From the editors of American Nurseryman • April 17, 2014

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Welcome to 'Sprout,' American Nurseryman's e-newsletter published on the first and third Thursdays of each month. For even more, be sure to read our April issue.

Arabidopsis thalianaCalcium helps plant cells communicate
Almost by accident, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered that calcium is involved in rapid plant cell communication, enabling them—the plants, not the scientists—to respond quickly to environmental stimuli. The team studying this phenomenon was using a specific calcium sensor as a control—the sensor’s brightness changes in the presence of calcium—and when stress was applied to the tip of a plant’s roots, which contains a high concentration of sodium chloride salt, it triggered a wave of red that traveled quickly from the root to the top of the plant. Lead researcher Simon Gilroy, UW professor of botany, explained: “It’s like a lion chewing your leg. If an insect is chewing your leaf, you’re gone unless you determine something effective immediately.” (Photo of Arabidopsis thaliana courtesy of Oregon State University) Read more>

Rose rosetteFarm Bill funds designated for hort
For the spending year 2014, the USDA-APHIS has dedicated $48.1 million for 383 projects through the Farm Bill’s Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program. With more than $3 million set aside for the horticulture industry, that’s an increase of almost 30 percent over last year’s funding. Money will go to research and work on boxwood blight, impatiens downy mildew, rose rosette disease, the development of voluntary harmonized certification programs and efforts to develop virus-free germplasm in connection with the National Clean Plant Network. (Photo courtesy of Mary Ann Hansen, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Read more>

Mark BridgenAFE announces research funding
The American Floral Endowment has approved more than $280,000 in scientific research funding for 2014-2015 to support five continuing projects, five new projects and the Gus Poesch Research Fund. Research in the areas of disease management, insect management, plant breeding and genetic engineering, post production and production technology will benefit. Mark Bridgen (pictured), professor in the horticulture department at Cornell University, will continue his study, “Utilization of Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) Irradiation on Ornamental Plants for Disease Suppression, Growth Regulation and Extended Post-Harvest Longevity.” Read more>

Canadian Nursery Landscape AssociationCanada proposes national Garden Day
Our neighbors to the North have introduced a bill that, if enacted, would designate the Friday before each Father’s Day as National Garden Day. Supported by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) and other stakeholder groups, National Garden Day would promote environmental stewardship, educate the public on the health benefits of gardens, and highlight the importance of industry in the maintenance and creation of gardens everywhere. CNLA President Christene LeVatte stated, “Recognizing a national day to celebrate gardens will not only support our industry, but also greatly benefit the Canadian public and economy.  We look forward to seeing this bill come to fruition in the near future.” Read more>

Nymphaea ‘Ruby Star’Nymphaea ‘Ruby Star’ aquatic plant of the year
‘Ruby Star’ hardy waterlily has been selected 2014 Collector’s Aquatic Plant of the Year by the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society. The Collector’s Aquatic Plant of the Year program provides a limited opportunity to purchase new and/or rare aquatic plants prior to widespread distribution, while also serving as a fundraiser for the Society. In this exclusive arrangement, the IWGS will be the only source in the United States for the limited supplies of N. ‘Ruby Star’ in 2014. This hardy waterlily was a standout at the 2010 IWGS New Waterlily Competition for the high number of ruby-colored blooms it produced all summer on compact plants. 'Ruby Star' was hybridized by Tony Moore of Moore Waterlilies. Read more>

Echinacea Cheyenne-Spirit2014 is Year of the Echinacea
The National Garden Bureau has designated 2014 to be the Year of the Echinacea … and the petunia, and the cucumber. According to the NGB, “Echinacea was chosen as the perennial for the National Garden Bureau’s 2014 Year of program because of the vast assortment of flower colors and shapes available to today’s gardener but also because they are such an American staple. The classic flower shape continues to be a favorite in home and public gardens so it’s time we highlight the history of the ‘tried and true’ classics as well as some of the newer varieties sure to please any home gardener.” Good for marketing these awesome perennials, eh? Good, too, for marketing petunias and those crunchy cucumbers. Read more>

The Next AmericaChanging demographics
The field of demographics is interesting no matter what the specific topic—at least it is to some of us—but this study by Pew Research is fascinating. Called “The Next America” (available in book form), the study illustrates how the U.S. population is going gray at the same time that the majority is increasingly non-white. Following the age trends alone, Pew predicts that by 2060, the population will be composed of nearly as many citizens aged 85+ as there will be young ’uns under 5. Check out the animated chart that shows just how significant these numbers will be. Read more>

Hunter Trees LLCHunter Trees named Farm of Distinction
The Alabama Farmers Federation has named Hunter Trees LLC Alabama’s 2014 Farm of Distinction. Operated by brothers Phillip and Will Hunter, the young operation comprises 300 acres, including 225 acres of production with 125 varieties of trees. Read more>

People News

Tom FoleyFoley joins Midwest Groundcovers
Tom Foley has joined the sales team at Midwest Groundcovers; prior to his new position, Foley was supply chain manager at Ball Ornamentals and worked as national new products manager for Hines Nurseries. Read more>

Paul SimonsSimons promoted at Dow AgroSciences
Paul Simons has been named commercial director for Dow AgroSciences’ U.S. Urban Pest Management business, where he’ll oversee pest management and turf and ornamental marketing activities. Read more>

Hot Products

A.M. Leonard ball cartBall cart accessories
Got an A.M. Leonard ball cart? A set of new accessories will make your job easier. Once you attach the Leonard universal bracket, your ball cart is ready for more. Walking a long distance on uneven ground with a heavy tree that you can barely hold onto? What a hassle. Instead use the trailer attachment so your ball cart can be pulled by a tractor or gator. Why be wobbly and unstable when three wheels are better than two? Add a caster wheel for stability and safety so the load is easier to push. Finally, the t-bar attachment with the extra-wide handle empowers you with multiple positions to ensure you have the best leverage and control for those extra large loads. Read more>

Netafim Landscape ControllersSmart controllers
Netafim Landscape Controllers from Netafim USA determine the unique watering needs of a specific landscape by incorporating both historical and current weather data, as well as real-time data from soil moisture sensors that monitor the amount of moisture available to plants in each zone. The NLC series of irrigation controllers offers an advanced suite of water-management features that include: intuitive programming for retrofit and expansion, remote management capabilities that allow professionals to adjust programming and review schedules of multiple sites from any internet-ready device, and the ability to seamlessly integrate with Netafim’s Total Cycle Management. Read more>

TST300 Tree Support TieTree support ties
Horticultural Marketing & Printing introduces its TST200 and TST300 Tree Support Ties. These rubber ties hold trees securely without costly trunk damage or slipping. They work with steel wire, nylon and non-slip cord tree hanger systems, requiring no bolts or screws, and have no metal parts that can damage tree trunks. The TST200 is perfect for trees up to 15 gallons in size, and the TST300 works for trees up to 30 gallons. The synthetic rubber is UV resistant and designed to last more than 10 years in the field without splitting or cracking. The ties’ innovative design prevents slipping side-to-side in high winds, which can create trunk damage due to the twisting effect. Read more>

NozzleCalc appNozzle calculation app
Greenleaf Technologies has introduced its free NozzleCalc app. Chemical labels are recommending specific droplet sizes, which makes it imperative to select nozzles for droplet size and not simply GPA. To use the nozzle calculator feature, simply enter your desired speed and application rate, along with your nozzle spacing. NozzleCalc will recommend several options of TurboDrop (TDXL), AirMix (AM), and TurboDrop DualFan (TADF) nozzles in various sizes. Just choose the nozzle that matches your required droplet size. NozzleCalc also includes information about other Greenleaf Technologies products as well as a speed-dial button for calling direct to Greenleaf Technologies’ main office. Download hereRead more>

Toolcat 5600 BrushcatRotary cutter attachments
New Brushcat rotary cutter attachments from Bobcat are designed to cut overgrown grass, brush and small trees, transforming undergrowth into mulch. Here’s the scoop:
• Five new models: 66-, 72- and 80-inch widths; available in standard and high-flow models
• Standard 3-inch cutting height; optional kit available to increase cut height to 4 inches
• Available for Bobcat carriers with auxiliary hydraulic flows between 15 and 40 gpm
• Deck oscillation with front discs improves operation over rough terrain
• Offset dual motor/dual blade design provides a shorter deck and reduced weight
• Smooth under-deck keeps grass clippings and debris from being caught
• Double-edge blades provide bidirectional cutter rotation and increase overall blade life
• On standard-flow models, velocity fuse safeguards hydraulic system
• Patented blade shut-off stops blade rotation when the rear roller is raised off the ground
Read more>

OxCart utility cartUtility cart
The OxCart utility cart from—you guessed it—OxCart features a power-assist lift, reducing dumping effort by up to 90 percent. Features include run-flat tractor-grade turf tires to move heavy loads rut-free across turf, lawns and gardens; an offset dump pivot, eliminating harsh and abrupt dump release caused by heavy loads shifting; and a full mandrel bend steel axle support to provide high clearance and super strength to hold and move heavy loads. A side dump rotates 110 degrees from either direction, making it safe to place heavy loads where they were meant to go. Read more>

xxxNew Companion packaging
Companion Biological Fungicide from Growth Products has a new look: A new royal blue bottle protects the product from UV light, and the industry favorite design, an F-style handle, is easy to use and pour, making it the perfect packaging choice. The heavy HDPE material will survive the toughest handling and worst storage conditions. It’s available in four different package sizes, so that it meets the needs of both smaller and larger users. Also available in larger, 30-gallon drum quantities for larger end-users. Read more>

GreenClean Liquid 2.0GreenClean registered in NY
BioSafe Systems is pleased to announce GreenCleanPRO and GreenClean Liquid 2.0 have been fully approved in New York. GreenCleanPRO is a granular broad-spectrum algaecide for use in ponds, lakes and other bodies of water. GreenCleanPRO is made up of sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate, a stabilized peroxygen chemistry. GreenClean Liquid is a hydrogen peroxide and peroxyacetic acid-based, broad-spectrum algaecide that works well on planktonic and filamentous algae, as well as many others. Both are fast acting and have no use restrictions, and treated waters can be used without interruption. GreenCleanPRO and GreenClean Liquid 2.0 are excellent options to reduce dependence on copper-based chemistries. Both GreenCleanPRO and GreenClean Liquid 2.0 are NSF/ASNI Standard 60 certified for drinking water applications. Read more>

SaniDate 12.0SaniDate 12.0
SaniDate 12.0 from BioSafe Systems combines the power of hydrogen with the sustaining life force of oxygen, taking irrigation water where no chemistry has gone before. SaniDate 12.0 has two powerful active ingredients, H2O2 and PAA, working in unison as a microbiocide releasing 100 times its weight in oxygen. It destroys algae, fungi, bacteria and their dormant spores, providing growers with the highest possible treatment in disease control. SaniDate 12.0 is a one-step process into all types of irrigation systems and its rapid reaction makes it an excellent chemistry for in-pipe treatment and short contact times. Read more>

Finally: Happy Easter!

Easter rabbit

Upcoming event
What: FNGLAs Floriculture Field Days
When: May 14 and 15
Where: Various sites in Central Florida
Sponsor: Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association
For more>

Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility Manual, Second EditionBuy this book!
Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates of the San Francisco Bay Region
Pretty specific, yes, but adaptable. With photographs by Saxon Holt and illustrations by Richard Pembroke, this lavishly illustrated book celebrates the challenges and opportunities of gardening in Mediterranean climates, with special reference to northern California's San Francisco Bay Region. The core of the book is a catalog of more than 650 plants suited to regions with mild, usually wet winters and dry, often hot summers. These plants thrive with moderate to no summer irrigation when established, require little or no maintenance, and are reasonably available from nurseries, botanic gardens, native plant sales, or specialty seed suppliers. (Do you carry them?) Many of the 542 color photographs show plants in garden settings to suggest attractive and compatible plant combinations. Summary charts provide information on each plant, such as bloom time, needs for water and sun, and preferences for coastal or inland microclimates. Lists suggest plants for special situations, such as hot sites, dryish shade, small gardens and clay soils. Chapters on landscape design and maintenance inspire readers to make gardens that use little water and no harmful chemicals, with a focus on building healthy soil. Practical steps to successful design are supplemented with ideas for designing with microclimate, attracting wildlife and fire safety.
Read more>

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