Sprint Session Schedule

Presented by Extension personnel, leading suppliers, and other industry experts in quick, 15-minute segments (Common Ground Stage).  Want to dig a little deeper?  Join presenters at the Dig Deep table on the Common immediately following their Sprint Session.

Wednesday February 4

11:30 a.m.
Managing Emerald Ash Borer in the Landscape
Amy Papineau, UNH Extension Field Specialist; Food and Agriculture
Learn the options available for dealing with the impending infestation of ash in the landscape including chemical controls available for protection of high value trees.

12:00 noon
How to Maintain Your Chain Saw
Ken Palmer, ArborMaster Training, Inc.
Careful chain saw maintenance can mean the difference between a productive day and a day you'd rather forget.  Learn the key elements of a proper teardown and then try your hand at a timed competition at the MAA Learning Hub with new toys from some of your favorite suppliers.

12:30 p.m.
First Biological Control Agent of Invasive Swallow-worts to be Released in 2015
Dr. Lisa Tewksbury, Director, URI Biological Control Lab
This exciting new research has documented great success at controlling the highly invasive Swallow-wort vines with a moth, Hypena opulenta. Learn about releases to be made this year!

1:00 p.m.
Results of the Landscape Trends Study: Houzz
Michael Stein, Industry Marketing, Houzz
With over 25 million unique monthly users, Houzz is the largest online resource for consumers and professionals in the residential remodeling industry. Houzz has harnessed all of those users to find out what the most current trends in the industry. Come find out the results of the landscape survey and hear what's going on in the residential landscape industry.

1:30 p.m.
Choosing Native Plants for Bee Plantings
Dr. Lois Berg Stack, UMaine Extension Specialist, Ornamental Horticulture
Learn how to select native plants and design a planting that provides season-long support for honeybees as well as many native bees.

2:00 p.m.
The Benefits of Compost Application 101
Leanne Spauling, Composting Council Research & Education Foundation
Learn about the agronomic benefits of adding compost to soil and review the variety of applications for compost specific to professional landscape businesses including: topsoil manufacturing, turf topdressing, backfill mixes, and erosion control.  On-site and off-site manufacturing of engineered soils, as well as compost product testing, will be addressed. 

2:30 p.m.
Mulch is Bad for Plants
Dr. Brian Maynard, URI Plant Sciences Professor
Mulch may reduce weed growth and alter soil moisture, but learn about its consequences for landscape plants.

3:00 p.m.
Urban Beekeeping
Noah Wilson-Rich, Ph.D., Urban Beekeeping Lab/Bee Sanctuary, The Best Bees Company
Incorporating beehives into cities is not just a trending fad, but actually seems to be better for the bees.  Learn easy tips about how to incorporate bees safely into any property.


Thursday February 5

9:30 a.m.
Quick Tips for Pruning Small Trees and Shrubs
Russell Norton, UMass Extension
The presentation will briefly cover some of the basic principles needed to prune small trees and shrubs correctly.

10:00 a.m.
Designing Exterior Landscape Features in 2-D & 3-D with Vectorworks
Lee Bardwick, Vectorworks Landmark Software
Starting from an imported PDF file of a site, attendees will learn how to quickly and efficiently make use of simple geometry and smart objects to produce and sell memorable outdoor projects.

10:30 a.m.
What’s Bugging You?
Donna Ellis, UConn Senior Extension Educator
Insects can have negative impacts on healthy plants in landscapes and nurseries.  Learn about some of the common pests to help you with management decisions.

11:00 a.m.
Retailers’ Choice Award Winners
Tom Kegley, The Garden Center Group
What products/services did our esteemed panel of retailers choose as the most innovative, sure-sellers for their garden centers?  Join us as we reveal the much-anticipated results and then head out to visit the winners!

11:30 a.m.
ISA Arboricultural BMPs Update
Dr. Dennis Ryan, UMass Extension
Learn about ISA’s new series of Best Management Practices that interpret tree care standards and provide practice guidelines for arborists, tree workers, and the people who employ their services. These BMPs complement the most recent TCIA A300 Standard.

12:00 noon
Proper Chain Saw Operation
Ken Palmer, ArborMaster Training, Inc.
Proper chain saw operation is key to an efficient workforce and a successful company.  Dig deep into the physics of precision cuts and then watch your peers compete for the most points in safety and cutting using top and rear handle saws as well as new battery technologies.

12:30 p.m.
Invasive Plant or a Look-Alike?
Randy Prostak, UMass Extension Specialist
Take a brief look at some plants that might be misidentified as invasive plants.

1:00 p.m.
Reaching out to a Younger Demographic
Jonathan Bardzik, Cook, Author, & Storyteller, Footprint Plants
It is important to recognize how important the millennial generation is to your bottom line.  They are the consumers who will drive the economy in the decades ahead.  Gain insight into what this age group wants and how to deliver it.

1:30 p.m.
Evaluating New England’s Indigenous Fruiting Trees & Shrubs
Dr. Bryan Peterson, UMaine Assistant Professor of Environmental Horticulture
New England is home to many species of trees and shrubs that produce edible fruits.  New research at the University of Maine will investigate propagation, ornamental appeal, and fruit production of several promising native taxa that are not common in the horticulture industry.  

2:00 p.m.
Compost Use in Converting Grey Infrastructure into Green Infrastructure
Al Rattie, U.S. Composting Council
Review the applications for compost use in helping to address the issues of stormwater management including brownfield site remediation, green walls and roofs, as well as bioswales and rain gardens.

2:30 p.m. 
Poison Ivy, Oak & Sumac: Plant Identification, Prevention & Treatment
Daniel Boelman, RN, BSN, Zanfel Laboratories, Inc.
Every year 50 million Americans experience an allergic skin reaction after contacting poison ivy, oak or sumac.  This very common skin reaction results in lost work time, expensive medical treatments, and many days of misery.  Learn new ways to positively identify poison ivy and its relatives.  Find out the best prevention methods that can be used to decontaminate both skin and equipment.  Review prescription and OTC treatments including Zanfel Poison Ivy Wash.

3:00 p.m.
Rooting Out Poison Ivy to Increase Sales
Umar Mycka, Poison Ivy Horticulturist, Consultant for Zanfel Laboratories, Inc.
Nothing strikes fear into a homeowner’s gardening heart more than the threat of a terrible poison ivy rash.  Get this garden “party-pooper” out of our clients’ backyards!  Learn the latest on this vital issue with nationally known poison ivy removal specialist, Umar Mycka, then add it to your list of services and improve your bottom line.

Friday February 6

9:30 a.m.
Perennial Hardiness -- What’s New, What’s True?
Dr. Leonard Perry, UVM Extension Horticulture Specialist
Years of research on cold hardiness of various herbaceous perennials in different protocols has created a mountain of data. Attend this session to sort out what works and what doesn’t work.

10:00 a.m.
Technology for Storytelling: How to Reach New Clients and Engage a Global Community
Michael Stein, Industry Marketing, Houzz
For landscape architects and designers, technology tools extend far beyond space planning and drafting. Today, technology is used to communicate more effectively with clients, tell engaging stories about you and your portfolio of work and market your business with scale and efficiency, in the office or on the go. During this session, discover how you can harness Houzz and integrated technologies to do just this - improve business efficiency, reach new prospective clients and streamline communications.

10:30 a.m.
Interpreting Soil Test Results
Andy Radin, URI Ag Extension Agent
Understanding the results of a soil test is an important first step in managing plants for good health. Learn how to read test results and use the knowledge to manage your clients’ landscape plant health.

11:00 a.m.
Attract Customers Using Edibles & Cooking Demonstrations
Jonathan Bardzik, Cook, Author & Storyteller, Footprint Plants
Edibles are all the rage and what better way to showcase them at your garden center than through creative and delicious cooking demonstrations.  Learn how to successfully incorporate this hot trend into your marketing strategy.  Increase traffic and sell more plants!

11:30 a.m.
Native Plant Selection for Rain Gardens
Dr. Cathy Neal, UNH Extension Specialist, Ornamental Horticulture
What are the tried and true plants for rain gardens in northern New England?  Dr. Neal will share her favorite few shrubs and “eight great” perennials that are sure to survive and thrive despite the challenging conditions found in functional rain gardens.

12:00 noon
MNLA’s 15 Favorite Apps for the Green Industry
Chris Kennedy, MCH, Kennedy’s Country Gardens
Here’s your chance to check out the apps recommended the most by your industry colleagues.  Try them out and learn how they can help you and your crew operate more efficiently.

12:30 p.m.
Fire Blight in the Landscape; What Happened in 2014 & What to Do in 2015
Heather Faubert, URI Plant Clinic Director
Fire blight can quickly destroy susceptible landscape plants. Learn about this disease’s recent history, and what to do if you see it in the coming year.

1:00 p.m.
What’s Killing our Bees?
Noah Wilson-Rich, Ph.D., Urban Beekeeping Lab/Bee Sanctuary, The Best Bees Company
Of the 20,000 bee species worldwide, we know very little about the majority of these important pollinators.  Get an update about the three major threats to bees and what each of us can do to help.

1:30 p.m.
Water and Nutrient Management for Planters and Hanging Baskets in the Landscape
Geoffrey Njue, UMass Green Industries Extension Specialist
Containers offer many advantages to traditional gardens. However, careful attention to media selection, irrigation and fertilization is needed to ensure that container plantings look good through the whole season. Items discussed will include media wetting agents and water absorbing polymers, and the use of water soluble and controlled release fertilizers.

A complete description of all Sprint Sessions is available at NewEnglandGrows.org or via the Grows mobile app in January.  Schedule subject to change.