Davey Tree partners with Certified Employee-Owned

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KENT, Ohio – The Davey Tree Expert Company recently announced that it has partnered with Certified Employee-Owned (Certified EO), a certification program for employee-owned companies in America.

"As one of the oldest employee-owned companies in North America, Davey Tree is excited to partner with Certified EO,” said Pat Covey, Davey’s chairman, president and CEO. “Employee ownership is a big part of our culture, and we’re anxious to begin working with Certified EO and their members to bring more attention to the benefits of employee ownership.”

To become a member of Certified EO, companies must pass a certification process to demonstrate that their employees own at least 30 percent of the business (exclusive of company founders), access to ownership is open to every employee, and the concentration of ownership is limited. Fewer than one in 200 American companies are eligible to join Certified EO.

“We’re thrilled to have Davey Tree as our newest member,” said Thomas Dudley, CEO and co-founder of Certified EO. “We’re very aligned on values and recognize that employee ownership is good for workers, good for business, and good for communities. As an employee-owned company, Davey Tree is a pillar of their community and at the forefront of creating an economy that works for everyone.”

The Davey company had been established, owned and managed by the Davey family almost entirely since its founding in 1880, but in the late 1970s, the family decided to sell the company. Almost immediately, an employee-ownership committee was created and met with the family to explore the possibility of the employees purchasing the company.

On March 15, 1979, a financial commitment was made by 114 employees who participated in a direct purchase of stock. To make the acquisition possible, the company redeemed thousands of shares of stock but reserved some to be sold to the newly created Davey Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). More than 400 employees participated in the initial ESOP, and these combined efforts are what made the employee acquisition a reality 40 years ago.

Today, Davey is one of the oldest and the 9th-largest employee-owned company in the United States, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership. Since 1979, the company’s revenues have grown from roughly $60 million to more than $1 billion, and the number of employees has gone from 2,800 to over 10,500. Additionally, the market value of the company’s shares increased from more than $7 million to over half a billion today. Covey said much of the growth is due to Davey’s employee-owners’ passion for providing solutions that exceed client expectations.

“Employee-ownership has focused and united our teams throughout North America,” Covey said. “It has proven to be glue that binds us together during difficult times, and it is core to all of our successes. It is who we are."

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Moving forward during COVID-19

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Editor Brian Horn will be joined by Dean DeSantis, president of DeSantis Landscapes in Oregon and Bruce Moore Jr., president of Eastern Land Management in Connecticut and New York to discuss operating a landscaping company during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with questions from attendees, topics for the webinar, sponsored by Azuga, will include:

  • The current status of their state and companies
  • Communication with employees and customers
  • Changes in day-to-day operations
  • Positives in this environment
  • Changes between now and when restrictions were placed
  • Lessons learned from a leadership standpoint
  • Conducting business in the future

The webinar is free and is on May 15 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. EST. For more information and to register, click here.

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Kawasaki introduces Mule Fleet Edition models

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For the 2021 model year, Kawasaki introduces three new models thoughtfully tailored to meet industrial or commercial job site requirements. These models are designed for government or fleet customers that operate any size fleet of side x sides and are looking for features that enhance the capabilities of their fleet vehicles. They include the two-row, six-passenger MULE PRO-DXT EPS FE; the two-row, four-passenger MULE 4010 Trans4x4 FE; and the single-row, two-passenger MULE 4010 4X4 FE.

Every MULE FE model includes multiple accessories as standard equipment, requiring fewer modifications to service the needs of these customers. They feature a plastic roof, high visibility orange seat belts, horn and a universal key. Additionally, FE models are delivered in a bright white color, allowing the customer to easily add their logo.

The MULE PRO-DXT EPS FE features Kawasaki’s Trans Cab system that quickly transforms the spacious six-person, two-row cab to a single row, three-passenger machine with a steel floor bed, capable of handling 1,000 pounds of cargo. It is powered by a powerful 993cc three-cylinder diesel engine mated to a smooth CVT transmission with a 2,000-pound towing capacity, has four-wheel independent suspension, a 92.3” wheelbase, and speed-sensitive Electronic Power Steering (EPS).

The two-row, four-passenger MULE 4010 Trans4x4 FE is powered by Kawasaki’s 617cc V-twin engine with electronic fuel injection and can tow 1,200 pounds. It features a large steel cargo bed that can haul up to 800 pounds in the two-person configuration, electronic power steering and an all-new steel rear screen.

The single-row, two-passenger MULE 4010 4X4 FE is powered by Kawasaki’s 617cc V-twin engine and equipped with a large (46.3” x 56.1” x 11.2”) steel cargo bed. This workhorse is a valuable tool with a 6.3-gallon fuel tank and is easy to operate with durable mechanical controls as well as the all-new steel rear screen.

The entire MULE FE lineup is assembled in Lincoln, Nebraska, from domestic and imported parts and is built to be the hardest worker on the jobsite. The Fleet Edition MULE models will be available in July 2020 and feature the Kawasaki STRONG three-year limited warranty.

For more information on Kawasaki’s Fleet and Government Sales programs, contact Michael Jacobs at michael.jacobs@kmc-usa.com, or by phone at 817-591-4475 or visit www.kawasaki.com/FleetSales or www.kawasaki.com/GovernmentSales.

New 2021 FE Model Variations:

KAWASAKI MULE PRO-DXT EPS FE

Color: Bright White   

MSRP: $15,399

Availability: July 2020

KAWASAKI MULE 4010 Trans4x4 FE

Color: Bright White

MSRP: $11,499

Availability: July 2020

KAWASAKI MULE 4010 4X4 FE

Color: Bright White

MSRP: $10,349

Availability: July 2020

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Exmark 36 hydro. My first hydro! Decent deal

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Thanks It needs a little work but happy with my purchase, only paid 750. So I’m fine with putting another few hundred even if necessary.
Originally agreed with seller on 1300, however it would not start and I found a sloppy spindle also. So the seller did the right thing and asked if I’d take it for 750. I jumped on it taking a gamble on the hydros being ok.
Going to pull carb first thing this afternoon, suspect float stuck as…

Exmark 36 hydro. My first hydro! Decent deal

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Fertilizing Hostas – How To Fertilize A Hosta Plant

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(with Laura Miller) Hostas are popular shade-loving perennials cultivated by gardeners for their easy care and sustainability in a variety of garden soils. Hosta are easily recognized by their multitude of attractive foliage and upright flower stems, which bear lavender blooms during summer months. Should you use fertilizer for hosta plants? These beautiful, low-maintenance plants don’t need much fertilizer, but feeding hostas may be a good idea if your soil is poor or if your hosta isn’t growing and thriving as it should. Knowing how and when to feed hosta can improve their appearance in the garden and help them reach their mature height. Read on to learn more. Choosing a Fertilizer for Hostas Hostas prefer a garden soil rich in organic matter. Prior to planting hosta, amend the natural soil with compost made from animal manures and leaves. Hosta roots tend to spread horizontally, rather than vertically. Working compost […]

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Companions For Azaleas And Rhododendrons: What To Plant With Rhododendron Bushes

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Rhododendrons and azaleas make beautiful landscape plants. Their abundance of spring blossoms and distinctive foliage have made these shrubs popular choices among home gardeners. However, both of these plants require very specific growing conditions. These requirements can make it difficult to figure out what to plant with azaleas and rhododendrons. What to Plant with Rhododendron and Azaleas Light and pH compatibility are the keys to finding plants suitable as companions for azaleas and rhododendron. Like most members of this family, azaleas and rhododendron thrive in acidic soils. When choosing rhododendron and azalea companion plants, look for those that can tolerate a pH between 4.5 and 6. Additionally, both of these shrubs prefer filtered light or afternoon shade. Rhododendrons and azaleas can often be found growing under the canopy of oaks or in the shade of pine. These trees also prefer acidic soils, making them ideal companions for azaleas and rhododendron. […]

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What Is Root Washing – Learn About Washing Tree Roots

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It happens so regularly that you would think we’d grow used to it. A procedure that was drilled into our heads as being essential to a plant’s survival turns out to actually be harmful. For example, remember when experts told us to protect tree wounds with putty? Now that’s considered detrimental to the tree’s healing process. The latest horticultural flipflop among scientists involves how to handle roots when you transplant container trees. Many experts now recommend root washing before planting. What is root washing? Read on for all the information you need to understand the root washing method. What is Root Washing? If you haven’t heard of or don’t understand root washing, you’re not alone. It’s a relatively new idea that container grown trees will be healthier if you wash all of the soil from their roots before you transplant them. Most of us were instructed firmly and repeatedly not […]

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USDA Approves Florida Hemp Program

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Greenhouse HempThe decision clears the way for Florida growers to begin cultivating hemp later this month.

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Feeding Ginkgo Trees: Learn About Ginkgo Fertilizer Needs

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One of the world’s oldest and most amazing plants, ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), also known as maidenhair tree, was in existence when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Native to China, ginkgo is resistant to most insect pests and disease, tolerates poor soil, drought, heat, salt spray, pollution, and isn’t bothered by deer and rabbits. This fascinating, hardy tree can live a century or more, and can reach heights in excess of 100 feet (30 m.). In fact, one tree in China reached a grand height of 140 feet (43 m.). As you might imagine, fertilizing ginkgo trees is rarely necessary and the tree is adept at managing on its own. However, you may want to feed the tree lightly if growth is slow – ginkgo usually grows about 12 inches (30 cm.) per year – or if leaves are pale or smaller than usual. What Ginkgo Fertilizer Should I Use? Feed ginkgo […]

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The right choice for your turf

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There are advantages to both liquid
and granular fertilizer. The key is to know when to use each type. Using the
correct style of fertilizer – and applying it correctly – will keep your
clients’ lawns looking green all year long.

Here are a few things to consider when
determining the most effective fertilizer for a given site application.

Layout of
the Area.

Small, hard-to-navigate spaces may call for
hand-spraying of liquid fertilizer, especially for crews that prefer to use
machinery in their granular applications.

“We use liquid when we have to do hand
applications – so those are going to be bump outs, small islands, hills,
anything like that where we can’t get a machine into it,” says Dan Mausolf,
general manager at Stine Turf & Snow in Durand, Michigan.

For large, flat areas, Mausolf’s crews prefer
using granular fertilizer whenever possible. They typically spread the
fertilizer using a metered, calibrated hopper available on commercial
spreaders.

“It’s just faster and you can cover more area
(with granular fertilizer) as opposed to liquid,” Mausolf says.

Terrain is a key factor in determining the right
fertilizer, agrees Kyle Rose, business development office for The Green Team,
which has offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia. But because
Rose’s teams typically spread granular fertilizer on foot using hand-crank
spreaders worn over the chest – he prefers granular over liquid for hilly
areas.

“We have a lot of hills at our branch in
Virginia, so it’s hard for us to use push spreaders,” Rose explains. “A lot of
times we prefer granular because we can be more precise and get those areas
done. If you’re spraying liquid fertilizer on a hill, you’ll be slipping and
sliding all over the place.”

Type of
Application Needed.

In Sarasota, Florida, owner Michael Falconer’s
Lawngevity crews typically use granular fertilizer for new starts and at key
application times throughout the year in order to get “that really nice green
lawn that your customer’s looking for,” he says.

“It has to do with the amount of nitrogen you
want to put out,” he adds. “If you want to put a larger amount out – say, one
pound of nitrogen per one thousand feet – you’re going to use granular. If you
tried to use liquid at that higher rate, you’d probably get leaf burn. Liquid’s
not good if you’re trying to put a heavier amount of nitrogen out.”

In between seasonal granular applications,
Falconer’s crews prefer liquid fertilizer as their go-to tool for more frequent
maintenance applications.

The advantage of using liquid for maintenance
applications is that it allows crews to customize applications for each client,
as needed.

“The big advantage is, you can pull up on a yard
and if you’re going to spray it with liquid fertilizer, you can mix for what
you see when you pull up,” Falconer says. “So if you pull up to a lawn and it
has an iron deficiency, you could add a little iron to your mix . . . or if
your lawn has insects, you (can) put the insecticide in there. (With liquid
fertilizer) you do everything in one shot.”

Spreading
Accuracy.

There’s also the issue of correct application
rate. Many crews feel it’s easier to calibrate the correct application rate
when using granular fertilizer.

“In my experience, it’s easier to train people
to put out the right amount of granular on a property as opposed to spraying
liquid, just because everybody tends to walk in a different way or spray in a
different pattern (with liquid),” Rose says.

“There are a lot more variables involved with
spraying – you have to make sure your gun is calibrated properly. You have to
make sure you’ve mixed at the right rate, and that it’s being agitated properly
in your tank,” Rose adds.

Windy days can also pose a problem for liquid
applications, especially if crews are using low-volume sprayers.

“A gust of wind can pop up, and (with liquid)
you can end up spraying fertilizer where it’s not supposed to be,” Rose says.

To increase accuracy of spreading when using
granular fertilizers, Falconer recommends using a properly calibrated professional
spreader with a side shield, which he developed, to avoid spraying fertilizer
into pools or into ditches or other waterways.

For his part, Falconer said it’s possible to
achieve spray consistency with liquid fertilizer, but it calls for careful
calibration of equipment.

“Every truck is calibrated for the technician,”
Falconer says. Lawngevity crews do routine water “bucket tests” with their
spray equipment at headquarters to check that they’re releasing around five
gallons a minute – which “is about what a person will walk and spread over
1,000 square feet,” Falconer said.

Equipment
Availability.

Relying on granular as a primary fertilizer type
means crews don’t have to wait for access to a tank truck.

“You can be more versatile with granular,” Rose
says. “If you’re a smaller operation that has only three or four trucks, and
none of them have a tank, you can still send all of those trucks out with
granular products. But if you’re doing a liquid fertilizer, you can only send
one guy out if you only have one spray tank.”

Timeline.

Using granular fertilizer with slow release can
lead to longer activation periods – meaning crews won’t have to reapply
fertilizer as frequently. The result: cost savings in crew labor time.

“With granular options, we can use a material
that might last 60 days, might last 180 days, or even up to a full growing
season here,” Mausolf says. “So there’s more options (with granular). There’s
more consistent growth color, throughout the majority of the season. You
wouldn’t get that with liquid. You can’t put that much down (in a single
application).”

Cost.

In some cases, there may be a cost-savings
effect to using granular fertilizer, particularly when additives are factored
in.

“Once you start mixing in potassium and
phosphorous into the liquid (nitrogen-based fertilizer), it becomes really,
really expensive,” Rose says. “So, it’s actually cheaper to add more potassium
and phosphorus into the granular fertilizers than it is to the liquids.”

On the other hand, if you consider crew labor
time, there could be a cost savings effect to choosing liquid fertilizer – due
to the fact that fertilization, weed control, and insecticide can be done in
one spray application, rather than three separate steps.

“When you’re all done applying granular
fertilizer, then you have to blow off (sidewalks and driveway) and then (as a
second step) you’d have to pull hose and spray weeds,” Falconer says. “Whereas
if you’re just doing liquid, you pull hose, and spray weeds and fertilize all
in one shot. So, (using) liquid does help our costs.”

Rose agrees that using liquids can mean less
walkovers of a property.

“I think you can be more flexible with liquid.
You can mix fertilizer, insecticide, and weed killer in one tank and just walk
the property one time,” he says. “So, it can be a little more efficient, with a
liquid, if you have multiple applications on a property.”

Client Perceptions.

While there are advantages and disadvantages to
both liquid and granular fertilizers, one key factor may ultimately tip the
scales in the favor of granular: client perception.

Many residential clients appreciate that they
can come home from work and literally see evidence that crews have been on site
and have applied granular fertilizer. When liquids are used, there’s often no
such visual cue that the work has been done.

“There’s always that customer perception – for
whatever reason – (where they fear) they might be getting cheated,” Rose says.
“If they come home and see that you’ve been there and see that granular
product, it gives them peace of mind that the crew did what they were supposed
to do.”

The author is a freelance writer based in
Kentucky.

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