Field Report – March 2008

2008 design trends go eco-friendly
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recently surveyed more than 400 experts in the green industry seeking design trends for 2008, and results showed commercial and residential clients are requesting more eco-friendly designs.

While many commercial clients continue to look into irrigation alternatives like bioswales and pervious paving, finding ways to incorporate relaxation is also popular.

Ted Anthony, owner of Anthony’s Landscaping in New Orleans, Louisiana, says clients want everything from walking trails and health tracks to benches and outdoor pottery. He also says that because smoking is banned in buildings, clients want nicer smoking areas outside – some enclosed for inclement weather.

More commercial clients are also becoming certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. Developed in 2000, LEED certification is available for six different categories of buildings including new construction and major renovation, existing buildings and schools and homes. Within a category, buildings are judged with a point system on criteria like sustainable sites, water efficiency, materials and resources and innovation in design. More information is available at

In the residential sector, more homeowners are moving the indoors outside. A step beyond fire pits and outdoor kitchens, “great rooms” are the next big thing to hit backyards.

“The backyard has become a room within itself,” Anthony says. He adds that because people are spending more time at home, they want to create their own fantasy world outside.

Residential customers are also asking for a revival of the garden. More homeowners want the beauty of a garden without the hassle of the maintenance. To do so, landscapers are offering water-saving features and native and drought-resistant plants.

William Dickerson, owner of Dickerson Landscaping in Tallahassee, Florida, says his company is trying things like retaining roof water. As simple as directing gutter flow into a barrel, Dickerson says his company tries to take this concept and design it to be more aesthetic to blend in with the landscape.
~ Jennifer Mitchell

Letters to the editor

Dear Editor:

I wanted to thank you for the wonderful article you wrote about Mount Vernon and my efforts at this incredible site. I have received so many wonderful comments about the article and what you wrote. My Bartlett Tree rep read it to his crew – he felt it was so inspirational because it so stressed someone’s passion about their work. I am such a blessed individual to be where I am and to do what I do. I am thrilled that you had the opportunity to actually come and stay on the estate and get the feel as far as what this historic property is all about.

Dean Norton
Director of Horticulture
Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
Mount Vernon, Virginia

Dear Editor:

I am writing in regard to the article in your November 2007 issue about warmer temperatures. I have been doing tree work for 35 years and I have seen the loss of many big trees, i.e. Elms, Sugar Maples, Pines, Cottonwoods, Poplars and a few surviving Chestnuts, to name a few. Why the concern? People are talking about the climate warming, extended working days and plants dying from heat and less water. A little wake-up call is to plant trees that will grow big and provide shade and fresh air instead of these pint-sized ornamental trees. Half of the reason people want small trees is because they do not want to clean their gutters, rake their lawns or have the neighbors complain of leaves in their yards. But they will spend hundreds of dollars and hours at the gym instead of raking their yards. Besides that, there are a lot of trees removed to install pools and then they install concrete, flagstone or manufactured stone around it, hold the heat, plus it then reflects heat onto their house causing the air conditioner to throw more heat into the air. I would be glad to continue this saga for those of you planting tiny trees and unnecessarily removing large trees because you are not knowledgeable enough to understand what is causing our warmer temperatures.

Rex B. Webber
Bradley Tree and Landscaping
Holland, New York

Dear Editor:

Your comments on water conservation in the January 2008 issue were timely and to the point. This is the better time to address drought issues, while we are between acute crises. Thanks for talking about it.

Mark Nauschutz
The Alamo
San Antonio, Texas

Southern Living Plant Collection debuts this spring
The Southern Living Plant Collection launches this spring under the title “Basics for the Southern Landscape.” Each of the eight plants in the collection is designed as a solution for Southern landscaping challenges. The plants were created as a result of a partnership between Southern Living magazine and Plant Development Services.

Plants in the collection include Purple Pixie and Purple Diamond, each a loropetalum. The Pixie features a weeping habit and vivid purple color, while the Diamond grows to four or five feet with pink flowers and purple foliage.

Hedge plants in the collection include three Cleyera varieties. Spring Sonata is a garden border shrub that blooms white in the spring and produces purple fruit during cold weather. Lastly, two hollies round out the collection – Oakland, which needs no pruning, and Robin which offers maroon foliage in spring and changes to deeper green in summer.

The plants will be featured in Southern Living magazine and on its Web site, as well as advertised through a variety of retail channels.
~ Jennifer Mitchell

Terex to acquire ASV
Terex Construction will acquire ASV, a manufacturer of compact rubber track loaders with headquarters in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The transaction is valued at approximately $488 million, and Terex expects the merger to close by the end of the first quarter of 2008.

“During the integration process, the integration team will evaluate the best and most effective strategies to add value to the ASV brand and its distribution network, while leveraging the existing brand equity of ASV technologies for Terex Construction,” says Mike Bazinet, director of global communications for Terex. “The key will be to find ways to create new value opportunities across the board,” he adds.

Currently, Caterpillar holds stock in ASV, but the company has indicated it will sell its shares. Terex plans to add ASV’s compact track loaders to its already existing line of compact equipment.

A Web cast of the conference call detailing particulars of the ASV transaction is available in listen-only mode through the investor relations section of
~ Jennifer Mitchell

Novozymes acquires Philom Bios

Novozymes Biologicals has acquired Canada-based Philom Bios, an inoculants company that will become the cornerstone of Novozymes’ bioagriculture business. Using newly developed technologies, Novozymes will expand Philom Bios’ current market presence in the agricultural segment. Philom Bios will continue to be based in Saskatoon, Canada, and Novozymes Biologicals’ will remain in Salem, Virginia.

Sprigs & Twigs Landscapes names Durfee senior arborist
Sprigs & Twigs Landscapes in Gales Ferry, Connecticut, has named Brad Durfee senior arborist. He will be in charge of Sprigs & Twigs’ Tree Preservation and Maintenance business including tree planting, soil aeration, pruning and thinning and disease and insect control. Durfee has 10 years of management and ownership experience with arboriculture companies and is a Connecticut-licensed arborist.

Kioti introduces new four-year full fleet warranty
Kioti Tractor will offer a four-year warranty on all tractors used for commercial and non-commercial purposes. Previously, Kioti had a four-year warranty in place, but it was only for tractors purchased for non-commercial use. With the introduction of the new four-year full fleet warranty, coverage has been extended to 48 months for commercial use tractors with no hourly usage restrictions.

BASF to supply triticonazole fungicide to Bayer
BASF will give limited access to triticonazole fungicide to Bayer CropScience. The agreement allows Bayer to use the ingredient for United States and Canadian turf and landscape ornamental uses, including professional sports turf, golf and professional lawn care. BASF maintains all the rights to triticonazole, which is the active ingredient in Trinity fungicide, a key component of BASF’s fungicide strategy.

Bobcat launches 50th anniversary with contest
In 1958, Melroe Manufacturing Company partnered with Cyril and Louis Keller to create the skid-steer loader. Melroe later became Bobcat Company, now celebrating 50 years in the compact equipment industry. To celebrate that partnership, Bobcat announces the “How Bobcat Unleashed Me Contest.” To enter, equipment users should write a brief essay sharing experiences of how Bobcat equipment has made their work more efficient and fill out an entry form at Deadline to enter is May 30.

VanBibber named director of marketing for PBI/Gordon
Laylah VanBibber is the new director of marketing for PBI/Gordon, a Kansas City, Missouri-based professional turf and ornamental company. She has been employed by PBI/Gordon for 21 years, last serving as their marketing manager. VanBibber is a member of Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the National Agri-Marketing Association and the Turf and Ornamental Communications Association.

Rain Bird hosts eighth annual water summit
Rain Bird held the “Intelligent Use of Water Summit VIII, A Look at Global Conservation Initiatives and Strategies: Leading by Example” in Pasadena, California, in December. The focus of the summit was to examine challenges presented by water depletion and discuss strategies and methods that could be implemented to encourage water conservation. Included in this theme was landscape irrigation as well as strategies to aid irrigation policies.

Lebanon Seabord names Heegard national sales manager
Dave Heegard has been named the national sales manager of Lebanon Seabord Corporation. Heegard assumes responsibility for the sale of all LebanonTurf fertilizers and seeds into their prospective markets. Before joining LebanonTurf, Heegard worked in the professional turf industry for over 20 years.

The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover