MIDDLETON, Wis. – The Bruce Co. is expanding its wholesale nursery sales and landscaping design and construction business into Minnesota and Iowa while selling off part of its operation to a Minnesota company, reports the Wisconsin State News.

Reliable Property Services of Eagan, Minn., one of the largest snow and ice management companies in the country, is purchasing Bruce’s lawn maintenance, snow and ice management operations in Milwaukee and Racine and the company’s golf course maintenance division, said Bruce CEO Bliss Nicholson.

The Bruce Co., founded in 1952, will retain its landscape design and construction business in Wisconsin, including the Milwaukee operations, as well as its seasonal landscape maintenance and snow and ice removal services in the Madison area.

Bruce’s retail garden center store, 2830 Parmenter St. in Middleton, will remain open, and the company will also retain its irrigation and aquatics services for commercial and residential customers statewide.

Nicholson said he did not expect staff cutbacks at the Middleton or Verona locations, and about 75 workers will be hired by Reliable. Few staff changes are expected in Milwaukee and Racine, he said.

Reliable, founded in 1983, will retain the existing Bruce management team in Milwaukee and Racine. Dave Weber, a 35-year employee of Bruce and a shareholder, will serve as president of Reliable’s Wisconsin operations. He will continue to be based in Middleton, Nicholson told the newspaper.