The Latest at Focal Pointe

News and stories for friends like you.

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CASEYVILLE, Illinois, June 4, 2024

Focal Pointe announced that Daniel Cottier has joined its team as Director of Plant Health Care (PHC). In his new role, Cottier will oversee a full scope plant health program across the firm’s landscape operations in Kansas, Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma. The multi-season program will expedite the process of plant disease diagnostics and solutions, and will focus on health and vitality of plants and trees, the assessment and monitoring of invasive pests and disease, and proactive measures to increase soil and ecosystem health.

“I’m excited to join the Focal Pointe team …

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Focal Pointe, announced that Curt Marchand has been named Branch Manager, Focal Pointe of Kansas City. He will report to Focal Pointe Chief Operating Officer and Partner, Brett Gordon.

“I’m pleased that we can bring together two highly respected leaders for our next chapter,” said Focal Pointe Founder and President, John Munie. “Curt and Brett are long-established members of the Kansas City community who bring experience, market knowledge and relationships to a region our team is excited to serve. Together, Curt and Brett have already built our culture of servant leadership within the team, which will …

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Founder and President John Munie was featured in the most recent edition of Level Up, a blog series from the National Association of Landscape Professionals. The series aims to give companies the tools to reach the next level of business, discussing a range of industry philosophies from business development, recruiting, culture building, and more. In this edition, John briefly describes his journey as a business owner before diving into the details of our ideal partners, our keys to success, and our strategies for recruitment and team member retention. Click here to read the full post: …

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During this season of Gratitude, Hope, and Joy, your Focal Pointe team is in the spirit of giving!  Our fourth Core Value calls us to “Inspire Communities” not only by creating beautiful landscapes throughout, but by living life in a humble, generous manner.

As many fiscal calendars are coming to a close, we have customers contacting us about year-end enhancements for their properties.  As a result, we saw the opportunity to make those purchases more purposeful and make December our “Season of Giving.”  In that spirit, for any landscape enhancement sold in December, for an off-season …

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CASEYVILLE, Illinois, August 8, 2023 ~ Focal Pointe Holdings, LLC, a leading landscape services company located in Caseyville, Illinois, has acquired three privately-owned landscape companies:  Landworks, Kansas City, Kansas; Rite-A-Way Lawn Care, Cottleville, Missouri; and Signature Landscape, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Together, these acquisitions are expected to contribute 39% to total Focal Pointe revenue for fiscal year 2023. In total, the acquisition adds 220 employees across Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and represents a combined client portfolio in excess of $17M.

The move confirms Focal Pointe’s strategy of supporting its employees and creating a firm that offers recognized …

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Focal Pointe, Inc. is excited to announce that Kevin Kehoe will be joining Bruce Wilson on our newly formed board as an executive director!

“Kevin joins our board at a transformative time in our history as we create a bold vision for our future, with clear objectives and a plan for achieving them.” said John Munie. “I hired Kevin in 2010 as a consultant, and his impact on me and on our team was immediate and enduring. His level of thought, organization, and grit is unmistakable. He will be a difference-maker as we expand throughout the …

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Focal Pointe is excited to announce that Bruce Wilson will be joining our leadership team as Executive Director! Bruce joins us from an illustrious 50-year career in the landscaping industry, whose experience and willingness to lead has influenced many in the industry.

“Bruce has been an extraordinary industry leader and advisor to us over the years, and his expertise will be invaluable as we embark on a new era of growth,” said Focal Pointe president, John Munie. “Bruce and I are aligned in how we define success, and I’m confident he can be a great and …

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The Next Level Leadership Summit is an annual conference held by members of the Next Level Network, a peer group of five professional landscape companies – Allied Landscape, Focal Pointe, Pacific Landscape Management, Lawn Management Company, and Stay Green Inc. The five companies look to each other for advice and ideas on bringing clients the best landscaping services in the country.

Each year, Focal Pointe team members look forward to taking part in the Next Level Leadership Summit and learning ways to improve all aspects of the business. This year, Focal Pointe hosted the annual event at …

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It’s that time of year when corporate executives and facility managers are pulling together budgets for next year. This includes grounds maintenance and landscape improvement services for their property. Here are some steps that managers of facility grounds or landscape services should take to ensure a successful landscape season that showcases their facility for their employees, customers, and guests:

Review your outside landscaping and grounds. Physically walk the property with your current landscape maintenance contract in hand. Are your expectations being met? Do the grounds reflect your company’s style and the image you want for your …

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Why do we plant in the fall? Back in the days before nursery plant production converted to container production, all tree planting took place in the fall. This is because trees were bare rooted out of the ground, had their roots pruned, and were mudded back into their new home. Things have come a long way since then, but fall is still the best time to plant most species of plants.

The exception to this rule of thumb is broadleaved evergreens, such as hollies and boxwoods. These plants are much more susceptible to winter desiccation from …

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It was a bittersweet time at Focal Pointe as we said goodbye to our Summer Interns but are excited to see where their new knowledge takes them. Throughout the course of 12 weeks, they worked with an assortment of Focal Pointe professionals to gain well-rounded knowledge of how all departments work together to create a great experience for clients. Before they took off, we had the chance to sit down with them to get the experience in their own words:

How would you rate your overall internship with Focal Pointe?

“Each employee I worked with …

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By summer’s end, your turf has been driven on, played on, and walked on for the last five months of the primary growing season. It is exhausted. It’s time to open it up and let it breathe – time to aerate!

Aeration of turf/soil is an important practice. It aids in creating the proper growing conditions for your turfgrass system. It’s all about the roots!

During core aeration, plugs of grass and soil are removed by the aerator. The plugs will break down over time and the holes will fill back in. But prior to the holes …

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Focal Pointe is celebrating Smart Irrigation Month by helping customers save water, save money, and see better results.

Smart Irrigation Month is an initiative of the Irrigation Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation. Each July (traditionally the month of peak outdoor water use), this public awareness campaign highlights simple practices and innovative technologies to conserve water and minimize overwatering while keeping lawns, gardens, and landscapes beautiful and healthy.

July is historically the driest month in the St. Louis area. On average, we receive 3.5” of rainfall but we lose 7.6” of water from evaporation …

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Landscape Management magazine recently published its 2021 list recognizing the top 150 landscape companies in the country, ranked by 2020 revenue. Collectively, this list represents a record-breaking $12.6 billion in revenue, up $400 million from last year.

In 2018, Focal Pointe made its debut on the list at #150 and in 2019 moved up to #142. This year, the Caseyville, IL based company earned a spot on the list at #138.

Additionally, the company was ranked #24 in the Midwest region, which ranges from Ohio to North Dakota and Kansas to Michigan.

“It’s great to be recognized as one of …

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One of Focal Pointe’s many services is playground installation. Over the years we have built many wonderful relationships with schools and municipalities to create, renovate, and expand engaging play areas. The playgrounds of today have changed a lot from when we were kids. Potentially dangerous structures have been replaced with ones that let kids learn about risks with decreased chance of injury. Playground manufacturers like Landscape Structures put a lot of thought into developing play equipment that helps kids develop their minds and bodies. These new playgrounds enable kids to explore their limits with climbing …

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Enhancing landscapes adds to both the value and our enjoyment of commercial and residential properties. And, while it seems there is always more that can be done, the funds to do so are sometimes short. To help bridge the desire to improve landscapes with budget constraints, we have put together a few cost-saving ideas for property enhancement that owners and managers can use to make wise investments in their property.

Iris, hosta, and daylilies are among perennials that are easily divided.

Utilize what you have – Late winter into spring is a great time to divide and …

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As we enter warmer weather patterns, it becomes clear that the landscape season is upon us. If you are in the process of selecting a landscaping contractor, here are some issues that we believe drives client satisfaction:

Alignment. We are all guilty of making purchase decisions based on price rather than fit. This is especially problematic when the service we’re purchasing results in an ongoing relationship. Often, in those cases, price is the most negotiable part of the process. Alignment and culture, on the other hand, aren’t so easily negotiated. Buy alignment and negotiate a price.
Track …

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CASE STUDY

Situation:
The I-64, Kingshighway interchange has a traffic volume of up to 30,000 vehicles daily.

Signage was being updated at what is considered the entrance to Washington University’s Medical School campus at the intersection of Kingshighway Blvd. and Interstate 64. Signage is in large triangular islands surrounded by exit ramps from the highway. The existing landscape at the interchange included 25,000 sq. ft of turf with traditional planting beds of shrub-roses, daylilies, Russian sage, and clusters of holly trees in four traffic islands. The turf required weekly maintenance, and vehicles regularly crossed-over curbs damaging the turf. …

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Annual planting beds provide the explosion of color that can make the difference between an adequate landscape and a truly exceptional display of nature. But you may ask, why we would post an article on Summer annuals in the dead of winter? At Focal Pointe it is a year-round project to enhance our clients’ properties with the most dramatic impact from annual planting beds. For example, we’ve just completed the ordering process for most of the summer annuals that we’ll plant this spring. Ordering is just one phase of a continuous annual cycle.

Order

Ordering – Focal …

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For Immediate Release

Caseyville, IL November 9, 2020) – Focal Pointe, Inc. is proud to announce it has been awarded an Award of Excellence by the National Association of Landscape Professionals [NALP.] 

The award was presented for Focal Pointe’s landscape execution of the Woodlands Edge Estate project, a residential property in St. Louis, Missouri. The six-acre property includes hillside perennial gardens that incorporate native woodland perennials, a dry creek bed that serves as drainage for surrounding properties as well as formal lawn areas, a playground, and a contemplation garden. The design was provided by Doug Hoerr of …

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Last weekend, several of Santa’s helpers from Focal Pointe we’re out in the community sharing Holiday Cheer with the families of first responders who are experiencing a different, more difficult Christmas season this year.  Groups of volunteers met at homes in communities across southwest Illinois including Troy, Shiloh, and Waterloo. While Christmas music streamed through the morning air, our cheerful volunteers hung lights and decorated festive holiday containers. With the occasional break for hot chocolate and homemade cookies, the spirit of generosity made the day joyful.

The volunteer teams are pictured below.

“There was so much about …

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For Immediate Release
Focal Pointe Receives Recognition for Rapid Growth from the St. Louis Business Journal

Caseyville, IL November 17, 2020 – Focal Pointe, Inc. was once again named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s list of the 50 fastest-growing companies in the region. Joining just 5 other firms to be included on the “Fast 50” list for three years running, Focal Pointe ranked 43rd on the 2020 list. The Business Journal compiles revenue data for privately held companies in the St. Louis region that had sales of at least $1 million in 2017 and experienced a …

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Focal Pointe is Snow Removal Ready and Prepared to Plow

 

According to weather.com, the average date for the first snowfall in St. Louis isn’t until December 3rd, but we’ve seen snow as early as October 22nd. Focal Pointe’s team and equipment are ready. Last week, Focal Pointe held its annual “Snow Rodeo.” A day when snow removal teams get a refresher on policies and procedures. Our teams rotate through five classroom and hands-on training sessions. They receive specific instruction on the safe and efficient operation of Focal Pointe’s extensive collection of snow removal equipment. Classroom topics …

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The pumpkin is one of the most visible signs of Fall’s arrival, making it an ideal element in fall landscape décor. Harvested in October when they reach their brightest orange, pumpkins have been grown in North America for over five thousand years.

Jack-O-Lanterns originating with an Irish folktale Jack of the lantern, were originally carved from turnips and potatoes. When Irish immigrants discovered pumpkins in America a lasting Halloween tradition was born. Over the years crude carvings of creepy countenance have given way to elaborate designs featuring portraits and pets.

Decorating with pumpkins does not necessarily require …

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We are fortunate to live in the Midwest where we experience four distinct climatic seasons. In a 2005 survey Gallup Poll found that Fall ranks only behind Spring as American’s favorite season. It is perhaps because these more moderate seasons provide relief from the sometimes harsh extremes of summer and winter. Those who love the outdoors also enjoy times of transition in our landscapes. As shorter days and cooler temperatures take their toll on our spring planting, now is the time to rejuvenate our landscape and outdoor spaces with cool-season varieties for fall.

Some ideas of …

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As the cooler evenings of Fall arrive, we can sometimes be tricked into believing that the need to focus on landscaping ends with the long warm days of summer. Spring is often thought of as the beginning of the growing season. However, the cool-turfgrass season begins in early September. What we do during the Fall actually has a greater impact on our lawns next year, than what we do in the Spring. Fall provides an important opportunity to rejuvenate turf, after hot and often dry summer months that are the most stressful for fescue, bluegrass, …

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Members of the Focal Pointe team recently attended the Aspire Snow Summit, a virtual snow conference to discuss best practices, learn about new software functionalities, and network with other landcare professionals.

Attendees took part in live presentations, breakout sessions, round-table discussions, vendor interactions, and networking opportunities all via a virtual format. Some of the topics discussed included snow techniques and best practices, work ticket management, estimating, reporting, and new products and equipment.

Conference keynote speakers included Kevin Kehoe, founder of Aspire Software, developers of business software for landscape and snow companies, and Marty Grunder, President & CEO …

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Focal Pointe is celebrating Smart Irrigation Month by helping customers save water, save money, and see better results.

Smart Irrigation Month is an initiative of the Irrigation Association, a non-profit industry organization dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation. Each July (traditionally the month of peak outdoor water use), this public awareness campaign highlights simple practices and innovative technologies to:

Make maintaining green spaces easy and convenient.
Minimize overwatering while keeping lawns, gardens, and landscapes beautiful and healthy.
Save money on utility bills.
Help protect community water supplies for today and the future.

Property owners and managers often overwater, unintentionally wasting money every …

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Summer 2020 is finally in full swing after an unusually cool and wet spring. The summer heat and humidity are great for warm-season grasses, but the season also can prove challenging for cool-season turfgrasses, which most of us have in our yards.

Many fungal diseases thrive in wet, humid conditions, and we have had an abundance of these conditions this spring. May was extremely wet and cool, and we went directly into the heat and humidity of summer without giving the turf much time to harden off. Our Plant Health Care Technicians have recently spotted some areas …

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Landscape Management magazine recently published its 2020 list recognizing the top 150 landscape companies in the country, ranked by 2019 sales volume. Collectively, this list represents $12 billion in revenue, breaking 2019’s record amount of $11,148,081,125.

In 2018, Focal Pointe made its debut on the list at #150 and the following year moved up to #142. This year, our continued growth (33%!) earned us the distinction of the 5th fastest growing landscape company in the country and a spot on the list at #130.

Additionally, we were ranked #24 in the Midwest region, which includes the very …

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Spring is a time for renewal, and our gardens and planting beds are no exception. When used correctly, mulch can benefit your landscape, both in terms of plant health and aesthetics. If you are planning to add mulch to your landscape this spring, here are some tips.

Why mulch?

A layer of mulch can help suppress weeds, retain moisture, and prevent erosion in your planting beds. But when it comes to mulch, less is more. When added year after year, too much mulch can inhibit plant growth by creating an impenetrable layer that doesn’t decompose.

What kinds of …

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Focal Pointe team members attend the i-Landscape conference in Schaumburg, IL

To start off the new year, the entire Focal Pointe Construction Department visited the iLandscape Illinois and Wisconsin Landscape Show in Schaumberg, IL. The goal of this trip was to talk to vendors and see what new equipment was available or on the horizon and to make some new contacts. The trip was successful in a few ways. The team participated in in-depth demonstrations of new equipment that Focal Pointe is planning to purchase and gathered information from several new nurseries to expand our plant …

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Focal Pointe Account Manager Cody Azotea was honored this week with a Sustainability Leadership Award from Washington University in St. Louis at their annual Green Carpet Awards ceremony.

Cody Azotea and Washington University’s Allan Miller

The Sustainability Leadership Awards recognize individuals and projects that exemplify leadership in sustainability. Winners are selected based on the following criteria:

Impact—significant measured or projected results
Visionary—paves the way for a sustainable future; redefines norms; questions the status quo
Alignment—initiative aligns with the goals and objectives outlined in the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Operations and advances progress towards the goals
Innovation/Creativity—utilized new techniques, perspectives, or technology …

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John and Rick at a conference session

Focal Pointe Controller John O’Connell and Integrator Rick Fadel recently attended the 2020 Aspire Client Conference in Tempe, Arizona. (Aspire provides business management software for landscape, construction, and snow professionals.) The three-day conference included breakout sessions and panel discussions on current industry trends and issues, as well as networking activities for attendees.

One of the most inspiring talks was from keynote speaker Lt. Colonel Rob Teschner, also known as “Cujo.” Teschner, a former Air Force fighter pilot, spoke about improving human performance through teamwork.

“Real teamwork leads to transformation,” says Teschner. …

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The St. Louis Green Business Challenge, a program of the Missouri Botanical Garden, has just completed its tenth year of work with companies across the bi-state region to advance sustainability as a business solution. At an awards celebration held Friday, December 6 in Lakeside Café at the Saint Louis Zoo, 61 businesses, non-profits and local government entities were recognized for their work this year to integrate sustainable policies and practices into their operations.

Twelve companies received Awards of Achievement for participation at the Challenge Apprentice Level, including Focal Pointe, Inc. At the Apprentice level, companies work …

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Focal Pointe team members recently traveled to southern California to attend the 2019 Next Level University — an annual training and networking conference with peers from five other leading landscape companies from across the country. Representatives from each company exchanged ideas and brainstormed ways to improve company methods and operations.

One of the main themes of this year’s event was company culture. Keynote speaker, Dr. Gustavo (Gustavo Grodnitsky, PhD), kicked off the event with an engaging discussion on the positive impact a good culture can have on a company and its employees. Dr. Gustavo suggested ways …

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According to the Farmer’s Almanac, our region can expect below-normal temperatures this winter with above-normal snowfall. No matter how much snow and ice Old Man Winter sends our way, Focal Pointe crews are prepared.

We recently held our annual Snow Rodeo, where all production members of our snow team participated in the following training sessions and demonstrations:

Shop Talk: This training covered how to conduct pre-event equipment inspections, proper installation of plows and spreaders, and best practices for post-event equipment cleaning.

Snow Preparation & Hand Crews: Employees reviewed appropriate snow event clothing, as well as bringing extra clothing and …

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For the second year in a row, Focal Pointe has been named one of the 50 fastest-growing private companies in the St. Louis metro area. To create the list, the Business Journal gathered revenue data from local private companies for the past three years (2016 – 2018) and then ranked the 50 companies with the highest growth percentage over that period. Focal Pointe was ranked #36 with 70.8% growth over the last three years!

This honor goes to our hard-working team of professionals whose shared passion to reflect the ideals of those we serve, makes all …

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After nearly a decade of decline and reduced availability, it seems that the beloved Impatiens plant is finally making a comeback.

Impatiens walleriana, commonly called Impatiens, has historically been one of the most popular annual bedding plants in the country. A longtime favorite of gardeners, Impatiens are easy to grow and provide beautifully-colored blooms in shady conditions. The name Impatiens comes from the Latin word for impatient, undoubtedly chosen for the violent way in which the original perennial plant’s seeds discharge from its ripe pods.

Eight to ten years ago, Impatiens became susceptible to downy mildew – …

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Summer is coming to an end and folks are busy soaking up the last barbeques and sunny afternoons before fall settles in. Snow probably isn’t on your mind right now, but here at Focal Pointe, that is not the case. It may still be summer, but we are in full preparation mode for snow season.

We start heavily planning and preparing for the snow season in August. By starting early, we ensure we are fully prepared to serve our clients whenever that first snowfall occurs. We want our clients to know they can always depend on …

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For the second year in a row, Focal Pointe sponsored a seminar at Busch Stadium featuring Steve McClatchy as the keynote speaker.

Steve McClatchy is a national speaker and author of the New York Times Bestseller, Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress & Lead by Example. He has worked with some of the most prominent organizations in the world including Google, Under Armour, Disney, John Deere, Microsoft, and others. Steve is passionate about continual improvement and believes that when we stop growing, learning, gaining experience, and achieving goals we stop living.

Steve’s presentation entitled, Leading Relationships: Communicate …

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As we near the end of August, many areas are seeing the effects of summer weather conditions on the appearance of turf. After nearly three decades in the industry, a couple of things come to mind:

There will always be an ebb and flow of environmental conditions that have a range of positive and negative impacts on the appearance of turf.
The issues that are prevalent this year will most likely not be an issue next year for reasons noted above.

“crater effect”

This summer, a variety of diseases have plagued our turf causing a “crater effect” on its …

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2019 has brought us a longer rain season than we have seen in recent memory. With an abundance of wet weather, the thought of irrigation is often pushed to the back burner; however, that is exactly when we should be thinking about our irrigation systems.

Excess rain encourages a wave of plant diseases, and the problem is only compounded when irrigation systems are overwatering. The good news is that irrigation technologies are available to help us make these systems more efficient. From basic rain sensors to full-blown weather data information, the irrigation industry has made great strides in …

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Though it sounds like a fun place to shop, Dollar Spot is nothing of the sort. It’s actually a common fungal turfgrass disease that appears as small silver dollar-shaped circles and can spread throughout a lawn.

Dollar Spot with a quarter for size comparison

As with any fungus, when the conditions are right, symptoms can appear. The conditions that fuel Dollar Spot’s spread are high temperatures combined with high humidity and extended moisture.

In St. Louis, our spring and early summer weather has created the perfect environment for Dollar Spot. We’ve experienced extended periods of rain, high daytime …

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Did you know that over the next ten years, a half a million teens with autism will enter into adulthood? 93% of adults with autism are unemployed or underemployed. Easterseals Midwest is trying to change that. Easterseals offers a variety of training and placement services that help people prepare for the workforce — for many, meaningful work is often the key to overcoming challenges and engaging with the community.

 

One of Easterseals’ initiatives is its LINK program, a visual and hands-on curriculum designed to teach social skills for the workplace. Two LINK program graduates, Andersen Williams and …

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Spring is always the busiest time of year in landscaping. While our crews are actively serving our clients year-round, it’s springtime that is always our biggest push. With activities including spring cleanup, mulching, mowing, planting, and pruning, the hard-working folks at Focal Pointe are busier than ever during the 100 (or so) days that launch our spring season.

To recognize this “100-Day Dash” and its flurry of activity, long hours, and weekends worked, Focal Pointe recently held a celebration in appreciation of our dedicated staff.

All employees from Focal Pointe’s three branches (Main/Caseyville, Washington University, and Springfield, …

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What does all this rain mean for your lawn?

If it’s true that April showers bring May flowers, is it possible for there be too much of a good thing?  Clearly, the families and businesses impacted by flooding believe so, and so does your lawn.

The media is drawing comparisons between this year and the great flood of 1993, but in terms of local precipitation, this year reminds me more of 1995.  The flooding of 1993 had a lot to do with the amount of precipitation our neighbors to our north experienced, but I recall locally heavier …

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This spring, landscapes aren’t the only thing being renewed. After a lot of hard work behind the scenes, Focal Pointe is excited to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website: yourfocalpointe.com. There you’ll find a brand-new look and a user-friendly interface with more information than ever before.

Some of our site’s new features include:

Better navigation with improved functionality and faster loading
A new design that’s fully responsive on mobile devices including smartphones and tablets
Easier to read content for Spanish-speaking viewers
Integrated social media features including our Instagram feed on the site’s Scrapbook page
New video content that tells …

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In 2015, Focal Pointe instituted a summer internship program to provide students with hands-on learning for careers in the landscape services industry. The program includes a wide range of experiences and is customizable to the intern’s areas of interest. Interns spend approximately one week in each of a variety of disciplines, culminating in a mutually agreed upon self-chosen area of interest.

Below, two of Focal Pointe’s past interns, Elizabeth Fraley (2015) and Derek Reiking (2016) provide an inside perspective on what it’s really like to be an intern at Focal Pointe:

What types of projects did you …

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The natural environment sustains the life of all beings universally. – Dalai Lama

Last week Focal Pointe representatives attended the St. Louis Green Business Challenge kick-off seminar, held at the Commerce Bank Center for Science Education in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Green Business Challenge, a program of the Missouri Botanical Garden, supports integration of sustainability measures into the kinds of everyday operational practices common to every business. Since the program launched ten years ago, 216 companies – representing more than 150,000 employees – have joined the Challenge. Focal Pointe joined in 2018 and earned an Award …