[email protected]
8001 Old Blue Creek Road
Brookville, IN 47012
Office: 765-647-6812
[email protected]
WH, SR; Design
the Neighborhood
Ben Cecil, KCN,
Sunny Ray’s Nursery,
Elizabethtown, KY
have been re-reading Paul Cappiello’s excellent book, Dogwoods. While considering the number
of species in the genus and the huge amount of selections made within those species, I began to
realize the number of cultivars not being offered by our nurseries nor planted in our landscapes.
This, in turn, led me to contemplate all the plants used in Kentucky’s landscapes. My conclusion was
that we are woefully lacking in diversity of plants, both grown in our area and used in our landscapes.
(Remember, this is just my viewpoint, and I am fully aware that this is also the case for the rest of
our country).
Why is diversity an issue? Let’s start with emerald ash borer (EAB) as an example. This introduced
pest has absolutely devastated ash trees (a versatile staple in our landscapes) in the Michigan area
where it was initially discovered. EAB has since migrated to several states, including Kentucky. The
risk we face is from this pest potentially devastating streets in developments that are lined in 100%
ash trees. The cooling shade — and softness against an ever-increasingly concrete world — that took
years for these trees to create will be gone in a few years. Had four other genus been included in this
planting (oak, maple, maackia and hackberry, off the top of my head), only a fifth of the trees along
that street would be lost to EAB. While we still run the risk of losing our ash trees, EAB’s accumulative
impact would be lessened in respect to the appearance of our landscapes.
Several decades ago, we experienced a similar situation with elms, especially in the Northeast. When
Dutch elm disease was introduced and became widespread, it literally transformed the graceful, canopied
streets in that part of the country (and, to a lesser extent, in this area) into naked alleys of concrete and
asphalt. We have just begun to revive elms as a reliable plant through years of research and hybridization.
The underlying reason for the tremendous impact of these two introduced pests is the overuse of
their host trees, creating a monoculture in certain situations. Had diversity been taken into consideration,
the lost plants would be missed, but the total landscape damage would have been — and would be, in
the case of EAB — less significant. Perhaps diversification would have slowed the movement of these
unwelcome intruders, also.
Another aspect of increasing the diversity of plants grown and planted in landscapes is versatility.
The more plants one is familiar with, the easier that difficult sites are to design and the more unique
each landscape becomes. Also, in some instances, insect pressure can be reduced in nurseries where a
diversity of plant material reduces the food source for certain species-specific insects (such as boxwood
psyllid). It takes time to increase the palette of plants one is familiar with, as well as some more
rigorous salesmanship to move the more unique items, but it is far from impossible.
The KNLA is dedicated to aiding our members in this effort of plant diversity. Alex Neubauer, a
speaker at this year’s Summer Outing on September 2, was an excellent informational source of new
trees entering the industry. By staying on top of new species and cultivars, you will be better prepared
to utilize them when they are available.
Along with the Summer Outing, the KLI Educational Conference is a tool for distributing information on new/underused plants. The Plants and Design tracks are formulated to expose us to a
wider range of plants and their performance in the landscape.
Lastly, the Plant Profile articles in Nursery Views expose us to a wider array of plants either forgotten
amongst the Knock-Out Roses of the world or emerging as terrific landscape options.
With a little more effort by all sections of the industry, Kentucky can begin to be the example for
our surrounding states to implement more-diversified production and designs.
Please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions. 2
KNLA Attends 2009 ANLA
Legislative Conference
2009 ANLA Legislative Conference
in late July resulted in a 20% higher
level of attendance and a new record
for Congressional office visits (over 300) by green-industry
professionals. Several KNLA members attended the annual
event, including Matthew Boone Gardiner (KNLA vice
president), Jim Walltisch (KNLA past president) and Larry
Sanders (KNLA past president).
In addition to a special briefing on health care, the event
focused on several key industry issues. In addition to ANLA’s
ongoing effort to secure immigration reform for the entire
industry, attendees were briefed on new challenges with wateruse regulations and small-business concerns ranging from
tax issues to unionization.
The conference focused on more than threats; marketbuilding opportunities were center stage. During their
Congressional visits, many attendees reported a strong positive
response to the idea of an energy tax credit for shade-tree or
windbreak plantings, similar to the credit that consumers
receive for purchasing energy-efficient appliances or windows.
Valuable association partners, such as KNLA, strengthened
the industry’s voice during their visits to Capitol Hill. As
ANLA president Greg Schaan stated, “Numbers speak loudly
on Capitol Hill. More importantly, relationships speak loudly
on Capitol Hill. It is easy for Congressmen or Senators to
ignore the request of a statistic, but it is much harder to
ignore a constituent they know they will have to deal with
on the phone, through email and face to face back in their
district office.” 2
Larry Sanders (KNLA Past President) and Carolyn Sanders with
Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY).
(Left to right) Larry Sanders (KNLA Past President);
Jim Wallitsch (KNLA Past President); Carolyn Sanders;
Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY); Matthew Boone Gardiner
(KNLA Vice President); and Mary Wallitsch.
(Left to right) Jim Wallitsch (KNLA Past President); Mary
Wallitsch; Matthew Boone Gardiner (KNLA Vice President);
Robert Kramer, Legislative Assistant to Representative Ben
Chandler (D-KY); Carolyn Sanders; and Larry Sanders
(KNLA Past President).
Matthew Boone Gardiner (KNLA Vice President) and Hope
Gardiner with Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Winter Conference Preview
By Amy Fulcher, Extension Associate, University of Kentucky & KLI Winter Conference Chair
ach year, in a cooperative effort, the Kentucky
Nursery and Landscape Association, Kentucky
Arborists’ Association, Kentuckiana Greenhouse
Association and University of Kentucky Cooperative
Extension Service sponsor the Kentucky Landscape
Industries Winter Education Conference. This workshoppacked event is designed to specifically assist the green
industry with key information to help stay at the top in
this time of shrinking dollars. We hope you will join us
for this outstanding 2010 program on January 11 at the
Kentucky Exposition Center (South Wing B) in Louisville.
This year’s keynote speaker:
Julie Moir Messervy
Julie is an award-winning author and
landscape designer from Vermont.
With three decades of experience,
five books and numerous high-profile
lectures, she has emerged as a leader
of a movement that has inspired both
professionals and homeowners to
create unique and personal landscapes.
Beyond writing for Fine Gardening
magazine, she is most famous for creating the awardwinning Toronto Music Garden, a collaboration with
renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Her lectures challenge the
audience to explore new ways to approach creating exciting
landscapes. Julie’s presentations for the KLI event are:
Creating Landscapes Your Clients Will Love
In this inspiring lecture, Julie will demystify the art and
practice of landscape design. Using beautiful images, together
with helpful tips, case studies, befores-and-afters, diagrams
and plans, she will walk you through the process of turning
any property into the “home outside.”
Four Elements of Good Landscape Design
This stimulating presentation will reveal how to bring house
and garden into perfect harmony by giving you the design
principles needed to extend the presence of home onto the
land. Julie divides the talk into four parts: embracing the
habitat of home, composing journeys, linking the inside
with the out and crafting the elements of nature.
Arboriculture Track
Wondering what to do about emerald ash borer (EAB)?
This year’s KLI program will brim with EAB information and experts! Cliff Sadof, Professor of Entomology at
Purdue University, will discuss the management of EAB
in our towns, gardens and neighborhoods. Co-author of
Options for Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer,
Cliff will share his wealth of knowledge on EAB biology,
tree preservation and control-cost assessment. A panel
of experts — including Sarah Gracey (State Urban
Forester), Joe Collins (State Nursery Inspector) and others
— will talk about municipal action plans and local and
state-wide considerations, case studies and suggestions
for managing EAB.
Nursery Crop Production Track
It’s all about making sales! Nancy Buley (from J. Frank
Schmidt and Son Co.) will share the company’s vision
for selling trees in the future. Nancy will talk about how
to tap into nontraditional markets such as municipalities
and “million tree” plantings. She will also address the new
marketing necessary to attract these new markets.
A grower panel, moderated by Johnnie Stockdale
(Stockdale Farms and KNLA board member), will follow.
Panelists include Randy Sizemore (Laurel Nursery), Brick
Green (Green’s Silo House Nursery), Phillip Powell (Powell’s
Hardwoods) and Mike Brown (Mike Brown’s Wholesale
Nursery). Our panelists will be asked about tough issues
the industry is facing, such as cutting costs, keep sales up,
new plants/new markets, going “green”, labor and more.
Greenhouse Production/Garden Center
Management Track
Larry Martin (The Martin Organization, Inc.) and his
wife Dr. Robin Brumfield (Rutgers University) will do
tag-team business sessions geared to help you stay afloat
during trying economic times. Robin will showcase her
nationally recognized greenhouse cost-accounting system,
while Larry will share case studies of independent garden
centers who took on big box stores and won!
Plant/Design Track
Plants, plants, plants! Two of the nation’s rising stars will
give presentations on trees and shrubs you should be
growing and selling. Dr. Richard
Olsen (scientist/plant breeder
with the USDA) and Andrew
Bell (Curator of Woody Plants,
Chicago Botanical Garden) will
delight you with their images
of fascinating plants you may be
overlooking. Explore a botanical
sampler of the plant kingdom,
and see what you’ve been missing!
Pest Management Sessions
Need CEUs? KLI is the place
to be! Nearly every track listed
above contains pest/pesticide
presentations! Our own Ric Bessin
(University of Kentucky) will
explain how to achieve insect
control in greenhouses. Interested
in environmentally friendly pesticides, but not sure they’ll work?
Dr. Jean Williams-Woodward
(University of Georgia) will
answer your questions about
biofungicides, such as whether
they work and are cost effective,
and how to get the most from a
biofungicide application. Jean will
also present a special session on
the connection between drought
and disease for our nursery and
landscape professionals. If you
are tired of losing plants after a
drought, you won’t want to miss
this session.
Dr. Sadof rounds out the
pest-management presentations
with commonsense pest control
for landscapes and nurseries. Cliff
will focus on pesticide selection to
minimize secondary pest outbreaks
and using biological controls.
Kentucky Certified
Nurseryman and Initial
Pesticide Certification Exams
The KCN and Initial Pesticide
Certification exams will also be
offered. Complete information
about the KLI Winter Conference will be highlighted in the
Winter issue of Nursery Views.
Stay tuned! 2
By Robert E. McNiel, Ph.D., Highland Moor and Hort Alliance
house divided is not unusual across the Commonwealth when football and basketball are being
discussed. The allegiance is to either the blue
or the red. We humans, though, are not the only Kentucky
natives that have such an allegiance.
Lobelia is a “house divided,” as strong performers in
both blue and red exist among our native plants. Their
strong color display has interested plant breeders, and a
number of cultivars of each are available today. While
breeders have tweaked the color a little, it is still hard to
beat the display of the native species.
These plants fall into a group that is a little hard to
merchandize. As mid-summer bloomers, they are not at
their best during peak customer traffic.
The red
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is the first to bloom.
A spike two to three feet tall develops out of a basal rosette.
The terminal eight to ten inches of the spike produce
brilliant red flowers over a three-week period. Flowering
starts at the base of the cluster and progresses to the tip.
Individual flowers are an inch or more in size. The brilliant
red color will stand out from a distance.
This species is native across most of the state, and you
may find it as an individual or in patches. When you
encounter a mass, it is a spectacular display. It can put on
the same display in the landscape.
Your encounter with cardinal flower in nature may mean
you’re in a moist location. In our landscapes, it can also
thrive in a moist location or in average soils with some
partial shade. It does not like the extremes, and you will
lose it if it is too wet or too dry.
Its second claim to fame is that it may be the best
attractor of hummingbirds to the garden, which may play
into your merchandizing program. If you are marketing
other pet or wildlife products, tie this plant into that display.
The blue
Now for the blue. Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) is
the other lobelia native.
Individuals will flower from a pale blue to a dark blue
in color a couple of weeks later. This plant will also send
up a flower spike from a rosette, with the spike attaining
two to three feet. In native stands, great blue lobelia will
be on a moist site. This will have to be repeated in a
landscape setting. Compared to cardinal flower, great
blue lobelia is more robust.
The blue color does not attract hummingbirds like
cardinal flower does. Its other value, though, is that it is
marketed as a cut flower. 2
By Joe Collins, Senior Nursery Inspector,
Office of the State Entomologist
D-shaped EAB exit holes in bark.
Tunneling under bark by EAB.
A single mine caused by EAB. Notice that the frass is still visible in the mine and is
packed very tightly.
Sawdust on the ground is an indicator that
this tree is not being attacked by EAB.
Large holes in ash bark are not
indicitive of EAB.
lthough emerald ash borer (EAB)
has been detected in Kentucky,
that does not mean that every
dying ash tree is a victim of EAB. In fact,
in the majority of the site visits that our
office has conducted, the results have NOT
been EAB; instead, they have been one of
a complex of native borers that infest ash.
Many of the symptoms caused by native
borers are similar to those caused by EAB
(dead branches in the crown, loose bark
etc.). Several key factors can help you
determine if the tree is infested with EAB:
• Carefully examine the bark for holes
that are shaped like a capital letter D.
These holes will be approximately 1/8"
in diameter and are very distinctive. Note
that the flat side of the D will not always
be on the left!
• Examine the depth of the gallery made by
the larva. EAB larvae feed directly under
the bark, whereas many of the native
borers tunnel deep into the hardwood.
• Look for the presence of frass (fancy
name for bug excrement). EAB larvae
pack their frass tightly inside the galleries
as they feed, whereas the clearwing
borers will expel the frass either on the
ground or on tree branches.
• When clearwing borers infest a tree,
a pupal case or skin can often be seen
protruding from the hole. EAB do not
leave any kind of skin behind.
For more information on diagnosing
your ash tree, go to our website (www.Ky
StateEnt.org). Click on “emerald ash
borer” and then click on “Emerald Ash
Borer CSI,” or you may click on the
link for “Distinguishing EAB from
other native borers.” 2
PEST UPDATE l Continued
State Quarantines 20 KY Counties
To Contain Emerald Ash Borer
handled at locations that do not pose a
risk of infestation; and may be moved if it
has not been combined or commingled
with other articles.
Persons may obtain a certificate to
move regulated articles to any destination
in Kentucky when, in the judgment of
an inspector, the articles have not been
exposed to the emerald ash borer, appear
to be free of the emerald ash borer, have
been treated to destroy the emerald ash
borer or have been grown, produced, manufactured, stored or handled in such a
manner that their movement does not
present a risk of spreading the emerald
ash borer. Persons may obtain limited
permits to move regulated articles to
specific destinations in Kentucky if the
regulated articles are apparently free of
emerald ash borer; have been grown, produced, manufactured, stored or handled
in a manner that prevents the articles from
presenting a risk of spreading the emerald
ash borer; or are to be moved under conditions that will not result in the spread of
the emerald ash borer because the insect
will be destroyed by the articles’ handling,
utilization, processing or treatment.
Persons who intend to move any regulated articles shall apply for inspection
at least 48 hours before the services are
needed. An inspector may stop and
inspect, destroy, seize, stop sale or treat
any regulated articles or may order them
returned to the point of origin at the
owner’s expense.
To report a possible infestation, call
the EAB Hotline at 866-322-4512, or
the Kentucky state entomologist’s office
at 859-257-5838. For the latest on
EAB in Kentucky, go to http://pest.ca.
uky.edu/EXT/EAB/welcome.html. For
more information, go to www.emerald
ashborer.info. 2
tate officials have issued a quarantine for 20 Kentucky counties
regulating the transportation
outside those counties of articles that
could harbor the emerald ash borer. State
Entomologist John Obrycki issued the
quarantine with the advice and consent of
Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer
and M. Scott Smith, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture,
as required by state law.
The counties under quarantine are
Boone, Bourbon, Campbell, Carroll, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison,
Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton,
Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Scott, Shelby,
Trimble and Woodford. The quarantined
area includes the seven counties where the
emerald ash borer has been identified —
Campbell, Fayette, Franklin, Jefferson,
Jessamine, Kenton and Shelby — plus
counties close to an infestation site and
counties with a high density of ash trees.
The quarantine prohibits “regulated
articles” from being moved outside a quarantined area without a certificate or limited
permit except under certain conditions.
“Regulated articles” are defined as the
emerald ash borer, hardwood firewood, ash
nursery stock, green ash lumber, other ash
material and any other materials that present a threat of artificial spread of the
emerald ash borer.
A regulated article may be moved by
the USDA or the Kentucky Department
of Agriculture for experimental or scientific
purposes; may be moved in an enclosed
vehicle or completely covered to prevent
access by the emerald ash borer (through
Sept. 30); may be moved directly through
the quarantined area without stopping
except for traffic conditions and refueling;
may be moved if it is stored, packed or
By Cheryl Friend, Assistant Professor, Eastern Kentucky University
espite what was said in the
past years, the business cycle
is not dead. We will recover
from this recession, grow and prosper
and, dare I say it, have another recession.
The benefit of grey hair is that my business career spans six or seven recessions.
And experience teaches that this can be
a time of change and renewal.
Try to treat this recession as a natural
event — nasty, like bad storms, but part
of the system. And, like an ice storm or
power loss after a hurricane, we can either
curse the darkness or use the time for
focusing and improvement.
What can you do to help your business be better when the lights come
back on?
Clean out those closets.
Think about your real and your figurative
closets. This is an opportunity to tidy up
and get rid of stuff you really do not need.
Literally, clean out the storage barn, the
chemical shed, the loft. You don’t have to
throw everything out, but pick out what
you have not used in years. Could someone else use it? Can you sell it?
Figuratively, look at what your business
has been doing. Look at everything.
Which memberships really benefit your
business? Do you get leads and customers from them all? Are you paying
for materials or services that you do not
use or profit from?
After hurricane Francis, I had no
landline phone service for months, and
I discovered that a landline phone is
not really a necessity for my life or for
my business. When the phone lines
were reinstalled, I never turned the
service back on. I did thank the phone
company representative for the educational experience — I learned I didn’t
need their service.
Learn something.
One of the best uses for down time is
improvement of self and staff. Formal
courses can cost a lot of money, but
there is often assistance for training,
there are free or inexpensive courses
available (try the SBA or your local
college), and the internet is full of
useful information. For free materials,
nothing beats the local library.
One of my best training experiences
came from the Small Business Administration SCORE (Service Corps of
Retired Executives) advisory service. We
were looking for marketing ideas, and
SCORE offered us a retired marketing
director from a major New York City
retail store. Wow, a wiz, and his mentoring changed the company completely.
Get with the ‘net.
If you don’t have a website, develop one
and use it. Be sure that you add new
materials constantly so that every visitor
has something fresh to see. Design your
site to allow customers to order goods and
services and to contact your employees.
I recently bought some classes on-line,
and when I looked for my teacher on the
company website, he was nowhere to be
found. I wanted to tell him (and his boss)
how happy I was with his service. Surprise! I couldn’t access additional classes
using the website or even send an email
addressed to a specific employee.
Also, check out garden websites and
garden blogs — they are full of new ideas.
Hit the road.
Ramp up your
Start showing off your business. Giving
presentations and writing articles are two
of the best-underutilized and cost-effective
merchandising activities. Organizations
are constantly looking for new speakers
and new writers. Become the “go-to”
person for your local press and for professional organizations. Your best employee
just got a new certification? Well, tell us.
How will I know that you have a certified
arborist if you don’t tell me? Address your
customers’ need for information, and they
will return to make a purchase.
Recently, while I was visiting relatives
in New England, a dozen people asked
me about tomatoes and late blight. Why
me? I traveled 1,000 miles to be asked
about their tomatoes? The local garden
businesses could have answered the
questions and sold fungicides, too.
Train the public to trust your advice,
and they will stay to buy your products
and services. Occasionally, being honest
may mean that you send your customers
to another company, but they will trust
you even more if you find a good solution
to their problem.
Thrill your customers.
Many companies are cutting back on
spending and eliminating service staff.
Every company says that service is its
most important product, but few companies actually put their money where
their mouth is. And company behavior
explains why customers are generally so
dissatisfied with customer service.
You can stand out by surprising your
customers with exemplary service. And
now is the time to keep the customers
that you have by thrilling them. Go the
extra mile, do the extra little job, stretch
a bit. Your customers will thank you.
Think of this as a time of change and
of opportunity. A time to clean up, get out
and about, learn something, tell people
how great your company is and thrill
your customers. And smile — the
recession will eventually end. 2
Meet Cheryl Friend,
New Asst. Professor at EKU
KNLA and the Nursery Views team are delighted to
welcome Cheryl Friend as a new contributor to our magazine and as a new assistant professor at Eastern Kentucky
University. Cheryl teaches in EKU’s Agriculture Department, where her courses include nursery management,
plant materials, landscape operations and site design.
During more than 35 years of professional practice, Cheryl has developed a
number of original projects, including historic waterfront restorations, agricultural
preservation, environmental education programs, a 10,000-acre annexation
agreement and master plan, and a 40-square-mile Comprehensive Plan. While
involved in commercial development, she managed design approvals and
construction of residential, hotel, retail, marine, military and industrial projects.
A native of New York, Cheryl grew up in Europe and has lived in Asia, where she
served in the Peace Corps. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the
University of Rhode Island, a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the
University of Massachusetts, a master’s degree in Business Administration from
Bryant College and a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Florida.
When not involved in design and environmental issues, Cheryl is a freelance journalist and photographer specializing in garden design, and she teaches tai chi.
Visit your friends, and visit the competition. Go someplace new. It always
surprises me when I am in a new area and
discover that I am visiting gardens that
the local people haven’t seen. Go to a new
tradeshow. Go visit a new development.
While you are there, work at looking.
Pretend that you must write a report, so
take detailed notes. Take pictures. Think
about what you are seeing.
This also works in reverse. Ask a good
friend to visit your business when you
aren’t there and take a hard-eyed look.
Well, not too good a friend, since you
want someone who will tell you the truth.
Someone who will tell you, “The displays
are dusty and crowded. I couldn’t find
anyone to answer a question. I didn’t
find what I wanted.”
Taking Nursery
Outlook Cues
from the
Stock Market
By Tim Woods, Ph.D., Extension Professor, University of Kentucky
stock market has been a highturbulence affair these past three
years. Euphoric investments and
speculation, followed by brutal down drafts and loss in
wealth. The nursery industry has followed suit — significant
new investments, inventory expansion and optimism tied to
seemingly unending expansion in the real-estate market,
followed by a swan dive in prices and profitability. Growers
have been putting trees on trucks at prices that don’t even
cover their operating expenses. Garden centers saw inventory turns slow way down. Frankly, many in the industry
have just shut down, unable to hang on.
Big-box home-improvement centers have been caught
in the same economic winds. Just 24 months ago, Home
Depot (with a stock price of $42) and Lowes ($35) had the
tiger by the tail. Homeowners were making substantial
investments to improve their properties, including landscaping products and services. As the economy waned,
disposable incomes tightened, and people opted to postpone
these kinds of purchases. New housing starts slowed, and the
home-improvement centers saw their share values plummet.
By March 2009, Home Depot was trading at $18, and
Lowes at $12.
Many of the same forces shaping the stock prices for
home-improvement centers are shaping the economic
environment for the Kentucky nursery industry. Recall that
stock prices represent investors’ expectations of likely future
earnings. Demand for nursery products in the state were
certainly down during early spring. New-home construction
and improvements in existing homes just didn’t pull
inventory through the system.
On the plus side, the tide seems to be turning. Here in
early August, Home Depot is trading at $26 and Lowes at
$23, and many market analysts are tagging these companies
as “buy” values in the market. Expectations for future
earnings are clearly up for these companies — not quite to
where they were before, but moving in the right direction.
These are good signs for the nursery industry, suggesting
that new demand for Kentucky products and services may
also be emerging. Let’s hope so. 2
Labor Cost Fact
The mean hourly wage for farm workers and laborers,
crop, nursery and greenhouse in Kentucky for 2008
was $10.05. Georgia was the lowest at $7.91. Tennessee
($9.74), Texas ($8.30) and North Carolina ($8.69)
along with most other Southern states had lower
average hourly costs than Kentucky, while Ohio
($10.49) and most northern states had higher costs.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Standard
Occupational Classification Code 452092, 2009.
How Does Your
Roof Grow?
By, Matthew Boone Gardiner, President/Owner,
Boone Gardiner Garden Center, Crestwood, KY
a state, Kentucky can sometimes lag behind the times
when it comes to new trends, which can be a good
thing when the trend is simply a fad. The green roof,
though, is one trend in green construction that is no fad but a building
practice that is here to stay.
Green roofs can be created in many ways, usually with plants and/or
sod planted on the roof in a shallow soil. Although green roofs are
new to the U.S. (actually, an anomaly until around 2000), the idea
has been around for thousands of years. The famed Hanging Gardens
of Babylon were a type of green roof. Many homes in Scandinavia
had green roofs for insulation from the cold, and the Greeks, Romans,
Persians and other cultures used green roofs as a way to cool their
hot landscapes.
Modern green roofs generally fall into one of two categories,
extensive or intensive. An extensive green roof consists typically of
low-growing, tough plants such as sedums and hardy succulents in a
mostly inorganic medium (consisting largely of expanded
shale or something similar, with very little organic matter
or soil) less than 6" in depth. Minimal maintenance is
required for these roofs once they are established, and
supplemental irrigation (other than rainfall) is usually
not necessary.
Intensive roofs have deeper, more-organic soil substrates
that allow for deeper root growth and larger plants. These
systems can require more maintenance due to the diversity of
plants that can be used and the need for irrigation systems to
compensate for drought periods. Traditionally known as rooftop gardens, intensive-type roofs often include trees, shrubs,
perennials and, at times, elaborate hardscape features.
The tremendous benefits of green roofs include the
retention of stormwater runoff, which reduces the load on
our sewer systems. Studies have proven that green roofs can
reduce the storm runoff from a building on average by 60%,
and at times up to 90% of that storm water can be captured,
depending on the design of the system. The water that does
eventually run off does so in periods of hours and days rather
than minutes.
Urban centers and downtown areas are known for their
extreme heat temperatures that are recognized as creating the
“Heat Island Effect.” This effect is caused by large amounts
of asphalt, concrete and buildings that produce an increase
in ambient temperature. Green roofs with their vegetation
can cause a significant reduction in this “Heat Island Effect.”
A net reduction in utilities use, due to insulation from heat
in the summer and cold in the winter, cuts utility bills
dramatically. In addition to these beneficial properties,
the roof itself is more protected, and often a green roof can
extend the life of the roof structure.
Also, the accompanying increase in the amount of
green space in urban areas is both aesthetically pleasing
and healthful. Studies have shown a beneficial impact on
people from increased green spaces, including green
roofs, by de-stressing individuals and increasing worker
productivity. The increase of green space in urban areas
also provides habitat for wildlife, giving birds and other
creatures places to nest and reproduce. Studies have proven
that green roofs actually improve the quality of air and
water by acting as filters and purifiers, much like trees,
providing a tremendous reduction of airborne pollution
and water pollution from excess runoff.
This article provides only a brief and simplistic overview
of a great new technology available to help “green” our
buildings and cities. Due to the complexity of these greenroof systems, it is critical that they are approached with a
cross-disciplinary viewpoint, from design to installation,
and with a team of knowledgeable professionals. 2
WKU Students Learn
Bench Grafting
By Martin Stone, Ph.D., Assistant Professor,
Leichhardt Professor of Horticulture, Western Kentucky University
Chris Summers demonstrates bench
grafting to WKU Horticulture students.
orticulture students at Western
Kentucky University participate in a workshop where they
learn a special form of propagation known
as “bench grafting” in the Plant Propagation
Course. Unlike the type of grafting used to
produce roses or fruit trees, this technique
is unique to ornamental plants.
Each year in February, the Baker Arboretum and Western Kentucky University
sponsor the two-day workshop, which
takes place on a Friday and Saturday so
that students can learn the technique without interruption or distractions (such as
classes). The workshop is free to students.
Students graft pines, spruces, ginkgos,
Japanese maples, katsura and many others.
Afterwards, grafted plants are kept in an
outdoor “aftercare” facility, which the students build with heating mats, a little plastic
and peat. In April, they uncloak the plants
and assess their handiwork, learning what
worked and what did not. Students are
allowed keep their successes, and in the
case of Japanese maples, they keep their
failures, too.
The workshop attracts horticulturists
from surrounding states and is filled each
year. The expertise of Chris Summers and
Stephanie Tittle, both KNLA members,
is employed for the event. Their leadership, knowledge and patience (and skill
with Band-Aids!) are critical for student
learning and success. 2
Stephanie Tittle demonstrates how to
position the scion on the rootstock.
Dr. Martin Stone assists students
during the workshop.
BOBCAT ENTERPRISES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
BOSHANCEE NURSERY, INC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
CAROLINA NURSERIES, INC. . . Inside Back Cover
CRIMSON DALE NURSERY, INC. . . . . . . . . . . 11
NURSERY & LANDSCAPING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
HAWKSRIDGE FARMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
HORTICA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Back Cover
INDIANA GREEN EXPO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
MOTZ & SON NURSERY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
VALLEY HILL NURSERIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
WHAYNE SUPPLY COMPANY . . . Inside Front Cover
WILSON NURSERIES, INC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Growers of
Large American Beech, European
Beech, Cedar of Lebanon,
American Holly, Boxwood,…
and many more!