Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia ‘Chief Joseph’ is one of the most beautiful conifers in horticultural production today and makes a striking addition to any landscape with its richly golden winter color. Pinus contorta is divided into three major subspecies, P. contorta subsp. contorta (shore pine), P. contorta subsp. latifolia (lodgepole pine) and P. contorta subsp. murrayana (also commonly called lodgepole pine). The species is native to the Pacific Coast from central California up through British Columbia and into the Yukon Territory. Of the three subspecies, latifolia is the most widespread. ‘Chief Joseph’ is a selection of subsp. latifolia collected in the late 1970s by Doug Will of Sandy, Ore., while on an elk hunting trip in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains. Will named his find after Chief Joseph, the legendary chief of the Nez Perce tribe. In 1877, Chief Joseph led the U.S. Army and General Oliver Howard on an 1,100 mile chase from Oregon across Idaho and Wyoming into Montana, where he hoped to cross over into Canada and join Sitting Bull’s Lakota Sioux who had found sanctuary there.
‘Chief Joseph’ is slow growing, reaching 4-6 feet in 10 years and attaining a mature height of 20 feet in 30 years. It has an irregular-conical shape which starts out somewhat compact and opens up as the tree matures. Many growers candle prune these and other pines to keep them more compact. The stunning yellow-gold color makes ‘Chief Joseph’ a dazzling specimen in the winter landscape. It fades to lime-green in the spring and through the summer until is shows of its golden cloak again beginning in the fall as the weather cools. It does best planted in full sun. It requires well-drained soil and regular water during the dry season for the first couple years.
Mark Leichty is the Director of Business Development at Little Prince of Oregon Nursery near Portland. He is a certified plant geek who enjoys visiting beautiful gardens and garden centers searching for rare and unique plants to satisfy his plant lust. firstname.lastname@example.org
Employee retention in a candidate’s market
Departments - The Human Resource
Learning and development is the critical retention tool for small-to medium-sized businesses.
Are you tired of hearing about the “candidate’s market?” Do you want to relieve the stress and strain of finding new talent just to meet the daily demands of your business, let alone grow your business? Well, there are two sides to this coin --recruitment and retention.
Recent polling of CEOs by The Conference Board, released in January of this year, reflect that their top internal concern for 2019 is obtaining and retaining talent. According to a September 2018 article from CNBC, “Workers are quitting at the highest rate since 2001.” A driving need for obtaining talent is retention. Certainly, some of the small- to medium-sized nurseries are reading this and thinking, “Those studies are all fine and good, but I bet they apply only to the big companies.”
Think again. Look at your current situation and I bet you will relate to it more closely than you think. We have been intimately involved with serving the horticulture industry for close to two decades and can definitely say the concerns uncovered by these studies are shared throughout the industry. It stands to reason that if your business retained its employees longer, the pressure to hire more would recede. Well, at least somewhat. If your business is growing, then the need to hire more employees will always be a key business challenge. Even if your business is stable or even contracting, in all three situations the retention of employees will certainly reduce the stress.
How does a business retain its employees? Every employee is different. Some are there just for a paycheck. Some think of it as just a job. Others are there to launch a career. Regardless of how an employee looks at their employment, what keeps them there is how an employer invests in them. Investing in your people is not exclusively about paying them more money, it includes helping them do their job better, expanding their responsibilities and growing their careers. Cultivating your employees will drive engagement and improve retention.
When the Great Recession of 2008 hit, two core business areas were cut almost immediately: recruitment and training. Since then, recruitment has roared back, while training (now often referred to as learning and development or L&D) has slinked back at a snail’s pace. Part of the reason is the perceptions of these two critical business initiatives that predate the recession. It is, however, time to shift perception and properly invest in your people in order to retain them.
I had the privilege of speaking with Claire Chandler, SPHR, President and Founder of Talent Boost, a company that helps leaders build legacies by inspiring the “Whirlpool Effect” in their teams. Claire consults with small- to medium-sized businesses just like yours all over the country on L&D initiatives that are customizable to their unique size, corporate structure, and budgetary constraints.
“Leading up to the recession, a lot of the focus of L&D was more on the remedial side,” says Chandler. “[The idea of] ‘let’s get people into L&D opportunities to improve where they are’ is weak.”
Chandler says that though there were some soft skills training, it was mostly about technical skills.
“[L&D] lacked the holistic training that we are seeing today. It was focused on filling holes, especially for corporate led training.”
She characterized the pre-recession training as driven by the “carrot and the stick” approach.
Of course, this was also a time when many businesses were investing more budgetary dollars in training their people. Many businesses invested in new technology, innovative techniques and remedial skills to lay a foundation for growth. But since the recession, Claire has seen budgets for L&D cut drastically — in many cases by more than 50%.
“If you hire the right person the right way and if you nurture the new hire, just like your plants, they will grow and flourish.”
It has been 10 years since the declared end of the Great Recession, yet many businesses have this old impression of L&D that holds them back from spending time, talent and money to appropriately invest in their people. But the perception is beginning to change. Businesses are becoming less interested in large corporate training departments and more driven by customizable solutions-based training. Today, according to Chandler, L&D is more partnered with the business and unit. More outsourced. There is an opportunity to get more tangible and granular.
A consistent theme she has seen, from small- to medium-sized firms and in both union and non-union environments, is the clamoring for more operational training and L&D that is customized to their specific needs. This thirst for L&D crosses all employment groups from front line workers and middle management to senior and even executive management.
Understanding where we were and what employees want helps to identify how to move forward, to innovatively cultivate employees, quench their thirst and grow your business into the future ahead of competition. Why is this important?
“L&D is no longer a perk, it is a requirement,” says Chandler. “There have been times in the past where employees were sent to development and led to believe this is a reward, that it was geared to high potentials and performers. Millennials have had a lot to do with moving this needle. But now it is a requirement, a necessity. They are expecting and assuming a two-way relationship. [For instance] ‘I’m going to bring my skills and best and in return I expect to be nurtured and have direct access not just to my direct manager but their management above and expect that I would be considered for advancement and other employment benefits.’”
The biggest perceived impediment by small- to medium-sized businesses leaders is budget, but it’s all proportional, all relative, she says.
“Many think that because they are not a large company they cannot afford the Deloitte scope analytics, that because of their size, and only their size, they are losing out to larger companies for top talent. [However], from a recruiting and retention perspective — from exit interviews and [my] experience in these functions — many have been retained by small to medium companies due to ‘access.’ Where people might go to larger companies for vertical advancement, title and large money, others have remained because of the unmatched access that small- and medium-sized companies can provide, such as access to upper management and to more ad hoc learning opportunities,” she adds.
If you hire the right person the right way and if you nurture the new hire, just like your plants, they will grow and flourish. Culture is critical to the success as well. It is the right environment that will facilitate the growth of the plant and the person alike. Feeding the plant means the right light, soil, nutrients and water. Feeding employees means nurturing, coaching, feedback and L&D.
There is an old saying where a CEO asks his head of human resources, “What if we train them and they leave?” To which the head of HR responds, “What if we don’t and they stay?” There is always a risk of employees leaving. Investing in them and providing access in a way they cannot gain elsewhere is at the heart of retaining them.
Author’s note: Claire Chandler, SPHR is a leadership strategist with 25+ years of experience in business leadership and organizational effectiveness. She helps ambitious organizations accelerate performance by building better leaders.
Michael Maggiotto Jr, PHR, SHRM-SCP is a Sr. Human Capital Advisor at BEST Human Capital & Advisory group and leads the human resources advisory services as well as providing retained executive search. He developed the firm’s WR2 HR Analysis designed to identify the Wins, Risks, and Remedies for horticulture and other niche industry companies.
The self-determined manager
Departments - Tip Jar
8 unwritten rules the best managers practice consistently.
At the heart of the job of managing people is the imperative (and opportunity) to create the environment within which the team does its work. The best managers know that the informal rules around how people should work make a substantial difference to what people do and what they pay attention to, and they seek to shape that in a way that maximizes success.
Here, excerpted from my book The Self-Determined Manager, are eight things the best managers know and consistently do.
Great managers understand that shaping the environment is their job. Great managers are clear about the impact they have on the team environment. They recognize this is not accidental, that team culture is not random. They understand that it’s their job to create the environment for the team, and they can choose the type of environment they create.
They understand the power of amplification—it’s in the structure of the job. By virtue of being a manager, your words and actions are amplified. Every pronouncement you make may be repeated, every action emulated and every expectation reflected in the work of your team.
They deliberately choose the environment they hope to create. This process is active and deliberate. Different managers choose different themes for the environment they create.
My checklist for the best kind of environment to create is as follows:
Positive. Help the team keep a positive view on what they are doing and why.
Purposeful. Know what it is all for; this makes the work and effort worthwhile.
Ambitious. Have something to work for and toward.
Supportive. Create a supportive environment.
Professional. Help the team do the best possible job, in the right way.
Honest. Be honest with each other about what’s good and bad, what’s working and what isn’t.
Grown-up. Avoid bullying, inappropriate aggression, shouting, patronizing, condescending, game-playing, name-calling, belittling, and playing favorite.
They create environments that get the best from people. The best managers are gifted at creating for their people a sense of self-confidence and accomplishment that gives them a platform, and from this platform of self-belief and achievement comes more success and greater performance. The trick is that the manager is always looking for the next thing for their people, the next challenge or the new skill, which will move them ahead a little.
They catalyze greater achievement and performance from individuals than they realized they were capable of. They see that their people must be achieving and overachieving on their own in order to create greatness for the team, and they know that the way to get to this state is to build an environment where their people do better and do more than they expected or understood they could.
The self-determined manager offers a simple deal—personal and professional growth in return for great attitude and effort. The greatest managers want their people to achieve and do more because it builds their self-respect and career, ensures their employability, and helps with their sense of satisfaction and mastery. Fundamentally, it is the right thing to offer an employee, the chance to learn more and achieve more as a result of working for you.
They are fueled by a passion to make other people successful (although there are some strings attached). The strings? You must expect individuals to live up to the opportunity that comes with working for a self-determined manager. Your people must be as self-motivated as you are, and must take responsibility to perform, deliver, learn, grow, and to have an impact and make a difference.
They create environments where “right” is clear. In a pressure-filled work environment, the best managers make choices about whether to push their people harder, or adapt the task to make it achievable, or use shortcuts to achieve an all-important endpoint. When making these choices, they are consistent in application of their core values. They never stray from doing the right thing. This means honesty is never compromised, false promises are never made, people are never deliberately harmed, client trust is never abused, and customers are never misled.
When you become a self-determined manager, everyone in the company benefits and the workplace becomes harmonious. Employees feel supported and incentivized to work hard, you feel satisfaction that you’re making a difference, and your higher-ups are delighted by your and your team’s efforts to help the company thrive.
David Deacon is the author of The Self-Determined Manager: A Manifesto for Exceptional People Managers. He has been a human resources professional for 30+ years and has worked for some of the world's leading companies, including Credit Suisse and MasterCard. www.selfdeterminedmanager.com
Supplement - Supplement
The destructive box tree moth was recently discovered in Canada, and North American growers are urged to help stop the spread of this pest.
Native to Asia, Cydalima perspectalis (box tree moth) is an invasive pest currently causing severe damage to Buxus spp. in Europe. In November 2018, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed the presence of box tree moth in an urban neighborhood in Toronto.
This is the first detection of this pest in North America.
The box tree moth was detected in Germany and the Netherlands around 2006 and is believed to have arrived in Europe with a shipment of boxwood plants from Asia. It is now found in up to 30 European countries.
Damage to boxwood is caused by the larvae feeding primarily on leaves and sometimes on the bark. Infested plants are disfigured by the loss of leaves and by the webbing spun by the larvae. Younger larvae feed by eating the lower surfaces of the leaves only. Older larvae feed inside the webbing and skeletonize the leaves, leaving only the midribs, and occasionally the outer margin intact. Presence of webbing, frass and molted black head capsules may also be apparent in and around infested plants.
Boxwood can survive defoliation as long as the caterpillars do not eat bark on the main stems. Once this happens, boxwood lose ability to obtain necessary nutrients and water, while becoming more susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections.
Eggs, which are laid in clusters, are greenish yellow when first laid. Black dots start to show as the larval head capsule is forming. Eggs hatch in about three days.
On hatching, larvae are greenish yellow with a shiny black head. As they mature, they become more greenish and develop a striking pattern of thick black and thin white stripes along the length of the body.
Mature larvae (about ½-inch long) pupate in a cocoon of white webbing spun among the leaves and twigs of the host. They are always hidden and rarely visible in the field.
Adults are medium-sized moths with a wing span of about 1½ inches with white wings and a thick dark brown border. A less common color variant has brown wings with small white streak on the forewing. Adult moths live about 14 days and are good flyers.
C. perspectalis can survive in areas where the minimum winter temperature is about -22°F. It overwinters in the larval stage in a silken cocoon spun between host leaves.
No natural predators exist in the EU. Not even birds and other animals will eat the caterpillars because they contain toxins. Controls are available, including pheromone traps, pyrethroids, chlorantraniliprole, and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) products. The Horticultural Research Institute urges the industry to be vigilant in scouting and report any suspicious-looking boxwood damage.
Sources: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, North American Plant Protection Organization, Horticultural Research Institute
A closer look
Supplement - Supplement
A solid scouting program assures that pesticides are applied at the proper life-cycle stage.
Scouting for nursery and greenhouse pests takes skill and time. It’s a critical piece of any integrated pest management program. By scouting, growers detect insects and mites while the population is small. Researchers have discovered there are established economic and environmental benefits from scouting nursery crops, such as saving production costs and labor hours.
If your operation is seeing more than average pest pressures in any given growing season, make sure your scouting techniques are polished and you’re giving crews the proper training.
Scouting begins before a crop enters your operation. If you’re propagating, evaluate the entire greenhouse one month prior to the introduction of a crop. Look at weeds in and around greenhouses and hoop houses, drainage problems, algae build-up, overwintered plants and debris under benches. Crops growing in adjacent greenhouses or outdoors should be recorded. When a crop arrives, scouts should inspect one-third or more of the plants.
Section off your production area into manageable portions based on location, size and crop or variety and scout them separately. It is more practical to deal with blocks that are 10 acres or smaller and contain plants of the same variety, age and spacing. Walk a transect when scouting to ensure you view plants from the edge and inner portion of the block. Common transects are walking in an X or a W pattern to cover the whole field. Change the path you walk each time you scout to inspect new areas. Re-examine hotpots where you have historically encountered high pest pressure. Scouting weekly is recommended. If degree day tools or biological information is available to predict the emergence or arrival of certain pests, use them to gauge when you might scout more intensively.
One of the greatest allies a grower can use to be an effective scout and pest manager is historical and forecast weather data. Degree day models are available for many pests and can be tracked using locally accurate degree day information. Some models even use forecast data to estimate when important events, such as egg hatch, adult flight or spore release, will occur. This information can inform you of when to intensify your scouting for certain pests and disease, when to apply a pesticide to optimize treatment and when the ideal conditions might occur to apply a spray. Check with your local extension office for degree day models or visit http://uspest.org for a custom degree-day mapping calculator for 48 U.S. states.
Sticky cards and traps
Sticky cards should be in your IPM toolbox for pest detection. Blue cards may be more attractive to thrips (and even shore flies), but it’s more difficult to see thrips against the blue background. Yellow sticky cards are used to detect infestations of adult flying insects. Attach each card to a stake with a clothes pin. Another option is to glue two clothespins back-to-back. Attach one end of the clothespin to a stake and clip the card to the other clothespin. This will allow you to move the card upward as the plant matures. For general monitoring, attach sticky cards vertically just above the plant canopy. For fungus gnats, place cards horizontally just above the soil surface or lay them flat on rims of pots. Aphids and thrips tend to be caught on the bottom half of the traps. Leafminers are caught more often along the top, and leafminer wasps and whiteflies tend to be spread uniformly over the trap. Aphids tend to be caught in the middle vertical columns. Since insects are not distributed evenly horizontally across the trap, columns counted should be vertical towards the middle of the trap.
In greenhouse production, each yellow sticky card should be numbered and placed at the minimum rate of one card per 1,000 square feet. Space the cards equally throughout the entire range in a grid pattern. Place cards near all entryways and vents. Small greenhouses (less than 4,000 square feet) can be scouted as one unit. Larger greenhouses should be divided into 2,000- to 3,000-square-foot sections. Change the cards weekly and place new cards in the same areas of the production area to track pest trends.
In outdoor production, traps should be hung at 4-6 feet above ground level in the nursery but can be placed at the office or other convenient location nearby. Traps can also be hung from limbs of trees in the nursery if duct tape or another protective coating is used to prevent bark damage.
Use one trap per insect species. Traps for different insect species should not be placed close to one another; place them at least 30 feet apart. To prevent cross-contamination when placing lures for more than one species, do not handle lures. The compounds in pheromone lures can penetrate many substances. Use disposable gloves, disposable forceps or shake lure out of the packaging onto the trap. Trap results can vary with location and microclimate; therefore, it is best to place more than one trap for a given pest in the nursery. Use at least one trap per 20 acres per insect species. Store extra lures sealed in the refrigerator or freezer. Replace lures during the season according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
Monitoring and keeping records
Begin inspections at the bottom of the plant and proceed upward, from older leaves to younger leaves to new growth. Special attention should be paid to buds and blooms. Pots should be tipped sideways for inspection of the underside of the leaves where many pests reside. Root examinations should be performed on crops that are highly susceptible to root disease by inverting and removing the pot.
Identify and record pest numbers in a notebook. Compile weekly summaries and itemize information for each greenhouse, hoop house or nursery bed according to the pests detected, the counts, and any unusual circumstances found.
Detailed records of any pesticide application should be kept to compare with previous records to see if fewer applications have been made or if a less toxic chemical has been substituted. These records should include the following information:
Date of spray application.
Name, classification, amount of active ingredient, and registration number.
Amount of material and water mixed for the application.
How much of the pesticide was applied.
Where the pesticide was applied.
Square feet or number of pots treated.
Type of application method (wet spray, fog, etc.).
Over time, population trends will emerge and provide direction for your pest management program.
Consult and follow pesticide labels for registered uses. If any information is inconsistent with the label, follow the label. UConn Extension does not guarantee or warrant the standard of any product referenced or imply approval of the product to the exclusion of others which also may be available. UConn Extension, UMass Extension, OSU Extension, Michigan State University, and the University of Tennessee Extension are not endorsing any product or company.