Fecon headquarters in Lebanon, Ohio.

Fecon Hosts National Meeting and Demo

Fecon, Inc. hosted dealers from across the United States and Canada at their 2007 National Sales Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio. The event kicked off with a welcome reception and was followed by a day and a half of field demos and breakout sessions facilitated by Fecon representatives.

Fecon demonstrated seven machines, including their new FTX140 Track Carrier, SH140 Stump Grinder and Bull Hog PTO model.

Hansen’s Celebrates Anniversary

Hansen’s Tree Service celebrated the two-year anniversary of its certification by the Tree Care Industry Association. The designation shows the company’s dedication to safety and performance standards for quality and safety. They are the first company in Missouri to have this designation, and celebrated the anniversary by planting a tree. In addition to its TCIA accreditation, Hansen’s is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture, and every estimator is an ISA-certified arborist.

Giuffre Bros. Offers Trucks During Model Changeover

Giuffre Bros. Cranes, Inc., headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., has committed to purchasing 90 boom trucks from Terex Cranes. These units will be available as Terex’s Iowa operation works on producing new models. The purchase commitment puts Giuffre Bros. in a position to accommodate other Terex dealers and large rental houses until new models become available.

Morbark Concludes 50th Anniversary Celebration

Morbark, Inc. spent 2007 celebrating its 50th anniversary. Morbark began in 1957 in a small blacksmith shop in Winn, Mich., when Norval Morey and Robert Baker became partners in the invention and patenting of a log debarking apparatus. Over the years the company expanded from sawmill equipment to forestry, tree care and wood waste recycling equipment.

The celebration included tours of Morbark’s new office building, Demo Days, a tailgate party at a Central Michigan University football game and a summer picnic for employees and their families. Also focused on this anniversary were themed trade shows, company advertising and a memorial calendar.

Tech-Terra Organics Goes National

Tech-Terra Organics, a New Jersey-based distributor of natural plant care products, has expanded its distribution nationally. President Barry Draycott, a 25-year veteran of the tree care industry, formed Tech-Terra to provide natural organic products for his tree, landscape and lawn care customers. The company grew by distributing the products to other green industry professionals in New Jersey.

Mary Mix McDonald Woods Gets New Entrance

The Chicago Botanic Garden is building two new structures in the southwestern portion of Mary Mix McDonald Woods to introduce more visitors to the wonders of the 100-acre oak woodland. A new entrance to the McDonald Woods nature trail will feature a timber and stone shelter and a stone seat wall. Deeper in the woods, a new stone council ring, 30 feet across, will serve as an outdoor classroom for school groups. Existing interpretive signs teach visitors about the complex and interrelated communities that make up an oak woodland and the importance of its management and restoration. It also features a diverse complex of plant associations because of differences in soil type, moisture and topography. Over 400 native plant species make up this delicate ecosystem as well as 20 mammal species, 118 bird species and thousands of species of insects, including butterflies. McDonald Woods serves as a research location for scientists who conduct research projects on soil organisms, nutrient cycling, fungi and threatened plant species. The Joseph Regenstein Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Center for Teaching and Learning also use the woods as a living classroom.

Appalachian Regional Loggers of the Year

From the top loggers in 13 states, the Forest Resources Association selected Shawn and Will Sexton, of Sexton’s Excavating in Jackson, Ohio, as winners of the 2007 Appalachian Regional Logger of the Year award in recognition of excellence in environmentally friendly harvesting practices, business operations, employee safety training and community contributions.

Sexton’s Excavating is an Ohio Master Logging Company that provides custom logging and earth excavating services.

The program recognizes outstanding logging contractor performance; promotes competent, professional, independent logging contractors in the forestry community; encourages other contractors to emulate the performance of the winners; and improves forester-logger relations by publicly recognizing outstanding logging performance as an essential element of every planned timber harvest.

New Headquarters for Embassy Landscape Group

Construction was scheduled to begin in Riverside, Mo., in late October on a $3.5 million headquarters, showroom and shop for Embassy Landscape Group, Inc., which works in commercial and residential landscape design.

The project will include several green elements, including a geothermal heating system, a rooftop rain garden and use of recycled materials in construction.

Organics at the National Mall

Representatives of SafeLawns.org recently completed a two-week project intended to demonstrate whether environmentally friendly soil treatments can improve soil conditions enough to make grass more resilient in an environment with extreme compaction. The group plowed a section of existing lawn at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., then added compost, natural soil amendments and fertilizers before reseeding the area. SafeLawns.org representatives will return to the site frequently over the next two years to continue an organic maintenance program.

The National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, partners in the project, will evaluate three plots at the National Mall — one maintained conventionally by the NPS, a second that has received standard organic treatment and a third that has had a complete organic makeover.

Brickman Acquires NWLC

Commercial landscape management firm Brickman continued its expansion into the Pacific Northwest with the acquisition of Washington-based Northwestern Landscape Co. (NWLC). Brickman, which acquired Northwest Landscape Services of Portland, Ore., earlier this year, has three offices in the Puget Sound area and two in Portland.

With branches in Redmond, Renton, Puyallup and Vancouver, Wash., NWLC is one of the largest local landscape firms. Brickman is based in Gaithersburg, Md., and serves local, regional and national clients in 27 states, with over 145 company-owned branch offices.

Jonathan Bartels, former owner of NWLC, will serve as Brickman’s regional manager in Washington.

Dynamic Partners With Lawn & Garden

Lawn & Garden Media Solutions LLC, parent company of Lawn & Garden Webvision, has formed a strategic partnership with Dynamic Mfg. Corp.

Dynamic is a worldwide distributor of products for the landscape, tree care and logging industries. Their Cone-Head and Discone chippers and grinders process wood and other organic material into biofuel chips.

Lawn & Garden Webvision is an IP Web portal providing market information for the green and tree care industries.

New PLM Network Member

Superior NW Tree And Shrub Care, Inc. has joined the Premier Level Member Network of Horticultural Asset Management, Inc. (HMI). As a member, a Superior NW certified arborist will conduct landscape assessments on residential and commercial properties to determine the types, sizes and condition of woody trees and shrubs. From this data, HMI’s system will establish the replacement cost valuation of each plant assessed.

Network members are able to provide property owners with risk mitigation services, repair and tree replacement services. In addition, members receive work referrals, customized covers and discounted pricing on HMI’s property-specific landscape owner’s manual.

Replacement values for landscapes and individual plants can be used to establish insurance coverage requirements, help determine casualty loss values and support the asking price of a landscaped property during a real estate transaction.

Corona Clipper and PLANET Join Forces

The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) and Corona Clipper, Inc. have teamed up to create a training manual and DVD about pruning trees and shrubs. The techniques demonstrated will mirror skills required to receive PLANET’s nationally recognized Certified Landscape Technician designation.

Available in English and Spanish, the DVD focuses on shrubs and trees less than 15 feet tall, demonstrating specific pruning techniques with an emphasis on safety. The accompanying manual will include content-related questions, enabling companies to test an employee’s knowledge.

Davey Acquires Environmental Consulting Firm

The Davey Tree Expert Co. has acquired environmental consulting firm Applied Environmental, LLC of Fort Wayne, Ind. The acquisition will operate as part of the natural resource consulting unit of Davey Resource Group, which provides urban forestry and ecological services consulting.

Chad Appleman, founder of Applied Environmental, will serve as coordinator of ecological services for Davey’s Fort Wayne-based operations.  

Caterpillar Announces Two Deals

Caterpillar, Inc. has acquired the assets of the forestry division of Blount International, Inc. Under the agreement, Caterpillar will acquire two Blount manufacturing facilities, one in North America and one in Sweden. The acquisition will bring all product design, development and manufacturing under Caterpillar.

In a separate transaction, six Caterpillar dealers have agreed to acquire certain assets of Pioneer Machinery, Inc. The dealers are Blanchard Machinery, Carolina Cat, Carter Machinery, Gregory Poole, Ring Power and Yancey Brothers.

The transaction is expected to be finalized after the parties conduct a due diligence process. The transition of Pioneer’s commercial operations to the dealers will begin as soon as definitive agreements are completed.