Landscape Trade Shows


No matter how experienced you are in the landscaping industry, there are always new developments in equipment, products, and ideas to inspire your coming year. Attending one or more landscape expos or trade shows will inspire a fresh approach to meeting customer needs and revitalizing your business proposition.

The years, 2017 and 2018, appear to offer more opportunities to meet, learn, and grow in the industry. Here are a few upcoming landscape trade shows that may inspire new ideas.

Landscapes 2017, October 18-20, 2017 in Louisville KY

This trade show aims at bringing insights to every function of your landscaping business. Seminars, workshops, and idea exchanges will allow each member of your team to network growing opportunities and innovations.

Nursery and Landscape Expo 2017, August 10-12 in Dallas TX

Find new products and share ideas at this Texas venue. Over 1,000 booths will present new ideas for garden centers, landscapers, growers, parks and recreation specialists, and landscape suppliers. More than 6,000 attendees will have a choice of 25 different education opportunities.

Green and Growin’ 18, January 18-19, 2018 in Greensboro NC

While the 2017 version has passed, it is not too soon to prepare for the 2018 version. This year, Green and Growin’ 17, one of the most popular landscape industry trade shows, provided On Point Education and On Point Marketplace opportunities to learn about new developments in the industry. Attendees can earn CEUs for their continuing education programs while shoppers can find the latest and greatest plant products.

Some of the industry’s most prestigious figures were guest speakers at the trade show.

GROW! 2017, February 8-10 in Dayton OH

The business oriented GROW Conference is focused on helping companies in the industry to learn more about:

  • Finding and keeping talent
  • Improving profitability
  • Standing out against competition

The 2017 version will bring speakers from all different disciplines including landscaping, eco-landscaping, trees, and ground system designs.

MANTS 2018, January 10-12, 2018 in Baltimore MD

While the 2017 version has already past, the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show is a must see for landscapers and nursery owners. This show attracts individuals and companies throughout the horticulture industry including nursery operators, landscape designers, garden centers, landscape contractors, greenhouse growers, lawn maintenance companies, and landscape architects. Over 11,000 people attended the 2016 MANTS, a testimonial to the importance of their programs.

Large or small, all of these trade shows have unique opportunities to offer.


Tree Handling Equipment

tree_boss_04ProLine Equipment

Highly specialized ProLine equipment and tools help professionals move large trees, pots, and other materials from one place to another. Attached to skid steers, these tools require minimal human labor.

During the years of moving live trees of various kinds and sizes, Heritage Oak Farm of Indiana developed a complete line of specialized tools to transport and transplant from their location to their customers’ sites.


The Grabber is a custom designed extension attached to a skid steer to allow the operator to maneuver an entire tree by grasping the balled root system. With a single operator, the Grabber can pick up, load the transport vehicle, and then place the tree wherever it is destined. Capable of handling root-balls of 14″ to 54″ in diameter, the telescoping arms can reach over 8′.

Swingin’ Grabber

The Swingin’ Grabber attached to a skid steer works similar to the Grabber, yet it can operate in tight spaces or aisles. The equipment may rotate 90° to pick up a pot or root ball to the right or left, then straighten to be moved away for loading.


A Forques attachment is designed to pick up and carry multiple trees at once. The extensions are capable of transporting three 24″ root-balls at once and are also suited for removing boulders.

Pot Handler

Many trees at nurseries are grown and matured in pots. To facilitate moving these items, the ProLine Pot Handler skid steer attachment arms encircle the container for gentle lifting and placement. The Pot Handler can lift pots up to 40″ in diameter.

Tree Tyer

Another attachment, the Tree Tyer, is designed to encompass the tree with circular arms to gently compress the limbs for easy tying and transport.

Pot Forks

ProLine Pot Forks attachment is a skid steer attachment consisting of up to ten parallel tines that can be set to carry 100 one-gallon pots at a single time. The Pot Forks are adjustable for larger sized pots.

Tree Auger

Another indispensable ProLine tool is the Tree Auger. Set at a 25° angle this tool makes easy work of hole digging for any size tree, requiring no hand clean-out.

ProLine Shovel

The Shovel attachment is perfect for culling trees, digging trenches easily, and removing mulch and debris from a location.


Available in 48″ or 60″ lengths, the Grapple attachment collects and carries large logs, branches, and boulders.


Proline Tree Grabber

Landscape Equipment Tree Spade

Landscape Equipment Tree SpadeThe ProLine Tree Grabber, developed by Heritage Oak Farm, is a custom designed tree transporting tool that attaches to a skid steer to allow a single operator to lift, place, and download trees of varying sizes. The Grabber attachment can fit any late model skid steer and saves time and labor while providing a safe transport.

Because the Grabber, Swingin’ Grabber, and other equipment were specifically designed by experienced Heritage Oak Farm Nursery employees, the systems are intended to minimize physical labor while managing high volumes of material.The developers know that trees and shrubs must be efficiently and carefully loaded and transported to ensure satisfied customers.

How Does the Grabber Work?

A single operator can lift, move, load, and unload a tree with a root ball up to 54 inches in diameter. The Grabber comes with unique paddles that gently cradle the root ball of the tree or plant without causing any damage to the root system. The hydraulics driven Grabber and skid steer can haul the tree or plant over rough terrain without any damage to the root ball system.

The Tree Grabber equipment easily attaches to the skid steer and works with the auxiliary hydraulic systems.

Grabber Models

Grabbers are equipped with paddles or Forques, depending upon the requirements of the job. The Forques attachments are straight parallel extensions capable of carrying several similarly sized or single large trees at one time.

The ProLine Grabber comes in two models and with different capabilities. The Grabber 20/36 may be equipped with paddles or Forques, weighing 335 lbs with paddles. This model has a reach of 100 inches.

The Grabber 32/54 can also accommodate paddles or Forques and weighs about 295 lbs with paddles. The 32/54 can reach up to 84 inches.

Swingin’ Grabber

To make efficient use of real estate, nurseries place trees in relatively narrow rows that limit easy access by larger pieces of equipment. The Swingin’ Grabber is an attachment that operates much like the Grabber, yet it can swivel 90° left or right to pick up a tree ball. After gently lifting the tree, the skid steer operator can rotate the Swingin’ Grabber back to the original position and easily depart, either forward or backward, from the aisle.

ProLine Grabber MINI™

The Grabber MINI performs all of the same functions as the Grabber, yet it is attached to a walk-behind skid steer for tighter spots.

Species of Evergreen Trees


Since they remain green and beautiful throughout the year, evergreens are popular in almost any setting. Landscapers and homeowners love evergreen trees and shrubs because of the relatively low maintenance and lasting appearance, retaining the same look year-round and, of course, no leaves to rake.

Each variety of evergreen thrives in a specific temperature zone and type of soil. Hundreds of species of evergreens prevail around the world with nearly every country being the home of at least a few types.

While leaf-bearing deciduous trees provide shade and glorious color changes through the spring, summer and fall, evergreens remain constant as a color contrast, windbreak, and protection for animals in the winter.

Evergreens do lose their “leaves,” often in the form of needles, as new growth replaces old. Moreover, there are even some species of deciduous trees, like the Live Oak, that remain green year-round.

The various species of evergreens are not necessarily related to each other.


For North Americans, conifers are notably the most recognizable class in the evergreen category. These hardy specimens can withstand cold and windy environments best and typically thrive in regions such as the central and northern areas of North America. A short list of this group of conifers includes many species of pines, spruce, fir, juniper, hemlock, cypress, and yew.

Tropical Hardwood Evergreens

These hardwoods are found in tropical areas where they are never exposed to frost. As a result, these do not go dormant nor lose their leaves. Each remains green throughout the year. In this category are mahogany, tamarind, and ironwood trees.

Bamboo is a tropical evergreen that is actually part of the perennial grass family.

Also, palm trees are tropical evergreens common in beach and sandy areas that grow slowly but can achieve a height of 25 feet or more.

Temperate Broadleafs

As mentioned, some groups of trees are generally deciduous even though they include a few members that can be regarded as evergreens. The European Holly is an evergreen though most other holly varieties are not. The temperate broadleaf group includes the European Holly and Rhododendron.

Choosing Your Evergreen

When selecting evergreens for planting, it is necessary to consider the appropriate types for your soil and wind conditions. Owners should also consider growth potential and space limitations of each tree to ensure that they don’t outgrow the space in a few years.

How to Host a Design Seminar and Bring Experienced Professionals Together for Client Benefit

From software to industrial design, seminars are often used as an opportunity to bring together many experts in one location. They often have a theme and everyone focuses on developing solutions to particular problems that are related by that theme. As a landscaper or nursery owner, you host a seminar at a local level by bringing together a group of well-respected professionals to solve problems in your region or community. Hosting such a seminar is a great way to get your name out to the community (both to other professionals and potential clients) and allows you to learn about industry trends and new innovations. Here is an overview of how to set up a seminar.


Pick a Theme

Most seminars revolve around a theme like sustainable landscape design or native gardening. Your theme should relate to the needs of your particular region, city, or town and should attempt to address a specific concern. Once you have a theme, you can begin to flesh out topics as they relate to that theme. For example, if your theme is sustainable landscape design, you may want think about topics like water conservation, permitting, solar energy, sustainable plant installations, and more. Knowing your theme allows you to develop topics and knowing topics is necessary for picking experts to attend your seminar.


Find Experts

Once you know what topics you are going to cover at your seminar, you can start looking for experts to offer insight and learning. Experts can include other landscape contractors, nursery owners, local business people, political leaders, administrative personnel from local government, and advocates from non-profits and other interest groups. Don’t just ask these people to put on lectures, but look to them to provide hands-on demonstrations, workshops, and other in-depth activities. If they can bring their own resources, that’s great, but plan on providing resources too.


Set a Date

Once you have most of your experts lined up, you can pick a date that works for everyone. Make sure you set the date far enough in the future that you can prepare adequately and so that attendees can plan ahead. As soon as you have a date set, start advertising your seminar to your target audience. You may plan on charging for the event or you may simply offer it for free (at your cost). If you invite vendors to the event, they may help to cover all or part of the costs.



After you have set a date, it is time to consider logistics. You should already know what size audience you are expecting and that will allow you to plan things like food, restrooms, beverages, and venue. You may want to consider hiring an event coordinator to help make sure that things go smoothly or you may want to do the work yourself. Just know that doing the work yourself usually means putting out fires on the day of the event rather than participating in the event itself.


Why Do It?


You may be wondering why you would go to all of the trouble and expense to put on a design seminar. The answer, it turns out, is multi-faceted. Benefits of hosting a seminar include:

.   Promoting your business

.   Gaining potential clients

.   Making industry and political connections

.   Increase the prestige of your brand

.   Solving a local problem

.   Boosting awareness

.   Generating positive word of mouth

.   Creating connections with vendors

.   Learning about new technologies

You should not underestimate the good will such an event will generate either. Demonstrating a willingness to push your industry forward and include peers in your business is a great way to generate good will that will pay dividends in ways you may not be able to imagine. You may even get a contract out of the event if you plan a seminar that is designed to solve something like a local municipal or civil problem.




Building Your Business: 3 Great Ways to Present at an Expo

Attending an expo is a great way to learn about your industry and about other businesses. Presenting at an expo is an even better idea, however, if you want to spread the word about your business, educate others, and share ideas. By presenting at an expo, you become the center of attention and get to showcase exactly what makes your company unique. Here are three great ways to promote your business at an expo.

Introduce a New Product or Service

The best way to dominate a trade show is offer something that people have never seen before. It may be a new product, a new service, or simply a new way of doing the same old thing. Never underestimate the value of education. If you are good at something, offer to show others how to do it. Chances of creating competitors are actually quite small, but the chances of developing leads and generating positive word-of-mouth are quite high. After all, if people in your industry come to see you as the expert in a particular niche, they are likely to call you when they (or their customers) need your expertise.

Make a Presentation

Trades shows often get media coverage, so making a presentation is a great way to get your company in front of an audience. Of course, that means you really have to put some thought and time into your presentation. Think about what you want people to know about your company and what you can offer that others cannot. The more “sharable” the presentation is on social media and the internet, the better.

Strengthen Your Brand

Branding is a major aspect of any business. Apple is a great example of how brand is just as important as the products and services a company offers. In an industry that depends heavily on trust and reputation, like landscaping and nursery, there is nothing more important than brand recognition. Use an expo to tell the industry how serious, reliable, professional, and dedicated your company is.

If you can, get a booth next to other top companies to gain prestige by association and help people make the connection between you and established brands. Offering education to anyone who visits your booth is a great way to demonstrate your industrial prowess. Be sure to have a clear message to offer visitors and focus your efforts on making connections. Collect business cards, names, emails, and social media information so that you can follow up with contacts and keep the momentum going after the expo is over.

Getting It Right

Getting an expo right is no easy task. You need to prepare well ahead of time and consider every possible angle to ensure your work is a success. To make trade shows work for you, make certain that you attend the right ones (you can’t go to them all, so go to the expos that offer the most return for the time you are investing). Don’t get lost in the hubbub. Develop a clear message, a clear way to brand your company, and stay calm. Every lead you generate is a potential bonus and even if things don’t go perfectly, you’ve learned a great deal for the next go around.


Why Everyone Landscaper and Nursery Needs a Tree Spade

Tree spades are specialized tools that few landscapers own. After all, tree spades are large, expensive, and it seems like they wouldn’t get used all that often. In truth, tree spades can be an invaluable asset to any landscaping business. They expand the size and scope of jobs that you can tackle and improve customer relations. Here is why you might want to consider a tree spade for your landscaping business and why owning one may keep you busier than you ever imagined. Continue reading