News roundup: STIHL maps 2016 Tour des Trees through Carolinas

The STIHL Tour des Trees has raised nearly $3 million for tree research and education. Photo: STIHLThe STIHL Tour des Trees has raised nearly $3 million for tree research and education.
Photo: STIHL

The 2016 STIHL Tour des Trees will travel through the Tar Heel and Palmetto States this fall, and more than 100 riders already have signed up to participate.

The event, which will begin and end in Charlotte, North Carolina, benefits the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund).

Beginning Oct. 9, cyclists will travel 561 scenic miles through North and South Carolina, returning to Charlotte for a victory lap through the city on Oct.15. Overnight stops include Mount Airy, Greensboro, Raleigh, Southern Pines, Camden and Charlotte.

“As a sponsor of STIHL Tour des Trees, we believe in the TREE Fund’s mission of keeping trees healthy through research and education,” said Roger Phelps, corporate communications manager for STIHL Inc. “The riders and supporters of this fundraiser have a contagious enthusiasm for trees that gives us confidence today’s children will become tomorrow’s advocates.”

Since 2002, TREE Fund has issued nearly $3 million in research, scholarship and education grants for urban forestry and arboriculture researchers, as well as student and community education programs.

To support the efforts of the cyclists and the TREE Fund with a donation, visit the Stihl Tour des Trees website here.

Jeffrey Scott starts irrigation peer group

Landscaping industry consultant Jeffrey Scott has established a peer group specifically for irrigation business owners. The group held its first meeting earlier this month in London, Ontario, with Blue Jay Irrigation as host.

landscaper-jeffrey-scott-logoScott says the group is timely and especially valuable in light of ongoing trends in water management.

“Members are challenged to become better leaders, more financially savvy, and more strategic in their growth objectives,” Scott said. “They are motivated to take bold, calculated actions in order to achieve breakthrough results.”

For more information about the new peer group, visit Scott’s website here.

Professional segment boosts Toro earnings

The Toro Co. says sales in its “professional segment” drove a 6.4-percent increase in net earnings per share during the company’s fiscal third quarter ended July 29. Quarterly net earnings totaled $55.8 million, or a record $1 per share, on net sales of $601 million, down 1.4 percent compared with net sales of $609.6 million in the same period last year.

Toro-logo“In spite of challenging weather and currency conditions and the resulting impact on our revenues, we are pleased to deliver another solid quarter achieving record earnings,” said Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The strong performance within our professional businesses, driven by new product introductions and outstanding execution by the team, fueled growth in that segment for the quarter.”

Hoffman said the company sees “positive momentum” in its golf equipment and irrigation businesses, while the specialty construction and rental businesses are benefitting from new product introductions such as the Dingo TX 1000 compact utility loader. However, Toro saw lower demand for its landscape contractor equipment during the quarter.

Net sales in the company’s professional segment were up 1.4 percent for the quarter and 3.6 percent for the first nine months of Toro’s fiscal year vs. the comparable periods a year earlier.

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