December 1998

Charles Dickens' words; Bernice Fischman's calligraphy.
HOLIDAY GREETINGS FROM KEN TILT

This is our December holiday issue. I wish you all a wonderful and safe season. Hopefully you will have a break to spend a little extra time with your family and friends. While thinking of friends, try to take some time to call, write or visit the people who have supported your business over the years. The nursery business is one of the few agricultural businesses that is still built on good, trusting relationships, which can evolve into lifetime friendships. Time manager gurus often refer to the 80/20 Rule to describe many things in a business. Examples may be where 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers or possibly 80% of your problems come from 20% of your employees. Whether it is 80/20, 90/10 or 70/30, there is a small group of loyal people who have remained your customers (and employees) through good and bad times. Make a point this season to let these special people know that you appreciate their loyalty.

The New Year is a time often set aside to review the goals of your business and the image that you project. If you have not done this in a while, it is a good time to have a review. Think through all the production and marketing aspects of your business. Make a list of the things you would like to accomplish over the next year. You get the idea. Establish some goals and steps to reach your objectives. Also, spend some time with each of your employees as well as a sample of your customers. Ask them for suggestions on how the business can be improved or how you can serve them better. Planning is hard to make yourself do but it can make a big difference in your bottom line and the impression you make on your customers.

The Alabama Nurserymen’s Association and Auburn University have started a new educational thrust over the past 2 years. Instead of having a separate 2 to 3 day educational program, we are having a 1 day event attached to the trade show that is packed with workshops and speakers with specific topics of interest (see this year’s program below). I hope you can join us on January 28, 1999 in Mobile. We have also started 1 or ½ day programs at nurseries and greenhouses across the state to make it more convenient and less expensive for you to attend. The greenhouse growers, with the help of Dr. Raymond Kessler, had several of these events that were very successful. We recently had a meeting for area nurseries hosted by Mid-Western Nurseries in Centre, Alabama. Sometimes it is hard to get away from your business or you may feel uncomfortable visiting other nurseries. These events allow you to be “invited snoopers”. Few nurseries have trade secrets that they hide. Mid-Western was very open in sharing the things they are doing and trying. We enjoyed their hospitality. If you would like to host a meeting next year in your area or have a special topic you would like to see addressed for the nursery or greenhouse, please zap us an email or give us a call.

You may have noticed over the past 2 to 3 newsletters that I have tried to put at least one idea that I have picked up from my travels to other nurseries. Some are very simple and may not apply to your nursery but occasionally you will see an idea that will work for you or will generate a solution to a problem you are having. This month’s idea comes from Holland where they were using a simple wire coiled into the shape of an angry cobra to set up temporary stakes for an overhead irrigation system. It seemed like a simple, inexpensive answer for this situation. The pictures below will provide a better illustration.

As we collect a few of these ideas, Bernice is going to store them in an ideas section that will let you review ideas you may have missed from previous issues. We welcome your ideas to share with others! Look for this banner in future editions.

I am excited about our alliance with Mississippi and Louisiana to create the new Gulf States Show. If you have not been to the trade show in a while, this is the year to come. I would go for the gumbo and blackened shrimp alone. It is a great business/family opportunity. We will have a booth which I sit in occasionally (I am not a good booth sitter). Stop by and see us while you are seeing all the other great exhibits. While I have your attention, let me thank you for your support for the Horticulture Department at Auburn University. These have been very tough times for all higher education. Many of you have been a great help to our Extension, Research and Teaching programs. I hope we have seen the worst; the cuts have ended and we are in the recovery phase. Our Department continues to grow with over 250 students. I work with some great, dedicated people who have a sincere interest in serving you and your children. The Land Grant Universities were created to serve the people in the State and we like being a part of making Alabama’s Green Industry one of the best in the country. If you are in Auburn, stop by and see us. We welcome and encourage visitors and your suggestions. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


DISCLAIMER: Please remember that all information presented is a summary of research and not an endorsement of any product or a recommendation of chemicals. The official labels from the manufacturing companies offer the legal and proper use and handling information for all products.

In case you haven't yet visited our Nursery Page, we've inserted this link for your convenience:

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES ARE FEATURED IN THIS MONTH'S
SOMETHING TO GROW ON:

1. RE-INTRODUCING THUJA 'GREEN GIANT'

2. GREEN TREES FOR OUR WHITE HOUSE

3. LOOK INTO INCOME AVERAGING

4.WEB REVIEW: GREENBOOK.NET

5. SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS AT THE GULF COAST HORTICULTURAL EXPO

6. LOUISIANA'S SELECT PLANTS

7. BEWARE OF PACKING MATERIALS

8. PLANT PROPAGATION INFORMATION ON LINE

9. EXTENSION ON USE OF METHYL BROMIDE

10. CONGRATULATIONS TO ZEIGLER CHRISTMAS TREE FARM

11. UPCOMING EVENTS


REINTRODUCING THUJA 'GREEN GIANT'

Thuga 'Green Giant' is now recognized as an alternative to Leyland cypress. It was misnamed for awhile but due to a careful analysis in the lab at the Holden Arboretum in Mentor, Ohio, its name and identity are now secure. With a tight pyramidal growth pattern, this conifer can grow to 60 feet or more. Because of its impressive size it is particularly well suited for a large landscape, park or botanical garden. It is a versatile plant that can be part of a dense screen or used alone as a specimen tree. Its tolerance to soil types from sandy loams to heavy clay and its ability to grow in a wide variety of climatic conditions, make it a very desirable tree.

Glossy green foliage has flattened sprays and is coarse in texture. Branches are thick and horizontal. The tree's bark becomes thick and fibrous as it ages. The rich green color of the tree provides outstanding color throughout the winter. It is an exceptional conifer that nurseries and the general public should consider along with Leyland cypress.

(from Susan F. Martin, published in NMPRO, November 1998)

GREEN TREES FOR OUR WHITE HOUSE

Every year since 1966 the National Christmas Tree Association has selected champion trees to adorn the White House. This year there are co-grand champion trees which will be presented on December 1. The award winning balsam fir was entered by James and Diane Chapman, owners of Silent Night Evergreens Farm in Endeavor, Wisconsin. Its co-winner, a blue spruce, was the entry of Ed and Cindy Hedlund of Elma, Washington. The trees will be placed in the Blue Room for the holidays.
(from David L. Morgan's weekly NMPRO e-mail)

LOOK INTO INCOME AVERAGING

To aid farmers this year, there is a new tax law that reinstates the concept of income averaging that has been unavailable since 1986. The individual taxpayer can now calculate his tax liability by averaging, over the previous three years, all or part of his/her income from the trade or business of farming, including gains from the sale of property (other than land). Estates and trusts do not qualify.

According to Hal Pepper, an Extension economist: "To average the income, first designate the portion of taxable income from the farm business you wish to average. One-third of this "elected farm income" will be allocated to each of the prior 3 tax years. The tax liability is then computed by adding the current year tax liability (without the elected farm income) to the increases in the tax for each of the 3 prior tax years (by including the elected farm income)."

Currently, the new law only covers tax years from 1/1/98 through 12/31/2000. An extension of this legislation is being considered. Please note, however, that income averaging will not reduce self employment tax.


WEB REVIEW: GREENBOOK.NET

We have reviewed this site before but for those newcomers to our newsletter: label and MSDS information can be accessed quickly and easily by going to the URL http://www.greenbook.net. You can type in a generic, company or brand name to get the information that you need. They also provide a premium service for which you pay a fee.


SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS
AT THE GULF COAST HORTICULTURAL EXPO

Following is a schedule for seminars and workshops that will be held on January 28 as part of the Gulf Coast Horticultural Expo scheduled for January 28-30, 1999 at the Mobile Convention Center, Mobile, AL. For more information please contact Linda Van Dyke at 334-821-5148 or go to http://www.alna.org/expo/.

SCHEDULE OF EDUCATIONAL EVENTS:

LANDSCAPE SEMINARS (Room 203A)

8:00 a.m. - Success Strategies and Trends in Landscape Design and Contracting
Mr. M.A. (Kim) Powell - NCSU

9:00 a.m. - Bamboo in the Landscape - Dispelling Myths and Discussing Possibilities
Mr. Adam Turtle - 'Our' Nursery, Tennessee

9:30 a.m. - LSU Agricultural Center Ornamental Plant Cultivar - News You Can Use
Dr. Allen Owings - LSU

10:00 a.m. - Break

10:15 a.m. - Perennials Through the Seasons
Dee Smith - Auburn University

10:45 a.m. - Putting Together an Old Fashioned Garden in a New Fashioned Way
Mr. George Stritikus - ACES

11:15 a.m. - Promoting Plants in Mississippi
Dr. Norman Winter - Mississippi CES

11:45 a.m. - Lunch

1:00-5:00 p.m. - Management of Mycorrhizal Fungi and Bacteria in Plant Production and Maintenance
Dr. Donald H. Marx - Chairman and Chief Scientist, Plant Health Care, Inc.
(break at 3:00 p.m.)

NURSERY PRODUCTION WORKSHOP: THE BASICS
Room 203B

8:00 a.m. - What it Takes to Start and Operate a Container Nursery
Dr. Ken Tilt - Auburn University

8:45 a.m. - The Basics of Starting and Managing a Field Nursery
Mark Halcomb - University of Tennessee Nursery Extension Specialist

9:30 a.m. - What Does the Government Have to do with Anything? Glad You Asked
Dr. David Tatum - MSU

10:00 a.m. - Break

10:15 a.m. - Disease Identification and Control in the Nursery
Dr. Austin Hagan - Auburn University

11:00 a.m. - Insects in the Nursery
Dr. Pat Harris - MSU

11:45 a.m. - Lunch

1:00 p.m. - How's Performance (dollars and cents)
Dr. Forest Segelin - University of Georgia

1:45 p.m. - Production of Bamboo in the Nursery
Dr. Adam Turtle - 'Our' Nursery, Tennessee

2:30 p.m. - Best Management Practices for Woody Ornamental Growers
Dr. Allen Owings - LSU

3:00 p.m. - Break

3:15 p.m. - LSU Agricultural Center for Woody Ornamental Research Update
Dr. Ed Bush - LSU Agricultural Center

3:45 - 4:30 p.m. - Pesticide Effectiveness: How to be Sure
Dr. David Tatum - MSU

GARDEN CENTER MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP
Room 204-A
8:00 - 11:45 a.m. (15 minute break at 10:00 a.m.) - Operating a Successful Garden Center - A Four Hour Comprehensive Workshop
Sue Barton - University of Delaware

12:00 noon - Lunch

LANDSCAPE DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Room 204-A
1:00 - 5:00 p.m. (15 minute break at 3:00 p.m.) - Landscape Design Principles
Dr. David Williams and Dr. Jeff Sibley - Auburn University

GREENHOUSE BACK TO BASICS
Room 204-B

8:00 a.m. - Maintaining Greenhouse Temperatures Through the Year
Dr. Jim Faust - University of Tenessee

8:45 a.m. - How to Fertilize Greenhouse Crops
Dr. Rich Schoellhorn - University of Florida, Milton Campus

9:30 a.m. - The Basics of pH and soluble Salts
Dr. Jeff Kuehny - LSU

10:15 a.m. - break

10:30 a.m. - Watering Greenhouse Crops - JOB #1
Dr. Raymond Kessler - Auburn University

11:15 a.m. - Insect Identification and Control
Mr. Ian Greene - Whitmire Micro-Gen

12:00 noon - Lunch

1:30 p.m. - New Plants: What Takes the Heat and What Doesn't
Dr. Jim Faust - University of Tennessee

2:15 p.m. - Tropical Perennial Crops for Summer 1999
Dr. Rich Schoellhorn - University of Florida, Milton Campus

3:00 p.m. - Break

3:15 - 4:00 p.m. - Growing Gingers for Customer Appeal
Dr. Jeff Keuhny - LSU


LOUISIANA'S SELECT PLANTS

The Louisiana Association of Nurserymen, in association with the LSU Ag Center, initiated a program in 1996 to promote outstanding landscape plants to consumers. 1999's Spring winner is Salvia "Lady in Red"; their Fall 1999 selection is Digitalis "Foxy"; and the Spring 2000 winner is Rudbeckia "Goldsturm".

(from David Morgan at the weekly NMPRO e-mail, November 10, 1998).


BEWARE OF PACKING MATERIAL

The USDA will begin to regulate imported packaging material from China which is believed to have inadvertently transported the Asian longhorn beetle to the United States. As of December 17, all solid-wood packing materials must be treated by heat or chemicals to eliminate the beetle problem. In New York and Illinois thousands of trees have been cut down because of damage caused by the longhorn beetle. There has been very loud opposition voiced by China.

(from David Morgan at the weekly NMPRO e-mail, November 10, 1998).


PLANT PROPAGATION INFORMATION ON LINE

A new web site has been started by the IPPS (International Plant Propagators' Society). The site is divided into six categories: Commercial Sites, Educational Sites, Arboreta and Botanic Gardens, Industry/Organization Sites, Plant Tissue Culture Information, Individual and Miscellaneous sites. Go to http://www.ipps.org/ipps/ and click on "plant propagation information online".

(from David Burger at UC Davis)

EXTENSION ON USE OF METHYL BROMIDE

The use of methyl bromide by nursery growers to fumigate their fields will NOT be illegal as of the year 2001. At the end of the last contentious Congressional session Congress voted to extend the deadline for the phase out until January 1, 2005. It is still important to try and find effective and feasible alternatives.

(from David Morgan at NMPRO, 11/3/98)


CONGRATULATIONS TO ZEIGLER CHRISTMAS TREE FARM

This year's Governor's Tree Award has been given to Nancy Ziegler from the Zeigler's Christmas Tree Farm in Sylacauga, Alabama. The selected tree, pictured below, is eight feet tall with a bottom circumference of 15 feet. It will be transported to Montgomery and will be displayed in the Governor's study.

From Zeigler's Christmas Tree Farm
THE WINNING TREE


UPCOMING EVENTS

January 13-15, 1999:
Mid-AM Trade Show.
Navy Pier, Chicago, IL. Contact Don W. Sanford at 847-526-2010; fax 847-526-3993; e-mail midam@mc.net

January 28, 29, 30, 1999:
Alabama Nurserymen's Association Trade Show and Educational Program.
Mobile, Alabama. Call Linda Van Dyke at 344-821-5148 for details. See also
http://www.ALNA.org

January 30-February 3, 1999:
Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Convention.
Memphis, TN. Contact Paul Smeal, 1107 Kentwood Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060-5656; phone 540-552-4085; fax 540-953-0805; e-mail psmeal@vt.edu

February 4-7, 1999:
The Management Clinic.
Galt House, Louisville, KY. Contact ANLA at 202-789-2900;http://www.anla.org

July 22-27, 1999:
American Nursery & Landscape Association Annual Convention.
Philadelphia, PA. Contact ANLA at 202-789-2900; http://www.anla.org

July 28-31, 1999:
96th American Society for Horticultural Science.
Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN. Contact ASHA: 703-836-4606, Fax: 703-836-2024; e-mail: ashs@ashs.org

July 30-August 1, 1999:
SNA 99 - Southern Nurserymen's Association Researcher's Conference and Trade Show.
Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA. Contact SNA at 770-973-9026; SNA Infoline at 770-973-4636; http://www.sna.org

August 1-4, 1999:
International Society for Arboriculture Annual Conference. Stamford, CT. Contact ISA at 217-355-9411; http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/~isa

September 10-11, 1999:
TNA's "Tennessee America's Nursery" Trade Show and Conference.
Opryland Hotel Convention Center, Nashville, TN. Contact TNA at 931-473-3971; fax 931-473-5883; e-mail nurseryassn@blomand.net

September 23-25, 1999:
6th Biennial Southern Plant Conference.
Richmond, VA. Contact SNA at 770-973-9026; SNA Infoline at 770-973-4636; http://www.sna.org

October 3-6, 1999:
Southern Region International Plant Propagators' Society.
Mobile, AL. Contact David Morgan: 817-882-4148, SR IPPS, P.O. Box 1868, Ft. Worth, TX 76101; e-mail dmorgan@bsipublishing.com

November 4-6, 1999:
Gulf Coast Native Plant Conference
Camp Beckwith, Fairhope, Alabama
Featuring four habitats with guided field trips. For more information contact Thayer Dodd, Conference Coordinator, at 1-888-808-3633

January 11-13, 2000:
Kentucky Landscape Industries Winter Educational Conference and Trade Show.
The Lexington Center, Lexington, KY. Contact Debbie Cain, KNLA Exec. Dir. at 502-899-3622; fax 502-899-7922

January 19-21, 2000:
Mid-AM Trade Show.
Navy Pier, Chicago, IL. Contact Don W. Sanford at 847-526-2010, fax 847-526-3993; e-mail midam@mc.net

January 29-February 2, 2000:
Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Convention.
Lexington, KY. Contact Paul Smeal at 1107 Kentwood Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060-5656, 540-552-4085; fax 540-953-0805; e-mail psmeal@vt.edu

February 3-6, 2000:
The Management Clinic.
Galt House, Louisville, KT. Contact ANLA at 202-789-2900; http://www.anla.org

July 8-12, 2000:
Ohio Florists' Association Short Course and Trade Show.
Greater Columbus Convention Center. Contact OFA at 614-487-1117; e-mail ofa@ofa.org; web: http://www.ofa.org

July 11-16, 2000:
American Nursery & Landscape Association Annual Convention.
Location TBA; contact ANLA at 202-789-2900; http://www.anla.org

July 14-18, 2000:
Ohio Florists' Association Short Course and Trade Show.
Greater Columbus Convention Center. Contact OFA at 614-487-1117; e-mail ofa@ofa.org; web: http://www.ofa.org

July 16-19, 2000:
American Society for Horticultural Science 97th International Conference.
Disney Coronado Springs Resort, Orlando, FL. Contact ASHS at 703-836-4606; fax 703-836-2024; e-mail ashs@ashs.org

August 3-6, 2000:
SNA 2000 - Southern Nurserymen's Association Researcher's Conference and Trade Show.
Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA. Contact SNA at 770-973-9026; SNA Infoline at 770-973-4636; http://www.sna.org

August 11-18, 2000:
International Society for Arboriculture Annual Conference.
Baltimore, MD. Contact ISA at 217-355-9411; http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/~isa

September 15-16, 2000:
TNA's "Tennessee America's Nursery" Trade Show and Conference.
Opryland Hotel Convention Center, Nashville, TN. Contact TNA at931-473-3971; fax 931-473-5883; e-mail tnurseryassn@blomand.net

October 8-11, 2000:
Southern Region International Plant Propagators' Society.
Norfolk, VA. Contact David Morgan at 817-882-4148; fax 817-882-4121, SR IPPS, P.O. Box 1868, Ft. Worth, TX 76101; e-mail dmorgan@bsipublishing.com

January 27-31, 2001:
Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Convention.
Fort Worth, TX. Contact Paul Smeal at 1107 Kentwood Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060-5656, 540-552-4085; fax 540-953-0805, e-mail psmeal@vt.edu

August 2-5, 2001:
SNA 2001 - Southern Nurserymen's Association Researcher's Conference and Trade Show.
Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA. Contact SNA at 770-973-9026; SNA Infoline at 770-973-4636; http://www.sna.org

October 18-21, 2001:
Southern Region International Plant Propagators' Society.
Houston, TX. Contact David Morgan at 817-882-4148; fax: 817-882-4121; SR IPPS, P.O. Box 1868, Ft. Worth, TX 76101; e-mail: dmorgan@bsipublishing.com

Send questions and comments to bfischma@acesag.auburn.edu.

Letters to Bernice Fischman - 101 Funchess Hall - Auburn University, AL 36849.