Big Picture: Holidays, Spectacular

December 9, 2014By

LOCATION: Fashion Island, Newport Beach, Calif. COMPANY: ValleyCrest Cos., Calabasas, Calif. THE DETAILS: This property, which won a 2013 National Landscape Awards of Excellence Grand Award from the Professional Landcare Network, has been a longtime ValleyCrest client. Designed to make luxury shopping a destination event, Fashion Island is an iconic outdoor retail center that blends stores, al fresco dining and signature events year-round—but... read more

Avoid the red lights

December 9, 2014By

Four years ago I visited with a contractor in New York state. He was losing money for the first time, while working 80 hours a week. He had a good brand and lots of work. His problem was he chased too many red-light leads. A red light is someone who’s not going to buy from you, no matter how many... read more

Download: Identify Emerald Ash Borer damage (PDF)

December 9, 2014By

Featured is a PDF version of the December 2014 Step by Step on “How to identify Emerald Ash Borer damage” for use in company training efforts. Click here to download. read more

Cut nonproduction hours

December 9, 2014By
Photo: istock.com/alexeys

About seven years ago, Chris Speen and the team at Twin Oaks Landscape in Ann Arbor, Mich., realized they needed to cut back on nonproduction hours—aka “a lot of guys standing around.” “We’re now at 12 crews, but as we got bigger—around four to six crews—it was hard,” says Speen, general manager of the $2.4 million full-service company. “We thought,... read more

Pond pointers

December 9, 2014By

As the CEO of Chicago-based Aquascape and the face of Nat Geo Wild’s “Pond Stars,” Greg Wittstock offers his expertise on pond installations and maintenance. Q:  Winter is here. Any tips for maintaining a pond in the frigid temperatures? A: Have a hole open in the ice for carbon dioxide to be released and have a supplemental aeration system. If... read more

Case study: Growing day

December 9, 2014By

Shutting down for a day to help improve employees’ lives is pricey but worth it for one firm. Not too many business owners would help employees pursue a dream outside of their landscape career, but Todd Pugh isn’t like most owners. In fact, some might even call him crazy for shutting down business for a day just to focus on... read more