Blue False Indigo

WNA Announces 2009 Plants of the Year

The Wisconsin Nursery Association announced its 2009 Plants of the Year. They were selected at the annual membership meeting and workshop. The woody ornamental plant of the year is Chionanthus virginicus (White Fringetree), a low-maintenance plant that is native to the southeastern United States. The perennial plant of the year is Baptisia australis (Blue False Indigo), a large prairie plant native to the Midwest. The Plant of the Year Program was created to promote quality, underused plants to the public.

News from PLANET

The Professional Landcare Network held a three-day Crystal Ball meeting at Hunter Industries in San Marcos, Calif., to discuss “Innovating Toward a Sustainable & Profitable Future.” The purpose of the meeting was to develop a better understanding of business models that work productively with sustainability and balance profitability; to begin drafting a statement of intent and a plan for follow-through to create positive momentum among industry stakeholders; and to work to align or surpass standards of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. The group plans to establish a sustainable task force and have a follow-up meeting and an online forum to continue discussions.

PLANET has launched the Lawn & Landscape Issues Communication Toolkit, an online information center containing resources and Web sites related to timely green industry legislative issues. The toolkit is available in the legislative section of PLANET’s Web site,, and will be updated as additional material becomes available to address new issues and concerns.

To support its new program called PLANET Day of Service, set for April 22, 2009, PLANET has launched a Web site, The annual event is an opportunity for PLANET members, state associations, supplier members and other PLANET partners to come together across the country for a day of giving back to their communities through volunteer landscape, lawn care or tree care projects. The Web site is a one-stop shop for members organizing their Day of Service events. They can register their company and project, see the locations of other events and get project ideas and tips for planning and running events.

EPIC Honored by PRSA’s Nebraska Chapter

The Ethanol Promotion & Information Council was honored by the Nebraska chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for its work in fighting the misperception that ethanol is the primary cause of the rising cost of food. EPIC’s media kit, “Food AND Fuel,” received the Award of Excellence during the annual Paper Anvil Awards & Gala. EPIC also received an Award of Excellence in the op-ed/bylined article category.

ANLA Announces Clinic Sponsors, Hosts Blog Spectacular

The American Nursery & Landscape Association announced the sponsors for the 2009 ANLA Management Clinic. Novalis continued its platinum sponsorship and was joined by returning sponsors Master Nursery Garden Centers/New Growth Marketing, Border Concepts, the Independent Garden Center Show and Yamaha’s golf car division.

ANLA hosted the Clinic Early Bird Blog Spectacular, posting a new entry on the 2009 Management Clinic blog every hour from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on December 18, 2008. Industry leaders, including business owners, consultants and editors, provided ideas for managing costs, driving sales, targeting new customers and motivating staff in the midst of strong economic concerns.

Trade Associations Reach Agreement on Warranty Claim System

The North American Equipment Dealers Association, Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association and FEWA-AIMRA completed an agreement to initiate the launch of a new online system to process warranty claims and warranty registrations. The Warranty Claim Processing System allows users to electronically complete warranty registration, file warranty claims and track the progress of claims as they are processed. Use of the system is not limited to members of these associations.