Our sister publication, Greenhouse Management, invites you to build your business this year with the 2011 NAHSA webinar series. These one-hour, live-multimedia webinars are geared toward discussing industry trends, challenges and innovations in several areas throughout 2011.
The next webinar will be:
Managing Your Fertilizer Dollars During Challenging Economic Times
Presented By: Dr. Charles J. Elstrodt
Date: Monday, June 27, 2011
2 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time)
Sponsored By: NAHSA and X-calibur Plant Health Company
To register, go here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/420475649
How to improve root systems on trees of any age will be the lead topic at NurseryWorks June 15-16. The event is Kansas State University’s first conference for those engaged or interested in nursery crop production and sales.
Participants can attend in Manhattan, Kan., or take part in the major sessions from their own computer online. Discussions will be interactive, using audience response systems (clickers) and Internet social media (with K-State horticulture students as guides).
Leading the “root” session is Ed Gilman, professor of urban trees and landscape plants at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Other sessions include:
* Estimating the wholesale cost of nursery production – Tom Fernandez, introducing a new spreadsheet tool from Michigan State University Extension.
* Managing your nursery’s brand online – Meg Cloud, Stark Bro’s social media expert who helped the almost 200-year-old nursery grow with and manage an online presence.
* Best management practices for your weed control program – Charles Gillam, Auburn University weed scientist and industry-recognized expert in new herbicide options.
* Best management practices for quality field-grown nursery crops – Kansas native Ted Bilderback, now director of the J.C. Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University, who’ll address soil preparation and amendments, planting density, pruning, and cover crops that reduce soil erosion.
* Building local alliances: Growers and retail garden centers – roundtable discussion led by Bilderback, who has worked with North Carolina’s successful Johnston County Nursery Marketing Association.
* What you must do to sell, import or export live plants from Kansas – Jeff Vogel, Kansas Department of Agriculture expert on regulatory plant issues from the state perspective – pest threats included.
Those attending online will be able to see and hear the sessions, as well as participate in discussions.
To register, go here.
Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) reported a 1.6 percent decrease in sales for the quarter ended April 29, 2011. Sales for the first quarter 2011 totaled $12.2 billion, down from $12.4 billion a year ago. Net earnings totaled $461 million for the first quarter, a 5.7 percent decrease from the same period a year ago. Diluted earnings per share of $0.34 were flat compared to the first quarter of 2010. Comparable store sales for the first quarter decreased 3.3 percent.
During the quarter, Lowe’s opened four stores, including one relocation, and closed one store that was damaged by a tornado. As of April 29, 2011, Lowe’s operated 1,751 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico representing 197.3 million square feet of retail selling space, a 1.6 percent increase over last year.
The mass merchant's business outlook for second quarter 2011 is:
Total sales are expected to increase approximately 4 percent.
The company expects comparable store sales to increase approximately 2 percent.
The company expects square footage growth of approximately 1.5 percent.
Earnings before interest and taxes as a percentage of sales (operating margin) are expected to increase 20 to 30 basis points.
Depreciation expense is expected to be approximately $370 million.
Diluted earnings per share of $0.65 to $0.69 are expected.
Lowe’s second quarter ends on July 29, 2011, with operating results to be publicly released on Aug. 15, 2011.
At the end of May, the Supreme Court rendered its decision in the case challenging the Arizona requirement that employers use the federal E-Verify program as a condition of obtaining/maintaining a business license, said Craig Regelbrugge, VP of government relations at ANLA.
The Supreme Court has upheld the 9th Circuit’s finding that the Arizona law is not preempted by federal law.
Because U.S. lawmakers aren’t anxious to have a patchwork of laws across the country, they could act quickly to enact E-Verify laws across the board, he told publisher Todd Davis.
Look for more detailed analysis from ANLA soon.
To see the full decision with all its legalese, go here.
Every year about 37 million people go to Central Park, and, finding themselves surrounded by 23,000 trees, most do not know their sassafras from their euonymus.But Ken Chaya and Edward Sibley Barnard are not like most people. Spend two hours walking the oxygen-infused oasis with this pair as quirky as the Quercus prinus (chestnut oak), and it’s as if all of your senses are on steroids.
You smell the fresh wintergreen scent of a sweet birch branch split open. You pick up a crusty pod from the Kentucky coffeetree and taste the molasses-like jelly inside (but not the seeds, which can be toxic if they are not cooked). You run your hands over the winged branches of the Euonymus alatus and they feel like cork.
You are mesmerized by the magenta leaves glowing atop the variegated European elm because of a beautiful defect. You hear a magnolia warbler chirping on a black cherry tree deep in the serenity of the woods.
And then you begin to understand the pure wonder that drove these two men to give up two and a half years of their lives to make a map that artfully and painstakingly details 19,933 trees in Central Park.
“The more I look at it and study it,” Mr. Chaya said under a pin oak in the park one day last week, “the more it reveals its secrets to me.”
Their map includes 174 species and represents about 85 percent of the vegetation on the park’s 843 acres.
“Do I want every tree?” asked Mr. Chaya, 55, a birder and freelance graphic designer. “Of course, but I’m crazy. You can’t have every tree. There’s great hubris in wanting every tree. But we got the big ones, we have the important ones.”
The pair, working independently from the city and without any subsidy from the Central Park Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that manages the park, said they had spent nearly $40,000 on the project — testing their families’ patience — because they cherished Central Park’s trees and wanted others to as well. They hope to just break even.
The two-sided, waterproof, 36-by-26-inch map, called “Central Park Entire: The Definitive Illustrated Folding Map," is sold for $12.95 at the Dairy in the park and on the men’s Web site, CentralParkNature.com. They have sold about 1,100 copies of the $35 poster version since January. Some of the proceeds go to the Conservancy, the men said.
Read the rest of the story here.