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Stihl Opens iCademy to Vocational Educators

Stihl, Inc. has opened its iCademy online dealer training program to vocational education programs. Educators can access Stihl’s Internet-based distance training and testing program and augment all aspects of their technical instruction curriculum. The site launched in 2007 and has 200 schools participating to date.

The iCademy program will be made available to any accredited school teaching small engine repair and will assist students in a variety of subjects concerning the operation of a power equipment dealership. Instructors can monitor each student’s progress through the various lessons.

Instructors who want to participate can apply by visiting www.stihlvotech.com.  

SavATree Merges with Shearer/Penn

SavATree has merged with New Jersey-based Shearer/Penn, expanding its efforts in the Central/Southern New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania area. Shearer/Penn has been providing local residents with tree and lawn care since 1932.

News from HMI

Portland, Ore.-based Collier Arbor Care has joined Horticultural Asset Management, Inc.’s Premier Level Member Network. As a member, a Collier certified arborist will conduct landscape inspections. HMI’s system calculates the replacement cost value and assigns a plant health score for each tree inspected. That information, along with the type, size, location and any symptoms present, is presented in a TreeFacts Inspection report.

HMI has launched a new series of inspection reports to be offered under the TreeFacts brand. The range of reports provides information to property owners about the types and general health of trees and shrubs on a property. HMI can inspect large trees and shrubs near a home or structure that may be dangerous, or trees and shrubs over an entire property. Also available under the TreeFacts brand are tree valuation reports and custom care guides.

WNA Celebrates Arbor Day

The Wisconsin Nursery Association and The Bruce Co. donated and planted a red oak tree in Capitol Park in Madison, Wis., to commemorate the 136th Arbor Day celebration. In conjunction with Arbor Day, fourth and fifth-grade students wrote essays and created posters inspired by trees and their place in nature. Over 1,500 students submitted essays and more than 1,700 submitted posters. The winning entries were chosen by WNA staff, and each winning student received a tree to plant in their own community. The winners are Micaela Jobke, Josie A. Bacon, Skyler Richard Fisher, Nathan Schwartz, Isabella Reichardt and Hannah Glinski. Trees were donated by Heritage Hill Nursery, Northern Christmas Trees & Nursery, Tillman Landscape Nursery, McKay Nursery, Johnson’s Nursery and Northwoods Nursery.

EAB Survey Launched

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture launched an emerald ash borer survey with the intention of placing 10,000 purple panel traps in 35 counties. The statewide survey will assess the spread of the invasive beetle that arrived in Western Pennsylvania last summer. PDA’s crew of 70 surveyors placed traps in 35 counties, and the remaining counties were surveyed by other state and federal agriculture agencies.

People who suspect they have seen emerald ash borer should contact the department’s pest hotline at 866-253-7189.  For more information on the beetle, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us/emeraldashborer.

TCIA Honors Forester

The Tree Care Industry Association gave its 2007 Advancing Arboriculture Award to Michael Galvin, an urban and community forestry supervisor. Galvin, who has worked for the Maryland Forestry Service since 1995, has taken a position with Casey Trees, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization. TCIA gives the award to a governmental agency, institution or green industry partner that has worked to advance legislation, regulation or practices favorable to the tree care industry.

News from Osiris & Thomas

Osiris Corp., parent company of Thomas Equipment, Inc., named Rebecca Barton as marketing director. Previously, she was an assistant vice president and business analyst for Banc of America Securities. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and received a master’s in business administration from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Thomas appointed Tarcisio Sciocco to the position of regional business manager in Italy. Sciocco, who has led marketing for heavy equipment companies in Italy, holds a degree in business administration from Universita Commerciale L. Bocconi.

Donald S. Sturwold has joined Thomas as regional business manager in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Before joining Thomas, Sturwold was a territory manager for NationsRent. He received an associate degree in business management from Oakton Community College.

Francisco Auer has joined Thomas as a regional business manager in Georgia, South and North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, as well as in South and Central America. Previously, he was a sales specialist with Kelly Tractor Co. Auer holds an associate degree from Miami Dade Community College.

Thomas named Daniel J. Casey regional business manager for the Midwestern United States. Previously, Casey was compact equipment specialist at Ditch Witch of Minnesota. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

Thomas promoted Allan Downey to regional business manager for the Northeastern United States, from his previous position as technical service manager. Downey joined Thomas 14 years ago and has held quality control and technical positions.

New Web Site Highlights EAB Control

The successful control of emerald ash borer is highlighted in a video on the newly launched Web site www.TreeResearch.org. The video is hosted by Dr. Dave Roberts, specialist and district horticulture agent with Michigan State University Extension, who first identified EAB in 2002. The video provides details about the signs and diagnosis of EAB, as well as an overview of chemicals and fertilizers used to successfully treat ash trees.

Southeastern Michigan arborists demonstrate procedures for the survival and recovery of ash trees. The most effective method is to use trunk injections that do not require drilling. Annual applications of imidacloprid are recommended in areas with heavy infestations, and applications every other year as a preventive measure.

Bryan Breaks Ground on New Warehouse

Bryan Equipment Sales, Inc., an exclusive distributor of Stihl products, has broken ground on a new 43,000-square-foot warehouse expansion scheduled for completion in fall 2008. This project is the third major warehouse expansion since the original building was completed in January 1986. The new facility will nearly triple the amount of warehouse capacity and include provisions for a new training facility.

Bryan will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2008. A grand opening dealer celebration to include special guest Hans Peter Stihl is planned for October 9-11, 2008.