Troy-Bilt CORE Product Review: Blower and Hedge Trimmer

Do you use any power tools to keep your landscape looking its best?

If you are like me, you may have a hedge trimmer and perhaps a leaf blower, or both.  

Troy-Bilt's has asked me to review their newest line of garden equipment that is powered by CORE technology, which uses a rechargeable battery.  Their equipment line includes a hedge trimmer, leaf blower, string trimmer and a lawn mower.

Due to my previous experience with the quality of Troy-Bilt products, I have high expectations for these new tools will share my experiences with a video.


CORE technology means that the "power comes from the motor and not the battery."  

According to Troy-Bilt, "the controller communicates with the CORE motor to monitor how hard it's working and senses when the motor needs more power and automatically calls for more energy from the battery. So when you need maximum power, CORE answers. The controller efficiently manages the transfer of energy from the battery to the motor to deliver maximum runtime from every charge".

The equipment is simple to put together, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.  I couldn't wait to use both of them on a particular problem area in my landscape.


I have an informal hedge of white gaura growing in my front garden, but within its depths lurks an infestation of bermudagrass.  The grass was left over from when we renovated the landscape and took out the lawn.  As usually happens, sometimes grass can re-emerge, which is what happened here.

Unfortunately, I am now at the point that where the grass is threatening to take over my gaura, so drastic measures need to be taken.

To solve the problem, I have to prune back the gaura severely so that I can get to the base of the grass and dig it out.  So, I will use the hedge trimmers to prune the gaura back severely and then the leaf blower to help clean up the area afterward.


Troy-Bilt's CORE hedge trimmer is effective and not too heavy for me to use comfortably.  I am impressed at how easily it cut through the old stems without getting tangled up.


I have had the opportunity to test over five different Troy-Bilt blowers over the past few years and this one is my favorite.  It is very powerful, easy to hold, and simple to use.

Battery-powered technology paired with Troy-Bilt's CORE engine creates powerful garden equipment that is easy to use. The power of their tools rivals those with gas-powered engines.  Now, I don't have to worry about messing around with power cords - no more rolling and unrolling electrical cords, accidentally cutting the cord, or having to constantly move the cord out of my way.  I also don't miss having to fill gas engines up with fuel.

One thing that is important to note is that the battery should only be charged at temperatures between 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  So, for those who live in areas with extremely cold or hot climates, the battery will need to be charged indoors.

All of the CORE power garden equipment operate off of the same battery.  Each tool comes with a battery and charger, but you can order additional tools without the battery if you  have one from other CORE products.

To learn more about Troy-Bilt's line of CORE products and how they work, click here.

*I was offered the hedge trimmer and blower free of charge with the expectation of an honest review.

10 Beautiful, Native Trees for the Southwest

Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis)

Trees are a treasure to us that live in the Southwest where the sun can be relentless with its intensity.

We all know the delight of stepping into the cool shade of a tree during a hot summer's day where their canopy provides blessed relief.

Honey Mesquite Bosque (Prosopis glandulosa) at the Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden

In addition, to welcome shade, trees also add beauty to the landscape with their lovely shades of green leaves, flowers (in some cases), and the way the dappled shade dances along the ground.

Palo Blanco (Mariosousa willardiana) formerly Acacia willardiana


There are many trees native to this region that add both shade and beauty to the garden while thriving in our arid climate.

I recently shared a list of my ten favorite, native trees for the Southwest in my latest article for Houzz.

*Do you have a favorite tree?  Please share it with us!

There Is No Place Like Home

The last blooms of red bird-of-paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) in bloom underneath the filtered shade of a desert willow (Chilopsis linearis).  Mexican bird-of-paradise (Caesalpinia mexicana) grows in front of the window.

There is nothing better than enjoying a lovely view of your garden, (while sitting with your feet up), after being out of town for several days.

I've spent the past several days in Atlanta, Georgia, touring gardens, learning from educational sessions, networking, and socializing at this year's annual Garden Communicator's Symposium.

A few days before I left for the conference, I hosted my dear friend, Andrea, who flew all the way from Australia to me in Arizona for a few days before we both left for Atlanta.

I got in late last night and relished sleeping in my own bed - there is truly no better feeling after a long day of traveling and sleeping in a hotel bed.

I try to keep my schedule light the day after I get home from a trip and today is no different.  So what's on the schedule today?  Catching up on my favorite television shows while going through business cards from new contacts I met, working my way through the large pile of mail waiting for me, deciding where in the garden to put the new plants I was given at the conference, and deciding what new garden samples to try first in my garden.

What do you do when you come home from a  trip?



A Visitor From Oz Explores Arizona

Have you ever met someone whom you felt an instant bond with?  If so, you know that it isn't an everyday occurrence.

Last year, I attended the Garden Writer's Association Conference for the first time.  I went to the conference not knowing anyone else there, but was excited for the classes, garden visits, and hopes to meet other people who loved and wrote about gardens like I did.

At this point, I should mention that going up to people and introducing myself isn't easy for me to do, but another garden writer was also attending for the first time who had come all the way from Oz (also known as Australia ;-).  Well, I decided that I needed to go up and introduce myself to Andrea - after all, we had some things in common - she lived in a dry climate and Arizona landscapes made use of many plants native to Australia.  

Well, we formed an instant friendship and found out that we shared numerous similarities - including the fact that we both had recently turned 50, worked as garden consultants as well as garden writers.





Over the next few days, we shared storied about our work and memorable clients while strolling through gardens viewing plants that we both use, despite living on two different continents.  


We would also talk to each other about new plants to try all while sharing the trials and tribulations of gardening in a dry climate.

All too soon, the conference was over, and I headed home with a suitcase of free plants while Andrea flew back to Australia.

After that, we conversed back and forth while making plans to attend the next year's conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  I thought that it would be a fun to invite Andrea to come and visit Arizona on her way to the conference.  So earlier this week, I found myself at the airport, anxiously waiting for her.  I couldn't wait to show her my favorite garden spots around Phoenix.

At this point, I should mention that while most people spend time cleaning their house and getting it ready for a special guest, for those of us who are in the landscape business, also have to get our gardens ready for our gardener friends to visit as well.  As a result, my garden was neatly pruned, weeded, and cleaned in preparation for Andrea's visit.  

The first day, there was no question that the Desert Botanical Garden would be our first destination.  We were blessed with a partly cloudy day with a light breeze to take the edge off of the heat.  Walking along winding paths with stunning examples of cacti, palo verde trees, flowering shrubs, and ground covers, I showed her the beauty of the desert landscape.


Of course, we had to get a picture in front of a saguaro cactus.

Craft Beer in a Jar

After the garden, it was off to get a taste of American food.  So, good BBQ with a jar of local craft beer was next.

Delicious BBQ

Evenings were spent at my house having dinner and allowing Andrea and my kids time to get to visit.


Andrea bought a lovely collection of gifts, not just for my younger kids, but also for my grandchildren.  Eric looks adorable in his Australia hat.

The next day, we visited the Heard Museum and explored the Native American history and artwork, eating delicious smoked hamburgers at a downtown restaurant that is frequented by locals.

Hamburger Works Restaurant

We enjoyed event-filled days and great food, but one of my favorite parts was watching her try her very first Rice Krispy treat.

Now, we are off to the second part of Andrea's visit - attending the conference where we first met one year ago.

Of course, this isn't the end of the story of a gardener from Arizona and Oz.  We have plans to write a book together highlighting our experiences and lessons learned gardening in dry climates, 9,667 miles apart.

The next several days will be filled with garden visits, informative classes, a trade show and much more.  I'll be sure to share the newest and latest garden products with you once I return home next week.

**Click here for Andrea's blog.**

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