The VNLA Quarterly Newsletter
Volume 39, Issue 2
Summer Issue, 2013
Inside this
president’s letter
Board of Directors 3
New Green Works
Members & VCH
Summer Twilight on
Winona Lake
Dancing Grasses 6
Member Profile -
Bill deVos
News from the U 11
Think Fast - Who is
Your Worst
Are Neonicotinoids
Killing Bees?
Agency of
Agriculture News,
Summer 2013
Tips for Restoring
Your Flood
Green Works -
Summer Meeting
Industry Calendar 23
Each time I sit down to write this letter it
seems that I end up using this opportunity
to lecture our membership about some
aspect of our industry or association. So,
as I contemplated the contents of this
letter I thought to myself, heck, why stop
Late this past winter I was approached
about presenting an hour and a half
seminar through Vermont Interactive
Technologies on choosing and caring for
trees in the residential landscape. This was
part of a four part series of gardening
seminars entitled “Plunge Into Planting”
that was geared toward the average
homeowner. I agreed to be a presenter
and then began to put together a
collection of more than 100 photos that I
could use to illustrate everything that I
wanted to cover in the seminar. I find that
it is often most effective to show examples
of incorrect practices and their results to
impress upon people the importance of
getting it right the first time around.
Throughout the spring I carried my
camera everywhere that I went pulling
over frequently in front of both
commercial and residential properties to
snap photos of ‘crimes against trees’. The
vast majority of my pictures were taken
within five miles of my home and by the
time I was finished I was disheartened by
what I had found and was contemplating
starting a new organization that I would
call PETT, (People for the Ethical Treatment
of Trees)!
It seemed that everywhere I looked there
were prime examples of what not to do,
from trees that were planted several
inches too deep, to those with mulch
piled up to twenty inches high around the
trunk! ( yes, I measured it!) I found
container trees at area garden centers
with severe girdling roots that would never
survive to maturity, and those along the
road frontage of commercial properties
that look as though they had been
pruned by a ten year old with a dull
While I am certain that none of the
nightmares that I encountered were the
result of work done by the numerous
reputable businesses and individuals that I
have come to know and respect in our
industry, they were the work of firms that
claim to be ‘professionals’ in our industry
and it reflects poorly on all of us!
One of the primary purposes of the VNLA,
as outlined in our mission statement, is to
promote ethical business practices and
high standards of professionalism. That
being said, I feel that it is our duty and is in
our best interest as members to take
advantage of every opportunity to
educate both the general public, as well as
other professionals in our industry, about
best practices in landscape care.
Take the time to explain to your clients why
the trees that you planted for them are
declining from the annual loading of mulch
around them by the firm that comes in
behind you to do a yearly spring cleanup,
or how topping trees during pruning or
leaving large branch stubs leads to
eventual decay and decline of their trees.
Perhaps most important, be certain that
your own employees are properly trained
and don’t just assume that if they came to
you with ’experience’ that it was the right
If we all remain vigilant in this effort,
eventually we will raise that professional
continued on page 4
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
184 Tamarack Rd * Charlotte, VT 05445
802.425.6222 * vjcomai@gmavt.net
Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
806 Rocky Dale Road * Bristol, VT 05443
802-453-2782 * ed@rockydalegardens.com
Claybrook Griffith
Long Leaf Landscaping, LLC
4379 Ethan Allen Hwy.
New Haven, VT 05472
802-999-4558 * claybrook.griffith@gmail.com

Nate Carr
Church Hill Landscapes, Inc.
287 Church Hill Road * Charlotte, VT 05445
Carrie Chalmers
Quoyburray Farm
239 Lawrence Hill Road * Weston, VT 05161
Hannah Decker
Fairfax Perennial Farm, Inc.
7 Blackberry Hill Road * Fairfax, VT 05454
Sarah Holland
River’s Bend Garden Design, LLC
7386 VT Route 100 B
Moretown, VT 05660
Ron Paquette
Paquette Full of Posies Nursery
10236 Williston Road * Williston, VT 05495
Brian Vaughan
Vaughan Landscaping
40 Mt. Pritchard Lane
St. George, VT 05495

Kristina MacKulin
Green Works-VNLA
P.O. Box 92 * N. Ferrisburgh, VT 05473
Toll Free: 888.518.6484; 802.425.5117
Fax 802.425.5122
Claybrook Griffith
Long Leaf Landscaping, LLC
Brian Vaughan
Vaughan Landscaping
Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
Dan Redondo
Vermont Wetland Plant Supply, LLC
Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
Brian Vaughan
Vaughan Landscaping
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
Claybrook Griffith
Long Leaf Landscaping, LLC
board of directors

For information on
in The Dirt
Kristina at the
Green Works Office
Are you and your

Now is a great time to order VCH
manuals for yourself and/or your employees as the
season gets underway. Prove your level of
professionalism and commitment to excellence to
your clients. Order a VCH manual and take the test
this Summer to become a Vermont Certified
Horticulturist. Contact Kristina MacKulin for ordering
and test information.
Suzann Snyder Garden Design, LLC
Suzann Snyder
173 Allen Irish Road
Underhill, VT 05489
Category: Landscape Design, Landscape Design Build
Active Member
Thanks for joining and welcome!
New Green Works Members
New Vermont Certified
Michael Lenart
Mountain View Landscaping
62 Old James Street
Chicopee, MA 01020
Category: Landscape Design, Landscape Design
Thanks for becoming
certified & welcome!
standard for everyone in our industry. Enough said!
Our summer meeting will be held on August 20
Shelburne Farms. We have a great program lined up
and I hope to see you all there. Put it on your
calendar now and be sure to invite any potential
new members.
I hope that your season is going well and that you
are able to overcome the challenges that mother
nature is throwing at us so that you can keep up with
the work!

VJ Comai, Green Works/VNLA/President
continued from page 2
Participate in the
Green Works
2013 Industry Awards
Scope out your projects and
take lots of photos
Entry forms coming to your
mailbox in August!
On Wednesday evening, June 19
, about 15 VNLA
members and invited guests gathered at Winona Lake in
Bristol for a twilight meeting to explore and identify the
diverse plant community that thrives there. Dan Redondo of
Vermont Wetland Supply Company led the group
accompanied by his daughter and shared his expertise as
an aquatic ecologist to identify about twenty five species of
wetland plants growing there. It was a picture perfect
evening with clear skies and quiet water. Dan talked about
how he propagates many of the species that we saw and
how they can be used in storm water retention ponds and
residential landscapes. He suggested that we could plan
another similar gathering for next summer at a different
location where we would likely encounter a whole different
plant community. It’s an educational adventure that you
won’t want to miss. Below is a list provided by Dan of the
species that he identified at Winona Lake along with their
scientific names. Thanks Dan for a wonderful evening!
Submerged Aquatics
White water lily (Nymphaea odorata)
Spadderdock/Yellow water lily (Nuphar lutea)
Eelgrass (Vallisneria americana)
Longleaf pondweed (Potamogeton nodosus)
Largeleaf pondweed (Potamogeton amplifolius)
Canandian waterweed (Elodea canadensis)
Eurasian milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)

Emergent Herbaceous
Arrow arum (Peltandra virginica)
Narrow leaf cattail (Typha angustifolia)
Broadleaf cattail (Typha latifolia)
Broadleaf arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia)
Tussock sedge (Carex stricta)
Bluejoint (Calamagrostis canadensis)
Hardstem bulrush (Schoenoplectus acutus)
Common threesquare (Schoenoplectus pungens)
Marsh St. John’s wort (Triadenum virginicum)
Royal fern (Osmunda regalis)
Sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)
Marsh fern (Thelypteris palustris)

Speckled alder (Alnus incana)
Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata)
Poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix)
Swamp loosestrife/water willow (Decodon verticillatus)

Tamarack (Larix laricina)
Red maple (Acer rubrum)

Green Works: Summer Twilight on Winona Lake
Movement is magical
Rhythmic motion captivates as it soothes--- a group of
dancers twirling in time with
the music or the wind
rippling through a field of
uncut hay.
And motion in the garden
is always special----a host
of swallowtail butterflies
swarming over the lilacs or
a flock of cedar waxwings
swooping down to feast
on the ripening
But such magical
encounters with wildlife
are all too brief. So, if you
love the idea of
movement in the garden,
but want it to last longer,
consider planting
ornamental grasses. From
June to October their
graceful leaves and airy
flowers will dance in the
lightest breeze.
And grasses offer more
than the magical gift of
movement to your outdoor
world. Some make grand
architectural statements, while others create
glistening translucent screens. Here, from the
diminutive to the grand, are five favorite grasses
that I grow here in my Goshen garden.
Blue Oat Grass
The spiky blue-gray mounds of Helictotrichon
sempervirens are no more than two feet high and fit
nicely at the front of the bed.
In June and July the filmy flowers create an
undulating curtain that catches both sun and wind.
However by August, having achieved their mission,
they start to disintegrate, at which point I cut them
off, leaving the steel-blue leaves to grace the
garden right through the winter.
Tussock grass
In July and August the low green hillocks of Deschampsia
cespitosa send up an amazing four-foot high billowing
cloud of flowers. Planted en masse, tussock grass is
perfect as part of a minimalist design. And a grouping of
just two or three plants makes a lovely addition to the
mixed border.
Feather Reed Grass
The straight vertical look Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' is
readily recognized; a
dozen plants in a
straight line creates
a living fence that,
on a windless day,
appears stiff and
soldier-straight. Then
a gentle wind brings
graceful movement
to an otherwise
static scene. This
effect starts in June
and lasts into winter.
Purple Moor Grass
Molinia arundinacea
'Skyracer', with its
broad mass of soft
green leaves, is my
personal favorite.
Suddenly in late July
the most slender
stems and delicate
flowers appear,
creating a towering
diaphanous gauze
that glistens like a
thousand diamonds
in the morning dew.
These stems are
deceptively strong;
more than once I
have watched a
song sparrow cling
to a single stem,
feasting on the
seeds of autumn!
But alas---they are
not quite robust
enough to last the
winter, so after the
first snow I cut
everything back,
leaving a stubble of
leaves that protects
the crowns over winter.
Maiden grass
Maiden Grasses are big plants that do best in large
spaces. In September, just as many perennials are
calling it quits for the year, these autumn queens are
Dancing Grasses
by Judith Irven
Purple Moor Grass - Molinia
arundinacea ‘Skyracer’
continued on page 9
When Bill deVos gets a call about a
dying or damaged tree, he doesn’t
gear up for an execution; he packs his
bag for a full-on forensic evaluation.
The owner of Montpelier-based
TreeWorks has an arsenal of tools to
diagnose a tree’s weaknesses, and
he’ll do anything he can to save one
in trouble.
DeVos is part structural engineer and
part arboreal artist. He and his team
travel all over the country to evaluate
projects, often rigging up complicated
systems of triangulated cables and
pulleys to support a tree’s weight.
Sometimes, that means working in
tight spots, such as a tiny courtyard
behind a house at 78th and Madison
Avenue in New York City, where a 60-
foot willow threatened to come down
on the neighbors. DeVos was also one
of the experts consulted on how to
save the famous 200-foot-tall
California redwood dubbed Luna, in
which activist Julia Butterfly Hill resided
for two years.
But deVos usually can be found
addressing the needs of trees here in Vermont. Seven
Days caught up with him between projects.
SEVEN DAYS: You specialize in structural remediation of
trees. Describe a typical house call.
BILL DEVOS: Every time I go to a tree call, it’s a forensic
examination. We have to go back years to figure out
what impacted a tree’s health. Sometimes it’s obvious
… and sometimes we’ll sit under a tree and watch it
sway in the wind for 45 minutes to see its weaknesses
before starting to design a solution.
SD: What tools do you use to check a tree’s health?
BD: We often use sonic tomography, which is essentially
a sonogram for trees that judges the density of the tree
tissue. That gives us a basic “photograph” of the tree’s
interior. Then I’ll use a resistograph to take an interior
sample to give the exact dimensions of the decay.
And sometimes you use a tree surgeon’s mallet to
sound it out, along with a protractor and, of course, a
SD: Can you tell just by looking at a tree if it’s healthy?
BD: A tree could essentially be
dead and have a perfect set of
leaves. Nobody pays attention to
structural health — everyone looks
at the outside. You might go to the
nursery and pick out a tree with a
perfect crown of leaves, but when
I look inside, I see that, structurally,
it’s going to destroy itself.
SD: So what do you do then?
BD: Most of the trees we’re called
out to work on are so bad that we
want to isolate the weakness and
then distribute the energy over
more mass so it doesn’t stress a
particular area … We often use
steel and fiberglass to rig up
structural supports to distribute the
SD: You were a full-time tree
trimmer for 24 years; how did that
influence your work as a tree
BD: Yes, I started out as a climber
(and still actively climb), but the job is much more than
just trimming trees. You’re also an artist and a sculptor
of negative space. It’s a challenging job — physically
and also cognitively. You’re constantly challenged by
the insects, diseases and myriad other problems that
can hurt a tree. And it’s so important to do the right
thing, because if you do something wrong today, it
won’t show up for another five years.
SD: You’ve worked on some pretty interesting projects
over the years; which ones stand out in your mind?
BD: I love figuring out solutions to interesting problems.
We did a project for [Paul Newman’s nonprofit camp]
Hole in the Wall Gang where we needed to cable 33
trees together to create a handicapped-accessible
tree house that would sway in the wind as a unit. So we
worked with a structural engineer to calculate how
much the structures would move at certain wind
speeds, and at different heights of the tree … We’re
also in the middle of an ongoing project to transplant
between 14,000 and 16,000 mature live oaks onto a
golf course on Sea Island, Ga.
member profile - Work: Tree Doctor Bill deVos
by Lindsay J. Westley
Bill deVos - longtime Green Works
Member and Vermont Certified
continued on page 8
SD: Right now you’re planting, fertilizing and doing
damage control for many local tree owners; what’s the
biggest challenge Vermont trees face?
BD: People are the worst problem a tree could have. Soil
compaction is another big reason for urban tree decline,
and when a tree has compromised health, it’s more
susceptible to long-term problems like disease and
insects. Sugar maples always take a big hit here, too —
everyone wants a maple in their backyard, but, in reality,
you’d be much better off planting a red oak, or even a
red maple, instead.
SD: Favorite aspect of your job?
BD: Arboriculture attracts people with short attention
spans. You might use the same techniques, but you apply
them in different ways every day. It never gets boring.
And I love the structural remediation. Each project is
totally unique, so you’re inventing remedies on the spot
every time. It’s really rewarding when you revisit a project
to see a tree standing years later that never would have
lasted without help.
The original print version of this article was headlined "The Tree
Doctor Is In."
This article appeared in the newspaper Seven Days on 5/8/13
and is reprinted with the author’s permission.
continued from page 7
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reaching their full glory, and they will withstand our
winter snow without collapsing.
Most maiden grasses are cultivars of Miscanthus
chinensis, including ‘Sarabande’ with wiry leaves and
‘Strictus’ with stripy leaves...take your pick.
I am also fond of Miscanthus 'Purpurascens', a cross of
unknown origin, which turns a glorious orange-red in fall.
Since it grows a little shorter, it is an excellent choice for
the not-quite-so-big garden.
NOTE: Where the summers are both longer and warmer
than here in Vermont---Southern New England and
further south--- Miscanthus can self seed and spread
into the wild. So, if you work in these parts, before the
seeds ripen the flower-heads should be removed.
Match your space
Even the smallest garden has room for smaller grasses,
especially the low growing Blue Oat Grass and Tussock
Grass, or the tall but slender Feather Reed Grass.
But, for an expansive country garden, a stand of
Miscanthus 'Purpurascens' or a grouping of Purple Moor
Grass will fill the space admirably.
Create a ‘meadow style’ planting
Emulate the way wildflowers grow along our country
roads and in the meadows by mixing
easygoing perennials, Daylilies, Black-eyed Susans,
Shasta Daisies or Purple Cone Flowers, with fine-textured
Site grasses to catch the morning or evening sun
The more delicate garden grasses, Blue Oat Grass,
Tussock Grass and Purple Moor Grass, look positively
diaphanous when illuminated, from behind or from the
side, by low-angled light. So position these grasses
where you can readily see them at dawn or at dusk.
Choose ‘clumpers’; avoid ‘runners’
Pick varieties of grass that spread by gradually enlarging
their base clump, usually described as ‘clump-forming’.
You can always expand your plant collection by lifting
and dividing them in late fall or early spring.
But be sure to avoid anything that spreads via rhizomes
(described as 'rhizomatous')!! After a decade I am still
living with the bad effects of experimenting with Blue
Lyme grass, Elymus arenarius, which offers an attractive
coloration, BUT has rhizomes that travel both wide and
deep. The only way to use something like that in the
garden is to grow it in a pot or contain it inside a vertical
root barrier that extends three feet below ground level.
Not worth the effort for this gardener!
Enjoy your grasses all winter long
Snow or no snow all tougher grasses remain relatively
unscathed through the long months of winter. Etched
with the frost, their skeletons look positively ghostly
wafting, slow motion, in the wind.
So wait until spring before consigning your Blue Oat ,
Tussock , Feather Reed or Maiden Grasses to the
compost pile.
Judith Irven is a Green Works member and a landscape
designer, garden writer and speaker, as well as a
Vermont Certified Horticulturist. Her website,
www.northcountryreflections.com is devoted to her
garden writings.
continued from page 6
See article on page 17. Visit http://
invasive_noxious_weeds/rules_regulations for
complete information on the Rule.
Thank you to our 2013 Vermont Flower Show Sponsors!!!
P.O. Box 92
N. Ferrisburgh, VT 05473
In trying to figure out what is newsworthy in recent weeks
from campus, I'm reminded of Garrison Keillor's famous
opening, "It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon."
Other than the odd bits we all learn together from the
Free Press, and a few students in summer courses, most
are off campus and often found doing field research as I
am. Summer courses generally have 7 or 8 students and
include mine on Perennial Garden Design, Advanced
Agroecology (Mendez), Permaculture (Morris), Soil
Fertility (Gorres), and Composting (Fang). One of the
programs you may not have heard about is the New
Farming Training Program of Continuing Education
(learn.uvm.edu/sustainability/farmer-training/), which is
very popular, fills early, and is taking 2014 applications
this August. In this program students (usually non-
traditional) that aspire to be farmers get hands on
experience during 6 months running a mini-farm at the
Hort Research Center, taking classes from several local
farmers/educators not affiliated with UVM, and working
at local host farms.
In ornamental horticulture research, my grad student
Annie White ended the semester writing several grants
to continue and expand her work on pollinators, and is
now busy in the field weekly recording who (main bee
types and several orders of insects) is visiting what flower
and for how long. She has about a dozen native plants
(several were eliminated due to winter losses) and
corresponding cultivars (nativars) of each, representing
various flower types and families and types of cultivar
selections (such as breed vs. wild selections). Luckily she
had many extra plants overwintering (with good snow
cover) at her site in Maidstone, as her site in Fairfax had
40 percent winter loss. With my trials located nearby, I'll
be interested to record soon which plants survived, as it
was a good winter for field hardiness trials. In the over 20
years I've been recording soil temperatures, this winter
(with little snow cover at my site, particularly during cold
periods) has the lowest I've seen. Bare soil as in all my
trials was 23F (while a couple inches of mulch or 6 inches
of straw kept temperatures at 28F or above--usually the
lowest I've seen, and not for several years). I'll also soon
be putting on my website results from the controlled
freezing studies this past year of 8 species, and the
deacclimation studies of 2 species. And I'm underway
ordering or starting new plants for controlled freezing
studies this coming winter.
In early June we once again planted (thanks to the
Burlington Parks staff) the Burlington Waterfront Park
flower display garden. There are fewer annuals this year
(about 88) than last (about 125), but a few more
perennials as we move towards many more perennials
and an increased focus on the All-America winners in
future years. Along with some
of the more recent AAS winners
are about 2 dozen plants
thanks to DS Cole Growers in
New Hampshire, and about 5
dozen from Pleasant View
Gardens, representing the
Proven Winners and Proven
Selections. You'll find the
complete list online, along with
some photos, and rating results
and photos from previous year(pss.uvm.edu/ppp/
aaswp.html). Large plant groups featured this year are
Calibrachoa, two new series of Geraniums, Verbena,
and Petunias. Thanks to you and your Association, too,
for support which helps make this display garden seen
by thousands possible.
Speaking of Across the Fence, I've been busy almost
weekly taping or planning shows, some which will be
seen at future dates, with past ones streaming on my
website. In particular, one of the best opportunities I've
had with this program came in May with the taping of 3
shows at Fenway Park in Boston. Special thanks to head
groundskeeper David Mellor and the Red Sox
management for making this visit possible, after about
15 months of trying to work out a schedule. We were
able to tape 3 shows with Mr. Mellor, which will air this
summer. Watch my Facebook page for air dates, the
UVM Extension Across the Fence website, or you can
view the shows later streaming at my website as listed
above. If you've had the fortune to hear Mr. Mellor
speak at New England Grows in the past, he has some
great messages and is quite a positive inspiration. One
of our tapings is an author interview on his book, The
Lawn Bible, in which he not only covers all basics of
proper lawn care, but how to make patterns (which he
is known nationally for), and even includes quotes from
other ball park groundskeepers.
Hopefully I'll see some of you on one of our tours this
summer. The early July one to the Montreal Botanical
Gardens filled weeks early, and the same tour in
September is starting to fill (pss.uvm.edu/ppp/
forpecon.htm#tours). Thanks again to your Association
for sponsoring these popular day tours. Another tour, 3
days to the Boston area in late July, in collaboration with
Charlie Nardozzi and the King's Garden at Fort
Ticonderoga, is almost full as well.
Even if you don't get on these, I encourage you to try to
see the Montreal Botanical gardens this summer, as they
are having a special international exhibition of
Mosaicultures. If you saw the first of these in 2000, in the
news from the U
by Dr. Leonard Perry - UVM Extension Horticulturist
News from the U—Dr. Leonard Perry
Summer is a great time at universities if you like it quiet
with no meetings, and ability to park even with the much
reduced spaces due to construction! I'm spending much
time outside with perennials, building stock for next year's
freezing studies, working on field trials (currently 190
different plants), and accumulating coralbells (Heuchera)
for both field and freezing studies funded this past year by
the NH Plant Growers Endowment. I"m currently up to
about 60 cultivars of coralbells, including very new
introductions and new villosa hybrids which some growers
question their hardiness (as they are from France), hence
this study. I'll keep you posted here and on my website
(perrysperennials.info) of this and other research your
association has helped fund. Data is collected, I'm just
waiting for some rainy days to get it written up.
We once again planted about 100 varieties of annuals at the
All-America Selections Display Garden at Burlington's
Waterfront Park the first week of June, thanks again to
help and collaboration with Burlington Parks and
Recreation. This is the garden that we won a national AAS
award for this past year. As in previous years, I'll be
posting the plant listing and ratings at the end of the
summer on my website. Here also you can find lists and
results from the past several years. This year my assistant
Sarah Kingsley Richards and I think we have some great
combinations put together, with a focus on about 20
different petunias (near the boathouse), several new coleus
and several new sweet potato vines. One of my favorites
and perhaps most unusual is the new Pretty Much Picasso
petunia, violet purple with a lime green rim. Another
outstanding new and unusual selection is the mealycup
sage Salvia Sallyfun Blue Emotion, tall, blue florets with
white eyes.
This year's AAS garden features about 50% plants from
Pleasant View Gardens (Proven Winners and Selections
and trials), about 40% from DS Cole Growers, and about
10% from seed (All-America Selections and others). I hope
you get to see these gardens if in Burlington (at the foot of
College St. by the ECHO center and boathouse), not only for
the plants, but as the beds are planned to be different next
year. Due to planned construction and road reconfiguration
beginning after Labor Day this year, the main two front
beds will disappear forever, with a new front bed planned
closer to the boathouse in the grassy area.
On campus, the good news is that thanks to federal
stimulus money, the state greatly reduced cuts to UVM and
Extension. Coupled with support from the college, no
on-campus Extension faculty member (to my
knowledge) was cut this coming fiscal year. However once
this money runs out in a couple years, we may be back to
round two of big budget cuts.
So if opportunities arise in your future to support Extension
with your legislators or even UVM administration, it can
surely help. Our new plant science building (Jeffords Hall)
is now enclosed, with connection underway to the UVM
greenhouse. We are still scheduled to move in next
summer. In our department, our fairly recent faculty
member Sarah Lovell will be returning home to take a
similar position in landscape architecture at the University
of Illinois, so her design courses will be taught by yet un-
known person this next year, with a new search hopefully
in our future. Main research at the Hort Farm now
includes two projects of Dr. Lorraine Berkett-- a USDA
funded large project (recently refunded and highly rated) on
organic apple production (the reason many of the crabap-
ples were cut down in order to reduce scab and other
diseases) with full details online
(http://www.uvm.edu/~organica/), and the third year of
trials on hardy grape varieties (http://pss.uvm.edu/grape/).
Submitted by Leonard Perry
instrumental in the development of the Learning Landscape
Project at URI. In 2008, he was recognized for his many
contributions to the green industry and received the
prestigious honor of being one of the first to be inducted into
the RINLA Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the
Rhode Island Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Donations in Ken's memory may be made to The Kenneth
Lagerquist - RINLA Horticultural Scholarship, URI
Foundation Acct ED99, 79 Upper College Road, Kingston,
RI, 02881.

Scott Pfister, former VT State Pathologist and Green
Works supporter has left his position in June at the
Vermont Forest Protection Department. Scott has taken a
position with USDA-APHIS in Washington, DC and will be
coordinating the USDA’s programs for the Asian longhorned
beetle, emerald ash borer, and firewood pest mitigation. We
will miss him and wish him and his family well.
(Continued from page 9)
continued on page 13
How many names popped into your mind? No one in
particular? That one perennial thorn in your side? Or
multiple names that you’d rather not see on the caller
If you fall into one of the first two categories, you can
count yourself lucky. If you fall into the last category,
you may want to make a fresh start in the new year by
following this five-step process for “firing” your worst
• Define “bad”: If any of your customers have really
gotten under your skin, recruit a partner for this exercise
who can play devil’s advocate and help you get past
any feelings of resentment as you work towards
defining some objective criteria.
For your business, what makes a bad customer? Is it late
payment, last-minute emergencies, or late-night phone
calls? Do they consume disproportionate amounts of
time, attention or energy? Or are there interpersonal
dynamics you can put your finger on, such as a lack of
appreciation or courtesy? Try to define your criteria in
measurable ways that a third party could conceivably
verify through observation.
• Try rehab: Rehab isn’t just for celebrities. Once you
are able to clearly describe the behavior that makes
the customer undesirable, come up with a plan for
rehabilitating that behavior. Your plan should include
specifics about what you would like your customer to
do instead, as well as a way for you to introduce that
new behavior and reward it.
For example, let’s say you have a customer who
routinely blows up your schedule with last-minute
requests. Try scheduling a meeting to ask for a three-
business-day lead time for all requests, and perhaps
even start sending them a routine Monday email to
check in on what they’ll be needing by that Friday. And
if they show signs of improvement in providing you that
extra lead time, be sure to let them know you
appreciate it.
• Adjust pricing: If rehab doesn’t work, consider
adjusting your pricing to make up for the extra
inconvenience that your customer is costing you. The
new year provides an opportunity to communicate
new fee structures, including rush charges and the like.
Service providers often quote prices based on the
average customer, and they don’t always track all the
extra time and effort required to respond to voicemails
and emails and requests for extra meetings. You may
also need to invoice for extra expenses, such as
materials or travel time.
• Refer out: If adjusting your pricing doesn’t work, you
may need to start casting about for a referral. Ideally,
you have an industry colleague who would be
interested in the business, especially if it is a matter of
personal chemistry, versus chronic late payment.
Having such a name in your back pocket is just another
reason to get out there and network.
• Have the talk: In the end, you may need to sit down
with your customer and have “the talk.” Stay calm and
professional, provide a reasonable transition period,
and offer assistance in finding a replacement.
Your (soon-to-be-former) customer may want to know
why they are being “fired,” and here you’ll want to
tread carefully. If you’ve followed all of the steps, they
should already have a good idea why it’s not a good
fit. I recommend preparing a couple of reasons in
advance, so that you aren’t caught off guard by the
question. For example, “I’ve decided to concentrate
on longer-term projects and the strategic planning work
that I’m best at, so I’d like to help you find someone
who can be more responsive on a day-to-day basis.”
Not all business relationships last forever, and that’s OK.
Having a systematic process to weed out customers
who drain you and your business will benefit everyone
in the long run.
Do you have a story about a particularly difficult
customer? What did you try and what worked the best?
Email Jennie @ TheJennieWong@gmail.com with your
Jennie Wong, Ph.D., is a Charlotte-based executive coach,
author of “Ask the Mompreneur,” and founder of the social
shopping site CartCentric.com.
Copyright 2013 Charlotte Observer. Reprinted with permission.
think fast - Who is your Worst Customer?
by Jennie Wong
old port area of Montreal, you'll remember that these
are the huge sculptures made of living plants
growing in frames filled with soil. They resemble
topiaries but differ, in that the plants are growing in
and now just around a frame. Designers from many
countries will have their creations on display at the
Montreal gardens this summer-- an exhibition which
now only is held every 3 years and moves around the
world. This summer promises to be one of the top yet,
with over 50 exhibits from over 20 countries, revolving
around the theme "Land of Hope." This may be your
only chance for some years to see such works of
horticultural art in North America.
News from the U
continued from page 10
A Review of Research into the Effects of Neonicotinoid
Insecticides on Bees, with Recommendations for Action.
By Jennifer Hopwood, Mace Vaughan, Matthew Shepherd,
David Biddinger, Eric Mader, Scott Hoffman Black, and
Celeste Mazzacano. Reprinted with permission.
A possible link between neonicotinoids and honey bee die-
offs has led to controversy across the United States and
Europe. Beekeepers and environmentalists have expressed
growing concern about the impact of neonicotinoids,
concern based on the fact that neonicotinoids are
absorbed into plant tissue and can be present in pollen and
nectar, making them toxic to pollinators. This report details
potential negative impacts of neonicotinoids insecticides to
honey bees and other important pollinators. It also makes
recommendations on how we can better protect bees.
Key Points

Neonicotinoids are absorbed by the plant and
transferred through the vascular system, making the
plant itself toxic to insects.

Home and garden products may be applied to
ornamental and landscape plants at rates 32 times
higher than those approved for agricultural crops.

Bee safety of currently approved products should be
reassessed and all conditional registrations
immediately suspended.
Neonicotinoid pesticides were first registered for use in the
mid-1990s. Since then, these chemicals have become
widely adopted for use on farm crops, ornamental
landscape plants, and trees. Neonicotinoids are systemic
chemicals; they are absorbed by the plant and are
transferred through the
vascular system, making
the plant itself toxic to
The toxic effects of
neonicotinoid pesticides
has been identified as a
possible link to honey bee
die-offs. Photo courtesy
Matthew Shepherd.
The impact of this class of
insecticides on pollinating
insects such as honey
bees and native bees is a
cause for concern. Because they are absorbed into the
plant, neonicotinoids can be present in pollen and nectar,
making these floral resources toxic to pollinators that feed
on them. The long-lasting presence of neonicotinoids in
plants makes it possible for these chemicals to harm
pollinators even when the initial application is made outside
of the bloom period. In addition, neonicotinoids persist in the
soil and in plants for very long periods of time.
Across Europe and the United States, a possible link to honey
bee die-offs has made neonicotinoids controversial. Several
European countries have reexamined the use of
neonicotinoids in crops such as corn, canola, and sunflower.
In the United States and elsewhere, a number of opinion
articles, documentary films, and campaigns have called for
them to be banned.
This fact sheet presents a summary of the scientific report
Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees? A Review of Research into
the Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Bees, with
Recommendations for Action, which reviews research on
the impact of these pesticides on bees.
Clearly Documented Facts
Exposure of bees to neonicotinoids

Neonicotinoid residues found in pollen and nectar are
consumed by flower-visiting insects such as bees.
Concentrations of residues can reach lethal levels in
some situations.

Neonicotinoids can persist in soil for months or years
after a single application. Measurable amounts of
residues were found in woody plants up to six years
after application.

Untreated plants may absorb chemical residues in the
soil from the previous year. Products approved for
home and garden use may be applied at significantly
higher rates than those approved for agricultural use,
increasing the risk to pollinators.

Products approved for home and garden use may be
applied to ornamental and landscape plants, as well
as turf, at significantly higher rates (potentially 32 times
higher) than those approved for agricultural crops.

Neonicotinoids applied to crops can contaminate
adjacent weeds and wildflowers.
Effects on honey bees

Imidacloprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, and
thiamethoxam are highly toxic to honey bees.

After plants absorb neonicotinoids, they slowly
metabolize the compounds. Some of the resulting
breakdown products are equally toxic or even more
toxic to honey bees than the original compound.

Honey bees exposed to sublethal levels of
neonicotinoids can experience problems with flying
and navigation, reduced taste sensitivity, and slower
learning of new tasks, which all impact foraging ability.
Effects on bumble bees

Laboratory studies demonstrate that imidacloprid and
clothianidin are highly toxic to bumble bees.

Bumble bees exposed to sublethal amounts of
neonicotinoids exhibit reduced food consumption,
Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees?
continued on page 15
reproduction, worker survival rates, and foraging

Bumble bees exposed to imidacloprid at levels found
in seed-treated crops produced 85% fewer new
queens and had significantly reduced colony growth
rates. Exposure to neonicotinoids may have a
substantial negative impact on bumble bee
Effects on solitary bees

Clothianidin or imidacloprid spray is toxic to blue
orchard and alfalfa leafcutter bees.

Imidacloprid spray residue on alfalfa foliage increases
rates of mortality of alfalfa leafcutter and alkali bees.
Inferences from Research
Effects on pollinators

Pesticide residues from seed treatment have been
found in honey bee hives. Neonicotinoid-treated corn
seed is planted on millions of acres annually in the
United States. Although we do not know the full scope
of the impact of this exposure on bees, we do know
that bees close to corn fields can come into contact
with lethal levels of abraded seed coatings and dust,
bees may collect contaminated pollen, and that
plants (e.g., weeds) growing around seed-treated
fields can become contaminated with systemic

There is no direct link demonstrated between
neonicotinoids and the honey bee syndrome known
as Colony Collapse Disorder. However, recent research
suggests that neonicotinoids may make honey bees
more susceptible to parasites and pathogens,
including the intestinal parasite Nosema, which has
been implicated as one causative factor in CCD.
Bees provide essential services in agriculture, in natural
ecosystems, and in the support of overall biodiversity. A
large—and growing—body of research demonstrates that
neonicotinoid insecticides harm multiple bee species.
Based on the findings of the report, the Xerces Society for
Invertebrate Conservation makes six major
1. The bee safety of currently approved uses of products
containing neonicotinoid insecticides should be
reassessed and all conditional registrations
immediately suspended until we understand how to
manage the risk to bees. The risk from exposure to
neonicotinoid insecticides then needs to be
scientifically evaluated against the risk posed to bees
by alternative control measures. Uses of imidacloprid,
clothianidin, dinotefuran, and thiamethoxam should
be immediately suspended on insect-pollinated crops
such as apples and blueberries, bee-visited crops such
as corn, cotton, and soybeans, and seed-coated
crops such as corn where evidence demonstrates that
this insecticide is spread widely during the planting
2. All neonicotinoid products used by commercial and
agricultural applicators should include a clear warning
on the label about the hazard to bees and other
pollinators, including the unique exposure issues posed
by contaminated pollen and nectar. This is particularly
important for products for garden and ornamental
use, the labels of which do not currently list a hazard
to bees. Current
labeling for
products containing
neonicotinoids does
not warn about
toxicity to
3. Products marketed
to homeowners for
use on garden,
lawn, or ornamental
plants should all
have a warning
label that
prominently states,
“Use of this product
may result in pollen
and nectar that is
toxic to pollinators.”
4. The U.S.
Protection Agency
should adopt a
more cautious
approach to
approving all new pesticides, using a comprehensive
assessment process that adequately addresses the
risks to honey bees, bumble bees, and solitary bees in
all life stages.
5. Before being registered for use on a specific crop or
ornamental plant species, research facilities should
investigate the influences of application rate,
application method, target plant species, and
environmental conditions on levels of neonicotinoid
residues in pollen and nectar.
6. Legislators, regulators, and municipal leaders across
the country should consider banning the use of
neonicotinoid and other insecticides for cosmetic
purposes on ornamental and landscape plants (as the
ban now in force in Ontario, Canada). Approved
application rates for ornamental and landscape
plants, as well as turf, are often much higher than for
farm crops.
To download the full report visit www.xerces.org.
Current labeling for products
containing neonicotinoids does
not warn about toxicity to
pollinators. Photo courtesy
Matthew Shepherd.
continued from page 14
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New Agency Website
After a long and arduous review and development
process, we are pleased to announce the Agency of
Agriculture has a new website! It came online earlier this
month, and is part of the overall statewide effort to
streamline and upgrade our online presence. Much of
the content, of course, remains the same as before, but
the presentation has been revamped to (hopefully)
reflect the interests and needs of our consumers, rather
than to indicate structure of the Agency, which was
somewhat counter-intuitive. As with the draft nursery
rule (below), comments and criticisms are welcome.
Please check it out and let us know if the new format
works for you. The old web address
(vermontagriculture.com) still works, but if you use that
address, it will redirect you to the new address –
Nursery Rule Undergoing Revision
The nursery rule, which outlines Agency policies for
inspection and licensing of nursery and landscaping
operations in Vermont, has not been revised since 1988.
Since then, there have been some changes to the laws
and policies relevant to the program, which are not
reflected in the existing rule. So we are amending the
nursery rule in 2013. The changes include a description
of the new licensing fees (implemented through statute
in 2010), the status change from ‘Department’ to
‘Agency’ for the agriculture agency and related
change from ‘Commissioner’ to ‘Secretary’ for our
administrative head, and our desire to separate the
ginseng rules from the nursery rules. There is also a
definite need for housekeeping in the nursery rule, for the
sake of clarity and intent. Otherwise, the rule will remain
the same, with the sections on crop certification and
inspection guidelines unchanged.
We welcome comment on the proposed changes; if you
are interested in reviewing and providing feedback, a
draft of the rule is available on the Agency website
(agriculture.vermont.gov) or by contacting me directly.
And, if you are interested in the changes occurring to
the ginseng rule, which are more extensive than it simply
being divorced from the nursery rule, a draft of the
proposed amendments to that rule are also available on
the website or through my office.
Noxious Weed Rule
In keeping with the rules theme, I want to remind
everyone that the grace period for listed invasive plants
ends on July 1, 2013. So, after that date, sales,
movement, and distribution of Norway maple, burning
bush, barberry (Japanese and common), amur maple,
yellow flag iris, and brittle waternymph will be prohibited,
regardless of when the specimens were obtained. Stop
sales will be issued after that date should we observe
specimens of these species in your operations. Up until
that date, sales and movement of existing stocks is
permitted, but we will remind you of the prohibition
during inspections this summer.
Elongate Hemlock Scale
Of course, any article from my office has to have a word
or two about a plant pest, and this time it is the elongate
hemlock scale. This armored scale insect (Fiorinia
externa), first observed in the US in 1908, attacks
hemlocks, firs, spruces, and occasionally other conifers.
It is a foliar pest, attacking host needles, and in the
Northeast has only a single generation per year. Typical
of scale insects, the pest reproduces during the spring
and summer, when the eggs hatch and the mobile
phase, called ‘crawlers’, are present in large numbers.
These crawlers move mainly on their own, but are also
moved by hitchhiking on birds, are blown about by the
wind, and by humans working in infested plants and
then inadvertently transferring these crawlers to
uninfested nearby trees. There is a winged male stage,
which occurs later in the summer. The males are
observed crawling over the non-moving females during
mating, and are reportedly sometimes confused with
parasitoids. The females produce 12 to 24 eggs
underneath their armored scale covering. It is
identifiable as a small (1/8
inch long), cream colored
with a single darker spot at one end, oblong scale on
the underside of the needles. Several scales may be
present on a single needle, in dense infestations as many
as a dozen female scales have been observed on one
needle. Feeding by the insects causes a chlorotic
(yellowed) spot on the upper surface of the needle,
which is helpful in identifying infestations quickly.
There are populations in at least a dozen eastern states,
including New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and
New York, and is found on nursery stock moving from
areas where it is established. There are no regulations on
EHS at either the state (VT) or Federal level, but it
nevertheless represents a threat to the survival of host
species, especially when it occurs in conjunction with
other pests. This pest is manageable in nurseries and
landscapes, but successful control requires scouting and
prompt response. Several chemical insecticides are
labeled for scales on conifers, including horticultural oil,
which is reportedly very effective at controlling crawlers
when they emerge in the growing season. Other
chemicals include imidicloprid (Merit - foliar and
systemic), dinotefuran (Safari), and insect growth
Agency of Agriculture News, Summer 2013
by Tim Schmalz
continued on page 19
Pleasant View Gardens receives record-setting
grant -- Pleasant View Gardens in Loudon, NH has
earned a half-million dollar renewable energy grant to
power its biomass burner efforts, which has drastically
diminished its dependency on oil. This new system has a
potential 85 percent cut in heating costs. The biomass
burner, which is fueled by wood chips, will cut oil use to
zero. For more information, visit www.pwpvg.com.
Educational Resource -- UMass Extension has released
its Massachusetts Nursery Best Management Practices
(BMP) Handbook. To access this, and other helpful
industry information you can visit http://
Emanuel "Manny" Shemin passed away on January 28,
2009. He was 78 years old and suffered from
leukemia. Mr. Shemin is the founder of Shemin
Nurseries, Inc. and was credited with pioneering the
landscape distribution model. Shemin Nurseries now has
30 distribution centers across the United States. Mr.
Shemin also founded an organic seed company in Israel—
Genesis Seeds, Ltd. Donations in Mr. Shemin’s name can
be made to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer
Center Leukemia Program at Johns Hopkins.

Gary Vermeer, founder of Vermeer Corporation,
passed away at age 90 February 2, 2009. Gary and a
cousin started the business in 1948 after inventing a
wagon hoist five years earlier, which made it easier to
unload corn. Demand for the labor-saving device led to
opening Vermeer Manufacturing Company. Vermeer
Manufacturing Company has grown into an international
organization that manufactures agricultural, construction,
environmental and industrial equipment.
Ken Lagerquist -- Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape
Association (RINLA) Executive Director, NENA Past
President, and great green industry friend -- passed away
on March 25, 2009 surrounded by his family. Many of the
VNLA board members and myself got to know Ken over
these last few years at NENA leadership meetings. He
was always quick to say hello, shake your hand, and talk
about the green industry.

Ken founded Evergreen Tree & Landscape, a business he
ran for many years before retiring. Ken was very active in
his town and his church, and was past-president of both
RINLA and NENA. Ken was the beloved Executive
Director of RINLA from 1991 until 2009 and was
(Continued on page 12)
News from Around New England
regulators (Distance – pyrproxifen). Scouting for
crawlers includes the use of yellow sticky cards and
shaking infested branches over Vaseline-covered
surfaces and checking for the tiny crawlers using a hand
lens or microscope. As with hemlock woolly adelgid,
however, once the pest becomes established in the
wild, control options are severely limited, and the best
cure is prevention.
In New Hampshire, EHS has been observed hastening
decline and death of hemlocks where it occurs
simultaneously with hemlock woolly adelgid, and here in
Vermont are concerned that it may already be
established here. Recently, conifers in a managed
landscape were found infested with EHS. Survey
activities to delineate the extent of the problem are
being conducted, and the infestation is being
managed using systemic and contact insecticides. I
should have more news on the Vermont EHS situation
later this summer.
We encourage you to become familiar with this pest
(resources are available online, and I would be happy
to help anyone with questions, of course), and ask you
inspect your hemlocks, spruces, and firs regularly for
evidence of infestation.
Other Pests in the News – Emerald Ash Borer
By now, most of Vermont has heard that emerald ash
borer has been detected in New Hampshire, just outside
of Concord. As a result, all of Merrimack County is
under quarantine, and no ash nursery stock or untreated
ash lumber or wood material is allowed to leave that
county. The New Hampshire Departments of Agriculture
and Forestry are working to delineate the extent of the
EAB infestation right now; hopefully the distribution will
remain limited to a single county. Also, EAB quarantines
have been announced and are being enforced in
Berkshire County Massachusetts, and all of eastern New
York south of the thruway. Ash nursery stock may not be
moved out of quarantine zones under any
circumstances, but movement within and into these
areas is unrestricted. Movement of ash logs, wood, and
hardwood firewood is permitted seasonally and under
special conditions, and I would be happy to talk to
anyone about these criteria if you want to know more
about compliance with this quarantine.
Vermont is again setting traps for EAB this summer, at
somewhat reduced densities than in previous years. You
may see one of the purple box traps in an ash tree near
you. If you have customers with questions about the
pest or the trapping program, you may send them my
way, or to the informational website vtinvasives.org.
Vtinvasives.org is a collaborative effort between
Vermont State agencies, the USDA, UVM, The Nature
Conservancy, and concerned citizens groups, and is a
terrific resource for people with concerns about invasive
pests and plants, or who want to get involved with early
detection and controlling these pests in our
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Hemlock woolly adelgid was confirmed in Bennington
County last summer. This means that hemlock nursery
stock originating in Bennington County is subject to our
hemlock woolly adelgid rule, and may not leave that
county except to enter Windham County, our other
infested county. Hemlock from Windham and
Bennington Counties is also subject to the New
Hampshire HWA rule, which prohibits nursery stock from
infested areas entry into uninfested New Hampshire
Counties. Infested (and thus quarantined) counties in
New Hampshire include Chesire, Carroll, Hillsborough,
Rockingham, Merrimack, Belknap, and Strafford. Details
of the New Hampshire rule and the associated maps are
available at the NH Agriculture website (http://
Other Plant Industry Activities
Last September, two human cases of Eastern Equine
Encephalitis (EEE), resulting in the tragic deaths of the
patients, spurred an aerial application of mosquito
adulticide in Addison and Rutland counties. In an effort
to avoid a repeat of those events this year, this summer
the Agency of Agriculture is expanding and enhancing
our mosquito survey activities in Addison, Rutland, and
Grand Isle counties. We will be trapping mosquitoes
during the months of May – October in the areas where
the mosquito vectors of EEE are known to breed, and
testing these mosquitoes for the presence of the EEE
and West Nile viruses, among others. Hopefully our
efforts will provide ample early warning of the presence
of viruses in the mosquito populations, but the best way
to avoid becoming infected is to avoid being bitten by
a mosquito in the first place. To that end, we are
encouraging everyone to make sure their window
screens are in good repair, wear protective clothing
when mosquitoes are out, and apply insect repellents
regularly to yourself and your family to prevent bites.
Repellents containing the active ingredient DEET are
known to be the most effective.
As in other years, we will be inspecting nurseries and
landscaping operations all summer and into the fall.
Ben Dillner is our new inspector, who will be doing the
majority of the field work until he leaves us this fall to start
his studies at Cornell. We are looking forward to his help.
Of course, the rest of the Plant Industry Section staff will
be around all summer as well, to help you with plant
pest inquiries and related matters. As always, please
feel free to email or call us with your comments,
concerns, or complaints, and we’ll do our best to help.
Hope to see you in the field, and have a productive and
profitable summer!
continued from page 17
Since flooding seems to be the new normal these days
(and we hope not to see the likes of Hurricane Irene again
anytime soon!) we thought we would share this article
about repairing flood damaged landscapes. While this
article is geared toward the homeowner, there is some
valuable information and tips.
When thousands of acres of normally dry land were
inundated following Tropical Storm Irene, so were the lawns,
trees and gardens growing there. Some landscapes were
swept away for good along with other devastating
property losses. In better news: most plants left standing will
survive temporary flooding.
For those with a home lawn in a flood plain or next to a
waterway, removal of as much sediment and silt was job
one after Tropical Storm Irene. After this “river frosting” was
removed, the next phase is lawn restoration, either this fall—
if there is still time before winter sets in—or early next spring.
Damaged lawns can be separated into two main
categories, ranging from a complete reinstallation with
truck loads of loam, to basic turf treatments like core
aeration, calcium lime, and fertilizer. The more extensive the
flooding and sediment layer, the more likely loam will need
to be brought in, spread out with a tractor, seeded, and
then rolled. Any seeding, possibly this fall, will pay dividends
with quicker grass thickening versus having to wait for the
soil to warm up and dry out next spring.
In many cases, a complete lawn renovation may well be
the best choice compared to trying to patch up or fix
thinned out or dead sections of lawn. Attempting to match
any existing grasses can leave a calico appearance to a
lawn, while starting over allows more desirable blends to be
utilized, yielding a more consistent turf cover. Before
proceeding with a complete restoration it may also be the
opportune time to decide how much lawn you really want
in your planted landscape—do you love it and like the
maintenance chores, or do you dream of creating other
outdoor living spaces with patios, walkways, and gardens
with native flowers, shrubs and trees? Only you can answer
the questions that Irene has raised.
The second type of lawn repair would be a partial
renovation where perhaps the back or front was buried in
silt, or another area simply became either submerged in
water or soaked by heavy rain. Given the massive amount
of rainfall during the storm, many soils, particularly sandy
ones, will have lost significant nutrient value and will require
supplemental treatment of nitrogen and potassium. In this
scenario, a normal lawn would do well to receive a
balanced, low to zero phosphate, slow release fertilizer
treatment to aid in improving turf health this autumn.
Any energy stored by the sprouting grass in late October
and November will be used to repair and establish a
healthy root system prior to winter, resulting in a better
spring green up. A high calcium lime treatment will aid in
softening the soil itself while adjusting soil pH into a
desirable range for the new and existing turf. Core aeration
is an excellent tool to reduce compacted soil, perhaps
even those with some remaining sediment as a coating on
the surface of the lawn. These situations can be further
improved by over seeding once the lawn is aerated with a
superior blend of turf grass. See ‘Winterizer’ blog post at
Most lawns can be seeded well into late October and still
have some germination prior to winter in a normal growing
season. Although you will not see a whole lot going on,
taking the shot now is still normally worth the gamble of an
early snow. I have seen great lawns emerge in the spring
from a late seeding and in the case of this catastrophe, I
think the ‘doing’ outweighs the ‘waiting’ in most cases.
Trees, Including Shrubs and other Landscape
Flooding can harm trees in several ways:
! Undermining root systems by washing away the soil

Depriving roots of oxygen by soil saturation

Depriving roots of oxygen by depositing sediment

Carrying toxic contaminants

Causing stem wounds from fast moving debris
What Should You Do?
1] Determine whether the tree has become hazardous.
Trees with seriously undermined roots are at risk of blowing
over in future storms. If their location puts people or
property at risk, they should be removed. Trees with
significant trunk or root collar injuries should also be
evaluated for hazard, since the point of injury will become
a weak spot as the wood underneath decays.
2] Restore original soil conditions. Gently remove excess
soil deposits over the roots, which extend about as far from
the trunk as the branches. Cover newly exposed roots, but
don’t overdo it. A thin covering of soil and/or 2-4" of mulch
is enough.
3] Remove dirt from leaves and branches. Releasing mud-
caked branches gives them a better chance of recovery.
Although a thin coating of dirt is unlikely to affect
deciduous trees whose leaves will soon be completely
shed, conifers may benefit if dirt is hosed off.
4] Prune broken branches. Those branches broken by water
or wind should be pruned to minimize bark tearing and
tips for Restoring Your Flood-Damaged Landscape
courtesy of Chippers, Inc.
continued to page 21
future decay.
5] Small uprooted trees can be reset if their roots have not
dried out. Keep trees watered through the fall, as if they
were newly planted trees, right up until the ground freezes.
6] Wait. Don’t rush to conclusions unless trees are
hazardous to people or property. Some trees will decline
over several years but many will recover.
Although landscapes may rate low on the scale of post-
Irene reconstruction compared to bridges, roads, or house
repairs, ultimately the job will arise and when it does, doing
it right makes more sense for the long term.
This article first appeared in Green Works member Chippers
newsletter Green Words and is reprinted with their
permission. You can visit them at www.chippersinc.com.
Some of the above excerpted from ‘How Does Late
Summer Flooding Affect Trees’ by VT Forest Health,
courtesy of the VT Department of Forest, Parks and
continued from page 20
July 13-16, 2013
OFA Short Course
Greater Columbus Convention Center
Columbus, OH
July 21-27, 2013
Perennial Plant Symposium
Vancouver, British Columbia
July 25, 2013
Massachusetts Nursery & Landscape Association
Summer Conference @Tower Hill Botanic Garden
August 14-15, 2013
Griffin Grower Expo - Massachusetts
Eastern States Expo Center
West Springfield, MA
August 15, 2013
Green Works Summer Twilight
Arcana Gardens & Greenhouses Tour
August 20, 2013
Green Work Summer Meeting & Trade Show
Shelburne Farms
Shelburne, VT
September 16, 2013
Montreal Botanic Gardens Tour
sponsored by Green Works & UVM Extension
Contact: leonard.perry@uvm.edu
Industry Calendar
The Green Works Summer Meeting and Trade Show is
coming up on August 20, 2013. We will be returning to
Shelburne Farms for what we hope will be a gorgeous
sunny day!
Mark your calendars
because you don’t want to
miss Bill Cullina. Bill is the
Executive Director at the
Coastal Maine Botanical
Gardens located in
Boothbay, Maine. The
Coastal Maine Botanical
Gardens are one of North
America's newest and most
exciting public gardens. Bill
is also a well known author
and recognized authority on
North American native plants,
Bill lectures on a variety of
subjects to garden and
professional groups and writes for popular and technical
journals. His books include, Wildflowers, Native Trees, Shrubs,
and Vines, Understanding Orchids, Native Ferns, Mosses,
and Grasses, and most recently, Understanding Perennials,
published in 2009. He and his wife, Melissa live with their
three young children along the central Maine Coast.
Bill will be doing two presentations. His first talk, “Sugar, Sex,
and Poison: Shocking Plant Secrets Caught on Camera” will
show how this world of pollen, poisons, pigments,
pheromones, sugars and sex translates to sound organic
practices we all can benefit from. His second presentation,
“50 (OK, fifty-nine, but who’s counting) Great Natives for the
Northeast”, Bill will profile 50 or so of his favorite native
wildflowers, ferns, trees, shrubs, and vines for gardens in the
Northeast. We are most excited to have Bill join us as our
keynote speaker at the Summer Meeting.
Other features of the day: our annual summer meeting
live auction (please considering donating an item for the
cause!). Ann Hazelrigg will have an afternoon session to
catch everyone up on pests and disease issues this season,
to name a few happenings. Complete details will be
announced soon! Registration will be in the mail in mid-
July and also available on-line.
Also, please note there will be a special membership
meeting to discuss a cost of living increase with regard to
membership dues. It was agreed on by the membership
during the 2013 Green Works business meeting, held at the
Annual Winter Meeting and Trade Show on February 13,
2013, that the membership would review a membership
dues increase annually.
We hope to see many of you at the Summer Meeting and
bring a friend!
Green Works - Summer Meeting
Returns to Shelburne Farms
Bill Cullina, Coastal Maine
Botanical Gardens Executive
PO Box 92
North Ferrisburgh, VT 05473
visit us at www.greenworksvermont.org
Celebrating 20 Years of Organic Growing !
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