SEMNLA Creates Their Own “Tree Story”

By Amy Frankmann

SEMNLA members and partners were out in force April 1st-3rd at the Novi Home & Garden Show at Suburban Showplace Collection promoting our great, Green Industry and member firms.

As host of the Garden Stage, named the Plant Michigan Green Garden Stage, we featured speakers on “Energizing Your Outdoor Living Experience”. Each of our speakers had record audiences in attendance that were interactive and had a lot of questions. In addition, again this year we were featured on Detroit's WDIV-TV Channel 4 Morning News where we were able to promote our industry and our members.

Our booth was beautiful with baskets donated by Four Star Greenhouse—thank you Pat Seibel! We talked to hundreds of optimistic homeowners and gave out over 500 Pinus Strobus seedlings—thank you Vans Pines Nursery for the donation! We also featured experts from industry and MSU who received all sorts of questions and shared advice on a variety of questions.

All of this made for a great show for our industry, but the highlight of my time during these three days happened on Saturday. We’ve been exhibiting in Novi for six years and each year we’ve given out tree seedlings. Throughout this time I’ve heard many heartfelt stories about trees. From both men and women, the young and the old alike, people would stop and as they held onto the seedling they’d tell me about “their” tree(s). In each of the stories there was a very personal and very strong connection with a tree that they had planted. It was touching to see them reminisce about their experience—what was planted, where it was planted, and why it was planted—and how big it is today and how it makes them feel when they look at it.

This year was no different with tree stories being savored and told until a man came to our booth and shared that he received a tree from our booth six years prior. He’d taken the tree home and along with his children went out and planted it. He was so excited as he shared that this tree is now as tall as him and how he and his kids have watched it grow. Through SEMNLA, a tree story was born!

I was so touched and proud to be a part of our industry—what we grow, sell, plant, and maintain isn’t just a product to be used and discarded—our plants actually become a part of the lives they touch. I don’t know of any other industry that shares this connection between people and their products. So, as you go out this Spring and are in the heat of your busy season, don’t forget to celebrate that you are helping to write a new chapter of “tree stories”.

In appreciation
Our appreciation goes to the following for either volunteering their time or donations that made this a successful show.
– Jay Adcock, Hort Specialties, Inc.
– Jeremy Christianson, Michigan Landscape Design Services, Inc.
– Courtney LaBuhn, Marine City Nursery Co. & Family Tree Landscape & Design, LLC
– Hugh McGillivray, Landscape Supply Inc.
– Dr. Dave Roberts, Michigan State University
– Dr. Robert Schutzki, Michigan State University
– Pat Seibel, Four Star Greenhouse, Inc.
– Vans Pines Nursery, Inc.

Congratulations! We celebrated the milestones of these SEMNLA members at the 2016 Green Industry Leadership & Awards Reception during the Great Lakes Trade Exposition. We congratulate each for these accomplishments!

Inductees into the MNLA Quarter Century Club are:
Connie Brzozowski
Steven Thoms
Scot Thoms
Lisa Steinkopf

Inductees into the MNLA 40-Year Club are:
Jeffrey Susick
Michael McCarrey