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Inside Oregon's high-stakes Christmas tree industry, from fertilizer to ornaments
On a cool spring day in 2004, a chicken in Oregon pooped. Ten years later, you strap a Christmas tree to the roof of your car. The span between that hen and your living room is filled with a decade-long process to plant, grow, harvest and ship one of 6.4 million Christmas trees reaped each year from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the Christmas tree capital of the world. The system involves hundreds of people, most of whom work for one very short and intense period of the year, every year.
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Small-size plant varieties for small-scale gardens
Garden spaces are getting smaller, whether for miniature gardens, scaled down landscapes or balconies and patios. Dwarf-sized and miniature plants, or those that keep a tight compact habit, make the most sense for these spaces. And there are plenty to choose from in both the ornamental and edibles categories. Here is a look at new dwarf and miniature plant varieties from breeders, as well as some past favorites.
OSU to study diseases affecting common nursery plants
Albany Tribune News
Oregon State University plans to use a $3 million grant to study two groups of bacteria that result in millions of dollars in losses annually to the nation’s nursery industry. Researchers will study Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Rhodococcus fascians, which deform hundreds of common landscape plants, including hostas, Shasta daisies, petunias and pansies.
What you should do with extra Christmas inventory
Today's Garden Center
Is it better to discount extra Christmas inventory, or hold on to our margins and carry that extra inventory over until next year? This is a great question considering the time of the month in which you are reading this. By mid-December, you should be able to determine how much inventory you will sell before Christmas, what you have to do to sell it and how much you should have left to carry over until next year.
Gardeners, nurseries struggle to adapt as drought cuts their business
Los Angeles Times
Wet weather kept Alberto Ortega from working most of recently — and he couldn't have been more pleased. "This rain is a blessing I was beginning to think I'd never see," the gardener said. In four decades of tending people's yards, this year has been Ortega's roughest: Clients put off landscaping projects, scaled back his duties or simply let their yards go altogether, costing him thousands of dollars.
A sea of red at poinsettia greenhouse
Walk into the Leider Greenhouse and you are witness to a sea of red. Poinsettias fill the large room at the Buffalo Grove nursery. The fourth generation, family-owned business has grown 300,000 plants for the 2014 holiday season alone. The planting began in June. "The season started really slow because the November weather was so awful, but it has really picked up since then," said greenhouse president Mark Leider.
'Buy local' marketing can yield big results for small retailers
By Fred Berns
The holidays are an especially important time for independent business owners, given that 30 percent of retail sales occur in November and December. This is the time of year that local retailers introduce everything from holiday shopping events to same-day delivery and expanded payment options. Good ideas, to be sure, but they are the kind of strategies that big-box and chain stores also offer at this "most wonderful time of the year." That's why small retailers should do what the big guys don't, and can't — market their independence.
4 reasons your customers aren't sharing your content on social media
Content marketing and digital media strategies often include social sharing as a metric for success. Creating highly engaging, widely relatable content is a crucial step towards earning an audience's attention. But while page views are important, marketers need a deeper understanding of why people share it to create content that will reach further.
4 last-minute marketing tips to make your holiday season shine
By Emma Fitzpatrick
With chestnuts roasting, twinkle lights aglow and Christmas ads aplenty, the holidays are here, and the countdown is on. If your holiday sales, conversions or campaigns aren't shining as brightly as you planned, don't fret. It's not too late to pull out all the stops and transform this holiday season. Here are four last-minute marketing tips for the 2014 holiday season that will have a big effect, both now in and the New Year.
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Make a New Year's resolution to humanize your marketing for 2015
People do business with people they like. That adage rings will ring as true as ever in 2015. To improve your ROI on marketing, you will need to humanize your communications.
Humanizing your marketing means you think about people instead of the quantity of likes, fans and followers.
5 proven tips for sending emails that close sales
By Marc Wayshak
Sending emails is an integral part of selling in today's world. But at a time when prospects are receiving hundreds of emails every single day, it is easy for yours to get lost in the crowd. What's even more frustrating is since this technique is relatively new in the realm of sales prospecting, up until now there has been little data to show which prospecting email techniques actually work. But thanks to data pulled from HubSpot Signals email tracking software, we can get a rare glimpse into what actually works most effectively for getting our emails read.
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