Joseph Barnes has served as Marketing Manager of Yellowstone Landscape since 2013.  He writes on a variety of topics related to the commercial landscaping industry.

Professional Landscape Services Matter

4 benefits of professionally maintained landscapes that go far beyond dollars and cents...

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How Commercial Landscape Companies Get Ready for Spring

If you google “get your lawn ready for spring” you’ll get about 25,400,000 results. Seems like a topic that’s already been pretty well covered. So, instead of writing another article about the importance of applying a pre-emergent, here are a few things that commercial landscape companies do to get ready to serve our clients in the spring.

As a commercial landscape business, spring means a return to regular landscape maintenance visits to our clients’ properties. Not that we haven’t been there over the winter, but most of what we’ve been doing in those visits have been to insure a successful spring.

When spring finally arrives, we are focused and have all our resources in place – equipment, people and training.

We Go Shopping

For large commercial landscape companies, spring brings truckloads of new equipment. At the end of the previous growing season, we’ve taken inventory of all our equipment – trucks, mowers, edgers and trimmers, and determined which ones don’t have another year left in them. Purchasing requests are filled out and signed, then we go shopping for the best tools of the trade we can find. Every company will definitely have their favorite brands, but no matter who they choose, there’s nothing quite as fun as picking up new mowers, tools, and trucks. They don’t stay clean for long, but when you see trucks, mowers, and power equipment fresh off the assembly line being delivered to our branches, you know spring has come.

Aside from the fun of having some new tools, the new equipment is absolutely essential to delivering quality commercial landscape services. Properly equipped service teams are free to focus on their task at hand because they know they have reliable tools to get their job done correctly and quickly.

We’re Hiring

Beginning early in the spring and continuing through the heart of the summer, our company’s employee roster will grow by more than 400 employees. Each new spring comes brings waves of seasonal landscape service professionals.

Someone has to use all the new equipment that we’ve bought over the winter, right?

Whether returning to us after an extended winter break, or coming to us with experience working at other commercial landscape service providers, we’re excited to see so many new faces around our shops each spring. As new growth begins to bloom, we realize that we would not be able to deliver quality landscape services to our clients without our dedicated seasonal work force.

Without a doubt, landscape service work is difficult. Summer temperatures can be unforgiving and the job is a dangerous one. The landscape service professionals we employ may not always get the credit they deserve, but they are always appreciated.

Training for Safety

Once the new equipment is in and our new employees are on board, the most important thing that we can do each spring is offer training to our operators – new hires and veterans. Regular refreshers on how to properly use the equipment are important, but more important is the training our teams how to use their equipment safely. Weekly operations meetings and safety meetings are a way of life for all our branch operations teams. In-field tailgate talks and mentoring sessions by our senior personnel are how responsible commercial landscape service providers make sure that our teams know how to do their jobs and deliver the results that our clients expect from their landscapes.

As we enter spring with new equipment in our fleet, new hires on our payroll, and well trained professionals focused on safety, there’s only one thing left to do – go out and create premier properties for our clients.
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CAI Central Florida CA Day

Proud to support CAI Central Florida as a sponsor at this year's CA Day...

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Notes from Our 2015 Leadership Meeting

Last week Branch Managers from both Yellowstone Landscape companies, Austin Outdoor and BIO Landscape, came together to discuss how we will measure our success in the coming year. There were several inspirational presentations given on broad array of subjects, mixed in with some great team building activities. At the end of the three days, it was apparent to us all that we are fortunate to have such a great group of leaders within our companies.

What are our leaders taking back to their branches this week?

A renewed focus on the 5 things that are key to our companies’ success:

  1. Safety
  2. Lasting Relationships
  3. Financial Responsibility
  4. Growth
  5. Team Development



Always number one on our list of priorities. We are all responsible for Safety. Not only for the Safety of the 1500+ employees of Austin Outdoor and BIO Landscape, but equally for the residents, employees, and visitors at the properties where we serve. We know that landscaping can be a dangerous business, so we must remain focused on Safety every day. We are committed to growing our Culture of Safety.


Lasting Relationships

This year we have achieved record breaking retention rates within our companies. This is so important to us because we understand that lasting relationships have to be earned at each and every service visit. When clients are pleased with the results they see in their properties’ landscaping and how we deliver our services, they allow us to continue serving them. If they’re not, they find someone else to replace us. Immediately following Safety, lasting relationships are the best measure of success for our companies.


Financial Responsibility

There are thousands of landscaping companies across the country. We’re not aware of any of them that are non-profit organizations. We are all paid for the services we provide. It is our responsibility to our clients and the 1500+ people that we employ to charge a fair price for our services. Meeting our clients’ expectations, while being able to adequately reinvest in our business, replace equipment as needed, and train our employees. In order to do all these things, we understand that we must be financially responsible.



“We want to be the best landscaping company on the planet.” A direct quote from our CEO, Tim Portland. Does that mean that we’ll be opening branches across the globe? No. It does mean we understand that any business that isn't growing can’t succeed. Growth creates new relationships with new clients. It also creates increased capabilities and more efficient ways to serve our existing clients. Within our companies, growth creates opportunities for talented individual to progress beyond where they are today.


Team Development

As our company continues to grow, we’ll need more leaders. Who are our next Branch Managers, Business Development Managers, and Account Managers? We believe that many of them are already working for us, so it’s critically important to develop our talent from within. There’s a popular saying around our offices that our employees come to us for a job, but they only stay for an opportunity. It is our leadership’s responsibility to create opportunities for our team to advance.


When our leaders reconvene next year, we’ll measure where we are in respect to each of these 5 areas of importance that we've committed to. When we show marked improvement in each of them, year over year, we’ll be successful.


Even more than that, we understand that our success completely depends on our ability to help our clients achieve their own.


In fact, that’s the very essence of:
Creating premier properties. Building lasting relationships.

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Pricing Your Propertys Commercial Landscaping Service (Part 2)

The balancing act that commercial landscaping companies face...

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Pricing Your Propertys Commercial Landscaping Service (Part 1)

$48,468.00. Thats the annual amount that one of our newest clients...

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Lasting Relationships and Shared Values

Its always a pleasure when the communities and clients we serve receive their well-deserved recognition.

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Expecting More from Commercial Landscaping

Clients of commercial landscaping companies have widely varied ideas about the value...

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A New Chapter for Austin Outdoor

Today we are proud to announce the beginning of the next chapter in our company's story.

Today we are proud to announce the beginning of the next chapter in our company's story.

CIVC Partners Completes the Acquisition of Yellowstone Landscape Group

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Jan 12, 2015) - CIVC Partners, L.P., a Chicago-based middle market private equity firm focused on investments in the business services and financial services industries, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Yellowstone Landscape Group, Inc. ("Yellowstone" or the "Company") in partnership with management.

As a commercial landscape business, spring means a return to regular landscape maintenance and installation services to over 1,500 homeowners' associations, corporate office campuses, resorts, and municipalities throughout the Southeast United States and Texas. The Company offers a comprehensive suite of landscape maintenance services including mowing, detailing, irrigation, and turf management as well as arbor care, design and installation services. Yellowstone's service breadth, unique design capabilities, superior information systems and world class industry professionals enable it to deliver consistent, high quality landscaping services to sophisticated commercial and government clients with complicated landscaping needs. The Company is headquartered in Bunnell, FL and has 16 branches across Texas, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. For additional information on Yellowstone, visit

The Company's CEO, Tim Portland, said, "We are thrilled to be partnering with a CIVC team that enthusiastically supports our strategy for Yellowstone. CIVC has been an active investor in the landscape maintenance industry for nearly two decades and brings an unmatched track record of partnering with management teams to rapidly grow businesses in service industries. Based on their past experiences, we expect CIVC to be an excellent partner for us as we execute on our business strategies."

John Compall, a Partner at CIVC, added that, "Yellowstone is one of the few operators of scale in a highly attractive industry defined by recurring revenue, limited cyclicality, and a fragmented base of small competitors. We are excited to partner with Tim and his team and build on the impressive platform that they have assembled in recent years to pursue strategic acquisitions and support the Company's next phase of growth."

The acquisition of Yellowstone builds on CIVC's investment experience in the outsourced business services industry. CIVC was previously an investor in The Brickman Group, Ltd, the largest commercial landscaping firm in the country. Other prior investments within outsourced business services have included Kellermeyer Building Services, Icon Identity Solutions, EN Engineering, PowerTeam Services and Track Utilities.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to CIVC. Harris Williams & Co. served as financial advisor and Moore & Van Allen PLLC served as legal advisor to the Sellers.

About CIVC Partners, LP
CIVC Partners is a Chicago-based private equity firm with over 25 years of experience investing in the middle market. The firm has invested $1.5 billion of equity capital in 57 platform transactions and dozens of add-on acquisitions since 1989. CIVC focuses on companies in the business services and financial services industries. More information on CIVC Partners can be found at

If you have an opportunity that may be an acquisition candidate for Yellowstone, please contact John Compall (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Doug Potters (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


book opened image courtesy Jo Naylor

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What makes you better?

There are so many things that make almost all commercial landscaping companies seem the same,

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3235 North State Street
PO Box 849

Bunnell, FL 32110

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Excellence in Commercial Landscaping