News and Announcements

Corso’s Issues Statement, AmericanHort’s Craig Regelbrugge Discusses Industry Ramifications

Corso’s says it “demands proper documentation” from workers following the raid that resulted in 114 of the company’s employees being arrested. AmericanHort is working to provide resources for green industry businesses to navigate the issue. Read More

High Performance: Surviving Survival Mode

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve interacted with many green industry professionals who are in survival mode driven by a variety of factors. A compressed spring adds even more stress to a season that is challenging even in a normal year. On top of this, the labor shortage is especially painful when strong customer demand feels like adding fuel to the fire. Everyone is busy, way too busy. Read More

California Grown Nursery Marketplace Launches Virtual Plant Exchange

The California Association of Nursery and Garden Centers (CANGC) announced the launch of the California Grown Nursery Marketplace, a free resource that allows growers and buyers to connect, share inventories, search for plants and learn about California grown nursery stock. The Nursery Marketplace is an online network designed to make buying and selling plants...Read More

Gardens Alive! to Close Michigan Nursery

According to a news report from Grand Haven, Mich., Gardens Alive! is closing its largest farm and laying off 300 workers. The Indiana-based company notified the Michigan Talent Investment Agency that it's closing the former Zelenka Farms location, located on...Read More

Bayer Completes Monsanto Acquisition

Bayer completed the acquisition of Monsanto on June 7. Shares in the U.S. company will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole owner of Monsanto Company. Monsanto shareholders are being paid 128 U.S. dollars per share...Read More

Sitting on Inventory

How do you integrate selling outdoor furniture with plants in a garden center? According to Kate Terrell, general manager of Wallace’s Garden Center, “It kind of goes hand in hand. Most people that are ‘gardening’ right now are doing it in pots on their decks and patios. Why plant pots on the patio if you’re not going to sit out there to...Read More

Instagram Expands Business Features

Engaging with potential customers is top of mind for many businesses, including independent garden center retailers. Many strategies are focused on reaching out to consumers and capturing their attention in a world full of digital distractions. Read More

Lifelong Learner

From Spanish teacher to vice president of HR, Maureen Scheitz is a continuous learner who strives to become an expert on the topics she’s studying to help her company grow. “We’ve got a major problem,” Maureen Scheitz told Acres Group owner... Read More

OSHA Announces 30-Day Grace Period for Enforcement of Silica Standard for General Industry

Employers that are worried about whether their new or upgraded programs for silica protection will pass regulatory muster under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) general industry standard for respirable...Read More

In the Garden | Fighting invasive plants

Visitors to the downtown Champaign area last month may have noticed an odd addition to the One Main Development landscaping. Over the course of May, an increasing number of mysterious white trees appeared out of nowhere. Who placed these ghost...Read More

Attorneys General From Three States Sue EPA Over WPS Protection Suspension

The attorneys general (AG) from three states are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to enforce a requirement meant in part to protect farmworkers from pesticides. The AGs from Maryland, California and New York sued the Trump...Read More

New Spring Meadow Nursery Website Offers Improved Tools for Customers

Spring Meadow Nursery, the developer of the Proven Winners ColorChoice flowering shrubs, has launched a fully redesigned website with new interactive user tools designed to improve the user experience and reinforce the updated...Read More

Hunter Launches Bluetooth Tap Timer

Hunter Industries launched a new Bluetooth-enable tap timer, the BTT. BTT provides app-controlled light irrigation for plants, flowers, nurseries, greenhouses, and small lawn areas. BTT is designed for use with a hose faucet...Read More

Organic Insect Deterrent for Agriculture

Traditional insecticides are killers: they not only kill pests, they also endanger bees and other beneficial insects, as well as affecting biodiversity in soils, lakes, rivers and seas. A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now developed an alternative: A biodegradable agent that keeps pests at bay without poisoning them. Read More

Gypsy Moth: Don’t Panic, Be Vigilant, Get Organized

Gypsy moth is tearing through trees in northern Indiana this summer following dry weather in the spring. Although these caterpillars are close to being out of our hair for another year (they’ll stop feeding soon), there are still a few steps you can take this year and next year to protect your trees. Read More

Bailey Nurseries Updates Logo, Brand Identity

Bailey Nurseries is updating its corporate identity to a more modernized brand position: Bailey. The Growing What’s Next theme will be carried across all Bailey-brand business units. Bailey will offer customers easier access to ordering, improved marketing resources...Read More

AmericanHort Announces 2018  HortScholars

AmericanHort is proud to encourage and support students as they aspire to a diverse array of horticulture careers. The HortScholars program aims to identify these future leaders and give them a platform to network, grow, and work at North America's premier horticulture event...Read More

The 6 Qualities Great Mentors Share

It's no secret that finding a great mentor can be key to achieving your career goals, but not everyone has what it takes to be the mentor you need. A successful mentor needs to have more than just experience and good intentions to provide mentees with real value.  Read More

Homeland Security Issues 15,000 Additional H-2B Visas

The Department of Homeland Security said Friday it would provide businesses another 15,000 H-2B visas to bring low-skilled foreign workers to the U.S. this summer, according to the Boston Globe newspaper. This would aid seasonal employers, including landscapers. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen raised the cap on H-2B visas after determining there weren’t enough qualified U.S. workers...Read More

The First Six Months: How OSHA Is Currently Enforcing the Silica Standard in Construction

For construction employers facing uncertainty on exactly how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is enforcing the new silica standard in Construction, we now have a little bit of data that helps shed some light on this mystery. OSHA began enforcing the silica rule in construction on October 23, 2017. As of April 23, 2017, OSHA and State Plans that have adopted the silica rule (a few have not yet done so) have issued 117 violations. Read More

US Regulators Add Some Flexibility to Trucker ELD Work Rules

Truckers who run out of legal driving hours while waiting to load or unload at a customer site can drive to the nearest safe parking spot without violating hours-of-service (HOS) rules, the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said Thursday. That time behind the wheel can be counted...Read More

What Cities Are Doing About the ‘Shocking’ Loss of Urban Forests

In Pittsburgh, a vacant five-acre plot along the Allegheny River will soon be helping to build cities once more. The land — which sits directly under the 62nd Street Bridge — is the former location of the Tippins, Inc. steel mill. After the company...Read More

NALP Report Shows Value in Outdoor Projects in 2018

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and the National Association of Realtors partnered to release a 2018 Remodeling Report: Outdoor Feature. The report looks at 13 outdoor residential projects and 10 commercial property projects, highlighting reasons why property owners complete these projects...Read More

Immigration Agents Arrest 114 at Ohio Landscaper

More than 100 workers at an Ohio gardening and landscaping company were arrested Tuesday when about 200 federal officers descended on the business and carried out one of the largest workplace immigration raids in recent years.  Read More

Internet Retailer Magazine Recognizes Monrovia as a Top E-Commerce Leader

Monrovia, a grower of premium ornamental and landscaping plants in the United States, has been named one of the country’s top 500 e-commerce merchants, and number 11 in its primary merchandise category by Internet Retailer. A source for e-commerce research...Read More

Viburnum Leaf Beetles Active in Northeast Illinois

The viburnum leaf beetle, a native to Europe, was brought to North America on infected viburnums. While it is established in several northeastern states, we've only confirmed this pest in a handful of counties in northeast Illinois. If your viburnum plants are showing signs of defoliation, please keep your eyes open for larvae now or Viburnum Leaf Beetle adults...Read More

Pollinator-Friendly Solar Energy Bill Passes

The Illinois General Assembly passed a pollinator-friendly solar energy bill late Monday. Senate Bill 3214 gives an extra boost to solar energy development already underway in the state and offers benefits to multiple stakeholders. The bill was sponsored by State Senator Jason Barickman and State Representative...Read More

These Are the 4 Different Work Styles and How to Work With Each

Ever wonder why you have great chemistry with some colleagues and butt heads with others? It comes down to your working style, says Kim Christfort, coauthor of Business Chemistry: Practical Magic for Crafting Powerful Work Relationships and national managing director of Deloitte Greenhouse Experience, an innovation...Read More

U.S. Beekeepers Lose Four of Every 10 Managed Colonies in 2017-18

The nation’s beekeepers lost 40 percent of their managed honey bee colonies between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018, an increase of almost 7 percentage points from the previous year’s total loss rate, results of an annual nationwide survey show. Greater colony mortality during the 2017-18 winter...Read More

Project EverGreen, SiteOne Partner to Recruit Volunteers

Project EverGreen’s GreenCare for Troops initiative needs contractor volunteers. Both Project EverGreen and SiteOne Landscape Supply along with leading industry suppliers are stepping up to help recruit new volunteers to help...Read More

Research Team Making Strides Toward Protecting Pollinators

Researchers and stakeholder-advisors (including representatives from industry groups, pesticide manufacturers, beekeepers and EPA) met in St. Louis, Missouri, on 7 February 2018 to review and discuss progress that had been made under a project supported by USDA Specialty Crops Research...Read More

Ag Leaders Hope Trump Can Improve H-2A

With faint chances for passage but sure promise for passion, immigration and farm labor legislation will again be debated by Congress in June. House leadership has committed to bringing immigration legislation to the floor in mid- to late June, but fresh produce industry lobbyists said getting...Read More

Proposed Code Changes to Affect Irrigation

Brent Mecham, CID, CLWM, CIC, CLIA, CAIS, industry development director for the Irrigation Association, recently attended code hearings in Columbus, Ohio, for the International Residential Code and the International Plumbing Code. Both codes are part of the family of codes created by the International Code Council. Mecham had previously submitted written comments to proposed changes to those codes specifically...Read More

Thanks to Rainy Spring, 4 Tree Diseases Expected Across Chicagoland This Summer

April and May showers bring ugly leaves, according to local tree experts. Arborists from the Chicago area say days of constant rainfall in recent weeks have led to prime conditions for fungal disease for trees and shrubs. “We were getting rain at exactly the wrong time,” said Sharon Yiesla, plant knowedge specialist for the Morton Arboretum. “All the new leaves...Read More

National Pollinator Garden Network Seeks 300,000 Pollinator Gardens to Reach Goal of One Million Registered Gardens

Americans concerned about saving bees and our food production systems are being asked to #beecounted and help the National Pollinator Garden Network reach one million bee-friendly gardens by National Pollinator Week, June 18-24, 2018. Saving pollinators has become a national obsession. Since 2015, over 700,000...Read More

Questions Regarding Neonicotinoid Insecticides

Recently, the twenty-eight member states of the European Union voted to ban all outdoor uses of neonicotinoid insecticides, expanding upon a ban initially put into place in 2013. While this ban is only in effect in some areas overseas...Read More

A Bump in the Road

Whether you receive regular shipments of hard goods or you have plant material shipped in from wholesale growers, chances are your garden center, like much of United States commerce, relies on ground transportation to make it all happen. Managing deliveries and budgeting...Read More

Knupper Nursery Closing After 88 Years

Knupper Nursery & Landscape owners John and Sue Heaton have been to every continent in their travels, including Antarctica. "Antarctica is blue and purple and white and gray. You see nothing green. I'm a green person," Sue Heaton said. She's been a green person since the mid-1980s, when she married John, who has owned Knupper's for 50 years. Read More

Garden Centers Play Catch-up After Late Start to Spring Season

Although many independent garden centers reported sales shortfalls in April, customer traffic has improved in May. An unusually cold, snowy April for many garden centers across the country has led to a very condensed spring selling season, with many retailers playing catch up...Read More

What's Up With Amazon

When Amazon representatives hit industry trade shows in 2016, rumblings about the e-commerce giant’s move into live plants swept the industry. Reactions ranged from warnings to welcomes. That ambivalence deepened with the recent launch of the Amazon Plants Store, adding a designated space for live plant sales to the company’s already extensive lawn and garden offerings. Whatever your position...Read More

Winning at Water

Irrigation controllers are not only becoming easier to program, they're saving on time and water for landscaping companies and their customers. Imagine driving down the street in a suburban development in the wee hours of the morning and it starts pouring.  Read More

Scholarship Opportunities from our Partners at AmericanHort

Scholarships totaling nearly $20,000 for the 2018-2019 school year are made possible by seven special Horticultural Research Institute endowment funds that aid students who are seeking a lifelong career in horticulture. HRI, the AmericanHort Foundation, and its member firms consider graduating students in horticulture to be the lifeblood of the green industry. The scholarship application and prerequisite information are AVAILABLE HERE.  

The Rise and Rise of the Under 35s

Right now most owners and managers in the retail garden business are in “can we catch up with budget?” mode after a late, cold spring season and are probably not worrying too much about demographic trends. So mark this as a “should look at this again after Memorial Day” doc and circle back when you can raise your head above the trench...Read More

The Continuing Story of Impatiens Downy Mildew

The more we learn about impatiens downy mildew (IDM), the more intriguing and cunning this disease seems. It came to light in 2004 after widespread infections were reported in several states throughout the US but then receded from the spotlight for several years. Since 2011, IDM has been more consistently visible...Read More

Top Arborvitae Aggravations

Arborvitae varieties (Thuja spp.) provide some of our most beautiful and versatile evergreens for landscapes, with an extensive selection of sizes and types. Unless they get proper care, they also give us some frustrating failures. Here is my list of the most frequently...Read More

Why Monsanto and it's Rivals are Trying to Save Butterflies

Rivals BASF (BASFY), Bayer (BAYRY), DowDuPont (DWDP), Monsanto (MON) and Syngenta (SYENF) are ramping up their efforts ahead of a looming deadline to avoid potentially burdensome regulations. The companies are part of a collaborative group, Farmers for Monarchs, that launched in February to try to keep the Monarch butterfly off the endangered species list. Read More

IA Announces New Public-Private Initiative to Advance Irrigation Research Into the 21st Century

The Irrigation Association is pleased announce the creation of the Irrigation Innovation Consortium, a collaborative research effort to accelerate the development and adoption of water-efficient irrigation technologies and practices through public-private partnerships. The $5 million Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research grant was matched...Read More

Don't Get Fooled By These 7 Marketing Myths

Did you get pranked on April Fool’s Day? Even if you got through April 1 unscathed, you might still fall victim to some common marketing misconceptions. Don’t get fooled by these seven marketing myths.  Read More

High Performance: Excelling in a Compressed Spring

Many of you in the northern regions have been affected by late spring snow storms, pushing back the transition to spring work. While we have no control over the weather...Read More

Two Green Industry Associations in Wisconsin Merge

The Wisconsin Green Industry Federation’s (WGIF) plans to merge its programs and services into the Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association (WNLA) as of July 1, 2018. WGIF’s board of directors began strategically planning in 2013 to become a more sustainable, effective...Read More

Illinois Tollway, Morton Arboretum to Plant 58,000 Trees Along Roads

The Illinois Tollway and Morton Arboretum launched a partnership on Friday to add 58,000 trees along toll roads that will be studied for scientific research on planting and care...Read More

HRI Now Accepting Research Project Proposals

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI), the research affiliate of AmericanHort, is now accepting research project proposals designed to improve green industry efficiencies and profitability. Proposals for the 2019 grant cycle are due no later than May 31. Learn More

NALP Board of Directors Terms Begin

The National Association of Landscape Professionals’ new board of directors took office on May 1, 2018 with terms running through April 30, 2019. Jeff Buhler, senior vice president of customer service at Massey Services will serve as the president of the association.Sabeena Hickman, NALP CEO, says, “We have assembled a very talented and committed group of industry professions to lead our association and the industry. Read More

Louisiana Bill Could Halt Professional Certifications by Private Organizations

A bill recently introduced in the Louisiana House of Representatives could bring a halt to the use of private professional certifications in that state. Certifications that are offered by trade associations and other private organizations by groups such as the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) would be outlawed. Read More

Plant Branding 101: Things to Know about Plants and Millenials

As college students interested and actively involved in the horticulture industry,we have noticed there have been several studies conducted to figure out what attracts “Millennials” to plants and gardening. While many of these studies provide accurate information about our preferences...Read More

Emerald Ash Borer Adults Emergence

Emerald ash borer activity should be under way in the southern part of the state and we expect activity to begin in central Illinois soon. Adult emergence generally begins with the accumulation of 450-500 degree-days. Read More

New Sterile Ornamental Grasses One Solution to Grass Invasion

Today’s ornamental grasses are poles apart from what was available several years ago. There are more varieties to choose from, colorful foliage for season-long interest, and shorter, more compact selections for growing in containers and small spaces. But while consumers enjoy ornamental grasses’ low-maintenance benefits, they don’t relish pulling...Read More

ICPI Survey Reports Workforce Shortage, Strong Sales Among Concrete Paver Contractors

Gross sales for concrete paver contractors in the U.S. and Canada increased by 7.7 percent during 2017, while four of every five contractors reported difficulty in recruiting and hiring quality employees, according to a new survey released by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI). The 2018 ICPI Contractor Industry Report identified business trends from...Read More

Five Keys to Accurate Greenhouse Production Costing

Knowing your production costs is the first step in helping you build a profitable plant production business. Here are five tips to make sure you are accurately estimating production costs at your operation. Read More