Technical Sessions 2017-04-20T18:18:36+00:00

Technical Session Suggestions

Find the sessions that help you in your business thought the suggested sessions below.

Laura Miller, TCNP

Protecting Pollinators

This presentation will provide for discussion of one of the most important environmental issues facing the Green Industry, the protection of honey bees and other native pollinators, and how we can minimize the negative impact of insecticide use with product selection and timing, as well as maximize the positive impact that ornamental plants can have on pollinator habitat.

Session Take-aways:

Where to find pollinator protection information on a pesticide label
How to provide pollinator habitat
What we know and don’t know about the impact of pesticides on pollinators

Dr. Whitney Griffin

Landscape Design Basics: Principles, Elements, and Maintenance Mindfulness

An introductory-level presentation reviewing the principles and elements of landscape design, and how to create aesthetically pleasing landscapes that minimize man hours and maintenance. Design principles and elements will be geared primarily towards residential applications; maintenance mindfulness will be applicable towards residential and commercial applications.

Session Take-aways:

  • Attendees will learn the 5 principles of design and how they relate to the landscape.
  • They will also be introduced to the 5 elements of design and how those elements are manipulated to change the way a person sees or experiences a landscape.
  • Finally, attendees will learn how to manipulate and “tweak” designs to save man hours, labor, and decrease maintenance costs.

Gene Gehring

Best Maintenance Practices for Healthy Trees

Trees are usually the highest value item in the landscape yet their care is often misunderstood. In this talk, you will see examples of best maintenance practices, learn why they are best for the tree and also see examples of what to avoid. April will emphasize the importance of educating the client so they understand what you are doing and support your recommendations.

Session Take-aways:

Illustrate best practices in tree care and debunk common myths about trees in the landscape including:

Plant the right tree for the right place to minimize maintenance needs

Proper mulch application to promote tree vigorBest pruning practices for both young and mature trees to minimize wound size and help the tree develop strong form

Green Stormwater Infrastructure: Design and Performance in Texas

Dr. Fouad Jaber

Urbanization has resulted in increased impervious areas which resulted in larger runoff flow rates, volume and deteriorated water quality. Traditional stormwater management has focused mainly on flood reduction by conveying water in large pipes to stormwater sewers resulting in higher flows and pollution in streams and lakes. This resulted in increased streambank erosion, increased water quality impairments in Texas streams and increased eutrophication and fish kills in lakes. Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) which includes bioretention areas (rain gardens), permeable pavements, rainwater harvesting and green roofs have presented a viable alternative to traditional conveyance management. These practices increase infiltration, reduce runoff flow rates and volume and improve water quality in a decentralized approach. A experimental setup was built at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas where these practices were designed, built, and monitored for performance over a period of three years. GSI reduce flows and volumes by more than 50% and improved water quality by removing 80% or more of sediments and reducing Nitrate, phosphate and E. coli.

Session Take-aways:

  • Understand the impact of urbanization on streams and lakes
  • Understand the design of Green Stormwater Infrastructure
  • Evaluate the performance of GSI in Texas

Dr. Sam Feagley

Maintaining Soil Fertility in an Urban Environment

Maintaining plant growth in an urban environment is critical to the reduction of erosion of soil particles and landscape aesthetics. Maintaining plant growth starts with the correct selections of plant materials for the soils in the area because some plants do best in acid soils, some do best in near neutral soils, and some do best in alkaline soils. The next part is maintaining sufficient nutrients and water for the plants to grow. Soil testing is the only way to determine the pH and chemistry of the soil to help select the appropriate plants and sources and amounts of nutrients. Water quality and quantity of application is also important to assure the amount of plant growth desired and reduce the potential for runoff and erosion of nutrients and soil.

Session Take-aways:

How and when to collect soil and water samples.
Selection of appropriate laboratory for analyses and appropriate analyses for soil and water.
Interpretation of soil and water analyses.
Sources of nutrients, application rate, and application timing.
Irrigation system calibration and scheduling irrigation.

Janet Rademacher

Durable, Drought-Tolerant Plants for Texas!

A selection of 30 hardy trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, groundcovers and succulents which are adapted throughout Texas will be shared and discussed.

Session Take-aways:

  • Learn the characteristics, growing requirements, and pros and cons of approximately 30 durable, drought tolerant plants adapted to Texas.
  • See examples of these plants used in landscapes.
  • Understand the anticipated availability, and which container sizes they are generally grown in.