A property management company in Fredericton, N.B. has been working around the clock to keep on top of the more than 70 centimetres of snow that has fallen on the city this week. The company owner and his staff of five have been challenged by the latest winter storm.
Landscape contractor Chris Maton keeps busy during the winter months, juggling two professions. Not only does he own his own landscaping business, providing snow removal services to customers in the winter, but he is also trainer for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.
There are certain rites of passage in the lives of parents and children, some good… some so painful that if you’d seen them coming, you would have had a vasectomy at 15 and become one of those crazy cat or dog people.
The Canadian pickup truck market is huge. It caters to the multiple needs of work, institutional and personal trucks–sometimes all of them in one package. In fact, pickups that serve the workplace and family are becoming the norm–this fact alone makes choosing the right one simply that much more complex. Trying to offer buyers an unbiased perspective is one of the reasons that I started the Canadian Truck King Challenge 10 years ago. Since then, each year, my group of journalist judges continues to fulfill that original mandate: testing pickup trucks and vans the same way that owners use them.
Robert Heggie was aware the 2016 season would prove to be a personal challenge. With the Toronto Argonauts adopting BMO Field as their new home–sharing tenancy with Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC–the field’s head groundskeeper would face the ongoing task of preparing the playing surface for football, converting it over for soccer and returning it to football standards frequently throughout the season.
We’re off and running with a new year—the 30th already for Turf & Recreation, if you can believe it.
The decade-old synthetic turf indoor soccer surface is being replaced at Montreal's Complexe Sportif Saint-Lazare. Until it is replaced, the after school drop-in soccer program has been suspended at the facility. Users have been complaining about the poor quality of the aging playing surface.
Urban forests provide more than just aesthetic appeal in large cities. They also have health and economic benefits for urban residents, including at Vancouver's Stanley Park where it is seen as a model urban forest for the world to recognize.
Landscaping and lawn care businesses considering building a content marketing channel for their websites will first have to know their business goals and brand story as well as understand their audience and the problems they face.
Tree cabling is an important measure to prevent structurally-weak trees from splitting apart or losing limbs. Without cabling under such circumstances, personal injury can occur or extensive damage to property.
Who better than a guy named Grass to speak authoritatively about golf course turf? Peter Grass is president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and is the subject of a Golf Channel blog about the various trends that have come about in golf course management over the past several years. Interestingly, his first name is never mentioned in the blog.
An article on medscape.com, a website designed for health care professionals, questions the safety of synthetic turf sports surfaces. Although the doctor-written article acknowledges artificial playing fields have vastly improved over the decades, it provokes comparisons with natural turf fields in terms of player safety and health.
A Purdue University researcher has found that the amount of carbon deposited into the soil is affected by turfgrass species and how it is mowed.
This December, my crew and I were honoured by being named the 2016 Sports Turf Managers Association’s “Mowing Patterns Contest” winner for our opening day mowing pattern at Fifth Third Field, home to the Dayton Dragons (Class A affiliate, Cincinnati Reds).
Often is the case when an individual does his best work when faced with the pressure of a deadline. Such was the circumstance in Moncton, N.B., last summer when four natural turf soccer fields needed to be whipped into shape in time for the Canadian Under 14 Soccer Championships played in October.
For more than 25 years, Tim Fredericks has been designing irrigation systems. On Friday, Nov. 18, the partner in Fredericks McGuire Ltd., based in Bolton, Ont., shared his experiences in the field with the members of the Manitoba Golf Superintendents Association as one of a roster of speakers at the annual Manitoba Golf Superintendents Association annual general meeting.
Meeting plant requirements and managing irrigation systems can be a difficult task under normal circumstances. When slope plantings are involved, applying water efficiently and effectively can be extremely challenging. Too little water and plants won’t grow, and too much water and you’ve got other problems.
Try to kill a plant and most survive. Why? Plants are intelligent. They have evolved to develop themselves with multiple modules, so Stefano Mancuso notes. These modules function together and, if damaged, the plant continues to function.  The Internet functions with multiple computers, but if one is damaged the system continues. So do plants.
The importance of soil health and composition on golf courses is addressed by Purdue University's Dr. Cale Bigelow in a question-and-answer segment published by Golf Course Industry magazine. He discusses such topics as soil testing and fertility strategies in the interview.
A genetically-modified turfgrass variety that "escaped" test plots in Idaho has taken root elsewhere in the state as well as in Oregon and has been difficult to kill due to its modification, making it resistant to Roundup. The issue now has everyone from seed dealers and environmentalists to scientists and farmers up in arms.
There will be no subsidy for residents of Vernon, B.C. who wish to replace their lawns with drought-tolerant plantings. A program to promote xeriscape landscaping to achieve improved water use efficiency has been recommended for the municipality, but a rebate program will not be in the works.
The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is a refrain to which golf course superintendents subscribe. Photographs help turfgrass managers explain agronomic and maintenance programs to members and sell renovation and capital improvement projects to boards of directors; a smartphone snapshot is now a powerful and ubiquitous communication tool of the trade.
The importance of overseeding sports fields cannot be overstated. Abundant wear leads to bare spots. If these sections of a field are ignored, playability is compromised, and injuries to athletes are inevitable.
Researchers in Georgia believe they have completed the first study in which handheld and mobile data acquisition for spatial analysis of natural turf sports fields are being used for comparison.
The city of Hamilton, Ont. is launching a two-year study aimed at growing its urban forest canopy. The city wishes to achieve a 30 per cent cover, but may find the goal somewhat lofty after having to cut thousands of trees to combat destruction caused by the emerald ash borer.
A Summerside, P.E.I. lawn care operator says the city's proposed pesticide bylaw will be too costly and wishes to see it phased in while suggesting its IPM component be delayed.
As city council in Summerside, P.E.I. continues to mull over a potential pesticide ban, an editorial in the local newspaper says watering down a bylaw will make it less effective.
The Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI), a recognized world-class hub for turfgrass education, research, extension and professional development, will soon have a new home on the University of Guelph campus.
A member of council in Orillia, Ont. feels the municipality isn't doing enough when it comes to snow removal and perhaps private contractors might do a better job.
Prince Edward Island's Mill River Resort, which includes a golf course and campground, is laying off 49 employees as the property shifts from government to private ownership. The incoming owner says affected staff can re-apply for their jobs as long as they are willing to work for "private sector wages."
Hamilton, Ont.'s Confederation Park has been victimized by the destructive emerald ash borer. The city has announced 66 dead or dying ash trees in the park will be removed.
Calgary has entered the final year of its tree disaster recovery plan enacted in 2014 when more than 50 per cent of the city's urban forest was damaged in what has become known as Snowtember. The September snowstorm that year prompted the multi-million-dollar recovery plan, and one city councillor wishes to see the program extended beyond 2017, suggesting the city hasn't planted enough trees.
The acting president of CropLife Canada says that although city council members in Summerside, P.E.I. may favour a ban on traditional dandelion control, city residents won't be happy if Health Canada-approved pesticides can no longer be used to keep lawns and parks healthy, attractive and usable.
About 80 truck loads of contaminated soil are being removed from the grounds of a former homeless camp outside Victoria, B.C.'s courthouse to make way for the construction this spring of a new children's playground. The soil had been contaminated by illegal drug labs, gasoline and other fuels.
More than 100 golf courses in China have been shut down due to improper use of groundwater and arable land. The government crackdown on golf, which has closed 111 courses and has imposed restrictions on 65 others, is an effort to conserve water and land. Controversy over golf course development in China has arisen in recent years, with some being built in the guise of parks and other vague designations.
An out-of-town property owner who owns property in Guelph, Ont. wishes to remove an abandoned building and replace it with a newly-constructed one, but is being told to leave the site's trees alone. One city councillor said she is tired of trees being "mistakenly" removed.
The Toro Company has improved upon its GreensPro® greens roller with a new model that features split stainless steel smoothing rollers. The GreensPro 1260's smoothing rollers reduce the risk of scuffing during turns and overlapping heads that deliver a consistent playing surface with each pass.
DeWalt has expanded its Flexvolt system with outdoor power equipment featuring batteries that automatically change voltage when the operator changes tools.
John Deere Golf and software company OnGolf have joined forces to provide golf courses with a cloud-based golf course management system that collects data and manages equipment, labour, water, chemicals, nutrients and playing conditions.
The Irrigation Association’s version of ABC’s popular reality TV show “Shark Tank,” Pitcher’s Mound, debuted at the recent 2016 Irrigation Show and Education Conference. Pitcher’s Mound was designed as an avenue to help inventors, entrepreneurs and business people in the irrigation arena bring new products to market.
DeWalt has expanded its 40V Max battery-powered outdoor equipment line for landscapers with the addition of its six-pack charging station (DCB116) and pole hedge trimmers (DCHT895 family).
A new cordless cooling fan jacket has been introduced by Makita to be worm in circumstances where heat could be an issue. The jacket provides constant air flow to improve sweat evaporation and maintain ideal body temperatures. It features three external pockets on both the left and right sides as well as the left chest. There are three air flow settings (low, medium and high) plus a turbo mode with LED indication. The turbo mode operates at maximum speed for about one minute when rapid cooling is desired. The fan can easily be removed from the jacket when it isn't required. Sleeves can be unzipped to convert the long-sleeved jacket into a short-sleeved one. The battery adaptor features dual USB ports to enable convenient charging of mobile devices on the job site. The shell is 100 per cent polyester. For more information, visit http://www.makita.ca/index2.php?event=newaccessorydetailstemp&id=1716&catid=1
Harper Turf Equipment has introduced its next generation of self-propelled turf vacuums. The T35 has been redesigned to save time and includes such economical features as a new cooling system, ergonomic operator station and smooth foot pedal operation. Most notable is the remote-mounted radiator and oil cooler for improved temperature control. The hydraulic powered cooling fan can be reversed to blow debris off the screen. The screen can be easily removed for deep cleaning. The operator station layout addresses performance and well-being through the ergonomic control placement and convenient adjustments. Controls for the unit have been moved to the right of the operator, providing greater productivity and increased visibility. The new, fully adjustable suspension seat reduces driver discomfort and improves posture. Brake release tools and cylinder stops can be stored in the operator station tool box. A manually controlled hydrostatis foot pedal provides a wide speed selection for comfort and convenience. The features allows operators to keep both hands on the steering wheel while adjusting ground speed and direction. The system increases pedal feedback, improving control and performance. The Kubota engine is available in either diesel or gasoline models. The four-cylinder Tier IV interim turbocharged diesel engine combines clean and quite power at 44 horsepower. The spark-ignited gas engine, at 49 horsepower, saves money and promotes faster job completion.
The Grasshopper Company's V-Series mower line has been expanded with the new model 227V-EFI. It features 12cc pump-and-wheel-motor transmission, 747 cc Kohler Confidant electronic fuel injection engine (with a limited three-year engine manufacturer warranty), 5.5-inch, extra deep decks in 52 and 61-inch cutting widths with foot pedal and drop pin height adjustment, large turf-style drive tires, and fully cushioned Cordura® covered seats with padded armrests. The V-Series mowers provide the agility of a zero-turn mower with a compact size that is able to manoeuvre in tight spaces without the fatigue associated with walk-behind mowers. These compact power units are ideal for landscape contractors who maintain small acreages and confined areas.
Tanners Turf, a landscaping service in Langley, B.C., has added synthetic turf installation to its array of services. The company's synthetic turf products are ideal for properties which receive little sun on a regular basis.
The following section features some of the newest equipment available to the turf and grounds maintenance industry for 2017.
A new web-enabled smart controller platform has been introduced by The Toro Company's irrigation division. The SMRT Logic works with the SMRTscape app to enable mobile wireless control of irrigation systems, outdoor lighting and other applications by using a smart phone, tablet or PC.
The Japanese engineers at Shindaiwa have designed and created the next generation of professional trimmers —the 262 series.

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