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Top Ten Hits . . . 2013 in Review
LC/DBM Staff

It is time for a look back at the topics the industry was most interested in over the last 12 months. LC/DBM's online readers are the guides for this retrospective, as their visits to were used to create these rankings.

LandscapeOnline Weekly Top Ten
Water, weeds and immigration were top points of interest in the most viewed articles from LandscapeOnline Weekly, the industry leading digital newsletter that is delivered to 50,000 landscape professionals every Tuesday. You can view current and previous issues of LandscapeOnline Weekly on the home page of

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1. U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Florida Wetlands Protection Case
July 9, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 25 of this year that state regulations followed by the St. Johns River Water Management District against a property owner to protect wetlands from development in Orange County, Fla. interfered with the landowner's constitutional rights. The ruling reversed a 2011 decision by the Florida Supreme Court that went against landowner Coy Koontz Jr.

2. Small Biz Slant: Immigration Reform
July 23, 2013

An overview of small business's role in, and views on, immigration reform, including results from a recent national poll that found that 50 percent of small business owners feel the federal immigration system needs major improvement and 38 percent of them feel the system needs a complete overhaul. Mandatory use of the E-Verify system to check the immigration status of new employees could bring a $2.7 billion cost to small business.

3. Causal Link to Dying Ash Trees and Human Mortality Rates?
February 5, 2013

A study in the February 2013 issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes: "the widespread death of ash trees from the emerald ash borer lead to an increase in mortality related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-tract illness. These results are consistent with previous research that has identifıed a correlation between the natural environment and health. They also provide stronger support for a causal relationship."

4. National Stormwater Calculator Launched
August 20, 2013

This story reported on the EPA's National Stormwater Calculator, a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the United States and Puerto Rico. The calculator accesses several national databases that provide soil, topography, rainfall, and evaporation information for the chosen site. The user supplies information about the site's land cover and selects the types of low impact development controls they would like to use.

5. Updated And Improved
February 12, 2013, an online weed identification and control resource has undergone a redesign, which includes detailed color photos of 109 weeds, allowing landscape maintenance professionals to search and identify weeds by name, appearance or region.

6. Secrets of Ancient Roman Concrete Revealed
July 30, 2013

A team of researchers found that the long-term strength of a concrete breakwater built by ancient Romans circa 37 B.C. comes from the use of volcanic ash in the mortar mix, which creates a more stable bonding compound within the cement. Modern cement, by contrast, is designed to last about 100 years at best.

7. South Miami Passes Landscape Equipment Restrictions
June 18, 2013

South Miami's new equipment ordinance, which goes into effect immediately, restricts when lawn maintenance tools -- including lawn mowers, edgers, weed trimmers, leaf blowers, chain saws, chippers and stump grinders -- can be used near residences and outdoor restaurants.

8. Milwaukee's Green Stormwater Mandate
January 22, 2013

Wisconsin water officials passed a pollution permit requiring the Milwaukee area to develop one million gallons of green stormwater capacity annually for the next five years. The area will be the first in the nation to mandate ''green infrastructure'' to contain and manage stormwater.

9. Can an Act Save the Bees?
August 8, 2013

During the third week of July, U.S. Congressmen John Conyers of Michigan and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon introduced the, "Saving America's Pollinators Act of 2013.'' The legislation would suspend the registration of neonicotinoid insecticides.

10. Lighting Up Our Lives with Plants
May 28, 2013

Scientists Antony Evans, Omri Amirav-Drory and Kyle Taylor say that they are close to making plants that glow a reality through synthetic biology - taking genes from luminescent marine bacteria and engineering the bacteria's DNA so that it's compatible with a plant's DNA.

Top 10 Association Searches
1. Irrigation Association
2. Irrigation Association of New Jersey
3. National Hispanic Landscape Alliance
4. American Fence Association
5. American Backflow Prevention Association
6. American Society of Landscape Architects
7. Association of Synthetic Grass Installers
8. Int'l Assoc. of Amusement Parks & Attractions
9. Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute
10. Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards

Top 10 Event Searches
1. Professional Landscape and Nursery Trade Show (Ark.)
2. The Landscape Expo (TLE)
3. Empire State Green Industry Show
4.PestWorld 2013
5. ARCSA Annual Conference & Tradeshow
6. 2014 Brick Forum
7. 20th Annual Clark Prize Conference
8. Western Backflow Conference
9. The Landscape Conference
10. Washington State Nursery & Landscape Assoc. Con. Top Ten
Nine of the top 10 most frequently accessed articles in 2013 from LC/DBM's Web site can be described as "how to" articles - everything from building a steep driveway to building a landscape company - proving that LC/DBM readers count on us to provide the information they need to be successful.

1. 7 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Growing a Landscape Company
September 2011

Mark Bradley, president of TBG Landscape, spells out of the pitfalls that can derail an expanding landscape company in this informational piece filled with practical advice and first-person lessons. Bradley's seven missteps to steer clear of are: starting the business without enough investment capital; growing the company before the systems are in place; growing too fast; not identifying superstars soon enough; trying to operate without the right equipment; doing complicated work without the right skilled trades; hiring the wrong subcontractors.

2. Reel Mowers vs. Rotary Mowers: Which Does A Better Job?
November 2005

The scorecard? Reel mowers are more environmentally friendly, have lower maintenance requirements, are much quieter, are natural mulchers, cause fewer serious injuries, are able to cut the grass extremely short without the problem of turf scalping and are capable of striping a lawn. Rotary mowers cut weeds and longer grass better, get the job done faster, can handle larger areas and are constantly getting lighter, more maneuverable and less prone to turf scalping and grass chewing.

3. Tree Irrigation: Water Where Roots Need It
July 2007

Joseph H. Fortier, CID, CLIA and Jerry M. Belt, Jr., CLIA, of Mojave Water Management in Las Vegas, Nev., explore the irrigation requirements of trees and detail specific problems and challenges. This includes: having a thorough understanding of compaction when designing an irrigation system; identifying whether the irrigation system is for establishment or maintenance; scheduling for tree zones; low-volume drip basics; and emitter placement.

4. Real Estate Forecast Predicts Growth Through 2014
April 2012

The real estate forecast released by The Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit land-use think tank, predicts growth in both the residential and commercial sectors through 2014. The survey compiled opinions from 38 real-estate economists and analysts, many of whom are ULI members, reflecting the panel's median forecast on 26 economic indicators dating back to 2009. Projections are based on data from 2009 to 2011.

5. Driveways on the Steep
February 2006

Erik Skindrud, regional editor for the Brick Industry Association, outlines best practices for installing driveways on slopes of 10 degrees or more. Topics covered include proper bed preparation, paving assemblies, the types of brick paving surfaces, the types of bases, flexible base pavements, design considerations, load factors, and paving surface thickness.

6. Creating Natural Walkways, Patios and Driveways
April 2004

Another hardscape installation article, this one deals with surface preparation for natural stones, achieving proper slab pitch, choosing and placing the stone, filling the joints, and creating natural stone steps and achieving lasting stone aesthetics while dealing with site challenges.

7. Permeable Surfaces: A Hot New Installation Segment
February 2008

Anne Balogh, of, looks at the many different facets of permeable surfaces including the three types - concrete grid pavers (CGPs) pervious concrete (PC), permeable interlocking concrete pavers (PICP) - limits on their use, accommodating peak flow, and their economic benefits. Also included in this article are key observations and maintenance guidelines from Field Survey of Permeable Pavement Surface Infiltration Rates.

8. Barbecue Islands Simplified
September 2005

The popularity of outdoor kitchens continues to grow. The problems inherent in creating a custom barbecue island - specialized masonry labor and tools, purchasing and transporting heavy materials like stone and concrete - inspired National Pool & Tile to develop a high-quality modular barbecue island that's easy and fast to construct with minimal tools, as demonstrated in this article.

9. The Double Life of Porous Pavers - Curb Appeal with Function
March 2006

Dustin Glist of Invisible Structures, Inc. writes about how land restrictions, stormwater management, and other environmental regulations have created a higher demand for porous pavers. He lists the environmental benefits of these permeable materials and then details installation procedures.

10. Getting An Edge With Computer Software
January 2010

Various types of software that can help improve and expand a landscape contractor's business are discussed. This includes software for design, measurement, labor management, business management, and landscape and tree maintenance.

Top 5 Viewed Vendor Profiles
1. Ditch Witch of Southern Calif.
2. Ventrac Venture Products, Inc.
3. Superior Controls Co., Inc.
4. SnowBear
5. Stone Age Manufacturing, Inc.

Top 5 Product Searches by Keywords
1. Metal and Wood Site Furnishings
2. Paver and Path/Step Lights
3. Planters
4. LED Lights
5. Fencing

Top 5 Article Keyword Searches
1. Ashley Calabria (Tech Editor)
2. Segmental Retaining Wall
3. SketchUp
4. Drainage

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