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Growing Concern


DECEMB ER 2 0 1 8


The Entry Deadline for the Landscape Ohio! Awards is here. Submit your projects by December 14th, 2018.

OLA January Meeting: Leadership Development Jan. 24, 2019 / St. Michael’s Woodside


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Members of the CLA and OLA tour Chadwick Arboretum and “The ’Shoe.”

MARIE MCCONNELL Lake County Nursery

THE YEAR IN REVIEW RECAPPING 2018 December is upon us and all I can do is scratch my head and wonder where the year went? The saying, “The older we get, the faster it goes by,” has never seemed more true. As this will be my final President’s Letter, I just want to reiterate what a pleasure it is to be involved with the OLA and to have had this opportunity to contribute to our profession. Also, while many of you have reached out to say kind words about my articles, I must admit that it is has been the most challenging part of my role as OLA President. And while I thought article number 12 would have been the easiest, in some ways it’s proved to be one of the hardest, only because we have accomplished so much over the past 12 months. With that said, let’s take to look back at 2018…


This year started with many of our members joining us in Columbus for ONLA’s MGIX. This trade show has been a staple in the industry for longer than most can remember and has always been a great opportunity for the OLA to showcase what will be happening throughout the calendar year. Once again, we hosted our annual hospitality suite – for members, friends of members, and non-members alike – in order to share the opportunities of networking, fellowship and food. This year’s turnout was our largest to date. Unfortunately, 2018 also proved to be the final year of the MGIX (CENTS) trade show, as we know it. As an

association, while we plan on discussing alternate options for a networking event during this time, we wish the ONLA continued success with their new format. as they move forward. In July we teamed up with the Columbus Landscape Association (CLA) to take a tour of “The ’Shoe” and the Chadwick Arboretum. Besides having a once in a lifetime opportunity to tour such an awesome facility, the chance to network with – and learn alongside – our friends at the CLA continued on page 6 was one not to be missed. The Growing Concern | December 2018 | 3

TAB LE OF CON TEN TS D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 WWW. OH I OLA N D SCA P E R S. OR G OH I O’ S P R OF E SSI ON A L G REEN I N D U ST R Y A SSOCI AT I O N OHIO LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATION 9240 Broadview Road Broadview Heights, Ohio 44147 Phone: 440.717.0002, or 1.800.335.6521 Fax: 440.717.0004 Web: and EDITOR Rick Doll, Jr. REGULAR WRITERS Michael J. Donnellan, King Financial, Inc. Jim Funai, LIC, Cuyahoga Community College Shelly Funai, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens Sandy Munley, Ohio Landscape Association Bobbie Schwartz, FAPLD, Bobbie’s Green Thumb Cathy Serafin, ASLA, RLA, Suncrest Gardens Landscape Ohio! Awards merit award winner, KGK Gardening and Design Corporation, for their entry in Commercial Installation.



Recapping A Year of Activities and Education


The Holiday Bookshelf: 2018 Edition


Year End Review: Preparing for 2019


Easy Winter Safety Tips for Outdoor Workers

22 PLANT OF THE MONTH Abies koreana: Korean Fir


Things to Think About When Adding Holiday Lighting as a Service

30 DIRECTIONS Milestones

31 ADVERTISING INDEX 4 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

ADVERTISING INFORMATION Submission deadline: 10th of the month, prior to the month of publication. For advertising rates and ad specs, please call 440.717.0002, 1.800.335.6521, or email Rick Doll Jr. at DISCLAIMER The Ohio Landscape Association, its board of directors, staff and the editor of The Growing Concern neither endorse any product(s) or attests to the validity of any statements made about products mentioned in this, past or subsequent issues of this publication. Similarly, the opinions expressed in The Growing Concern are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Ohio Landscape Association. OFFICERS President Marie McConnell

OLA STAFF Executive Director Sandy Munley

President – Elect Adam Capiccioni

Communications & Events Manager Rick Doll, Jr.

Treasurer Domenic Lauria Immediate Past President Cathy Serafin, ASLA, RLA DIRECTORS Doug Ellis James Funai, LIC Philip Germann Stephanie Gray, LIC Brian Maurer, LIC Joshua Way

Membership Coordinator Laura Massie



JANUARY cont...




Marvin Montgomery, better known as the “Sales Doctor,” will conduct a one day sales training course that will provide participants with the necessary skills needed to build long term client relationships. Held at Indiana Wesleyan University, Independence, OH. Register online, or call the OLA offices.

If you are interested in volunteering to help construct this year’s OLA garden please contact the OLA at 440.717.0002 as soon as possible and we will forward your information on to our Garden Committee’s chairperson. This is a great opportunity to work alongside others in the industry, as well as contribute to the association.

OLA committees are a great way for members to get more involved with the association. We are always looking for new volunteers to help! At our January meeting, we will be filling out our committees for the 2019 year. If you, or someone on your team is interested in joining a committee, please have them attend the January meeting. For more info, call the OLA office at 440.717.0002.

DECEMBER 14, 2018 LANDSCAPE OHIO! AWARDS ENTRY DEADLINE Don’t miss the opportunity to become an award winning landscape contractor. Entries for the 2018 program are due in the OLA office by 5pm on Dec. 14. For rules, regulations and entry information go to landscapeohioawards.html. Questions? Contact OLA at 1.800.335.6521. See outside, back cover.

JANUARY JANUARY 24, 2019 OLA MEETING (NE Ohio) LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Tim Tokarczyk, of the Fails Management Institute (FMI), will guide us through the challenges of helping our team members transition from one position to the next, addressing the “good luck, figure it out” mentality, and changing it to one of coaching for upwards success. Held at St. Michael’s Woodside.

FEBRUARY FEBRUARY 1 – 10, 2019 OLA DISPLAY AT THE GREAT BIG HOME & GARDEN SHOW Explore this year’s fairytale themed gardens created by some of Northeast Ohio’s top landscapers. If you are interested in volunteering to help staff the garden during show hours, please contact the OLA at 440.717.0002 as soon as possible. Spots do fill up quickly. This is a great opportunity to help promote the industry, our association, and your company to the general public.

FEBRUARY 27, 2019 OHIO GREEN INDUSTRY ADVOCACY DAY Come to Columbus and meet with your legislators to tell them about the importance of the Green Industry to the State of Ohio. This event takes place at the Ohio State House located in Columbus, Ohio. For more information, contact the OLA Office at 440.717.0002.

OLA’s NEW MEMBERS The Ohio Landscape Association is delighted to welcome the following members:

REGULAR MEMBER Howell’s Landscaping LLC 2322 Silveridge Trail Westlake, OH 44145 440-558-9222 Harry C. Howell, III

AFFILIATE MEMBER James Hoskins Indian River High School 560 E. College Street Alliance, OH 44601 330-268-3314

STUDENT MEMBERS: Portage Lakes Career Center Students Ryan Bader Aleah Hartley Skyler Bray Melanie Hefling Abby Buck Aaron Knipp Ethan Cambier Dylan Lee Maria Caplinger Evan McCrary Joseph Cole Renn Sivert Brittney Conley Haley Simmons Sean Fitzgerald Jay Smith Hannah Fuhry Alexandra Berns-Prewett The Growing Concern | December 2018 | 5

P RESI DEN T’S COLU M N the timing of the holiday, forced the government to change how they allocated visas nation-wide, leaving many companies scrambling for labor throughout the year. Currently, the number of visas available for the future is uncertain, which is why we need everyone to continue working together to push your local congressmen to allow more seasonal help into the country. If we are going to grow our business, we need labor – period.


2018 Plant Healthcare Day at Holden Arboretum.

continued from page 3 In August, we joined the Nursery Growers of Lake County Ohio (NGLCO) for their 51st Annual Field Day, held in Madison at Chalet Debone Winery. If you’ve never been to Lake County for Field Day, to tour the local growers, or to visit the wineries in the area, I highly encourage you to take the time. You won’t be sorry! The shores of Lake Erie have given this region an optimal micro climate for some of the best plant growth in the nation. Finally, Sandy, Adam Cappicioni (President Elect), and I attended the Great Lakes Conference in September, which was held at Peak n’ Peek Resort in New York. This conference is inclusive of the eight states surrounding the Great Lakes, as well as Ontario, Canada. Yearly, this event proves to be a great ‘check and balance’ in understanding what our region is accomplishing, what our obstacles are, and also a bit of a chance to toot the OLA’s horn. After attending this event, I can honestly that the OLA is by far one of the best green associations in the region! Sandy is looked up to by many, and to witness regional and national figureheads recognize her efforts is amazing. Kudos to her and your efforts as stewards of the OLA to better our association!

THE LABOR CRISIS This year, legislation efforts have been primarily focused on the lack of labor. We are now seeing the “lowest-of-the-low” when it comes to unemployment rates over the past 50 years. The lack of legal work visas has become paralyzing for many. On New Year’s Eve, while most of us were out celebrating, many companies – already on edge concerning the H-2B program – kicked off their New Year uploading the info necessary to secure their potential labor force. This flurry of requests, along with

It’s amazing how many evening meetings we host – and better yet – that they continue to cost our members nothing! Thanks to our wonderful sponsors, we’ve continued to hold evening meetings in both Cleveland and Columbus multiple times a year. In talking with members, these networking events tend to be one of the main reasons they enjoy belonging to the OLA. This year, our speaker list started with Bill Eastman from GreenMark Consulting, who helped us identify new sources for employees. We then moved onto Columbus with a program on Drones & the Landscape Industry, which was such a success that we decided to host a similar program in NE Ohio at our annual meeting this past November. In March, Northeast Ohio took part in “Ultimate Networking Event – Learning from our Peers.” This continues to be a member favorite, where attendees are encouraged to share their stories, as we all begin to plan for the season ahead of us.

EDUCATION The palette of courses the OLA offered in 2018 was probably one of our most diverse yet! All-in-all, we hosted 12 different educational events, including: Greenmark’s Landscape Business Boot Camp, Google SketchUp, Foreman Training, The LMN Building a Better Landscape Business Seminar, 2 Landscape Business Legal Clinics, CDL Training, our annual Plant I.D. Clinic, our annual Snow & Ice Management Clinic, Plant Health Care Day, our annual Dormant Pruning Clinics – and last, but not least – Sales Training with the “Sales Doctor,” Marvin Montgomery. Most of these educational events are a full day packed with information, but we continue to try and schedule them according to the industry’s peak work seasons. Hopefully, this allows your team to send the members that each individual event pertains to, while keeping the others working – in the end keeping you efficient and profitable. While we haven’t finalized dates yet, next year’s schedule is looking just as promising! If you have any suggestions for courses you would like to see, you can always contact the OLA office! continued on page 9

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(440) 439-1040 The Growing Concern | December 2018 | 7



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PR E S IDENT’ S C OL UMN continued from page 6

OTHER EVENTS The OLA continues to host some of the best events in the state of Ohio for our profession! Setting up the garden at the Great Big Home and Show – held in Cleveland every year – is just one of the ways we continue to educate the public as to why it’s important to hire a professional. The gardens are designed, constructed and manned by member volunteers. The week-plus long event has tens of thousands of people attend, hopefully inspiring them to begin a project of their own. The Landscape Ohio! Awards Gala moved to a bigger room this year, but was still sold-out. Attendees were treated to a night of great food, networking and a presentation of the best landscapes designed, built, and maintained by some of the most talented companies in Ohio. Hats off to all of those who entered for the effort you put into making Ohio a desirable place to live. For 2019, we will be looking into a larger venue, so that we may accommodate even more members interested in this event. The OLA Scholarship Golf Classic was held in August this year, once again at Mallard Creek Golf Club. Golfers, sponsors, volunteers and other association members filled the course again – to the tune of over 230 participants – raising monies for our industries’ future stars. As usual, this year’s scholarship recipients will be chosen by the board of directors – prior to the Landscape Ohio! Awards event – based on their commitment to continued studies in the horticulture field. This year we were blessed to have past recipients volunteered at the Golf Classic as a way to thank our organization for believing in them. How cool is that?

OUR FUTURE The unfortunate sign of the times is that high school programs geared towards piquing studentss interest in horticulture continues to shrink. Many tech schools have been tasked with closing their program because of the lack of worth associated with choosing agriculture as a viable career choice. On a positive note, Tri-C’s Plant Science and Landscape Technology continues to thrive, with a record number of students in attendance this past semester. Eight of nin classes are at 75% capacity, so there is room to grow. If you are interested in learning more about the program or how to become involved, please see our board member Jim Funai for more details. While many companies can look back and reminisce over how the 2008 crisis was difficult, and about how if you survived, your future was bright – we all know some who weren’t as fortunate.

2018 Scholarship Golf Classic winners, CUI Services.

It took years to overcome; those of us who stuck it out can say we did it! 2018 is probably going to be viewed in somewhat of the same way. Granted we didn’t have a housing crisis, the labor crisis caught a lot of us off guard, yet we again picked up our boots, dusted them off and found a way to make it through. Well done faithful ’scaper! You deserve more than a pat on the back… but, alas… there is snow to be plowed! As I draw my last article to a close, I would like to thank each of our members for their continued support of the OLA. Without your time and efforts OUR organization would not be the shining star throughout the country that it is. I travel a ton through the Midwest, for work, and it’s very apparent that many companies are aware of the OLA and the efforts of our director, Sandy, our members and the volunteers put forth. As we enter 2019, I hope to see you all at many more events, including our January meeting, where I will pass the gavel to Adam Cappiccioni from Ohio CAT. Let us welcome him, as you did me, just 12 months ago. And let’s not forget about our friend Cathy Serafin, from Suncrest Gardens, as she leaves the board to join the elite club of Past Presidents. Thank you for all your efforts, advice and friendship, Cathy. My journey as President may end in 2018, but my experiences, friendships, laughter and, most of all, your kind words will be cherished for a lifetime. And thanks to Joe Twardzik for believing in me, encouraging me and being my friend. I pray I can be the light in another one’s life as you were for me. May you have a blessed Christmas and the happiest of New Years… as always, Marie The Growing Concern | December 2018 | 9



Photo courtesy of Wendy Moore of Davis Tree Farm & Nursery.



This book, written by landscape designer Susan Morrison, illuminates the fact that small gardens are more difficult to design than larger gardens. Too many different plants or concepts leave one feeling overwhelmed or muddled rather than relaxed. In this day and age, the design must be practical (relatively low maintenance) as well as beautiful. Most clients want to spend time enjoying their outdoor refuge, not working in it.

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Susan believes that the key is focusing on the client’s lifestyle and how the space will be used. Therefore, she asks three questions: What will you be doing in the garden? When you will be outside? Who will be with you? Defining realistic goals is critical to preventing the inclusion of too many elements in a small space and creating a space that reflects you. It is important to focus on creating space for activities instead of objects. For instance, if you grill outside, how often? Simple or elaborate meals? Those answers will help determine the size of this space. Do you want herbs growing nearby? Is there space for a vegetable/herb garden or will herbs grown in pots, placed nearby, be sufficient? Timing is important. Are there specific times of the year when your client will be outdoors more than others? That is when you want the garden beds to look their best, so select plants that will be at their best during that time. If you can choose plants that have more than one season of interest, continued on page 12 even better.


Rooted to Grow i


(walls and fences) and illusion (mirrors) to increase perceived space. Although many of the plants are applicable to California, Susan’s design philosophy and ideas are universal. Susan is a kindred soul and I think that her book would be a great companion to my book, Garden Renovation: Transform Your Yard into the Garden of Your Dreams. Although this book was also written with the homeowner in mind, it is equally useful for landscape designers because it reiterates many ideas about which we should be thinking and incorporating in our designs. This will be a highly useful book for your design library.

RAIN GARDENING IN THE SOUTH: ECOLOGICALLY DESIGNED GARDENS FOR DROUGHT, DELUGE, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN continued from page 10 After answering these important questions, the next step is evaluating the existing landscape. Susan suggests that this evaluation should be in the following order: primary living spaces, structures, pathways, plants, and accessories. This takes discipline because many people tend to look at plants first, not last or almost last. During this evaluation, they should be thinking about scale and proportion, circulation patterns, and comfort.

Kraus, Helen & Spafford, Anne Eno Publishers, 2009 Hillsborough, NC

Rain Gardening in the South by Helen Kraus and Anne Spafford is not a new book. However, participating in a symposium this winter at which Anne also spoke, I was so impressed with her talk that I purchased this book.

I loved Susan’s examples of both curvilinear and rectilinear design on paper and then photographs that showed the reality of each. They are inspirational and easy to understand and apply. Susan also reminds us that diagonal designs are particularly effective in countering the bowling alley effect of narrow spaces.

Rain gardens are an integral part of green infrastructure, the need for which becomes greater every day. However, many homeowners and municipalities are resistant to installing them because of poor design that leads to gardens that appear weedy and unattractive. The biggest challenge in designing rain gardens is that they need to cope with both inundation and drought as well as the cleansing of pollutants.

She has many practical suggestions, e.g. a firepit rim that can be used for plates and glasses; including attractive outdoor storage for seating cushions, toys, tools, etc. with storage chests that can also be used as seating; using vertical space

Contrary to many pamphlets and treatises I have read about constructing rain gardens, these authors posit that rain gardens do not need to be expensively engineered. They have a defined structure made up of five basic components:

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1. A depression created by berming a sloped area or by digging down 3 to 6 inches and piling soil around the edges. There should also be an overflow pipe to redirect rain elsewhere. 2. The soil may need to be amended so that water will infiltrate and drain quickly. 3. Organic matter should be added to the soil as a mulch or as a soil amendment because it increases the soil’s ability to absorb and drain water as well as fostering the proliferation of microscopic organisms and earthworms. Keep in mind that organic mulches should have large particles to prevent being washed away during a heavy rainfall. 4. Plant selection is crucial. 5. If using rocks to slow stormwater velocity or create swales, the design should flow with the natural contour of the landscape. Then they discuss designing a rain garden. Like any other type of garden, the first step is a detailed analysis of the property which includes the water flow, the slope or flatness, the sun/ shade pattern, the views, existing significant vegetation, and either underground or overhead obstructions. The next step is making sure that the rain garden will be at least 10 feet from the house. The third step is deciding whether to create the rain garden as a stand alone feature or whether to choose the plants so that it blends with the other beds. Helpfully, the authors provide the tools for calculating the desired size of the rain garden. They also dispel two myths about rain garden plants. Drought-tolerant plants are not the answer in most instances because they tend to rot if their roots stay wet. They can be used at the top of deep rain gardens but never further down. The other is the belief that native plants are always better. For reasons that the authors explain, the best solution is using a mix of natives and non-natives. Their chapter on plant selection and design is excellent and many of the plants can be used in Ohio even though the authors live in North Carolina. Two other chapters on troubleshooting and alternatives to rain gardens are also extremely helpful. Don’t be misled by the title of this book; it is just as applicable to those of us in Ohio as it is to those who live in the South.

A YEAR IN THE GARDEN: A GUIDED JOURNAL Montenegro, Nina & Sonya Timber Press, 2017 Portland, OR

As a plant geek, I’ve been journaling for years in order to keep track of weather and the success and failures of my plantings. I was recently introduced to a lovely journal by the Montenegro sisters. They have a company called The Far Woods that sells their artworks to serve as educational tools and inspiration for reconnection to nature, food, and community. Each page of the journal is decorated with drawings of nature, both flora and fauna. Divided by month and week, the journal serves as a reminder of what has occurred but also is full of timely prompts. For instance: Plants to start from seed; tools to buy, replace, or maintain; perennials to transplant, divide, give away, or compost; color combinations to create and which plants to use; wish lists; good design ideas from gardens of others that you can implement in your own; possible container combinations for this year; bulbs to order for fall planting. There are also several prompts about edibles: which ones to plant, how you will use them, recipes for them. The drawings are a joy and made me want to keep turning the pages to see what would appear next. Use this journal for yourself and your own garden or as a gift to clients who really like to garden. I’ll have some more books for you to read this winter in my next column. Meanwhile, happy holidays and good health to everyone. Bobbie Schwartz, FAPLD, owner of Bobbie’s Green Thumb in Shaker Hts., Ohio, is a landscape designer, consultant, freelance writer, and lecturer whose specialties are perennial gardens and four season landscapes. Bobbie’s book, Garden Renovation: Transform Your Yard into the Garden of Your Dreams, was published in Nov. 2017.

The Growing Concern | December 2018 | 13


MICHAEL J. DONNELLAN King Financial, Inc.


As the end of the year quickly approaches, here are a couple things all investors need to do in preparation for 2019. These are a few of the most pressing issues and most do not take too much of your time.



Probably the most complicated and time-consuming issue, but the one that can cost you, or save you, the most money. Some clients may need to generate gains or losses this year while the tax environment is still favorable. Most taxpayers pay 15% in Long Term Capital Gains (20% applies for those in the highest tax brackets).

As a general rule, don’t buy a mutual fund near the end of the year, without first checking when, and if, the fund will be paying out a capital gain for the year. If you buy Fund ABCDX on December 5th and they distribute a capital gain for the year on December 15th, you are responsible for the tax on this year’s capital gain, even though you held the fund for only 10 days.

Another issue in this category is the Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from qualified retirement accounts. Clients over 70 ½ must take their RMD this year or face stiff tax penalties of 50%. Also be aware of required distributions from Beneficiary IRAs.

ESTABLISH RETIREMENT ACCOUNT Small business owners might want to establish a retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan, SEP-IRA or Simple IRA, for their business in the current tax year. Also check out the Individual 401(k) plans that many fund families and firms continued on page 16

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OLA JANUARY MEETING Leadership Development

Many of us promote great employees from within, but often forget that it can be a very turbulent time for them, especially because the new position typically requires a different skill set than the one they had just succeeded in. In addition, promotions – more often, than not – don’t come with much training or development, either. These two factors can lead to a “good luck, figure it out” approach, which only creates many unnecessary challenges on the backend. Join us on January 24th, as our presenter Tim Tokarczyk, of Fails Management Institute (FMI), guides us through the challenges of helping our team members transition from one position to the next – training for success in their new role – so that they have a positive impact on our bottom line.


TIM TOKARCZYK, PRINCIPAL AT FMI Tim is a principal with FMI. He is deeply involved in leadership training, organizational consulting and content development. He also serves as a facilitator at FMI’s Leadership


Institute, a four-day program in which participants examine their unique leadership styles


and learn how this style influences others. He specializes in leadership development, helping leaders improve their leadership and management skills to operate at their peak level of effectiveness. Tim has prior experience in recruitment and leadership selection, working to help a high-growth organization more effectively recruit new employees to fit not only the job, but also the culture. Additionally, he has worked as a consultant for a nonprofit firm, providing management, financial, marketing and operational consulting to small business owners.


ABOUT FMI Industry leaders develop their organizational vision, leadership teams, succession plans and personal leadership skills with FMI’s leadership consultants. More than 6,000 industry leaders have experienced the FMI Leadership Institute – one of several world-class FMI Signature Programs tailored to the specific needs of an industry. FMI is convinced that building exceptional leaders is the key to transforming individuals, companies and the industries. FMI professionals strive to be as passionate and committed to the industry as are the clients they have the privilege to serve.



FI SCAL FI TN ESS continued from page 14 are now offering. Most of these plans have to be established by year-end. Maximize your 401(k) or IRA contributions and ensure your beneficiaries are up to date.

ESTATE PLANNING This is often an area that gets brushed to the side if for no other reason than many clients don’t like to think about their own mortality. It is important, however, that you ensure that your desires for the distribution of your assets would be met were you to die suddenly. Make sure beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies are up to date. These instruments rely on the beneficiary designation and not what is in the will. Has your family situation changed? Is there another child or grandchild to be accounted for? Did you get married? Divorced? Spouse pass away?

BUDGET The holidays can be a busy time, but also a good time to set a budget. This is the time of the year when lots of your money is being spent. No better time to look at your finances than now. Think of ways to cut down on some of your expenses and/or plan on contributing more to retirement or college savings plans.

SET GOALS FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR This can go hand-in-hand with budgeting. I’m also advising clients to not only set financial goals, but personal, professional, entertainment and educational goals. This is another great time to do that.

ANALYZE PORTFOLIO AND REBALANCE This is a great time to sell a large position in one stock and diversify. Also, as markets have been volatile lately, it is important to structure your portfolio in the correct balance. With domestic stocks outperforming international and emerging markets significantly this year, you could be overweight in areas and underweight in others. Make sure your investment strategy is on track.

CHARITY/GIVING If you donate stock that has increased in value since you bought it more than a year ago – and if you itemize deductions – you can take a charitable deduction for the stock’s fair market value on the day you give it away. You’ll also avoid capital-gains taxes on the increase in value over time, which you would have had to pay if you sold the stock then gave the charity the cash proceeds. Good charities/foundations appreciate your charitable gifts.

SCHEDULE REVIEW Arrange meetings with your advisor. Make it a priority and prepare by creating a list of topics to help get the most out of your discussion. Talk to your financial and tax advisors for information specific to your individual needs and goals. Michael J. Donnellan is President of King Financial, Inc. specializing in stock selection and retirement planning. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments at the M3 Wealth Management office at 17601 W. 130th Street – Suite 1 in North Royalton, Ohio. Phone number (440) 652-6370 Email: Securities & advisory services offered through L.M. Kohn & Company Registered Broker/Dealer Member FINRA/SIPC/MSRB 10151 Carver Rd. Suite 100 – Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 (800) 478-0788

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EASY WINTER SAFETY TIPS FOR OUTDOOR WORKERS For those who work outdoors for a living, their jobs require them to spend long hours exposed to the elements. Employees in snow removal, construction, oil and gas, landscaping, the postal service, and the police force are all examples of workers that need to take winter safety into consideration during their everyday duties. Some of the most typical injuries during the winter months are caused by slips, trips, and falls. These can happen year-round, but slippery, icy conditions make them more likely to happen in the winter. Other common winter injuries include trench foot, frostbite, hypothermia, and wind burn. Luckily, there are several ways that employers and workers can prevent these injuries and make the work environment a safe place for everyone.

SLIPS, TRIPS, AND FALLS Slips, trips, and falls are some of the most frequently reported injuries, making up approximately 25 percent of workers’ compensation claims per year. In 2014 alone, there were 34,860 workplace slip-and-fall injuries involving ice, sleet, or snow that resulted in one or more days away from work to recover.

When it comes to falls during the winter, icy conditions are a big factor. One important way to prevent icy, wet conditions outdoors is to spread deicer right after a winter storm, whether at the workplace or home. Other precautions to minimize your risk of falling while working outdoors include: • Taking extra time to plan your steps. Take the route that provides the best footing when it’s snowy and icy. • Wearing the appropriate shoes. Boots with rough or heavy tread are good for walking in the snow. • Watching for black ice. After freezing rain or melting snow, black ice often forms on roadways and sidewalks. Familiarize yourself with black ice conditions and be prepared. • Walking cautiously once indoors. Entrances can become very slippery from people walking in with snowy shoes. continued on page 20

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ONLINE CLASSIFIEDS Looking for Classified and Help Wanted ads? Want to post one of your own? You’ll find them at or HELP WANTED ADS Help Wanted ads are posted on both our industry website and our consumer website, along with bi-monthly postings via social media. CLASSIFIED ADS (I.E. Equipment for sale) Classified ads are posted on our industry website COST MEMBERS: $35 plus $3 for each 10 words for 30 days. NON MEMBER: $70 plus $3 for each 10 words for 30 days. Please send all inquiries and ad content to: or call the OLA office at 440-717-0002.

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The Growing Concern | December 2018 | 19


continued from page 18

THERE’S A SAFE WAY TO FALL There are several studies on safe falling techniques that are proven to help minimize injury if a slip, trip, or fall does occur. The University of California suggests the following three tips: 1. Let your body go limp, which will allow your body to naturally roll into the fall. 2. Don’t try to break your fall by extending your wrists, elbows, or knees. Keep each of these joints bent. 3. Tuck your chin in and protect your head with your arms.

COLD STRESS Cold stress occurs when your skin temperature drops, resulting in a drop in your internal body temperature. Factors that may cause heat to leave the body more rapidly are wind chills or wetness. Cold stress includes trench foot, frostbite, and hypothermia. Trench foot – An injury of the foot caused by prolonged exposure to wet and cold conditions. Signs of trench foot include redness, tingling sensation, pain, swelling, leg cramps, numbness, and blisters. Frostbite – An injury caused by the freezing of skin and tissues, which can cause permanent damage to the body. Signs of frostbite include redness, pain, or unusually firm, waxy, or numb skin with a grayish-yellow pallor.

20 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

Hypothermia – Occurs when normal body temperature drops to less than 95 degrees Fahrenheit after being exposed to cold or cool temperatures for a long period of time. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, memory loss, slurred speech, jittery hands, or sleepiness. Some precautions to minimize your risk of cold stress include: 1.) Covering exposed skin before stepping outside. When wind chills drop, exposed flesh can freeze quickly, leading to frostbite and hypothermia. This includes wearing several layers of the appropriate materials. EHS Today recommends the following three layers: Layer 1 (closest to the skin) – A polypropylene or similar wicking material. This helps draw sweat away from the body to keep the skin dry. Layer 2 (middle layer) – An insulating layer of wool or polar fleece-type materials. Layer 3 (outer layer) – A nylon or similar material to block the wind. Remember to also wear gloves, a hat, face covering, and appropriate socks. If your job allows, wear waterproof, thermal

gloves. It’s important to keep your hands protected and dry. A hat reduces the amount of body heat lost through your head, while face covering helps to prevent wind burn. When choosing socks (and other layers), avoid cotton because it does not keep its warmth when wet. Wool is a better option for pulling moisture away from the skin, keeping you warm and dry. 2.) Taking breaks. Frequent, short breaks in warm, dry areas are important to help raise your body temperature. A good way to determine how long it is safe for you to stay outdoors is by utilizing the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists’ (ACGIH) Work/Warm-up Schedule. This takes both air temperature and wind speed into account to provide recommendations on working a four-hour shift outdoors. Your employer may choose your maximum work periods and breaks based on a schedule similar to this. 3.) Drinking a warm beverage. This can help to increase your body temperature, which should always be above 95 degrees. 4.) Removing any wet or damp clothing. Wet clothing contributes to dropping body temperature. Be sure to remove anything wet or damp immediately at the end of your workday or shift.

WINTER DRIVING Proper winter driving is another important safety consideration − whether as part of your job or your daily commute. Before driving any vehicle – personal or company – in the winter, do your own inspection to ensure it is working properly. This includes checking the brakes, cooling system, electrical system, engine, exhaust system, tires, oil, and visibility. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has several safe winter driving tips that can help you plan for whatever the road throws your way throughout the season and recommends the following items be kept in an emergency kit in your vehicle: • • • • • • • • • •

Cellphone or two-way radio Windshield ice scraper & snow brush Flashlight with extra batteries Shovel & traction aids (bag of sand or cat litter) Tow chain Emergency flares Jumper cables Water & snacks Road maps Blankets & a change of clothes

This article first appeared on the MedExpress wellness blog located at

The Growing Concern | December 2018 | 21


JIM FUNAI, LIC Cuyahoga Community College

SHELLEY FUNAI, LIC Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens Abies koreana, the Korean fir, is a species of Fir native to the higher mountains of South Korea.

ABIES KOREANA KOREAN FIR With the widespread disease impacts to our beloved Colorado Spruce trees (Picea pungens) namely Cytospora and Rhizosphaera, we’ve encouraged our readers to explore alternatives to the overplanted Blue Spruce. It is difficult to find anything that holds a candle to the bright blue of ‘Baby Blue Eyes’ or ‘Moerheim’ but we can find equally beautiful, pyramidal evergreens to fill the niche left open by dying Spruce. This month we’d like to encourage you to check out Abies koreana, the Korean Fir. Now, much like the native setting of Colorado Spruce, this Fir is found growing on mountains in its native range of Southern Korea. The tree is very slow growing and can reach into the 50’ range with a lot of time, but we expect about half that height in any reasonable time frame. Trees are found between 3,000 and 6,000 feet on slopes with low organic matter and extremely well drained. However, these same mountain ranges experience a lot of rain, making them accustomed to a temperate rainforest.

performance. Heavy clay and poorly drained locations are not advisable. Find a higher point in the yard and amend the entire area (not just a little planting hole) if needed to help loosen up the clay.

These conditions tell you where you should and, more importantly, should not plant this tree to get the best

As with other firs, the cones are one of the premium ornamental features of this tree. Slowly maturing to a deep purple-blue, each

22 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

From an ornamental standpoint, this tree does not disappoint. The underside of each leaf has two thick rows of stomata that give a very silver appearance contrasting sharply with the deep shiny green on top of each leaf. This two color contrast creates a striking specimen plant and also works great as a screening.

two to three inch cone is held upright at the ends of branches creating an impressive contrast to the deep green leaves. We’ve seen very young, newly planted trees produce cones unlike some other firs that seem to wait a number of years until displaying their ornamental cones.

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Because the native range of this tree is quite limited, mostly to mountainous islands in the Korean Straight, the species is currently listed as endangered. While we can’t plant it here and claim it is native, it will help to preserve the species within the global ecosystem. As you know, we often try to find the origin of plant names as it is interesting to find the history behind our human interaction with our plants. In the case of Abies, we are lucky enough to possess a book called A Monograph of the Genus Abies by Tang-Shui Liu of the National Taiwan University published in 1971. This book is a monster reference guide to all members of Abies which was first named by Pliny around 77 A.D. in one of the first major publications about trees and shrubs. For centuries, Abies referred to all members of what we now call Spruces, Hemlocks, and Firs. In 1754, a European botanists by last name of Miller officially separated what we now know as the true Abies species. It was the famous plant hunter E.H. Wilson, an Englishman, who introduced this tree to the west after exploring the islands of Southern Korea in 1920. Wilson is responsible for over 2,000 plant introductions to the West from the Orient and is one of the great plant collectors that has a lasting impact on our everyday lives by the plants he introduced. Interestingly, he left record of the original habitat he found the tree in and noted that they best grow in gravelly soils with minimal humus, high amounts of annual rainfall, and rather cool temperatures. He recommended the plant be placed where it will not experience hot afternoon sun nor direct sun to the soil where its roots grow. The tree is often found with other great ornamental plants such as Cornus controversa (Giant Dogwood), Betula ermanii (looks like a cross between Paper and River Birch), and Quercus mongolica (a Red Oak group member resembling Chestnut Oak). All of these plants grow well in our Ohio gardens, and thus, this tree can perform quite well provided continued on page 24 the right setting.

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continued from page 23 Disease or insect issues will be minimal if the soil is correct and the heat is kept to a minimum. There is one cultivar available on the market named ‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke’ which has a more irregular habit and sharply reflexed needles that expose the silver underside of the leaves at all times. This cultivar was introduced by Gunther Horstmann of Germany in 1979 and named it “silberlocke” which means “silver curls.” You may find some nurseries have dropped his name from the plant and just call it ‘Silberlocke’ but be assured, they are the same. We have seen a few plants labeled as ‘Aurea’ in our travels with a golden hue to the leaves, but in the few cases we’ve noted, they seem to just look sickly rather than ornamental.

pruning, which is most easily accomplished by finding the right size plant for the location. Abies koreana is a perfect fit for smaller yards staying under about 20 to 25 feet tall and not reaching beyond 15 feet wide. If you need one a little smaller and really want to make a garden statement, try out the less than 20 foot tall and 10 foot wide bright silver ‘Silberlocke’. Both of these trees will serve your garden great if given the right soil and location. Enjoy!

Jim Funai is full-time faculty at Cuyahoga Community College, a NALP accredited associate of applied science in hoticulture degree program. He is pursuing a PhD in Landscape Engineering and Forestry and is a Licensed Arborist. Shelley Funai is Grounds Manager at Stan Hywett Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio, which

In today’s home landscape, plants need to be low maintenance and beautiful. A major part of low maintenance is reduced

24 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

offers a historic estate designed by Warren H. Manning and a beautiful manor house museum. She is Landscape Industry Certified in Ornamental Plant Care.

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. HOLIDAY LIGHTING . Things to Think About When Adding as a Service

As cooler weather approaches, landscape work slows down in many regions of the country. In early winter, there’s no grass to cut, no patios to install and no irrigation systems to repair. During low snow years, even snow removal cash flow dries up. But Christmas is something you can always count on: It comes every year at the same time.

WHY ADD HOLIDAY LIGHTING? About six years ago, Jimmy Tompkins of JT’s Landscaping and Lawn Care in Raleigh, North Carolina, began exploring options for keeping his workforce intact through the winter months. “I was losing my labor force when we had nothing to do. We don’t have snow to push,” Tompkins says. “I was getting tired of the cost of interviewing, weeding out and retraining quality workers each year.”

26 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

Investigating ways to keep his cash flow going, Tompkins examined ideas from obtaining snow contracts in Virginia to hardscaping and chemical applications. He discovered in some parts of the country, such as California, landscape companies were hanging holiday lights and décor for residential and commercial customers. “This turned out to be the best fit,” Tompkins says. “I already knew my client base, and the timing was right.”

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At first, there were plenty of scoffers. “Most people thought I was an idiot,” he says. But last year, Tompkins’s company decorated homes and businesses for almost 200 customers. He limits the number of contracts he accepts each year to fulfill them in a timely manner because the season is so short. “It’s not a huge money generator, but it’s a supplement. And I don’t lose 30 or 40 percent of my workforce when things slow down, so I don’t have to rehire and retrain new people next spring.” Bringing holiday cheer to clients’ homes also generates an automatic feel-good factor, which means satisfied clients may return for other services. “What I didn’t project is that some of my lighting clients became landscaping clients,” Tompkins says. “That’s been huge for us.”

GETTING STARTED Getting started in holiday lighting doesn’t necessarily require a big investment. Starting small is one way to learn the business. “Approach a few of your existing maintenance or install clients with whom you have a good relationship,” says Nick Schriver, general manager of Decorating Elves in Tampa Bay, Florida. “Take on a few projects the first year to find out if it’s something you really want to do.”

Most of the profit comes from labor, with margins running from 15 to 45 percent. Many contractors learn the ropes from companies that offer classes, videos, manuals and webinars to guide startup. Others become part of a franchise, which provides training, marketing advice and ongoing support (initial costs are around $7,000 plus royalty fees). “As much as anything, a franchise buys you experience,” says Brandon Stephens, president of Christmas Décor in Lubbock, Texas. “That way, if you run into any issues, we’ve probably encountered the problem before and can help you troubleshoot.” Make sure to begin planning early. “One of the biggest mistakes contractors make is trying to add the service as an afterthought,” says Brad Finkle, president of Creative Decorating in Omaha, Nebraska. “The season creeps up fast. You’ve got to have everything ready, such as where you’re getting the products from before the rush hits in November.” Also, don’t forget to contact your insurance company to discuss whether or not you’ll need additional coverage. continued on page 28 The Growing Concern | December 2018 | 27


continued from page 27

AVOIDING PITFALLS The most difficult aspect of adding holiday lighting to your service mix is that the season is short. “There’s not a lot of time for training,” says Dmitriy Denisenko, president of ALL-N-1 Landscape in Lawrence, Kansas. “People start calling in November, and you start installs immediately. The season is only about a month long. If you don’t have an efficient crew, you can’t fulfill your obligations.”

There are some aspects you have zero control of, however. “Light bulbs go out,” Schriver says. “When you have a light set with 100 mini-lights, that means 100 potential problems. You need a maintenance plan so you can respond within 48 hours.” And no matter what the weather, clients expect lighting to be installed as promised. Avoid over-scheduling crews so you’ll have time for callbacks and weather delays.

The timing of installations is another factor. Most contractors begin installs as early as late October and finish by the second week of December; takedowns begin the day after Christmas to mid-January. Crews also need to be comfortable with climbing. “While a typical maintenance crew member may be on a 6-foot ladder a couple times a week to trim tall hedges, we’re using 36foot extension ladders daily for rooflines or tall trees,” Schriver says. “You need people who aren’t afraid of heights.”

When it comes to design, don’t worry if you’re not the most creative person. “Most people don’t have the money for elaborate design,” Denisenko says. “About 90 percent of our clients want the roofline lighted, and if there’s any money left in their budgets, we may put up wreaths or add mini-lights on trees and bushes.”

It’s also helpful to have a basic working knowledge of electricity, including how to use an amp meter so you aren’t overloading the typical household circuits of 15 to 20 amps. “The advent of LEDs, which draw much less power, has made residential installations fairly straightforward,” Schriver says. “But you may still need to call in a licensed electrician to consult on large projects.”

28 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY? Some companies price by the labor hour, while others price by the total job. Typical residential installations run from $500 to $600 to several thousand dollars; commercial accounts may be slightly higher. Most companies establish a minimum fee, ranging from $100 to $450 per job. Takedowns typically require about one-third of the time that installations require and are included in the original bid.


MARKETING YOURSELF Materials offer another profit opportunity. Some contractors do installations with products the customers buy and store themselves. But the majority of contractors install commercial-grade products clients buy or lease through them. Generally, materials account for about 30 percent of the cost, with about a 15-percent markup. Some contractors also use warehouse storage for decorations in the off-season, with storage fees built into the bid. Contractors say one of the biggest challenges is getting potential clients to understand how much labor is involved to justify the cost. “Explain why you’re the professional,” says Nick Roth, owner of Nick’s Landscaping of Ohio in Copley, Ohio. “You come back if bulbs go out. You won’t have sloppy wires drooping along the gutter line. You use 100 clips when they might use two or three if they’re doing it themselves.” You also need to understand customer expectations. “You may agree to decorate an ornamental tree’s canopy and think one man can do it in 20 minutes. But your client may want each limb wrapped, which is going to take two or three hours,” Roth says. “Communicate that kind of detail beforehand so you’re not underestimating your bids.”

Start by informing existing clients about the service through flyers, billing inserts or e-mail. To garner new clients, door hangers and direct mail should target homes with a certain minimum square footage, price or within a specific zip code. “Postcards with photos are great tools because this is a visual business,” says Travis Freeman, president of Brite Ideas Decorating in Omaha, Nebraska. Time them to arrive in the first part of November when people start thinking about the holidays. Consider media such as Google ads, and don’t forget to announce services on your company’s social media accounts. Placing yard signs with your company name and phone number in front of your current clients’ homes can drive sales for next year.

This story, written by Arricca Elin SanSone, originally ran on the Total Landscape Care website, located at /

The Growing Concern | December 2018 | 29


MILESTONES It is that time of year again! With the holidays upon us, the OLA would like to thank all of our members for their continued dedication to the industry and our organization. At our annual meeting on November 15th, we applauded members celebrating significant membership milestones. Additionally, the annual meeting is also when our membership votes to approve the slate of board members that will serve in 2019. Congratulations to all! 50-YEAR MEMBER


10-YEAR MEMBERS cont...

Leuty Nursery

B & C Lawncare and Landscape, Inc. Boyas Excavating, Inc. Brunner Landscape & Lawn Sprinkler, Inc. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Hietala Lawn Maintenance, Inc. Lakeside Sand & Gravel, Inc. Sal’s Landscaping Co. Summit Landscape

New Vista Enterprises Perfection Landscapes R.A.K. Sales, Ltd. Tri-R-Stone Wightman’s Landscaping Yard Solutions, Inc.

45-YEAR MEMBER Lucas Landscaping and Nursery, Inc.

40-YEAR MEMBER Forest City Tree Protection Co., Inc.

35-YEAR MEMBERS Breezewood Garden Center, Inc. The Bremec Group Premier Plant Solutions Rossi Landscaping, Inc.

30-YEAR MEMBERS Art Form Nurseries J. Barker Landscaping Co. Irrigation Supply, Inc. Lifestyle Landscaping, Inc. N.E.O. Landscape Management A.J. Nowac Landscaping, Inc. Nurturing Nature’s Knowledge by SJP Ltd. Rosa Landscaping, Inc.

25-YEAR MEMBERS Buyansky Brothers Landscaping, Inc. Hobby Nursery Husney’s Landscape & Irrigation S.A.B. Landscaping, Inc. Schill Grounds Management Second Nature Landscape Services, Inc. TRC Landscape Services, Inc.

15-YEAR MEMBERS All About Groundcover, Inc. Budding Artists, Ltd. Bulone Bros. Landscaping, Inc. Cameo Landscape & Design, Inc. Kendal at Oberlin McCaskey Landscape & Design Meyer Products, Inc. Mike’s Custom Landscaping Co. Mohawk Nursery Sasak Landscaping, Inc. Valley City Supply

10-YEAR MEMBERS Corso’s Landscape Davey Commercial Landscape Services Great Lakes Publishing/Cleveland Magazine J.A.G. Lawn Maintenance & Landscaping LandOpt, LLC Lanhan Contractors, Inc. Marketplace Events Meyers Landscape Services & Nursery

30 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

5-YEAR MEMBERS A.M. Leonard, Inc. Chidsey Landscape & Design, Inc. Falling Waters Ohio, LLC Green Vision Materials, Inc. JBE Landscape Management, LLC Keenan Agency, Inc. (The) KEW Kline Nursery Sales Lamphear’s Lawn Service, LLC LWB Design, LLC Masterscape, LLC Mentor MFG N.F.L. Group Oberfields, LLC Petitti Garden Centers Reynolds Landscaping & Tree Service Southeastern Equipment Company Toledo Lawns Williams Landscaping & Pavers


19 2


President – Adam Capiccioni, Ohio CAT President-Elect – Domenic Lauria, Vizmeg Landscapes Treasurer – Brian Maurer, LIC, Brian-Kyles Landscapes of Distinction Secretary – Sandy Munley, Ohio Landscape Assn. Immediate Past President – Marie McConnell, Lake County Nursery


Doug Ellis, Abraxus Royalton Supply James Funai, LIC, Cuyahoga Community College Philip Germann, GreenLawn Specialists Stephanie Gray, LIC, BrightView Landscape Services Cameron Maneri, Kurtz Bros., Inc. Joshua Way, Toledo Lawns

Congratulations to our officers and directors! I am looking forward to working with each of you in the coming year. If you are interested in being more involved with OLA, we will hold committee meetings on January 24th immediately before the January evening meeting. If you would like to join a committee, please contact me so that we can send you an invitation to this meeting where you can find out more. You can call me at 440-717-0002 or send an email to sandy@ Happy Holidays to you and your families!

Botson Insurance Group, Inc.


Davis Tree Farm & Nursery, Inc.


Frank Brothers Landscape Supply, Inc.

7 The 2019 board will be comprised of:

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Mason Structural Steel, Inc.


Millcreek Gardens


O’Reilly Equipment


Premier Plant Solutions


Shearer Equipment


Sohar’s / RCPW, Inc.




Valley City Supply


VanCuren Tree Services, Inc.


Zoresco Equipment Company The Growing Concern | December 2018 | 31

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The Growing Concern December 2018  

The Official Monthly Publication of the Ohio Landscape Association.

The Growing Concern December 2018  

The Official Monthly Publication of the Ohio Landscape Association.