Want to keep up with the latest news in lawn care and landscaping? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the green industry.

Toro and Wyland Foundation Release Fourth Annual Calendar
Each year Toro, a contributing sponsor of the Annual Wyland National Art & Mural Challenge, assembles winning artwork from some of the hundreds of schools that participate in the challenge, which is supported by the famed marine life artist. The release of this year’s special 2016-2017 calendar coincided with the Irrigation Association’s “Smart Irrigation Month” in July, which highlights various water conservation practices and activities. The calendars are made available to participating schools for use as a fundraising opportunity for water conservation activities and education.

Mike Dye Promoted at Davey Tree
The Davey Tree Expert Company has promoted Mike Dye to district manager of S&S Tree & Horticultural Specialists, Inc., a subsidiary of Davey Tree based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dye joined Davey Tree in 2011, bringing with him 10 years of experience in the tree care industry. Dye began as a tree care foreman at Davey before becoming a sales arborist. For the last year, Dye has served as assistant district manager at S&S.

Jeffrey Scott Leads New Irrigation Leader Peer Group
Industry Consultant Jeffrey Scott is leading the new “Irrigation Leaders” peer group that held its inaugural meeting in London, Ontario on August 2-4. Irrigation contractors representing seven U.S. and Canadian companies met at Blue Jay Irrigation to benchmark financials, share proven practices, and experience a deep dive behind-the-scenes tour of the host member’s facilities and leadership team.

Attending the meeting in Ontario were:

  • Blue Jay Irrigation, London, Ontario, Bruce Lively, CEO and Trevor Lively, GM
  • Select Sprinklers, Greater Toronto Area, Harry Hutten, president
  • Quality Irrigation, Omaha, Nebraska, Ryan Jardine, owner
  • Rain 1, Columbus, Ohio, Blair List, president
  • Grapids Irrigation, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Aaron Katerberg, founder
  • Firman Irrigation, Petosky, Michigan, Dave Firman, president
  • A+ Lawn and Landscape, Des Moines, Iowa, Ethan Dykstra, division manager

Members of this Irrigation Leaders peer group are invited to join based on having a minimum of $1 million in irrigation service, and must also be performing openings and closings.

Licensed Producers Now Growing PremierPRO Bermudagrass
Sod Production Services, a division of Riverside Turf, acting as the licensing agent for PremierPRO Berumda Grass, announces that six licensed growers are currently growing the grass for production and sale.

The producers now growing the turfgrass are:

PremierPRO Bermuda Grass is a dense, fine-bladed bermudagrass developed by Dr. Milt Engelke, Prof. Emeritus Texas A&M, and Dr. Virginia Lehman, that is scientifically proven to have superior traffic tolerance and wear tolerance, suitable for use on sports fields, golf courses and lawns. PremierPRO Bermuda Grass is available for shipping throughout the United States through sod producers in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states.

Jason Anderson Joins Swingle
Jason Anderson recently joined Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care as the senior operations manager of enhancement services. Anderson has 17 years of professional experience in the landscape and tree care industry. Anderson started his career as a managing partner of Southeast Tree Expert Co. in Marietta, Georgia. Before joining Swingle, he managed ValleyCrest Tree Care Services in South Florida and Lucas Tree Expert Co. in Charleston, South Carolina.

James Shoemaker Retires as Morbark President
Morbark President, James W. Shoemaker Jr., is retiring after 13 years with the company. Stellex Capital Management acquired Morbark this past March. Morbark manufactures a range of equipment used in forestry, recycling, sawmill, bio-energy and tree care. For the past several months Shoemaker has been working with Stellex through the transition period. He will continue to serve in a consulting capacity with Morbark.

Aquascape Beefs Up Marketing Team
Aquascape Inc. recently promoted Scott Rhodes to vice president of marketing, Aveline Hauser as director of marketing, Julie Canning as marketing project manager and Matt Augustine to product copywriter. Rhodes has 27 years experience in marketing sales management, Hauser 17 years in brand management, strategic planning and similar roles, Canning previously served as broadcast fulfillment manager for Feld Entertainment and Augustine excelled as a customer care team lead.