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Summer Issue 2016, Volume 42, Issue 2

The Rotary Botanic Garden page 5

Bartlett Tree Experts
Ed Burke 184 Tamarack Rd BUDGET AND FINANCE
Rocky Dale Gardens Charlotte, VT 05445 COMMITTEE CHAIR
806 Rocky Dale Road 802.296.1797 Nate Carr - Church Hill Landscapes, Inc.
Bristol, VT 05443 802.425.5222
Vermont Technical College Ed Burke - Rocky Dale Gardens
VICE-PRESIDENT PO Box 500 802.453.2782
Randolph Center, VT 05061
Hannah Decker 802.728.1207 LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE CHAIR
Fairfax Perennial Farm, Inc. Shannon Lee - Sisters of Nature
7 Blackberry Hill Road 802.825.1851
Fairfax, VT 05454 Shannon Lee
802.849.2775 Sisters of Nature MARKETING & EDUCATION 135 Phyllis Lane COMMITTEE CHAIR
SECRETARY/TREASURER Waterville, VT 05492 Ed Burke - Rocky Dale Gardens
802.825.1851 802.453.2782
Nate Carr
287 Church Hill Road Ashley Robinson VJ Comai - Bartlett Tree Experts
Charlotte, VT 05445 Ashley Robinson Landscape Designer 802.425.6222
802.425.5222 PO Box 28 Charlotte, VT 05445 PROGRAM COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRS
802.922.1924 VJ Comai - Bartlett Tree Experts
DIRECTORS 802.425.6222
Ashley Robinson - Ashley Robinson
David Burton Landscape Designer
Ginkgo Design, LLC ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY 802.922.1924
22 Pearl Street
Essex Junction, VT 05452 Kristina MacKulin RESEARCH & AWARDS
802.857.5104 Green Works/VNLA COMMITTEE CHAIR P.O. Box 92 VJ Comai - Bartlett Tree Experts
N. Ferrisburgh, VT 05473 802.296.1797
Carrie Chalmers
Toll Free: 888.518.6484
Carrie Chalmers Design
P: 802.425.5117; F: 802.425.5122 VERMONT CERTIFIED HORTICULTURIST
239 Lawrence Hill Road COMMITTEE
Weston, VT 05161 Nate Carr - Church Hill Landscapes, Inc.
802.375.5930 802.425.5222

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PRESIDENT’S LETTER Ed Burke, Rocky Dale Gardens

Keeping Up

As I write this, we are getting some badly needed rain in the form of
a brief but heavy thunderstorm. I’ll take it! The lack of snow cover this
past winter, (and snow melt this past spring) and the modest rainfall
so far this season has created dry conditions that most of us are not inside this
used to. One of the most difficult but important jobs for us is to make
sure our customers water their new plantings. And not only this year’s issue
new plantings, but also those installed over the last couple of years.
Young plants do not have established root systems and depend on
surface water unlike established plants that have deeper root
systems. Get this point across to your customers through an email
newsletter, a phone call, a note or a conversation. The success of your work depends on it! Board of Directors 2
Even with the lack of rain, it’s been a bumper year for weeds and I’ve noticed a high The President’s Letter 3
demand for landscape and garden maintenance. While not the sexiest part of our
profession, maintenance is an important component of a successful landscape or garden The Buzz 4
installation and will assure that the vision we have for our projects will be achieved.
Green Works
Maintenance is an undervalued service in our industry. Just today I had a customer complain Summer Meeting
about the “outrageous” cost of maintenance and that any 3rd grader could pull weeds! The History of the
Before I could set him straight, he kind of laughed, he was half joking, but in him I see the Rotary Botanic
many people who want professional services but aren’t happy paying a professional price. In Gardens
that instance, many customers hire untrained individuals or companies to do the work and
Calendar of Events
the result will often be a tidy looking but unsuccessful landscape. Naturally vase-shaped
shrubs will be pruned into rounded or oval shapes, perennial plantings will have buckets of Vermont Tree
mulch between each plant, mulch volcanoes will surround trees, and, well… you get the Steward Awards

How many of us have installed a landscape only to go back in a few years and see that it News from the U! 9
doesn’t look anything like what we had envisioned? Who did the pruning? Who didn’t prune?
Even installing “low maintenance” landscapes will take maintenance and guidance to get The Lab 11
established, and they will take the right kind of maintenance and guidance. When you sell Observations from
your design and installation, do you sell a maintenance agreement that will assure the
UVM Diag. Lab
installation develops to its full potential? Do you have a contractor you work with who is
excellent at maintenance and understands your design intent and good horticultural News from the
practices? While we all enjoy designing and creating new spaces, there is important work in Agency of Ag
on-going horticultural services and I believe there is a lot of opportunity for our members here.
The Idea Factory 18
Speaking of maintenance… the summer meeting is at my place this year, Rocky Dale
Gardens. I have about 5 weeks to get the place spiffed up and as usual, I’m too busy taking Strictly Business 20
care of other people’s gardens, (and I couldn’t find any 3rd graders to help me out!). Check out the VT
Regardless, it will be a great day and I hope you can carve out time to attend on August 24th.
Small Business
Our keynote speaker, Mark Dwyer, is the Director of Horticulture at the Rotary Gardens in
Wisconsin. Mark has helped transform a sand and gravel quarry into a fabulous 20-acre Development
botanical garden. As you’ll read in this issue of The Dirt, it’s an impressive achievement! I Center
heard Mark speak last year at New England Grows and found him to be an excellent
plantsman! You’re sure to come away with some new ideas! The Plant Lounge 22

And speaking of opportunity…summer is short; take a break! Between now and the summer
meeting, I hope you have time to enjoy some fun and get all your work accomplished! For
most of us, the Fourth of July marks a turning point in the season and even though you’re
super busy, it’s good to reflect on how the year is going, and how you’re feeling and what
you might do differently next season. Do this with a cold beer or iced tea or while kayaking or
hiking. We need to take care of ourselves to be able to take care of everyone else. As a flight
attendant advises before take off, “put your oxygen mask on before assisting others”!

See you soon! Cover Photo:
Rotary Botanical Gardens


the low down on what’s up!

Green Works
Summer Meeting and Trade Show

The Summer Meeting is fast approaching! We will
MARCH 1–3, 2017
gather on August 24 at Rocky Dale Gardens in Bristol
for a day of catching up with colleagues, some great Become a Sponsor for the
presentations, good food, and garden tours. 2017 Vermont Flower Show!
In its 18th year!
Look for Exhibitor
Registration forms in late August!
Neverland truly is where dreams are born at the 2017
Our keynote speaker is Mark Dwyer. Mark has been Vermont Flower Show!  Join us for three days as spring
the Director of Horticulture at Rotary Botanical comes to life thanks to hundreds of volunteers working
together to build a spectacular 12,000 square foot
Gardens (Janesville, WI) for the past 18 years. Mark New expanded floor plan!
landscape indoors.  This year’s Grand Garden Display offers
the world of Peter Pan as inspiration for a magical garden
manages the continued maintenance, improvement journey.  Gardeners and non-gardeners alike are drawn
to the show for inspiration, education and a break from
and development of this 20 acre garden along with the long cold winter. Our biennial event, in its 18th year,

hundreds of dedicated volunteers and a talented attracted over 10,000 attendees in 2015.
2015 Grand Garden Display
BECOME A SPONSOR of the 2017 Vermont Flower Show!
grounds staff. The history of the Rotary Botanical This is a unique opportunity to showcase your business to attendees from all over Vermont, New York, Canada, and beyond.

Gardens is a fascinating story, which you can read Show features include the Grand Garden Display, over 40 seminars and workshops to attend, over 100 exhibitors

about on page 5. Participate in the Green Works
displaying their wares and services; VT Specialty food and product vendors; a Family Room with hands-on activities
and entertainment; experts on hand to answer horticultural questions, a local bookstore, cooking from the garden
demonstrations, VT Garden Railway Society and VT Federated Garden Clubs displays. The Vermont Flower Show is an event

Mark is a member of many plant societies and 2016 Industry Awards Program
attendees spend the entire day at.

The Vermont Flower Show is produced by Green Works – the Vermont Nursery and Landscape Association.
organizations and enjoys both presenting and writing Established in 1964, Green Works is a non-profit professional association representing Vermont’s green industry
about a wide range of horticultural topics. He professionals. Our mission is to support and strengthen the horticulture industry in Vermont by creating greater
awareness of the benefits of landscaping and promoting the professional services and products of our members to
previously worked as a horticulturist at Fernwood the public. Green Works is committed to being an information resource for our members and the public.

Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve in Niles, MI and
888.518.6484 / p: 802.425.5117 / f: 802.425.5122
was a landscape designer in Appleton, Wisconsin for /

many years.

Mark’s true passion is obtaining, growing, observing
and photographing all types of plants. He continues
to do landscape design both at work and
independently and enjoys exploring endless plant
combinations and the benefits they provide for
people, wildlife and the environment. Mark has done
an “almost daily” gardening blog (found at for over 8 years
which has seen over 500,000 hits. Scope out your projects and
Mark will be giving two presentations at the summer
take lots of photos this season!
meeting: “New and Exciting Plants and Displays” and
“The Innovative Management and Development of
the Rotary Botanical Garden”. We feel lucky to have Entry forms will be available in August!
Mark join us in August and hope you will too!

The History of the Rotary Department of Natural Resources helped with the pond.
Wooden benches were installed to provide resting spots
Botanical Gardens at the water’s edge and along the walkways, and brick
paths were created that are marked with the names of
people who made financial contributions.
Rotary Botanical Gardens is a non-profit, award-winning Structures completed in 2002 as result of a $3.2 million
botanical showcase, located on 20-acres in the heart of campaign included: a new horticultural building and the
Janesville, Wisconsin. Their awe-inspiring landscapes and Parker Visitor/Educational Center (an expansion of the
gardens are a vibrant and welcoming host to an Rath Environmental Center) with meeting rooms,
estimated 100,000 visitors each year. Supported solely by educational classrooms and a gift shop.
donations, the Gardens receive no tax dollars.
With the help of local
The Gardens occupy the site Rotarians, countless
of an abandoned sand and volunteers, supporters
gravel quarry on Palmer Drive. and the City of
In 1988, the original site Janesville, Rotary
between Lions Beach and Botanical Gardens has
Kiwanis Pond was covered become a botanical
with debris and used as treasure enjoyed by
storage for the Parks both the community
Department and a BMX and visitors from around
bicycle racetrack. The the country and the
Gardens’ founder and original world. It has grown into
visionary, retired orthodontist a retreat which offers
Dr. Robert Yahr, approached peace, beauty and
the two Rotary Clubs in serenity, but also serves
Janesville and inquired about as a prime destination
their interest in developing a for educational
botanical garden for the programs, family-friendly
community to enjoy. Both events, weddings and
clubs agreed to this service community gatherings.
project. Dr. Yahr’s original idea was to clean up the pond
and surrounding area as a club project, but his About Dr. Robert Yahr
imagination began to soar and the result was an
ambitious new project for Janesville Rotarians. Dr. Robert Yahr was dogged in his dream to create an
internationally-themed botanical garden and
The clubs began with a 10-year plan to clean up the orchestrated unique collaborations with local Rotary and
grounds, create gardens with international themes, service clubs, the City of Janesville, businesses, labor
convert an old brick structure to a visitors’ center, improve unions, citizens and private donors to make it a reality.
the area across the road from the proposed gardens, Now in his 80s, Dr. Yahr maintains an emeritus position on
and develop and beautify the Ice Age Trail. On May 2, the Board of Directors and strolls through the Gardens on
1988, the City of Janesville agreed to lease what is now a a daily basis.
20-acre site to the Janesville Rotary Foundation at no
charge for a period of 99 years. Rotarians began their Did You Know...?
work at the site with a massive cleanup effort, removing
tons of broken glass, rusty barrels, old tires, concrete slabs, • Originally there was no dirt in the Gardens, it was
rusty cyclone fencing and underbrush. With the nearly 100% sand and gravel. Over 15,000 yards
cooperative efforts of volunteers and the expertise of (800 truckloads) of topsoil had to be hauled during
engineers, contractors and carpenters, the project the course of this and the following year.
moved ahead. Jobs Bank workers from General Motors • During 1989 intense planning, structural
began renovation of the dilapidated brick building, first improvements, cleanup and landscaping were
fortifying the foundation, and then gutting the interior. carried out. It was also the year that the Japanese
Duane Rath donated $160,000 for the complete bridge was constructed.
renovation. The refurbished structure, the Rath • In 1990, a group of volunteers affectionately
Environmental Center, housed a meeting room, library, referred to as “The Grumpies” (from the movie
solarium, workshop and second floor administrative Grumpy Old Men) was formed. The purpose of the
offices. group was to provide volunteer labor in the
Gardens on a scheduled rather than random
The Wisconsin Conservation Corps provided assistance basis. The original four members were Dr. Robert
with the development of the gardens, and the Wisconsin Yahr, Dr. Dick Sholl, Norm Carle and Bob Duckert.

The “Grumpies” are still an incredibly active • The Gardens announced it would become an All-
volunteer group and continue to meet every America Selections display garden in 2002. The
week, year-round. The number of “Grumpies” has Gardens has since been awarded first-place in
grown sizably, and is inclusive of men and women the All-America Selections landscape design
of all ages. contest in 2012 and 2013.
• In 1991, the Gardens •Another Vern O.
welcomed 17,000 Shaffer sculpture,
visitors, installed the “Biota”, was moved
first signage, placed from the former Rath
the first memorial headquarters to the
bricks and positioned Gardens in 2006 and
the bronze sculpture now sits in the southeast
created by Vern O. corner.
Shafer named •In 2007, the terrace
“Dialogue” in 1991. was built and the
• Volunteers garden area behind the
reconstructed an terrace was designated
ornate arch in 1992 and is now known as
that was donated by the Nancy Yahr
the Rock County Memorial Children’s
Historical Society. It Garden. Themes for this
was the original popular garden
(1919) frame to the change every two
entrance of the years.
Parker Pen •Rotary Botanical
Company’s Janesville Gardens celebrated its
Headquarters and is 20th Anniversary on
now the entrance August 5, 2009 with free
leading from the admission, guided tours
Reception Garden and refreshments.
into the Sunken • In 2010, the North Point
Garden. Garden, providing a
• The Japanese picturesque view of the
Garden was formally pond was added.
dedicated in 1992. It •The Holiday Light Show
has since been welcomed over 13,000
named one of the visitors in both 2012 and
top 25 Japanese 2013.
gardens in North •Rotary Botanical
America. Gardens earned Travel
• In 1993, the Gardens Green Wisconsin
became an certification from the
independent 501(c) Wisconsin Department
(3) not-for-profit of Tourism in 2013.
organization with a
volunteer board of directors. Rotary Botanical • QR Code signage was placed in the Gardens
Gardens is self-funded, and does not receive any during the summer of 2013 to provide guests with
city, state or federal funding. It relies solely upon a technological interactive experience. Smart
the generosity of its Friends members, admissions, phone users are able to access information
special events, and corporate partnerships. regarding wedding gardens, volunteer
• In 1995, the Shade, Rhododendron, Azalea and opportunities, link to the Gardens’ Facebook
Scottish Gardens were developed. page and more.
• The fundraising event now known as the Garden • 2014 marks the 25th Anniversary of Rotary
Gala (formerly the Dinner Dance) was held for the Botanical Gardens. The anniversary will be
first time in 1996. The event raised $17,000 for commemorated with “free days” on the 25th of
continued garden development. every month during admission season, a
• In 1997, the first-ever Holiday Light Show event Founder’s Dinner to honor Dr. Yahr and other
took place. At that time it was named Winter surprises along the way.
Wonderland and featured 15,000 lights. It now
boasts over 330,000 twinkling lights.
August 1-5, 2016 September 12, 2016 October 11, 2016
34th Perennial Plant Symposium Montreal Botanic Garden & Chinese Connecticut Invasive Plant Working
Minneapolis, MN Lantern Tour w/Leonard Perry Group Symposium UCONN< Storrs, CT
August 8, 2016 September 14, 2016
Northern VT Perennial Garden Tour Eco-Tour: Sustainable Eco-Systems for November 9-10, 2016
w/Leonard Perry Wildlife Northeast Greenhouse Conference Cambridge, MA & Expo Holiday Inn
August 12-14, 2016 Boxborough, MA
NOFA Summer Conference September 20, 2016
Amherst, MA WEBINAR: Reawaking Large Landscapes-
November 30 - December 2, 2016
www. Activating the Space
New England Grows
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
August 13-17, 2016
Boston, MA
ISA Annual International Conference &
September 23, 2016
Trade Show
Fort Worth, TX Perennial Inspirations & Concepts
March 3-5, 2017 Northeastern Regional Symposium
Vermont Flower Show
Mass Hort Center
Wellesley, MA
August 24, 2016 Essex Junction, VT
Green Works/VNLA Summer Meeting
Rocky Dale Gardens September 29, 2016
Bristol, VT MA Green Careers Conference Worcester, MA

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Call for a catalog or stop by for a visit.

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phone/fax: 802- 453-3889 / e-mail:

Vermont Tree Steward
Award Recipients

The Vermont Urban and Community Forestry
Program awarded their annual Tree Steward
Awards on May 6, 2016 at the VT Arbor Day
Conference held in Montpelier. We were
proud to be a sponsor of that event and two
of our members received an award!

Congratulations to VJ Comai and Marie
Ambusk for being Vermont Tree Stewards!

“I am pleased to nominate VJ Comai. VJ has
worked in the horticulture industry, upon
graduating from UVM, for the past 20+years.
During most of those years, VJ has operated South
Forty Nursery in Charlotte, VT - a wholesale nursery
- where he has cultivated Vermont grown trees
and shrubs for the landscaping industry. One year
ago VJ took a full-time position with Bartlett Tree
Experts. This position specifically focuses on tree
care for customers throughout the State of
Vermont, as well as managing a crew on the

VJ is the past-president of the VT Nursery &
Landscape Association and remains on the board
of directors. This is his second stint at serving on
this board and has been very active in the
Association the past 20 years. VJ has spent many
hours promoting tree care to the public by giving
“The end of 2016 will mark the 10th year the project pruning workshops and working with the VT Urban
& Community Forest Department in their tree care
TREEage has been led by Marie in the City of S. Burlington.
initiatives. He offers his time and expertise over
Marie started TREEage with the goal of promoting best
and over again both to the general public and
practices for urban and community trees. Under her professionals in his field”.
guidance, they have performed training and structural
pruning on young trees, excavated, inspected, and - Kristina MacKulin, Green Works/VNLA
corrected stem girdling root defects, conducted surveys for
invasive forest pests, and helped host Arbor Day programs.
In 2008, she championed the establishment of the TREEage
Community Tree Nursery, where trees have been
transplanted from the nursery to the streets. Even though
she is no longer a resident of S. Burlington, Marie continues
to volunteer her time and considerable energy to promote
the health and vitality of the city’s urban forest”.

- Craig Lambert, S. Burlington City Arborist

by Dr. Leonard Perry

After a 35 year run at UVM in the Bradshaw). My new online course
on Herb Growing, Design and Use,
the services component to our
industry. Our previous surveys,
Department of Plant and Soil even though not part of the funded by our state and regional
Science, and with UVM Extension, Summer Institute, had sufficient associations, showed that services
this chapter of my career has students (12) and is running. (tree, landscape, other) contribute
ended with my June 30 “official” about 3/4 of our industry income.
retirement, and title change. Yet as We can’t tell our story enough on As long as consumers get the value
I’ve mentioned previously in this the importance of our industry—the of our industry, perhaps this is the
column I’ll continue much of what I Green Industry or Environmental main group that in the end counts.
am doing now, only just under the Horticulture—enough, at least to
Plant and Soil Science department policy makers. Over my 3.5 In May, two from our department
(my online teaching, website decades in Vermont, I’ve often were honored with awards from the
including monthly articles, and seen a lack of acknowledgement college (CALS). Professor Emeritus
Across the Fence). And I’ll continue of this field here, particularly as a Norman Pellett received the Sinclair
working with your association (one funding priority. A great example Cup Award . The Sinclair Cup
activity being continuing my was at a recent University reception Award honors dean emeritus and
column only under a new title), field and dinner, where more than one distinguished alumnus, Robert O.
testing perennials for hardiness, speaker (scientists who should be in Sinclair. Dr. Sinclair’s exemplary
coordinating the Northeast command of facts) touted that the career spanned more than four
Greenhouse Conference, serving as three main ag crops in Vermont decades of outstanding service to
Horticulturist in Residence at the were dairy, maple, and apples. UVM Extension (1944-1953) and the
King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga, College of Agriculture and Life
and other activities under my new The agriculture reality, according to Sciences (1953-1987). This award is a
Green Mountain Horticulture LLC. the latest USDA figures available means of recognizing those
You can still reach me at the same online for Vermont from the 2012 individuals who, like Dr. Sinclair,
email (, or Census, shows as percent of total served CALS and/or UVM Extension
new phone and address sales: milk from cows (65.1%), other with distinction as a member of the
(802-318-8453, PO Box 735 Milton VT crops and hay (11.4%), cattle and faculty or staff for a major portion of
05468). calves (8.0%), grains and related their professional career.  
(3.4%), and nursery/greenhouse
On summer teaching, now that (3.3%). Next was vegetables and The second CALS award went to
UVM courses (at least in CALS) are related (2.7%), and fruits/nuts/ Terry Bradshaw, current manager of
determined whether they’ll run berries (1.7%). Add the three the Horticulture Research and
based on bottom-line budgeting horticulture categories, and the Education Center (aka Hort Farm),
under the new IBB Budget model production value is 7.7% or $60.3 and Research Associate in PSS. He
and extensive formulas, with only 5 million, close to the cattle teaches, helps direct the
students my summer online production. Catamount Farm, and conducts
Perennial Garden Design course research (primarily on apples and
was cancelled by the college, as While not part of the Ag statistics cider production). The New
was Hydroponics (1 student, census, USDA maple production for Achiever Alumni Award recognizes
Armstrong). Yet other courses that VT in 2014 was shown by the USDA and honors individuals who earned
only had 5 or less students AND at $44.5 million, which would put it an undergraduate or graduate
were part of the Summer Institute fourth after cattle ($61.9 million), or degree in the last 15 years
geared to Ecological Agriculture fifth if compared to the combined (2001-2015) from a program
majors did run. These included horticulture categories. Actual 2012 currently or formerly affiliated with
Composting Ecology (3 students, USDA value of production for the College of Agriculture and Life
Herlihy), Permaculture (1, Morris), apples in VT (as part of the fruits and Sciences. Terry earned all three
Soil Science (11, Gorres), berries category) was $10.4million, degrees—BS, MS, and PhD last year
Sustainable Farm Practicum (3, which puts it under half that of from our department.
Bradshaw), Advanced Agroecology nursery/greenhouse production.
(4, Mendez), and Sustainable And, of course, these are purely Once again, thanks to support from
Orchard Management (1, production figures, and don’t count Green Works and assistance from

Burlington Parks and Recreation, we track mentioned in the last Dirt, as
have the All-America Selections well as the keynote (Kate Santos,
display garden at Burlington’s Operations Director for the global
Waterfront Park. This year’s list of 75 Dummen Orange), there are quite
varieties and some photos will be a few presentations for pest credits. Join Dr. Perry on his
posted online, along with those A few include: Upcoming Green Works
from past years (
aaswp.html). As in the past, only • Thrips Tips, Pot Drips, Mite Blips, Sponsored Tours:
about one quarter of the varieties and Neonic Hits: Management
are All-America Selections winners, Matters from 2016 – Dan
another quarter thanks to D.S. Cole Gilrein, Cornell Univ.
August 8, 2016
Growers, the other half being • Alternatives to Neonicotinoids
mainly new varieties for this coming – Carlos Bográn, OHP, Inc.; Northern VT Perennial
year from the Proven Winners and • Being a Plant Diagnostic Garden Tour
Selections Program of Pleasant Detective – Brian Whipker,
View Gardens. This year among the North Carolina State Univ. September 12, 2016
list we have several cannas, several • What’s New and How do We
Montreal Botanic Garden &
Colocasia, quite a few petunias Stop It: Disease Management
and Calibrachoa. A couple others on Flowers and Herbs in the Chinese Lantern Tour
that stood out at the start from DS Greenhouse – Margery
Cole was Pennisetum ‘Black Daughtrey, Cornell Univ. for complete details visit
Stockings’, and a couple Verbena
from Pleasant View—Royale
Peachy Keen (peach) and Royale If you’re involved with greenhouses,
Romance (dark red). As in the past garden retailing, perennials or
I’ll take performance data and garden design, do check out the
ratings, and post these on my program. I hope to see you there,
website the end of summer. as well as at the Green Works
annual summer meeting.
We had a great bus tour sponsored
by Green Works in May to several
greenhouses of the Connecticut
Valley of Vermont. It is good we
only had 36 for the day, as we filled
the bus. As of this writing there are
still seats for the Green Works August
tour to three nurseries/greenhouses
in northern Vermont, and only a few
seats left for the day trip in
September to Montreal. Details
can be found on

As noted in the last newsletter, the
Northeast Greenhouse Conference
will be held this fall at a new
location—the Holiday Inn in
Boxborough (MA) November 9-10,
2016. As you read this the program
should be getting printed, and
maybe online (
In addition to the day perennial
The May 23 Greenhouse Shopping Tour to member businesses.

putting it under the lens . . .

Observations from the UVM unlike fungi. Fire blight often results in cankers where the
bacteria can overwinter. Although we still have “fire
Plant Diagnostic Lab blight” weather throughout the summer, the disease
attacks the succulent new growth, hence it is a disease
Ann Hazelrigg, PhD. seen primarily in the spring. Over fertilization can
increase the amount of succulent new growth so avoid
We have had a little bit of every kind of weather this over fertilizing susceptible plants. The best control is to
spring, so all the pathogens out there been exposed to watch susceptible plants in the spring (typically late
conducive weather for the specific disease they cause! May/early June) and prune out any “strikes” (blighted
tissue that looks like it has been hit by fire) below the
The earlier warm wet weather has resulted in a fair damage. These should be taken out of the orchard or
amount of fire blight, at least in Chittenden county
landscape and disposed. Between pruning cuts, be sure
orchards. This bacterial disease attacks the new
to surface sterilize shears with alcohol or bleach so you
succulent shoots causing the blighted shoots to curl over
into a characteristic hook or “Shepard’s crook”. I saw do not introduce the bacteria into your next pruning cut.
some new infections that were even showing the Anthracnose damage is just showing up in susceptible
diagnostic amber-colored droplets of ooze of the
trees (maple, ash, oak and sycamore). This fungus
bacteria on the tissue, a sure sign of the bacterial
disease likes cool wet weather and attacks early in the
disease. If you looked at those droplets of ooze under
the microscope they would be teeming with very small spring. I saw it on a red maple that had brown blighting
bacteria. Most of the time when looking for the disease on new foliage. This browning often follows the leaf veins
you will see the Shepard’s crooks but the bacterial since it stays wetter there than on the flatter surface of
droplets have dried up and are no longer evident. the leaf.

The pathogen attacks anything in the rose family, so the By the time you see the disease, there is not much to do
disease can be a problem on hawthorns, mountain ash, about it, plus it really will not cause that much damage.
pears, raspberries, cotoneasters, apples and quince. Several years ago, maples in Burlington were hit hard
Open blossoms are very susceptible and often are with the disease and many lost a lot of foliage, but new
infected with the bacteria carried by pollinating bees. leaves came out later and all was fine. Anthracnose on
Any sort of injury such as hail, can also provide sycamores can be more destructive, causing cankers
vulnerable sites for infection since bacterial diseases and dieback that can result in abnormal branching of
need natural openings or wounds to get into the tissue, the tree.

Orange rust on black raspberries has been a common
complaint this year. This is a destructive fungus disease
that shows up as bright orange spore pustules on the leaf Control the insect by squishing caterpillars inside or
undersides. If you are a plant pathologist, it is beautiful! It removing cupped leaves and destroying. Once inside, it
does not attack red raspberries. Once infected, it is is difficult to spray but Dipel (Bacillus thuringiensis) would

OMFRA, Canada

systemic in the plant and cannot be controlled.
Although the disease rarely kills plants, it will causing
stunting and lack of fruit. Plants should be destroyed.

Hydrangea leaf tier is evident in hydrangeas. This
caterpillar ties together 3-4 leaves with silk and feeds
inside. There can be several tied up leaves on one

Viburnum is showing damage from the snowball aphid,
which also results in curled/twisted leaves from their
feeding. They typically don’t cause that much damage,
but could be controlled with horticultural oil or
insecticidal soap.

Also seeing the shredding damage from viburnum leaf
beetle. The larvae cause this leaf damage, then drop to
the ground to pupate, followed by the feeding adults in
July. With a just few years in a row of this unchecked
feeding, plants can die. Check http:// for
management and pictures of adults and egg-laying sites
that should be removed in the fall.

As always, we are here to help so if you have a picture
of an unknown problem send to, call at 656-0493 or send or drop
off a sample to Plant Diagnostic Clinic, Jeffords Hall, 63
Carrigan Drive, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405.

Your Landscaping Resource

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472 Marshall Avenue, Williston, Vermont

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Phone: 802-658-2433 • Fax: 802-860-2936 • E-mail:

1177_Dirt_Mar16v4.indd 1 13 3/28/16 9:24 AM
News from the Agency of providing recommendations for actions Vermont can
undertake to help conserve and protect our pollinators.
Agriculture, Spring 2016 Wild animals and insects are included in the definition
of pollinators (bats, birds and other insects or wildlife
Tim Schmalz, VT State Pathologist that pollinate flowering plants), so the committee’s
charge is not limited to evaluating impacts to and
Pest Observations protection of honeybees (‘managed pollinators’). The
committee is to be assembled on or before September
It is mid-June as I write this, and in spite of the weird 1 by the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets,
cold weather this spring, pests have been emerging and will comprise representatives from a variety of
across Vermont, as expected. Reports of eastern tent sectors, including the nursery and landscaping industry,
caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) and forest tent beekeepers, vegetable and fruit growers, pesticide
caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) feeding and applicators, universities, dairy farmers, pollinator
defoliation have been coming in. Eastern tent is the advocacy interests, as well as the Agency of
one that forms webs and messy tents in apples, cherries Agriculture. There are several topics the committee is
and similar species, and has a continuous white stripe required to evaluate and report back to the
down the back. Forest tent does not make a tent, in Legislature, including assessment of pollinator heath in
spite of the name, tends to concentrate feeding on Vermont, if Vermont’s pesticide licensing and
maples, and has a series of dots or keyhole shaped registration process is effective, whether other states
white markings down the back. Heaviest feeding by have implemented more effective outreach and
forest tent has been reported from around the Dorset regulatory programs than Vermont, specifically
area (along the Taconics), but I have seen larvae evaluate whether best management practices avoid
everywhere around the state. Eastern tent seems to be harm to pollinators due to neonicotinoid pesticide uses,
widespread at low levels. Both are controllable using evaluate sources of funding for pollinator protection
conventional and organic insecticides in cases where efforts, if required surface water buffers along state
the infestation is causing unsustainable damage to waters should include perennial vegetation beneficial
trees. Hopefully the forest tent infestations will not for pollinators, and develop a State pollinator
reach the levels of the mid 2000’s when aerial spraying protection plan. A tall order, especially considering the
of Btk was undertaken in an effort to provide some final committee report is due to the Legislature on
relief for sugarmakers in Bennington and Rutland December 15, 2016.
Studies addressing pollinator exposures to pesticides
A satin moth (Leucoma salicis) infestation has been have been appearing with increasing frequency as a
reported on poplars in the Randolph area, with heavy result of concerns surrounding colony collapse disorder
defoliation noted on some trees. This pest attacks impacting managed honeybees, and observations of
poplars and willows mainly, but is reported on other wild pollinator die-off thought to be associated with
hardwood species. The larva is a pretty caterpillar, pesticide applications. Results and conclusions of these
mainly black with a series of white circles bordered by studies suggest pollinators are exposed to a variety of
red markings down the back, and yellowish hairs pesticides, including insecticides, obviously, but also
(setae) overall. The adult is a pure white moth, with fungicides and herbicides. As an example of the work
almost translucent wings. Although heavy defoliation is that is being done to address these concerns, Dr.
alarming, most trees with recover by re-foliating by mid- Christian Krupke, Purdue University Professor of
summer. Manual control on valuable ornamentals is Entomology has released a study showing a variety of
most effective using insecticides at leaf emergence in pesticides present in pollen samples his research tema
the spring, when the larvae hatch and begin feeding collected during the summer of 2011. As many as 31
on host leaves. There are a variety of natural predators different pesticides were found in samples from borders
and parasites which usually limit infestations however, of cornfields planted with neonicotinoid treated seeds
and supplemental control is usually not indicated. and non-treated seeds, and from untreated/
unmanaged meadow plots. Interestingly, although the
Pollinator protection and pesticides
research found neonicotinoid class pesticides
Act 83, An act relating to establishment of a Pollinator associated with agricultural applications in many of
Protection Committee (H.539) was signed into law by their samples, pyrethroid insecticides associated with
Governor Shumlin on May 4, 2016. This law creates a non-agricultural applications (landscaping,
committee charged with evaluating the causes and homeowner use, mosquito control, urban applications)
occurrences of pollinator declines in Vermont, and were also widely found, and were named as a more

serious threat to honeybees than neonics. The study molt in September. This is a process in which the larva
also found the insect repellent DEET in all of their sheds its skin and becomes a nymph with 8 legs.
samples. Although Krupke was originally interested in Nymphs winter over from October to April and are safe
evaluating impacts of the neonics, the pyrethroid in the leaf litter under snow cover, protected from
information, as well as the range of pesticides extreme temperatures. . In April, May, or June, nymphs
detected, sheds new light on the pressures honeybees look for another rodent host and feed. They drop off in
exposed to in their day to day foraging in agricultural September and molt to become an adult. Any time
and unmanaged areas. It also suggests that the role during the fall and winter when the temperature is
played by neonic-class pesticides in pollinator declines, above 50 F°, adult ticks may be found “questing” for a
although undoubtedly important, may be smaller than large animal host. The deer is a preferred host, but
currently presumed. As I am fond of saying, this seems humans, dogs, and other mammals may be selected.
to be a case of ‘the more we learn, the less we
In 2015 the Vermont Agency of Agriculture surveyed in 7
“know”’. Regardless, pollinators, managed and wild,
counties to look for blacklegged ticks and 3 tick-borne
are obviously sensitive to pesticides, will be impacted
pathogens: Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi),
adversely by insecticides. As pesticide applicators, the
Anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), and
nursery and landscaping community is obligated to be
Babesiosis (Babesia microti). Most of the ticks collected
thoughtful of these impacts, and rigorously employ
were blacklegged ticks. Dog ticks, Dermacentor
practices intended to not only manage pests, but to
variabilis, may occasionally show up during the warmer
minimize impacts to non-target organisms under all
months of the year. Of the 659 blacklegged ticks tested
by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture laboratory in
Other News of Note Burlington, 58% carried Lyme disease. Another 10% had
the bacteria Anaplasma, and 1 site in Bennington had
Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases in Vermont 5 ticks with Babesia (0.8%), a disease not previously
(Alan C. Graham, State Entomologist, Vermont Agency
found in either ticks or humans in Vermont. Two
of Agriculture, Food & Markets.)
pathogens were found in 56 ticks (8.5%), and 1 tick had
We would like to remind everyone to check themselves all 3 pathogens. The survey did not look at
blacklegged nymphs. The highest rate of Lyme disease
for ticks when you are working in areas where ticks may
transmission in Vermont is in July when the nymphs are
be present, and to be familiar with the symptoms of
active. They are small and easy to miss when doing a
Lyme Disease especially.
body inspection. You may not even notice that you
The blacklegged tick or deer tick may transmit Lyme have been bitten.
disease and other tick-borne diseases in Vermont. Thirty
years ago the tick was not found in the state, but now it For those of us who work outside, this finding means that
is commonly found in many areas. Along with we need to change our behavior. It is important to do
increased numbers of blacklegged ticks, we are also tick checks on ourselves, our children, and our pets.
finding an increase in the number of reported cases of The Vermont Department of Health recommends that
Lyme disease. Currently Vermont, New Hampshire, and we use a tick repellant, one recommended by the
Maine are among the states with the highest per capita CDC. Ticks attached to a human for more than 36
rate of Lyme disease. hours may transmit disease. Clothing treated with the
pesticide Permethrin is recommended for hunters and
There are 13 tick species in Vermont. Most species are loggers who are especially at risk for ticks and tick-
difficult to find, but the blacklegged tick, Ixodes borne diseases. There are few other tick management
scapularis, is now found in every county in the state. It options at this point. Some possible options include
was originally described by Thomas Say in 1821, when it reducing deer numbers on islands in Maine, mouse and
was typically found in the southeastern part of the deer stations baited with a pesticide, pesticide
United States. In the 1980s this tick started becoming treatment on the ground, and landscape
more abundant in New England. This discovery was so modifications. The use of Guinea fowl to control ticks
unusual that one researcher at Harvard, Andrew has been popular, but scientific studies have not found
Spielman, originally reported it as a new species. these birds to be effective. Ticks do not do well in dry
environments. Cutting grass and opening up forest
The blacklegged tick has a 2-year lifecycle. Eggs hatch edges can be helpful. Hope for the future may focus
in June and July into a tick larva. This life stage is on biological controls that would reduce the
unusual in that it has 6 legs, compared with the usual 8 population of this species.
legs found in adult ticks. The larva looks for a small
rodent host on which to feed, and then drops off to

For more information see: of poor vigor, heavy defoliation over several years, or
trees with compounding stressors (like insect infestation or poor site selection), mortality may occur. I suspect
mosquitoes_ticks/ticks there will be some loss of forest white pines over the course of the next few years as a result, in part, of these
ticks.aspx repeated needle cast events, but I don’t believe this
will be a ‘death knell’ situation for the species.

Tick Management Handbook CAES: http://

White Pine Needlecast

Again this spring, like many of the previous springs,
white pines are showing signs of browning and
premature needle drop across the region. This has
been happening due to the wet cool springs we have
had over the last several years, as with most needle
diseases, but the scope the white pine browning is
remarkable because of the size and prevalence of
these trees, and the fact that most of us have become
accustomed to the relative absence of serious needle
problems with white pines. The primary causal agents
New Laboratory Facility
are canavirgella needle cast (Canavirgella banfieldii)
and brown spot needle blight (Mycosphaerella Progress on the new joint Agriculture/Environmental
dearnessii), but there may be other minor pathogens Conservation laboratory is being made. As of early
contributing to the problem in isolated circumstances. June, funds have been allocated, architectural plans
have been drawn up, and the proposed site at the
What managers should remember about the majority
Vermont Technical College in Randolph is under permit
of needle blights and casts is the delayed nature of
review. Hopefully, all the necessary permits will be in
symptoms associated with needle pathogens. The
place shortly, and the initial sitework will commence on
actual infection occurred last spring, during needle
schedule in Autumn 2016. Our anticipated move in is
emergence and elongation, and by the time the
early 2018, before the summer field season
symptoms manifest themselves, all you can do is hope
for better weather this spring during spore release (wet
cool weather promotes successful infection of the This facility will be able to provide all the services
newly emerging and tender needles this spring, by formerly associated with the laboratory lost in
spores released by infections on last year’s needles, Waterbury due to Tropical Storm Irene (core functions
which are now browning and falling off the tree), and of chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, and
apply appropriate fungicides to the trees in the event programmatic lab support including plant industry,
the weather is cool and wet this spring. The good weights and measures, aquatic survey, air quality, and
news is that so far in 2016 it has been generally drier fish and wildlife) and will additionally boast improved
than in previous years, which favors tree health. The teaching/training laboratory spaces, an animal
cold won’t help however. If you are working with pathology lab, increased and improved specimen
especially high value ornamental white pines, and archive spaces, and a methods development space.
would like to guard against infection, many of the We are all excited to see the groundbreaking and
standard fungicides (chlorothalonil, mancozeb, construction progress begin, and eventually have a
myclobutanil, thiophanate-methyl, etc.), are registered permanent home for the state labs.
and effective against needle casts and blights, and
applied correctly, will provide protection when applied

As with most needle diseases, many trees can
withstand one of more defoliation events with little or
no noticeable ill effects long-term. However, in cases

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tips & trends, food for thought…

Business Resource Guide Favorite Books – Another good read:
courtesy of member Aaron Smith:
Looking for alternatives to that
The Pumpkin Plan , by Mike Michalowicz mowed lawn? Turn to this book for
Good to Great, by Jim Collins helpful tips.
Small Giants, by Bo Burlingham
Beautiful NO-MOW Yards,
A Clearing in the Distance. by Evelyn J. Hadden
by Witold Rybczynski

I have been taught…
Foraging at Home heard on that all beings are my relatives
VPR, VT Edition May 2, 2016: (the plants as well as the animals) and,
entitled to the same dignities and survival.
Gather Your Nettles While Ye May:
All About Wild Edibles. Listen here: I have been taught…
that participant in the Circle of Life, have no choice but to take from it and,
your-nettles-while-ye-may-all- in so doing, inevitably alter that Circle.
I have been taught…
that not only for our own survival, but
for all the others within the Circle of Life,
we must maintain a balance and harmony,
within that Circle, for our Mother, the Earth.”

Nova M. Kim, Osage
Check out the Northeastern
IPM Center’s Publication page!
Read their newsletter, view IPM
guidelines, read pest alerts, Ah, summer, what power you
and MORE!
have to make us suffer and like it.
~Russel Baker

For generations, we’ve been helping
all types of ag businesses grow.
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as well as challenging. The farm, which grows and sells
Check out the VT Small Business plants at both retail and production locations in
Development Center! Hinesburg also works with wholesale partners
throughout the state.

Fellow member Julie Rubaud, owner of Red Rubaud knew she needed help determining which
aspects of the business were most successful and why,
Wagon Plants, sought out the advice and
so she sought the assistance of Vermont Small Business
expertise of the VT Small Business Development
Development Area Advisor and Agricultural Specialist
Center. Below is an article on how VTSBDC Steve Paddock. The two quickly went to work making
helped Julie grow her business. This article is sense of the sometimes complicated budgeting and
reprinted with permission. bookkeeping at the farm.

The VTSBDC offers general advising on business: “I wanted to work with Steve to better understand my
starting out, growing, funding, marketing, finances,” Rubaud said, describing Paddock’s
improving operations, hiring and retaining approach to the topic as “patient and instructive.”
employees, and how to transition out of With Steve’s help Rubaud said she was able to
business. They offer specialty advising in successfully separate the various activities of the
technology, agribusiness, and more. business into their own unique budgets and profit/loss
statements, giving her the ability to compare the
various departments and see which are the best to
Hinesburg Farmers Tap Organic Business invest in. “It’s a seasonal business, it can take a whole
Growth Tactics year to figure out how to measure each expense and
income category,” Rubaud
Over the course of its said.
twenty-year existence, the
growers at Red Wagon Paddock and Rubaud also
Plants in Hinesburg have spent time using
become experts at Quickbooks accounting
producing high quality software and Excell to
organic plants and analyze and compare
vegetables. But as their various aspects of the
business evolved owners business. Paddock was also
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“Our business is special “Our business saw a 20
because it has grown organically over twenty years,” percent increase in the year we started to work with
said Red Wagon Plants owner Julie Rubaud. “We Steve,” Rubaud said. “With his help we were able to
believe in what we do and are known for our high put together much more accurate budgets and
quality standards,” she said, adding that she started the measuring tools that have allowed us to monitor our
plant business “as a way to augment the income to the progress more closely. He has given us valuable
vegetable farm in 1996. Since then, the plants eclipsed information about our industry, and innovative ways to
the vegetables. look at our problems. It has been an inspiring and
reassuring experience,” she said.
As the plant portion of the business became more
integral to the farm’s success, Rubaud came to realize For more information on Red Wagon Plants, check out
that monitoring budgets, expenses and other overall and for more information
bookkeeping tasks were proving increasingly important, on VtSBDC check out

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wiry stems, hairy leaves and bodacious blooms. . .

The Edible and Attractive
Wetland Shrubs
by Dan Redondo, VT Wetland Plant Supply, LLC

Wetland restoration projects generally include native
shrubs that have multiple values, such as rapid root
growth for soil stabilization, nesting habitat for birds, and
food sources (browsing and fruit production) for
mammals and birds. The same shrubs can also be
incorporated into backyard landscapes for their showy
spring flowers, prized fruits, and attractive fall leaf colors.
Many people are aware of the delicious jams, jellies, and
syrups made with elderberries, so this article will focus on
four equally valuable but lesser used species that should
be integrated into the edible backyard habitat.

Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Black chokeberry(pictured below) is a small multi-
stemmed shrub that grows to a height of 3-8 feet in moist
Red chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
woods. In the backyard landscape, black chokeberry
will thrive in virtually any moisture, soil, and sunlight Red chokecherry (pictured above) is an upright, multi-
conditions. Showy white flowers are produced in mid- stemmed shrubs that grows to a height of 10-20 feet.
spring and are frequently visited by early-season Chokecherry grows in a wide variety of soil types and
pollinators, including swallowtail butterflies. Fall leaf color moisture regimes, and will likely thrive anywhere in the
ranges from orange to red and is similar in appearance backyard landscape. The shrub produces multiple white
to highbush blueberry and the invasive species burning flowers along an elongated cluster. The fall leaf color
bush. The black fruit hangs in clusters and can be eaten ranges from orange to red. The fruit matures to a reddish
raw, as well as processed into jams, jellies, syrups, and black in hanging clusters. The fruit is prized turning into
compotes, or baked into bars, cookies, and pies. jams, jellies, and syrups. It should be noted that the seed,
stem, and leaves are toxic and should not be eaten.

Highbush cranberry (Viburnum trilobum)

Highbush cranberry (pictured on the next page) is an
upright, multi-stemmed shrub that grows to a height of
10-15 feet. In the wild, highbush cranberry grows in rich,
moist woods in full or partial sun. The shrub produces
attractive white flowers in late May (popular among
swallowtail butterflies) and the leaves turn a vivid
burgundy and red in the fall. The fruit matures in
September as a bright red berry that will stay on the stem
all winter long. The berries are bitter when eaten raw, but
can be turned into a delicious (but tart!) jam with a
beautiful red hue. Berries left on the stem are ignored by
birds until several freeze/thaw cycles the following spring,
at which they become a preferred food of cedar

gold, with some touches of red. The shrub produces an
abundance of sweet black berries, but you’d better pay
close attention to ripeness if you want to make jams or
syrups, or bake them into pies or muffins, as the birds are
quick to strip the fruit from the shrub.

Shadbush (Amelanchier canadensis)

Shadbush (also called serviceberry and Juneberry -
pictured to the right) is an upright and suckering shrub
that grows to a height of 6-10 feet. In the wild, it grows in
a variety of habitats, including bogs and swamps, which
makes it an excellent candidate for the oft-ignored wet
areas of the yard or at the edge of a pond or creek.
Showy white flowers appear in early April as one of the
first flowers of the spring. The fall leaf color is yellow and

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