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April 15, 2010

UC-Irvine corrects study, shows turfgrass to be positive sequester of carbon

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Scientists from the Department of Earth System Science at the University of California – Irvine recently published a paper in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in January titled “Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Urban Turf.” This study adds significantly to the body of knowledge documenting the carbon benefits of turfgrass.

Upon initial release, the UC-Irvine paper was carefully studied by scientists in The Toro Company’s Center for Advanced Turf Technology (CATT) and its conclusions were recognized as inconsistent with research conducted by the company. In particular, the CO2 emissions reported for fuel use by turf maintenance equipment was an order of magnitude higher than work done by Toro’s research team. Upon recalculation, Toro scientists uncovered the math error made in computing the carbon produced as CO2 during mowing. The error was missed during the peer review process prior to publication of the paper by the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Toro scientists contacted Dr. Amy Townsend-Small, the lead author on the paper, with their research and observations back in late January. Appropriate changes have since been made and sent to the AGU for correction.

“With the error corrected, turfgrass is actually found to be a net positive sequester of carbon,” said Dana Lonn, managing director of Toro’s CATT group. “In other words, properly maintained turfgrass actually traps and utilizes carbon thus removing it from the atmosphere. We credit the authors for tackling a complex and comprehensive issue. Consistent with what we have found in working with leading research institutions, this study provides a solid foundation for future work. With further improvements in technology to increase efficiency and reduce fuel consumption, grass can become an even greater asset.”

The UC-Irvine study’s objective was to comprehensively examine the balance between greenhouse gas emissions incurred in turf maintenance and carbon sequestered in the soil. It also highlights optimizing the use of all resources in turf management including water, fuel, fertilizers and electricity to maximize plants’ storage potential
“Toro recognizes the importance of this issue for the environment and for the industry,” Lonn added. “As the corrected UC-Irvine study points out, turf can be a net sink for atmospheric carbon and can, therefore, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Turfgrass can be part of the solution.”

Jim Huston announces East Coast consulting tour 
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – To help companies prepare for what could be another challenging year, green industry consultant Jim Huston, president of J. R. Huston Consulting, will hit the road and visit landscape clients on the East Coast May 3-21. 
And because the economy has been so challenging, Huston will offer discounts on his consulting services. A minimum 25 percent discount applies to normal consulting rates. GreenBack Club members will only be charged for 50 of the time they receive.
Agendas for consulting visits vary from company to company, but they usually entail:

  • Reviewing 2009;
  • Benchmarking your business and its functions;
  • Setting sales and management goals for 2010 and reviewing specific bids, your bidding processes, field-labor hour budgets and G&A overhead recovery;
  • Establishing budgets for 2010 to include G&A overhead recovery, labor burden, labor hours, sales, etc.;
  • Computer estimating training and/or upgrading to our new Bid Suite Software that includes estimating, job costing and a link to QuickBooks;
  • Act! Contact management software training;
  • Working on exit strategies;
  • Reviewing staffing and company structure; and
  • Company evaluation, buying and selling companies.

For more information or to schedule a visit, contact Huston at 303-901-3240 or

Chalet hosts garden tour through Southern England
WILMETTE, Ill. – A 10-day tour of Southern England’s most beautiful and romantic gardens, including privileged access to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Hampton Court Flower Show, departs from Chicago in July.
Tony Fulmer, Chalet’s retail manager, will lead the “Great Gardens of Southern England” tour, featuring visits to such notable English gardens as RHS Wisley, Sissinghurst and Great Dixter in London.

“England is considered the gardening Mecca of the world, and for good reason, with its vast array of garden styles. You will discover the collections, ideas and inspiration that Southern England has to offer,” Fulmer said. “And you will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend hours wandering through breathtaking gardens set among historic mansions and palaces.” 

The tour also includes Stourhead Estate and RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon, and The Courts Garden, Hidcote, Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Lacock Abbey and Fox Talbot in Bath. Other highlights are a garden lecture by Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter; guided sightseeing tour of London; West End theater performance; afternoon tea in a private garden in Devon; walking tour of Bath; and lunch in a traditional Cotswolds village pub. 
Cost of the tour, which includes roundtrip airfare from Chicago to London, all program fees, several meals and accommodations in a double room at four-star properties, is $5,145 per person. The tour brochure can be downloaded at For more information, call Fulmer at 847-256-0561, ext. 220.


VNLA elects 2010 board of officers and directors
BALTIMORE, Va. – Ed Tankard III was elected as president of the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association at its annual membership meeting in January. Since 2007, he has served on the VNLA board as the chair of the legislative committee, as well as, serving as treasurer and vice president.

Tankard is president of Tankard Nurseries, Exmore, Va., a wholesale nursery serving the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States.

Other board officers are:

  • Vice President Public Relations, Mark Maslow, Southern Landscape Group, Evington, Va.
  • Secretary/Treasurer and Education, Steve Grigg, Grigg Landscape Design, Manassas Park, Va.
  • Past President (Governance/Resource Development), Duane Shumaker, RSG Landscaping & Lawn Care, Concord, Va.
  • One-year directors are:
  • Certification – Cheryl Lajoie, Lancaster Farms, Suffolk, Va.
  • Communications, Matt Shreckhise, Shreckhise Nurseries, Grottoes, Va.
  • Research, Matt Sawyer, Bennett’s Creek Nursery, Suffolk, Va.
  • Membership, John Barbieri, Riverbend Nursery, Riner, Va.
  • Two-year directors are:
  • Environmental Affairs, Tom Thompson, Natural Art Landscaping, Richmond, Va.
  • Technology, Sonya Lepper Westervelt, Saunders Brothers, Piney River, Va.
  • Beautiful Gardens, Doug Hensel, The Great Big Greenhouse & Nursery, Richmond, Va.
  • Legislative, Steven Moore, Hortica Insurance & Employee Benefits, Richmond, Va.
  • Educational Advisers are:
  • Roger Harris, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Va.
  • Bonnie Appleton, Hampton Roads Agricultural Research & Extension Center, Virginia Beach, Va.

Updated Vectorworks tutorials now available
COLUMBIA, Md. – Two updated training guides are now available for users of Vectorworks software. The guides, 3D Modeling inVectorworks, second edition, and Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual, second edition, were both written by Vectorworks user and author Jonathan Pickup.

3D Modeling in Vectorworks is a guide for users seeking to create 3D forms through the use of extrudes, sweeps, solids, NURBS, loft surfaces, and 3D primitives. After explaining the basic concepts, the manual uses a series of exercises to demonstrate how and when to use the modeling techniques. The guide also includes 62 videos, which provide step-by-step instructions for completing the exercises.

Vectorworks Landmark Tutorial Manual includes a series of projects to familiarize the user with Vectorworks Landmark concepts and techniques and includes more than 50 videos to walk users through each technique.
The tutorials are based on version 2010 but can be used successfully with prior versions of Vectorworks software. Each includes a companion CD containing exercise files and the complete manual in PDF form.

For more information, visit

Nufarm adds quinclorac herbicide to portfolio
BURR RIDGE, Ill. – Nufarm Americas has added Nufarm Quinclorac SPC 75 DF Herbicide to its expanding product portfolio.

The herbicide contains quinclorac, the active ingredient used in Drive herbicide. 
Quinclorac SPC controls a broad-spectrum of hard-to control grass and broadleaf weeds including crabgrass, clover, speedwell, foxtail and dollarweed. It delivers up to 30 to 45 days of residual control, the company says. Suitable for a variety of turf species, it offers users seeding and over-seeding flexibility. Nufarm Quinclorac SPC can be used on residential and ornamental turfgrass.

New Holland backhoes named to Top 100 Products
RACINE, Wis. – Construction Equipment magazine named the New Holland Construction B Series loader backhoes as one of the Top 100 Products of 2009. The six models in the B Series were recognized in the heavy earthmoving category as some of the most innovative products.

The publication honored New Holland for the curved boom and one-touch flip-up hood featured on the new series of loader backhoes. The curved boom lowers the transport height by 6 inches and allows for greater digging forces and digging depths. The one-touch flip-up hood is easy to open, and provides wide, easy access for routine maintenance needs, the company says.

Construction Equipment editors annually select the 100 most exciting product introductions of the year. Advances in technology, new product lines, and significant improvement to existing products are considered to determine the top 100.

Greenheart celebrates 30 years of excellence
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. – Greenheart Farms is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year as a rose, cyclamen and vegetable plug producer. With two facilities in California and another in the Southwest Desert, Greenheart ranks as one of the largest in the nation and offers grower customers an ever-expanding list of agriculture, horticulture and reclamation products.

“Greenheart has grown tremendously over the past 30 years,” says Bill De Vor, general manager. “Greenheart’s success is a tribute to our teams hard work and diverse knowledge within our industry. Our team is looking forward to the next 30 years.”

The company will open its doors during the California Spring Trials, April 11- April 15. For additional information, visit

Canada rules to uncouple fertilizer-pesticide combination lawn and turf
OTTAWA – This document is to communicate to stakeholders the decision to uncouple fertilizer-pesticide combination products intended for lawn and turf uses.

This regulatory action is focused on the lawn and turf uses of fertilizer-pesticide combination products on the following types of turf:

Lawn turf planted in or around residences, as well as public and commercial buildings including schools and cemeteries, sports and recreational turf such as turf in parks, playgrounds, golf courses, zoos, botanical gardens and athletic playing fields.

These types of turf are collectively known as fine turf, which may be maintained by homeowners or by professional applicators. This regulatory action does not include agricultural uses of fertilizer-pesticide combination products (turf farms), or products that have a single active material with both fertilizer and pesticidal properties.
Click here for the full document.

Water Technology Conference takes place in May
FRESNO, Calif. – Planning is underway for the 2010 Water Technology Conference, slated for May 11-12 in Clovis, Calif.

The conference is the second of its kind sponsored by the International Center for Water Technology (ICWT) at California State University, Fresno. The event will focus on how water technology innovations and science can help ensure our future water supplies and will specifically focus on water issues regionally and in urban and agricultural settings.

For more information, visit or call 559-278-2066.  

Sarlo celebrates 75 years of family business
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sarlo Power Mowers is celebrating its 75th year of continuous family ownership and operation.

The Sarlo family has been manufacturing their trademark lawn mowers in Fort Myers since 1935. The company is the oldest lawn mower manufacturer in the United States under single ownership, and is Briggs and Stratton’s oldest continuous customer.

“Through four generations we have remained unique among our competition, distinguished by our craftsmanship, quality components and durability. We can thank our loyal dealers and customers for the success of our company,” says Tony Sarlo, third-generation president.

The Sarlo family operates their flagship retail store and manufacturing plant in Fort Myers, with additional stores in Naples and Bonita Springs. Sarlo lawn mowers are sold by dealers throughout the world.

Contractor News
Chalet’s Landscape Division received a Grand and a Merit Environmental Improvement Award from PLANET for its residential landscape design/construction of homes in Lake Forest, Ill., and Wilmette, Ill.

Scholz Design was named a 2009 Excellence award winner by Residential Design and Build magazine for its Mediterranean Siena Manor house.

Arborwell has been named to the San Francisco Business Times’ list of the ‘100 Fastest Growing Companies’ in the San Francisco Bay Area for the fifth consecutive year. Arborwell has been inducted to the San Francisco Business Times’ ‘Hall of Fall’, where it is among only four other companies that have been on the ‘Fast 100’ list for the past five years.

Denver-based Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care received the 2009 TCIA Tree Care Industry Association Professional Communication Award at the organization’s annual conference in February for its “Trees for 3s” marketing campaign.

Lake Nona, Fla., was honored by the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association for its landscaping of Lake Nona Boulevard and the new Lake Nona SR417 interchange.

Eric T. Brubeck has joined DTR Associates, Aurora, Ohio, as a landscape architect.

The Horticultural Research Institute. the research affiliate of the American Nursery & Landscape Association, has awarded the 2009 Carville M. Akehurst Memorial Scholarship of $2,000 to Tristan Cleveland. Cleveland is a senior at Pennsylvania State University with a major in landscape architecture.

LandOpt has hired Steven Bach as success coach to mentor sales teams of the company’s network of landscape service providers.

Univar USA has named Jim Sparks to the position of business development manager, PP&S Specialty Ag Business. In this newly created position, Sparks will direct and manage the growth and expansion of Univar’s specialty business.

Howard Fertilizer and Chemical Company has added five industry veterans to its sales team. Newt Ware and Randy Mangum will primarily focus on the golf course market. Jay Fountain, Ron Hunnicutt and Tom Stage will work with the company’s lawn care, nursery and golf markets.

Maruyama U.S. announced the hiring of Ben Anderson as regional sales manager. Anderson will represent the Maruyama product line in the western region of North America. He resides in Gilroy, Calif.

Mike Proffitt has joined Proptek, and will be its representative in the states of California, Arizona and Nevada.
Weston Nurseries has hired Eric McGourty as the new director of finance/controller.

Floranova has recruited Duane Sinning to the post of commercial director for the Americas. Sinning also joins the senior management team of the Floranova group and will report on all American commercial activity.