2020 Education Program Descriptions

Learn new skills and update your credentials during Green & Growin’ Education. More than 100 hours of top-quality training, specialty seminars and workshops fill the 2020 schedule. Sessions for growers, landscapers and retailers are listed under the tracks below. Many sessions offer Continuing Education Credits toward a variety of industry licenses and certifications.


All CEUs are pending approval.

Professional Credits (CEUs)

Look for these icons in the education session descriptions to ensure you can earn continuing education credits toward your state or national accreditations. All CEUs are currently pending approval.

ceu__lc_greenLC Landscape Contractor License* (NC) - Technical CEU

ceu_lcb_greensq LCB Landscape Contractor License * (NC) – Business CEU

ceu_la_orange LA Landscape Architect License * (NC)

ceu_ic_blue IC Irrigation Contractor License * (NC) – Technical Irrigation CEU

ceu_icb_bluesq ICB Irrigation Contractor License (NC) – Business CEU

ceu_pa_black PA Pesticide Applicator License (FL, MD, NC, SC, TN, VA)

ceu_nalp_red NALP National Association of Landscape Professionals – Landscape Industry Certified

SAF Society of American Foresters – Certified Forester

Earn 1 Landscape Contractors Technical CEUs, Irrigation Contractor Technical CEUs, and 4 Landscape Architect CEUs when you walk the Marketplace floor. (Pending approval.)

Monday & Tuesday Specialty Classes & Certifications

Class sizes are limited. You must register in advance.


IA Landscape Irrigation Technician Course
IA Landscape Irrigation Technician Course

January 27, 2020
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Auditorium II
Instructor: John Newlin

Learn the basics of hydraulics and irrigation system installation and maintenance. This full-day, hands-on learning session covers gluing and repairing PVC pipe, installing nozzles and adjusting heads, setting and repairing electric valves, and field and controller wiring techniques.

Fundamentals of Profitable Landscape Design
Fundamentals of Profitable Landscape Design

January 27, 2020
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Colony A
Instructors: Richard Ludwig & Bill Slack, Landscape Design Workshops

Workshop provides a profit-centered, hands-on approach to essential landscape design skills. Class offers intense one-on-one instruction and evaluation of drafting/graphic abilities. The central theme of the full-day course is generating more business by improving drawing skills that produce bold yet efficient graphics.

The two instructors have decades of industry experience and offer insight into how to turn design skills into increased cash flow. Class is geared toward the green industry professionals wanting to dramatically improve their ability to communicate their design ideas on paper. Participants will complete a final project incorporating all learned skills by the end of the day. All drafting/drawing supplies and instructional materials are included. This is a very intense day of landscape design skill development!

Drafting supplies provided: circle template, 45-45-90 triangle, 30-60-90 triangle, drafting vellum, 4B,2B,2H,4H graphite pencils, eraser, erasing shield, pencil sharpener

Morning Session

  • Generating $Green$ in the Green Industry – What clients really want in design/build
  • Fundamentals of Speed Graphics – Using your equipment to quickly communicate your ideas on paper
  • Bold Yet Efficient Symbols – Hands on exercise to create striking trees, shrubs, groundcovers and hardscapes
  • Making Your First Impression Count – Creating crisp, architectural lettering

Afternoon Session

  • Design Salesmanship – Turning every prospect into a lifelong client
  • High Speed Title Blocks and Plant Lists – Strategies that save time and effort yet produce professional results
  • Elaborate Symbols – Learn how to draw sophisticated symbols that create punch and interest in a fraction of the time
  • Putting It All Together – A final project that ties together everything that you have learned during the workshop
NC Pesticide License Class and Test

North Carolina Pesticide License Course & Test

One and a half day session, January 27-28, 2020
Monday, Jan. 27:
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (Core Safety Training and NC Laws; lunch included)
Tuesday, Jan. 28:
8:30 AM – Noon (Ornamental and Turfgrass Training)
1:00 PM – 5:30 PM (NC Pesticide Applicators Licensing Exam – administered by NCDA)
Auditorium III
Instructor: Wayne Buhler, North Carolina State University

This 1½-day course conducted by NC State Extension prepares prospective applicators for the private and commercial applicator certification exams. Two study manuals will be shipped to participants upon registration. It is strongly recommended that study manuals are read and reviewed prior to the course.

Course registration fee includes cost of study manuals and Monday lunch. Test fees are not included and must be paid by cash or check only directly to NCDA at time of testing.

OSHA/NALP 10-hour Construction Safety Course
OSHA/NALP 10-Hour Construction Safety Course

Two-day session January 27-28, 2020
Monday, Jan. 27
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday, Jan. 28
8:00 AM – Noon
Instructor: Joe Lewis

Designed by the National Association of Landscape Professionals and approved by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, this course provides managers and field employees with in-depth information on the prevention of workplace hazards, workers’ rights, employer responsibilities, filing complaints, and more. This is your one-stop shop for in-depth safety education. After finishing the course participants will receive the 10-Hour Construction Completion Course Card and a certificate from NALP.

ICPI Concrete Paver Installer Course
ICPI Concrete Paver Installer Course (Sponsored by Belgard)

January 27-28, 2020
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Instructor: Andrew Harris

This practical two-day course is designed to enhance the knowledge of individuals involved in the construction and installation of interlocking concrete pavements. The course is taught by ICPI instructors and is tied together with a video that takes participants through a step-by-step concrete paver installation.

Curriculum Topics: Job planning and documentation; estimating quantities, job layout, and flow; soil characteristics and compaction; base materials; edge restraints; bedding and joint sands; selection and installation of concrete pavers; maintenance and management; specialty applications and construction tips; safety; estimating and job costing; and contract basics.

ICPI PICP Specialist Course
ICPI PICP Specialist Course (Sponsored by Belgard)

January 27, 2020
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Colony C
Instructor: Greg Ambrose

This classroom-based program is designed for contractors presently doing residential and/or commercial concrete pavement installations. Companies may already be installing permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) or planning to expand into the PICP market. Participants should be experienced contractors.

Curriculum Topics: Overview and systems; job planning and documentation; job layout, flow and estimating quantities; soil and site characteristics; sub-base and base materials; edge restraints; bedding and jointing materials; paver selection and installation; and maintenance.

Creating the Ultimate Landscape Design
Creating the Ultimate Landscape Design

January 28, 2020 – 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Colony A
Instructors: Richard Ludwig & Bill Slack, Landscape Design Workshops

Developed for landscape professionals wanting a strong foundation in design theory in order to create plans that are stunning, unified and functional. Emphasis placed on profitable, time efficient strategies. Class takes an architectural approach and centers on creating wonderful outdoor space using form composition and lines of force. In addition, course weaves sustainable, earth-friendly principles into traditional design. This hands-on workshop is participant-centered and goes from a basic understanding to completing a master plan in just one day. Improve your skills as you create and sell beautiful, practical, profitable, earth-friendly design solutions for your client.

Drafting supplies provided: circle template, 45-45-90 triangle, 30-60-90 triangle, drafting vellum, 4B,2B,2H,4H graphite pencils, eraser, erasing shield, pencil sharpener

Morning Session

  • Mediocre or Magnificent – Selling Outstanding Landscape Design?
  • Client and Site Analysis – Making the Most of What They Have
  • An Architectural Approach to Landscape Design
  • Lines of Force – the Ultimate Design Tool

Afternoon Session

  • Why They Say ‘No’ – Overcoming Resistance to Design Sales
  • Form Composition
  • Developing a Consistent Visual Theme
  • Marketing and Selling Your Design Ideas
  • Final Project
Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Certification Course
Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Certification Course

January 28, 2020
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Instructor: Joe Lewis

Learn how to recognize and care for a variety of first aid emergencies including burns, cuts, scrapes, and sudden illnesses. You’ll also learn about treating head, neck, and back injuries, as well as heat and cold emergencies. Finally, you’ll learn how to respond to breathing and cardiac emergencies for people over 12 years of age. Successful students will receive a certificate for Adult First Aid/CPR/AED, valid for two years.

Tuesday Education Tracks

Don’t miss the Tuesday keynote speaker, Steve Troxler, NC Commission of Agriculture, from 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM. Earn a CEU in LCB, ICB, LA and NALP. Breakfast included. Learn more here.
Business Track
9:30-10:20 AM

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulatory Update and Latest News
Jon R. McCormick, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

  Join Jon McCormick of the FMCSA, who will provide information on the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Rule, Entry Level Driver Training Rule, Electronic Logging Device Rule, Hours of Service Notice of Proposed Rule, and educational compliance resources. Gain a basic understanding of new requirements and discover resources to educate yourself. Bring your questions to ask the DOT.
10:30-11:20 AM The Ownership Transition Challenge
Robert Hayter, RLA, LKC Engineering
  Often called succession planning, exit strategies, generational transfer, selling or M&A, ownership transition should be a process not an event. Come join Robert Hayter, one of your fellow green industry owners and business consultant, who will share insights about ownership transition and assessing transition readiness.
11:30 AM-12:45 PM General Session Speaker & Lunch. Learn more here.

1:00–1:50 PM

Insurance Certificates 101
R. Carmen Davis, CIC, Davis Insurance Agency and Ashby Ware, ChFC, CLU, CExP, Consolidated Planning, Inc.
  We will examine insurance certificates including policy limits, additional insureds, waiver of subrogation, workers’ compensation officer exclusion, and more. This course will advise the business owner of what certificates mean, how they apply to business management and can extend coverage to the certificate holder.
2:00–2:50 PM Top Tax Strategies for Closely Held Businesses
Kenneth P. Martin, CPA and Scott Hensley, JD, CPA, Stancil CPAs & Advisors            
  This session will review the latest tax updates and provide the small business owner with the top tax strategies for 2020 to minimize one’s tax burden and stay out of trouble with the tax authorities.
  Click here to download the presentation
3:00-3:50 PM Risk Management – How to Buy Less Insurance
Will Salisbury and Joe Gupton, Jones Keystone

Life is risky.  And so is business. This session is an interactive discussion about how to identify and deal with the risks we all encounter. The solution is NOT “buy more insurance.” Learn what individuals and business owners can do to reduce risks and add to the bottom line.

Session take-aways:

  • Identify risks that can threaten your business, your employees, your family, and your financial security.
  • Develop plans to avoid or reduce risks and their direct and indirect costs.
  • Transfer risks to others when appropriate by using contracts and other “risk transfer” tools such as insurance and bonds.
4:00-4:50 PM The Probability of Profitability
Paige Moody, Arbor Enterprises
  Paige will discuss key tips and strategies to sustained profitability. The difference between success and turning dollars is in the details. Learn how to recognize waste in your business, keys to finding the right clients, and how to grow with the changing climate.


Landscape Track
9:30-10:20 AM Building a Market Leading Organization
Ken Thomas, Envisor

Why is it that some companies grow to market leadership while others get stuck along the way? Only a small portion of landscape companies grow beyond a million dollars and of the ones that do, most get stuck never realizing their business dreams. In this presentation Ken Thomas of Envisor Consulting will share his insights around organizational development learned through the lens of business ownership and Landscape business consulting throughout the country. Participants will learn:

  • The basics of Business Development;
  • The Business Lifecycle; and
  • Why most business get stuck on the road to success and what to do about it.
10:30-11:20 AM
What If Your Plants Die in Green Stormwater Infrastructures?
Dan Whitehead, HortSource; Wei Zhang and Hailing Yang, TreeDiaper

Green Stormwater Infrastructures (GSIs) are developed to replace the conventional grey infrastructures for stormwater treatment. It should be sustainable by using plants to clean up stormwater. However, plants often fail before established, which diminishes the purpose. This because the plants undergo constant stresses: either too wet (during storms) or too dry (in between storms). By design, green infrastructures are flooded during storms. Also by design, the growth media drain and dry out quickly between precipitation events. To accomplish this, very porous growth medium are used. The extreme variations in soil moisture makes it very hard for any plants to survive. When plants die, the green infrastructures become more of sand filters (a poorly drained one in most cases) and loses the majority of benefits.

A solution to the problem can be retaining the abundant stormwater and slowly releasing it to keep soil moisture from dropping too low during dry periods. Watering of the plants during droughts is a regular maintenance of green infrastructures. Although it seems crazy, installing automatic irrigation system is not uncommon.

In this presentation, we will review the new technologies that can help to solve the problem with the use of captured and stored stormwater. By capturing the stormwater, it enhances the stormwater reduction and retention feature of green infrastructures. In between storms and in drought, using the stored stormwater to irrigate the plants to ensure their survival. In return, the plants help to remove pollutants. Some technologies can help to reduce the need of maintenance.

11:30 AM-12:45 PM General Session Speaker & Lunch. Learn more here.
1:00–1:50 PM

Developing Multi-Functional Landscapes
Barbara Fair, PhD, North Carolina State University


In this presentation, Dr. Fair will discuss the value plants have in our urban communities and how we can maximize those values. You will learn how to see plants in new ways and be introduced to general design concepts, how to maximize what plants have to offer, low impact development concepts and the policies and management decisions needed to create sustainable green infrastructure.

2:00–2:50 PM
Road Salt and Urban Forestry
Wei Zhang, TreeDiaper; Dan Whitehead, HortSource; Hailing Yang, TreeDiaper

Sodium Chloride, the most predominant salt used on streets for melting snow and ice, is the lubricant of the modern lifestyle in northern climates during wintry weather conditions. These same streets and parking lots are also the battleground where urban foresters strive to build green infrastructure for canopy coverage, stormwater management and aesthetics. It is all too common to observe the damages and casualties on roadsides in spring, when plants start to display the impacts of salt through discoloration and canopy loss.

At this stage, it is often too late to remedy and correct the damaged plants. The urban forestry community is aware of the issue. Many of these professionals have snow removal as part of their responsibility requiring salts as part of standard operating procedures. We will use case studies in Baltimore MD and controlled environment studies in Richmond VA to demonstrate a unique protocol of protecting plants from salt damages.

3:00–3:50 PM

NC Coastal Landscaping: Inspired by Nature
Jane Harrison and Gloria Putnam, North Carolina Sea Grant


How can we increase nature-enhancing landscaping on the coast? This session will describe sustainable coastal landscaping solutions, and resources available for growers, as well as landscape designers, installers, and contractors. Plus, you will learn about recent research with coastal residents that reveals their landscaping dreams and desires. This session is led by leaders of the Coastal Landscapes Initiative, whose ultimate goal is to foster coastal landscapes that are attractive, environmentally-friendly, well adapted to the coastal region, storm-ready, enjoyable, and manageable.

This session will provide:

  • Access to landscaping resources (e.g. design templates) specific to the NC coast
  • Understanding of the features that define a sustainable coastal landscape
  • Knowledge of specific action steps to create sustainable coastal landscaping solutions
4:00–4:50 PM

LEAN – Winning Through Production Efficiency
Ben Gandy, Envisor


With labor rising and pricing fixed, it is getting harder and harder to make a dime! Successful companies are learning to do more with less. Not by working harder but working smarter. In this presentation Envisor’s Ben Gandy will present best practices learned from some of the world’s top productivity experts in how to identify and eliminate waste in landscape production.

Pests, Weeds & Diseases Track
9:30-10:20 AM Box Blight, Spotted Lanternfly and Other Regulatory Updates
Hsien Tzer (HT) Tseng and Whitney Swink, NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division
  This session is an overview of new pests of concern as well as regulatory updates for insects and diseases that affect the green industry. Participants will learn how to identify and report Spotted Lanternfly – our newest pest of concern; understand regulatory concerns related to box blight; and understand how interstate movement of plant material spreads regulatory pest issues.

10:30-11:20 AM

Resistance Management: Applying Herbicide Rotation in Nursery Management
Caren Schmidt, PhD, BASF
  Join Dr. Schmidt for a reminder session on the importance of understanding and applying proper herbicide rotations to maximize weed control and crop productivity.
11:30 AM-12:45 PM General Session Speaker & Lunch. Learn more here.
1:00–1:50 PM

Pros and Cons of Native Trees for IPM
Steven Frank, PhD, North Carolina State University


The right plant in the right place is a basic tenant of IPM and sustainable urban landscapes. Many people assume natives are the right plants for all places. Our research shows that native trees can support more pests than exotic trees a problem that gets worse at the most urban sites. Many exotic trees also support as much insect biodiversity as natives. Thus, exotic trees may be the right plants for highly urban pest prone places.

2:00–2:50 PM

Disease Management of Annuals in the Greenhous
Inga Meadows, North Carolina State University


Diseases of annuals are a perennial issue in greenhouse production of ornamentals. Learn disease management strategies including cultural and chemical controls, including fungicide rotations to reduce the risk of fungicide resistance.


3:00–3:50 PM

The Importance of Mosquito Control for Public Health
Sydney Brogden, Clarke

  This session will be an overview of proper pesticide applications with a focus on the control of mosquitoes, larvae and adult, and the importance of resistance management. Learn more about product availability, product rotation is relevance in your field, and disease management.
4:00–4:50 PM

Resistant Annuals and Herbaceous Perennials for Phytophthora-Infested Landscape Bed
Inga Meadows, Michelle Henson, and Suzette Sharp, North Carolina State University


There are limited options for managing landscape beds that have been infested with Phytophthora. This session will discuss common and popular annuals and herbaceous ornamentals that performed well in infested landscape beds over 2018 and 2019. General management of Phytophthora diseases will also be discussed. Attendees will learn about disease resistant plants, fungicide recommendations to manage Phytophthora diseases, and cultural practices to manage Phytophthora diseases.

Garden Center Track
9:30-10:20 AM
Power of Plants: How Gardening Helps Mind, Body, and Soul
Bryce Lane, North Carolina State University
  Did you know that a twenty-minute walk in the garden is equal to taking two anti-depressant pills! Time spent working or walking in a garden has bona fide benefits to our physical, mental and emotional health. This talk highlights many of the ways gardening makes us better, and shares much of the current research that supports what we gardeners already knew!
10:30-11:20 AM Best in Class Annuals and Perennials for the Piedmont
Jeff Gibson, Ball Horticultural Company
  In this session, Jeff Gibson will present a concise selection of trialed and true, sure to sell plants for landscape and garden centers right here in North Carolina.
  Click here to download the presentation
11:30 AM-12:45 PM General Session Speaker & Lunch. Learn more here.
1:00–1:50 PM Woody Ornamental Solutions for the Nursery and Landscape Industry
Mike Duvall, Star Roses and Plants
  This talk will highlight woody ornamental genetics that provide distinct advantages to growers and landscapers. These varieties have been selected to help solve an industry problem, whether that be better habits that result in less maintenance, longer flowering plants that offer more color, or improved tolerance of diseases. In discussing key varieties from Star’s offering, this presentation will demonstrate the attributes a new plant needs to make it through trials and into the trade. Some plants of focus include Abelia, Cercis, Lagerstroemia, and Prunus.
2:00–2:50 PM Garden Next! Garden Retailing in the Age of Distraction!
Jeff Gibson, Ball Horticultural Company
  This session will present top trends and commentary on reaching your landscape and garden center customers in the age of distraction!
  Click here to download the presentation
3:00-3:50 PM
David and Goliath – The Independent Garden Center vs. the Big Box Store
Matt Hunter, New Garden
  As small business owners, we must get back to the basics and do what we know best. We did not enter the garden center business to sell artificial Christmas decorations, soaps, jewelry and clothes. This session will help you differentiate your Independent Garden Center from the big box stores, as well as create a profitable and sustainable business.
4:00–4:50 PM
Garden Art: Using Ornament to Accent the Landscape
Bryce Lane, North Carolina State University
  Gardens aren’t just for plants anymore. You can use just about any kind of “non-plant” piece to decorate and enhance the landscape, and the more unusual or unexpected the better! From driftwood, birdhouses, and rebar, to sculpture, bathtubs, and windowpanes, come see a collection of examples of how gardeners are creating unique and interesting spaces with their “junk!”


Growers Track
9:30-10:20 AM Replacing Perlite with Whole Tree: Our Experiences
Mark Yelanich, PhD, Metrolina Greenhouses
  Perlite is a very expensive but necessary component of modern potting mixes. Whole tree has given Metrolina a low-cost alternative and a promising component for the future.
10:30-11:20 AM
Greenhouse Water Treatment Methods
Mark Yelanich, PhD, Metrolina Greenhouses
  Metrolina water needs has increased as they have grown. This session will review the 47-year journey to the water treatment we are using today.
11:30 AM-12:45 PM General Session Speaker & Lunch. Learn more here.
1:00–1:50 PM

Controlling Insects and Diseases in Nurseries
Nancy Rechcigl, Syngenta


Successful nursery production requires being prepared for the potential insect and disease problems that can quickly disrupt a prosperous season. Nancy Rechcigl, technical services manager for ornamentals at Syngenta, will share tips on how to prevent and control key nursery insects and diseases. She will also highlight how to follow an agronomic program, which can provide a built-in resistance management strategy, reduce the need for corrective actions and ensure the production of a high-quality crop. Learn how to properly rotate chemical products and how to plan for pest pressure.

2:00–2:50 PM

Mark Yelanich, PhD, Metrolina Greenhouses

  The late founder of Metrolina Greenhouses, Tom VanWingerden, used to say “Automate or Stagnate.” This session will review some of the labor saving devices being used at Metrolina.
3:00–3:50 PM

IPM for European Pepper Moth and Other Nursery Pests
Steven Frank, PhD, North Carolina State University


European pepper moth is an exotic nursery pest that is widespread but relatively unknown. We will discuss identification and management of this pest and others.

4:00–4:50 PM

Substrate Amendments for Growing Large Container Trees
Anthony LeBude, PhD, North Carolina State University and Jim Owen, PhD, Virginia Tech


Learn about substrate amendments available for growing shade and flowering trees in large containers and how it affects water holding capacity and growth during production, Learn what amendments are available to use for growth, increasing water holding capacity and perhaps increasing transplant survival to the landscape.

Wednesday Education Tracks

Don’t miss the Wednesday keynote speaker, Tony Avent, Plant Delights Nursery, from 8:00 AM – 9:15 AM. Earn a CEU in LC, ICB, LA and NALP. Breakfast included. Learn more here.
Business Track
9:30-10:20 AM Leaders Grow Leaders
Conrad Hayter, CPCC, PCC, The Windsock Group
  This course offers practical approaches and tools to grow your leadership contribution and impact. Participants will understand the process to identify their values and life purpose as a leader, learn tools to overcome their current leadership challenges, and discover the next step in their personal leadership development.
10:30-11:20 AM Keeping Employees Healthy and Happy
Lee Ivy, North Carolina State University and Paige Moody, Arbor Enterprises
  Emphasis will be on the benefits of healthy employees and the profitability that comes from daily habits of exercise and bodily care. Simple habits and steps toward healthy employees can increase productivity, company morale and individual and company longevity. Sample exercises and ideas for incentives will be presented.
11:30 AM-12:45 PM General Session Speaker & Lunch. Learn more here.
1:00–1:50 PM HR Best Practices
Janice Lane and David Shehdan, Jones Keystone

No manager looks forward to disciplining or terminating an employee but unfortunately many times managers find themselves in these difficult situations. Managers have a fine line to walk in coaching, managing and disciplining employees while ensuring the company is protected from potential employment claims from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Department of Labor (DOL) that can come from messy disciplinary write ups or terminations.

We’ll Learn About

  • Do you have job descriptions and an employee handbook in place?
  • Responsibilities of employees and supervisors
  • Different and effective communication styles
  • Feedback and coaching
  • How to document disciplinary actions that will stand the EEOC tests
  • Corrective action steps
  • Performance Improvement Plans (PIP)
  • Document and document again!

2:00–2:50 PM


Opportunities for Women in the Green Industry
Moderator: Debbie Hamrick, NC Farm Bureau
Panelists: Dana Massey, Plantworks Nursery; Leslie Herndon, Greenscapes, Inc.; Paige Moody, Arbor Enterprises; Phil Campbell, Campbell Road Nursery; and Liz Riley, Alamance Community College
  A panel of successful women in the industry representing growers, landscapers, retail, and education will share experiences and discuss opportunities including ownership and/or advancement and leading/managing teams. The purpose of the session is to make women aware of the opportunities the industry offers and ways in which to advance and to better lead and manage teams.
3:00–3:50 PM Content Marketing
Eric W. Jones, ASLA, Turf Teacher, Inc.
  This session will cover content marketing within a social media marketing strategy. Audience will gain knowledge of content to use in podcasts, vlogging, and social media posts for Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and other platforms.
4:00–4:50 PM

Creative Benefits Packages – Alternatives to Traditional Health Insurance
Joe Gupton and Janice Lane, Jones Keystone


Discussion on how many employers are offering more than the traditional medical, dental and life insurance options to meet the needs of their employees. A fresh look at combining insurance coverage in conjunction with time off, financial incentives, and tenure bonuses that can actually lower the hard costs of Employee Benefits.

This session covers lowering insurance (health and ancillary) costs, how to build benefits packages that better suit your employees, and creating incentives for employees to engage in the company via performance and tenure goals.

Landscape Track
9:30-10:20 AM
Bird-Friendly Habitat Gardening
Peter Schubert, New Hope Audubon Society and NC-IPC

More and more homeowners and HOAs are looking to create and maintain Bird-Friendly Habitat yards and developments, but they are finding few knowledgeable green industry professionals who can assist them. Pete will present an overview of Bird-Friendly Habitat Gardening and planting to maximize ecological value; what the New Hope Audubon Bird-Friendly Certification Program is doing in Durham, Orange, and Chatham counties; and how you can get involved in this growing approach to greenscaping.

Attendees will learn how to expand into new and growing markets for landscape design, installation, and maintenance; learn the vital importance of plant selection to ecological health and diversity; and recognize the business opportunities available to early adopters in the habitat gardening movement.

  Click here to download the presentation
10:30-11:20 AM Small Space Landscapes
Eric W. Jones, ASLA, Turf Teacher, Inc.
  This course will discuss issues that Contractors will have when designing and constructing any type of project in small spaces. This will include irrigation installation of main lines, lateral lines and zones. We will discuss the issues with trenching and boring in these small spaces as well as the issues with plant material installation, hardscape installation and overall access to the space. We will focus on the issues and restraints that either Landscape or an Irrigation Contractor will encounter.
11:30 AM–12:45 PM General Session Speaker & Lunch. Learn more here.
1:00–1:50 PM
How to Sell Profitable Lighting Systems
Debra Burke and Jason Shanabarger, Unique Lighting Systems
  Join Debra Burke and Jason Shanabarger of Unique Lighting Systems in learning how to sell a system not a fixture, make it difficult for the homeowner to say no, and other new selling techniques.
2:00–2:50 PM
Selecting the Best Plants for Energy Efficiency
Barbara Fair, PhD, North Carolina State University
  Dr. Fair will discuss plant attributes that you must consider prior to selecting plants for the landscape. You will learn that the goal is to maximize their usefulness in the landscape if the aim is to save energy and of course money. And, it is not just about money, it is about making our communities more resilient to insect invaders, storms and weather events that can damage or destroy our plant communities. It is all about being diverse!
3:00–3:50 PM
Advanced Lighting Design to Separate You from the Competition
Debra Burke and Jason Shanabarger, Unique Lighting Systems
  Learning advanced lighting designs that will have you thinking outside the box and separate you from your competitors, while having fun and making more money!
4:00–4:50 PM *New Plants on the Trade Show Floor with the JC Raulston Arboretum
Mark Weathington and Doug Ruhren, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University

New plants are the lifeblood of the industry. Learn about new plants entering the market. We’ll be looking at some of the new plants that are on the trade show floor and in nurseries now.

*Course conducted at Greensboro Coliseum.


Turf Management Track (Coordinated by the NC Sod Producers Association)
9:30-10:20 AM Utilizing Cultural and Pesticide Methods for Establishment and Conversion of Warm and Cool Season Turf
Grady Miller, PhD, North Carolina State University, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

Many lawn care operators are faced with the annual process of re-establishing lawns or converting lawns from one turf type to another. This session will provide information on how to use cultural practices and herbicides to establish warm and cool season turf. Information will also be provided on how to use herbicide strategies to convert from one turfgrass species.

Landscape turf managers and related industry personnel will:

  • Learn about the biology and management of warm and cool season turfgrasses as well as common and troublesome weeds in North Carolina.
  • Learn the environmental implications of herbicide use in turfgrasses.
10:30-11:20 AM Pesticide and Regulatory Issues Facing the Turfgrass Industry
Casey Reynolds, PhD, Turfgrass Producers International

Pesticide managers are under increasing negative public perceptions spraying lawns and landscapes. This session will discuss pesticide and regulatory issues that the turfgrass industry is facing. Many turf pesticides are increasingly under pressure from the public to be banned or not be utilized as management tools for pests. Discussion on pesticide and regulatory issues will be provided on a local and national level.

Participants will learn how pesticide and regulatory issues affect their business directly and how to stay informed about changes that may impact the turf industry.

11:30 AM-12:45 PM General Session Speaker & Lunch. Learn more here.
1:00-1:50 PM Soil Fertility Management for Successful Lawns and Landscapes
David H. Hardy, PhD, NCDA Soil Testing Agronomic Division
  Managing nutrients through optimum soil fertility is a cornerstone to success for beautiful lawns and landscapes. Soils in North Carolina are usually naturally acidic so pH management depending on turf type is important in optimizing healthy root growth along with nutrient availability and uptake. Turf requires many essential nutrients but nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the primary nutrients where management is focused. Nutrient source selection, timing of application, and safeguarding nutrient loss from application sites are important considerations. The chemistry of irrigation water can also impact soil nutrient availability. This session will cover nutrient management with a focus on interpretation of recommendations/lab tests offered through the Agronomic Services-NCDA&CS.
2:00–2:50 PM Advanced Disease Management Strategies for Cool and Warm Season Turf
Matt Martin, North Carolina State University, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

Diseases are a seasonal problem in landscape in cool and warm season turf. In many cases, fungicide applications are the most expensive pesticide applications that turf managers utilize. This makes it very important to identify the disease, understand the proper fungicide, and apply the product at the appropriate time. In this seminar, information provided will focus on effective disease management and identification for commercial and residential lawn care operators in North Carolina. Information presented will include the latest research-based information and recommendations on current and forthcoming fungicides as well as cultural management practices for effective disease management.
Landscape turf managers and related industry personnel will:

  • Learn about the biology and management of common and troublesome turf diseases in North Carolina.
  • Learn the environmental implications of fungicide use in turf.

Participants will learn how to reduce pesticide applications through BMP research-based disease management programs.

3:00-3:50 PM Advanced Weed Management in Warm and Cool Season Turf
Matt Martin, North Carolina State University, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

This seminar will provide participants information about weed control products for landscape turf using new herbicide chemistry and herbicide application strategies. Identification strategies to properly diagnose and manage difficult to control weeds will be discussed from the relationship of landscape cultural and pesticide management programs. Attendees will be exposed to weed management practices including chemical and cultural turf weed control techniques in the landscape. Participants will learn about specific weeds in NC with an emphasis on common and troublesome weeds in landscape environments and effective control programs.
Landscape turf managers and related industry personnel will:

  • Learn about the biology and management of common and troublesome weeds in North Carolina.
  • Learn the environmental implications of herbicide use in turf.

Participants will learn how to reduce pesticide applications through BMP research-based weed management programs.

4:00–4:50 PM Advanced Strategies for Controlling Difficult Insect Pests in Warm and Cool Season Turf
Matt Martin, North Carolina State University, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences

This session will provide information on effective insect management for common turfgrass pests found in commercial and residential lawns in North Carolina. During the past few years there have been several pests that have made resurgence in the Southeastern US. Information presented will include the latest research-based information and recommendations on current and forthcoming insecticides as well as cultural management practices for effective insect management. This seminar will also include information on the fate and behavior of insecticides in a turfgrass environment.
Landscape turf managers and related industry personnel will:

  • Learn about the biology and management of common and troublesome turf insects in North Carolina.
  • Learn the environmental implications of insecticide use in turf.

Participants will learn how to reduce pesticide applications through BMP research-based insect  management programs.

Irrigation Track (Coordinated by the Carolinas Irrigation Association)

9:30-10:20 AM

Choosing the Right Central Control System
Brad Comer, Smith Turf & Irrigation
  This session will explore and review central irrigation control options and discuss the process for selecting the correct one for the project.
10:30-11:20 AM
Defining Your Value Proposition & Discovering the Path to Productive Solutions
Chris Keating, The Toro Company
  This session will help contractors answer their customers question when they ask “why you?” Every company has a unique and special offering and once it is identified, contractors can use this information to grow and maintain their business and customer base.
11:30 AM–12:45 PM General Session Speaker & Lunch. Learn more here.

1:00–1:50 PM

Selling Beyond Single Head Repairs
Steve Hill, New Leaf Associates
  This session will improve the contractors understanding of selling beyond single head repairs which can help contractors save their customers money as well as conserve water resources and add revenue.
2:00-2:50 PM
Decoding Decoders – Two-wire Control 101
Reid Garner, Hunter Industries
  Learn about two-wire/decoder irrigation technology in this introductory course. Basic concepts of design, installation and troubleshooting will be covered.
3:00-3:50 PM
Large Fittings and Restraints
John Fralick, HARCO Fittings
  This class will review proper installation techniques and sizing of large fittings within an irrigation system. We will look at all the types of fittings needed and used for all different types of pipe and system requirements.
4:00-4:50 PM
Irrigation and Backflow: What You Need to Know
Craig Birchfield, Zurn/Wilkins
  This presentation will cover backflow topics relating to irrigation including code and enforcement, application, selection and sizing, terminology, installation, testing, winterization and maintenance.
Urban Forestry & Arboriculture Track (Coordinated by the NC Urban Forest Council)
9:30-10:20 AM What Lies Beneath: Fungal Tree Pathogens in the Urban Landscape
Julia Kerrigan, Clemson University

Many fungal pathogens originate underground and move to above-ground tissues after infection. Learn how to identify common tree pathogens that occur in the urban environment and how and where they affect tree structure.

10:30-11:20 AM Fruit Tree Pruning Basics for the Arborist
Michael Parker, PhD, North Carolina State University

With a growing interest in planting edible landscapes, many excellent ornamental horticulturists may not realize the subtle nuances needed to maximize fruit production. In this session Dr. Parker will share tips with you on managing and training/pruning fruit trees so that your client may get fruit. It is not just about making the cuts, though, you need to know a bit more about how and where the trees produce fruit. 

11:30 AM–12:45 PM General Session Speaker & Lunch. Learn more here.
1:00–1:50 PM

Preventing Tree Loss During Construction
Jeffrey Kish, F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company


A review of recommended processes for preventing tree loss during construction. The presentation will focus on the following: selecting trees to preserve; tips and techniques to prevent damage during construction and; after construction consideration and care.

2:00–2:50 PM

Threats to Landscape Trees
Laurie Reid, City of Charlotte


The impact of insects and diseases on landscape trees can vary from visual damage to causing an impact on tree health. This talk will focus on pests present in North Carolina and some new threats for which we need to be on the alert.

3:00–3:50 PM

Trees and the Hazards They Present
Gene Stano, East Carolina University


What is a hazardous tree? How do we determine a Hazardous Tree and what are the mitigation options available to us? These and other questions will be answered as we look at ISA TRAQ program and some practical common-sense ideas that will help to reduce the tree hazards. 

4:00–4:50 PM Caring for Mature Landscape Trees
Patrick Anderson, Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements

As trees age in our urban/suburban interface they face many challenges. Mature trees may respond differently than young or middle-aged trees to stress, and therefore may require an alternate form of care. Certain arthropod pests and diseases can be an added stress to these aged plants. In this discussion we will discuss several common stress factors of landscape trees, in addition to pests and diseases affecting our mature tree canopy. We will cover practical management strategies for these issues, which take into consideration tree condition, site, and target pest.

Presented by members of the North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association

Get in touch with us
Phone: (919) 816-9119 | Fax: (919) 816-9118 | Email: info@ncnla.com
NCNLA 968 Trinity Road, Raleigh, NC 27607