Welcome to 'Sprout,' American Nurseryman's bi-weekly e-newsletter. For even more, be sure to read our September issue.
San Diego oaks threatened
Goldspotted oak borer (Agrilus auroguttatus), a ravenous little beast, has been devastating “enormous numbers” of oaks in San Diego County—and the destruction has the potential to spread throughout the state, say University of California-Riverside researchers. Native to Arizona, the bug is thought to have ventured into California by way of a load of infested firewood, and in the past decade, more than 80,000 oaks have fallen victim. “This may be the biggest oak mortality event since the Pleistocene 12,000 years ago,” said UC Riverside natural resource specialist Tom Scott. (Photo by Mike Lewis, Center for Invasive Species Research; Bugwood.org) Read more>
Lilacs in December?
It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. That is, unless your fiddling around leads to more and better plants. Yale University scientists
messing with manipulating genes of the mouse ear cress have discovered a way to trick a plant’s circadian clock—that nifty little gadget that regulates Homo sapiens’ sleep rhythms, and tells a plant when to grow and when to flower. According to researcher Xing Wang Deng (Daniel C. Eaton Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale), “ … by understanding the circadian rhythm of plants, which controls basic functions such as photosynthesis and flowering, we might be able to engineer plants that can grow in different seasons and places than is currently possible.” Lead author of the study On Sun Lau stated, “Knowing the components of the plant’s circadian clock and their roles would assist in the selection or generation of valuable traits in crop and ornamental plants.” (Our emphasis) (Photo by Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California – Davis; Bugwood.org) Read more>
Best in (Farwest) Show
Flutterby Grande Peach Cobbler Nectar Bush (Buddleia x ‘Podaras #5’ PPAF) from Ball Ornamentals was selected Best of Show at the 2011 Farwest New Varieties Showcase in Portland. “It is certified by the Oregon Department of Agriculture as sterile, which means our nurseries can add Buddleia back into their growing inventory,” said Ann Murphy, director of marketing for the Oregon Association of Nurseries, which produces the Farwest Show. Other winners include:
• Best Annual/Tender Perennial — Georgie Red Monkey-Flower (Mimulus aurantiacus ‘Georgie Red’ PPAF) from Ball Ornamentals
• Best Tree — Street Keeper® Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Draves’ USPP #21698) from J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co
• Best Shrub — Little Rascal® Improved Holly (Ilex x meserveae ‘MonNieves’ PPAF) from Monrovia Growers
• Best Perennial/Grass — Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’ PPAF) grown by Blooming Nursery Inc.
• Best Edible (new category for 2011) — Bountiful Blue™ Blueberry (Vaccinium corybosum ‘FLX-2’ PPAF) from Monrovia Growers
Oregon nursery receives NRCS grant
Oregon Small Trees Nursery, Clackamas County, has received a Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant—the only such award to be granted to a nursery in Oregon. The purpose of the grant is to study and demonstrate the efficacy of a little-used but highly efficient growing practice using sandbed (sometimes called capillary bed) technology. “The grant allows us to introduce new practices to further minimize our environmental footprint,” said Oregon Small Trees owner, David Leckey. Read more>
Harvest Power acquires Coastal Supply
Waltham, Massachusetts-based Harvest Power, a leader in producing renewable energy, soil and mulch products from organic materials, has acquired 100 percent of Coastal Supply Company Inc., a Delaware-based soil and mulch manufacturer. The transaction integrates Coastal Supply’s leadership position in garden products manufacturing and distribution into Harvest’s existing operations, allowing the combined companies to deliver superior products and performance to customers. Coastal has been renamed Harvest Garden Pro LLC. Read more here and here.
Ruppert opens new branches
Ruppert Landscape, Laytonsville, Md., has added two branches: one in Richmond, Va., and another in Raleigh, N.C. with the rehiring of two former employees who are leaders in those landscape markets. These branches join 13 existing branch offices that are located in Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia, supporting both the landscape construction and landscape management divisions of the company. Read more>
Koppert celebrates grand opening
Koppert USA celebrated the grand opening of its new facility for production in Howell, Mich. Koppert USA began its move into the production facility in early 2011. With the grand opening of its new building, Koppert USA is now positioned to foster the greater growth the company expects. The company provides biological control and natural pollination for professional growers around the world. Read more>
Register now for IA Show & Conference
Registration is open for the 2011 Irrigation Show, Nov. 6 to 8 and the Innovations in Irrigation Education Conference, Nov. 3 to 8; the events will be held at the San Diego Conventino Center. If you register before Sept. 28, you qualify for discounted rates. Read more>
Beware Mid-Am impostors
Exhibiting at Mid-Am in January? Then watch out for bogus offers for a directory listing. Mid-Am organizers have discovered that a publisher hailing from Bratislava, Slovakia, has been soliciting exhibitors to secure a listing in the exhibition directory. Don’t fall for it. And if you’ve already been contacted, please let Mid-Am management know. Read more>
Many of you knew Norb Kinen; if you’ve been in the industry long enough, you’d likely met him. Sadly, Norb passed away August 27 in Oregon, leaving a legacy of service to horticulture and to the industry. A past president of the Oregon Association of Nurseries, Norb “retired” as general manager and vice president for J. Frank Schmidt & Son in 2000—but continued work at his own specialty nursery, Kinen’s Big & Phat Special Plants. He was inducted into the Oregon Nurseries Hall of Fame in 2002. Read more>
OPEI names new head
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Alexandria, Va., has named Kris Kiser to the position of president and CEO, succeeding Bill Harley, who is retiring. Kiser has served as the institute’s executive vice president and COO. Read more>
Keepsake names managing director
Keepsake Plants, Leamington, Ontario, has named Rob vanStaalduinen managing director. VanStaalduinen previously served as general manager of Great Lakes Floral, St. Catharines, Ontario, and as president of Ontario Flower Growers. Keepsake is a division of Aris Horticulture Inc. Read more>
SipcamAdvan, Durham, N.C., has added Clearscape Turf and Ornamental fungicide to its product line. Clearscape, which contains the active ingredient tebuconazole, offers several key benefits including rapid plant uptake, preventative and curative disease control, low use rate, application flexibility and delayed resistance development. The fungicide controls disease by inhibiting processes related to the fungal biosynthesis, which in turn disrupts the growth of target pathogens. On golf course turf one gallon of Clearscape applied at the labeled rate of 0.6 oz. per 1,000 sq. ft. treats five acres for the control of anthracnose, dollar spot, brown patch (Rhizoctonia blight), pink and gray snow mold, gray leaf spot and other diseases. On ornamentals, Clearscape controls diseases including southern blight, leaf spot, anthracnose, scab and powdery mildew. Read more>
Now available through PlantHaven, Santa Barbara, Dianthus Starburst (‘WP07YETIS’) is a unique Whetman® Dianthus selection with Art Deco patterned, semi-double flowers with cherry red and white stripes. Hardy to Zone 5, the compact, 7-inch by 7-inch mounding plant blooms from April through October in a sunny location in well-drained soil. Read more>
Eco-Mat for subsurface irrigation
Hunter Industries, San Marcos, Calif., introduces the Eco-Mat and PLD-ESD (Enhanced Subsurface Dripline), consisting of fleece-wrapped tubing woven between two layers of water-holding fleece material. The mat is placed under plant material to be irrigated; when it becomes fully soaked, it provides a constant supply of moisture directly to the plants’ roots. The Eco-Mat can be customized to fit any area, so even the oddest shaped designs and green roofs can grow healthy plants and turf. PLD-ESD is also well suited for smaller areas or where complete coverage of the plant material is not necessary (closely spaced plantings). Read more>
Got sidewalk? Got snow? Get rid of it (the snow, that is) with a V-Plow Sno Pusher from Pro-Tech Manufacturing, Rochester, N.Y. Specifically designed for sidewalk snow removal, the V-Plows have universal couplers for attaching to both skid steers and tractors, allowing snow and ice professionals to make the most of their existing equipment. Three models of V-Plows are available with four-, five- and six-foot widths; they’re constructed from 1/2-inch hardened steel for a sturdy cutting edge ideal for optimal ice scraping. Read more>
Electric-powered push sprayer
Got sidewalk? Got ice? Get rid of it (the ice, that is) with a Snow-Ex (Madison Heights, Mich.) electric-powered, walk-behind push sprayer. Two models are available—the SL-80, with a powder-coated steel frame, and the SL-80SS, with a stainless steel frame. Both sprayers have a 12-gallon, corrosion-resistant polyethylene tank. Each model includes an adjustable-height boomless nozzle, which sprays most salt brine and liquid ice melters up to 48 inches wide. The units also come with an adjustable spray wand for spot-spraying applications. A 12-volt electric pump and rechargeable battery powers the SL-80 and SL-80SS. The pump is rated at 2 gpm at 60 psi. Read more>
Lightweight backpack blower
Okay, it’s designed for homeowners with big jobs. Why not for landscapers with small jobs? The STIHL BR 200 is a fuel-efficient backpack blower with an easy starting procedure: fuel, purge, choke, pull and throttle. A tube-mounted throttle provides ease of use and single-handed operation. The lightweight backpack design means less fatigue for the operator, and an anti-vibration system provides additional comfort. Its innovative engine design provides fuel efficiency to lower fueling costs, while its large fuel tank gives the BR 200 a longer run-time on a single tank than comparable handheld blowers. Read more>
Finally: Ready for fall!