The Knowledge College is the place where you can get the winning edge to become the best industry business you can!

For 2015, The Knowledge College brings you seven amazing, unique, hands-on workshops to help keep you in step with industry competition. Choose one or multiple workshops to build a program that is tailor-made to meet your needs. Sessions are just $60 per workshop (if resistered by September 8) or $75 per workshop thereafter.

Thursday, September 24

1 – 4 p.m.

Tree Pruning for Landscape Professionals

Jordan Upcavage, Independent Tree Serrvice, Inc., Tampa, FL; Joe Samnik, Samnik & Ballard Expert Tree Consultants, Tampa, FL; Mike Marshall, Marhsall Tree Farm, Morriston, FL

Brought to you by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), this three-hour session combines classroom instruction with hands-on demonstrations and showcases the proper pruning principles for landscape contractors and maintenance companies. A review of the new Florida Grades and Standards will be featured along with instruction on safety; how to make proper cuts; ways to minimize the load on branches; and, determining when you need to have a certified arborist on your team. Plan to take this newly-learned knowledge to the show floor where you will roll up your sleeves and participate in some practical pruning exercises.

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America's Most Unwanted: How to Keep the Top 5 Pests Out of Your Landscapes

Chris Hayes, Bioworks, Land O'Lakes, FL; Dr. Catharine Mannion, Tropical Research and Education Center/UF, Homestead, FL; Dr. Lance Osborne and Dr. David Norman, Mid- Florida Research and Education Center/UF , Apopka, FL

Creating the ideal mix of biological and chemical controls for managing pests in the landscape takes years of experience, not just luck. This workshop will provide a hands-on approach to identifying the top 5 most unwanted pests in Florida, understanding application methods and, it will help attendees evaluate the costs of using biocontrols vs. traditional spray programs. Learn simple steps which will shave costs from your pesticide programs. By being selective when choosing the right insecticide and understanding the timing of treatments, you can preserve the natural predators and provide your customers with a pest-free environment.

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Getting the Right People on Your Team: Finding, Hiring & Retaining Employees

Tim Smith and Alison Blobner, LandOpt, Pittsburgh, PA

Just as a proactive sales approach attracts and retains the right customers, proactive recruiting attracts and retains the right employees. The best candidate for the job rarely shows up on a company's doorstep. Recruitment should be a big part of your business practice – actively searching for the ideal team members to fill each role within your organization. This three-hour workshop will combine classroom instruction with real-workplace happenings to help you better identify the roles of your team members enabling you to build a stronger, cohesive team ready to exceed your customer's expectations.

Sponsored by: Approved for:

Friday, September 25

9 a.m. – Noon

Landscape Efficiency

Debbie Mola-Mickler and Scott Franklin, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL; Robert Bowden, Harry P. Leu Gardens, Orlando, FL; Lloyd Singleton, UF/IFAS Extension; and, Billy Butterfield, AmeriScapes Landscape Management Services, LLC

Do your trucks and trailers need a redesign? Is your crew constantly losing or misplacing equipment because it is unorganized? This workshop will provide attendees with practical ways to incorporate efficiency into your business. A combination of classroom and hands-on instruction will teach the principles of an efficient and effective workspace which can easily be applied to your business.

Sponsored by: Approved for:

Pollinator-Friendly Practices in the Landscape

Cory Stanley-Stahr, PhD, University of Florida; Greg Kramer, Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, FL

The U.S. has lost over 50% of its managed honeybee colonies over the past 10 years and some scientists estimate one out of every three bites of food we eat exist because of pollinators like bees, butterflies and other insects. In this exciting session, learn more about the many types of pollinators, discover how to minimize damage utilizing friendly maintenance practices and gather information on what you can do to promote and protect pollinators in the landscape.

Sponsored by: Approved for:


1 – 4 p.m.

Realistic Landscape Designs

Davis Dalbok, Living Green, San Francisco, CA

Award-winning landscape designer, Davis Dalbok will kick-off this workshop by sharing his insightful design principles easily applied to Florida's tropical plant palette. Dalbok takes great care in placing and composing the elements you see in all of his landscape designs. The second half of the workshop will feature a panel with a designer, a contractor and a maintenance professional who will discuss the process of award-winning, yet realistic, landscape designs. Panelists will discuss the full gamut of a project, from design to the continued maintenance of the job. See rockstar designs and re-ignite your passion and pride while keeping it real!

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Certification Workshop

Facilitated by Gary Weitermann, FCLMT, SeaWorld Horticulture & FNGLA's Certification Committee Chair

Use the knowledge of an FNGLA certified landscape professional to keep your business on the cutting edge. This workshop will highlight some of the key components at a landscape job site and how to properly execute fertilizer calibration, grading and drainage, plan layouts and irrigation. The hands-on portion of this workshop mirrors FNGLA's landscape certification exams and will take you through the practical steps needed to be consistently accurate and efficient on job sites. This workshop is a great tool to prepare you to successfully pass FNGLA's certification exams and is also great core landscape knowledge.

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Why Be A Part of TLS Knowledge College?

Who Should Attend?
Retail Garden Center Professionals, Landscapers, Landscape Designers, Woody Ornamental Growers, City and municipality personnel, Growers, and anyone intersted in furthering their kowledge of the issues and topics affecting Florida's nursery and landscape industry.

Continuing Education Units

In an effort to help attendees maximize their experience, CEU's are often granted for the following programs:

  • FNGLA Certified Professionals
    All workshops approved for 3 CEUs each

For additional details on this or any other FNGLA educational offering, contact Linda Reindl at FNGLA for more information, (800) 375-3642.