Author Archives: editor

Growing Trees in the Urban Jungle: To Sum it all Up

By Alistair Johnston

Establishing trees in the urban jungle is a difficult proposition given the many varied stressors that can impact health. To greatly improve upon the life expectancy for metropolitan trees, there has been a concerted effort amongst municipalities, arborists, and landscape architects to rethink the requirements for urban tree planting. New technologies to maximize soil volume along with research and education in planting and maintenance techniques are linking together to facilitate the successful establishment of trees. The future is positive for urban forests.

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Superintendents Take on Multiple Sclerosis

The Vancouver Island Golf Superintendents Association (VIGSA) puts on a free family skate, but welcomes donations as part of its fundraising activities for MS. The event features local sporting team mascots. Photo from VIGSA-MS Event

By Brian Youell

Superintendents and industry representatives from the Vancouver Island Golf Superintendents Association (VIGSA) get together once a week to play hockey. One day back in 2008, someone suggested the group ‘up their game’ and use the event to raise money for local charity.
Gregor Kowalski, superintendent at Royal Oak Golf Course in Victoria, agreed to spearhead the new charity initiative with proceeds going to help those with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a disease that had touched the lives of some in the community. The public was invited to the hockey game, which featured a silent auction and dinner at Royal Oak. Along with the sale of 50/50 tickets, the event raised $7,000.
Given its success, the group decided they could do even more to raise awareness about MS, so a committee was struck to get the word out and fundraise on an ongoing basis. (The committee is currently chaired by Cordova Bay Golf Course superintendent Dean Piller and Dena Gent of AR Mower Supply in Delta, B.C.).
In the second year, they raised $70,000 and in January 2014, $130,000. To date, approximately $700,000 has been raised for MS.

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The Benefits of Using Synthetic Turf Tee Lines: Less Maintenance, More Money

Synthetic turf tee lines are a great option when the environment is particularly hostile to natural grass, for example arid and/or flooded environments where there is little to no natural light to promote healthy turf growth. Photo courtesy Synthetic Turf International of Canada

By Scott Smockum

Synthetic turf tee lines are a great option when the environment is particularly hostile to natural grass, for example arid and/or flooded environments where there is little to no natural light to promote healthy turf growth. Synthetic turf can withstand significantly more use than natural grass and, therefore, can be used much more frequently, allowing golf course owners to open earlier, or sometimes operate year-round, to generate more income from their facilities.

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Avoiding Issues with Seasonal Employment: Minimum Standards for Employees in the Turfgrass Industry

By Chelsea Gibson, BA, LLB and Kevin Thompson, B.Sc.

In Ontario, there are varying minimum standards depending on the class of worker. Statutory benefits (such as overtime pay, minimum rest periods, etc.) do not necessarily apply to all workers. This article focuses on the two classes of workers the majority of seasonal employees in Ontario would likely fall under: landscape gardener, and persons whose employment is directly related to the growing, transporting, and laying of sod.

A landscape gardener is a person who is engaged in work that is directly involved in the modification or maintenance of land for a purpose that is substantially esthetic.

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Growing Trees in the Urban Jungle: Tree Planting

By Alistair Johnston

The final key to growing trees in the urban jungle is to employ best practices for planting. The fact is, all of the recommendations noted in this article will not matter if the tree is planted improperly.

It starts with the selection of the appropriate tree with sufficient root development and ends with proper planting in sufficient soil with enough water. Along the way, the tree must be handled with utmost care because every bump and bruise could result in a future problem.

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