by David DeJohn, NHCLP
A month into 2022 and it’s finally starting to look and feel like winter, at least here in Canterbury. As I write, we finally got some snow over the existing few inches of crust, so it actually made for some nice snowshoeing. Up to mid-January it’s been mild with more rain than snow, but below zero temps are on their way, so maybe winter is here for awhile. It’s definitely gotten quieter, the pace has slowed a bit to the point where I can pick and choose my days when I work, depending on weather and motivation, on my winter wall projects,and try to balance that with office work and just being at home for awhile.
Apple tree pruning will be starting in a month or so and before you know it we’ll be off and running again into the landscape season. I’m pretty optimistic about this coming work season having learned a lot of hard lessons from last year, and I think I’m better prepared for some of the uncertainties we all faced last year. Hopefully it will be a less chaotic schedule although, truthfully, pandemic or no pandemic, supply chain issues or not, I think I’ve been saying that for the last 34 years! Who am I kidding?
Covid and it’s variants continues to make things difficult for everyone and a lot harder to plan for events. As of this writing we are moving forward with our dinner meeting planned for January 18, but Covid numbers are up so we’ll just have to see. As we get closer to spring we have several more opportunities to learn and these may be a little easier to plan as they can be, weather permitting, held outdoors. One of these planned events is a talk and demonstration of electric and battery operated tools and equipment that are coming onto the market and that will eventually take the place of gas powered equipment. It’s definitely coming, and we need to start getting prepared for it. An article in a recent NALP newsletter talks about how on Thursday, Dec. 9, the California Air Resource Board (CARB) approved the proposed amendments to the Small Off-Road Engine Regulations: Transition to Zero Emissions, which would ban the sale of virtually all carbon-emitting landscape equipment beginning with model-year 2024. Although it doesn’t mean that you suddenly won’t be able to use your existing gas-powered equipment after 2024, it does mean you won’t be able to buy them. We’re a little different than California in that only California can create its own regulations regarding emissions because, like other states, we are under the federal law, the Clean Air Act, so we are even further away from a complete ban. But it is coming sooner or later, and we’d like to help our members get ahead of it.
Other events coming up or in the planning stages include a Safety Training day, a Department of Safety Compliance demonstration, a Field First Aid class to cover the basics of first aid on the job and what to do before and after calling 911, and a Landscape Basics Training day, which would cover proper pruning, planting, and mulching techniques. These events may be half-day or full-day programs, Dinner Meetings if appropriate, or Twilight Meetings. We will do our best to follow CDC and State guidelines, such as they are, in order to keep everyone safe and healthy so we can continue to learn and improve our professional development.
When the next Newsletter comes out we will hopefully be well into the spring season with clean-ups and getting back to those projects that need to be finished or new ones to be started. I wish everybody good luck in the upcoming year and hope to see you at all the events we have planned!