Industry roundup: Lansing Board of Water & Light features LiveWall on new central substation

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Photo: LiveWallPhoto: LiveWall

The Lansing Board of Water & Light’s (BWL) new central substation in the city’s historic REO Town neighborhood features a two-sided, 425-square-foot living wall installed with the LiveWall Outdoor Living Wall System.

“The central substation provides more reliable, affordable power to downtown Lansing,” says Dick Peffley, general manager, Lansing BWL. “The green wall is a vital part in fulfilling our commitment to the community that the design of the new substation would revitalize the area’s landscape, establish an inviting gateway to REO Town and reconnect the area to downtown.”

“We envisioned the living wall as a green focal point that softens the view of the central substation’s brick façade, which people see as they drive into or exit downtown,” says Bob Ford, ASLA, principal, Landscape Architects & Planners, Inc., the landscape architecture firm for the project. “It also serves as a prominent landscape feature that visually connects the substation to the historic Scott Sunken Garden, which was saved and relocated as part of the project.”

“As seen from the Sunken Garden, the living wall is an extension of the garden landscape and unifies the overall landscape,” says Paul Toaz, landscape manager, Lawn Sprinklers Sales, Service & Design, Inc., the project’s landscape contractor and living wall installer. “For example, when you exit from the Sunken Garden parking lot, you face the west section of the living wall and see its natural beauty.”

LiveWall says the living wall was installed in two sections on the north and west walls of the central substation. Each section measures 21’-4” x 10’-3 3/8” and fits into specially recessed frames built into the substation’s brick walls.

In total, the company says it includes 330 LiveWall modular planter boxes, which are high-impact, UV-resistant, architectural quality moldings. Manufactured in a cedar color to complement the color of the bricks of the substation’s exterior walls, LiveWall says the planter modules contain re-usable inserts that hold the growing medium for the plants and contain a mix of six different annuals.

GIE+EXPO posts another record-setting year

This year’s GIE+EXPO was the sixth consecutive record-breaking year for the trade show, according to show organizers.

This year’s show drew more than 26,500 people from around the world, and additionally, the indoor exhibit floor and the outdoor demonstration area covered 24,000 net sq. ft. more than last year.gie logo

“This is big,” says attendee Seth Clayton of Mowglee Lawn Care in Lexington, South Carolina. “I’ve been able to see the new technology and how things are changing in the industry so I can gauge my options for the coming year. Being here reminds business owners like me why we do what we do in this industry. Every lawn care business owner needs to be here next year.”

“I’ve never been to a more awesome show,” says Ben Ulmer of All Around Lawn & Landscaping, Fairmont, Nebraska. “I’ve tested equipment and picked up innovative ideas to help increase profitability. This is our first time attending, and now we have to attend every year. Luckily, Louisville is very easy to get to.”

Show highlight and special features:

  • Lawn and landscape attendee categories increased by 18 percent
  • Servicing dealer registrants increased by 8 percent
  • Thirty-four percent of dealer/retailer and 42 percent of lawn and landscape attendees were first-timers
  • Attendees hailed from all 50 states and more than 40 countries
  • Indoor booths were spread throughout 675,000 sq. ft. of class A exhibit space
  • The outdoor demo area exceeded 20 acres for the third year in a row
  • More than 80 products were highlighted in the new products spotlight
  • Free parking at the Kentucky Exposition Center allowed easy access for all attendees and exhibitors
  • The number of software and technology companies exhibiting increased to over 80

While new products and the outdoor demonstration area were huge draws, organizers say they strive to keep the show fresh year after year by offering something new for visitors each time.

Special features this year included:

  • Arborist demos by the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop gave attendees the opportunity to learn from a group of experts they demonstrated climbing techniques on a 40-foot tree inside the expo center. The sessions, presented by Davey Tree, were sponsored by Stihl, with support from Shelter Tree.
  • A new social media lounge, sponsored by Echo Means Business, provided a place for attendees to network and hear insights from live guests and social media influencers right on the trade show floor.
  • A free technology seminar, Avoiding the Temptation of Enabling our Robotic Overlords, offered an overview of IT trends.
  • Organizers partnered with the Kentucky Humane Society for the 2nd annual Mutt Madness, sponsored by TurfMutt. Thursday afternoon in Freedom Hall, attendees interacted with dogs looking for a good home, and 15 dogs were adopted.
  • Sessions by high-impact speakers, including Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, sponsored by John Deere; economic expert Brian Beaulieu, sponsored by Mahindra; and dealership guru Bob Clements were included with trade show registration.

Prize winners:

  • The winner of the Fabulous Friday $20,000 Giveaway was Jake Guindon of Lonestar Landscaping & Co., Waterdown, Ontario Canada.
  • In the $15,000 UTV Giveaway, Neil Murphy of Lawn Cure of Southern Indiana Inc., Sellersburg, Indiana, won $15,000 toward his choice of UTVs. Participating manufacturers included American Land Master; Gravely, an Ariens Company; Bobcat Company; Greenworks; Hisun Motors; Intimidator; John Deere; Kioti Tractor and Kubota Tractor Corp.
  • Nick Williams of Power House Outdoors, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, won the $5,000 Stihl Giveaway during Wednesday’s Dealer Preview.

In addition, many other exhibitors created buzz around their participation with giveaways and prize drawings. Some of the winners include:

  • Mech Marvels gave away three portable generators. Winners included John Conner of Armstrong Landscaping, Chris Elrod of Cuttin’ It Close and Thomas Phillips of The Yard Man.
  • Gravely gave away a Pro-Stance commercial stand-on mower to winner Chris Thomas, Thomas Lawn & Landscape, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) gave away a Big Tex Trailer that included an Exmark Mower and a Spartan Mower to Jim Langendorf of Olympic Lawns, Springboro, Ohio.
  • The highly competitive HNA Installer Championship concluded with Segmental Systems from Otis Orchards, Washington, emerging as champion for the second year in a row and winning a prize package valued at $11,000.

GIE+EXPO 2020 is set for October 21-23. Plans are in the works for new features and real-world education on hot industry topics such as how to use drones in your business.

“Unlike other events where attendees sit in meeting rooms, GIE+EXPO offers hands-on training with things like the arborist demos, the outdoor demo area, the new social media lounge, engine tech training and live hardscape demos,” says Kris Kiser, managing partner of GIE+EXPO and OPEI president. “Next year we’re adding indoor drone training in Freedom Hall, an equipment test track and hands-on education with the latest in technology and robotic mowers.”

Arborjet received another patent on for tree treatments

Arborjet announced that it received another patent in its ongoing efforts to revolutionize how trees are treated to help combat tree insects and diseases.arbor jet logo

Arborjet says according to experts and arborists across the country, the QUIK-jet AIR has quickly become the leading piece of application equipment in the tree injection industry. After creating the air hydraulic system, the TREE I.V. and the entry level QUIK-jet, Arborjet says it continues to lead the application equipment industry with the F-Series, AccuFlo and the recently patented QUIK-jet AIR.

“The QUIK-jet AIR is special,” says inventor Russ Davis, who is also the president and CEO of Arborjet Inc. “The product is easy to use and extremely durable. And now, with products like TREE-äge R10, injections happen in seconds.”

The company says this is Davis’s third patent alone, along with other Arborjet team members, such as Joe Doccola, director of research and development.

Arborjet says Davis expects this innovation to continue thanks to the company’s direct access to 3D design, printing and scanning capabilities.

“We have direct access to the latest modeling and prototyping technologies on site,” adds Davis. “This allows us to be fast, innovative and reliable. We have more in the works and expect to continue making equipment that’s easy to use, robust and environmentally responsible.”

The company says the QUIK-jet AIR’s innovative design offers a lightweight, easy-to-use injection system that maximizes productivity and reduces labor time. Arborjet says it features one-thumb switch operation, precise dose measuring and air-powered injection in a rugged aluminum body, weighing less than two pounds.

Smart Rain announces updated web applications

Smart Rain announced the launch of its new and freshly updated web application that the company says will help landscapers and property managers better manage their irrigation watering needs.

Photo: Smart RainPhoto: Smart Rain

The company says this web application will feature some key enhancements including interactive Google mapping in map view, as well as improved user experience on any desktop computer, laptop or other device. The web app officially launched on Nov. 5.

Smart Rain says its customers have come to expect continued feature releases and updates to their technology, and the company believes this will positively impact all their customers when it comes to desktop use and in office applications, with increased functionality and visibility.

Other features include a new dashboard view from your computer, increased visibility into site applications and adjustments that can be performed remotely.

Dan Hymas, president of Smart Rain, believes that this new web site application and interactive mapping continues to be a game changer for managers and landscapers.

“Our customers have come to expect only the best in technology,” says Hymas. “Our system is built on the latest web applications with interactive displays so it can be used from any type of device. With continued ease of functionally it allows for managers to more quickly make adjusts, conserve water and save money.”

Smart Rain says customers will have access to all of the added features of this web app, helping to achieve our goal to continue to add value to our current customer base.

EPA approves new Union Fungicide SC

Photo: PBI-GordonPhoto: PBI-Gordon

PBI-Gordon Corporation announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved Union Fungicide SC, which will be available for sale in early 2020.

The company says testing has shown that Union is highly effective in the preventative and curative treatment of Pythium diseases (blight, damping-off, root dysfunction, root rot), brown patch, anthracnose, cool-weather brown patch, yellow patch, fairy ring, gray leaf spot, red thread, summer patch and Rhizoctonia. The company adds that it is also approved for use on golf courses, residential and commercial properties, sod farms and sports fields.

Features of Union Fungicide SC include:

  • A flowable liquid, Union is a formulation of the active ingredients azoxystrobin and cyazofamid
  • Dual modes of action and a proprietary combination of chemistry found in FRAC Groups 11 and 21
  • Labeled for use on all cool-season and warm-season turfgrasses: Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescues, tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, bentgrass, Bermudag rass (common or hybrid), bahia grass, buffalo grass, centipede grass, kikuyu grass, seashore paspalum, St. Augustine grass and zoysia grass
  • The labeled application rate range is 2.9 to 5.75 fl. oz. per 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Will be available in 2.5-gallon jugs
  • No temperature restrictions

Gosha Greens announces grand opening of native plants nursery

Gosha Greens announced the official opening of its newest nursery, which marks the second location for the company, the first being in Homestead, Florida.

Photo: Gosha GreensPhoto: Gosha Greens

This nursery, Gosha Greens says, will specialize in growing and storing native Florida plants and trees.

Gosha Greens owner, Kevin Kalantari, and his father, Reza Kalantari, recently purchased the 20-acre property as a long-term investment for field-grown, native plant material to be used in landscaping. They are currently in the process of planting the nursery with three- to seven-gallon sized trees and setting up an irrigation drip system. Once the trees have reached maturity, they will be ready for sale and delivery all throughout Florida.

“Our strategy is simple: plant smaller trees and care for them until they are full-grown,” explained Kevin. “We’ve seen firsthand the increased demand in our industry for native, field-grown trees. We’re going to use this new land to expand our inventory to better serve our landscaping customers.”

Gosha Greens says some of the diverse material to be grown at the second nursery includes oak trees, magnolia trees, hollies, cypress and oleanders, which are some of the most sought after, native trees in Florida.

“This is a really exciting time for Gosha Greens,” says Kevin. “We’re expanding and growing throughout Florida. There’s no telling where we’ll be this time next year.”

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