New York landscaping company creates learning adventure for students
For the past few years Jeffrey Ingrassia, owner of Aqua FX by Island Land Care in Mt. Sinai, New York, has taken his knowledge of aquascapes into local schools. Ingrassia, a certified aquascape installer, is involved with the national, nonprofit program Ponds For Kids.
According to Aqua FX’s Web site, the program strives to bring natural beauty and waterscapes into the school environment as part of an enrichment curriculum.
Ingrassia and his landscaping crew choose one school each year to host the project. The schools usually provide the money for the materials, and Ingrassia pays his crew for the day to help the students construct a working waterscape. Students rotate through three stations, helping place boulders, install plants and fill the pond with water.
“Even though I have four or five guys on these projects I really have my employees teach, and take a step back, and let the kids create most of it,” Ingrassia says.
A local high school science class hosted a recent Ponds For Kids project, and the students have turned it into a hands-on learning experience to observe and test habitats and discern which plants grow best in the pond.
Ingrassia says that the best part is working with the students and experiencing their excitement while they learn about aquaculture and habitats. “I work with the kids, and it’s amazing how you can tell right away who’s going to be energetic and get dirty and really help out.”
Ponds For Kids projects usually cost between $2,600 and $3,200, which is often raised by a parental booster club or other fundraiser. Depending on the where the school is located grants may be available to offset the cost.
“People stop me in the hallway and say, ‘Hey, Mr. Ingrassia, love the pond you did.’ It’s a good feeling to give back to the community.”
For information on how to get involved with Ponds For Kids, visit this site
For more on aquascaping, see Landscaping Visions, page 28 in this issue.
~ Christina Jesson
Nemetschek introduces Spanish-language software
Nemetschek North America has released Spanish-language versions of VectorWorks Fundamentals, Vectorworks Architect and RenderWorks 12.5. The new versions boast improved speed and performance. This update is available as a free Web download for users of VectorWorks 12, and free DVDs are available if users pay the shipping fee ($9.95 for U.S. mail).
John Deere coordinates internal business units for landscapers
The John Deere Commercial and Consumer Equipment Division realigned three of its business units that provide products and services to landscape professionals. John Deere Landscapes, John Deere Golf and Turf One Source and the company’s professional mowing segment will now be directed by David Werning, president of John Deere Landscapes and now also vice president, commercial segment, John Deere C&CE.
April named National Landscape Architecture Month
The American Society of Landscape Architects has declared April National Landscape Architecture Month. Throughout the month, ASLA chapters nationwide will hold public outreach activities with the theme “Discover Careers in Landscape Architecture.” The month includes Earth Day on April 22 and the birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted, the founder of the American landscape architecture profession, on April 26.
Pesticide delivery system worksthrough tree bark
A new application technology for chemical treatment of woody plants may open up new possibilities for landscapers to enter the tree care business. Basal bark application, developed by research with Pentra-Bark surfactant from Quest Products Corporation, enables landscapers to apply chemicals directly to tree trunks using a backpack or conventional sprayer to treat trees for pests and diseases including emerald ash borer, beech decline and scab.
Basal bark applications had not been considered possible before 2003, when several historic trees in California contracted Phytophthora ramorum or sudden oak death. Too large for foliar treatment, the trees would only be further damaged by drilling and injecting fungicides. To treat them, researchers studied whether Pentra-Bark, developed to carry pesticides through the bark of woody plants, could carry other chemicals through tree trunks.
The trees were treated with Agri-Fos, a fungicide from Agrichem, using basal bark application with Pentra-Bark surfactant to carry the fungicide through the tree trunk. They have since recovered and are treated annually with basal bark application of the fungicide.
When Pentra-Bark is applied to bark (woody periderm) in combination with systemic pesticides, it opens the tree’s lenticels – microscopic openings in the periderm layer that allow air and water to move through. The open lenticels allow the systemic pesticide to move directly into the plant’s vascular metabolic transport system. Highly systemic chemicals, such as Agri-Fos, spread completely throughout the tree. Pentra-Bark is the only bark-penetrating surfactant registered for use in basal bark applications.
Felicia Gillham, managing director for Gillham and Associates Marketing Communications, says in the past, landscapers often referred treatments of trees to tree care companies because there was little they could do if they noticed problems. Using basal bark application technology, landscapers can use a backpack sprayer with Pentra-Bark and a pesticide to treat pests and diseases in large trees that might otherwise have gone untreated, Gillham says.
Heath Hayes, manager of the plant health care division of Fowlkes, Norman and Associates, a landscaping company in Fort Worth, Texas, has been using Pentra-Bark with Agri-Fos for about a year and half as part of his procedure to treat established trees affected by root rot due to Phytopthera. “Many of the problems I encounter with decline of established trees stem from over-watering, which causes the roots to remain too wet.” He says basal bark application is one step he consistently uses to address these problems.
Hayes doesn’t soley treat the affected trees with basal bark applied fungicide. “I do many other things to correct the problems directly affecting the health of the root system,” Hayes says, “including controlling the irrigation system and soil aeration. Chemicals in general should not be considered the magic bullets of tree care, rather valuable tools we use alongside sound arboriculture.”
In addition to Agri-Fos, other pesticides such as acephate, propaconazole and imidacloprid have been tested with Pentra-Bark, and their manufacturers are seeking label changes to include basal bark applications. Research trials are under way at universities across the nation for Pentra-Bark/fungicide/insecticide combinations.
~ Lori Creel
ICUEE pre-registration under way; educational credits available
Online pre-registration is available for the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition, to be held October 16-18 in Louisville, Kentucky. ICUEE will send a reminder to pre-registered participants to complete the process on April 2.
With more than one million square feet of exhibits, ICUEE will offer hands-on equipment operation for utility, construction and landscaping professionals. The Demo Expo features extensive product demonstrations so participants can operate equipment in conditions similar to a jobsite.
For this year’s event, ICUEE has more than 40 educational seminars. The learning sessions will feature industry experts and target a wide variety of topics for the general construction, utility and landscaping industries. ICUEE sessions will run concurrently on all three mornings of the show, to allow participants time to attend classroom sessions and working equipment demonstrations. For the first time, show seminars will offer Continuing Educational Units credit to attendees.
Advance registration for ICUEE is $10 per person through September 21. After September 21, the registration fee is $20 and attendees must register onsite. To register online, visit this site. Information on hotel accommodations is also available on the Web site. Registrations can be faxed to (708) 344-4444 or mailed to ICUEE Registration, c/o CompuSystems Inc., P.O. Box 465, Brookfield, IL 60513-0465.
~ Amy Materson
Green Industry Calendar
4-5 ~ MGIA Trade Show/Convention, Novi Expo Center, Novi, Michigan. For more information, www.landscape.org.
5-9 ~ Rain Bird Academy for Landscape Irrigation Professionals, Kansas, Missouri. For more information, visit www.rainbird.com/training/locations/RITC-KansasCity.htm.
5-11 ~ APLD Conference, Hilton Hotel, Pasadena, California. For more
information, visit www.apld.com.
7-9 ~ The Work Truck Show, Indiana Convention Center and RCA Dome, Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information, visit www.ntea.com.
12 ~ Tygar Manufacturing Demo Day, Ball Ground, Georgia. For more information, call 866-999-9506 or e-mail email@example.com.
12-16 ~ Rain Bird Academy for Landscape Irrigation Professionals, Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.rainbird.com/training/locations/RITC-Minneapolis.htm.
12-16 ~ Rain Bird Academy for Landscape Irrigation Professionals, Chicago, Illinois. For more information, visit www.rainbird.com/training/locations/RITC-Chicago.htm.
14 ~ Kichler’s Landscape Lighting 101, Kichler’s World Headquarters, Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, visit www.kichler.com.
17 ~ Living Roof Demonstration and Workshop, San Francisco Botanical Gardens at Strybing Arboretum, San Francisco, California. For more information, visit this site.
19-23 ~ Rain Bird Academy for Landscape Irrigation Professionals, Detroit, Michigan. For more information, visit www.sfbotanicalgardensociety.org/sfbgs_course_all_template.cfm.
21-25 ~ San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, San Francisco’s Historic Cow Palace, Daly City, California. For more information, visit www.gardenshow.com.
29-April 1 ~ PLANET Student Career Days, Michigan State University, Lansing, Michigan. For more information, visit www.landcarenetwork.org.
16 ~ Tygar Manufacturing Demo Day, Ball Ground, Georgia. For more information, call 866-999-9506 or e-e-mail.
29-May 1 ~ Fifth Annual International Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference Awards and Trade Show, Hyatt Regency Minneapolis Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information, visit www.greenroofs.org.